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!

Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers @ Panthers Stadium
Thursday 17th May, 7:50pm

Panthers Tigers
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 1  Corey Thompson
Christian Crichton 2  David Nofoaluma
Tyrone Peachey 3  Esan Marsters
Dean Whare 4  Kevin Naiqama
Tyrone Phillips 5  Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
James Maloney 6  Benji Marshall
Nathan Cleary 7  Luke Brooks
Trent Merrin 8  Russell Packer
Sione Katoa 9  Elijah Taylor
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 10  Ben Matulino
Corey Harawira-Naera 11  Chris Lawrence
Isaah Yeo 12  Robbie Rochow
James Fisher-Harris 13  Matthew Eisenhuth
Sione Katoa 14  Alex Twal
Jack Hetherington 15  Jacob Liddle
Viliame Kikau 16  Michael Chee-Kam
James Tamou 17  Sauaso Sue

Played 32, Panthers 19, Tigers 12

Last Meeting: Panthers 24 def. Tigers 14

Final Thoughts: With Nathan Cleary returning this week, the Panthers are on their way to being at their best. Injuries are still an issue, but Cleary, as well as the home ground advantage, should be enough for Penrith to get over the line in this one. Wests got back to dominating defensively last week but will struggle to match Penrith if this match becomes anything close to a shootout. Their best-attacking weapon last week, Mahe Fonua, didn’t make the 17 after turning up to training late. Despite the Panthers’ halves combination still being fresh, the pack in front of them is one of the best in the NRL and should lay enough of a foundation for them to dominate, regardless of their experience together.

Tip: Handicap – Panthers -4.5 @ $1.90

Parramatta Eels v New Zealand Warriors @ ANZ Stadium
Friday 18th May, 6:00pm

Eels Warriors
C. Gutherson 1  R. Tuivasa-Sheck
Bevan French 2  David Fusitu’a
M. Jennings 3  Peta Hiku
Brad Takairangi 4  Solomone Kata
George Jennings 5  Ken Maumalo
Corey Norman 6  Blake Green
Mitchell Moses 7  Mason Lino
Daniel Alvaro 8  Bunty Afoa
Cameron King 9  Issac Luke
Peni Terepo 10  Agnatius Paasi
Beau Scott 11  Isaiah Papali’i
Tepai Moeroa 12  Tohu Harris
Manu Ma’u 13  Adam Blair
Will Smith 14  Jazz Tevaga
Suaia Matagi 15  Chris Satae
David Gower 16  James Gavet
Marata Niukore 17  Simon Mannering

Played 39, Eels 21, Warriors 17

Last Meeting: Eels 32 def. Warriors 24

Final Thoughts: Both teams were awful last week. The Warriors were thrashed at home and this match away from NZ following a loss is a big test for this group. Historically, they would crumble. The Eels have simply been poor, in general. They lack they effort and desire they had in 2017, and replacing it with desperation hasn’t worked in 2018. It starts in the pack for Parramatta, but it’s tough to see them winning the battle. The Warriors haven’t had many bad weeks through the middle and when they have – like they did last week – they’ve bounced back at the next opportunity.

Tip: Warriors to win @ $1.74

Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters @ Suncorp Stadium
Friday 18th May, 7:55pm

Broncos Roosters
Darius Boyd 1  James Tedesco
Corey Oates 2  Joseph Manu
James Roberts 3  L. Mitchell
Tom Opacic 4  M. Aubusson
Jamayne Isaako 5  Blake Ferguson
Anthony Milford 6  Luke Keary
Kodi Nikorima 7  Cooper Cronk
Matthew Lodge 8  S. Taukeiaho
A. McCullough 9  Jake Friend
Sam Thaiday 10  Dylan Napa
T. Pangai Junior 11  Boyd Cordner
Jaydn Su’a 12  Ryan Matterson
Joe Ofahengaue 13  Isaac Liu
Sam Tagataese 14  J. Waerea-Hargreaves
G. Shibasaki 15  Zane Tetevano
Korbin Sims 16  Kurt Baptiste
Patrick Mago 17  Victor Radley

Played 49, Broncos 28, Roosters 19

Last Meeting: Roosters 24 def. Broncos 22

Final Thoughts: Injury-ravaged and at risk of losing touch with the NRL’s Top 8, this is a massive game for the Broncos. Playing at home will give them a lift, but they need a lot more than that. The pack needs to dominate to make it easier for Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima in the halves. It’s hard to see that happening after what the Roosters middles did to the Warriors last week. Finally, it looks like the Chooks have found their groove. With the changes the Broncos have been forced to make, they will lack cohesion in defence. Given the talent the Roosters have in attack, that’s a recepie for disaster.

