Well, what a week of footy it was. The NRL teams threw some surprises and teams will change due to injuries. 

So, without keeping you in the dark too long; just who will be named? Can teams continue their momentum?

Here are the teams for round nine of the NRL Telstra Premiership:

Brisbane Broncos v Canterbury Bulldogs (#NRLbricby); Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane; Thursday, May 3. Kick-off: 7:50 pm. 

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (C) 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Tom Opacic 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Jack Bird 8. Matt Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tevita Pangai Jr.

Interchange: 14. Payne Haas 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Kodi Nikorima 17. Korbin Sims.

Reserves: 18. Jonus Pearson 19. Todd Murphy 20. Sam Tagataese 21. Patrick Mago.

Coach: Wayne Bennett.

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. Clay Priest 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Asipeli Fine 17. Kerrod Holland.

Reserves: 18. John Olive 19. Rhyse Martin 20. Renouf Toomaga 21. Matthew Frawley.

Coach: Dean Pay.

Ricky’s View: Bulldogs fans slowly grow disgruntled with the way their side is playing but can they buck the trend?
Their attack is sluggish, though their defence is somewhat firm. Can this game against the Broncos spark them into attack?
The Broncos also have some inconsistency in their game but boast some tremendous talent. On paper and on form, you would have to back the Broncos in this one. Broncos by 10

Newcastle Knights v South Sydney Rabbitohs (#NRLnewsou); McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle; Friday, May 4. 

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Ken Sio 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Nathan Ross 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Connor Watson 7. Jack Cogger 8. Herman Ese’ese 9. Slade Griffin 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra (C) 13. Mitch Barnett.

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

Reserves: 18. Cory Denniss 19. Jacob Lillyman 20. Danny Levi 21. Josh King.

Coach: Nathan Brown.

Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Campbell Graham 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. Junior Tatola.

Reserves: 18. Robbie Farah 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Braidon Burns 21. Kyle Turner.

Coach: Anthony Seibold.

Ricky’s View: Although the Rabbitohs are in some good form of their own and playing out of their skin, the Knights are just wow.
Surprising everyone with their enterprising play, it has been led by Kalyn Ponga.
An early Dally M favourite given his start to the year, it has propelled the Knights towards consistency and cementing a top eight berth.
Early days yet but if that continues, watch out. On that basis alone, they should be too good for the Bunnies. Knights by 8. 

Penrith Panthers v North Queensland Cowboys (#NRLpennql); Carrington Park, Bathurst; Friday, May 4. Kick-off: 7:55 pm.

Panthers: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Christian Crichton 3. Isaah Yeo 4. Dean Whare 5. Tyrone Phillips 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. James Maloney 8. Trent Merrin 9. Peter Wallace 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Harawira-Naerea 13. James Fisher-Harris.

Interchange: 14. Sione Katoa 15. Jack Hetherington 16. Moses Leota 17. James Tamou.

Reserves: 18. Wayde Egan 19. Nick Lui-Toso 20. Tom Eisenhuth 21. Kaide Ellis.

Coach: Anthony Griffin

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. Shaun Fensom 16. Corey Jensen 17. Ethan Lowe.

Reserves: 18. Francis Molo 19. Jake Clifford 20. Javid Bowen 21. Sam Hoare.

Coach: Paul Green.

Ricky’s View: As Penrith’s injury toll mounts, somehow, they still find ways to win. Though with Dylan Edwards also out, their crisis deepens. Can they stay in second or is a slide on the cards?
As for the Cowboys, they have been perhaps the most inconsistent side all year. Their halves are yet to fire, they seem to struggle at times but look good on other occasions. If any game is going to give them confidence, it is this one against an injury-hit Penrith side. Solely because of their injury toll, I’m going the Cowboys. Just. Cowboys by 2. 

Canberra Raiders v Gold Coast Titans (#NRLcangld); GIO Stadium, Canberra; Saturday, May 5. Kick-off: 3 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. Elliott Whitehead 13. Josh Papalii.

Interchange: 14. Ata Hingano 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Luke Bateman 17. Dunamis Lui.

Reserves: 18. Liam Knight 19. Michael Oldfield 20. Brad Abbey 21. Jack Murchie.

Coach: Ricky Stuart

Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Brendan Elliott 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. Philip Sami 6. Bryce Cartwright 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Ryan James 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Will Matthews 13. Jai Arrow.

Interchange: 14. Max King 15. Jack Stockwell 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Ryan Simpkins.

Reserves: 18. Leilani Latu 19. Moeaki Fotuaika 20. Brenko Lee 21. Kane Elgey.

Coach: Garth Brennan.

Ricky’s View: The Raiders won, the Titans lost. It was a much-needed Raiders win and they will look to continue that momentum. Josh Papalii came out with a point to prove after being dropped previously. Though the whole team manned up in the Cowboys win.
For the Titans, as hard as they fought, they could not overcome the Sharks. If they are to get some monkeys off the back, they need a win. It will not come easy in the nation’s capital, though. Raiders by 12.

New Zealand Warriors v Wests Tigers (#NRLwarwst); Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland; Saturday, May 5. Kick-off: 5:30 pm (AEST) & 7:30 pm (local time).

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. Bunty Afoa 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Simon Mannering 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair.

