A week out from the #NRL season kickoff, we look at the fantastic potential possessed across the Tas...
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For the second week in a row the round starts off in Newcastle. Both sides come into this match on the back of big wins. The Knights have only made slight rearrangements to their side from last week. Their biggest loss will be Todd Bates who scored 16 points last weekend which means Balmain will be slight favourites to take out this match.
Newcastle Knights ? Michael Young, Michael Fortier, Gavin Quinn, Craig Hall, Joshua Smith, Todd Bates, Chris Tyrie, Daniel Tolar, Michael Ennis, Brendan Worth, Blake Mueller, Matthew Barlett, Mark Jaques, Interchange: Riley Brown, Matthew White, Dane Tilse, Jared Taylor.
Balmain Tigers ? Team Unannounced
Moving to Saturday sees Newtown take on Parramatta at Henson Park. Newtown managed an upset against the Cougars last week while Parramatta?s win against Canterbury moved them into second spot. This contest could end up being very one sided with the talent and form that the Eels possess.
Newtown Jets ? Team Unannounced
Parramatta Eels ? Ronald Prince, Matt Gruszka, Willie Tonga, Chad Halliday, John Williams, Steve Witt, Paul Green, Kyle Leuluai, Daniel Irvine, Adam Wheeler, Steve Crouch, Anthony Boyd, Ryan Hincliffe, Interchange: Jeff Robson, Brett Sargent, Nathan McMillan, Josh Dillon, Josh Cordoba, Sean L?Estrange, Matt Lantry, Matt Nightingale (Four to be omitted).
The next match up sees top of the table Canberra take on the bottom of the table Bears. The Raiders have named a very different side from last week. For the third week in a row they have changed their halves combination with the injury to Van Dijk shaking things up. This week Terry Campese, son of Wallaby great David comes into Five-Eighth. Phil Graham and James Evans have gone up to first grade while Michael Weyman returns from injury. Despite the changes Canberra will be looking to rack up a big score on Saturday.
Canberra Raiders ? Marshall Chalk, Michael Robertson, Nathan Smith, Jack Pearson, Rod Jensen, Terry Campese, Matthew Gafa, Michael Weyman, Jarred Lawrence, Mark Bryant, Alan Rothery, Darren Porter, Josh Miller, Interchange: Matt Doeg, Alwyn Simpson, Kris Kahler, Nick Kouparitsas, Mark Simon (One to be omitted).
North Sydney Bears ? Team Unannounced
Last week Cronulla took two competition points in a one point thriller against Sydney and they will be looking for similar success against the Dragons on Sunday. Their cause will only be strengthened with the addition of halfback Andrew Dallalana. St George-Illawara on the other hand hasn?t made major changes but one notable loss is Hassan Saleh. It all adds up to a great local derby.
Cronulla Sharks v St George-Illawara Dragons Saturday 16th August, 5:30pm at Toyota Park Referee: Tony De Las Heras Touch Judges: David Adams and Luke Bugdem
Cronulla Sharks ? David Simmons, Adam Davidson, Andrew Emelio, Laloaoa Milford, Stephen Ross, Jye Mullane, Andrew Dallalana, John Wood, Pat Gibson, Don Tweddle, Cameron Ciraldo, Jnr Paulo, Kevin Kingston, Interchange: David Tangata-Toa, Shaun Wessell, Keith Heckenberg, Bronx Goodwin, Nick Youngquest, John Green (Two to be omitted).
St George-Illawara Dragons ? Lee Bennett, Ben Creagh, Chris Nero, Mark Christensen, Etuade Uaisele, Don Dickson, Dean Byrne, Jason Ellem, Steven Southern, Bryan Norrie, Nathan Tutt, Ryan Powell, Interchange: Robbie Simpson, Peter Ellis, Josh Essex, Shaun Vidito, Lachlan Russell, Shane Loloata (Two to be omitted).
These next two sides both experienced losses last week. The Rabbitohs were well beaten by Balmain while the Roosters lost by just one point to the Sharks. The Roosters have named a virtually unchanged side from last weekend. They will be boosted though by the return of Ben Wellington fresh off his first grade debut. Souths don?t have quite the same luck; they will be without Craigie, Walker and Bajouri which means they could struggle in this one.
South Sydney ? Wade McKinnon, Wise Kativerata, Beau Mundine, David Fa?alogo, Joven Clarke, Luke Branighan, Troy Robinson, Daniel Ninness, Shane Walker, Brian Siemsen, Jamie Fitzgerald, Stacey Katu, Jess Caine, Interchange: Kevin Henderson, Fuifui Moimoi, Brett Sheehan, David Buckley.
Sydney Roosters ? Grant Rovelli, Steve Skinnon, Tyrone Smith, Lelea Paea, Eric Grothe, Ben Wellington, Joe Williams, David Shillington, Wade Humpreys, Todd Ollivier, Lopini Paea, Fred Peterson, Richard Russell, Interchange: Tevita Metuisela, Shawn Mackay, Willie Bishop, Mal Kaufui, Ian Henderson, Luke Fatnowna (Two to be omitted).
The Bulldogs this week will be looking to hit back hard after losing their second spot on the table last week. The Sea Eagles also have a point to prove, conceding 68 points in their clash with Canberra. Manly have made several re-arrangements to their side but don?t look strong enough on paper to match the Bulldogs.
Manly Sea Eagles ? Matt Hill, Ryan Scott, Pat Foran, Sam Peters, Sean Meaney, Michael Gill, Craig Hayne, Danny Lima, Glenn Stewart, Grant Wooden, Adam Cuthbertson, Ben Ellis, Phil Morwood, Interchange: Clint Eadie, Matt Austin, Dylan Montgomery, Daniel Watkins, Brad McLean, Brendan Crabb (Two to be omitted).
Canterbury Bulldogs ? Team Unannounced
The final match of the round sees the Magpies take on the Cougars. With St Marys-Penrith losing and the Western Suburbs winning, these two teams now sit in 5th and 6th just 3 points apart on the table. The only change the Cougars have made is bringing Frank Pritchard into the starting line-up and sending Matthew Pow to the bench. With so much as stake this should easily be the match of the round.
Western Suburbs Magpies ? Luke Duffy, Jordan Macey, Dean Collis, Ken McGuinness, John Olzard, Clint Greenshields, Chris Levy, Brett O?Farrell, Brett Rimmer, Clint Hill, Nigel Plum, Wes Hallam-Mann, Liam Fulton, Interchange: Brad Eisenhuth, Michael Papa, Gray Viane, Ray Cashmere, Andrew Hampson, Bryce Gibbs, Tere Glassie, Drew Dalton, Isaac Degois, Abraham Pritchard (Six to be omitted).
St Marys-Penrith Cougars ? Steve Turner, Chris Hicks, Shane Elford, Luke Dyer, Brett Howland, Daniel Russell, Ben Reynolds, Anthony Armour, Shannon Donato, Peter Lewis, Richard Fa?aoso, Danny Galea, Frank Pritchard, Interchange: Garrett Crossman, Matthew Pow, Ben Rogers, Tim Maccan, Shaun Ata (One to be omitted).
Matches at a glance: Knights v Tigers Jets v Eels Raiders v Bears Sharks v Dragons Rabbitohs v Roosters Sea Eagles v Bulldogs Magpies v Cougars