Tip: Handicap Broncos +4 @ $1.90

Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights @ Cbus Super Stadium
Saturday 19th May, 3:00pm

Titans Knights
Michael Gordon 1  Kalyn Ponga
Anthony Don 2  Ken Sio
Dale Copley 3  Sione Mata’utia
Brenko Lee 4  Nathan Ross
Phillip Sami 5  S. Kenny-Dowall
A. Brimson 6  Connor Watson
Ashley Taylor 7  Brock Lamb
Jarrod Wallace 8  Herman Ese’ese
Nathan Peats 9  Slade Griffin
Ryan James 10  Josh King
Kevin Proctor 11  L. Fitzgibbon
Keegan Hipgrave 12  Mitch Barnett
Jai Arrow 13  Aidan Guerra
Mitch Rein 14  Danny Levi
Max King 15  C. Heighington
Jack Stockwell 16  Jacob Saifiti
Moeaki Fotuaika 17  Daniel Saifiti

Played 20, Titans 8, Knights 10

Last Meeting: Titans 38 def. Knights 8

Final Thoughts: The Titans are quietly looking good to pull off an upset here. With Jai Arrow and Nathan Peats returning from injury, their defence in the middle will be as strong as any team in the NRL. It’s on the edge that’s the worry. Kalyn Ponga can rip through an edge defence on his own and so far this season, the Titans have been flailing in the department. Nevertheless, the Knights need to get down the field before Ponga can work his magic. Given Newcastle is last in running metres while giving up the most, this Gold Coast pack should assert some dominance. If they do, Ponga won’t have much of a chance to expose their poor edge defence.

Tip: Head-to-head – Titans to win @ $1.99

North Queensland Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ 1300 SMILES Stadium
Saturday 19th May, 5:30pm

Cowboys Rabbitohs
Lachlan Coote 1  Alex Johnston
Kyle Feldt 2  Campbell Graham
Justin O’Neill 3  Greg Inglis
Ben Hampton 4  Dane Gagai
A. Winterstein 5  Hymel Hunt
Michael Morgan 6  Cody Walker
J. Thurston 7  Adam Reynolds
Matthew Scott 8  Thomas Burgess
Jake Granville 9  Damien Cook
Scott Bolton 10  George Burgess
Gavin Cooper 11  John Sutton
Coen Hess 12  Angus Crichton
Jason Taumalolo 13  Sam Burgess
Te Maire Martin 14  Cameron Murray
Shaun Fensom 15  Adam Doueihi
Corey Jensen 16  Jason Clark
Ethan Lowe 17  Junior Tatola

Played 34, Cowboys 17, Rabbitohs 14

Last Meeting: Cowboys 23 def. Rabbitohs 10

Final Thoughts: The Cowboys may have won eight of the last nine against the Rabbitohs, but they have their work cut out for them this week. Souths have been on fire to have just beaten the premiership favourites while North Queensland haven’t been able to string two wins together at all this season. It’s the pack that has been the most disappointing for the Cowboys and it just so happens the Bunnies might have the second-best in the competition. Unless Jason Taumalolo busts through Souths while his teammates slow the Burgess brothers down coming the other way, North Queensland has no chance. As desperate as the Cowboys are to win, the Rabbits form guide suggests they’ll be far too strong.

