The Palmerbet Sports Team run their eye over this weekend’s NRL action. Everything you need to know about team line-ups, crucial clashes, and where the money is going for each game – right here!

Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys @ Leichhardt Oval
Thursday 10th May, 7:50pm

Tigers Cowboys
Corey Thompson 1 Lachlan Coote
David Nofoaluma 2 Kyle Feldt
Esan Marsters 3 Justin O’Neill
Kevin Naiqama 4 Ben Hampton
Mahe Fonua 5 A. Winterstein
Benji Marshall 6 Michael Morgan
Luke Brooks 7 J. Thurston
Russell Packer 8 Matthew Scott
Elijah Taylor 9 Jake Granville
Ben Matulino 10 Scott Bolton
Chris Lawrence 11 Gavin Cooper
Robbie Rochow 12 Coen Hess
M. Eisenhuth 13 Jason Taumalolo
Alex Twal 14 Te Maire Martin
Jacob Liddle 15 Shaun Fensom
M. Chee-Kam 16 Corey Jensen
Sauaso Sue 17 Ethan Lowe


History:
Played 35, Tigers 18, Cowboys 16

Last Meeting: Cowboys 22 def. Tigers 14

Final Thoughts: What has happened to the Tigers defence over the last three weeks? Staring at a fourth consecutive defeat, Wests are up against it this week. Looking at North Queensland’s record, you’d back Wests to get their season back on track. That might not be the case, though. The Cows undoubtedly have the cattle; they just need the iron bar to spark them into life. Last week and their dominant first half might be all they need. With the Cowboys improving and Tigers falling away, Johnathan Thurston is a good chance at snapping his 12-game losing streak against Wests in Sydney.

Tip: Handicap – Cowboys -1.5 @ $1.90

Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers @ McDonald Jones Stadium
Friday 11th May, 6:00pm

Knights Panthers
Kalyn Ponga 1 D. Watene-Zelezniak
Ken Sio 2 C. Crichton
Sione Mata’utia 3 Isaah Yeo
Nathan Ross 4 Dean Whare
S. Kenny-Dowall 5 Tyrone Phillips
Connor Watson 6 Tyrone Peachey
Brock Lamb 7 James Maloney
Herman Ese’ese 8 Trent Merrin
Slade Griffin 9 Peter Wallace
Josh King 10 R. Campbell-Gillard
L. Fitzgibbon 11 Viliame Kikau
Mitch Barnett 12 C. Harawira-Naera
Aidan Guerra 13 J. Fisher-Harris
Danny Levi 14 Sione Katoa
C. Heighington 15 Kaide Ellis
Luke Yates 16 James Tamou
Daniel Saifiti 17 Jarome Luai


History:
Played 47, Knights 23, Panthers 19

Last Meeting: Panthers 30 def. Knights 20

Final Thoughts: The Knights are limited when it comes to competing with the best teams in the NRL winning just one of their five games against Top 8 clubs. This week they face a Panthers side sitting third on the ladder. They might be injury-depleted, but Penrith still produces in the middle. They rumble up the field and allow James Maloney to work his magic. Getting up the field is an area the Knights really struggle so Kalyn Ponga’s opportunities with the football will be limited this week. Unless Newcastle gets out to an early lead, Penrith should be too strong.

Tip: Doubles – Panthers Half-time/Full-time @ $2.25

Canterbury Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels @ ANZ Stadium
Friday 11th May, 7:55pm

Bulldogs Eels
Moses Mbye 1 C. Gutherson
Brett Morris 2 Bevan French
Josh Morris 3 M. Jennings
Will Hopoate 4 Brad Takairangi
Marcelo Montoya 5 George Jennings
Matt Frawley 6 Corey Norman
Kieran Foran 7 Mitchell Moses
Aaron Woods 8 Daniel Alvaro
J. Marshall-King 9 Will Smith
David Klemmer 10 Suaia Matagi
Josh Jackson 11 Manu Ma’u
R. Faitala-Mariner 12 Tepai Moeroa
Rhyse Martin 13 Peni Terepo
Adam Elliott 14 Beau Scott
Danny Fualalo 15 Kenny Edwards
Renouf To’omaga 16 David Gower
Kerrod Holland 17 Siosaia Vave


History:
Played 154, Bulldogs 82, Eels 65

Last Meeting: Eels 20 def. Bulldogs 4

Final Thoughts: A bottom of the table clash, this one could be ugly. That ugliness knows no bounds. It could be a low-scorer between the NRL’s two lowest scoring teams. The Eels might finally put their attack together like we know they can. The Bulldogs might reproduce the 27 points they scored against the Cowboys. Anything could happen here. The only area of consistency is Bevan French scoring tries. Since being dropped for Parramatta’s Round 7 clash, French has responded with a try in each of his next two games. Picking a winner is tough, but French scoring seems like a given against a leaky Bulldogs defence.

