Stilesy’s Late Mail – Round 3

NRL what are you doing to me? We couldn’t even get 30 minutes post-TLT until the first major blow came in the form of Harry Grant. On top of that, we have mass outs at Penrith, question marks around the Roosters, a mystery leg injury to Kurt Mann, a suspension to Jackson Hastings and a slew of other goings on in almost every team. There can never be an easy week, can there?

As always I’ll be tweeting out the rest of the mail @AStilesAuthor across the weekend.

TIGERS V WARRIORS, FRIDAY 5:00PM AEST / 6:00PM AEDT

TIGERS: Jackson Hastings is out for three rounds after making one of the riskier judiciary challenges I’ve seen and failing. He will be replaced in the halves by Jock Madden. James Roberts is also out with a cork, therefore Starford To’a will make his club debut at centre. In addition to Hastings and Roberts, the other players to drop out Thursday afternoon were Tukimihia Simpkins, Austin Dias and Rua Ngatikaura.

WARRIORS: Addin Fonua-Blake suffered a hand injury but he survived the first team cut and looks OK at this stage, however BMM remains on the extended bench as cover. No other changes are expected with Taniela Otukolo, Pride Petterson-Robati, Peesi Kepu, Junior Ratuva and Edward Kosi dropping out. Along with Ben Murdoch-Masila, Jack Murchie is still on the extended bench. It does not impact this season, but despite signing with the club that he knows is normally based in NZ, Euan Aitken has been granted an early release and has the Warriors’ permission to negotiate with rival clubs for next year onwards so that he can remain in Australia.

RABBITOHS V ROOSTERS, FRIDAY 7:05PM AEST / 8:05PM AEDT

RABBITOHS: Cameron Murray was benched an hour out from last week’s match in favour of Siliva Havili, though the game plan was to save an interchange and he played big minutes regardless. We could see the same happen again but no changes are expected to the named 17. Michael Chee kam, Richard Kennar, Dean Hawkins, Peter Mamouzelos and Isaiah Tass were the first players cut with Josh Mansour and Davvy Moale remaining.

ROOSTERS: Connor Watson, presumably as part of his contract regardless of the team, was a late benching late round for Drew Hutchison so we could see similar this week if he does manage to line up. He is at an increased risk for re-aggravation to his shoulder should he play. Surviving the first team cut is promising though Lachlan Lam remains in the squad. Angus Crichton has been named on the bench but Sitili Tupouniua will need to pass required concussion protocols (he is reportedly doing very well here and I heard it was actually a neck issue rather than concussion) and Gus could still start if Sitili is not right to play. Freddy Lussick, Naufahu Whyte, Adam Keighran, Renouf Atoni and Kevin Naiqama were the first players trimmed with Lachlan Lam and Daniel Suluka-Fifita on the extended bench still.

PANTHERS V KNIGHTS, SATURDAY 2:00PM AEST / 3:00PM AEDT

PANTHERS: Nathan Cleary’s presence on the extended bench was a key watch this week, though he has been ruled out early. I was also very surprised to see James Fisher-Harris named after his shoulder injury, but he too has been ruled out in addition to Liam Martin, who has suffered a minor leg injury. Spencer Leniu will start at prop and Chris Smith has been named on the edge, with J’maine Hopgood joining the interchange. Luke and Falls were also omitted.

KNIGHTS: Kalyn Ponga was a late withdrawal last round with a minor knee complaint and has been ruled out again according to Joey Johns on the radio. He will be replaced again by Tex Hoy. I’ve also heard that Kurt Mann could be dealing with a leg injury. Barry Toohey said on Thursday that “as of today, he is playing”. From what I can tell it isn’t expected to keep Mann out at this stage but could be one to monitor as that wording makes it seem there could be some doubt. Daniel Saifiti is a confirmed starter. Lee, Lucas, Musgrove and Purcell were also omitted Friday afternoon.

STORM V EELS, SATURDAY 4:30PM AEST / 5:00PM AEDT

STORM: Harry Grant was out with Covid only moments after TLT dropped, saving potential owners a trade for another week and frustrating current owners such as myself, who held him through round one. Such is SuperCoach. Tyran Wishart is also out with Covid so the Storm will be scrambling. Tyson Smoothy filled in at hooker last season on occasion and could be looked to here either as a starter on off the bench, although Kenny Bromwich and Jayden Nikorima could also be options to play 9. Brandon Smith is on the extended bench but I have a feeling this is because the extended squads are now so large and they needed to name someone there – I doubt we see him this round.

EELS: Mitch Moses copped a cork last round and while he doesn’t seem to be in doubt of playing, NRL Physio thinks there is a concern around him kicking so we could see Gutho take up the duties. No other changes expected here.

RAIDERS V TITANS, SATURDAY 6:35PM AEST / 7:35PM AEDT

RAIDERS: Nick Cotric has been ruled out with a quad injury and will be replaced on the wing by Seb Kris. The rest of the team should run out as is.

TITANS: No changes on the horizon on the gold Coast, should be 1-17. Horror news for Treymain Spry though who suffered a fractured skull, broken eye socket and brain bleeding after being coward punched in a street attack. Thoughts are with him.

BRONCOS V COWBOYS, SUNDAY 3:05PM AEST / 4:05PM AEDT

BRONCOS: Pat Carrigan jarred his knee at training but at this stage the club is hopeful he will be OK to play. Those who started with Brendan Piakura have also been dealt a blow, as he strained his hamstring at training which will delay his return to play.

COWBOYS: Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is lurking on the extended bench. I suspect he’ll be given another week but it is a good sign he’s close for owners like me who held. No other changes expected at this stage.

SEA EAGLES V BULLDOGS, SUNDAY 5:15PM AEST / 6:15PM AEDT

SEA EAGLES: Dylan Walker will need to pass concussion protocols to play in this one, and as usual I wouldn’t be surprised to see a game day shuffle somewhere in the forward pack. Where this is however is always a mystery with Des.

BULLDOGS: There was a late change last round that saw Tevita Pangai move into the middle rotation with Corey Waddell starting and Luke Thompson reverting to the bench. We could see a similar change this week though the overall 17 I can’t see changing.

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Trade-a-holic

Love your work Stilesy.

Sonnysideup

Cheers, much appreciated

The Duke

Thanks for the information. Swapping Roberts as reserve.

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