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!

St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters @ Allianz Stadium
Wednesday 25th April, 4:10pm

DragonsRoosters
Matthew Dufty1 James Tedesco
Nene Macdonald2 Joseph Manu
Euan Aitken3 Latrell Mitchell
Tim Lafai4 Mitchell Aubusson
Jason Nightingale5 Blake Ferguson
Gareth Widdop6 Luke Keary
Ben Hunt7 Cooper Cronk
James Graham8 Zane Tetevano
Cameron McInnes9 Jake Friend
Paul Vaughan10 Dylan Napa
Tyson Frizell11 Boyd Cordner
Tariq Sims12 Ryan Matterson
Jack de Belin13 Isaac Liu
Jeremy Latimore14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Kurt Mann15 Sio Siua Taukeiaho
Leeson Ah Mau16 Nat Butcher
Jacob Host17 Victor Radley


History:
Played 39, Dragons 19, Roosters 17

Last Meeting: Roosters 13 def. Dragons 12

Final Thoughts: We’re still waiting for the Roosters to catch fire; they certainly didn’t in their 6-0 win last week. Surely desperate to make up for putting anybody that sat through that 80-minute monstrosity, the Chooks will be aiming up. Likewise, the Dragons are coming off their first loss of the season and eager to avoid two on the trot. The Dragons pack has it all over the Roosters, but Sia Siua Taukeiaho returning will give the chooks a lift. These Anzac Day games are traditionally close. Two teams smarting after unconvincing  Round 7 performances suggest this one will be no different.

Tip: Margin – Either team wins by Under 12.5 points @ $1.50

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors @ AAMI Park
Wednesday 25th March, 7:00pm

StormWarriors
Billy Slater1 R. Tuivasa-Sheck
Y. Tonumaipea2 David Fusitu’a
Will Chambers3 Peta Hiku
Curtis Scott4 Anthony Gelling
Josh Addo-Carr5 Ken Maumalo
Cameron Munster6 Blake Green
Ryley Jacks7 Mason Lino
Tim Glasby8 Bunty Afoa
Cameron Smith9 Issac Luke
N. Asofa-Solomona10 Agnatius Paasi
Felise Kaufusi11 Simon Mannering
Ryan Hoffman12 Isaiah Papali’i
K. Bromwich13 Adam Blair
Brandon Smith14 Jazz Tevaga
Christian Welch15 Sam Lisone
Sam Kasiano16 Albert Vete
Joe Stimson17 C. Nicoll-Klokstad


History:
Played 42, Storm 22, Warriors 16

Last Meeting: Storm 20 def. Warriors 14

Final Thoughts: Shaping up as the game of the round, both teams are coming in hot. The Storm are back to their best. The Warriors just beat the best. Melbourne have the wood over New Zealand in the matchup historically, but those were the old Warriors. This mob are different to any side we’ve ever seen fly across the ditch. No Shaun Johnson is a worry, but he’d be of no use to the Warriors if they didn’t win the battle in the middle in the first place. Expect much of the game to be played between the two 20-metres lines with the home ground advantage getting the Storm over the line. But only just.

Tip: Handicap – Warriors +6.5 @ $1.96

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos @ ANZ Stadium
Thursday 26th April, 7:50pm

RabbitohsBroncos
Alex Johnston1 Darius Boyd
Richard Kennar2 Corey Oates
Greg Inglis3 James Roberts
Dane Gagai4 Tom Opacic
Robert Jennings5 Jamayne Isaako
Cody Walker6 Anthony Milford
Adam Reynolds7 Jack Bird
Thomas Burgess8 Matthew Lodge
Damien Cook9 Josh McGuire
George Burgess10 Sam Thaiday
John Sutton11 Alex Glenn
Angus Crichton12 Jaydn Su’a
Cameron Murray13 T. Pangai Junior
Adam Doueihi14 Sam Tagataese
Mark Nicholls15 Joe Ofahengaue
Jason Clark16 Kodi Nikorima
Junior Tatola17 Korbin Sims


History:
Played 41, Rabbitohs 11, Broncos 27

Last Meeting: Broncos 24 def. Rabbitohs 18

Final Thoughts: The Broncos have been rocks and diamonds this season. Mostly rocks. They can’t afford to be anything less than brilliant this week against the Rabbitohs side eating metres. The Burgess twins have been running rampant but will yet again be without their older brother, Sam. Another suspension will keep him on the sidelines for the next two weeks. It’s been in the middle where Souths have done all their damage and with Andrew McCullough unavailable for Brisbane, they’ll struggle to contain Damien Cook, in particular. Suncorp could have levelled this up. However, this trip looks too difficult for the Broncos.

