NRL Weekly Watch: Previewing Round 5 | The Sporting Base

NRL Weekly Watch: Previewing Round 5

April 3, 2024

NRL Weekly Watch: Previewing Round 5

Storm, Broncos open round in Thursday night belter

Round 5 opens with a Thursday night blockbuster between the Storm and Broncos at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.

The Storm are set to be boosted by the returns of Cameron Munster (groin), Jahrome Hughes (suspension), and Christian Welch (head knock).

Tyran Wishart reverts to the interchange whilst Jonah Pezet, Chris Lewis, and Kane Bradley drop out.

Kevin Walters makes just the one change for the Broncos with Xavier Willison dropping out to accommodate debutant Ben Te Kura.

Standing at a hulking 6-feet-8-inches, the Redcliffe Dolphins junior makes his NRL debut having impressed at Hostplus Cup level over the past two seasons as well as under-19s Origin.

The Broncos have not won at AAMI Park in eight years whilst the Storm are aiming for their 12th straight win at the venue.

Bulldogs host Chooks at Accor on Friday

The Dogs and Roosters will be looking to bounce back from Round 4 losses when they face each other at Accor Stadium on Friday evening.

The hosts are without Josh Addo-Carr (head knock), Jacob Preston (jaw), and Kurtis Morrin (suspension) with Blake Wilson returning onto the wing, Josh Curran starting on an edge, and Harrison Edwards and Kitione Kautoga named on the interchange.

Cameron Ciraldo has also opted to start Sam Hughes at prop with Liam Knight named to come off the pine.

For the Roosters, Lindsay Collins (hamstring) returns pushing Terrell May to the interchange and Egan Butcher out whilst Angus Crichton starts at second row and Sitili Tupouniua reverts to the bench.

The Roosters have won nine of their past 10 against the Dogs with skipper James Tedesco having notched 13 tries across that period.

Dragons journey to Hunter for Knights clash

The Knights host the Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night with the Alex McKinnon Cup on the line.

Jackson Hastings earns a recall at halfback shifting Jack Cogger to five-eighth and Tyson Gamble out whilst Leo Thompson (suspension) is back at prop with Daniel Saifiti reverting to the bench and Brodie Jones dropping out.

Dane Gagai makes his return with Dylan Lucas making way whilst Jayden Brailey starts at No.9 with Phoenix Crossland reverting to the interchange.

For the Red V, Michael Molo jags a spot on the interchange with Hame Sele dropping back into the No.18 jersey whilst Jack de Belin starts at prop with Blake Lawrie coming off the bench.

Tom Eisenhuth has been named to start at lock with Raymond Faitala-Mariner on the interchange.

The Knights have won seven of their past eight games at home however they have only won two of their past seven against the Dragons at the venue.

Warriors make trip to Homebush for Souths showdown

The Rabbitohs will look to back up their opening win of the season when they face the Warriors at Accor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Alex Johnston (hamstring) and Shaq Mitchell (head knock) are both unavailable for South Sydney with Izaac Thompson earning a season debut on the wing and Sean Keppie returning onto the bench.

Luke Metcalf (leg) and Kurt Capewell (head knock) are out for the visitors with Te Maire Martin starting at five-eighth and Marata Niukore starting on the edge.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (hamstring) makes his awaited return pushing 200-gamer Roger Tuivasa-Sheck into the centres and Adam Pompey out whilst Tom Ale and Freddy Lussick join the bench.

The Warriors have won just three of their past nine at Homebush whilst Cody Walker has scored nine tries in 11 games against the Warriors.

Sea Eagles back at home for Panthers battle

The Panthers make the trip up to 4 Pines Park on Saturday evening for a face-off against a Sea Eagles unit looking to put a stop to a two-match losing streak.

Anthony Seibold has stuck with the same side that went down to the Dragons in an error-riddled affair a week ago.

James Fisher-Harris (shoulder) is back for Penrith with Lindsay Smith dropping back to the bench and rookie Mavrik Geyer dropping out.

The Panthers are riding an eight-game winning streak against the Sea Eagles.

Suncorp the scene for Dolphins, Wests Tigers face-off

The rejuvenated Wests Tigers travel to Suncorp Stadium to take on the ladder-leading Dolphins on Saturday night.

Max Plath (suspension) drops out for the Dolphins with Ray Stone starting at lock and Kenny Bromwich joining the interchange.

For the visitors, standout rookie Lachlan Galvin (suspension) is unavailable with Jayden Sullivan starting at No.6 and Latu Fainu earning a debut off the bench.

An under-19s NSW star, Fainu linked up with the Wests Tigers prior to the season after having made a name for himself coming through the Manly system.

Alex Twal (head knock) also returns onto the bench pushing Asu Kepaoa out.

The Wests Tigers will be aiming for three victories in a row for the first time since 2018 but they have won only two of their past 11 north of the border.

Titans Townsville-bound for Cowboys meeting

The Titans journey to North Queensland on Sunday in search of their opening win of 2024 against the Cowboys.

The Cowboys have named the same 17 that went down to the Broncos a week ago with Jake Granville named to play his 200th NRL game off the pine.

Phillip Sami (ankle) and Alofiana Khan-Pereira drop out for the visitors with Jojo Fifita and Harley Smith-Shields coming into the run-on side.

Isaac Liu (head knock) is also out with Jaimin Jolliffe starting up front, Erin Clark shifting to lock, and Josiah Pahulu earning a debut off the interchange.

An Australian Schoolboy and Junior Maroon, Pahulu has been knocking on the door of an NRL debut for some time and gets his chance against the Cowboys on Sunday.

The Titans have won just one of their past dozen games in Townsville.

Eels head to nation’s capital to take on Raiders

The round comes to a close with a Sunday night showdown between the Raiders and Eels at GIO Stadium.

Zac Hosking (head knock) is out for the hosts with Ata Mariota starting in the second row and Simi Sasagi making his club debut off the interchange.

Morgan Harper and Brendan Hands both drop out for the Eels with Bailey Simonsson back in the centres and Wiremu Greig playing his first NRL game of the year off the bench.

The Eels have won just two of their past 12 in the nation’s capital.

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