Let the games of the 22nd round begin
Wednesday 1 August 2012 1:56 PM
Calculators and the ladder predictor on nrl.com become vital accessories as the NRL enters the death or glory phase of the season with this weekend’s 22nd round matches.
Every game will again have an effect on the ladder as a swathe of clubs try to either firm up their top eight positions or desperately seek to stay alive.
The bottom three clubs are gone for the season but the Sydney Roosters (14th), Penrith (15th) and Parramatta (16th) all have the chance yet again to dramatically affect the hopes and aspirations of teams still in the race.
Last week Penrith and Parramatta both inflicted damage on Cronulla and Brisbane with upset victories. On Friday night the Roosters have a chance to do the same to St George Illawarra (11th on 22 points).
Melbourne (3rd on 28 points) has floundered lately after dropping five straight games and six of its last seven. On Saturday, the 2011 minor premier is at home where it hasn’t won for weeks but will be fancied to end that run against Penrith; then again the Panthers have won their last two games including victory against the Sharks last week so this is anything but an easy fixture for the Storm.
Next on the schedule on Saturday night will be Newcastle (9th on 22 points) at home to the impressive Bulldogs, travelling along nicely on 32 points; but the Knights have won their last four games, two of them on the road. What chance the Knights?
That match is followed on Saturday night by North Queensland (4th on 26 points) hosting Manly (6th on 26 points) in what promises to be the match of the round.
The Vodafone Warriors (12th on 20 points) start off Sunday’s schedule against Cronulla (7th on 25 points) followed by Canberra (13th on 20 points) at home to Brisbane (5th on 26 points) and then Gold Coast (8th on 22 points) hosting the exceptionally hot South Sydney (2nd on 30 points).
By Monday night, preseason favourites Wests Tigers, wilting lately and sliding to 10th on 22 points, will know what they’re up against. Whatever the situation, they’ll be under extraordinary pressure to find a win against a Parramatta side buoyed by success against Melbourne and Brisbane in its last two starts.
Let the games of the 22nd round begin.
This week's line-ups are:
Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons, Allianz Stadium, 7:35pm
ROOSTERS: Anthony Minichiello, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Joseph 'BJ' Leilua, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Tautau Moga, Braith Anasta, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Frank Paul Nuuausala, Aidan Guerra, Boyd Cordner, Tinirau Arona. Interchange (from): Nafe Seluini, Lama Tasi, Mitchell Aubusson, Martin Kennedy, Brad Takairangi
DRAGONS: Jason Nightingale, Brett Morris, Chase Stanley, Nathan Green, Daniel Vidot, Nathan Fien, Ben Hornby, Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Trent Merrin, Matt Prior, Ben Creagh, Dean Young. Interchange (from): Cameron King, Josh Miller, Will Matthews, Jack de Belin, Jake Marketo
Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers, AAMI Park, 3:30pm
STORM: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Dane Nielsen, Will Chambers, Anthony Quinn, Gareth Widdop, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Jason Ryles, Sika Manu, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange (from): Bryan Norrie, Rory Kostjasyn, Richie Fa'aoso, Kevin Proctor, Todd Lowrie, Jaiman Lowe
PANTHERS: Michael Gordon, Josh Mansour, Michael Jennings, Brad Tighe, David Simmons, Lachlan Coote, Luke Walsh, Sam Mckendry, Kevin Kingston, Tim Grant, Clint Newton, Cameron Ciraldo, Nigel Plum. Interchange (from): Shane Shackelton, Mitch Achurch, Ryan Simpkins, Matt Robinson, Danny Galea
Newcastle Knights v Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Hunter Stadium, 5:30pm
