Just one team is still winless so far his season but what else can we expect from the round six NRL teams?
With so much uncertainty and unexpected play in the NRL so far this season, tipping and picking winners is nigh impossible.
Nevertheless, the teams have plenty to play for, plenty to salvage and some need wins.
So, with the likelihood of players returning or being dropped, here are the teams for round six of the NRL Telstra Premiership:
Sydney Roosters v South Sydney Rabbbitohs (#NRLsydsou); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Thursday, April 12. Kick-off: 7:50 pm.
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Reece Robinson 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 9. Jake Friend 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Isaac Liu.
Interchange: 14. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Mitchell Aubusson 17. Victor Radley.
Reserves: 18. Nat Butcher 19. Kurt Baptiste 20. Tyler Cornish 21. Frank-Paul Nuuausala.
Coach: Trent Robinson.
Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Richie Kennar 3. Greg Inglis (C) 4. Dane Gagai 5. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. George Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Cameron Murray.
Interchange: 14. Adam Doueihi 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Jason Clark 17. Tevita Tatola.
Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Campbell Graham 21. Kyle Turner.
Coach: Anthony Seibold.
Ricky’s View: Although Souths have progressively gotten better, it is hard to see them overwhelming a tough Roosters outfit. Slowly finding a mojo of their own, the Roosters are also inconsistent but seem better put together. The rivalry between the two sides is tense so we can expect a fiery encounter.
Roosters by 16
Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights (#NRLmelnew); AAMI Park, Melbourne; Friday, April 13. Kick-off: 6 pm.
Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Kenny Bromwich.
Interchange: 14. Joe Stimson 15. Tim Glasby 16. Christian Welch 17. Sam Kasiano.
Reserves: 18. Brandon Smith 19. Patrick Kaufusi 20. Brodie Croft 21. Justin Olam.
Coach: Craig Bellamy.
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Nathan Ross 5. Ken Sio 6. Brock Lamb 7. Mitch Pearce (C) 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Slade Griffin 10. Jacob Lillyman 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Herman Ese’ese.
Interchange: 14. Danny Levi 15. Chris Heighington 16. Jamie Buhrer (C) 17. Jacob Saifiti.
Reserves: 18. Luke Yates 19. Josh King 20. Jack Cogger 21. Cory Denniss.
Coach: Nathan Brown.
Ricky’s View: Rarely have the Storm started a season so poorly and they, perhaps more than most, need a win. With potential players to be getting the flick, they will want to get their season back on track and back in the winners’ circle. It will not come easy, though, as the Knights are on fire and producing the best football we have seen from them in years. A well-oiled machine and led by Kalyn Ponga and Mitch Pearce, they perform consistently. A really hard one to pick. Storm by 1.
St George Illawarra Dragons v Cronulla Sharks (#NRLsgicro); WIN Stadium, Wollongong; Friday, April 13. Kick-off: 8:05 pm.
Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jason Nightingale 6. Gareth Widdop (C) 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin.
Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Hame Sele.
Reserves: 18. Jacob Host 19. Zac Lomax 20. Reece Robson 21. Blake Lawrie.
Coach: Paul McGregor.
Sharks: 1. Matt Moylan 2. Edrick Lee 3. Josh Dugan 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Valentine Holmes 6. Trent Hodkinson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham (C) 13. Paul Gallen (C).
Interchange: 14. Kurt Capewell 15. Kurt Dillon 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Joseph Paulo.
Reserves: 18. Jesse Ramien 19. Scott Sorenson 20. Jack Williams 21. Kyle Flanagan.
Coach: Shane Flanagan.
Ricky’s View: By their own standards, the Sharks should and can be better. Notoriously ill-disciplined, they have lost games via their own hand and it has cost them. If they are to win, they have to be at their best against an unbeaten Dragons side.
Widdop and Hunt, arguably the form halves duo, are playing their part beautifully. Capitalising on the Dragons strong forward play, there seems to be no team capable of going toe-to-toe with them.
Dragons should have this one safe for the local derby.
Dragons by 10.
New Zealand Warriors v Brisbane Broncos (#NRLwarbri); Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland; Saturday, April 14. Kick-off: 3 pm (AEDT) & 5 pm (local time).
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Leivaha Pulu 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair.
Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Sam Lisone 16. Simon Mannering 17. Anthony Gelling.
Reserves: 18. Mason Lino 20. Chris Satae 21. Isaiah Papali’i 22. Sam Cook.
Coach: Stephen Kearney.
Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Jack Bird 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matt Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Tevita Pangai Jr. 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire.
Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Korbin Sims 17. Jaydn Su’A.
Reserves: 18. Tom Opacic 19. Troy Dargan 20. Sam Tagataese 21. Payne Haas.
Coach: Wayne Bennett.
Ricky’s View: Although the Broncos looked good last week, the clinical nature and fluidity of the Warriors makes this one a foregone conclusion in my eyes. Unless the Warriors have their first poor game of the year, yet another win should be on the cards for them. Warriors by 8.
North Queensland Cowboys v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLnqlcby); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Saturday, April 14. Kick-off: 5:30 pm.