Tip: Anytime Tryscorer – Bevan French @ $2.10

New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters @ Mt Smart Stadium
Saturday 12th May, 3:00pm

Warriors Roosters
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 1  James Tedesco
David Fusitu’a 2 Joseph Manu
Peta Hiku 3 Latrell Mitchell
Solomone Kata 4 Mitchell Aubusson
Kan Maumalo 5 Blake Ferguson
Blake Green 6 Luke Keary
Mason Lino 7 Copper Cronk
Bunty Afoa 8 Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Issac Luke 9 Jake Friend
Agnatius Paasi 10 Dylan Napa
Simon Mannering 11 Boyd Cordner
Tohu Harris 12 Ryan Matterson
Adam Blair 13 Isaac Liu
Karl Lawton 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Sam Lisone 15 Zane Tetevano
Isaiah Papali’i 16 Kurt Baptise
James Gavet 17 Victor Radley


History:
Played 40, Warriors 22, Roosters 16

Last Meeting: Warriors 30 def. Roosters 6

Final Thoughts: Continuing to defy all preseason expectations, the Warriors are second on the NRL ladder. Meanwhile, the Roosters are falling shorter of their preseason premiership favourite tag more and more every week. Having already beaten the Roosters once already this season without Shaun Johnson, the Warriors won’t be too worried about having Mason Lino in there again this week. The Sydney middle has been poor. Almost every week they are being dominated around the ruck. The Warriors, on the other hand, have no trouble getting up the field. Especially at home. It’s the host’s to lose this week.

Tip: First team to score – Warriors @ $1.78

Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans @ Suncorp Stadium
Saturday 12th May, 5:30pm

Storm Titans
Billy Slater 1  Michael Gordon
S. Vunivalu 2  Anthony Don
Will Chambers 3  Dale Copley
Curtis Scott 4  Brenko Lee
Josh Addo-Carr 5  Phillip Sami
Cameron Munster 6  AJ Brimson
Ryley Jacks 7  Ashley Taylor
Christian Welch 8  Max King
Cameron Smith 9  Mitch Rein
Nelson Asofa-Solomona 10  Ryan James
Felise Kaufusi 11  Kevin Proctor
Ryan Hoffman 12  Will Matthews
Dale Finucane 13  Jarrod Wallace
Brandon Smith 14  Bryce Cartwright
Kenny Bromwich 15  Keegan Hipgrave
Joe Stimson 16  Jack Stockwell
Sam Kasiano 17  Moeaki Fotuaika


History:
Played 19, Storm 11, Titans 6

Last Meeting: Titans 38 def. Storm 36

Final Thoughts: This one could be a bloodbath. The Titans are looking at a fifth-straight loss while the Storm will be eager to make up for their 34-14 defeat at the hands of the Dragons last week. Being played as the first of a doubleheader at Suncorp, both teams will be comfortable with the trip. For the Titans, it’s just a short drive up the M1. For the Storm, they’ve won 14 of the 19 games they’ve played in Brisbane. With Jai Arrow out and AJ Brimson making his debut in the halves, there are plenty of holes in the Titans the Storm can exploit this week. Storm to win by plenty.

