An absolute blockbuster greets us at 3:00pm on Sunday, as the Roosters host the Cowboys at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Roosters have been impressive over the past month since their bye, and this clash with the Cowboys will give everyone a good insight into whether they are back in the Premiership picture.

In the second game on Saturday, the Tigers return to Tamworth’s Scully Park for the first time in 3 years, where they take on the 3rd placed Sharks. The Sharks are inching their way towards a top 4 finish, and a win here gets them two points closer. The Tigers appeared lost last week without Jackson Hastings, and this could be a long afternoon for Tigers fans.

In the final game of the day, the Broncos will look to get things back on track, after losing two in a row. They host the Knights, who looked better last week against the Tigers, however, probably don’t have enough to trouble the Broncos.

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Team News

One change from the Roosters side who destroyed the Broncos last week, with prop Ben Thomas making way for Egan Butcher.

The Cowboys have made a couple of changes, with Reuben Cotter earning a recall to the starting line-up at the expense of Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, who reverts to the bench. Jordan McLean also makes his return from injury on the bench, with Jake Granville dropped to reserves.

Tigers’ winger Ken Maumalo (knee) is out, with James Roberts recalled to the squad. He will start in the centres, with Starford To’a named on the wing. In the forward pack, Joe Ofahengaue has been named at lock, with Zane Musgrove returning to the starting side and Fonua Pole benched. No other changes.

The Sharks also lose a winger, with Connor Tracey out, replaced by Lachlan Miller. Dale Finucane returns from suspension, meaning Cam McInnes reverts to the interchange. No other changes, with Matt Moylan still out with a quad injury.

The Broncos have made changes after their poor fortnight, with Tesi Niu and Deine Mariner dropped, replaced by Te Maire Martin and Brenko Lee, respectively. No other changes expected.

Finally, the Knights welcome back David Klemmer from a week off, with Jacob Saifiti benched. Adam Clune also returns at halfback, with Jake Clifford (forearm) out. Matthew Croker has been named to start at lock, with Mitch Barnett (thumb) also out.

Betting Odds

Roosters $1.65 vs Cowboys $2.25

Tigers $4.50 vs Sharks $1.20

Broncos $1.12 vs Knights $6.50

Bet now at Ladbrokes!


Thunderstorms are expected to hit Sydney around the time the Roosters and Cowboys run out onto the SCG on Saturday afternoon, so let’s just hope it doesn’t take away from the spectacle of two great sides going at it. It’s too close to call for mine, with the Roosters slight favourites based on home field advantage. Plenty of talented players to pick from, but beware the conditions and check closer to kick off.

There’s generally been plenty of scoring in clashes at regional venues, and Scully Park is no different. Despite this, we could be looking at a dour contest where one side scores 30+ and the other struggles to keep pace. The Tigers concede a lot of points down their left, so look for the likes of Ramien and Lachlan Miller to get their chances.

Rain is expected all day in Brisbane, however surely the Broncos are viewing this match up as a ‘get right’ spot. The Knights’ defence has been woeful all season, and after scraping home against a terrible Tigers side last weekend, the Knights may have already played their Grand Final.


Love It – Kotoni Staggs - $14,590

There’s some big money in the OB market this week, with Roosters’ duo Joey Manu and James Tedesco commanding north of $21,800. Given the outlay needed for our next ‘Love It’, we have to save some money for out premium OB this week. Staggs hasn’t scored a try for a month now and is surely due. The Knights edge defence is below average, and Staggs loves stepping up against big, strong centres (see Talakai in round 8). This week he gets Bradman Best, who isn’t without fallibility in defence. Not without risk, however the upside is there.


Love It – Nicho Hynes - $25,380

Hynes is close to being priced out at this point; however, he just never fails to perform. With only 2 scores below 50 all season and a high of 115.5, he’s as close to a must have every week as you can find. The problem for most is fitting him into your side, however this week playing the Tigers could be a massive week for Hynes and his owners. Leave him out at your own risk.


Love It – Nat Butcher - $16,660

A $5,000 discount on the highest priced forward this week (Payne Haas), may look justified when judging Butcher’s season as a whole. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll see he is under-priced for his role in this Roosters squad right now. Butcher is currently playing 80 minutes on an edge, which he has done 9 times so far this season. In those 9 games, he has averaged 55.6 points per game, which would be good enough for the second highest season average of any forward on this slate. Always a chance at a try and has a very solid floor.


Hate It – Joey Manu - $22,040

Manu is still being priced based off his form whilst playing fullback over the Origin period. Manu is a ridiculously skilful player wherever he plays, and he’s a huge chance to make me look bad here, however playing against an exceptionally solid defensive centre on the Cowboys (Holmes), means at this price I can’t consider Manu this week.


Hate It – Cam McInnes - $19,140

McInnes is slightly overpriced after starting the past two weeks for the suspended Dale Finucane, however with Finucane back this week, McInnes reverts to the bench where his minutes and role are reduced. No doubt McInnes will have a solid game and punch out 40-55 without fail, however for the price you want a little more upside to win money.


Who Knows – Jesse Ramien - $16,070

Wildly inconsistent with a huge upside, Ramien is a player who can decide your fate single-handedly. Ramien has 5 scores this season in the 20s, a score that is disastrous for someone costing you $16k. However, he also boasts 6 scores above 50, with a high score of 88.7, and with a clash against a porous Tigers defence this weekend, that 88 could be under threat from Ramien on Saturday night.


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