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The Roar


Round 23 Team Lists Late Mail: Broncos cop huge blow, Storm duo out, Holmes, De Belin banned, Titans star races clock

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4th August, 2023
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Brisbane’s chances of downing the Cowboys in their Queensland derby up north have been dealt a double blow.

Broncos captain Adam Reynolds (groin) and middle forward Kobe Hetherington (back) were ruled out on Friday for the Saturday showdown at QCB Stadium.

Jock Madden will replaced Reynolds in the halves while Xavier Willison will bolster the pack.

“He’s not tracking too well actually,” Walters said of his playmaker. “So it’s Jock Madden into the No.7 and away we go. If (Reynolds) was right to play he’d play, but it creates an opportunity. 

“Jock’s been in great touch in the Queensland Cup and we’ve got a lot of faith in what he can do.” 

Melbourne will be without two of their biggest stars as they try to stop the Penrith NRL juggernaut on Friday night, with Jahrome Hughes and Xavier Coates ruled out.

As the Storm completed their final training session before flying to Sydney for the BlueBet Stadium clash, Hughes was at the doctors after falling ill, with youngster Jonah Pezet running in his place at halfback.

Coates started the session but looked downcast as left the training track with a hip issue. George Jennings, who was named among the reserves, will take his run-on spot on the wing.


Losing Kiwi Test No.7 Hughes and Origin ace Coates is a massive blow as the Storm look to avenge an 18-point defeat a month ago in round 18, and avoid losing to the Panthers twice in a regular season for the first time since 2005.

Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen is making his comeback from a fractured kneecap in the Queensland Cup this weekend which shapes as a huge ace up Craig Bellamy’s sleeve leading into the finals. It will be 384 days between matches for the 2020 Clive Churchill Medal winner.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet so I’m sort of just going through the training week and trying to prepare like it’s a normal game,” Papenhuyzen said. “It’s just been a while between drinks. It’s had its ups and downs and setbacks, and it’s probably taken a little bit longer than expected but at the same time I’m happy I did that.”

Valentine Holmes has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season after being slapped with a four-game ban following Tuesday night’s NRL judiciary.

The centre was cited for a high tackle and chose to contest the charge, but was unsuccessful and will now sit out all four of his team’s remaining games. He will only return if eighth-placed North Queensland make the finals.

St George Illawarra’s Jack de Belin has also been suspended for four weeks following his hip-drop tackle on Manly’s Christian Tuipulotu.


The Dragons lock took his case to the judiciary but was found guilty. He will now only be available for the final game of the year, against Newcastle in Round 27.

Dragons centre Moses Suli is also out due to a calf injury.

North Queensland winger Murray Taulagi has trained at left centre in place of Holmes ahead of round 23’s blockbuster clash with Brisbane. The Queensland representative has played centre before for the Cowboys, in 2020 and 2021, and appears set to move in one slot from the left wing. A grand final winner with the Cowboys in 2015, Kyle Feldt – who hasn’t played first grade since round 16 – trained on the left flank outside Taulagi.

Gold Coast fullback AJ Brimson is “touch and go” to play the Warriors as he battles to recover from a rib injury. Brimson left the field in the first half of the 22-13 win over North Queensland last week and returned in the centres in the second stanza in discomfort.

Super sub Jayden Campbell excelled at fullback when the Queensland representative went off but Titans interim coach Jim Lenihan said  Brimson would be given every chance to play the third-placed Warriors on Friday night at Robina.

“There is still probably a drama with his rib area,” Lenihan said on Thursday. “We will see how he wakes up tomorrow and assess it from there but we are expecting him to play.”


Penrith centre Tyrone Peachey pleaded guilty to a high tackle charge for a hit on Sharks forward Jack Williams and will miss the next two rounds. 

Canterbury duo Reed Mahoney ($1000 for a shoulder charge) and Jake Averillo ($750 for dangerous contact) have taken fines from the win over the Dolphins.

Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele was fined $3000 for a high shot, with the maximum financial penalty handed down given his record of three or more previous charges.

Cronulla fullback Will Kennedy is unlikely to play for a few weeks at least after limping off with a hamstring injury but winger Ronaldo Mulitalo’s back after a jaw injury suffered in training ruled him out of the Panthers clash.

With Dale Finucane (rib) and Teig Wilton (knee) already ruled out for the rest of the season, their fading finals chances are getting worse by the week after three straight losses have dropped the Sharks three places to sixth.

Raiders fullback Seb Kris was fined $750 for taking out Kalyn Ponga in mid-air. The Knights star left the field with concussion, but later returned and has been cleared.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has dropped hooker Tom Starling from the interchange bench for rookie Adrian Trevilyan for Sunday’s meeting with the Wests Tigers. Winger Nick Cotric comes in for Jarrod Croker (hamstring) with Seb Kris moving to centre and Jordan Rapana assuming fullback duties.


