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!

Brisbane Broncos v Canterbury Bulldogs @ Suncorp Stadium
Thursday 3rd May, 7:50pm

BroncosBulldogs
Darius Boyd1 Moses Mbye
Corey Oates2 Brett Morris
James Roberts3 Josh Morris
Tom Opacic4 Will Hopoate
Jamayne Isaako5 Marcelo Montoya
Anthony Milford6 Jeremy Marshall-King
Jack Bird7 Kieran Foran
Matthew Lodge8 Aaron Woods
Andrew McCullough9 Michael Lichaa
Sam Thaiday10 David Klemmer
Alex Glenn11 Josh Jackson
Jaydn Su’a12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Tevita Pangai Junior13 Adam Elliott
Payne Haas14 Clay Priest
Joe Ofahengaue15 Danny Fualalo
Kodi Nikorima16 Asipeli Fine
Korbin Sims17 Kerrod Holland


History:
Played 55, Broncos 30, Bulldogs 22

Last Meeting: Broncos 42 def. Bulldogs 12

Final Thoughts: The Broncos are hanging on as injuries continue to stall the progress they’re slowly making. Just as they look to be putting things together, somebody limps off. The latest was Josh McGuire, but Andrew McCullough’s possible early return will help cushion that blow. Progress isn’t a word you’d associate with the Bulldogs unless you preface it with “lack of”. Somehow, they’re getting worse despite the offseason signings. Their attack is painful to watch at times while their defence has gone missing. It’s best to avoid the Dogs for the time being.

Tip: Total Points – Under 40.5 @ $1.90

Newcastle Knights v South Sydney Rabbitohs @ McDonald Jones Stadium
Friday 4th May, 6:00pm

KnightsRabbitohs
Kalyn Ponga1 Alex Johnston
Ken Sio2 Campbell Graham
Sione Mata’utia3 Greg Inglis
Nathan Ross4 Dane Gagai
S. Kenny-Dowall5 Robert Jennings
Connor Watson6 Cody Walker
Jack Cogger7 Adam Reynolds
Herman Ese’ese8 Thomas Burgess
Slade Griffin9 Damien Cook
Daniel Saifiti10 George Burgess
L. Fitzgibbon11 John Sutton
Aidan Guerra12 Angus Crichton
Mitch Barnett13 Cameron Murray
Jamie Buhrer14 Adam Doueihi
C. Heighington15 Mark Nicholls
Luke Yates16 Jason Clark
Jacob Saifiti17 Junior Tatola


History:
Played 41, Knights 25, Rabbitohs 15

Last Meeting: Rabbitohs 24 def. Knights 18

Final Thoughts: The Knights are coming into this one hot following a pair of hearty back-to-back wins. However, they’ve lost their last eight against the Rabbitohs. With the way Kalyn Ponga has been lighting up the NRL to be a genuine Dally M candidate you can’t rule out the losing streak coming to an end this week. Souths are worthy favourites despite still being without Sam Burgess. Their size in the middle is producing the most metres in the comp while Newcastle makes the least. Unless the Knights pack find their best 80 minutes of the season so far, the mountain looks too high to climb this week.

Tip: Handicap – Rabbitohs -4.5 @ $1.90

Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys @ Carrington Park
Friday 4th May, 7:55pm

PanthersCowboys
D. Watene-Zelezniak1 Lachlan Coote
C. Crichton2 Kyle Feldt
Isaah Yeo3 Justin O’Neill
Dean Whare4 Ben Hampton
Tyrone Phillips5 A. Winterstein
Tyrone Peachey6 Michael Morgan
James Maloney7 J. Thurston
Trent Merrin8 Matthew Scott
Peter Wallace9 Jake Granville
R. Campbell-Gillard10 Scott Bolton
Viliame Kikau11 Gavin Cooper
C. Harawira-Naera12 Coen Hess
J. Fisher-Harris13 Jason Taumalolo
Sione Katoa14 Te Maire Martin
J. Hetherington15 Shaun Fensom
Moses Leota16 Corey Jensen
James Tamou17 Ethan Lowe


History:
Played 38, Panthers 20, Cowboys 17

Last Meeting: Panthers 33 def. Cowboys 14

Final Thoughts: The Panthers have thumped the Cowboys once already this season. Carrying a few more injuries this time around, they’re not expected to wipe the floor with the Cows, but the Panthers are still justifiable favourites. Their forward pack is one of the best in the competition and would have the cattle to compete with the Cowboys even if they were at their best. It’s no secret the North Queensland is struggling. The problem is they’ve not been able to pinpoint where it’s going wrong. With the determination to iron out the problems, the Cowboys will come out strong to start, but may not be able to contain the fast-finishing Panthers in the second half.

