It’s the final head-to-head round before the first bye, and many of the NRL coaches have made some big decisions. The State of Origin teams are selected on Sunday, so it’s time for coaches to start setting up for the Origin period and make some decisions of their own.
Each Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the teams named and give you the rundown on what this means for the wonderful world of Dream Team.
Tigers v Cowboys - Leichhardt Oval 7:35pm 24/5/13
The Tigers finally welcome back some experience this week, with Braith Anasta ($234,800) returning at lock. Benji Marshall ($191,200) is back starting at five-eighth, shifting Liam Fulton ($384,700) to the second row and Adam Blair ($188,200) to prop. Suaso Sue ($184,400) drops back to a six man bench which also includes Shaun Spence ($110,400), Matt Utai ($235,400) and Eddy Pettybourne ($158,900). David Noafoluma ($101,600) also retains his spot on the wing.
The Cowboys have named an unchanged squad from the side that fell agonisingly short against the Roosters last week. Robert Lui ($132,200) is named at halfback after returning last week, pushing Ray Thompson ($185,100) to the bench. Lui is playing his third game, and has a break-even of -16 against his old club. Gavin Cooper ($280,500) is again in the second row ahead of Glenn Hall ($200,600), with Jason Taumalolo ($254,000) and Ricky Thorby ($148,400) on an extended bench.
Bulldogs v Broncos - ANZ Stadium 7:35pm 24/5/13
The Bulldogs have made just one change to their side again following their 44-8 thrashing at the hands of the Knights. Tim Lafai ($258,500) returns to the side to replace Krisnan Inu ($277,900), who has taken the early guilty plea and will miss two matches for Dangerous Contact. Martin Taupau ($181,700) and Tim Browne ($129,200) have been named on an extended bench once again, while Trent Hodkinson ($239,200) will be a great pick up with the goal kicking duties secure.
The Broncos welcome back Justin Hodges ($362,200) who was a late scratching last week, with the international back in the centres in a re-shuffle. Jack Reed ($174,200) is missing through injury, with Jordan Kahu ($156,700) into the centres and Lachlan Maranta ($117,700) on the wing. Ben Hunt ($179,800) is again at five-eighth, while the bench is stacked with cheap options including Jake Granville ($101,600), Scott Anderson ($188,300), David Hala ($123,600) Jarrod Wallace ($132,200), Dunamis Lui ($114,500) and Denan Kemp ($127,700), with two to miss out.
Dragons v Panthers - WIN Jubilee Oval 5:30pm 25/5/13
St George Illawarra welcome Matt Cooper ($284,200) and Mitch Rein ($327,900) back to the starting lineup for the clash with the Panthers. Cooper starts in the centres and Rein at hooker, pushing Matt Prior ($236,900) and Cameron King ($126,300) back to an extended bench. Bronson Harrison ($221,100) is named to start after replacing Tyson Frizell ($258,800) late last week, while Josh Dugan ($365,000) is again at fullback, but should probably be avoided for a week until his price drops, despite having a more than achievable break-even of 59.
The Panthers have made just one change to the side that demolished the Warriors 62-6 at home last week, with Sam Anderson ($101,600) injured. Ryan Simpkins ($250,400), who proved to be quite a valuable player last year, replaces him on the bench. Lewis Brown ($243,000) and Issac John ($148,600) were both immense last week, with the latter having a break-even score of -43 coming into Round 11.
Roosters v Storm - Allianz Stadium 7:30pm 25/5/13
The Roosters have again named an unchanged side after scraping home against the Cowboys in Townsville last Saturday night. With prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($365,300) missing for another four matches, Luke O’Donnell ($240,400) starts at prop with Lama Tasi ($197,500) playing just his second game of the year.
The Storm stick with the same team that went the distance with the Sea Eagles on Monday night, with Will Chambers ($283,400) still missing with a hamstring injury. Maurice Blair ($147,100) starts in the centres in his place while Ryan Hinchcliffe ($334,300) is again at lock after returning early from a knee injury. Tohu Harris ($309,900) is pushed back to the bench, while Slade Griffin ($128,400) again is on the extended bench.
