The Dragons have finally received some good news with one of their stars now free to play, while they’ll also hand a teenager his NRL debut with veteran forward Jack de Belin sidelined.
South Sydney’s Blake Taaffe trained at fullback on Tuesday with Latrell Mitchell expected to miss the Round 2 clash with Penrith.
Brisbane are set for a huge boost with their star recruit returning after missing the Broncos’ huge Round 1 win over Penrith.
The Storm will be without two key players, while the Titans have been handed bad news regarding their gun recruit.
Read on for the Team Tips for Round 2.
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THURSDAY MARCH 9
Penrith Panthers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs at BlueBet Stadium, 8.00pm AEDT
Last week’s Panthers team: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Luke Garner 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon
Team Tips: Utility Scott Sorensen failed his HIA and will need to pass concussion protocols to feature in this game. If he’s ruled out, off-season recruits Tyrone Peachey and Zac Hosking or Matt Eisenhuth and Lindsay Smith could slot into the starting 17 as replacement.
Last week’s Rabbitohs team: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 16. Davvy Moale 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 15. Michael Chee Kam 13. Cameron Murray 10. Thomas Burgess 12. Jai Arrow 14. Blake Taaffe 17. Shaq Mitchell
Team Tips: Blake Taaffe is reportedly set to start at fullback with Souths to take a cautious approach with superstar Latrell Mitchell. Mitchell was a spectator at training on Tuesday after suffering a knee injury in Round 1. Coach Jason Demetriou told NRL360 he still believed Mitchell was a strong chance to play but the Sydney Morning Herald reports Souths could give him a week off to rest. Jai Arrow (hamstring), meanwhile, will miss at least one week, while Tevita Tatola will have to pass concussion protocols meaning the Bunnies face a reshuffle in the forwards. Jed Cartwright is the likely man to take Arrow’s spot, while Daniel Suluka-Fifita could fill in for Tatola off the bench.
“Jai is only a minor hamstring strain so he’s hopeful of Roosters (in two weeks) if not the week after that,” Demtriou said.
FRIDAY MARCH 10
Parramatta Eels vs Cronulla Sharks at CommBank Stadium, 6.00pm AEDT
Last week’s Eels team: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 22. Isaac Lumelume 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Matt Doorey 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Jirah Momoisea 15. Jack Murchie 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Makahesi Makatoa
Team Tips: The Eels got through their first clash of the season unscathed and Brad Arthur has a host of players who could return in Round 2. Sean Russell is set to return from suspension and could win a spot on the wing over Isaac Lumelume, while Bailey Simonsson could return from a shoulder injury suffered during the grand final. Simonsson could slot into the centres for Blake, while Nathan Brown could win a spot on the bench over Makahesi Makatoa who didn’t get on the field against the Storm.
Last week’s Sharks team: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Braydon Trindall 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Wade Graham 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Jack Williams
Team Tips: Cronulla are set to be without Nicho Hynes for another week due to an ongoing calf injury which will be managed week-by-week according to coach Craig Fitzgibbon. Jack Williams suffered an ugly head knock and failed his HIA, meaning he will have to pass concussion protocols to take the field. Tom Hazleton or Jesse Colquhoun could take his place if ruled out.
Titans fly high over Tigers in round 1 | 03:01
Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys at Sucnorp Stadium, 8.05pm AEDT
Last week’s Broncos team: 1. Selwyn Cobbo 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Cory Paix 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Martin Taupau
Team Tips: Kevin Walters’ Broncos are set for a huge inclusion after stunning the reigning premiers in Round 1. Reece Walsh’s return is confirmed and the former Warriors will slot straight into fullback, with Selwyn Cobbo shifting to the wing and Jesse Arthars out of the 17.
Last week’s Cowboys team: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Coen Hess 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. James Tamou
Team Tips: The Cowboys got through their Round 1 clash with the Raiders unscathed. Todd Payten could inject Jack Gosiewski onto his bench, returning from a knee injury. The former Dragons could beat out Jamayne Taunoa-Brown or James Tamou for a spot on the pine.
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SATURDAY MARCH 11
Sydney Roosters vs Warriors at Allianz Stadium, 3.00pm AEDT
Last week’s Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph Suaalii 14. Drew Hutchison 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Brandon Smith 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Egan Butcher 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 4. Corey Allan 16. Naufahu Whyte 17. Terrell May 18. Jake Turpin
Team Tips: Trent Robinson has some big decisions to make after a shock loss to the Dolphins in Round 1. Joey Manu could potentially return from a facial injury, slotting into the centres for Drew Hutchison if he’s fit to return. Meanwhile, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is also a “maybe” according to Robinson. The Kiwi international will likely shift Naufahu Whyte off the bench or take the place of Matt Lodge who is set for a sideline stint. Lodge suffered a facial fracture which depressed into his cheek. According to the NRL Physio, the boom forward is set to be sidelined for four to six weeks. Lock Victor Radley also suffered an ugly head knock and failed a HIA, meaning he needs to pass concussion protocols to return. Corey Allan is also unlikely to be named in the starting 17 after shifting to the bench an hour before kick-off and failing to take the field.
Last week’s Warriors team: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 5. Marcelo Montoya 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Adam Pompey 23. Edward Kosi 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Josh Curran 17. Tom Ale 20. Freddy Lussick
Team Tips: The Warriors enjoyed a Round 1 win across the Tasman and escaped injury under rookie coach Andrew Webster. Utility Jazz Tevaga is set to return from a chest injury and could push Tom Ale off the bench while Rocco Berry could also be fit, but is unlikely to slot into the backline. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was a late withdrawal with a calf injury, but his return date is unknown and Edward Kosi will likely keep his spot on the wing.