Tip: Highest Scoring Half – Second Half @ $1.83

Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans @ GIO Stadium
Saturday 5th May, 3:00pm

RaidersTitans
Jack Wighton1 Michael Gordon
Nick Cotric2 Anthony Don
Jarrod Croker3 Brendan Elliot
Joseph Leilua4 Konrad Hurrell
Jordan Rapana5 Phillip Sami
Blake Austin6 B. Cartwright
Aidan Sezer7 Ashley Taylor
Iosia Soliola8 Jarrod Wallace
Siliva Havili9 Mitch Rein
Junior Paulo10 Ryan James
Joseph Tapine11 Kevin Proctor
E. Whitehead12 Will Matthews
Josh Papalii13 Jai Arrow
Ata Hingano14 Max King
Shannon Boyd15 Jack Stockwell
Luke Bateman16 Keegan Hipgrave
Dunamis Lui17 Ryan Simpkins


History:
Played 22, Raiders 9, Titans 12

Last Meeting: Titans 30 def. Raiders 28

Final Thoughts: As one of just three clubs they have a winning record against, the Titans have the Raiders number in this fixture. With four wins in their last five visits to GIO Stadium, the Titans don’t have any problem with travelling to Canberra, either. While they’re coming off three-straight losses, the Gold Coast won’t sway in confidence They’ll be out to meet Canberra head-on this week. When these two teams last met in Round 1, we saw 58 points pile up. Given the fact the total has gone over 44 in seven of the last nine between the two at GIO Stadium, the 44.5 total isn’t a surprise.

Tip: Total Points – Over 44.5 points @ 1.90

New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers @ Mt Smart Stadium
Saturday 5th May, 5:30pm

WarriorsTigers
R. Tuivasa-Sheck1 Corey Thompson
David Fusitu’a2 David Nofoaluma
Peta Hiku3 Esan Marsters
Solomone Kata4 Kevin Naiqama
Ken Maumalo5 Mahe Fonua
Blake Green6 Benji Marshall
Shaun Johnson7 Luke Brooks
Bunty Afoa8 M. Eisenhuth
Issac Luke9 Pita Godinet
Agnatius Paasi10 Ben Matulino
Simon Mannering11 Chris Lawrence
Tohu Harris12 Robbie Rochow
Adam Blair13 Elijah Taylor
Karl Lawton14 Alex Twal
Sam Lisone15 Josh Aloiai
Isaiah Papali’i16 M. Chee-Kam
James Gavet17 Sauaso Sue


History:
Played 29, Warriors 13, Tigers 15

Last Meeting: Tigers 28 def. Warriors 16

Final Thoughts: One of the most intriguing battles of the round, the hard thing is picking which version of the two sides is going to turn up. For the Warriors, will it be the squad that beat the table-topping Dragons or the one that was thumped 50-10 by the Storm last week? For the Tigers, will the defensive line hold up like it did in keep the Storm to ten or fewer points twice, or will they leak like they did last week in allowing the worst attack in the NRL to score 24 points? At home, the Warriors get the lean. They’ve been mostly brilliant on their home soil. With the additions of Shaun Johnson, Tohu Harris, Solomone Kata and James Gavet, they can rally the troops and rebound from the Round 8 embarrassment.

Tip: Doubles – Warriors Half-time/Full-time @ $2

Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels @ Southern Cross Group Stadium
Saturday 5th May, 7:35pm

SharksEels
V. Holmes1 C. Gutherson
Sosaia Feki2 Bevan French
Jesse Ramien3 M. Jennings
Ricky Leutele4 Brad Takairangi
Edrick Lee5 George Jennings
Matt Moylan6 Corey Norman
Chad Townsend7 Mitchell Moses
Andrew Fifita8 Daniel Alvaro
Jayden Brailey9 Kaysa Pritchard
Matt Prior10 Suaia Matagi
Kurt Capewell11 Manu Ma’u
Wade Graham12 Tepai Moeroa
Joseph Paulo13 Peni Terepo
Jayson Bukuya14 Will Smith
James Segeyaro15 Kenny Edwards
A. Seumanufagai16 David Gower
Scott Sorensen17 Tim Mannah


