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NRL Team Lists – Round 26 Analysis

Finally we reach the final round of the NRL for season 2011, with the semi finals now only a week away. There are plenty of live games as well, with only one game not involving a team in contention for the semi finals, that being the battle for the wooden spoon between the Titans and Eels. Check out all the big changes here!



St George Illawarra Dragons v Penrith Panthers at WIN Stadium, 7:35pm.

Dragons: Darius Boyd, Brett Morris, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Jason Nightingale, Jamie Soward, Ben Hornby (c), Dan Hunt, Dean Young, Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh, Matt Prior. Interchange (from): Jon Green, Nathan Fien, Adam Cuthbertson, Trent Merrin, Mitch Rein

Ins: Adam Cuthbertson

Outs: None

Panthers: Lachlan Coote, David Simmons, Junior Vai Vai, Brad Tighe, Adrian Purtell, Travis Burns, Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry, Nafe Seluini, Matthew Bell, Nathan Smith, Nigel Plum, Luke Lewis. Interchange: Kevin Kingston, Dayne Weston, Tim Grant, Blake Austin

Ins: Matthew Bell, Luke Lewis

Outs: Petero Civoniceva (knee), Trent Waterhouse (knee)

Matt Considers: A big game for the Dragons, who are an outside chance of grabbing fourth spot, or at least avoiding a trip to Suncorp in the first week to face the Broncos, if they can beat the Panthers. They are unchanged, with Adam Cuthbertson added to the bench. The troubles at the Panthers continue, this week with departing forwards Petero Civoniceva and Trent Waterhouse both missing with knee injuries. They are awaiting scans to determine the extent, but aren’t expected to play this week. Luke Lewis returns for the last game, along with another departing player in Matt Bell. Young Blake Austin gets another game as well after impressing on debut down in Canberra.


Newcastle Knights v South Sydney Rabbitohs at Ausgrid Stadium, 7:35pm.

Knights: Kurt Gidley (c), James McManus, Siuatonga Likiliki, Adam MacDougall, Akuila Uate, Ryan Stig, Jarrod Mullen, Evarn Tuimavave, Isaac De Gois, Antonio Kaufusi, Chris Houston, Neville Costigan, Joel Edwards. Interchange (from): Matt Hilder, Cameron Ciraldo, Richie Fa’aoso, Mark Taufua, Zane Tetevano

Ins: Adam MacDougall, Matt Hilder, Cameron Ciraldo, Mark Taufua

Outs: Peter Mata’utia (dropped), Keith Lulia (knee), Marvin Karawana (dropped)

Rabbitohs: Nathan Merritt, Dylan  Farrell, Shaun Corrigan, Chris McQueen , Fetuli Talanoa, John Sutton, Chris Sandow, Ben Ross, Issac Luke, Shannan McPherson, Eddy Pettybourne, David Taylor, Michael Crocker (c). Interchange (from): Luke Burgess, David Tyrrell, Jason Clark, Nathan Peats, James Roberts

Ins: Nathan Merritt, John Sutton

Outs: Greg Inglis (ankle)

Adrian Considers: People have been saying it for weeks, and finally it’s here! Eighth spot is on the line – it all comes down to this! The Knights welcome back several experienced stars for this do-or-die clash. MacDougall, Hilder, Ciraldo and Taufua all return, while Mata’utia, Lulia and Karawana all miss out. They’ve gone with an extended bench, with one to miss out. The Rabbitohs have a big exclusion in the form of GI, who will miss the rest of the season. Merritt and Sutton have been named as they were last week, and will be touch-and-go to play in the lead up to the game. James Roberts is part of a five-man bench as cover. This is it for both clubs – let’s go Rabbitohs!



New Zealand Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys at Mt Smart Stadium, 5:30pm.

