Border closures? – Not for the NRL. We are back for round 12; welcome to another week of MR TAB’S round preview!
DRAGONS v RABBITOHS Thursday, 7.50pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
The ‘robbed’ Dragons take on the Rabbitohs as the opener for indigenous round, at Kogarah oval Thursday night. Both teams coming off losses will be sure to aim up and need the win. When you’re outside the 8, these clashes are a must win, otherwise the season just starts slipping away… Dragons half Adam Clune and forward Trent Merrin are both out with Ben Hunt finally going back halfback, Cameron McInnes to hooker and Jackson Ford starting at lock, while Tariq Sims returns from suspension. The Bunnies
welcome the man Latrell Mitchell back in the no. 1 jersey, pushing Alex Johnston to the wing and Corey Allan out. This will be a big, tough game but the Bunnies are just a touch ahead of the Dragons this year and are a top 8 side.
First Try Campbell Graham $11
TIGERS v WARRIORS Friday, 6pm, SCG, Sydney
The Tigers went down swinging last week against the highflying Eels, whilst the up and down Warriors are looking more down than up recently, having losing their last 3 NRL contests. They also waive goodbye to 4 players including David Fusitua and Ken Maumalo returning to New Zealand. Patrick Herbert starts on one side while Eels loan player George Jennings makes his club debut on the other. Hooker Wayde Egan also returns from a hip injury on the interchange. The Tigers have Russell Packer and Michael Chee Kam out
but welcome back muscle Alex Twal. Tigers have looked dangerous under Mdge this year, tigers in a close game!
First Try Scorer Tommy Talau $11
BRONCOS v SHARKS Friday, 7.55pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Another loss, another wild week of changes for the Broncos. Like a bucking ah, um Bronco – the team just will not run in the same direction under Anthony Seibold, call it what you will, but I’ll say it; to me it looks like he has lost the dressing room. Have you ever seen a coach come back from losing the dressing room? The Milford fullback mission is over. He moves back to the halves and Darius Boyd returns to fullback, while they welcome Jake Turpin back at hooker. Cronulla will miss part of their spine in Chad Townsend who looks to miss a month of footy due to a calf injury. Young Connor Tracey is his replacement. Josh Dugan returns to play his 200th game as does teammate Aaron Woods, both reaching 200 games each. We’re hearing Bronson Goodwin might be a chance in place of gun Jessie Ramien who is racing the clock with hamstring tightness. Broncos to win, yes you’re reading right!
First Try Scorer Sione Katoa $9
ROOSTERS v TITANS Saturday, 3pm, SCG, Sydney
The Titans have been staunch the last couple of weeks and Justin Holbrook looks right at home as head coach, although the Roosters are chasing a dynasty and won’t like being below Eels, Storm and Panthers on the ladder. Ryan Hall replaces Brett Morris on the wing is the only change for the Chooks with the evergreen Morris set to miss a few weeks with a back injury. Mitchell Aubusson has been named to start on the edge and Cap Boyd Cordner has been sidelined due to concussion concerns. The Titans welcome back Keegan Hipgrave in the second row and talent AJ Brimson is closing in on a return being named in the reserves. Roosters to win with Teddy running a muck!
First Try Scorer Josh Morris $10
COWBOYS v RAIDERS Saturday, 5.30pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville
The Cowboys take on the Canberra Raiders and we are expecting fireworks in this clash with both teams desperate for the two points on offer. The Cowboys will look to bounce back after going down 24-12 against the Sea Eagles here last week. They welcome back a few players including Marsters, Asiata and the lively Jake Granville just to name a few. The Raiders grinded a 18-12 victory against the Bunnies last week and Ricky’s troops will look to come out firing and if they do, watch out!
First Try Scorer Jordan Rapana $11
SEA EAGLES v PANTHERS Saturday, 7.35pm, Lottoland, Sydney
Clash of the round! Both teams are coming off last start victories and will be hungry for the two valuable points on offer in what should be a Saturday night blockbuster. The Sea Eagles welcome back Dylan Walker and that’s a huge boost as DCE has been carrying for the past few weeks. The Panthers are flying and will look to remain on top of the table. Coach Cleary has really got the boys from Penrith playing good footy and son Nathan is having a Superb year to date. Manly are always hard to beat at Brookie but we like the Panthers, just!
First Try Scorer Josh Mansour $9.5
BULLDOGS v EELS Sunday, 2pm, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Bulldogs look to have some bite back and is was great to see coach Georgalis get his first victory as a head coach against the Knights in soggy conditions last Sunday. It will take a mighty effort to back it up against the high flying Eels but confidence is a big thing and it looks like the boys from Belmore are enjoying their footy. The Eels name a strong seventeen and playing at home as the away team won’t mind them. Gutho is playing out of his skin this year and with Maiko Sivo terrorizing the Bulldogs wingers we like the Eels to get the job done in what could be a high scoring encounter.
First Try Scorer Michael Jennings $9.5
STORM v KNIGHTS Sunday, 4.05pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
The Storm at home are always hard to beat and with Papenhuyzen, Munster and Hughes all fit, it could be a long night for the Novacastians. The storm put forty six points on the Broncos last week with seven different try scorers. This team is the team to beat if they all stay fit. Newcastle went down to the Bulldogs at home last week and will be looking to bounce back. Hooker Andrew McCullough is out with injury and that’s a huge blow as he has been playing well. This could get ugly, storm by a mile!
First Try Scorer Cameron Munster $14
BEST BET FOR ROUND 12:
MELBOURNE -10.5 vs Newcastle @$1.90