Match Preview

Raiders v Cowboys: Savage into 17; Hess back from injury

Such are the vagaries of the draw that they are meeting for the second time inside the first six weeks, the Cowboys proving far too strong in Townsville in round two.

The Cowboys are coming off a golden point heartbreaker against the Warriors while the Raiders were run ragged by a potent Storm outfit 30-16, the fourth game in a row they have conceded more than 20 points.

Defence is sure to be a key focus for Ricky Stuart this week as the Raiders look to put the clamps on a dangerous Cowboys side capable of producing some scintillating attack on their day.

Rabbitohs v Dragons: Taaffe, Moale named; Su'A returns from suspension

The Red V got some momentum during the pre-season trials and carried that into a strong first-up win over the Warriors but losses to Penrith, Cronulla and Parramatta have set them on their heels.

The Rabbitohs pushed the Storm to golden point in round two and then outclassed arch-rivals the Roosters in round three but they were no match for the Panthers in last weekend's grand final rematch.

Raiders v Storm: Ricky keeps the faith; Storm unchanged

The Storm took the honours in both games in 2021 but the Raiders have fond memories of two emotion-charged wins in enemy territory at AAMI Park in round three, 2020 and also the 2019 qualifying final.

Based on last weekend's form it's hard to see the Raiders troubling the Storm, who dismantled the Bulldogs 44-0 a day after the Green Machine stalled in a 25-6 loss to Manly.

Broncos v Roosters: Walters replaces Kelly; Roosters stick solid

Kevin Walters will be most concerned by his side's defence which has leaked nine tries in the past two games, and the Roosters' form against the Cowboys will give the Broncos mentor some sleepless nights this week.

Injuries to Albert Kelly and Pat Carrigan compounded the issues for the Broncos and their depth will be tested as they look to get things back on track at home.

The Roosters rolled into Townsville and produced some of their best footy of the season to send an ominous warning to all their rivals that a top-four finish is very much on their radar in 2022.

Warriors v Cowboys: Fonua-Blake in doubt; Drinkwater replaces Hammer

Nathan Brown's men conceded just two tries in round three and one in round four and it's that sort of defensive focus they will need to call on to subdue the likes of Val Holmes, Tom Dearden and Jason Taumalolo.

Their attack looked more threatening with Shaun Johnson back in the No.7 and Chanel Harris-Tavita finding his feet at five-eighth.

The Cowboys were outclassed by the Roosters in Townsville but still sit fifth on the ladder with a 2-2 record and a solid points differential.

Round 4 Match Preview: SP PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons

The Hunters have made a fair start to the 2022 season, winning their opening game before going down in tightly-fought contests in the last two weeks. In both losses, the Hunters finished strongly to win the second half and the focus is now on starting well against the Falcons this week.

Knights v Sea Eagles: Frizell named; Koula replaces Turbo

Newcastle stunned the Roosters and humbled Wests Tigers to sit atop the ladder after two rounds, before Mitch Barnett's brain explosion brought them undone against Penrith which was followed by last weekend's loss to nil at Cronulla leaving them wobbling.

The Sea Eagles followed the opposite path, looking lost against the Panthers and Roosters before scraping home against the Bulldogs which led into a convincing win over the Raiders in Mudgee last weekend that has them humming a month into the competition. 

Eels v Dragons: Matterson, Cartwright return; Su'A, Ramsey to miss

Parramatta were far from perfect but a third straight win over the always-tough Storm will have them buoyed ahead of their return to CommBank Stadium this Sunday night.

While the Dragons opened their season with a win before going close to upsetting the premiers in round two, their last-start collapse will require a re-set.

Storm v Bulldogs: Grant and Coates return; Averillo into centres

While a Daly Cherry-Evans field goal sunk Canterbury at a sodden 4 Pines Park on Sunday night, the Storm dodged a similar fate when Mitch Moses's attempted one-pointer hit the post - only for forward Ray Stone to scoop up the loose ball and win the game with a try (sadly tearing an ACL in the process). 

Melbourne's third home game in as many weeks - after none since las April presents a great opportunity to return to the winners' circle.

Cowboys v Roosters: Hess ruled out; Naiqama called up

After scoring just one try in their season opener against the Bulldogs, North Queensland have piled on 10 in the next two games, including four to gun back-rower Jeremiah Nanai.

With their kicking game on song and their speed men combining well out wide, the Cowboys were far too slick for Brisbane and they'll need to be on song again if they're to down one of the benchmark sides of the past decade.