SPORTSODDS NRL TEAMS & PREVIEW - ROUND 19 (Teams subject to change) 16 July ? 18 July 2004 (AEST times unless stated otherwise) Fri 7:30pm: ROOSTERS (1st) V DRAGONS (6th) Sat 5:30pm: PANTHERS (5th) V RAIDERS (7th) Sat 7:30pm: COWBOYS (10th) V EELS (11th) Sat 7:30pm: WESTS TIGERS (12th) V STORM (4th) Sun 2:00pm (NZ) 12:00pm (AEST): WARRIORS (15th) V RABBITOHS (13th) Sun 2:30pm: SHARKS (8th) V BULLDOGS (2nd) Sun 3:00pm: KNIGHTS (9th) V BRONCOS (3rd)

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SYDNEY CITY ROOSTERS v ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS Friday, 16 July 2004 7:30PM Aussie Stadium Referee: Paul Simpkins Video Referee: Graeme West. Touch Judges: Steve Chiddy, Steve Carrall
Last clash: Roosters 11-8 (Aussie Stadium Rnd 7 2004) Preview: With star players Trent Barrett, Mark Gasnier and Lance Thompson all sidelined, the Dragons will start underdogs against what is looking like a full strength Roosters outfit. Ben Hornby has moved from fullback to five-eighth to replace Barrett. Coach Nathan Brown has called up a number of players from the Premier League including fullback Clint Greenshields. A win to the Roosters is predicted and they should firm up their top position on the NRL ladder. Origin fullback Anthony Minichiello has been in outstanding form in 2004 while halfback Brett Finch is set to put in another 4- star performance. The depleted Dragons however cannot be written off and are often most dangerous when their backs are to the wall. Sitting in sixth position and in danger of slipping into a dog-fight for eighth spot, the Dragons have a lot to play for. Both teams are coming off last round losses.

ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello; Shannon Hegarty, Chris Walker, Ryan Cross, Todd Byrne; Brad Fittler (c), Brett Finch; Luke Ricketson, Craig Fitzgibbon, Chris Flannery, Adrian Morley, Craig Wing, Jason Cayless. Res: Chad Robinson, Stuart Webb, Peter Cusack, Ned Catic. DRAGONS: Clint Greenshields; Nathan Blacklock, John Carlaw, Matt Cooper, Reece Simmonds; Ben Hornby, Matthew Head; Shaun Timmins (c), Ben Creagh, Dean Young, Jason Ryles, Lincoln Withers, Brent Kite. Res: Michael Henderson, , Bryan Norrie, Henry Perenara, Tony Jensen, Aaron Wheatley, Ryan Powell (two to be omitted).

PENRITH PANTHERS v CANBERRA RAIDERS Saturday, 17 July 2004 5:30PM Penrith Football Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Video Referee: Stephen Clark. Touch Judges: Russell Turner, Jason Weinstein
Last clash: Panthers 34-18 (Canberra Stadium Rnd 2 2004) Preview: Penrith Panthers coach Johnny Lang has named a full strength team which includes the return of half back Craig Gower. This is a timely announcement for Penrith who have been in ordinary form in recent weeks and will be desperate for a win after suffering two heavy losses on the trot. Meanwhile Raiders coach Matthew Elliott has also named a strong side. Winger Nathan Smith is playing just his second NRL match after scoring two tries on debut last weekend. The Raiders will be gunning for their fourth straight victory and a shot at a top four position. Another loss for the fifth placed Panthers could see them crash out of the top eight should other results not go their way.

PANTHERS: Rhys Wesser; Amos Roberts, Ryan Girdler, Luke Lewis, Luke Rooney; Preston Campbell, Craig Gower (c); Trent Waterhouse, Tony Puletua, Joe Galuvao, Martin Lang, Luke Priddis, Joel Clinton Res: Shane Rodney, Ben Ross, Danny Galea, Paul Whatuira. RAIDERS: Clinton Schifcofske; Nathan Smith, Adam Mogg, Joel Monaghan, Michael Robertson; Matthew Gafa, Mark McLinden; Jason Croker, Ian Hindmarsh, Ruben Wiki, Luke Davico, Simon Woolford (c), Ryan O'Hara. Res: Alan Rothery, Troy Thompson, Michael Hodgson, Jason Bulgarelli, Terry Martin, Todd Carney (two to be omitted).

