Match Preview

Raiders v Warriors: Cotric, Whitehead back; Walsh benched, Pene out

Ricky Stuart's men will go in as hot favourites but they will be wary of taking the Warriors lightly having gone down by a point in round eight when Shaun Johnson got his team home in golden point.

The Warriors sat two games ahead of the Green Machine on the ladder on the back of that victory but they have won just once more since then to slide out of finals contention.

The Raiders' run home is a relatively friendly one and a win on Saturday can catapult them into the eight for the first time since round three.

Knights v Roosters: Hymel hunts first game; Keary, JWH return

With Sitili Tupouniua and Billy Smith gone for the season with knee injuries and Siosiua Taukeiaho out for at least a month with a facial fracture, the Roosters will need every ounce of their renowned fighting qualities to get to the play-offs for a sixth straight year.

The Knights have won just one of five since their round 13 bye and given up 156 points in the process, a worrying sign for Adam O'Brien, although with games against the Bulldogs, Tigers and Titans still to come they could yet get on a late roll.

Dragons v Sea Eagles: Sims back on deck; Triple trouble for Manly

The Dragons have slipped from eighth to 11th in the past two weeks but with back-to-back games at their spiritual home ground they get an ideal opportunity to put themselves back in the mix.

Manly have won four of their past five games and will look to shore up their place in the eight by taking care of the Dragons (11th) and Roosters (9th) in the next two weeks.

Having conceded 86 points in their past two games the Dragons need to put some steel back in their defence if they hope to subdue a potent Sea Eagles side averaging 35 points per game in the past five matches.

Eels v Broncos: Matterson good to go; Origin contingent return

Both clubs sit on 24 competition points leading into round 19 with 11 wins each and are all but bound for the finals after solid seasons so far.

The Eels have still looked a bit wobbly in patches against teams in recent weeks despite wins but remain a threat to any side in the Telstra Premiership. 

Brisbane won a hard-fought Queensland derby against the Titans last start but will want to knock off a top scalp away from home as they look to go to another level in the final weeks of the regular season. 

Bulldogs v Rabbitohs: Casey replaces Schoupp; Cook, Murray out

After giving the Panthers a run for their money in round 13 the Bulldogs stunned the Eels in round 14 and beat the Tigers the following week before going toe to toe with the Sharks in atrocious conditions at CommBank Stadium in a creditable 12-point loss.

The Rabbitohs sit seventh after overcoming the loss of a number of key players to down Newcastle, but with games against the Storm, Sharks, Eels, Panthers and Cowboys to come, they can't afford any slip-ups against lower ranked opponents.

Storm v Raiders: Munster, Kaufusi return; Raiders lose Whitehead, Cotric

The Storm have been in out of sorts in attack with Cameron Munster missing and their defence will be causing headaches for coach Craig Bellamy with 64 points conceded in the past two weeks.

Canberra had a chance to recharge the batteries with a bye and they remain very much in the finals hunt with games against the Warriors, Titans, Knights and Tigers still to come.

The Raiders' star five-eighth Jack Wighton may have been unlucky to miss out on Origin selection but the flip side is he'll be fresh and ready to fire against the Storm.

Wests Tigers v Panthers: Doueihi to five-eighth; Cleary rests Origin stars

No fewer than seven of Ivan Cleary's men are part of the Blues squad for the series decider, so the Panthers mentor could be weighing up the possibility of resting players with eight rounds to go in the regular season.

No such luxury for the Tigers who need all hands on deck and firing at the same time if they are to turn CommBank Stadium into their field of dreams for the third time in 2022 after upsetting the Eels and Rabbitohs there in the space of five days in April.

Sea Eagles v Knights: DCE, Jake backing up; Ponga a huge in

With a four-way logjam around eighth spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder, Manly have proven there's still life without Tom Trbojevic, stringing together three wins in their past month to remain in finals contention. 

The Knights are coming off a high-scoring 40-28 loss in round 17 and look like a team who aren't completely on the same page despite several stars in their line-up. 

Manly got the victory in the corresponding match in round five, a 30-6 win in Newcastle, and will be looking to make it two from two in 2022 on Saturday.


Roosters v Dragons: NSW stars named, JWH out; McGuire returns

The Tricolours haven't been so low on the ladder at this time of the year since their 15th-place finish in 2016, meaning we'll have to see something special from Trent Robinson's men to get back into premiership contention. 

A four-game losing streak could extend to five if the Dragons have their say. The Red V, coming off a shock 32-18 loss to the Broncos, are in a similiar position to the Roosters with every game crucial from here on in. 

The Dragons got the chocolates in an ANZAC Day thriller in April with the match promising to be another close one on the coast.

Eels v Warriors: Arthur gets a recall; COVID, sickness hits Warriors

The Eels got back on track with a sound 28-20 victory over the Wests Tigers last week but their final 15 minutes of the match proved they're still not quite at the ruthless premiership-winning level they were when they started the season. 

Parramatta have gone W-L-W-L-W in their past five matches with their clash against the Warriors a chance to break the unwanted trend. 

The Warriors broke a seven-game losing streak with victory over the Wests Tigers in round 16 before enjoying a bye round.