The Postman’s Mail: Injury concerns over a North Queensland half, a Manly forward and a Gold Coast forward headline this week’s Latest of Late Mail.
Ray Thompson could be a late withdrawal for the Cowboys with Michael Morgan to replace him, Glenn Stewart is considered unlikely for Saturday night and although Luke Bailey should play – Nate Myles is no certainty.
And you know you can trust me because The Postman’s mail is rarely on time or indeed accurate – or is it?
THE POSTMAN’S LATEST OF LATE MAIL FOR ROUND 19
Bulldogs v Eels
- The Dogs will choose between Corey Payne, Josh Jackson and Dale Finucane for their final two bench spots. NFI believes it’ll be Jackson who’s omitted. Parramatta won’t have Matt Keating who is out for the rest of the year and Nathan Smith is expected to deputise for the second straight week. Jarryd Hayne is not expected to play. There is some late mail that Jake Mullaney has the flu and could be replaced by Cheyse Blair with Luke Burt shifting to fullback.
Broncos v Warriors
- Brisbane have confirmed that Dunamis Lui will be 18th man and Mitchell Dodds gets the final spot on the bench. Konrad Hurrell is believed to still be in New Zealand (though his twitter conversations over the past 24 hours with Manu Vatuvei have been interesting…), so don’t count on him playing, while Sebastine Ikahihifo or Steve Rapira will be 18th man. Manu Vatuvei is good to go.
Knights v Sea Eagles
- Newcastle have lost Neville Costigan and Robbie Rachow comes in for the only change for the Knights, while Manly won’t have Brett Stewart and Glenn Stewart is a game time decision. Daniel Harrison would come in at lock, while Dean Whare is the fullback. Vic Maruo will be 18th man unless there are any late changes in the forwards and Michael Oldfield is the man most likely to be on standby for Jorge Taufua - if the named winger’s quad isn’t 100%.
Storm v Cowboys
- Cooper Cronk might (we stress might) rest this week as his coach says he will have a game off sooner rather than later but given the Storm will have a full week between games – he probably plays this weekend. Billy Slater likely won’t be brought back til Round 20. The Cowboys might come up with any number of combinations for their final bench – and Ray Thompson’s shoulder is still a concern so Michael Morgan may make the final squad.
Tigers v Panthers
- Adam Blair misses with suspension and Gareth Ellis is considered not quite ready (though he might still play) to replace him. So expect Matthew Bell to start in the backrow. Joel Reddy is the standby player for Tim Moltzen who has missed time with a hamstring strain. Robbie Farah will play. Penrith will decide between Matt Robinson or Dayne Weston for their final bench spot, while Luke Walsh, Sam McKendry and Josh Mansour should all play. The only question is whether Michael Gordon is a late addition for Brad Tighe or David Simmons.
Raiders v Titans
- Canberra will decide between Sam Mataora and Mark Nicholls for their final bench spot, while Josh Dugan won’t be back til likely next round. The Titans have doubts over Nate Myles and Luke Bailey (now expected to play) with Ryan James on standby to come in for whoever doesn’t play. James might even play at the expense of Luke O’Dwyer or Beau Falloon if Bailey and Myles play. Matthew White is also in doubt with a head issue.
Dragons v Sharks
- Josh Miller will likely miss for the Dragons, while Ben Creagh and Beau Scott are ready to go. Mark Taufua or Jon Green probably miss out for the Sharks, although Green has been hit heavily by the flu. Anthony Tupou and Tyson Frizell are favoured for the bench spots. Jayson Bukuya is a good chance of playing after missing last weekend with an ankle injury. Cronulla are hoping Isaac Gordon and Colin Best have recovered from the flu in time. Jeremy Smith and Paul Gallen were ruled out by Cronulla on Thursday afternoon, although Smith has told NFI he only needs to pass a fitness test tomorrow to play so you never know with the Kiwi comedian.
Roosters v Rabbitohs
- Braith Anasta plays game 250 at home, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is suspended for a week. If another forward isn’t brought in, Mitchell Aubusson could go into the lock position and Frank-Paul Nuuausala to prop. Adam Henry, Daniel Tupou or Roger Tuivasa-Sheck could be in line for a start on the wing if Brian Smith moves Aubusson to the pack. Souths will choose between George Burgess, Ben Lowe and Dave Tyrrell for their final bench spot, while Sam and Luke Burgess will play..
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