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

PanthersTigers
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak1 Corey Thompson
Christian Crichton2 David Nofoaluma
Tyrone Peachey3 Esan Marsters
Dean Whare4 Kevin Naiqama
Tyrone Phillips5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
James Maloney6 Benji Marshall
Nathan Cleary7 Luke Brooks
Trent Merrin8 Russell Packer
Sione Katoa9 Elijah Taylor
Reagan Campbell-Gillard10 Ben Matulino
Corey Harawira-Naera11 Chris Lawrence
Isaah Yeo12 Robbie Rochow
James Fisher-Harris13 Matthew Eisenhuth
Sione Katoa14 Alex Twal
Jack Hetherington15 Jacob Liddle
Viliame Kikau16 Michael Chee-Kam
James Tamou17 Sauaso Sue


History:
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

EelsWarriors
C. Gutherson1 R. Tuivasa-Sheck
Bevan French2 David Fusitu’a
M. Jennings3 Peta Hiku
Brad Takairangi4 Solomone Kata
George Jennings5 Ken Maumalo
Corey Norman6 Blake Green
Mitchell Moses7 Mason Lino
Daniel Alvaro8 Bunty Afoa
Cameron King9 Issac Luke
Peni Terepo10 Agnatius Paasi
Beau Scott11 Isaiah Papali’i
Tepai Moeroa12 Tohu Harris
Manu Ma’u13 Adam Blair
Will Smith14 Jazz Tevaga
Suaia Matagi15 Chris Satae
David Gower16 James Gavet
Marata Niukore17 Simon Mannering


History:
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

BroncosRoosters
Darius Boyd1 James Tedesco
Corey Oates2 Joseph Manu
James Roberts3 L. Mitchell
Tom Opacic4 M. Aubusson
Jamayne Isaako5 Blake Ferguson
Anthony Milford6 Luke Keary
Kodi Nikorima7 Cooper Cronk
Matthew Lodge8 S. Taukeiaho
A. McCullough9 Jake Friend
Sam Thaiday10 Dylan Napa
T. Pangai Junior11 Boyd Cordner
Jaydn Su’a12 Ryan Matterson
Joe Ofahengaue13 Isaac Liu
Sam Tagataese14 J. Waerea-Hargreaves
G. Shibasaki15 Zane Tetevano
Korbin Sims16 Kurt Baptiste
Patrick Mago17 Victor Radley


History:
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

TitansKnights
Michael Gordon1 Kalyn Ponga
Anthony Don2 Ken Sio
Dale Copley3 Sione Mata’utia
Brenko Lee4 Nathan Ross
Phillip Sami5 S. Kenny-Dowall
A. Brimson6 Connor Watson
Ashley Taylor7 Brock Lamb
Jarrod Wallace8 Herman Ese’ese
Nathan Peats9 Slade Griffin
Ryan James10 Josh King
Kevin Proctor11 L. Fitzgibbon
Keegan Hipgrave12 Mitch Barnett
Jai Arrow13 Aidan Guerra
Mitch Rein14 Danny Levi
Max King15 C. Heighington
Jack Stockwell16 Jacob Saifiti
Moeaki Fotuaika17 Daniel Saifiti


History:
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

CowboysRabbitohs
Lachlan Coote1 Alex Johnston
Kyle Feldt2 Campbell Graham
Justin O’Neill3 Greg Inglis
Ben Hampton4 Dane Gagai
A. Winterstein5 Hymel Hunt
Michael Morgan6 Cody Walker
J. Thurston7 Adam Reynolds
Matthew Scott8 Thomas Burgess
Jake Granville9 Damien Cook
Scott Bolton10 George Burgess
Gavin Cooper11 John Sutton
Coen Hess12 Angus Crichton
Jason Taumalolo13 Sam Burgess
Te Maire Martin14 Cameron Murray
Shaun Fensom15 Adam Doueihi
Corey Jensen16 Jason Clark
Ethan Lowe17 Junior Tatola


History:
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

StormSea Eagles
Billy Slater1 Tom Trbojevic
S. Vunivalu2 Matthew Wright
Will Chambers3 Moses Suli
Curtis Scott4 Brian Kelly
Josh Addo-Carr5 Akuila Uate
Cameron Munster6 Dylan Walker
Ryley Jacks7 D. Cherry-Evans
Christian Welch8 A. Fonua-Blake
Brandon Smith9 Apisai Koroisau
N. Asofa-Solomona10 Martin Taupau
Felise Kaufusi11 Joel Thompson
Ryan Hoffman12 Shaun Lane
Dale Finucane13 Jake Trbojevic
Tim Glasby14 Trent Hodkinson
K. Bromwich15 F. Winterstein
Joe Stimson16 Lloyd Perrett
Jahrome Hughes17 Toafofoa Sipley


History:
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

DragonsRaiders
Matthew Dufty1 Jack Wighton
Nene Macdonald2 Nick Cotric
Euan Aitken3 Jarrod Croker
Tim Lafai4 Joseph Leilua
J. Nightingale5 Jordan Rapana
Gareth Widdop6 Blake Austin
Ben Hunt7 Aidan Sezer
James Graham8 Iosia Soliola
Cameron McInnes9 Siliva Havili
Paul Vaughan10 Shannon Boyd
Tyson Frizell11 Joseph Tapine
Tariq Sims12 E. Whitehead
Jack de Belin13 Josh Papalii
Jeremy Latimore14 Ata Hingano
Kurt Mann15 Luke Bateman
Leeson Ah Mau16 Charlie Gubb
Blake Lawrie17 Dunamis Lui


History:
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

SharksBulldogs
V. Holmes1 Moses Mbye
Sosaia Feki2 Brett Morris
Jesse Ramien3 Josh Morris
Ricky Leutele4 Will Hopoate
Edrick Lee5 Marcelo Montoya
Matt Moylan6 Matt Frawley
Chad Townsend7 Kieran Foran
Andrew Fifita8 Aaron Woods
Jayden Brailey9 J. Marshall-King
Matt Prior10 David Klemmer
Kurt Capewell11 Josh Jackson
Jayson Bukuya12 R. Faitala-Mariner
Paul Gallen13 Rhyse Martin
Joseph Paulo14 Adam Elliott
James Segeyaro15 Clay Priest
A. Seumanufagai16 Renouf To’omaga
Jack Williams17 Kerrod Holland


History:
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