Tip: Head-to-head – Rabbitohs to win @ $1.56

Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights @ Lottoland
Friday 27th March, 6:00pm

Sea EaglesKnights
Tom Trbojevic1 Kalyn Ponga
Matthew Wright2 Ken Sio
Dylan Walker3 Sione Mata’utia
Brian Kelly4 Nathan Ross
Akuila Uate5 S. Kenny-Dowall
Lachlan Croker6 Connor Watson
D. Cherry-Evans7 Jack Cogger
A. Fonua-Blake8 Herman Ese’ese
Apisai Koroisau9 Slade Griffin
Martin Taupau10 Daniel Saifiti
Joel Thompson11 L. Fitzgibbon
Jack Gosiewski12 Aidan Guerra
Jake Trbojevic13 Mitch Barnett
Lewis Brown14 Jamie Buhrer
Shaun Lane15 C. Heighington
Lloyd Perrett16 Luke Yates
Taniela Paseka17 Jacob Saifiti


History:
Played 52 Sea Eagles 31, Knights 20

Last Meeting: Knights 19 def. Sea Eagles 18

Final Thoughts: Manly’s $1.54 odds following their awful performance last week are extremely short. There’s good chance the off-field issues haven’t subsided just yet with another six players being fined throughout the week. Mitchell Pearce is out for the Knights, but Connor Watson returns to soften the blow. Kalyn Ponga is going to see more ball than he ever has done before which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The worry is his errant boot that almost cost Newcastle the game in Round 7. Struggling on the road and visiting Lottoland, a Knights win is unlikely. They have the cattle to keep this close, though.

Tip: Margin – Sea Eagles 1-12 @ $2.90

Penrith Panthers v Canterbury Bulldogs @ Panthers Stadium
Friday 27th April, 7:55pm

PanthersBulldogs
Dylan Edwards1 Moses Mbye
C. Crichton2 Brett Morris
C. Harawira-Naera3 Josh Morris
Dean Whare4 Will Hopoate
D. Watene-Zelezniak5 Marcelo Montoya
Tyrone Peachey6 J. Marshall-King
James Maloney7 Kieran Foran
Trent Merrin8 Aaron Woods
Peter Wallace9 Michael Lichaa
R. Campbell-Gillard10 David Klemmer
Viliame Kikau11 Josh Jackson
Isaah Yeo12 R. Faitala-Mariner
J. Fisher-Harris13 Adam Elliott
Sione Katoa14 Asipeli Fine
J. Hetherington15 Danny Fualalo
Moses Leota16 Greg Eastwood
James Tamou17 Kerrod Holland


History:
Played 103, Panthers 41, Bulldogs 58

Last Meeting: Bulldogs 20 def. Panthers 18

Final Thoughts: Nobody that watched the Bulldogs play will have any faith in tipping them this week. Dean Pay was meant to improve the Canterbury attack – he hasn’t. Only the Eels score fewer points per game, but they at least show the odd sign of improvement. The Panthers, on the other hand, have shown they can win without Nathan Cleary and will back themselves to do so at home this week. With so little needed in the form of attack to beat the Dogs, Penrith just needs to hold firm defensively to win quite comfortably this week.

