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The Roar


NRL Round 7 Team Lists Late Mail: Des forced into spine reshuffle, Panthers and Dragons announce debutants

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19th April, 2024
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Des Hasler has been forced into another spine reshuffle with Tanah Boyd recalled to the first grade squad for Saturday’s game against Manly after stand-in fullback Phillip Sami withdrew with injury.

AJ Brimson, who had been named in the 6 jumper, will move to the back, Kieran Foran will play five eighth and Boyd at halfback.

The Dragons will debut Fa’amanu Brown on Friday evening, promoting the hooker to the bench from the reserves in the same week that he joined the club.

Brown only signed on Monday after a torrid time in the Super League with Hull FC, but goes straight into the NRL in place of Jesse Marschke against the Warriors.

The Kiwis have made a similar late change, with bench hooker Chanel Harris-Tavita dropping out from their bench to allow centre/backrower Ali Leiataua to come in. That leaves them with two outside backs on the interchange as Adam Pompey had already been named in the 17.

Penrith will hand a club debut to Paul Alamoti on Saturday afternoon with the former Bulldogs centre coming in after Taylan May withdrew from the squad on personal grounds.

Manly were set to return Nathan Brown to first grade after he missed last weekend’s draw in New Zealand with a knee problem, but he has failed to recover in time and will sit out. Dean Matterson comes in.

South Sydney have the bye this week, but that hasn’t stopped their bad luck with injuries.


They have now lost starting front rower Tevita Tatola for an expected three months after it was revealed that he has fractured his foot.

The Tonga international has already undergone surgery and is facing six weeks before he can put weight on the foot followed by at least another six weeks of rehab before he is back to play.

Tyrone Munro is also set for surgery on a broken collarbone picked up in the Bunnies’ defeat to Cronulla last weekend.

The Dolphins have again been given permission by the NRL to go outside their top 30 in order to field a team, as coach Wayne Bennett battles illness ahead of the round-seven clash with Parramatta.

Due to injury and suspension, 27-year-old Redcliffe Dolphins fullback Trai Fuller will line up against the Eels in Darwin on Friday. 

Star regular No.1 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will miss four to six weeks with a hamstring tear, but that is not the only hurdle the Dolphins will have to overcome against Parramatta. 

Bennett did not fly west with the team on Wednesday evening due to a bout of the flu and was still unable to travel to Darwin on Thursday. Bennett may not make the four-hour plane trip on Friday either, with his assistant Kristian Woolf on standby to take over for the game.


Last week, CQ Capras’ Queensland Cup forward Lachlan Hubner was given special dispensation by the NRL to play against Brisbane due to a shortage of forwards. Hubner and Redcliffe’s Fuller are on NRL train-and-trial contracts with the Dolphins. 

Competition rules state such players can only play at the elite level from round 11 onwards, but the governing body has allowed the Dolphins to bring them in earlier.

The Queensland outfit have at least eight of their top squad players either suspended or injured for round seven, including big guns Thomas Flegler, Herbie Farnworth and Felise Kaufusi.

They face a Parra side that is unchanged save for the addition of Blaize Talagi as a bench option, with Maiko Sivo still frozen out.

Sam Walker was named in the reserves for the Roosters’ Allianz Stadium match with Melbourne but Trent Robinson said the halfback had failed to pass the concussion protocols to make his return.

“He tried to train but didn’t quite get there so we’ve ruled him out,” the coach said.


Robinson was hopeful Walker would be available for their round-eight clash with St George Illawarra.

Easts have reshuffled their backline with James Tedesco back on deck in the 1, shifting Joey Manu back to centre and Joseph Suaalii to the wing.

Melbourne welcome Nelson Asofa-Solomona for his first game of the season after a pre-season hamstring injury.

It’s ideal timing with the giant prop coming in for Tui Kamikamica, who is sidelined with a calf issue, as the Storm look to continue their strong record against the ninth-placed Roosters.