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Sea Eagles v Raiders - Brookvale Oval 7:30pm 25/5/13
The Sea Eagles have named the same side that drew 10-10 after golden point extra time in Melbourne last week, with Peter Hiku ($121,100) again at fullback after receiving a price rise after last week. David Gower ($124,300) has been named on the bench despite not making it on the field on Monday night, while Brenton Lawrence ($396,400) starts at prop and becomes a brilliant option playing close to an hour per game.
The Raiders welcome Joel Thompson ($272,000) back to the starting side after a shoulder injury, replacing Joel Edwards ($222,000), who misses the game with a hamstring injury. Shaun Berrigan ($185,600) starts at hooker for Matt McIlwrick ($172,900), who is dropped to NSW Cup, while Josh McCrone ($216,100) is named at halfback despite a hip injury suffered on Sunday. Sam Williams ($335,200) is on an extended bench as cover, alongside Jarrad Kennedy ($127,700) and Jake Foster ($127,700).
Eels v Titans - Mudgee Stadium 3:00pm 26/5/13
The Eels have made one change for their home game in Mudgee, with Kelepi Tanginoa ($223,600) missing with a hand injury. Matt Ryan ($274,100) is his replacement in the second row in an otherwise unchanged 17, while Brayden Wiliame ($101,600) is adde on an extended bench. Api Pewhairangi ($101,600) is in the centres while Ryan Morgan ($281,500) recovers from injury, and is due for a decent price rise playing his third game with a break-even of -10.
The Titans have been forced into a couple of changes, with Beau Falloon ($281,100) out with a broken fibula and David Mead ($191,200) out with a broken jaw. Anthony Don ($119,400) replaces Mead on the wing, while Matt Srama ($268,700) takes back his spot starting at hooker. David Taylor ($297,300) has also been suspended, with Mark Ioane ($127,700) taking his spot on the bench. Luke O’Dwyer ($179,700) has been named 18th man, returning from a broken jaw.
Warriors v Knights - Mt Smart Stadium 4:00pm (NZT) 26/5/13
Kevin Locke ($171,600) and Dane Nielsen ($206,300) return for the Warriors’ home clash with Newcastle. Locke replaces Glen Fisiiahi ($119,800) and Nielsen replaces Carlos Tuimavave ($163,600), both of whom have been named on an extended bench alongside Ngani Laumape ($163,100) and Pita Godinet ($157,600). Again Ben Matulino ($262,700) is named on the bench and Sam Rapira ($201,700) in the starting side, although this could change come kick-off. Suaia Matagi ($101,600) drops out of the squad.
The Knights have Aku Uate ($249,000) return on the wing after being a late exclusion against the Bulldogs last Sunday. That is the only change to the successful side from Round 10, with Uate’s replacement Kevin Naiqama ($296,000) finding a spot on the extended bench. The exile of Timana Tahu ($252,600) and Chris Houston ($331,900) continues this week, with Joey Leilua ($250,900) holding his spot in the centres, while Korbin Sims ($128,200) retains a spot on the bench.
Sharks v Rabbitohs - Sharks Stadium 7:00pm 27/5/13
In possibly the biggest return of the week, the Sharks have named skipper Paul Gallen ($409,100) to start at lock after missing two weeks with a knee injury. The move, as well as the return of Luke Lewis ($351,100), pushes Chris Heighington ($320,800) back onto the bench, and subsequently Tyrone Peachey ($116,100) and Sam Tagataese ($172,600) back to the extended bench, with coach Shane Flanagan sticking with the remainder of the squad after an important win.
The Rabbitohs are unsurprisingly unchanged after humiliating Wests 54-10 last Friday night. Rookie Dylan Walker ($101,600) retains his spot at centre, while George Burgess ($371,700) will start at prop. Jeff Lima ($213,000) grabs a spot on the bench, while Dave Tyrrell ($163,900) is in the squad as 18th man. Halves John Sutton ($437,100) and Adam Reynolds ($393,000) were the stars alongside Greg Inglis ($439,800) last week, with all having break-even scores in the 20s and price rise set up just before Origin.