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v PARRAMATTA EELS Saturday, 17 July 2004 7:30PM Dairy Farmers Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead Video Referee: Chris Ward. Touch Judges: Paul Holland, Matt Cecchin
Last clash: Cowboys 24-20 (Parramatta Stadium Rnd 8 2004) Preview: Following a big victory over the Broncos last weekend, the Parramatta Eels travel to Townsville this weekend to take on the Cowboys. The Cowboys are coming off a loss against the Raiders but as is often the case, they were never far away from pulling off an unlikely victory. With both sides currently below the cut, a loss will be a big blow to their season. This is a must-win encounter and after fulltime, only one team will realistically remain within range of the top eight.

COWBOYS: Matt Bowen; Neil Sweeney, Josh Hannay, Ty Williams, Brenton Bowen; David Myles, Nathan Fien; Travis Norton (c), Steve Southern, Luke O'Donnell, Mitchell Sargent, Leigh McWilliams, Paul Rauhihi. Res: Aaron Payne, David Faiumu, Shane Tronc, Shane Tronc. EELS: Wade McKinnon; Ashley Graham, Junior Langi, Luke Burt, Matt Peterson; Daniel Wagon (c), Michael Witt; Lee Hopkins, Craig Stapleton, Nathan Hindmarsh, Michael Vella, John Morris, Corey Pearson. Res: Justin Tsoulos, Chris Thorman, Dean Widders, Jack Afamasaga, Adam Peek (one to be omitted).

WESTS TIGERS v MELBOURNE STORM Saturday, 17 July 2004 7:30PM Leichhardt Oval Referee: Gavin Badger Video Referee: Steve Carrall. Touch Judges: Steve Nash, David Abood
Last clash: Storm 30-24 (Olympic Park Rnd 13 2004) Preview: Wests Tigers are hoping to turn around some abysmal form when they take on the Melbourne Storm this weekend. After riding high a month ago, Wests Tigers have experienced a sudden return to reality suffering four losses on the trot and conceding 164 points, and are virtually out of contention for 2004. Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has named an unchanged side following the Storm?s last weekend loss to the Bulldogs. The fourth placed Storm are looking hard to beat with fullback Billy Slater and winger Matt King in fine form. To date, Melbourne has never beaten Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval.

WESTS TIGERS: Brett Hodgson; Jason Moodie, John Wilson, Shane Elford, Pat Richards; Michael Buettner, Scott Prince; Scott Sattler, Mark O'Neill, Ben Galea, John Skandalis, Darren Senter (c), Todd Payten.Res: Robert Mears, Anthony Laffranchi, Dene Halatau, Bryce Gibbs. STORM: Billy Slater; Matt Geyer, Steve Bell, Ben MacDougall, Matt King; Scott Hill, Matt Orford; Kirk Reynoldson, Stephen Kearney (c), David Kidwell, Alex Chan, Cameron Smith, Rodney Howe. Res: Danny Williams, Ryan Hoffman, Cooper Cronk, Glen Turner, Steve Turner, Dustin Cooper (two to be omitted).

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS Sunday, 18 July 2004 2:00PM (12:00PM AEST) Ericsson Stadium Referee: Steve Lyons Video Referee: Phil Cooley. Touch Judges: Allen Foster, Tony DeLasHeras
Last clash: Warriors 26-12 (Aussie Stadium Rnd 11 2004) Preview: Last placed Warriors have to win this game just to keep in stay in touch with the wooden spoon. With just 12 competition points, the New Zealanders are equal with Manly who have the bye this weekend. Good news for the Warriors is the return of international winger Francis Meli who had been out through suspension for five weeks. Also returning to the line-up will be fellow Kiwi winger Henry Fa?afili. Head Coach Tony Kemp has named a six man fresh reserve bench that will be reduced to the four allowed closer to kick-off on game day. Slightly ahead on 15 competition points, the Rabbitohs first grade side has remained unchanged from the side that defeated the reigning premiers, the Penrith Panthers, last Sunday. With coach Arthur Kitinas at the helm, Souths have become something of an unknown quantity, winning three of their last five encounters. Souths players to watch out for include half back Joe Williams and full back Garth Wood while Ashley Harrison and Willie Manu have been in fine form up front.

