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

Broncos Bulldogs
Darius Boyd 1  Moses Mbye
Corey Oates 2  Brett Morris
James Roberts 3  Josh Morris
Tom Opacic 4  Will Hopoate
Jamayne Isaako 5  Marcelo Montoya
Anthony Milford 6  Jeremy Marshall-King
Jack Bird 7  Kieran Foran
Matthew Lodge 8  Aaron Woods
Andrew McCullough 9  Michael Lichaa
Sam Thaiday 10  David Klemmer
Alex Glenn 11  Josh Jackson
Jaydn Su’a 12  Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Tevita Pangai Junior 13  Adam Elliott
Payne Haas 14  Clay Priest
Joe Ofahengaue 15  Danny Fualalo
Kodi Nikorima 16  Asipeli Fine
Korbin Sims 17  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

Knights Rabbitohs
Kalyn Ponga 1  Alex Johnston
Ken Sio 2  Campbell Graham
Sione Mata’utia 3  Greg Inglis
Nathan Ross 4  Dane Gagai
S. Kenny-Dowall 5  Robert Jennings
Connor Watson 6  Cody Walker
Jack Cogger 7  Adam Reynolds
Herman Ese’ese 8  Thomas Burgess
Slade Griffin 9  Damien Cook
Daniel Saifiti 10  George Burgess
L. Fitzgibbon 11  John Sutton
Aidan Guerra 12  Angus Crichton
Mitch Barnett 13  Cameron Murray
Jamie Buhrer 14  Adam Doueihi
C. Heighington 15  Mark Nicholls
Luke Yates 16  Jason Clark
Jacob Saifiti 17  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

Panthers Cowboys
D. Watene-Zelezniak 1  Lachlan Coote
C. Crichton 2  Kyle Feldt
Isaah Yeo 3  Justin O’Neill
Dean Whare 4  Ben Hampton
Tyrone Phillips 5  A. Winterstein
Tyrone Peachey 6  Michael Morgan
James Maloney 7  J. Thurston
Trent Merrin 8  Matthew Scott
Peter Wallace 9  Jake Granville
R. Campbell-Gillard 10  Scott Bolton
Viliame Kikau 11  Gavin Cooper
C. Harawira-Naera 12  Coen Hess
J. Fisher-Harris 13  Jason Taumalolo
Sione Katoa 14  Te Maire Martin
J. Hetherington 15  Shaun Fensom
Moses Leota 16  Corey Jensen
James Tamou 17  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

Raiders Titans
Jack Wighton 1  Michael Gordon
Nick Cotric 2  Anthony Don
Jarrod Croker 3  Brendan Elliot
Joseph Leilua 4  Konrad Hurrell
Jordan Rapana 5  Phillip Sami
Blake Austin 6  B. Cartwright
Aidan Sezer 7  Ashley Taylor
Iosia Soliola 8  Jarrod Wallace
Siliva Havili 9  Mitch Rein
Junior Paulo 10  Ryan James
Joseph Tapine 11  Kevin Proctor
E. Whitehead 12  Will Matthews
Josh Papalii 13  Jai Arrow
Ata Hingano 14  Max King
Shannon Boyd 15  Jack Stockwell
Luke Bateman 16  Keegan Hipgrave
Dunamis Lui 17  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

Warriors Tigers
R. Tuivasa-Sheck 1  Corey Thompson
David Fusitu’a 2  David Nofoaluma
Peta Hiku 3  Esan Marsters
Solomone Kata 4  Kevin Naiqama
Ken Maumalo 5  Mahe Fonua
Blake Green 6  Benji Marshall
Shaun Johnson 7  Luke Brooks
Bunty Afoa 8  M. Eisenhuth
Issac Luke 9  Pita Godinet
Agnatius Paasi 10  Ben Matulino
Simon Mannering 11  Chris Lawrence
Tohu Harris 12  Robbie Rochow
Adam Blair 13  Elijah Taylor
Karl Lawton 14  Alex Twal
Sam Lisone 15  Josh Aloiai
Isaiah Papali’i 16  M. Chee-Kam
James Gavet 17  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

Sharks Eels
V. Holmes 1  C. Gutherson
Sosaia Feki 2  Bevan French
Jesse Ramien 3  M. Jennings
Ricky Leutele 4  Brad Takairangi
Edrick Lee 5  George Jennings
Matt Moylan 6  Corey Norman
Chad Townsend 7  Mitchell Moses
Andrew Fifita 8  Daniel Alvaro
Jayden Brailey 9  Kaysa Pritchard
Matt Prior 10  Suaia Matagi
Kurt Capewell 11  Manu Ma’u
Wade Graham 12  Tepai Moeroa
Joseph Paulo 13  Peni Terepo
Jayson Bukuya 14  Will Smith
James Segeyaro 15  Kenny Edwards
A. Seumanufagai 16  David Gower
Scott Sorensen 17  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

Dragons Storm
Matthew Dufty 1  Billy Slater
Nene Macdonald 2  S. Vunivalu
Euan Aitken 3  Will Chambers
Tim Lafai 4  Curtis Scott
J. Nightingale 5  Josh Addo-Carr
Gareth Widdop 6  Cameron Munster
Ben Hunt 7  Ryley Jacks
James Graham 8  Christian Welch
Cameron McInnes 9  Cameron Smith
Paul Vaughan 10  N. Asofa-Solomona
Tyson Frizell 11  Felise Kaufusi
Tariq Sims 12  Ryan Hoffman
Jack de Belin 13  Dale Finucane
Jeremy Latimore 14  Brandon Smith
Kurt Mann 15  K. Bromwich
Leeson Ah Mau 16  Joe Stimson
Reece Robson 17  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

Roosters Sea Eagles
James Tedesco 1  Tom Trbojevic
Joseph Manu 2  Matthew Wright
L. Mitchell 3  Moses Suli
M. Aubusson 4  Brian Kelly
Blake Ferguson 5  Akuila Uate
Luke Keary 6  Dylan Walker
Cooper Cronk 7  D. Cherry-Evans
Zane Tetevano 8  A. Fonua-Blake
Jake Friend 9  Apisai Koroisau
Dylan Napa 10  Martin Taupau
Boyd Cordner 11  Joel Thompson
Ryan Matterson 12  Shaun Lane
Isaac Liu 13  Jake Trbojevic
J. Waerea-Hargreaves 14  Lewis Brown
S. Taukeiaho 15  F. Winterstein
Nat Butcher 16  Lloyd Perrett
Victor Radley 17  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