The NRL is in full swing and the best teams in the competition have started to show their class as players lay down their claims for Origin spots.
With Penrith still unbeaten, the chasing pack are looking to keep the pace as 2nd place Cronulla Sharks have a mouthwatering clash against 3rd placed Melbourne Storm in a massive top of the table clash.
With a number of close games this round, let’s take a look at the squads for each team as we make our predictions for the Easter weekend games.
Canberra Raiders vs North Queensland Cowboys
Both Teams come into this fixture having lost their previous two games and will be desperate to get the win in Round Five. Exciting young talent Xavier Savage is on the bench for what will be his first appearance of the season. Ricky Stuart will be looking for his magic in the 14-jersey. Coen Hess returns to the bench for the Cowboys after a shoulder injury and Connelly Lemuelu is on the bench as Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and Griffin Neame miss out due to concussion protocols.
Score Prediction: Canberra Raiders 24-16 North Queensland Cowboys
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Action 10:50am
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Nick Cotric, 3. Matthew Timoko, 4. Semi Valemei, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Brad Schneider, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Tom Starling, 10. Joseph Tapine, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Ryan Sutton
14. Xavier Savage, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Adam Elliott, 17. Corey Horsburgh
North Queensland Cowboys
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. Coen Hess, 11. Tom Gilbert, 12. Jeremiah Nanai, 13. Jason Taumalolo
14. Jake Granville, 15. Heilum Luki, 16. Reuben Cotter, 17. Connelly Lemuelu
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Canterbury Bulldogs
The big loss for the Rabbitohs is Latrell Mitchell as the fullback is expected to miss 8 weeks with a hamstring injury in what is a massive blow for Souths and New South Wales. Blake Taafe takes his place in the one jersey. There’s only one change for the Bulldogs following their defeat against the Penrith Panthers as Chris Patolo comes onto the bench in the place of Ava Seumanufagai. Kyle Flanagan keeps his spot in the starting lineup for the Bulldogs as he looks to cement his place in the halves with another solid performance, a game against last season’s grand finalists will make that task difficult however.
Score Prediction: South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-10 Canterbury Bulldogs
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Action 7:00am
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taafe, 2. Alex Johnstone, 3. Taane Milne, 4. Campbell Graham, 5. Josh Mansour, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Lachlan Ilias, 8. Tevita Tatola, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. Keaon Koloamatangi, 12. Jai Arrow, 13. Cameron Murray
14. Hame Sele, 15. Jacob Host, 16. Davvy Moale, 17. Liam Knight
1. Matt Dufty, 2. Brent Naden, 3. Braidon Burns, 4. Jake Averillo, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Matt Burton, 7. Kyle Flanagan, 8. Luke Thompson, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Corey Waddell, 12. Tevita Pangai Junior, 13. Josh Jackson
14. Brandon Wakeham, 15. Chris Patolo, 16. Max King, 17. Joe Stimson
Penrith Panthers vs Brisbane Broncos
The Undefeated Panthers name the same 17 man squad for a third consecutive week as they look to make it six wins in a row to start 2022. Young guns Izack Tago and Taylan May start once again on the Penrith left edge as they look to continue their electric starts to their NRL Careers. Like most weeks, Brisbane have made a number of changes as they still haven’t found their settled 17 man squad. Payne Haas isn’t selected after he received a one match suspension following his altercation with teammate Albert Kelly. Corey Jensen takes his place in the starting lineup and Rhys Kennedy makes the bench. After they came so close to upsetting the Roosters, Brisbane will be hoping to back up that performance against the best team in the competition.
Score Prediction: Penrith Panthers 42-8 Brisbane Broncos
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Charlie Staines, 3. Izack Tago, 4. Stephen Crichton, 5. Taylan May, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Matthew Eisenhuth, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo
14. Mitch Kenny, 15. Scott Sorenson, 16. Spencer Leniu, 17. Jaeman Salmon
1. Tesi Niu, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 5. Selwyn Cobbo, 6. Billy Walters, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Keenan Palasia, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Corey Jensen, 11. Kurt Capewell, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Kobe Hetherington
14. Ryan James, 15. Rhys Kennedy, 16. Teui Robati, 17. Corey Paix
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Gold Coast Titans
Manly are still without star fullback Tom Trbojevic as he continues to recovery from injury as Reuben Garrick is once again named in the one jersey after his solid display in Manly’s win against the Newcastle Knights. The only changes for the Sea Eagles come in the centres as Morgan Harper drops out due to Covid and is replaced by Tolutau Koula who himself is returning from injury. The Titans also make a change at centre as Brian Kelly returns which shifts Phillip Sami back to wing and Corey Thompson drops out. Sam Lisone replaces the experienced Kevin Procter on the interchange bench. The Titans will be looking for an 80 minute performance if they are to get a victory against one of the in form teams in the competition.
Score Prediction: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12-14 Gold Coast Titans
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Reuben Garrick, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Brad Parker, 4. Christian Tuipulotu, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Josh Aloiai, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Haumole Olakau’atu, 12. Andrew Davey, 13. Jake Trbojevic
14. Dylan Walker, 15. Karl Lawton, 16. Sean Keppie, 17. Taniela Paseka
Gold Coast Titans
1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Phillip Sami, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Patrick Herbert, 5. Greg Marzhew, 6. Alexander Brimson, 7. Toby Sexton, 8. Moeaki Fotuaika, 9. Erin Clark, 10. Isaac Liu, 11. David Fifita, 12. Beau Fermor, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
14. Will Smith, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Jaimin Joliffe, 17. Jarrod Wallace
Melbourne Storm vs Cronulla Sharks
Only one change for Melbourne after their comfortable win against the Canberra Raiders as Tyran Wishart returns to the interchange bench in the place of Alec MacDonald. The Storm’s electric spine have been superb in their past few fixtures and they will need to be at their best against the Sharks in this 2nd vs 3rd clash. The Sharks make one change as well, with Aiden Tolman back on the bench after missing last weekend with Covid as Royce Hunt drops out of the 17. In his first game against his former club, scrumhalf Nicholas Hynes will be looking to continue his excellent star to the season and cement the Sharks status as genuine title contenders.
