Match Preview

Match Preview: Roosters v Warriors

Trent Robinson's side struggled to get things going in attack against the competition newcomers and shot themselves in the foot with a high error rate, while in addition losing 28-18 they had both Victor Radley and Matt Lodge fail head injury assessments, with the latter now set to undergo surgery on a facial injury this week. 

The Warriors on the other will be in high spirits after a 20-12 win in which they took the limited opportunities presented to them in attack and defended with true grit through prolonged periods camped in their own half. 

Match preview: Panthers v Broncos

Both sides have been in the headlines over the summer with star players already sorting out their futures elsewhere in 2024 with coaches Ivan Cleary and Kevin Walters sure to want the focus to being back on the field. 

Penrith's golden point loss in the World Club Challenge to St Helens less than a fortnight ago will sting the two-time champions, who will officially start life without the services of Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau. 

Match preview: Warriors v Knights

After a long stint away from home due to the COVID pandemic, the Warriors can expect huge support at Sky Stadium on Friday night and then at Mt Smart for clashes against the Bulldogs (round 4), Cowboys (round 7) and Roosters (round 9).

With new coach Andrew Webster at the helm and a number of key signings, the Warriors will look to hit the ground running as they look to return to the finals for the first time since 2018.

Knights v Raiders: Best, Tuala stood down; Tapine, Cotric return

The Raiders almost let the Dragons off the hook in a frantic finish but the two-point win keeps them hot on the heels of the Roosters with three games to play.

The occasion will be an intriguing trip for the visitors, who haven't played the Knights at home for five years. Jack Wighton, Nick Cotric, Jordan Rapana, Elliot Whitehead and Joseph Tapine are the only current Raiders who featured in the 2017 game.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are reeling after five defeats from their past six matches, finding themselves in 14th position on the ladder.

Dragons v Titans: Sullivan back on deck; Tino returns to helm

Seemingly in good shape in eighth position just six weeks ago, the Dragons have now slumped to 11th and will miss the finals for a fourth straight year - the longest absence since joint venture began in 1999.

Meanwhile, despite being well out of the finals race, the Titans have shown positive signs in the past month, desperate to avoid their second wooden spoon in four years.

When these sides met in Round 10 it was the Titans prevailing 20-16 in Magic Round. Justin Holbrook's men then lost 10 in a row before stunning the Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium.

Roosters v Tigers: Gildart comes in; Maumalo ready to wing it

With James Tedesco in supreme form and their forwards doing a mighty job in the middle, the Roosters are looking every bit a serious title contender, but they still have some significant challenges ahead.

Most expect them to roll over the top of the struggling Tigers on Saturday night but the Storm and Rabbitohs will offer far sterner tests in the final two games of the regular season.

Sea Eagles v Sharks: Garrick ruled out; Dykes missing, Moylan returns

Seemingly in good shape after a Round 18 win over Newcastle, the Sea Eagles have slumped to four losses in a row for the first time since the opening month of the 2021 season to now sit four points outside the eight.

They face a confident and composed Sharks outfit who have a top-fourth berth well and truly in the grasp with games against Manly, Bulldogs and Knights to come.

Craig Fitzgibbon's men are playing a brand of footy well suited to high-pressure play-off games and they have every reason to believe a second premiership in seven years is a real possibility.

Eels v Bulldogs: Moses back on deck; Thompson ready to return

Since their bye in Round 13 the Eels have gone L-W-L-W-W-L-W-L, a rollercoaster ride which has seen them spoken about as premiership contenders one week and inconsistent under-achievers the next.

That stretch of games started with a shock loss to the Bulldogs in Round 14 and that's the opponent they confront again this week in front of what us sure to be a raucous crowd at CommBank Stadium.

The Bulldogs looked jaded in Auckland on Friday but they've had a chance to recharge their batteries and will be buoyed by the news of Cameron Ciraldo's arrival as head coach in 2023.

Broncos v Storm: Hetherington good to go; Hughes the boss

The Broncos got back on track with a win over the Knights and sit sixth on the ladder while the Storm were ultra impressive in their shutout of the Panthers.

When the two sides met in Melbourne in Round 15 it was the Storm getting home 32-20 so they'll be full of confidence, particularly given the form of Cameron Munster at fullback.

The Broncos have superstars of their own in Adam Reynolds, Payne Haas and Kotoni Staggs, all capable of carving up the defence if given too much room to move.

Cowboys v Warriors: Feldt back on deck; Same 17 for Stacey

They sit equal with the Sharks on 32 points but ahead by 71 on points differential and a home final in Townsville beckons provided they can hold their nerve in the remaining three games.

The Warriors have shown some positive signs against qualty opposition in the past month but it doesn't get any tougher than facing the top two sides in the next fortnight.

If they can hold their heads high against the Cowboys and Panthers and then finish with a win in front of the Mt Smart faithful in Round 25 there will be plenty of positives to take into next season.