Lone Scout: The Late Mail

Welcome to the big time, Dream Teamers. Just think, it was only a matter of months ago that you innocently logged on to NRL.com and casually entered a Dream Team for a shot at a new Toyota.<br><br>Now - 22 lockouts, countless calculations and not-enough-trades later - you're hanging on every team announcement, getting RSI in your mouse-finger because you can't refresh the live scores quick enough… and performing university-level maths equations in a futile attempt to uncover that extra $30,000 you need to draft in Cameron Smith.<br><br>I feel your pain, people. I feel your pain. But now isn't the time to take the foot off the pedal. The finals are upon us! It's time to put your best foot forward and turn up to play. <br><br>Whether you're flying under the radar or you've got a target on your back, it's all about getting the preparation right and giving 110% on the day. <br><br>You've got to take it one game at a time. If you have to go back to basics, do it. Give full credit to the opposition and the result will take care of itself.<br><br>Remember, if you get the go-forward up front, the halves will have room to work their magic. Make sure your team is switched on, ready to play the full 80 and wins the arm-wrestle through the middle.<br><br>Now the customary cliché’s are out of the way... let's get stuck into the late mail!<br><br><b>Rabbitohs v Titans<br></b><br>Rabbitohs: The big loss, of course, is Roy Asotasi. He's gone for the season so if you have him, trade him now. For all those impressed by Chris McQueen's debut performance against the Sea Eagles - don't get too excited. Jamie Simpson is back this week.<br><br>Titans: Aaron Cannings drops out of the team through injury, but the Titans should run out as named.<br><br><b>Bulldogs v Cowboys</b><br><br>Bulldogs: Ben Hannant is the big loss this week, and he's a popular Dream Team selection. He could be back as soon as Round 25 but I wouldn't count on it. Time to look elsewhere.<br><br>Luke Patten was named in the No.1 but won't play. Word on the street is that Hazem El Masri will shuffle to fullback, with Darryl Millard called into the three-quarter line.<br><br><b>Roosters v Manly</b><br><br>Roosters: No real injury concerns here with Fittler's mob expected to run out as named.<br><br>Manly: Des Halser has finally axed the world's biggest winger, Tony Williams. On form, the massive unit should have been dropped weeks ago... we can only assume it's taken Dessy this long to build up the courage to tap him on the shoulder.<br><br>This, of course, is great news for the hordes of Dream Teamers who drafted in Kieran Foran after his stunning debut several weeks ago. If you have him in your squad, I'd suggest playing him as one of your reserves.<br><br>Meanwhile, Jamie Lyon's shuffle to centre and Ben Farrar's move to the wing will negatively impact on their scores this week. Keep that in mind.<br><br><b>Raiders v Dragons</b><br><br>Raiders: Centre Joel Monaghan is very unlikely to play. If you have him, seriously consider benching him.<br><br>Dragons: Beau Scott is suspended for this match, while Matt Cooper is in some doubt. Drop Scott for the week, take the gamble with Cooper.<br><b><br>Eels v Warriors</b><br><br>Eels: Nathan Cayless is the big omission here, and he's likely to miss one more week after this. If you have trades remaining, you have to free up that cash. Meanwhile, the rumour-mill is once again suggesting Feleti Mateo, Weller Hauraki and Kris Keating are all in the frame for an NRL return... but it's unlikely Daniel Anderson will be making a raft of changes to his starting 13 with the Eels in season-best form.<br><br>Warriors: Should be as per program, with Wade McKinnon back in action after getting his watch repaired.<br><b><br>Sharks v Tigers</b><br><br>Sharks: Winger Bronx Goodwin is gone for the season, with young Nathan Stapleton to slot in this week. Hooker Terence Seu Seu is also out. Yet again, there are whispers around the Shire that Anthony Tupou could return from a hamstring injury. I've been burnt by Tupou too many times to believe them. If you haven't already axed him, feel free.<br><br>Tigers: Centre Chris Lawrence is struggling and could be a late withdrawal. If you have a handy replacement centre, consider using him. As for Tim Moltzen, he's back in the No.1 this week after fullback Shannon Gallant was ruled out with a broken leg. This is bad news in Dream Team terms. If you have another option in the halves, play him. Moltzen may struggle to crack 20.<br><br><b>Broncos v Panthers</b><br><br>Broncos: Peter Wallace and Nick Kenny are in doubt after both came back from injury in last Monday’s win over Cronulla. <br><br>Panthers: Will be as named, with Adam Woolnough the man to drop off the extended bench.<br><br><b>Knights v Storm</b><br><br>Knights: Workhorse Steve Simpson in doubt with concussion but should play, considering the importance of the match. Prop Danny Wicks is battling a sternum injury, with Cory Paterson on standby.<br><br>Storm: To state the obvious... it might be an idea to punt Greg Inglis. Jeff Lima is also out this week. Other than those changes, the team should run out as named.<br><br>Good luck and good scouting. Remember... you can <b><a href="mailto:lonescout@nrldigital.com">click here</a></b> to email me your questions for next week's column.<br><br>Until then...<br><br>Scouts honour,<br>Lone Scout<br>