NRL Preview: Cordner returns, Munster is back & Nikorima boosts Warriors

We have previewed every game of round 10 of the NRL season.

Thursday, July 16

Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders (10:55am)

Round 10 kicks off with what could be the game of the weekend as a 2019 NRL Grand Final replay sees the offensive powerhouse of Sydney take on the rugged defence of Canberra. The Roosters showed last week that even without a couple of star players they can still get the job done after making light work of North Queensland. Meanwhile, the Raiders have not been in their best of form as of late and are on the back of their fourth loss in six games after the defeat to Melbourne. The loss of the influential Josh Hodgson will undoubtedly be a huge miss so it will be interesting to see how the Raiders deal with such a cruel blow.

Team news: Boyd Cordner returns to the Roosters back-row while Brett Morris has been named on the wing but still could be a doubt. Matt Ikuvalu retains his place.

Josh Hodgson (knee) and Bailey Simonsson (knee) are both out so Siliva Havili slots in at hooker and Jordan Rapana starts on the wing for Canberra.

Friday, July 17

Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans (9am)

Despite struggling against the side in recent times, Melbourne were able to end a three-match losing streak to the Raiders last week with a hard fought 20-14 win. The Storm are in a familiar territory of being right near the top of the ladder right now and continue to put pressure on the surging Parramatta and Penrith. After the first ten minutes of their game against the Warriors, it looked as if it was going to be another torrid day at the office for Justin Holbrook’s Titans after going down 12-0 within eight minutes. However, Gold Coast showed plenty of determination to come back and secure their third win of the year. If they want to make it four though then a lot extra will definitely be needed here.

Team news: Melbourne are bolstered by the returning Cameron Munster, while Felise Kaufusi is back in the second-row and Brandon Smith starts at prop for the injured Jesse Bromwich (knee).

Both Phillip Sami (shoulder) and Brian Kelly (quad) return from their retrospective injuries to partner in the Gold Coast centres.

Wests Tigers v Brisbane Broncos (10:55am)

The Tigers at times have looked like a genuine finals side this year but lapses in defence cost them against South Sydney last week as the Rabbitohs took full advantage of some disorganised Tigers defending down the right side. The Western Sydney side now sit just outside the NRL finals places in ninth, which is a spot they have become all too familiar with in recent seasons. They now face a Brisbane side who will be like a load has been lifted after breaking their six-game losing streak against Canterbury.

Team news: The Tigers have a new halves partnership as Benji Marshall and Billy Walters are set to start with Josh Reynolds suspended and Luke Brooks dropped to the bench. Tommy Talau and Russell Packer return to the wing and the front-row retrospectively.

The only major change for Brisbane sees Ben Te’o start in the back-row for injured skipper Alex Glenn while Herbie Farnworth (knee) needs to pass a fitness test.

Saturday, July 18

St George Illawarra Dragons v Canterbury Bulldogs (6am)

It looks as if it is going to be a season to forget for Canterbury as they continue to sit at the bottom of the ladder with just the sole win to their name. They also come into this one with Dean Pay no longer in charge which means interim coach Steve Georgallis will take over the side here. Meanwhile, St George Illawarra look to be heading in an upward trajectory after recording their third win in five games and will be full of confidence following their comprehensive victory over Manly. The Dragons will undoubtedly be looking for revenge here as the Bulldogs’ only win this season came after condemning Paul McGregor’s men to their fourth loss in a row to start to the year.

Team news: Jason Saab is back on the Dragons wing with Jordan Pereira dropping out.

Lachlan Lewis replaces Brandon Wakeham at scrum-half for the Bulldogs while Nick Meaney moves to full-back and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak take his place on the wing. Reimis Smith’s suspension means Kerrod Holland starts at centre.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Newcastle Knights (8:30am)

Despite not being in top form earlier on in the season, the Rabbitohs are now starting to show glimpses of exactly what they can do this year with Latrell Mitchell looking more suited to the full-back position with each passing game. The Bunnies are now ahead of both the Raiders and the Tigers on the NRL ladder as they sit in sixth spot and just the one point behind Newcastle in fifth. Since drawing to Penrith, the Knights have been somewhat inconsistent after winning three and losing three since the third round while their attack has somewhat staggered after recording 18 points in their last two games.

Team news: Star duo Latrell Mitchell (suspension) and Campbell Graham (facial fracture) are out for the Rabbitohs so Alex Johnston reverts to full-back and Dane Gagai moves over to the centres. The Bunnies try out a new wing partnership as Corey Allan and debutant Jaxson Paulo are called up to the starting squad.

The injured Daniel Saifiti is replaced by twin brother Jacob at prop while the trio of Connor Watson, Sione Mata’utia and Mitch Barnett all make their return for the Knights.

Manly Sea Eagles v Parramatta Eels (10:35am)

The Eels were certainly made to work for their victory over the Knights on Sunday but at the end of the day it was another win for Brad Arthur’s side as they solidified their place at the top of the table. Despite being without star half-back Mitch Moses, Parramatta continue to how strong an outfit they are after winning their last three games in his absence. The Sea Eagles’ injury-plagued season looks to be going from bad to worse as they slipped to 10th place following their straight defeat at the hands of the Dragons. The task before them does not get any easier either as they face the table toppers but a dubious forward pass call that denied Manly victory in round four will no doubt still be lingering in their minds.

Team news: Taniela Paseka starts in Manly front-row while Morgan Boyle (groin) is out.

The Eels name an unchanged squad.

Sunday, July 19

New Zealand Warriors v Cronulla Sharks (5:05am)

The Warriors looked like they were about to run riot over Gold Coast last week, especially after leading 12-0 inside the first 10 minutes but Todd Payten’s side would end up failing to score again for the rest of the game. The Sharks will be looking to bounce back themselves after conceding more than 50 points against Penrith last week. Before the loss to the Panthers, Cronulla looked to be heading in a positive direction after a three-game win streak while the Warriors have been a very gritty and determined side this year.

Team news: Kodi Nikorima returns from a head knock to take his place back at five-eighth. Eliesa Katoa (ankle) is also back in the second-row.

The Sharks’ backline is given a boost as Ronaldo Mulitalo (knee) is back on the wing, but Andrew Fifita is out with a hamstring issue.

Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys (7:05am)

The Cowboys have been a side that has seen all different kinds of inconsistency throughout the season. In the first half against Sydney, North Queensland were presented with plenty of opportunities to take the game to their opponents but were left ruing the chances that they squandered as the Roosters eventually made them pay and shine a spotlight on the Queensland’s side poor defence which has been a recurring factor throughout the year. That defence needs to find some confidence as they face another stiff test against Penrith who continued their great season after putting up 56 points against Cronulla in round nine.

Team news: Despite scoring four tries in a sensational debut, Charlie Staines drops out of the Panthers squad altogether after breaking COVID-19 protocols, so Brent Naden moves onto the wing and Dean Whare is at centre.

The Cowboys have been dealt a cruel hand as Valentine Holmes (ankle) is out so Justin O’Neill is back on the wing while Mitch Dunn replaces Scott Drinkwater (knee) at stand-off.

Watch NRL and live stream every NRL game to keep up with how Tom Burgess, John Bateman, Ryan Sutton, Elliott Whitehead and George Williams and all the others are getting on Down Under.

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