Round 23 teams

Roosters vs Sea Eagles, at the SCG – 7.50pm, Thursday, August 3

Odds: Roosters $1.55, Sea Eagles $2.45 – odds via PlayUp

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sandon Smith 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Nathan Brown 16. Terrell May 17 Fletcher Baker 18. Corey Allan 19. Elie El-Zakhem 20. Jake Tyurpin 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Dylan Napa

Naufahu Whyte (knee) is still out while Egan Butcher (head knock) was the latest casualty for the depleted side after the loss to Brisbane. Paul Momirovski (shoulder) and Connor Watson (knee) are potentially returning in the next week or two but are likely to make comebacks in the NSW Cup to get match fitness before rejoining the NRL squad. 

Siua Wong is in for Butcher while Drew Hutchison has replaced Jake Turpin on the bench.

Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Ben Trbojevic 15. Aaron Woods 16. Dean Matterson 17. Ethan Bullemor 18. Ben Condon 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Kaeo Weekes 21. Morgan Harper 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong


Christian Tuipulotu is Anthony Seibold’s main concern after the win over the Dragons with the winger to miss a fortnight, replaced by Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega. Ben Trbojevic’s back from a hamstring strain with Sean Keppie dropping out of the pack.

Titans vs Warriors, at Cbus Super Stadium – 6pm, Friday, August 4

Odds: Titans $2.75, Warriors $1.45 – odds via PlayUp

Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Joe Stimson 13. Erin Clark 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Chris Randall 16. Klese Haas 17. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 18. Keano Kini 19. Jacob Alick 20. Jo Vuna 21. Kruise Leeming 22. Ken Maumalo

AJ Brimson shrugged off a rib problem to switch to centre when Jojo Fifita injured his ankle in the win over the Cowboys on Sunday but has returned to fullback with Aaron Schoupp called in out wide. Brimson was in doubt on Thursday with Jayden Campbell on standby to replace him in the starting side.

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui still has one more match to serve on his suspension.

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran 18. Jazz Tevaga 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Freddy Lussick 22. Tom Ale 23. Ronald Volkman


Rested after the bye, the NZ side is likely to be boosted by Marate Niukore (head knock) and Jazz Tevaga (calf) being available. Niukore is in the starting side while Tevaga is listed as the 18th member of the squad

Panthers vs Storm, at BlueBet Stadium – 8pm, Friday, August 4

Odds: Panthers $1.35, Storm $3.20 – odds via PlayUp

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Zac Hosking 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Matt Eisenhuth 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Jack Cogger 19. Luke Garner 20. Izack Tago 21. Tom Jenkins 22. Liam Henry

Tyrone Peachey has been banned for two weeks so Izack Tago will slot straight back into the centres if his leg injury is better. He has been named in the reserves with second-rower Zac Hosking listed at centre so a late switch is on the cards. Spencer Leniu’s probably going to miss three more weeks with his knee problem.

Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 21 George Jennings 6. Cameron Munster 20. Jonah Pezet 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 13. Josh King 14. Tom Eisenhuth 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Eliesa Katoa 18. Tyran Wishart 19. Bronson Garlick 22 Grant Anderson


Ryan Papenhuyzen will make his comeback from a fractured kneecap in the Queensland Cup this weekend which shapes as a huge ace up Craig Bellamy’s sleeve leading into the finals.

Justin Olam has not got a reprieve from his surprise demotion to the Sunshine Coast feeder team after Young Tonumaipea was cleared of a hamstring injury from the win over Parramatta.

Jahrome Hughes (illness) and Xavier Coates (hip) are out with Jonah Pezet and George Jennings coming in.

Veteran forward Tariq Sims (suspended) is out again this week while centre Reimis Smith (adductor) will miss another couple of weeks. Nelson Asofa-Solomona (finger) is back this weekend.

Cowboys vs Broncos, at QCB Stadium – 6pm, Saturday, August 5

Odds: Cowboys $2.15, Broncos $1.70 – odds via PlayUp

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Semi Valemei 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 19. Kyle Feldt 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Coen Hess 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Heilum Luki 17. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 18. Sam McIntyre 20. Riley Price 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Jack Gosiewski


Valentine Holmes is in judiciary strife with the high shot which earned him 10 in the bin in the loss to the Titans resulting in a ban of four matches after he was unsuccessful at Tuesday night’s hearing. 

Reece Robson’s head knock late in the game raised fears over a possible facial fracture but the Cowboys have named him at hooker.

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 21. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Brendan Piakura 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Corey Jensen 19. Xavier Willison 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Deine Mariner 20. Jordan Riki 22. Tristan Sailor

Brendan Piakura was a late withdrawal last week due to illness while fellow second-rower Jordan Riki’s foot is likely to keep him out another week but he has been named in the reserves. Jesse Arthars has served his ban and will replace Deine Mariner on the wing.

Adam Reynolds (groin) and Kobe Hetherington (back) are late withdrawals.

