SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Josh Dugan of the Dragons is tackled by Mitchell Moses of the Tigers during the round five NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the St George Illawarra Dragons at ANZ Stadium on April 2, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Team Talk: Round 8

Last week, a host of superstars went down. This weekend, we’ll see a few return to the field.

Canberra Raiders v Manly Sea Eagles

Winger Jordan Rapana will be right to go after he suffered a knock to the knee last week against the Warriors. He managed to play out the full 80 minutes and has declared himself fit.

For the Sea Eagles, Lloyd Perrett will be sidelined with a sternum injury, however, Martin Taupau could return from a rib injury. Melbourne exposed their left-side defence in tatters on the weekend so that could leave Trent Barrett thinking about some personnel changes.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos

Sam Burgess heads to the judiciary on Tuesday night to challenge his shoulder charge ruling and will miss two matches if he is found guilty. Robbie Rochow is most likely to come in if that is the case while Anthony Cherrington’s name will also be discussed at the selection table.

Hymel Hunt returns after a month out through suspension with Robert Jennings or Siosifa Talakai likely to make way with the latter favoured to retain his spot.

Wayne Bennett’s men will be without Tevita Pangai Jnr after he suffered a broken finger last weekend while Jordan Kahu and Korbin Sims should both be available to play after copping knocks on the weekend. The pair will be on light duties throughout the week.

Parramatta Eels v Penrith Panthers

Beau Scott picked up a knock in the Eels’ win over Wests on Monday and is in doubt to back up with the short turnaround as Kenny Edwards returns from suspension for Parra.

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Bryce Cartwright has been on the cusp of a return for the past few weeks and finally looks right to go this week, however, he is no certainty. James Fisher-Harris is doubtful to line up after picking up a shoulder injury.

North Queensland Cowboys v Newcastle Knights

The Cowboys could welcome back fullback Lachlan Coote and Antonio Winterstein from injury which would mean the exciting young duo of Kalyn Ponga and Gideon Gela-Mosby would return to reserve grade.

For the Knights, Jamie Buhrer fractured his foot and was a pre-game withdrawal and will miss an extended period of time while his would-be replacement Rory Kostjasyn is no certainty to play after suffering a severe throat injury in the pre-season.

His replacement is up in the air for the time being.

Cronulla Sharks v Gold Coast Titans

Having conceded just four points in the past two weeks, there’s not much going wrong in Cronulla at the moment.

Gold Coast’s injury crisis just keeps on worsening however as Chris Grevsmuhl and Max King will both miss at least two weeks with groin and hand injuries respectively.

Captain Kevin Proctor and Joe Greenwood are both strong chances to return, as is Konrad Hurrell. Dale Copley is in serious doubt with a back complaint while Ryan James will be named despite leaving Suncorp Stadium in a moon boot.

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Jarryd Hayne still remains a few weeks away.

Wests Tigers v Canterbury Bulldogs

Luke Brooks is set to return for the Tigers from a hamstring injury while Jamal Idris will miss the match with a hamstring injury of his own, suffering that in the dying stages of their loss against Parramatta.

Will Mitchell Moses be there? Who knows.

David Klemmer will return for Des Hasler’s men with Raymond Faitala-Mariner likely to miss out.

Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons

Latrell Mitchell was ‘rested’ last week and will return for the Roosters which will see Joseph Manu relegated back to the reserves while Dylan Napa remains hopeful of a return. Ryan Matterson will miss the game with an ankle injury.

For the ladder-leading Dragons, the extra few days should allow fullback Josh Dugan to return which would drop Kurt Mann back to the bench.

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors

Will Chambers will return from suspension for the Storm with Young Tonumaipea dropped out of the side while Tohu Harris could be a chance to return. Cameron Munster returned on the weekend via the bench and will slot back into the run on side with Ryley Jacks dropping out despite a solid run of form.

For the Warriors, Bodene Thompson can escape suspension with an early plea while Ben Matulino will push his case for a spot in the side as he looks to overcome a knee injury.


  1. Eels side should be

    1: C Gutherson
    2: S Radradra
    3: M Jennings
    4: K Avau
    5: J Hoffman
    6: B Takairangi
    7: C Norman
    8: T Mannah
    9: C Nelson
    10: S Matagi
    11: M Mau
    12: T Moeroa
    13: N Brown

    14: K Pritchard
    15: K Edwards
    16: S Vave
    17: P Terepo

    18th D Alvaro

    Kaysa Pritchard isn’t a 80min hooker he’s a lot better coming from the bench
    Cody Nelson should start he’s a very good defender and can play anywhere in the front line.. maybe give Cody 30 mins then put in Kaysa when the defence gets tired

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