Scout Report: Finals Fantasy Week 2
The key ins, outs and players to watch for your NRL Fantasy teams ahead of the second week of the finals series.
Roosters v Bulldogs
Roosters: Mitchell Pearce is back after recovering from his hamstring, with Jackson Hastings moving back to the bench and Suaia Matagi now the 18th man. Sio Siua Taukeiaho was the Roosters' top scorer last week with a try and 155 metres against the Storm, but the likes of Pearce, James Maloney, Michael Jennings and Blake Ferguson could be amongst the points this week if they get the win. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was kept relatively quiet against Melbourne (although he still managed 200+ metres) and that means he'll probably be primed for a big one here.
Bulldogs: No changes, with Frank Pritchard free to play after being cleared at the judiciary on Tuesday night. James Graham and Aidan Tolman are probably battling for your front-row spot in this one (they both scoffed 63 last week), while tackle machine Damien Cook could get the better of Jake Friend at hooker – especially if the Dogs are forced to do most of the defending. The battle of four exciting centres in this game is bit of a lottery, with Josh Morris, Tim Lafai and the Roosters' Blake Ferguson all scoring 44 or better last weekend. Brett Morris managed 56 last week but has his work cut out for him in outscoring Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Cowboys v Sharks
Cowboys: Rory Kostjasyn has been included on the bench with Ray Thompson named 18th man, but the two could easily swap again on Saturday night. Johnathan Thurston is pretty much a lock at half for your side unless you're willing to take a gamble on Michael Morgan or Cronulla's Jack Bird. James Tamou scored 52 last week and is a solid option up front, while Jason Taumalolo and Gavin Cooper (who has nine tries this season) could score well in the back row if North Queensland dominates this one. Jake Granville is another Cowboy who could shine if his team wins big.
Sharks: Matt Prior has been added to the 17 that knocked out Souths last weekend. Jack Bird scored 62 last week and should probably get a chance in your centres – although he'll need attacking opportunities to really shine. Paul Gallen deserves a spot in your front or second row, with Wade Graham a very reliable back-row option as well. If you're backing the Sharks to win here or think it'll be a close contest, the reliable Michael Ennis could be an option at hooker over North Queensland's attacking weapon Jake Granville.