Dolphins vs Knights, at Optus Stadium, Perth – 5.30pm, Saturday, August 5


Odds: Dolphins $3.20, Knights $1.35 – odds via PlayUp

Dolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Kodi Nikorima 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich 14. Herman Ese’ese 15. Josh Kerr 16. Isaiya Katoa 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Max Plath 19. Trai Fuller 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Ray Stone 22. Jack Bostock

Euan Aitken limped off in the loss to Canterbury with a knee injury while Connelly Lemuelu didn’t last long after a head knock but has been named to play. Kodi Nikorima switches to centre for the absent Aitken. 

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott 14. Kurt Mann 15. Brodie Jones 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Enari Tuala 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Dane Aukafolau 22. Jack Johns

Daniel Saifiti is unable to return after missing the Raiders win due to his thigh problem so Newcastle have retained the same line-up.

Rabbitohs vs Sharks, at Optus Stadium, Perth – 7.35pm, Saturday, August 5

Odds: Rabbitohs $1.32, Sharks $3.40 – odds via PlayUp


Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Jai Arrow 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Michael Chee Kam 13. Cameron Murray 14. Davvy Moale 15. Siliva Havili 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Tallis Duncan 18. Tyrone Munro 19. Jacob Host 20. Shaquai Mitchell 21. Peter Mamouzelos 22. Dean Hawkins

Latrell Mitchell got through his comeback from a calf injury without any problems in great news for the Bunnies’ finals chances. They rose from ninth to sixth on the back of their win over the Tigers.

Sharks: 1. Connor Tracey 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Toby Rudolf 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Jack Williams 15. Thomas Hazelton 16. Royce Hunt 17. Jesse Colquhoun 18. Matt Moylan 19. Kayal Iro 20. Mawene Hiroti 21. Tuku Hau Tapuha 22. Daniel Atkinson

Will Kennedy (hamstring) is out but Ronaldo Mulitalo (jaw) returns along with young forward Jesse Colquhoun after serving a dangerous contact ban. Connor Tracey has been switched to fullback with Sifa Talakai recalled at centre.

Front-rower Braden Hamlin Uele is free to play after copping a fine for a high tackle.

Eels vs Dragons, at CommBank Stadium – 2pm, Sunday, August 6

Odds: Eels $1.24, Dragons $4.10 – odds via PlayUp


Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Isaac Lumelume 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Andrew Davey 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Makahesi Makatoa 18. Brendan Hands 19. Arthur Miller-Stephen 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Jack Murchie

Dylan Brown has been rushed straight back into the team after serving his ban following pleading guilty on sexual touching charges during an incident at a Sydney nightspot. Eels coach Brad Arthur said Brown needed to repay his teammates for his absence which has contributed to their late-season wobbles. Daejarn Asi drops out from five-eighth.

New recruit Joey Lussick has displaced Brendan Hands as starting hooker in just his second game back at Parra.

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Jack de Belin 20. Jack Bird 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Michael Molo 16. Toby Couchman 17. Zane Musgrove 18. Ryan Couchman 19. Sione Finau 21. Max Feagai 22. Ben Murdoch-Masila

Kiwi veteran Ben Murdoch-Masila (hamstring) is a chance to be right this round. Fellow forward Jack de Belin contested his grade two dangerous contact charge in an effort to have it downgraded but lost and has copped a four-match ban instead of a $3000 fine.

It is the sixth time that JDB has been cited in 2023. Jack Bird is set to replace de Belin at lock in the starting side or come in for Moses Suli (calf) at centre.


Raiders vs Tigers, at GIO Stadium – 4.05pm, Sunday, August 6

Odds: Raiders $1.26, Tigers $3.90 – odds via PlayUp

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Sebastian Kris 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Adrian Trevilyan 15. Emre Guler 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Ata Mariota 18. Utuloa Asouma 19. Matt Frawley 20. Tom Starling 21. Trey Mooney 22. Ethan Strange

Fullback Seb Kris was charged after taking out Kalyn Ponga in mid-air during Saturday’s home loss but he has avoided a ban by paying a $750 fine.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart has dropped hooker Tom Starling from the interchange bench for rookie Adrian Trevilyan for Sunday’s meeting with the Wests Tigers. Winger Nick Cotric comes in for Jarrod Croker (hamstring) with Seb Kris moving to centre and Jordan Rapana assuming fullback duties.

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Junior Tupou 5. Charlie Staines 6. Daine Laurie 7. Luke Brooks 8. Alex Twal 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Justin Matamua 16. Aitasi James 17. Asu Kepaoa 18. Tallyn Da Silva 19. Alex Seyfarth 20. Will Smith 21. Kit Laulilii 22. Josh Feledy

Second-rower Shawn Blore and prop Stefano Utoikamanu are out due to concussions in the Tamworth loss to Souths.


Five-eighth Daine Laurie (knee) has been named to play while Justin Matamua and Asu Kepaoa have been added to the game-day line-up.

Bye – Bulldogs

with AAP