Cowboys: 1. Lachlan Coote 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Ben Hampton 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Jake Granville 10. Scott Bolton 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo.
Interchange: 14. Te Maire Martin 15. John Asiata 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ethan Lowe.
Reserves: 18. Francis Molo 19. Javid Bowen 20. Enari Tuala 21. Jake Clifford.
Coach: Paul Green.
Bulldogs: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Will Hopoate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Jeremy Marshall-King 7. Kieran Foran 8. Aaron Woods 9. Michael Lichaa 10. David Klemmer 11. Josh Jackson (C) 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Adam Elliott.
Interchange: 14. Asipeli Fine 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Greg Eastwood 17. Kerrod Holland.
Reserves: 18. John Olive 19. Rhyse Martin 20. Renouf Toomaga 21. Reimis Smith.
Coach: Dean Pay.
Ricky’s View: Both teams have their problems here, which makes picking a winner that much harder. With such high expectations, the Cowboys have faltered as a team and just cannot get wins on the board. Against a Dogs side desperate to turn things around themselves, the clash will be feisty and full of flavour. Purely because of their finals experience and the ability of Johnathan Thurston, I lean towards the Cowboys. Just. Cowboys by 10.
Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels (#NRLcanpar); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Saturday, April 14. Kick-off: 7:30 pm.
Raiders: 1. Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Blake Austin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Iosia Soliola 9. Siliva Havili 10. Junior Paulo 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Eliott Whitehead 13. Luke Bateman
Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Josh Papalii 17. Dunamis Lui.
Reserves: 18. Liam Knight 19. Michael Oldfield 20. Brad Abbey 21. Jack Murchie.
Coach: Ricky Stuart.
Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. George Jennings 3. Michael Jennings 4. Kirisome Auva’a 5. Bevan French 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Peni Terepo 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah 11. Manu Ma’u (C) 12. Tony Williams 13. Tepai Moeroa.
Interchange: 14. Beau Scott 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Kane Evans.
Reserves: 18. Will Smith 19. David Gower 20. Suaia Matagi 21. Josh Hoffman.
Coach: Brad Arthur.
Ricky’s View: The Raiders may have gotten their first win last week with a hard-fought display but the Eels, however, did not. Languishing at the bottom, it is now or never for blue and gold. Though they will be boosted by the return of Clint Gutherson and Bevan French. Is that enough, though?
The Raiders have themselves been inconsistent but dug deep to record a maiden 2018 win. With one team looking to build momentum and the other seeking to start it, picking a winner is hard. Eels by 4.
Penrith Panthers v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLpengld); Pepper Stadium, Penrith; Sunday, April 15. Kick-off: 2 pm.
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3, Isaah Yeo 4. Dean Whare 5. Christian Crichton 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. James Maloney 8. Trent Merrin 9. Peter Wallace (C) 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. James Fisher-Harris.
Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Kaide Ellis 16. Moses Leota 17. James Tamou.
Reserves: 18. Jarome Luai 19. Nick Lui-Toso 20. Sione Katoa 21. Jack Hetherington.
Coach: Anthony Griffin.
Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Philip Sami 6. Kane Elgey 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Max King 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Will Matthews 13. Jai Arrow.
Interchange: 14. Mitch Rein 15. Morgan Boyle 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Jack Stockwell.
Reserves: 18. Leilani Latu 19. Keegan Hipgrave 20. Ryan Simpkins 21. Tyronne Roberts-Davis.
Coach: Garth Brennan.
Ricky’s View: The Titans are flying high in recent times after some hard-fought wins led by their forwards. Jai Arrow is leading from the front and has many fans impressed but can their pack match an equally in-form Penrith pack?
Viliame Kikau on the fringe has been perhaps the surprise packet of the year so far. Difficult to stop, he looms as the key threat against a weak Titans edge defence. I like what I have seen from the Titans in recent weeks.
Titans by 6.
Manly Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers (#NRLmanwst); Lottoland, Brookvale; Sunday, April 15. Kick-off: 4 pm.
Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Brad Parker 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Jack Gosiewski 13. Jake Trbojevic.
Interchange: 14. Jackson Hastings 15. Shaun Lane 16. Lloyd Perrett 17. Frank Winterstein.
Reserves: 18. Matt Wright 19. Jonathan Wright 21. Taniela Paseka 22. Tom Wright.
Coach: Trent Barrett.
Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 6. Benji Marshall (C) 7. Luke Brooks 8. Alex Twal 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Matt Eisenhuth.
Interchange: 14. Josh Reynolds 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Sauaso Sue.
Reserves: 18. Tim Grant 19. Chris McQueen 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Tuimoala Lolohea.
Coach: Ivan Cleary.
Ricky’s View: The Tigers surprise season this year has so far been based around sturdy, resolute defence. They will need that against a Manly side known for their attack. With a possible return for Tom Trbojevic, his x-factor could be enough to get Manly over the line.
Defensive approaches week in and week out can actively wear a team down and so that is the challenge for the Tigers.
Although their defence is strong, Manly at home for mine. Manly by 4.