Warriors: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Joel Moon, Shaun Berrigan, Krisnan Inu, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Sam Rapira, Alehana Mara, Jacob Lillyman, Feleti Mateo, Simon Mannering (c), Micheal Luck. Interchange (from): Lance Hohaia, Russell Packer, Ben Matulino, Ukuma Ta’ai, Lewis Brown

Ins: Alehana Mara, Ukuma Ta’ai, Lewis Brown

Outs: Aaron Heremaia (hand), Elijah Taylor (NSW Cup)

Cowboys: Matthew Bowen, Ashley Graham, Brent Tate, Willie Tonga, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Ray Thompson, Johnathan Thurston (c), Matthew Scott (c), Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): James Segeyaro, Scott Bolton, Jason Taumalolo, Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson

Ins: Ashton Sims, Cory Paterson

Outs: Tariq Sims (broken leg)

Adrian Considers: An intriguing clash between two top eight sides. What we know for certain is that both these sides will play finals football. What we don’t know is where exactly they’ll end up. The Warriors lose Heremaia with a hand injury, while Elijah Taylor has been dropped to the NSW Cup. Alehana Mara starts at hooker, while Ukuma Ta’ai and Lewis Brown are part of a five-man bench. The Cowboys have unfortunately lost Tariq Sims for the rest of the season with a broken leg. Coming into the side to replace him is both older brother Ashton, and Cory Paterson. One will drop off the bench. Jason Taumalolo gets another start, after scoring twice in the Cowboys’ win over Cronulla last week.


Cronulla Sharks v Wests Tigers at Toyota Stadium, 7:30pm.

Sharks: Isaac Gordon, Stewart Mills, Dean Collis, Colin  Best, John Williams, Albert Kelly, Wade Graham, Kade Snowden, John Morris, Luke  Douglas, Jeremy  Smith, Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange (from): Sam Tagataese, Taulima Tautai, Paul Aiton, Josh Cordoba, Ben Pomeroy

Ins: Dean Collis, Taulima Tautai

Outs: Johnny Mannah (NSW Cup)

Tigers: Tim Moltzen, Beau Ryan, Blake Ayshford, Matt Utai, Lote Tuqiri, Benji Marshall, Rob Lui, Bryce Gibbs, Robbie Farah (c), Keith Galloway, Liam Fulton, Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington. Interchange (from): Mitch Brown, Mark Flanagan, Matt Groat, Aaron Woods, Ben Murdoch-Masila

Ins: Bryce Gibbs

Outs: None

Matt Considers: The Tigers are searching for eight straight wins, and a top four spot. The Sharks are out to finish the season on a good note, and win for Paul Gallen’s 200th game. The Sharks were impressive in parts against the Cowboys, but couldn’t put the game away, while the Tigers fell asleep for parts against the Titans but weren’t really punished. The Sharks welcome Dean Collis back to the starting line-up, while Taulima Tautai is on an extended bench. The Tigers have Bryce Gibbs back in the starting line-up, and have retained Ben Murdoch-Masila on an extended bench. A very interesting clash.


Gold Coast Titans v Parramatta Eels at Skilled Park, 7:30pm.

Titans: Jordan Rankin, Steve Michaels, Esi Tonga, Clinton Toopi, David Mead, William Zillman, Preston Campbell (c), Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Matthew White, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichiello, Greg Bird. Interchange: Brenton Lawrence, Will Matthews, Bodene Thompson, Luke O’Dwyer

Ins: None

Outs: None

Eels: Luke Burt, Ryan Morgan, Justin Horo, Ben Smith, Chris Hicks, Jarryd Hayne, Casey  McGuire, Tim Mannah, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh (c), Taniela Lasalo, Reni Maitua. Interchange: Shane Shackleton, Mitchell Allgood, Pat O’Hanlon, Justin Poore

Ins: None

Outs: None

Adrian Considers: Ah, the annual battle for the wooden spoon… I’ve got to say, personally, I did not think it would be these two sides battling for the most feared prize of the year. None the less, it’s going to be a great game – neither of these sides want to run last, so they’ll be doing everything possible to avoid the spoon. And… there’s no changes! Well that makes my job a lot easier then. Do yourself a favour though, and make sure you watch this one – if anything, it’ll be entertaining.



Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Canberra Raiders at ANZ Stadium, 2:00pm.