KNIGHTS: Darius Boyd, Kevin Naiqama, Dane Gagai, Timana Tahu, Akuila Uate, Jarrod Mullen, Tyrone Roberts, Zane Tetevano, Danny Buderus, Willie Mason, Chris Houston, Joel Edwards, Neville Costigan. Interchange: Robbie Rochow, Zeb Taia, Adam Cuthbertson, Alex McKinnon
BULLDOGS: Ben Barba, Sam Perrett, Josh Morris, Krisnan Inu, Jonathan Wright, Josh Reynolds, Joel Romelo, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Frank Pritchard, Josh Jackson, Greg Eastwood. Interchange (from): Martin Taupau, Dale Finucane, Corey Payne, David Stagg, Harlan Alaalatoa
North Queensland Cowboys v Manly Sea Eagles, Dairy Farmers Stadium, 7:30pm
COWBOYS: Matthew Bowen, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Brent Tate, Kane Linnett, Antonio Winterstein, Johnathan Thurston, Michael Morgan, Matthew Scott, Aaron Payne, James Tamou, Gavin Cooper, Glenn Hall, Dallas Johnson. Interchange (from): Anthony Mitchell, Ricky Thorby, Ashton Sims, Scott Bolton, Ray Thompson
SEA EAGLES: Brett Stewart, Jorge Taufua, Steve Matai, Jamie Lyon, David Williams, Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry-Evans, Jason King, Matt Ballin, Brent Kite, Anthony Watmough, Tony Williams, Glenn Stewart. Interchange (from): George Rose, Joe Galuvao, Darcy Lussick, Jamie Buhrer, Vic Mauro, Daniel Harrison, Dean Whare
Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks, Mt Smart Stadium, 2:00pm
VODAFONE WARRIORS: Kevin Locke, Bill Tupou, Ben Henry, Lewis Brown, Manu Vatuvei, James Maloney, Shaun Johnson, Russell Packer, Nathan Friend, Ben Matulino, Feleti Mateo, Elijah Taylor, Sebastine Ikahihifo. Interchange (from): Carlos Tuimavave, Sione Lousi, Jacob Lillyman, Steve Rapira, Ukuma Ta’ai
SHARKS: Matthew Wright, John Williams, Ricky Leutele, Colin Best, Nathan Stapleton, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Mark Taufua, Isaac De Gois, Ben Ross, Jeremy Smith, Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen. Interchange (from): Andrew Fifita, Tyson Frizell, John Morris, Jayson Bukuya, Jon Green, Sam Tagataese
Canberra Raiders v Brisbane Broncos, Canberra Stadium, 2:00pm
RAIDERS: Josh Dugan, Sandor Earl, Jarrod Croker, Blake Ferguson, Reece Robinson, Josh McCrone, Sam Williams, David Shillington, Travis Waddell, Dane Tilse, Josh Papalii, Joel Thompson, Shaun Fensom. Interchange: Shaun Berrigan, Joe Picker, Mark Nicholls, Sam Mataora
BRONCOS: Josh Hoffman, Gerard Beale, Alex Glenn, Ben Te'o, Lachlan Maranta, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Petero Civoniceva, Matt Gillett, Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire. Interchange: Ben Hunt, Aaron Whitchurch, Mitchell Dodds, Dunamis Lui
Gold Coast Titans v South Sydney Rabbitohs, Skilled Park, 3:00pm
TITANS: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, Jamal Idris, Steve Michaels, David Mead, Aidan Sezer, Scott Prince, Luke Bailey, Matt Srama, Luke Douglas, Nate Myles, Mark Minichiello, Ashley Harrison. Interchange (from): Matt White, Ben Ridge, Luke O'Dwyer, Beau Falloon
RABBITOHS: Nathan Merritt, Justin Hunt, Matt King, Dylan Farrell, Andrew Everingham, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds, Eddy Pettybourne, Nathan Peats, Sam Burgess, Chris McQueen, Dave Taylor, Michael Crocker. Interchange (from): Jason Clark, Dave Tyrrell, Luke Burgess, Ben Lowe, Scott Geddes, Shaune Corrigan
Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels, Campbelltown Sports Stadium, 7:00pm
TIGERS: Tim Moltzen, Matt Utai, Blake Ayshford, Beau Ryan, Marika Koroibete, Liam Fulton, Benji Marshall, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, Keith Galloway, Adam Blair, Gareth Ellis, Chris Heighington. Interchange: Junior Moors, Ray Cashmere, Matt Bell, Tim Simona
EELS: Jake Mullaney, Luke Burt, Ryan Morgan, Cheyse Blair, Ken Sio, Ben Roberts, Chris Sandow, Tim Mannah, Nathan Smith, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Ben Smith, Reni Maitua. Interchange (from): Joseph Paulo, Taulima Tautai, Justin Poore, Matthew Ryan, Justin Horo