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NRL Teams Analysis - 2017 Round 25
Sam's weekly look at all the teamlists is in for another week - check out the ins and outs for Round 25, plus the crucial weather forecast for all eight contests.
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Tautau Moga 19. David Mead 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Korbin Sims 14. Sam Thaiday 10. Adam Blair 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh Mcguire 9. Ben Hunt 15. Jaydn Su'a 16. Jai Arrow 17. Herman Essese
Out - Tevita Pangai
Analysis - The Broncos made it three wins in a row, when they cruised to a 24-12 win over St George last week. Brisbane will play their last game of the regular season at home, when they welcome the Parramatta Eels in a huge clash to kick off the penultimate round of 2017 Tevita Pangai Jr misses the game through a hamstring injury, which sees young gun Jaydn Su'a come onto the bench in the only change. Anthony Milford put in an electric performance last week and looms as the danger man for the Eels on Thursday night.
1. Will Smith 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Kirisome Auva'a 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitchell Moses 18. Siosaia Vave 9. Cameron King 10. Tim Mannah 11. Kenny Edwards 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown 8. Daniel Alvaro 14. David Gower 15. Suaia Matagi 16. Frank Pritchard
Analysis - The Eels thrashed the Titans in a big response to their shock loss to the Knights in Round 23, to get their finals charge back on track. Parramatta travel to Suncorp Stadium without fullback Bevan French, who looked to have come back a bit too early from a hamstring injury last week, this sees his replacement against the Titans, Will Smith get the start in the #1 jersey. Manu Ma'u will miss the match through suspension after accepting an early guilty plea for a shoulder charge. Kenny Edwards will therefore start in the backrow, with Frank Pritchard and David Gower added to the interchange.
1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Joseph Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Junior Paulo 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Joseph Tapine 13. Elliot Whitehead 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Clay Priest 16. Dave Taylor 17. Luke Bateman
Analysis - Canberra went down to the Panthers at home on Sunday, which all but extinguishes their finals hopes this year, with the Green Machine now a mathematical chance. The Raiders now face their bogey side having won only one of their last three matches against the struggling Novocastians, including a 34-20 loss to the Knights back in Round 17. The Green Machine has their final game at Canberra Stadium for 2017, with Ricky Stuart surely looking for a big response in front of their home fans to end the season. Man mountain Dave Taylor was again impressive from the bench last week, with the former Queensland and Australian representative looking to end his NRL career on a strong note.
1. Nathan Ross 2. Ken Sio 3. Dane Gagai 19. Peter Mata'utia 5. Shaun Kenny-dowall 6. Jack Cogger 7. Trent Hodkinson 8. Daniel Saifiti 12. Jamie Buhrer 15. Mickey Paea 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 14. Joe Wardle 13. Mitchell Barnett 9. Danny Levi 10. Josh King 16. Sam Stone 17. Jacob Saifiti
Analysis - The Knights three match run came to an end against the premiership favourites, the Storm 44-12. Newcastle now travel down the Hume Highway, where they face a scorned Raiders outfit, who will be looking to keep their faint finals hopes alive. Newcastle lose captain Sione Mata'utia, which sees the experienced Jamie Buhrer come into the starting side. In another blow for the visitors, Brock Lamb will miss the rest of the season with an MCL injury, which sees fellow young gun Jack Cogger get another chance in the top grade. In some positive news, Nathan Ross returns to fullback, which should give the side some spark against a dangerous Raiders outfit.
1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 11. Michael Chee-Kam 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. Tuimoala Lolohea 17. Jack Littlejohn 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Tim Grant 18. Joel Edwards 12. Josh Aloiai 13. Matthew Eisenhuth 14. Alex Twal 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Bayley Sironen 18. Ava Seumanufagai
Analysis - The Tigers held their own against the third placed Roosters, but just couldn't quite get the win. The Tigers now return to Campbelltown Stadium in what will be James Tedesco and Aaron Woods' final match at the venue. Backrower Elijah Taylor has been ruled out, which sees Matt McIllwrick start at hooker and Sironen Mark III, Bayley Sironen make his NRL debut from the interchange. Jack Littlejohn will also be on the bench replacing Joel Edwards who drops out of the side.
19. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Javid Bowen 4. Kane Linnett 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 14. John Asiata 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 18. Gavin Cooper 12. Ethan Lowe 13. Jason Taumalolo 1. Ben Hampton 8. Corey Jensen 11. Coen Hess 17. Shaun Fensom
Out - Kalyn Ponga, Enari Tuala
Analysis - The Cowboys are holding onto seventh spot heading into Round 25, and simply must defeat the Tigers this weekend to guarantee finals football in September. Antonio Winterstein returns to the wing, replacing Kalyn Ponga. Shaun Fensom also returns from injury, replacing debutant Enari Tuala on the interchange. Lachlan Coote and Gavin Cooper have been named in the extended squad and Paul Green will be desperate to include the experienced pair in the game day 17 given their shocking injury toll.
1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Phillip Sami 5. William Zillman 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Kevin Proctor 16. Leivaha Pulu 13. Max King 14. Kane Elgey 12. Joe Greenwood 17. Paterika Vaivai 18. Morgan Boyle
Analysis - The Titans bad form continued last Thursday night, after they were thrashed by the Eels at ANZ Stadium, making it five straight losses. Things just keep getting worse on the Glitter Strip, with coach Neil Henry being sacked early in the week and they now face a potentially resurgent Bulldogs side. The Gold Coast welcome back two of their representative stars, with Jarryd Hayne and Jarrod Wallace, however they have lost their captain Ryan James in a blow for their go forward.
1. William Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Brenko Lee 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Matt Frawley 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Adam Elliot 13. David Klemmer 15. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Sam Kasiano 19. Francis Tualau
Analysis - The Bulldogs came out and belted the Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium, scoring tries at will and looked a completely different side to the side that has been performing poorly for the past few months. Coach Des Hasler now takes his troops up to the Gold Coast, where he will be keen to finish the season strongly in order to save his job. Canterbury have made no changes to last week's victorious side, however Josh Reynolds, Sam Kasiano and Greg Eastwood have been named on the extended bench and loom as late inclusions.
1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. William Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Jordan McLean 11. Felise Kaufusi 16. Tohu Harris 13. Dale Finucane 14. Kenneath Bromwich 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 16. Tim Glasby 17. Slade Griffin
In - Cooper Cronk
Out - Brodie Croft
Analysis - The Storm smashed the Knights at Hunter Stadium, despite a slow start from the Minor Premiers, which they have now clinched. Melbourne welcome back Cooper Cronk, who replaces his clone Brodie Croft, who was sensational against Newcastle last week. Tohu Harris has been again named to start from the bench, with Tim Glasby named outside the game day 17. Melbourne are now six points clear on top of the ladder and are waiting for finals, so expect them to give their stars an early shower if their match against Souths is in the bag early.
6. Cody Walker 2. Campbell Graham 3. Aaron Gray 4. Tyrell Fuimaono 1. Bryson Goodwin 11. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 17. Zane Musgrove 10. Sam Burgess 12. Angus Crichton 13. Cameron Murray 14. Robbie Farah 15. George Burgess 16. Kyle Turner 5. Robert Jennings
Out - Alex Johnson, Jack Gosiewski
Analysis - South Sydney made it three wins in a row, defeating the Warriors 36-18 and now go on one of the toughest road trips in the business when they face the Storm in Melbourne. The Bunnies welcome back Sam Burgess in a huge boost, which sees Zane Musgrove move back to the bench and Jack Gosiewski drops out with a knee injury. NRL leading tryscorer Alex Johnson is out after injury his hamstring scoring his third try last week. This sees Bryson Goodwin move to fullback and Robert Jennings coming onto the wing.