Score Prediction: Melbourne Storm 26-18 Cronulla Sharks
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2. Nick Meaney, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Xavier Coates, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Harry Grant, 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Kenneath Bromwich, 13. Josh King
14. Brandon Smith, 15. Tyran Wishart, 16. Trent Loiero, 17. Tepai Moeroa
1. William Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Siosifa Talakai, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Matt Moylan, 7. Nicholas Hynes, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Dale Finucane
14. Aiden Tolman, 15. Cameron McInnes, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Andrew Fifita
Sydney Roosters vs New Zealand Warriors
The Roosters are boosted by the return of prop Siosiua Taukeiaho from injury, he makes the interchange bench in the place of Daniel Suluka-Fifita. Hooker Sam Verrills is also set for his first game of the season as he returns to the starting line up with Drew Hutchinson dropping out of the squad. The Warriors have lost winger Marcelo Montoya after he was handed a four match suspension charged with using a homophobic slur. He is replaced out wide by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. Jack Murchie also misses out and is replaced by Eliesa Katoa on the bench. The Roosters are favourites for this game but after their performance last week against the Broncos they will have to be wary of this in form Warriors team led by influential halfback Shaun Johnson.
Score Prediction: Sydney Roosters 16-10 New Zealand Warriors
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Paul Momirovski, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Kevin Naiqama, 6. Sam Walker, 7. Luke Keary, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Sam Verrills, 10. Lindsay Collins, 11. Nat Butcher, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Victor Radley
14. Connor Watson, 15. Fletcher Baker, 16. Angus Crichton, 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho
New Zealand Warriors
1. Reece Walsh, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Jesse Arthars, 4. Adam Pompey, 5. Edward Kosi, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Matthew Lodge, 11. Euan Aitken, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Josh Curran
14. Kodi Nikorima, 15. Bunty Afoa, 16. Aaron Pene, 17. Eliesa Katoa
St George Illawarra Dragons vs Newcastle Knights
St George welcome back prop forward Josh Maguire to their squad after his long suspension as he makes the bench alongside the returning George Burgess who is cleared to play after being charged with sexual touching. Josh Kerr is in the starting 13 as Aaron Woods drops out to make way for the changes. After a difficult few weeks, the Knights welcome back David Klemmer and Edrick Lee from their injures as they replace Jirah Momoisea and Dominic Young respectively. Jacob Saifiti drops to the interchange bench to make way for Klemmer. Both of these teams are desperate for a win to get their season back in the right direction and the return of their Origin players could tip the game in the Knights favour.
Score Prediction: St George Illawarra Dragons 12-18 Newcastle Knights
St George Illawarra Dragons
1. Moses Mbye, 2. Mathew Feagai, 3. Moses Suli, 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa, 6. Jack Bird, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Francis Molo, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Josh Kerr, 11. Tariq Sims, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Jack De Belin
14. Talatau Amone, 15. Blake Lawrie, 16. Josh McGuire, 17. George Burgess
1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Edrick Lee, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Bradman Best, 5. Enari Tuala, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Adam Clune, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Chris Randall, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Brodie Jones, 13. Kurt Mann
14. Phoenix Crossland, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Leo Thompson, 17. Sauaso Sue
Parramatta Eels vs Wests Tigers
Parramatta have made a change in the backline with Waqa Blake set for a period on the sidelines following a knee Injury. He is replaced by Marata Niukore who will come in at centre as Will Penisini switches to the vacant wing spot. Shaun Lane returns in the back row which puts Ryan Matterson back on the interchange bench. After accepting a one game ban, Junior Paulo misses out and Oregon Kaufusi makes the starting 13. Sitting bottom of the ladder following a woeful display, Tigers coach Michael Maguire had made a number of changes to his squad in an effort to turn their season around. Both Ken Maumalo and Oliver Gildart have been dropped and are replaced by Starford To’a and James Roberts on the left edge. Maguire has also made a major move in the halves as the returning Jackson Hastings is named at halfback with Luke Brooks placed at stand-off meaning Hastings will be the chief play maker for a team who have looked disjointed in attack. Coming up against a very in form Eels side, Hastings has a mountain of a task to steer his team in the right direction.
Score Prediction: Parramatta Eels 40-4 Wests Tigers
TV Coverage: Sky Sports Action 7:00am
1. Clinton Gutherson, 2. Will Penisini, 3. Tom Opacic, 4. Marata Niukore, 5. Bailey Simonsson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitchell Moses, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Oregon Kaufusi, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Isaiah Papali’I, 13. Nathan Brown
14. Makahesi Makatoa, 15. Ryan Matterson, 16. Hayze Perham, 17. Mitch Rein
1. Daine Laurie, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. James Roberts, 4. Luke Garner, 5. Starford To’a, 6. Luke Brooks, 7. Jackson Hastings, 8. James Tamou, 9. Jake Simpkin, 10. Zane Musgrove, 11. Kelma Tuilagi, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Joe Ofahengaue
14. Jock Madden, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Thomas Mikaele, 17. Alex Seyfarth