Just two NRL teams remain undefeated – the New Zealand Warriors and the St George Illawarra Dragons – and two winless – the Canberra Raiders and Parramatta Eels.

A surprise for many, this season has seen upsets galore, surprising results but plenty of action.

As we near round four of the competition, the excitement is expected to heat up.

So, without further adieu, here are the teams for round four of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

North Queensland Cowboys v Penrith Panthers (#NRLnqlpen); 1300 Smiles Stadium, Townsville; Thursday, March 29. Kick-off: 8:05 pm (AEDT) & 7:05 pm (local).

Cowboys: 1. Ben Hampton 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Javid Bowen 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Michael Morgan 7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 8. Matt Scott (C) 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo.

Interchange: 14. Te Maire Martin 15. John Asiata 16. Scott Bolton 17. Ethan Lowe.

Reserves: 18. Corey Jensen 19. Lachlan Coote 20. Francis Molo 21. Enari Tuala.

Coach: Paul Green.

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Waqa Blake 4. Dean Whare 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. James Maloney 8. James Tamou 9. Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Trent Merrin.

Interchange: 14. Jarome Luai 15. Corey Harawira-Naera 16. Moses Leota 17. James Fisher-Harris.

Reserves: 18. Wayde Egan 19. Nick Lui-Toso 20. Liam Martin 21. Kaide Ellis.

Coach: Anthony Griffin.

Ricky’s View: This would have been a very different conversation if Nathan Cleary was playing. Unfortunately, his MCL injury has him ruled out with that, the Panthers chances of winning. So much hinges on his play and with Tyrone Peachey forced to move into the halves, too much pressure is on James Maloney.
Although the Cowboys are not yet the well-oiled machine they can be, they should have too much class as Michael Morgan and Johnathan Thurston find their mojo again. Cowboys by 16.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLsoucby); ANZ Stadium; Friday, March 30. Kick-off: 4:10 pm.

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Richie Kennar 3. Greg Inglis (C) 4. Dane Gagai 5. Robert Jennings 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Doueihi 8. Thomas Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Sam Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Angus Crichton 13. Cameron Murray.

Interchange: 14. Hymel Hunt 15. Mark Nicholls 16. George Burgess 17. Tevita Tatola.

Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah 19. Jason Clark 20. Braidon Burns 21. Kyle Turner.

Coach: Anthony Seibold

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. Aiden Tolman.

Interchange: 14. Adam Elliott 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Francis Tualau 17. Fa’amanu Brown.

Reserves: 19. Renouf Toomaga 20. Kerrod Holland 21. Asipeli Fine 23. John Olive.

Coach: Dean Pay.

Ricky’s View: Both teams enjoyed last round wins, their first of the season. Traditionally, the contest between these two sides on Good Friday is firey, antsy and full of action, so expect the same. Momentum is everything in the NRL and both teams will want their key players to step up once more.
Purely because of one man at this stage, Moses Mbye, the Dogs will win this one in my books. His form at fullback has been great to start the year and if the Dogs are to win, he looms as a key player yet again. Dogs by 6.

Cronulla Sharks v Melbourne Storm (#NRLcromel); Southern Cross Group, Stadium, Cronulla; Friday, March 30. Kick-off: 8:05 pm. 

Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Valentine Holmes 6. Matt Moylan 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. James Segeyaro 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Joseph Paulo.

Reserves: 18. Kurt Dillon 19. Trent Hodkinson 20. Edrick Lee 21. Braden Uele.

Coach: Shane Flanagan.

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Joe Stimson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Tim Glasby 15. Kenny Bromwich 16. Christian Welch 17. Sam Kasiano.

Reserves: 18. Young Tonumaipea 19. Patrick Kaufusi 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Brandon Smith.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Ricky’s View: A 2016 NRL grand final rematch. The Sharks were the victors that season and will want to build on a last-start win. Their attack is not as fluid as it once was, with combinations still forming and settling. Players understanding their roles and learning new systems.
They will have to get in gear quick, though, as the Storm look ominous early as they always do. Rarely do they lose many games and with Captain Cam leading the way, it is hard to back against them. A nail-biter looms in this one, that’s probably a sure bet. Storm by 4. 

Sydney Roosters v New Zealand Warriors (#NRLsydwar); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Saturday, March 31. Kick-off: 5:30 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 (C) 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Mitch Aubusson 17. Victor Radley.

Reserves: 18. Nat Butcher 19. Kurt Baptiste 20. Mitchell Cornish 21. Lindsay Collins.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (C) 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Leivaha Pulu 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Ligi Sao 16. Tevita Satae 17. Bunty Afoa.

Reserves: 18. Mason Lino 20. Anthony Gelling 21. Albert Vete 22. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad.

Coach: Stephen Kearney.

