Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Penrith Panthers
Sea Eagles: 1. Dylan Walker 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Josh Schuster 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Cade Cust 15. Morgan Boyle 16. Sean Keppie 17. Josh Aloiai 18. Tevita Funa 19. Morgan Harper 20. Toafofoa Sipley 21. Christian Tuipulotu
It has been tough going for the Sea Eagles after they were thumped again last round by the Dragons. Poor defence, lack of resilience and the concerning lack of form of their captain Daly Cherry-Evans remain serious issues for a team who will almost inevitably start the season with zero wins from their opening four rounds. If they do not show something against the high flying Panthers, talks of a maiden wooden spoon could get louder for the proud northern beaches club.
Panthers: 1. Stephen Crichton 2. Charlie Staines 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Matthew Eisenhuth 17. Liam Martin 18. Scott Sorensen 19. Billy Burns 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Jaeman Salmon
The Panthers got revenge in their grand final rematch against premiers Melbourne Storm to continue their perfect start to the season. They are bolstered with the return of star halfback and co-captain Nathan Cleary and despite a few forced changes due to injuries, they have way too much quality in their depth and should comfortably dispose of the struggling Sea Eagles.
PANTHERS BY 20
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Corey Allan 3. Will Hopoate 4. Nick Cotric 5. Tuipulotu Katoa 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Dylan Napa 9. Sione Katoa 10. Jack Hetherington 11. Adam Elliott 12. Corey Waddell 13. Renouf Atoni 14. Jackson Topine 15. Dean Britt 16. Joe Stimson 17. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Jake Averillo 20. Chris Smith 21. Brandon Wakeham 22. Matt Doorey
The Bulldogs have not scored a single point in their past two games and their 24-0 loss to the lowly Broncos last round was almost unwatchable. A couple of positional swaps have been made to their backline and Lachlan Lewis returns to the halves in a bid to fix their spluttering attack. If they cannot get themselves up for the traditional Good Friday clash against Souths, things could get embarrassing for Trent Barrett’s men.
Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Dane Gagai 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Tevita Tatola 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Cameron Murray 14. Benji Marshall 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Patrick Mago 17. Jai Arrow 18. Jacob Host 19. Dean Hawkins 20. Troy Dargan 21. Steven Marsters
The Rabbitohs are starting to find their feet and their attack is looking slick after their epic win against arch rivals the Roosters last round. The form of Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker is looking ominous and they will be looking to rack up a huge score against a hapless Canterbury-Bankstown.
RABBITOHS BY 28
Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17. Darryn Schonig 18. Aaron Pene 19. Nicholas Hynes 20. Trent Loiero 21. Dean Ieremia
The Storm are coming off the back of rare back-to-back losses, both games which came down to the dying minutes. It has been evident that they have missed the composure of Cameron Smith when the team is under pressure, something they are looking to improve moving forward. They come up against the struggling Broncos this week and it is not only a chance to return to the winners circle, but to regain that ruthless attitude and a clinical performance we are all used to.
Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Xavier Coates 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Tesi Niu 5. David Mead 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. John Asiata 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Tevita Pangai Junior 17. Ben Te’o 18. Tom Dearden 19. Rhys Kennedy 20. Richard Kennar 21. Ethan Bullemor
Although the Broncos broke a 13-game losing streak last round against the equally struggling Bulldogs, they are coming up against a Storm side that have lost two in-a-row and that does not bode well for Brisbane. Tom Dearden has been named on the extended bench but the word is he will come onto the bench. Broncos fans will be hoping they rise to the challenge and at least compete well against the premiers, but it is difficult to see them posing any kind of challenge to the Storm.
STORM BY 36
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs North Queensland Cowboys
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Mawene Hiroti 3. Josh Dugan 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Chad Townsend 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Teig Wilton 12. Wade Graham 13. Toby Rudolf 14. Braydon Trindall 15. Aiden Tolman 16. Jack Williams 17. Billy Magoulias 18. Franklin Pele 19. Nene Macdonald 20. Andrew Fifita 21. Jenson Taumoepeau
The Sharks started the season well and were cruelled by injury last round leaving them with no one on the bench in their loss to the Eels. They are unlucky to have just the one win in the opening three rounds, but they will be looking to build on the form they have shown against the struggling Cowboys. Their home fixture was due to be played on the Sunshine Coast, but COVID problems in Queensland forced the game to be relocated, which will not be an issue because now they have the home ground advantage and should cruise past the Cowboys.
Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Murray Taulagi 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Connelly Lemuelu 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Ben Hampton 8. Francis Molo 9. Reece Robson 10. Jordan McLean 11. Shane Wright 12. Ben Condon 13. Josh Mcguire 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Corey Jensen 17. Lachlan Burr 18. Peter Hola 19. Esan Marsters 20. Griffin Neame 21. Jake Clifford
The Cowboys were mauled by the Titans last round and it is difficult to see how they get out of this rut they are in. They have big culture issues at the club and the team is lacking resilience and cannot not get the basics right on the field. They will again be missing their co-captains Morgan and Taumalolo to injury and although they still have a reasonably decent side on paper, they cannot get it together collectively. It is expected they will again struggle against the Sharks.