History:
Played 90, Sharks 47, Eels 42

Last Meeting: Sharks 14 def. Eels 4

Final Thoughts: The Sharks have made a habit of winning ugly over the last few years with 2018 being no different. They’ve been hammered by injuries to start the 2018 NRL season, but are doing well to stay afloat. The Eels, on the other hand, have almost drowned their season already. Back-to-back wins have helped reignite their season, but they aren’t close the team they were in 2017. Coming up against a strong forward pack, the Eels are going to struggle to gain any ascendancy in this one. Their middle has been soft – at best – without Nathan Brown. Andrew Fifita has been picking up 130+ running metres while Wade Graham and his 110+ is set to return for the Sharks this week. The battle is in the middle seeing Cronulla open as favourites.

Tip: Head-to-Head – Sharks win @ $1.70

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm @ Jubilee Oval
Sunday 6th May, 2:00pm

DragonsStorm
Matthew Dufty1 Billy Slater
Nene Macdonald2 S. Vunivalu
Euan Aitken3 Will Chambers
Tim Lafai4 Curtis Scott
J. Nightingale5 Josh Addo-Carr
Gareth Widdop6 Cameron Munster
Ben Hunt7 Ryley Jacks
James Graham8 Christian Welch
Cameron McInnes9 Cameron Smith
Paul Vaughan10 N. Asofa-Solomona
Tyson Frizell11 Felise Kaufusi
Tariq Sims12 Ryan Hoffman
Jack de Belin13 Dale Finucane
Jeremy Latimore14 Brandon Smith
Kurt Mann15 K. Bromwich
Leeson Ah Mau16 Joe Stimson
Reece Robson17 Sam Kasiano


History:
Played 36, Dragons 9, Storm 24

Last Meeting: Storm 34 def. Dragons 22

Final Thoughts: It’s the game of the round so naturally, it’s a tough one to tip. The Dragons have only dropped one game all season, but the Storm are on fire to be the form team of the competition despite sitting at fourth on the ladder. St George will have a sold-out home crowd behind them while they look to keep their monstrous forward pack moving forward to allow Dally M candidate, Gareth Widdop, to work his magic. It’s Josh Addo-Carr performing the tricks for the Storm. He seems to either score or create chances to score, every time he touches the football while acting as the catalyst to Melbourne’s recent attacking resurgence. In a match featuring two of the best teams in the NRL, a single play could determine the result. There’s a good chance JAC is the one producing the gods.

Tip: Anytime Tryscorer – Josh Addo-Carr @ $1.91

Sydney Roosters v Manly Sea Eagles @ Allianz Stadium
Sunday 6th May, 4:10pm

RoostersSea Eagles
James Tedesco1 Tom Trbojevic
Joseph Manu2 Matthew Wright
L. Mitchell3 Moses Suli
M. Aubusson4 Brian Kelly
Blake Ferguson5 Akuila Uate
Luke Keary6 Dylan Walker
Cooper Cronk7 D. Cherry-Evans
Zane Tetevano8 A. Fonua-Blake
Jake Friend9 Apisai Koroisau
Dylan Napa10 Martin Taupau
Boyd Cordner11 Joel Thompson
Ryan Matterson12 Shaun Lane
Isaac Liu13 Jake Trbojevic
J. Waerea-Hargreaves14 Lewis Brown
S. Taukeiaho15 F. Winterstein
Nat Butcher16 Lloyd Perrett
Victor Radley17 Taniela Paseka


History:
Played 141, Roosters 48, Sea Eagles 89

Last Meeting: Sea Eagles 36 def. Roosters 18

Final Thoughts: Both the Roosters and Sea Eagles are battling issues that continue to hold them back. For Sydney, they drop the football more than any other team in the NRL. As great as their attack could be, they don’t get much of a chance to fire while making it to the end of just 70% of their sets. Manly’s issues come off the field. Jackson Hastings has been cast aside due to chemistry issues while Moses Suli has been named to play this week despite a contract dispute needing to be finalised before he can take to the field. With so many things on the minds of Manly’s players, they can’t possibly be steering 100% of their energy to performing on the field.

Tip: Doubles – Roosters Half-time/Full-time @ $1.62