If you looked at last year’s ladder, our Sunday afternoon double header wouldn’t strike you as an appetising slate of games. Yet the 4 teams sit at 3-1, having taken down the Rabbitohs and Roosters along the way. We start with the Newcastle Knights hosting the Wests Tigers at McDonald Jones Stadium. The Knights defeated the Roosters and may have solved some of their attacking woes, while the Tigers showed promise in a close loss. The Canterbury Bulldogs welcome the Brisbane Broncos to Accor Stadium, with both teams fresh off grinding, low-scoring wins. The Broncos were more impressive last week in taking down the Rabbitohs, while the Bulldogs got a little lucky, but at least look like they are on the way up. Both games are likely to see good weather.


Draftstars has a $6000 contest with $753 to first place. The single game contests are set at $10,000 and $12,000. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller.



Team News

The Knights are unchanged after round 1 went about as well as it possibly could have. Daniel Saifiti is lurking in the reserves but I doubt he’ll be rushed back in from a broken leg. Jake Clifford, Dominic Young, Chris Randall and Kurt Mann were all fantastic in new roles for the 2022 season.

Just one change for the Tigers after giving the Storm a massive scare last week. James Tamou returns from suspension, pushing Alex Twal back to the bench and Luke Garner out of the team. Jackson Hastings still needs to settle back into the NRL in the halves, while English recruit Oliver Gildart actually looked quite comfortable on debut. Jacob Liddle is in the reserves as a threat to the position of Jake Simpkin.

The Bulldogs also have only one change, with Tevita Pangai Jr coming in after being a late withdrawal last week. He slots into the second row, with Corey Waddell back to the bench and Chris Patolo dropping out of the team. With so many new recruits, every game is an invaluable chance to work on combinations and settle everyone into new roles. Matt Burton was solid last week, but there is plenty more to come from the new face of the franchise.

Adam Reynolds will make his Broncos debut a week late, taking a half spot from Billy Walters who slides back to bench utility, with Tyrone Roberts dropping out of the team. Tesi Niu has recovered from a hamstring strain and replaces Jamayne Isaako at fullback. Kobe Hetherington returns from suspension on the bench in place of Rhys Kennedy. Some Broncos bright spots in their fantastic start to the season included a fit looking Albert Kelly, a dangerous right edge with Kotoni Staggs and Selwyn Cobbo, and of course a strong forward pack led by Payne Haas and Kurt Capewell.



Knights $1.39 v Tigers $3.00

Bulldogs $2.25 v Broncos $1.65



This looks like a day where four teams who showed significant improvement in week 1 on their 2021 efforts get to try and prove it wasn’t a fluke. While none of them looked like premiership winners last weekend, there was 3 upset wins and a close call for the Tigers against the Storm. The Knights were perhaps the most convincing, moving the ball across the field with ease and still rock solid in defence. With the Tigers continuing to look susceptible to lapses in defence, it’s hard to tip an upset in that one. The second game is tough to read with the Dogs good on paper but needing time to put it together in real life, while the Broncos have been consistently inconsistent in recent years and still looked a little clunky in attack. Hopefully all four teams turn up on the day and we get two free-wheeling, competitive games on a Sunday afternoon.


Love It- Josh Addo-Carr $10,380

The Fox didn’t get much going against the Cowboys last week, but nor did anyone else in a game that featured 10 points and plenty of errors in slippery conditions. It remains to be seen how quickly the Bulldogs can improve this season, but I can’t help but be encouraged by 150 run metres last week, showing the workload will be there for the Origin star. The Broncos also look to have improved, but I’m far from convinced and there could be a lot more points on offer in this one. For a player averaging close to 40 in his Melbourne Storm days, this price is far too low.

Love It- Jake Clifford $14,710

Perhaps the shock of the weekend was partially orchestrated by Clifford making a couple of big plays through sheer effort to be in the right place at the right time. Everything is in place for a big fantasy season, with all the kicking duties, a solid defensive game, and a tendency to take the line on early and often. It remains to be seen if the Knights offence is more dangerous this year with the likes of Gagai, Young and Clune taking up new roles, but a nice matchup against the Tigers looks like an opportunity to fill their boots again today. I’m also happy to spend a bit more to play Matt Burton for similar reasons.

Love It- Payne Haas $21,730

The Broncos athletic phenomenon is still only 22, and with reinforcements arriving there is less weight on his shoulders. That means he can focus on what he does best….racking up enormous amounts of tackles and run metres in big minutes. 71 minutes last week was very encouraging, and he was breaking tackles and offloading with ease. A score of 78 isn’t far off his weekly norm if things stay as they are, meaning this massive price is still value.

Hate It- Josh Jackson $19,320

A bit of a copy paste from last week, so I’ll keep it brief. Jackson is on the wrong side of 30, and the plethora of new arrivals at the Bulldogs has lessened their reliance on him to play big minutes and take the burden of the workload. His ceiling was never great anyway, so I think it’s an easy fade at this price.

Hate It- Albert Kelly $14,230

Another on the wrong side of 30, Kelly actually looked like a rookie last week after getting through his first NRL pre-season in a long time and coming into the season as fit as ever. 69 points was an incredible return in a man of the match performance, leading the Broncos to a great victory. BUT….Adam Reynolds is back this week, and that changes everything. Last week’s 500+ KM are going to disappear for the most part, and I’m not expecting another 90m intercept try. He’s still cheap enough to get there if things go his way, but it’s not my idea of a good play, especially as I’m expecting a Bulldogs win.

Who Knows- Kelma Tuilagi $12,510

I’ll jam a Tigers player in for balance, and because I think it’s possible they upset my Knights. Tuilagi made his starting debut in the second row last week, and was encouraging in 70 minutes. 40 points was a solid return, especially given it was pretty much all base stats. He seemed to run out of steam in the second half, but that will improve quickly. I’m not sure how he’ll go running at Tyson Frizell all day, but he’s a sneaky chance to put up a 50+ score if he can get across the line.

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