“Hopefully he can come in and do a good job for us,” said Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

“We just need him to go up there and play his role and just do his job.”

Penrith have opted to give Nathan Cleary another week on the sidelines to recover from his hamstring injury, with the world’s best player to skip the Panthers’ trip to Bathurst to face the Wests Tigers. Brad Schneider will continue to deputise in the No.7 jersey.


Cleary had been confident of being able to return after his team had the bye last week but the Panthers will keep him in cotton wool.

Jarome Luai, however, is good to go and will feature, using the bye round to recover from the knee problem that saw him limp out of the defeat at Manly.

The Dragons have returned Zac Lomax to the centres for their clash with the Warriors on Friday teatime as they reshuffle their backline to accomodate the loss of Jack Bird with a concussion. Christian Tuipulotu comes in on the wing and new signing Nu Brown is an outside chance of a debut, having been named to the extended bench.

Melbourne have a huge in for their trip to the Roosters with Nelson Asofa-Solomona named for his first start of the season in the front row.

Josh Aloiai in action.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Matt Lodge is also back for his first start since an ACL tear last year, providing much needed heft to a Manly pack that will be without Toff Sipley and Josh Aloiai through injury. Reuben Garrick also returns in time to cover the loss of Ben Trbojevic from the centres.


They face a Titans side without Jayden Campbell, who has a knee injury. As it stands, Phillip Sami will play fullback and AJ Brimson five-eighth, but that might change come gameday.

The Bulldogs stick tight with the 13 that came so close to a victory in Melbourne last week, with only the bench changed.

They have two interchange backs, Bailey Hayward and the returning Blake Taaffe, and only tow middles on hte bench, with the possibility that Max King might yet be included from the extended bench.

Newcastle have named Kalyn Ponga despite a hip pointer injury, but there is no place for the still-injured Tyson Frizell in an otherwise unchanged lineup.


Deine Mariner. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Brisbane rising star Deine Mariner has not made it back in time to face the Raiders on Saturday night, with Kevin Walters opting for an unchanged side.

Canberra will be without second-rower Zac Hosking who is out for an indefinite period after dislocating his shoulder in Sunday’s win over Gold Coast so they bring in Ata Mariota for their only change, with Simi Sasagi elevated to the bench.


In the final game, Cronulla give Sam Stonestreet a debut on the wing with Sione Katoa suspended, while the Cowboys bring in Semi Valemei for injured Murray Taulagi (hamstring).

Round 7 teams

Sydney vs Melbourne at Allianz Stadium: 7.50pm, Thursday April 18


Odds: Roosters $1.90 Storm $1.90 – odds via PlayUp

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Connor Watson 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Angus Crichton 13. Victor Radley 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Egan Butcher 17. Terrell May 18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Dylan Napa 20. Max McCathie 21. Benaiah Ioelu 22. Sam Walker

Dominic Young has one more game to serve on his high tackle ban while Sitili Tupouniua failed his HIA against Newcastle and needs to pass the concussion protocols to play. Michael Jennings continues in the centres. Sam Walker (concussion) has been ruled out.

Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Shawn Blore 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Trent Loiero 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Christian Welch 16. Joe Chan 17. Alec MacDonald 18. Grant Anderson 19. Jack Howarth 20. Kane Bradley 21. Jonah Pezet 22. Chris Lewis

Tui Kamikamica has been sidelined with a calf injury, opening the door for Nelson Asofa-Solomona to be recalled from the NSW Cup. Joe Chan comes in for Tepai Moeroa.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 14: Zac Lomax of the Dragons scores a try during the round six NRL match between Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra Dragons at Campbelltown Stadium, on April 14, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Zac Lomax scores the first try. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra vs Warriors at WIN Stadium: 6pm, Friday April 19


Odds: Dragons $2.60 Warriors $1.50 – odds via PlayUp

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Hame Sele 11. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tom Eisenhuth 14. Jesse Marschke 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Jack de Belin 17. Ben Murdoch-Masila 18. Michael Molo 19. Mathew Feagai 20. Toby Couchman 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Fa’amanu Brown

With a five-day turnaround after their clash with the Tigers at Campbelltown, Jack Bird will be stood down after being diagnosed with a category-one concussion in the win over the Wests Tigers. Zac Lomax gets a chance in his preferred position of centre with Christian Tuipulotu starting on the flank.

