Super Sunday for ANZAC round gives us some good opportunities for big points, with two Premiership heavyweights coming up against sides struggling to stay in the finals race. First up, the Parramatta Eels travel to Newcastle, where they will take on the Kalyn Ponga-led Newcastle Knights. The previously winless Tigers last week stunned the Eels, who will surely be ready to go this week against a side that has looked decidedly average over the past month. Next up, the Canberra Raiders head to the foot of the mountains, where they take on the perfect 6-0 Penrith Panthers. The Panthers have been superb so far to start the season and will be looking to heap more misery on Ricky Stuart and the Raiders on Sunday.

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Team News

The Knights will be happy to get halfback Adam Clune back in this week, after he was a late scratching in last week’s loss to the Dragons. Phoenix Crossland, who deputised for Clune, reverts to the bench, taking the spot of Simi Sasagi. Other than that, no changes to report and the Knights are expected to be 1-17.

The Eels also receive a welcome boost, with captain Junior Paulo back from his 1-week suspension. He is straight back into the starting side, with Oregon Kaufusi named on the bench. A forced change this week has Marata Niukore (hamstring) out, with Will Penisini named to return to the centres, and Hayze Perham coming onto the wing. Mitch Rein misses out this week, with Jake Arthur named in the 17 jersey.

For the Panthers, absolutely no changes for the 4th week running, with Ivan Cleary naming the same 17 once again.

Several changes at the Raiders after their third straight loss at the hands of the Cowboys last Thursday night. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been dumped to the bench, with Jordan Rapana moving to fullback. Xavier Savage has been named on the wing, but I would not be surprised to see Savage and Rapana interchanging their positions on the field throughout the contest. Elliott Whitehead has withdrawn since the team was named, after copping a sickening head injury at training. Hudson Young is expected to now start in place of Whitehead, with Adam Elliott potentially coming onto the bench. Harry Rushton has been named on the bench and is expected to make his NRL debut.


Knights $3.10 vs Eels $1.37

Panthers $1.10 vs Raiders $7.00


Both these matches have heavy favourites, so a mix of Eels and Panthers players is what you are looking for this week.

The right-side defence of both the Raiders and Knights are the most vulnerable based on try statistics so far this season, and given this fact it would be prudent to have someone from the left side of each the Panthers and Eels.

Looking at the weather, and rain is predicted for both Newcastle and Penrith regions on Sunday afternoon, so there is a chance both games play out through the trenches, but I still prefer the upside of attacking players on either left edge. Stack your team with these guys and you will be laughing come Sunday night.

Love It – Hayze Perham - $9,000

Bit of a speculator, but at bottom dollar price and playing on the left wing against the Knights, this guy is close to a must have in your team. The Knights have conceded 10 tries to left wingers or centres in the opening 6 rounds, and if the Eels can get their attack going, surely there is a huge chance Perham can jag a try or two.


Love It – Taylan May - $16,110

Much the same as Perham above, but with a few more runs on the board, May is surely good for a try or two in this one. Added to his strike power and try scoring potential, May doesn’t shirk his responsibility in getting the hard yards, constantly taking up the first or second hit up each set. Has been a revelation since Brian To’o went down with injury, and it would be a travesty if he loses his spot once To’o returns.


Love It – Viliame Kikau - $13,630

Only has two tries so far this season and is surely due. Will come up against Corey Harawira-Naera who has some suspect reads in defence and will love his chances at snagging a try and busting plenty of tackles. With all his mates getting in on the action on that left edge in recent weeks, look for the man with a skunk on his head to cross for at least one this week.


Hate It – David Klemmer - $18,380

Had a big game last week that included a line break, but I don’t see the Knights having the same success through the middle against this impressive Eels forward pack as they did against the Dragons. Much better options at the price, and without attacking stats you will be looking at 35-45, nothing special.


Hate It – Tom Starling - $16,860

The Panthers have conceded only one try all season through the middle, with their middle forwards a brick wall in defence. The likes of Koroisau, Fisher-Harris and Yeo give up nothing through the middle, and with Starling’s lack of raw base stats he will struggle to put up the points required for the almost $17,000 cost. Is electric and always a chance, but that chance diminishes against a team like the Panthers.


Who Knows – Kalyn Ponga - $14,730

Last week was phenomenal in a losing effort for the Knights, before the big announcement that he has re-signed on for another 5 years with the Newcastle side. Whether the stress of the negotiations being over frees Ponga up to play more eyes up football, or whether the security of the big contract makes him regress, is anyone’s guess. A low score of 3.8 and a high of 87 shows he is the definition of rocks and diamonds.

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