1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Kurt Capewell 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Gerard Beale 6. James Maloney 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. Sam Tagataese 17. James Segeyaro 18. Chris Heighington
Out - Nil
Analysis - The Sharks responded from back to back losses, defeating the Cowboys 26-16 in Townsville in a huge win to get their Top 4 aspirations back on track. Cronulla now face the Roosters in a finals dress rehearsal in the game of the round at Shark Park on Saturday night. Shane Flanagan has made no changes to his squad, with a win here going a long way to securing the defending premiers a vital Top 4 finish.
1. Michael Gordon 2. Latrell Mitchell 3. Ryan Matterson 4. Mitchell Aubusson 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Isaac Liu 14. Zane Tetevano 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Kane Evans 17. Connor Watson
Analysis - The Roosters snapped a two game losing streak, in an unconvincing win over the Tigers at Allianz Stadium. The Tricolours now face the defending premiers in a game which could define their season with a strong performance. Trent Robinson has made no changes to his squad, with Ryan Matterson and Mitchell Aubusson remaining in the centres and Latrell Mitchell on the wing.
1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Ben Matulino 9. Issac Luke 10. Sam Lisone 11. Bunty Afoa 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering 14. Mafoa'aeata Hingano 15. Charlie Gubb 16. Isaiah Papalii 17. Jazz Tevaga
Analysis - The Warriors have now lost their last seven, in what has been another underwhelming season for the Auckland based side. In a huge boost Shaun Johnson will make his long awaited return when they host the Sea Eagles at Mount Smart Stadium, along with Tigers bound prop Ben Matulino. Kieran Foran left the field late in their loss to the Rabbitohs in Round 24 but has been named to start at five-eighth, with Mason Lino dropping out of the 17. It is the last home match for the Warriors who will see several players including Matulino and Foran depart at season's end.
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matthew Wright 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Blake Green 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Darcy Lussick 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Frank Winterstein 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lewis Brown 15. Lloyd Perrett 16. Brenton Lawrence 17. Addin Fonua-blake
In - Nil
Analysis - The Sea Eagles blew their Top 4 chances when they suffered a shock Round 23 loss to the Tigers and now their Top 8 chances are in big trouble after suffering a shock 30-16 loss to the Bulldogs last Sunday. The Eagles now cross the ditch where they simply must win against the Warriors or risk sliding spectacularly out of the Top 8, after looking like contenders just six weeks ago. Trent Barrett has made no changes to the side that lost to Canterbury last week, but will be reading the riot act to his squad before they depart to New Zealand.
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Waqa Blake 5. Dallin Watene Zelezniak 6. Tyrone May 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 16. Tim Browne 11. Corey Harawira 12. Isaah Yeo 13. James Fisher-Harris 10. Regan Campbell-Gillard 14. Sione Katoa 15. Bryce Cartwright 17. Trent Merrin
In - Peter Wallace
Out - Matt Moylan
Analysis - Penrith are coming home with a wet sail! The Panthers made it seven wins in a row, after effectively ending the Raiders finals hopes at Canberra Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The men from the foot of the mountains now welcome the Dragons to Pepper Stadium and are an outside chance of a Top 4 spot should they keep winning and results go their way. Skipper Matt Moylan will not play this week, after rushing back against Canberra, however Peter Wallace will return at hooker, with Sione Katoa moving back to the bench. Tyrone May will play five-eighth for Moylan after scoring the match sealing try from the bench last week.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Matthew Dufty 2. Nene Macdonald 7. Kurt Mann 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop 17. Josh McCrone 14. Tariq Sims 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Joel Thompson 13. Jack de Belin 8. Leeson Ah Mau 15. Hame Sele 16. Blake Lawrie 19. Kalifa Faifai Loa
In - Nene MacDonald, Hame Sele
Analysis - The Dragons season goes on the line at Pepper Stadium after the Red V failed to get over the in-form Broncos at Suncorp Stadium and now they need to win their last two matches and hope results fall favourably. In some good news for the Dragons, Nene MacDonald returns on the wing for Euan Aitken who is out with a shoulder injury. Hame Sele replaces Will Matthews on the bench. The Dragons came out and thrashed the Panthers in Round 1 at Kogarah Oval and coach Paul McGregor would dearly like to see a similar performance on Sunday.