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Tom Ale 16. Jacob Laban 17. Adam Pompey 18. Zyon Maiu’u 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Ali Leiataua 22. Edward Kosi 23. Paul Roache

Veteran forward Jazz Tevaga is set to miss a few weeks with a hamstring strain, so Adam Pompey comes onto the bench.

Parramatta vs Dolphins at TIO Stadium, Darwin: 8pm, Friday April 19

Odds: Eels $1.45 Dolphins $2.75 – odds via PlayUp


Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Will Penisini 4. Morgan Harper 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Dylan Brown 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Blaize Talagi 18. Brendan Hands 19. Kelma Tuilagi 20. Wiremu Greig 21. Makahesi Makatoa 22. Maika Sivo

Kelma Tuilagi drops to the reserves as Brad Arthur opts to bring Blaize Talagi in as a bench option.

Dolphins: 1. Trai Fuller 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jake Averillo 4. Tesi Niu 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Euan Aitken 13. Max Plath 14. Josh Kerr 15. Sean O’Sullivan 16. Ray Stone 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Oryn Keeley 19. Edrick Lee 20. Mason Teague 21. Valynce Te Whare 22. Jeremiah Simbiken

Max Plath is back from his hip-drop tackle ban while veteran five-eighth Anthony Milford is suspended. Edrick Lee and Valynce Te Whare are familiar names on the reserves.

Utility Kurt Donoghoe is suspended until round eight, while Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and second-rower Felise Kaufusi (both hamstring) and England centre Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) won’t be available this Friday. Trai Fuller is the new fullback.

Penrith vs Wests Tigers at Carrington Park, Bathurst: 3pm, Saturday April 20

Odds: Panthers $1.16 Tigers $5.25 – odds via PlayUp


Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Taylan May 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Brad Schneider 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Daine Laurie 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Liam Henry 17. Luke Garner 18. Jack Cole 19. Mavrik Geyer 20. Matt Eisenhuth 21. Paul Alamoti 22. Tyrone Peachey

Second-rower Scott Sorensen is still a few weeks away so Luke Garner continues on the bench. Nathan Cleary’s hamstring return has been held back.

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Brent Naden 4. Justin Olam 5. Junior Tupou 6. Lachlan Galvin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Latu Fainu 15. Alex Twal 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Samuela Fainu 18. Justin Matamua 19. Asu Kepaoa 20. Solomon Alaimalo 21. Jake Simpkin 22. Sione Fainu

John Bateman and Samuela Fainu will return from concussions from the Round 5 loss to the Dolphins. Rookie five-eighth Lachlan Galvin is available after serving a two-game ban. Jayden Sullivan is out entirely, as is Solomona Faataape.

Gold Coast vs Manly at Cbus Super Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday April 20

Odds: Titans $3.40 Sea Eagles $1.32 – odds via PlayUp


Titans: 1. Phillip Sami 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Jojo Fifita 6. AJ Brimson 7. Kieran Foran 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Klese Haas 14. Sam Verrills 15. Erin Clark 16. Isaac Liu 17. Josiah Pahulu 18. Joe Stimson 19. Keano Kini 20. Tanah Boyd 21. Tony Francis 22. Jacob Alick-Wiencke

Young prop Keenan Palasia (thigh) is still out, so Josiah Pahulu maintains a spot on the bench. Jayden Campbell is out with a knee injury. As it stands, Phillip Sami will play fullback and AJ Brimson five-eighth, but that might change come gameday.