Tip: Handicap – Panthers -5.5 @ $1.90

Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks @ Cbus Super Stadium
Sunday 28th March, 5:30pm

TitansSharks
Michael Gordon1 Josh Dugan
Anthony Don2 Edrick Lee
Brendan Elliot3 Jesse Ramien
Konrad Hurrell4 Ricky Leutele
Phillip Sami5 V. Holmes
B. Cartwright6 Matt Moylan
Ashley Taylor7 Chad Townsend
Jarrod Wallace8 Andrew Fifita
Mitch Rein9 Jayden Brailey
Ryan James10 Matt Prior
Kevin Proctor11 Scott Sorensen
Will Matthews12 Wade Graham
Jai Arrow13 Joseph Paulo
Max King14 Jayson Bukuya
Jack Stockwell15 James Segeyaro
Keegan Hipgrave16 A. Seumanufagai
Morgan Boyle17 Kurt Dillon


History:
Played 18, Titans 8, Sharks 8

Last Meeting: Titans 30 def. Sharks 10

Final Thoughts: Finally, the Titans play at Cbus Super Stadium following weeks on the road during the Commonwealth Games. The Titans are a side that fight for everything while the Sharks loving nothing more than to get themselves involved in an arm-wrestle. Given their injuries, Cronulla isn’t at full strength which has caused inconsistencies in their attack all year. With the Titans getting a lift at home and the Sharks always needing time to find their feet, prepare for plenty of lead changes in a close match.

Tip: Race to 10 points – Titans @ $2.08

North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders @ 1300 SMILES Stadium
Saturday 28th April, 7:35pm

CowboysRaiders
Lachlan Coote1 Jack Wighton
Kyle Feldt2 Nick Cotric
Justin O’Neill3 Jarrod Croker
Ben Hampton4 Joseph Leilua
A. Winterstein5 Jordan Rapana
Michael Morgan6 Blake Austin
J. Thurston7 Aidan Sezer
Matthew Scott8 Iosia Soliola
Jake Granville9 Siliva Havili
Scott Bolton10 Junior Paulo
Gavin Cooper11 Joseph Tapine
Coen Hess12 E. Whitehead
Jason Taumalolo13 Josh Papalii
Te Maire Martin14 Ata Hingano
Shaun Fensom15 Shannon Boyd
Corey Jensen16 Luke Bateman
Ethan Lowe17 Dunamis Lui


History:
Played 41, Cowboys 18, Raiders 21

Last Meeting: Cowboys 31 def. Raiders 18

Final Thoughts: It’s a bit early to say the Cowboys are back; they weren’t all that convincing last week. However, the Raiders haven’t shown up at all to start the 2018 NRL season. Wins over the Bulldogs and Eels don’t impress anyone. The Canberra middle should be where they earn their advantage, but they’ve not been able to consistently produce throughout the opening seven rounds. It does look like the Cowboys – Jason Taumalolo, in particular – are starting to rumble up the field. Dominated by the Cowboys pack, the Raiders don’t stand a chance playing away from home.

Tip: Handicap – Cowboys -7.5 @ $1.95

Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers @ ANZ Stadium
Sunday 29th April, 4:10pm

EelsTigers
C. Gutherson1 Corey Thompson
Bevan French2 David Nofoaluma
M. Jennings3 Esan Marsters
Brad Takairangi4 Kevin Naiqama
George Jennings5 M. Watene-Zelezniak
Corey Norman6 Benji Marshall
Mitchell Moses7 Luke Brooks
Daniel Alvaro8 M. Eisenhuth
Kaysa Pritchard9 Jacob Liddle
Suaia Matagi10 Ben Matulino
Manu Ma’u11Chris Lawrence
Tony Williams12 Robbie Rochow
Peni Terepo13 Elijah Taylor
Will Smith14 Pita Godinet
Kane Evans15 Josh Aloiai
Josh Hoffman16 M. Chee-Kam
Cameron King17 Sauaso Sue


History:
Played 37, Eels 20, Tigers 15

Last Meeting: Tigers 30 def. Eels 20

Final Thoughts: A month after beating the Eels 30-20, the Tigers will be desperate to repeat the dose on Sunday. Suffering a heartbreaking loss to Newcastle last week, Wests know they can’t start getting back into bad habits. Similarly, the Eels can’t afford to begin another losing streak having just snapped a six-gamer. If the Parra pack keep aiming up, they can beat anybody. The effort looks to be back while cracks are starting to show in this concrete Tigers defence. Prepare for an upset.

Tip: Head-to-Head – Eels to win @ $2.02