Bulldogs: Ben Barba, Steve Turner, Josh Morris, Jamal Idris, Jonathan Wright, Joel Romelo, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Josh Reynolds, Sam Kasiano, Frank Pritchard, Andrew Ryan (C), David Stagg. Interchange: Michael Hodgson, Mickey Paea, Gary Warburton, Kris Keating

Ins: Michael Hodgson

Outs: Grant Millington (shoulder)

Raiders: Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Jarrod Croker, Danny Galea, Reece Robinson, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, Brett White, Alan Tongue (c), David Shillington, Josh Papalii , Bronson Harrison , Shaun Fensom. Interchange (from): Michael Picker, Joe Picker, Sam Mataora, Dane Tilse, Jarrad  Kennedy

Ins: Jarrad Kennedy

Outs: Joel Thompson (suspended)

Matt Considers: While the Bulldogs are only a mathematical chance of making the finals, stranger things have happened. Michael Hodgson comes into the side for Grant Millington, who will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Hodgson’s selection means he will partner Andrew Ryan, who both play their final games in the NRL. At the Raiders, Joel Thompson took the early guilty plea for a high tackle charge, forcing a re-shuffle to the Raiders side. Danny Galea moves to his old home in the centres, with Josh Papalii starting in the second row, and Jarrad Kennedy onto the bench to make his debut.


Brisbane Broncos v Manly Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium, 4:00pm.

Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed, Ben Te’o, Jharal Yow Yeh, Darren lockyer (c), Peter Wallace, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker. Interchange: Matt Gillett, Ben Hunt, Ben Hannant, David Hala

Ins: None

Outs: None

Sea Eagles: Will Hopoate, Michael Robertson, Jamie Lyon (c), Steve Matai, Michael Oldfield, Jamie Buhrer, Daly Cherry-Evans, Joe Galuvao, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Shane Rodney, Glenn Stewart. Interchange (from): Vic Mauro, Daniel Harrison, George Rose, Tony Williams, Terence Seuseu, Tim Robinson

Ins: Will Hopoate, Michael Oldfield, Vic Mauro, Daniel Harrison, Terrence Seuseu, Tim Robinson

Outs: Brett Stewart (knee/suspended), David Williams (broken neck), Kieran Foran (suspended), Darcy Lussick (suspended)

Adrian Considers: Another great game… I’m really looking forward to this round. The Broncos had an ordinary win last weekend over the Rabbitohs, and will want to perform much better against a depleted Manly side. Unless something ridiculous happens, both these sides will remain where they are on the ladder. No changes for the Broncos, but let’s have a look at who will be running out for Manly… Out goes Brett Stewart with both an injury and suspension, David Williams has broken his neck (best of luck to the Wolfman on his return from injury), Foran is suspended, as is Lussick. To replace them are Hopoate, Oldfield, Mauro, Daniel Harrison, Terrence Seuseu (hey, he’s back!) and Tim Robinson. Interestingly, Glenn Stewart has been named to play… Just between you and me, I don’t think he’ll face the Broncos.


Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm at Sydney Football Stadium, 7:00pm.

Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Sam Perrett, Justin  Carney, Joseph ‘BJ’ Leilua, Phil Graham, Braith Anasta (c), Mitchell Pearce, Jason  Ryles, Jake Friend, Lama Tasi, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Frank Paul Nuuausala. Interchange (from): Anthony Mitchell, Mose Masoe, Brad Takairangi, Tinirau Arona, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Ins: Sam Perrett, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves

Outs: Shaun Kenny-Dowall (groin)

Storm: Billy Slater, Matthew Duffie, Dane Nielsen, Beau Champion, Anthony Quinn, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith (c), Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Todd Lowrie. Interchange: Rory Kostjasyn, Atelea Vea, Adam Woolnough, Jaiman Lowe

Ins: Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Atelea Vea

Outs: Adam Blair (suspended), Sika Manu (suspended), Sisa Waqa (suspended)

Matt Considers: The Storm supposedly depleted, but with the big three still playing. Cooper Cronk returns at halfback, a big in for the Storm, while Jesse Bromwich returns at prop, and Atelea Vea on the bench. Ryan Hinchcliffe moves to the second row, with Adam Blair, Sika Manu and Sisa Waqa all suspended. The Roosters have lost Shaun Kenny-Dowall with a groin injury, Joseph Leilua holding his spot in the side in the centres, with Frank Paul ‘The Wrecking Ball’ Nuuausala and Boyd Cordner starting. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves joins the bench, no doubt in an attempt to prove his fitness to the NZ selectors ahead of the end of season test match and Four Nations.

  1. Gainama Mulake
    September 2, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Brisbane will win this weekend game against Manly Sea Eagles

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