Tip: Handicap – Storm -14.5 @ $1.90

Manly Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos @ Suncorp Stadium
Saturday 17th March, 7:35pm

Sea Eagles Broncos
Tom Trbojevic 1  Darius Boyd
Matthew Wright 2  Corey Oates
Moses Suli 3  James Roberts
Brian Kelly 4  Jack Bird
Akuila Uate 5  Jamayne Isaako
Dylan Walker 6  Anthony Milford
D. Cherry-Evans 7  Kodi Nikorima
A. Fonua-Blake 8  Matthew Lodge
Apisai Koroisau 9  A. McCullough
Martin Taupau 10  Sam Thaiday
Joel Thompson 11  Alex Glenn
Shaun Lane 12  Jaydn Su’a
Jake Trbojevic 13  Tevita Pangai Junior
Lewis Brown 14  Payne Haas
F. Winterstein 15  Joe Ofahengaue
Lloyd Perrett 16  Korbin Sims
Taniela Paseka 17  Tom Opacic


History:
Played 45, Sea Eagles 21, Broncos 21

Last Meeting: Broncos 24 def. Sea Eagles 14

Final Thoughts: With everything going on with the Sea Eagles off the field, it’s hard to have confidence in them on it. Just as the Jackson Hastings issue leaves the headlines, news of the Bears possibly buying the club have entered. The nightmares of that potential sale will surely be keeping players up at night. The Broncos, however, a trucking along. They’re not playing great, but are going about their business. Their biggest issue is the halves carrousel with Kodi Nikorima back in the seven jumper with Jack Bird into the centres. Never too far from playing good footy, though, this might be the week the Broncos unleash.

Tip: Margin – Broncos 13+ @ $2.72

South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George-Illawarra Dragons @ ANZ Stadium
Sunday 13th May, 2:00pm

Rabbitohs Dragons
Alex Johnston 1  Matthew Dufty
Campbell Graham 2  Nene Macdonald
Greg Inglis 3  Euan Aitken
Dane Gagai 4  Tim Lafai
Robert Jennings 5  Jason Nightingale
Cody Walker 6  Gareth Widdop
Adam Reynolds 7  Ben Hunt
Thomas Burgess 8  James Graham
Damien Cook 9  Cameron McInnes
George Burgess 10  Paul Vaughan
John Sutton 11  Tyson Frizell
Angus Crichton 12  Tariq Sims
Sam Burgess 13  Jack de Belin
Cameron Murray 14  Jeremy Latimore
Mark Nicholls 15  Kurt Mann
Jason Clark 16  Leeson Ah Mau
Junior Tatola 17  Zac Lomax


History:
Played 45, Rabbitohs 19, Dragons 22

Last Meeting: Dragons 16 def. Rabbitohs 12

Final Thoughts This one is going to be a beauty. Two gargantuan packs running straight each other makes for a mouthwatering fixture. Souths have managed to climb up to fifth on the ladder without much notice. All the press has been on the NRL-leading Dragons. They just thrashed the Storm, but the Rabbitohs got a big 36-18 win over their own against the Knights last week. Sam Burgess returning gives the Bunnies a massive boost with his clash against fellow Englishman, James Graham, another intriguing battle. As good as the Dragons are, they’re going to trip up from time to time. There aren’t many teams better positioned to push them than the Rabbitohs.

Tip: Head-to-head – Rabbitohs to win @ $2.52

Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks @ GIO Stadium
Sunday 13th May, 4:10pm

Raiders Sharks
Jack Wighton 1  Valentine Holmes
Nick Cotric 2  Sosaia Feki
Jarrod Croker 3  Jesse Ramien
Joseph Leilua 4  Ricky Leutele
Jordan Rapana 5  Edrick Lee
Blake Austin 6  Matt Moylan
Aidan Sezer 7  Chad Townsend
Iosia Soliola 8  Andrew Fifita
Siliva Havili 9  Jayden Brailey
Shannon Boyd 10  Matt Prior
Joseph Tapine 11  Kurt Capewell
Elliot Whitehead 12  Jayson Bukuya
Josh Papalii 13  Paul Gallen
Ata Hingano 14  Joseph Paulo
Luke Bateman 15  James Segeyaro
Charlie Gubb 16  A. Seumanufagai
Dunamis Lui 17  Jack Williams


History:
Played 74, Raiders 33, Sharks 39

Last Meeting: Raiders 30 def. Sharks 12

Final Thoughts: A bit of a fizzer to end the round, the Raiders and Sharks haven’t done much to suggest they are any more than one of the many fringe Top 8 teams in the NRL. Cronulla keeps making too many errors while Canberra is yet to register a victory over a side higher than them on the ladder. The Sharks get a boost with Paul Gallen returning which could give them the upper hand considering the Raiders have just lost Junior Paulo for 6-8 weeks. As arguably the better team along with their history of keeping games close, the Sharks are a good chance on the road in this one.

Tip: Handicap – Sharks +4.5 @ $1.90