Chairman Un is here to give you the brightest and best news of the week, the Late Mail!
The Raiders and Knights have the bye this week, so we only have the 7 games, but let’s get straight into it. There’s some big news from the Shire this week, and it’s not to do with NFI’s appearance on the show, so be sure to read on and find out.
CHAIRMAN UN’S ROUND 13 LATE MAIL
Dragons v Bulldogs
Dragons Origin pair Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin both trained and will be fine to back-up at WIN Stadium. Nobody else is in doubt for them, but Chase Stanley is likely to make his return off the bench meaning someone else will drop off the bench. The Bulldogs only Origin player Josh Morris will also be fine to back-up, which means Dale Finucane will probably drop off the bench. Trent Hodkinson won’t play with a knee injury, while Frank Pritchard (ankle) and Greg Eastwood (hamstring) have both been passed fit.
Cowboys v Broncos
The Cowboys Origin contingent of Matt Scott, Johnathan Thurston and James Tamou will all back up, but Brent Tate is in serious doubt with corked leg. Antonio Winterstein will move into the centres, while Kalifa Faifai Loa will come onto the wing. For the Broncos we all know Corey Parker is out, but in addition, Petero Civoniceva and Justin Hodges will be rested and Ben Hannant and Matt Gillett will play. Dunamis Lui will move into the starting side, and Brendon Gibb will join the bench.
Sharks v Warriors
The big news comes here, with Paul Gallen 50-50 to play following Origin, despite a knock to his knee. We think he will play because the workhorse has never missed backing up from an origin game, and with a few other injuries doing the rounds in their forward pack, he won’t want to sit this one out. In less encouraging news, Wade Graham is in serious doubt with a hamstring problem which he has been carrying for a few weeks and is very unlikely to play. Expect Sam Tagataese to come onto the bench and don’t be surprised if either Jon Green or Tyson Frizell are late inclusions on the bench either with Chad Townsend dropping off after Todd Carney came through Origin unscathed. The Warriors are expected to be 1-17, with Pita Godinet travelling with the team as 18th man.
Eels v Rabbitohs
Both teams are expected to be 1-17, with Jarryd Hayne for the Eels and Greg Inglis and Dave Taylor for the Rabbitohs, all expected to back up from Origin. Taulima Tautai will drop off the Eels bench, while Shaune Corrigan and George Burgess are expected to drop out for Souths.
Titans v Panthers
For the Titans, Scott Prince trained yesterday and should return from the back/hamstring injury which kept him out of the Sharks game. Titans Origin stars Nate Myles, Ashley Harrison and Greg Bird haven’t been assessed yet but are expected to play. Travis Burns will be ruled out with a fractured cheekbone, and both Harry Siejka and Arana Taumata have been added to the squad to replace him. Panthers Origin trio Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and Tim Grant will all back up, with Geoff Daniela, Matt Robinson and one other to drop off the bench.
Tigers v Roosters
The Tigers have ruled out Curtis Sironen with a knee injury earlier in the week, and while they haven’t named a replacement officially, expect Blake Ayshford to come into the starting side and Joel Reddy to join the bench. How they will line up on the field is a mystery, with a few different options available for Tim Sheens. Robbie Farah has come away from his 64 tackle Origin effort fine and will back-up. Mitchell Pearce had a chest knock in Origin, but will play for the Roosters with Justin Carney to drop off the bench.
Sea Eagles v Storm
The Sea Eagles are expecting Glenn Stewart, Brett Stewart and Anthony Watmough to all back up from Origin, while Kieran Foran looks set to overcome his ankle problem to take the field. Vic Mauro looks set to be the unlucky player to drop off the bench. For Melbourne, Billy Slater is out for up to 6 weeks with a knee injury, so expect Matt Duffie or Justin O’Neill to slot into the fullback role, with Maurice Blair to start in the centres. Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk will both play, but Smith is likely to start from the bench as he did following Origin One, with Ryan Hinchcliffe to start at hooker.
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