WARRIORS: Brent Webb; Henry Faafili, Tony Martin, Clinton Toopi, Francis Meli; Jerome Ropati, Stacey Jones; Vinnie Anderson, Awen Guttenbeil, Sione Faumuina, Richard Villasanti, Monty Betham (c), Iefeta Paleaaesina. Res: Evarn Tuimavave, Karl Temata, Epalahame Lauaki, Wairangi Koopu, Louis Anderson, Lance Hohaia (two to be omitted). RABBITOHS: Garth Wood; Shane Marteene, Lee Hookey, John Sutton , Wes Tillott; Owen Craigie, Joe Williams; Ashley Harrison (c), Mark Minichiello, David Fa'alogo, Luke Stuart, Shane Walker, Scott Geddes. Res: Willie Manu, David Thompson, Paul Stringer, Brett Kearney, Mark Leafa.

CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS v CANTERBURY BULLDOGS Sunday, 18 July 2004 2:30 PM Toyota Park Referee: Jason Robinson Video Referee: Mick Stone. Touch Judges: Darren Gocher, Tony Archer
Last clash: Bulldogs 24-20 (Sydney Showground Rnd 2 2004) Preview: After a slow start to the year, the Sharks are slowly working their way into contention following recent victories over the Knights and the Warriors. The Sharks have done so without stars Brett Kimmorley and David Peachey. Coach Stuart Raper has named a strong side with Michael Sullivan and skipper Danny Nutley in fine form. Hanging onto eighth position, the Cronulla side face a tough assignment this week, taking on a second placed Bulldogs outfit chasing their sixth straight victory. Bulldogs winger Matt Utai has forced his way back into the top grade after a number of outstanding performances for the Bulldogs Premier League team. Jamaal Lolesi moves from the wing to play in the centres alongside Willie Tonga. Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes has named a five man interchange and will wait until later in the week before determining the final make-up of his bench.

SHARKS: David Simmons; Nathan Merritt, Nigel Vagana, Ryan McGoldrick, Matthew Rieck; Paul Gallen, Jason Kent; Phil Bailey, Matt Bickerstaff, Sam Isemonger, Danny Nutley, Matt Hilder, Jason Stevens. Res: Andrew Lomu, Michael Sullivan, Chris Beattie, Chris Beattie, David Peachey (one to be omitted). BULLDOGS: Luke Patten; Hazem El Masri, Willie Tonga, Jamaal Lolesi; Braith Anasta, Brent Sherwin; Tony Grimaldi, Andrew Ryan, Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley Adam Perry, Steve Price (c). Res: Corey Hughes, Jamie Feeney, Roy Asotasi, Reni Maitua, Dennis Scott (one to be omitted).

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v BRISBANE BRONCOS Sunday, 18 July 2004 3:00PM EnergyAustralia Stadium Referee: Tim Mander Video Referee: Paul Simpkins. Touch Judges: Pat Reynolds, Paul Kalina
Last clash: Knights 17-16 (Suncorp Stadium Rnd 10 2004) Preview: Sitting just outside the top eight, the Knights face a tough task against a post-Origin Broncos side. Coach Michael Hagan has named the best side he can with skipper Danny Buderus hoping to turn around the Novacastrian?s fortunes. With Andrew Johns being injured, halfback Kurt Gidley has the opportunity this Sunday to become only the fifth Newcastle player to score 100 points in a season. Broncos? coach Wayne Bennett has added Michael De Vere and Dane Carlaw to the side which won in the Wollongong wet last weekend. Carlaw?s return pushes Corey Parker back onto a six-man bench which includes impressive youngsters David Stagg and Tom Learoyd, as well as powerhouse prop Carl Webb. News this week that skipper Gorden Tallis will be retiring at the end of 2004 will spur the Broncos on. KNIGHTS: Robbie O'Davis; Craig Hall, Matt Gidley, Mark Hughes, Anthony Quinn; Michael Ennis, Kurt Gidley; Ben Kennedy, Todd Lowrie, Clint Newton, Adam Woolnough, Danny Buderus (c) Josh Perry. Res: Riley Brown, Matt Parsons, Matthew Kennedy, George Carmont, Steve Simpson, Andrew Price (two to be omitted). BRONCOS: Karmichael Hunt; Michael De Vere, Brent Tate, Shaun Berrigan, Craig Frawley; Darren Lockyer, Casey McGuire; Neville Costigan, Dane Carlaw, Gorden Tallis (c), Petero Civoniceva, Michael Ryan, Shane Webcke.Res: Tom Learoyd, David Stagg, Darren Mapp, Carl Webb, Corey Parker, Brad Meyers (two to be omitted).