Interchange: 14. Karl Lawton 15. Sam Lisone 16. Isaiah Papali’i 17. James Gavet.

Reserves: 18. Anthony Gelling 20. Mason Lino 21. Albert Vete 22. Sam Cook.

Coach: Stephen Kearney

Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Esan Marsters 4. Kevin Naiqama 5. Mahe Fonua 6. Benji Marshall (C) 7. Luke Brooks 8. Matthew Eisenhuth 9. Pita Godinet 10. Ben Matulino 11. Chris Lawrence 12. Robbie Rochow 13. Elijah Taylor.

Interchange: 14. Alex Twal 15. Josh Aloiai 16. Michael Chee-Kam 17. Sauaso Sue.

Reserves: 18. Tim Grant 19. Matt McIlwrick 20. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 21. Tyson Gamble.

Coach: Ivan Cleary.

Ricky’s View:  The return of Shaun Johnson, Tohu Harris and Solomone Kata is enough to strike fear into any side. The Tigers may not be unphased, though, as their defence has been relatively resolute season. Although, after some tough games recently, has their bubble burst or is this merely a minor hiccup?
The Warriors seem to be the real deal this year and their three huge inclusions only hinder their ability to win. With further points to prove, the Warriors attack should overwhelm the Tigers. Warriors by 10. 

Cronulla Sharks v Parramatta Eels (#NRLcropar); Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla; Saturday, May 5. Kick-off: 7:35 pm. 

Sharks: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ricky Leutele 5. Edrick Lee 6. Matt Moylan 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Wade Graham (C) 13. Joseph Paulo.

Interchange: 14. Jayson Bukuya 15. James Segeyaro 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Scott Sorenson.

Reserves: 18. Kurt Dillon 19. Jack Williams 20. Trent Hodkinson 21. Braden Uele.

Coach: Shane Flangan.

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson (C) 2. Bevan French 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. George Jennings 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitch Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Suaia Matagi 11. Manu Ma’u 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Peni Terepo.

Interchange: 14. Will Smith 15. Kenny Edwards 16. David Gower 17. Tim Mannah (C).

Reserves: 18. Cameron King 19. Beau Scott 20. Josh Hoffman 21. Marata Niukore.

Coach: Brad Arthur.

Ricky’s View: Eerily similar to their strong run last year, the Eels have won two on the trot now. With their mojo seemingly back and the Sharks down on troops, can they continue the run? The Sharks won’t lie down easy, though, and showed they can still play good footy without key stars.
Against a spirited Eels side that looks to be playing for each other for the first time this season, a win will not be easy. Momentum and confidence is everything in the NRL nowadays. Eels by 8.

St George Illawarra Dragons v Melbourne Storm (#NRLsgimel); WIN Jubilee Oval, Wollongong; Sunday, May 6. Kick-off: 2 pm. 

Dragons: 1. Matthew 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. Reece Robson.

Reserves: 18. Jacob Host 19. Zac Lomax 20. Mitchell Allgood 21. Hame Sele.

Coach: Paul McGregor

Storm: 1. Billy Slater 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Curtis Scott 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Christian Welch 9. Cameron Smith (C) 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Dale Finucane.

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Kenny Bromwich 16. Joe Stimson 17. Sam Kasiano.

Reserves: 18. Young Tonumaipea 19. Patrick Kaufusi 20. Tui Kamikamica 21. Brodie Croft.

Coach: Craig Bellamy.

Ricky’s View: The match of the round, without question. The Storm have found their groove once more and my gosh, do they look on fire. With firing wingers, steely defence and a good attack to boot, they are hard to beat once again.
If any team can upset the Storm train, though, it is the Dragons. Flying high themselves after a stellar start, they boast equally impressive players of their own. A defensive, golden point slog is not out of the question in this one. Storm by 2. 

Sydney Roosters v Manly Sea Eagles (#NRLsydman); Allianz Stadium, Moore Park; Sunday, May 6. Kick-off: 4 pm.

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Joseph Manu 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Mitch Aubusson 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Zane Tetevano 9. Jake Friend (C) 10. Dylan Napa 11. Boyd Cordner (C) 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Isaac Liu.

Interchange: 14. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 15. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 16. Nat Butcher 17. Victor Radley.

Reserves: 18. Sitili Tupouniua 19. Kurt Baptiste 20. Reece Robinson 21. Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

Coach: Trent Robinson.

Manly: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Matthew Wright 3. Moses Suli 4. Brian Kelly 5. Akuila Uate 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (C) 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Marty Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Shaun Lane 13. Jake Trbojevic.

Interchange: 14. Lewis Brown 15. Frank Winterstein 16. Lloyd Perrett 17. Taniela Paseka.

Reserves: 18. Tom Wright 19. Jackson Hastings 20. Tevita Funa 21. Toafofoa Sipley.

Coach: Trent Barrett.

Ricky’s View: This game looks harder to tip than it actually is. The Roosters, on paper, boast, arguably, the best side in the competition. Yet their form has been woefully erratic across the first eight rounds.
Equally erratic have been Manly who, after a good start, have gone on a downward spiral. Injuries, talk of disharmony and off-field incidents have marred their on-field ability.
Down on troops and forced to play players out of position, can they produce a miracle to win? As inconsistent as the Roosters have been, this is a game to change their fortunes around, you would think. Roosters by 18. 

By ricky

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