Ricky’s View: Perhaps the match of the round this one. After a shock round 1 loss, the Roosters have hit back and seem to have found their mojo – in part anyway. The Warriors, a season surprise packet, sit as joint leaders after three rounds.
This, their first real test, will determine where they are at. A tough one to pick as both sides boast an array of talent; Tuivasa-Sheck v Tedesco, Harris v Cordner and Cronk v Johnson. The Warriors look the goods this year and I like their new found attacking spark. Warriors by 1. 

Manly Sea Eagles v Canberra Raiders (#NRLmancan); Lottoland, Brookvale; Saturday, March 31. Kick-off: 7:35 pm. 

Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matthew Wright 3. Brad Parker 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. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Jackson Hastings 15. Shaun Lane 16. Lloyd Perrett 17. Kelepi Tanginoa.

Reserves: 18. Lewis Brown 19. Thomas Wright 20. Frank Winterstein 21. Jack Gosiewski.

Coach: Trent Barrett

Raiders: 1 . Jack Wighton 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (C) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Sam Williams 8. Iosia Soliola 9. Siliva Havili 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Josh Papalii 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Luke Bateman.

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Junior Paulo 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Joseph Tapine.

Reserves: 18. Liam Knight 19. Blake Austin 20. Michael Oldfield 21. Jack Murchie.

Coach: Ricky Stuart.

Ricky’s View: Both teams had a round three to forget with poor performances in their losses. The Raiders have looked in all sorts at times and Manly joined them last week, with uninspiring displays. As they both look to bounce back, who has more desire?
Who wants the win more? It is tough in some ways with the talent on display. Will be it close or a blow-out?
Leaning towards Manly in this one, just an inkling. Manly by 12.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Newcastle Knights (#NRLsginew); WIN Stadium, Wollongong; Sunday, April 1. Kick-off: 4:10 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. Luciano Leilua 15. Kurt Mann 16. Leeson Ah Mau 17. Hame Sele.

Reserves: 18. Jeremy Latimore 19. Zac Lomax 20. Jacob Host 21. Blake Lawrie.

Coach: Paul McGregor.

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Tautau Moga 5. Nathan Ross 6. Brock Lamb 7. Mitchell Pearce (C) 8. Herman Ese’ese 9. Slade Griffin 10. Jacob Lillyman 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitch Barnett.

Interchange: 14. Jamie Buhrer (C) 15. Chris Heighington 16. Jacob Saifiti 17. Daniel Saifiti.

Reserves: 18. Ken Sio 19. Jack Cogger 20. Danny Levi 21. Luke Yates.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Ricky’s View: The Knights lost their opening game of the season last year in what was somewhat of a reality check. Although many tipped they wouldn’t be flying as high as this, they have played well enough to deserve their current spot .
That all in mind, with the form they are in, you’d be mad to tip against the Dragons. Hunt and Widdop are combining brilliantly and live-wire Dufty destroyed the Titans in round 3 on his own. Dragons by 10.

Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLbrigld); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Sunday, April 1. Kick-off: 6:30 pm. 

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Jonus Pearson 3. James Roberts 4. Jack Bird 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Korbin Sims 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire.

Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Tom Opacic 17. Jaydn Su’A.

Reserves: 18. Todd Murphy 19. Sam Tagataese 20. Gehamat Shibaski 21. Patrick Mago.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

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. Ryan James (C) 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Will Matthews 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Mitch Rein 15. Max King 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Leilani Latu.

Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Ryan Simpkins 20. AJ Brimson 21. Tyronne Roberts-Davis.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Ricky’s View: The Broncos are on the climb and the Titans are on the decline. Or, so it seems. They had very different round three games; the Broncos winning narrowly and the Titans losing heavily.
There is always a bit of spice in local derbies but who gets the job done? Based on form alone, although I like the Titans side, I have to pick the Broncos. Broncos by 18. 

Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels (#NRLwstpar); ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park; Monday, April 2. Kick-off: 4 pm.

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. Russell Packer 9. Pita Godinet 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence (C) 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Matt Eisenhuth.

Interchange: 14. Matt McIlwrick 15. Alex Twal 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Josh Aloiai.

Reserves: 18. Tyson Gamble 19. Tim Grant 20. Jacob Liddle 21. Tuimoala Lolohea.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Eels: 1. Will Smith 2. George Jennings 3. Michael Jennings 4. Kirisome Auva’ 5. Josh Hoffman 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Tim Mannah (C) 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown.

Interchange: 14. Beau Scott 15. Kenny Edwards 16. Peni Terepo 17. Tony Williams.

Reserves: 18. Cameron King 19. Suaia Matagi 20. David Gower 21. Marata Niukore.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Ricky’s View: An interesting contest looms in this one. The Eels have the rub of the green over the Tigers in recent contests but their form this year leaves more questions than answers.
As the Tigers look to bounce back from last week, they have been a defensive juggernaut in 2018, repelling attack after attack.
Can the Eels break the drought? They need to give it everything they have got but an opening win has to come sometime, right? Eels by 4. 


By ricky

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