SHARKS BY 10
Gold Coast Titans vs Canberra Raiders
Titans: 1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Phillip Sami 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Corey Thompson 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. Kevin Proctor 12. David Fifita 13. Tyrone Peachey 14. Moeaki Fotuaika 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Erin Clark 18. Beau Fermor 19. Herman Ese’ese 20. Sam McIntyre 21. Brian Kelly
The Titans recorded their biggest total in the clubs history when they registered 44-points last round against the Cowboys. Their big guns are starting to fire and after their lacklustre loss in round one, the potential of this team is starting to show. The Raiders will be their first big test after disposing of their Queensland rivals. On paper the forward packs are evenly matched but with Ash Taylor injured, their halves need to step up and show some more creativity against a quality Canberra defence. They will be up for the challenge and this could be the upset of the round.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Tom Starling 15. Siliva Havili 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Ryan James 18. Sam Williams 19. Semi Valemi 20. Caleb Aekins 21. Emre Guler
The Raiders battled through adversity last round with injuries and a few rough calls throughout the game, but they still gave up a 21-point lead to lose at home against the Warriors. The fight and the effort is there, but we are yet to see the best of this side many predict will challenge for the premiership. This should be a very competitive game, especially in the forwards but if they do not bring their A-game against a hungry Titans team, they may fall short again.
TITANS BY 2
Newcastle Knights vs St George Illawarra Dragons
Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Starford To’a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Kurt Mann 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Connor Watson 14. Sauaso Sue 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Josh King 17. Blake Green 18. Brodie Jones 19. Dominic Young 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Pasami Saulo
The Knights started the season with two-straight wins but the inconsistency which plagued their season last year was evident when they went down to the embattled Tigers last round. They are still missing several key players to injury but it is important they do not slip back into bad habits and will need to be more clinical if they are collect the two pints against the improving Dragons.
Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Cody Ramsey 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Kerr 12. Tariq Sims 13. Tyrell Fuimaono 14. Poasa Faamausili 15. Trent Merrin 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Jackson Ford 18. Kaide Ellis 19. Jordan Pereira 20. Max Feagai 21. Eddie Blacker
The Dragons have got off to an impressive start to the season and confidence is high after their 38-12 drubbing of Manly last round. Unfortunately they have lost in-form halfback and captain Ben Hunt to a broken leg. Corey Norman has also shown glimpses of his best and the team will now need him to step up in the absence of Hunt to continue the sides momentum. However the loss of Hunt could be the difference in Newcastle.
KNIGHTS BY 4
Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Isaac Liu 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Matt Ikuvalu 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 16. Nat Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Nat Butcher 19. Benjamin Marsce 20. Joseph Suaalii 21. Tukupa Hau Tapuha
It has been a horror week for the Roosters, losing to arch rivals the Rabbitohs and losing both halves to injury, one of which is star halfback Luke Keary for the season-ending ACL tear. Although their premiership hopes have taken a nose dive, their is still so much quality in this team that they will continue to be competitive. 18-year-old young gun Sam Walker makes his debut at halfback and Joey Manu is expected to be shifted to five-eighth to make up their new halves pairing. The Roosters are still favourites to win but it will be interesting to see how they go without several of their star players.
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Adam Pompey 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Eliesa Katoa 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Tohu Harris 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Jack Murchie 18. Tom Ale 20. Paul Turner 21. Kane Evans 22. Rocco Berry
The Warriors achieved their biggest ever comeback in the clubs history last round against the Raiders and will be looking to continue their impressive start to the season. Tuivasa-Sheck looks like a man on a mission in his final season in rugby league, and although they are the underdogs against an injury-ravaged Roosters, they will have the confidence of pulling off an upset and continue their quest for a top eight finish this season.
ROOSTERS BY 6
Wests Tigers vs Parramatta Eels
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Tommy Talau 4. James Roberts 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Luke Brooks 8. Zane Musgrove 9. Jacob Liddle 10. James Tamou 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal 14. Moses Mbye 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Stefano Utoikamanu 17. Joe Ofahengaue 18. Russell Packer 19. Joseph Leilua 20. Michael Chee-Kam 21. Alex Seyfarth
The Tigers managed to pull off an upset last round against the Knights to register their first win of the season, but the draw does not get any easier for Maguire’s men as they come up against Western Sydney rivals, the in-form Eels. This is an opportunity for the Tigers to build some momentum but a lot will depend on under-pressure halfback Luke Brooks to find his best form.
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Tom Opacic 4. Marata Niukore 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown 14. Oregon Kaufusi 15. Isaiah Papali’i 16. Will Smith 17. Ray Stone 18. Jordan Rankin 19. Haze Dunster 20. Keegan Hipgrave 21. Bryce Cartwright
The Eels have got off to another fast start to the season, winning their first three games and will look to continue their good form against the Tigers. They are still lacking some fluency with the changes they have made to their attack and this is a great opportunity to improve those combinations against a Tigers defence that has its issues. The Eels should comfortably make it 4-0 to start their season.
EELS BY 12