Wade Graham ‘unlucky’ to receive ban | 00:51
Dolphins vs Canberra Raiders at Kayo Stadium, 5.30pm AEDT
Last week’s Dolphins team: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Brenko Lee 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Jarrod Wallace 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Tom Gilbert 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Ray Stone 17. Kurt Donoghoe 18. Connelly Lemuelu
Team Tips: The Dolphins shocked the NRL world with a stunning victory over the Roosters in Round 1. Luckily for Wayne Bennett, none of his players suffered injuries and the master coach is set to name the same 17 with Herman Ese’ese a late pullout due to a pectoral injury.
Last week’s Raiders team: 1. Sebastian Kris 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Pasami Saulo 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Emre Guler
Team Tips: Ricky Stuart is set to welcome boom prop Josh Papalii from a calf injury and the representative gun is set to start at prop. Pasami Saulo will shift back to the bench, with one of Ata Mariota, Corey Horsburgh or Emre Guler dropping out of the 17.
Melbourne Storm vs Canterbury Bulldogs at AAMI Park, 7.35pm AEDT
Last week’s Storm team: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Alec Macdonald 17. Jordan Grant 19. Bronson Garlick
Team Tips: Melbourne suffered two crucial injuries in Round 1 and will likely be without both players for the coming weeks. Cameron Munster suffered a gruesome compound dislocation and requires surgery. Munster’s agent Braith Anasta revealed on NRL360 that the half would be out for “more than three weeks”. Following the departure of Cooper Johns, Jonah Pezet could earn an NRL debut or Tyran Wishart slot into the No.6 jersey. Meanwhile, Xavier Coates also suffered an AC joint injury and is due to return in Round 3, opening a slot for Marion Seve to slot onto the wing. Tariq Sims is also due to return from a calf injury and could start in place of Trent Loiero, shifting back to the bench. Meanwhile, Tom Eisenhuth is also due to return from a back injury and could win a bench spot over Bronson Garlick or Jordan Grant.
Last week’s Bulldogs team: 1. Hayze Perham 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Ryan Sutton 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Fa’amanu Brown 14. Jayden Tanner 15. Corey Waddell 16. Franklin Pele 17. Jacob Preston
Team Tips: Declan Casey is the only man due to return and he is unlikely to force his way into the 17 in Round 2. Otherwise Cameron Ciraldo’s side will likely remain untouched with Tevita Pangai Junior still “five or six weeks away”.
Brimson the silencer at Leichhardt Oval | 00:35
SUNDAY MARCH 12
Wests Tigers Newcastle Knights at Leichhardt Oval, 4.05pm AEDT
Last week’s Tigers team: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Brent Naden 4. Tommy Talau 5. Charlie Staines 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 14. Jake Simpkin 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Shawn Blore 15. Alex Twal 9. Apisai Koroisau 13. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Fonua Pole 17. Asu Kepaoa
Team Tips: Backrower Shawn Blore failed his HIA and will need to pass concussion protocols to be fit to take the field in Round 2. Ken Maumalo’s return date still remains uncertain, while Tim Sheens could delay John Bateman’s debut while the English international “settles in”. The experienced coach made it clear he won’t rush the gun backrower into his side before he is ready to take the field. Sheens has also been heavily criticised for his decision to start Apisai Koroisau off the bench. Koroisau’s fitness was an issue, however the Tigers may opt to start their superstar off-season recruit in Round 2.
Last week’s Knights team: 1. Lachlan Miller 2. Hymel Hunt 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Dominic Young 6. Kalyn Ponga 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Kurt Mann 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Adam Elliott 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Leo Thompson 18. Jack Johns
Team Tips: Tyson Frizell failed a HIA in Round 1 but was “fine” according to coach Adam O’Brien, while Kalyn Ponga return from his own head knock assessment. Dane Gagai and Greg Marzhew are also set to return from hamstring and hip injuries respectively, which will likely see both Hymel Hunt and Enari Tuala drop out of the starting 17.
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St George Illawarra Dragons vs Gold Coast Titans at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, 4.05pm AEDT
Predicted Dragons team: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mikaele Ravalawa 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mat Feagai 6. Junior Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack Bird 14. Moses Mbye 15. Zane Musgrove 16. Toby Couchman 17. Josh Kerr
Team Tips: Young gun give-eighth Junior Amone has been cleared to play after the club confirmed on Tuesday he’s no longer subject to the NRL’s no-fault stand-down policy.
The Dragons were handed the bye in Round 1, giving Anthony Griffin another week of preparation heading into a crucial season for the Red V. Jack Bird had surgery on a minor knee injury in the off-season but is set to be fit to take the field and will likely wear the No.13 jersey. Teenager Toby Couchman is reportedly set to make his NRL debut with Jack de Belin (calf) sidelined. Moses Mbye will likely wear the No.14 jersey, while new recruit Ben Murdoch-Masile lines up on an edge.
Last week’s Titans team: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Phillip Sami 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Sam Verrills 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 17. Joe Stimson 13. Isaac Liu 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Erin Clark 16. Moeaki Fotuaika 18. Sam McIntyre
Team Tips: Star recruit Kieran Foran has reportedly been ruled out of his side’s clash against the Dragons but in a big boost for the Titans, his injury isn’t considered serious according to The Daily Telegraph. The veteran five-eighth has suffered minor tears in his knee and damaged his PCL and MCL, while the ACL remained intact. As it stands, Gold Coast will be without Foran for two to four weeks, but club medical staff are reportedly hopeful of a retun by the end of March. It will be frustrating, however, for coach Justin Holbrook who saw Foran and superstar backrower David Fifita immediately strike up a dangerous partnership.
AJ Brimson will likely shift into the halves with Jayden Campbell wearing the No.1 jersey and Chris Randall coming into the utility role.
Bye: Manly Sea Eagles
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