Short and sharp intro from me this week as I have a bit on the go, so let’s dive straight into the mail.
As usual I’ll update this article across Thursday evening and all the updates will be on Twitter across the round @AStilesAuthor
RABBITOHS V PANTHERS, THURSDAY 7:50PM
RABBITOHS: Latrell Mitchell owners can breathe easy with the fullback cleared to play despite carrying a groin issue. No changes expected on game day.
24 hour cuts: Hawkins, Shaquai Mitchell, Thompson
Final side: 1-17; Taaffe 18th man
PANTHERS: Taylan May makes a timely return to the wing, with Sunia Turuva dropping back to the extended bench to accomodate. Scott Sorensen was also ruled out with a hamstring injury and has been replaced on the bench by J’maine Hopgood. Liam Martin and Dylan Edwards are good to go according to NRL Physio.
24 hour cuts: Turuva (extended bench), Sorensen, Jennings, Falls
Final side: Turuva/Sorensen out, May wing, Kenny hooker, Koroisau/Hopgood bench; Turuva 18th man
COWBOYS V WARRIORS, FRIDAY 6:00PM
COWBOYS: Luciano Leilua comes into the starting side on the edge in place of Tom Gilbert, who is out due to family reasons. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown in turn joins the interchange.
24 hour cuts: Gilbert, Hampton, Lemuelu
WARRIORS: Not much doing here, should be 1-17.
24 hour cuts: Frei, Pompey, Berry
BRONCOS V STORM, FRIDAY 7:55PM
BRONCOS: Nothing noteworthy at the 24 hour cut, looks 1-17 at this stage.
24 hour cuts: Gamble, Willison, Hosking
STORM: Jahrome Hughes survived the first team cut despite being in some doubt still, and he was pictured earlier looking raring to go at training so I’m hoping that eventuates into him playing this round. Cameron Munster is pressing for dual-eligibility next season by shifting to fullback last weekend, and the same could be on the cards here though I assume it could depend on Hughes’ availability. And as usual, I am wary of the game day shuffle in the forward pack which last week saw Brandon Smith start at lock and Tui Kamikamika on the edge.
24 hour cuts: Nikorima, Jordan Grant, Loiero
EELS V BULLDOGS, SATURDAY 3:00PM
EELS: Mitch Moses himself has said he’s no certainty to start this round, though it is encouraging that he’s in the mix. Jacob Arthur would replace him should he rule himself out in the lead up. NRL Physio also has Bailey Simonsson as a round 23 return, so we could see him resurface in the backline.
BULLDOGS: LUKE THOMPSON SIGHTING. I actually didn’t think we’d see the big Englishman again this season after seemingly vanishing from the NRL after his concussion issues, but he and Tevita Pangai are both on the extended bench and could shakeup the forward pack/bench on game.
SEA EAGLES V SHARKS, SATURDAY 5:30PM
SEA EAGLES: Reuben Garrick will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury in an absolutely punishing development for owners low on trades (ala me). The match centre has already updated to reflect Tolutau Koula at fullback and Alfred Smalley promoted straight into the starting side at wing in jersey 23. You’d hope there are no further outs or Dessie may have to trot out as player/coach.
SHARKS: The Sharks look like they’ll be unchanged at this stage.
ROOSTERS V TIGERS, SATURDAY 7:35PM
ROOSTERS: I’ve been asked about James Tedesco being rested this round, but I’ve not yet seen any evidence of this and the Roosters need all the wins they can get from 8th spot, not to mention that the Tigers have been known to upset even powerhouse clubs like the Broncos so you’d have to think they run out all available artillery regardless.
TIGERS: Tigers look 1-17 here with Ken Maumalo fine to return barring any setbacks despite a seemingly quick injury turnaround.
DRAGONS V TITANS, SUNDAY 2:00PM
DRAGONS: Dragons look fairly settled here after a major game day shakeup last round, though we could see a Jayden Sullivan appearance.
TITANS: Brian Kelly is likely out this round with a knee injury, which could see Greg Marzhew push up from the bench or Corey Thompson come straight in.
KNIGHTS V RAIDERS, SUNDAY 4:05PM
KNIGHTS: Can’t see any changed on the cards here either, should be 1-17.
RAIDERS: Ditto re the Raiders, though it will be a very nervous watch for any Joe Tapine holders despite him looking likely to play at the stage.