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Tolutau Koula. 4. Reuben Garrick. 5. Tommy Talau 6. Luke Brooks 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Corey Waddell 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Karl Lawton 15. Ethan Bullemor 16. Aaron Woods 17. Nathan Brown 18. Jake Arthur 19. Dean Matterson 20. Jaxson Paulo 21. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 22. Aitasi James

Winger Jason Saab is back, so Jaxson Paulo drops out and Tommy Talau maintains his place. Nathan Brown comes onto the bench with Aaron Woods holding his spot.

Matt Lodge is also back for his first start since an ACL tear last year, providing much needed heft to a Manly pack that will be without Toff Sipley and Josh Aloiai through injury. Reuben Garrick also returns in time to cover the loss of Ben Trbojevic from the centres.

Brisbane vs Canberra at Suncorp Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday April 20

Odds: Broncos $1.35 Raiders $3.20 – odds via PlayUp


Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Fletcher Baker 11. Jaiyden Hunt 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Xavier Willison 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Tristan Sailor 18. Martin Taupau 19. Benjamin Te Kura 20. Jordan Pereira 21. Blake Mozer 22. Josiah Karapani

Tristan Sailor maintains a bench utility spot, but Adam Reynolds is again unavailable. Deine Mariner (back) will not return ahead of schedule.

Raiders: 1. Chevy Stewart 2. James Schiller 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Ata Mariota 13. Morgan Smithies 14. Tom Starling 15. Simi Sasagi 16. Trey Mooney 17. Pasami Saulo 18. Kaeo Weekes 19. Emre Guler 20. Zac Woolford 21. Nick Cotric 22. Peter Hola

Chevy Stewart backs up his debut with another game in the fullback jersey, but there is no place for Nick Cotric or Emre Guler.

Canterbury vs Newcastle at Accor Stadium: 2pm, Sunday April 21

Odds: Bulldogs $2 Knights $1.80 – odds via PlayUp

Bulldogs: 1. Stephen Crichton 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Bronson Xerri 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Chris Patolo 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Josh Curran 13. Jaeman Salmon 14. Bailey Hayward 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Blake Taaffe 19. Toby Sexton 20. Liam Knight 21. Jake Turpin 22. Jeral Skelton 23. Harry Hayes


Kurtis Morrin is back from suspension and comes onto a bench that might see movement before gameday.

Knights:  1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jack Cogger 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Leo Thompson 11. Dylan Lucas 12. Kai Pearce-Paul 13. Adam Elliott 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jed Cartwright 19. Brodie Jones 20. Tyson Gamble 21. David Armstrong 22. Thomas Jenkins

Adam Elliott plays game 150 in the backrow as the Knights go unchanged, though Kalyn Ponga is under a cloud.

Cronulla vs North Queensland at PointsBet Stadium: 4.05pm, Sunday April 21

Odds: Sharks $1.62 Cowboys $2.30 – odds via PlayUp

Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Samuel Stonestreet 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Kayal Iro 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Thomas Hazelton 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Oregon Kaufusi 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Jack Williams 15. Toby Rudolf 16. Siosifa Talakai 17. Braden Hamlin-Uele 18. Daniel Atkinson 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Kade Dykes 21. Billy Burns 22. Mawene Hiroti


Kayal Iro has bene mightily impressive in the centres and maintains his spot, allowing Siosifa Talakai to roam free from the bench.

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Tom Chester 5. Semi Valemei 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Jack Gosiewski 18. Jake Clifford 19. Thomas Mikaele 20. Marly Bitungane 21. Jamal Shibasaki 22. Viliami Vailea

Cowboys winger Murray Taulagi has been sidelined with a hamstring complaint so Semi Valemei comes in.

Bye – Rabbitohs

Latrell Mitchell has two more matches to serve on his ban but  Cameron Murray, who suffered a concussion in the loss to Cronulla, should be right to return in Round 8. Front-rower Tevita Tatola (foot) and winger Tyrone Munro (collarbone) are likely to be sidelined for a few weeks.