Tip: Head-to-head – Rabbitohs to win @ $1.72

Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles @ AAMI Park
Saturday 19th May, 7:35pm

Storm Sea Eagles
Billy Slater 1  Tom Trbojevic
S. Vunivalu 2  Matthew Wright
Will Chambers 3  Moses Suli
Curtis Scott 4  Brian Kelly
Josh Addo-Carr 5  Akuila Uate
Cameron Munster 6  Dylan Walker
Ryley Jacks 7  D. Cherry-Evans
Christian Welch 8  A. Fonua-Blake
Brandon Smith 9  Apisai Koroisau
N. Asofa-Solomona 10  Martin Taupau
Felise Kaufusi 11  Joel Thompson
Ryan Hoffman 12  Shaun Lane
Dale Finucane 13  Jake Trbojevic
Tim Glasby 14  Trent Hodkinson
K. Bromwich 15  F. Winterstein
Joe Stimson 16  Lloyd Perrett
Jahrome Hughes 17  Toafofoa Sipley

Played 34, Storm 18, Sea Eagles 13

Last Meeting: Storm 40 def. Sea Eagles 6

Final Thoughts: The Storm will be without Cameron Smith for this one, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You only have to look at the team lists to see how this one will go. Melbourne have it all over Manly in the forwards. As brilliant as Marty Taupau and Jake Trbojevic are, they can only do so much. Then there are Melbourne’s the outside backs. If they haven’t played State of Origin football yet, they will one day. This one feels like it will carry plenty of points with the Storm shouldering the load.

Tip: Handicap – Storm -6 @ $1.90

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders @ Glen Willow Oval
Sunday 20th May, 2:00pm

Dragons Raiders
Matthew Dufty 1  Jack Wighton
Nene Macdonald 2  Nick Cotric
Euan Aitken 3  Jarrod Croker
Tim Lafai 4  Joseph Leilua
J. Nightingale 5  Jordan Rapana
Gareth Widdop 6  Blake Austin
Ben Hunt 7  Aidan Sezer
James Graham 8  Iosia Soliola
Cameron McInnes 9  Siliva Havili
Paul Vaughan 10  Shannon Boyd
Tyson Frizell 11  Joseph Tapine
Tariq Sims 12  E. Whitehead
Jack de Belin 13  Josh Papalii
Jeremy Latimore 14  Ata Hingano
Kurt Mann 15  Luke Bateman
Leeson Ah Mau 16  Charlie Gubb
Blake Lawrie 17  Dunamis Lui

Played 29, Dragons 10, Raiders 17

Last Meeting: Raiders 18 def. Dragons 16

Final Thoughts: Having been tripped up by the Bunnies last week, it’s difficult to imagine the Dragons losing two in a row. Souths are one of the few teams that can match St George in the middle – something Canberra will struggle to achieve. Junior Paulo would have given them a lift, but his injury takes away a lot of the size the Raiders need to compete this week. The Green Machine has all the talent in the world out wide. However, the Red V will limit the number of opportunities they have to attack the line. The -8.5 line is a little large for the Dragons, but they should lead throughout most of the match.

Tip: Doubles – Dragons Half-time/Full-time @ $1.72

Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury Bulldogs @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
Sunday 20th May, 4:10pm

Sharks Bulldogs
V. Holmes 1  Moses Mbye
Sosaia Feki 2  Brett Morris
Jesse Ramien 3  Josh Morris
Ricky Leutele 4  Will Hopoate
Edrick Lee 5  Marcelo Montoya
Matt Moylan 6  Matt Frawley
Chad Townsend 7  Kieran Foran
Andrew Fifita 8  Aaron Woods
Jayden Brailey 9  J. Marshall-King
Matt Prior 10  David Klemmer
Kurt Capewell 11  Josh Jackson
Jayson Bukuya 12  R. Faitala-Mariner
Paul Gallen 13  Rhyse Martin
Joseph Paulo 14  Adam Elliott
James Segeyaro 15  Clay Priest
A. Seumanufagai 16  Renouf To’omaga
Jack Williams 17  Kerrod Holland

Played 102, Sharks 41, Bulldogs 57

Last Meeting: Sharks 9 def. Bulldogs 8

Final Thoughts: These two teams love to slog it out for 80 minutes. The 9-8 scoreline last time they met says it all. The Sharks are undoubtedly the better side, but they love to give opposing teams a chance. Through errors and penalties, they routinely put pressure on themselves before eeking out a win that ends up much closer than it needed to be. With what the Bulldogs have dished up this season, it’s hard to be excited. Although they did manage a win last week, it came against the 16th-placed Eels. That’s not much of a form guide. Given Cronulla’s ability to make every game an arm-wrestle and Canterbury’s very slow rate of improvement, the home side should take the chocolates, but not by much.

Tip: Handicap – Bulldogs +6 @ $1.90