SUNDAY SPECIALS | Two tight tussles for NRL Sunday - Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders flexing th...
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The Bulldogs will be at full strength this Friday night for their clash with the sixth placed Broncos. Matt Utai returns from suspension after being sent off against the Tigers for a reckless high tackle on Stuart Flanagan. A win for the Belmore boys could be their seventh straight as they look to consolidate second place on the ladder.
Brisbane backrower David Stagg will switch to the centres for the match with Tonie Carroll shifting back to the forward pack. Tame Tupou is out injured and Greg Eastwood has been dropped with former Origin representative Dane Carlaw returning on to the bench and youngster Steve Michaels coming on to the wing.
Cronulla?s Darren Albert will make his return from Premier League this weekend in to the fullback role with former Rabbitoh Brett Kearney being dropped back to the bench. David Simmons, who dislocated his shoulder while scoring against the Eels last Saturday, has been replaced by debutant Mitch Brown.
Coach Stuart Raper has opted for three utility backs for the match with the Panthers on Saturday out of the five man bench he has named.
The Panthers have made one change to their side, which was heavily defeated by the Roosters last weekend for their match with the Sharks on Saturday. The two sides met earlier this season at CUA Stadium, a ground that had been renovated over the off season. The Sharks ran out convincing victors that night by 40 points to 12.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy has named a six man bench for their match up with the Warriors on Saturday night. Former Rooster Michael Crocker is a notable exclusion from last week?s team as he has been suspended for two weeks with a dangerous tackle charge.
Outgoing backrower Jamie Feeney has been recalled to First Grade this weekend on the bench. The former Bulldog did not have his contract renewed by the Storm this season.
The Warriors have named an unchanged line-up for the match, after the side were big winners over the Cowboys in Auckland last weekend. The Warriors met the Storm in round one of this season where the Storm just got home in a tight game by a try.
North Queensland have recalled Brisbane bound halfback Brent McConnell for their home match with the Knights on Saturday night. Coach Murray has named big hitting front rower Carl Webb in the second row for the suspended Luke O?Donnell.
Roosters coach Ricky Stuart has opted for the same squad, which demolished the Panthers in the end on Saturday, for the match with the Eels on Sunday. The Bondi based club are just one win away from becoming the first team in 99 years to reach the milestone of 1000 wins in the history of rugby league.
Eels coach Jason Taylor has kept with the winning formula once again as he has named the same victorious side once again for the next week?s encounter. A win for Parramatta on Sunday will be their ninth straight and will consolidate a possible top four finish on the ladder.
Manly will be without captain inspiration Ben Kennedy on Sunday for their match with South Sydney at Brookvale. Former Storm halfback Matt Orford takes over the role of captaincy with Luke Williamson moving in to lock to replace the injured Kennedy.
South Sydney is this week without John Sutton and Stuart Webb after they were ruled out for the rest of the season two weeks ago when the Rabbitohs won two straight this time against the Panthers at home. Trent Young will slot in to the hooking role after spending a lengthy time in the side?s Premier League team, Souths Juniors.
St George Illawarra will be without Colin Best and Mathew Head this weekend who have both succumbed to a neck strain and knee injury respectively. Wes Naiqama will play his first game in the top grade since injuring his foot against the Tigers in round one. Wes made a successful return to Premier League last weekend in the side?s solid victory over the Bulldogs.
Ben Hornby will play halfback for the injured Head with Greenshields taking up the fullback role. Hooker Aaron Gorrell returns from injury on the bench.
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens has named hooker Robbie Farah back from injury for the heritage match with the Dragons at Kogarah on a traditional Sunday afternoon. Dene Halatau, who was man of the match in last year?s Preliminary Final, will lock the scrum for the Tigers.
Canberra has the bye this weekend with the two points all but confirming their status in this year?s Finals Series for the first time since the side was knocked out in week one of the 2004 series by the Roosters.