Round 8 has already arrived and what a ride the first five rounds have been! In round 7 we saw some incredibly unfortunate injury's, a couple of super stars in Latrell Mitchell and Daly Cherry-Evans shine in a big way! And we saw some big guns let a few coaches down with some disappointing scores. So what will round 8 bring? In this blog we'll be previewing every game of the round and providing some insight into what we might expect in the week ahead. What do you think round 8 hold for us? let us know who you agree with and who else you might have selected down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Penrith Panthers
Thursday 20th of April - 7:50pm AEST
Absolute blockbuster viewing to kick off round 8 on Thursday night as two mammoth teas face off against each other. The Rabbitohs will look to avenge a 16-10 loss to the Panthers, a loss in which they suffered in round 2 this year! Both teams suffer key losses for this match. South Sydney will be without star Keaon Koloamatangi after he suffered a leg injury last week, Michael Chee Kam will slot into Keaon's position. Scott Sorensen moves back in the starting side to replace the luckless Liam Martin, who is still struggling with a hamstring injury.
Panthers centre Stephen Crichton has scored seven tries in his past eight games against the Rabbitohs. Penrith have also won their last 10/11 matchups against the Rabbitohs. Can Crichton return to some of his earlier season form? After opening the season with back-to-back scores of 36 and 66, Crichton has been nothing short of disappointing, can he return to fantasy form in a match up he loves statistically?
South Sydney 18 - 20 Penrith Cam Murray - 75 GDS fantasy points
Parramatta Eels V Brisbane Broncos
Friday 21st of April - 8:00pm AEST
The Brisbane Broncos are in incredible form off the back of Reece Walsh, Payne Haas and Adam Reynolds playing in inspiring form. They meet 2022's runners up the Parramatta Eels which promises to be a classic stoush up in Darwin! Josh Hodgson immediately returns to the starting lineup after recovering from an illness he had last week. Walters has placed Corey Oates and Thomas Flegler back into the Broncos as their starting lineup gets even stronger.
Fullback Reece Walsh has been in rare fantasy form, scoring 62, 72 and 64 GDS fantasy points in his last 3 games. If he can keep up this form, he'll be regarded as one of, if not the best WFB in the league for fantasy. Predictions! Parramatta 14 - 22 Brisbane Herbie Farnworth - 50 GDS fantasy points
Canterbury Bulldogs V Cronulla Sharks
Saturday 22nd of April - 5:30pm AEST
Both the Canterbury Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharks will be looking to get a good run of form going in round 8. Cronulla have been performing well, sitting 6th on the NRL ladder, but cannot string a couple of wins together at the moment. The Bulldogs will be looking to turn their season around, sitting 15th on the ladder currently. A knee injury to winger Jacob Kiraz sees Declan Casey come into the side while Braidon Burns returns from an ankle injury on the other wing. The Sharks come into this matchup without any changes.
Nicho Hynes is the most wanted man in Rugby League fantasy at the moment. He's averaging 85 GDS fantasy points a game at the moment and doesn't looking like slowing down here against the Bulldogs!
Predictions! Canterbury 12 - 28 Cronulla Nicho Hynes - 70 GDS fantasy points
North Queensland Cowboys V Newcastle Knights
Saturday 22nd of April - 7:35pm AEST
A super interesting match up here on Saturday night as the North Queensland Cowboys will be looking to put an end to their three game losing streak. The Newcastle Knights will be looking to keep up the form that so nearly took down the Penrith Panthers last week, losing in a golden point hit out. Reuben Cotter will start at lock for Todd Payten's men after losing Jason Taumalolo to a knee injury. For the Knights, Kalyn Ponga is back for his first game since Round 2 and will play his 100th NRL match.
Can Cotter find consistent form in Jason Taumalolo's lock position while he is out for up to 6 weeks. Cotter was one of 2022's biggest risers and hasn't really stepped up in 2023, this could be the catalyst to his form. Predictions! North Queensland 16 - 20 Newcastle Reuben Cotter - 60 GDS fantasy points
Dolphins V Gold Coast Titans
Sunday 23rd of April - 2:00pm AEST Another Queensland derby in 2023 as the Dolphins take on the Titans for the first time ever. The Broncos rolled over the Titans last week who were strong up until half time. The story was similar for the Dolphins who were strong in the first half against the Rabbitohs but just couldn't hold on in the second. The line up news for the Titans begins with Jojo Fifita coming in on the wing with Phil Sami going to the centres and Aaron Schoupp dropping out. For the Dolphins, Felise Kaufusi makes his return from a four game suspension and will replace Kenny Bromwich in the starting side after he was suspended in last weeks game against the Rabbitohs. Prop Jarrod Wallace returns after a week out with concussion so JJ Collins shifts to 18th man.
In form Titans winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira has scored seven tries in his past five games. Can he keep his scoring record up while continuing to be a sound fantsy asset?
Predictions! Dolphins 8 - 30 Gold Coast
Jamayne Isaako - 50 GDS fantasy points
Wests Tigers V Manly Sea Eagles
Sunday 15th of April - 7:35pm AEST
It's just keeps getting worse for the Wests Tigers who currently sit last on the NRL Ladder and will be without their five-eighth and star Adam Doueihi for the season. While the Manly Sea Eagles will look to make the most of this matchup after narrowly losing to the Parramatta Eels on Easter Monday. Aside from the major Doueihi news mentioned above, there is more shuffling in the backline with Jahream Bula set to make his NRL debut at fullback, Charlie Staines moving to the wing and Asu Kepaoa into the centres to replace Brent Naden (collarbone). Two gargantuan inclusions for Manly as five-eighth Josh Schuster returns after missing three games with a quadriceps injury while winger Reuben Garrick (concussion) is also back on deck.
This *should* be a flat track bully type outing for Tom Trbojevic who has shown us he can score massive fantasy scores, if he can't do it here against a Tigers team that can't catch a break, he might not be trustworthy at all.
Wests Tigers 6 – 24 Manly
Tom Trbojevic – 70 GDS fantasy points
Sydney Roosters V St George Illawarra Dragons
Tuesday 25th of April - 4:05pm AEST
A tradition as old as time as the Sydney Roosters take on the St George Illawarra Dragons in this historic ANZAC Day matchup. This will be the 21st time the Dragons and the Roosters meet on our most important national day and will be sure to put on a show for a packed Allianz Stadium. There have been some huge moves for the Roosters leading into this game. Joey Manu has moved to five-eighth with Luke Keary shifting to halfback and Sam Walker falling to the reserves. Angus Crichton makes his comeback and will fill the hole left by Nat Butcher's suspension. Sitili Tupouniua has also recovered from an ACL injury and has been named to play his first game since round 18 last year. Just one change for the Dragons with Ben Murdoch-Masila donning the red V on the weekend in place of Jayden Su'A.
How does Joey Manu fair at five-eighth? He's been in the spotlight for all the worst reasons, not performing anywhere near his usual standards. Could a position change to the number 6 jersey ignite his form?
Sydney 28 – St George Illawarra 16
Joey Manu – 60 GDS fantasy points
Melbourne Storm V New Zealand Warriors
Tuesday 25th of April - 7:00pm AEST The NRL's second ANZAC Day match up where the Melbourne Storm take on the New Zealand Warriors. Melbourne have dominated this fixture in recent years but the excitement for this match up never fades. Nick Meaney returns to the Melbourne line up after suffering delayed concussion symptoms last week, Cameron Munster returns to the halves. Prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been named to return from a knee injury, filling the void left by Tui Kamikamica (suspended). Although gun hooker Wade Egan progressed well through concussion protocols, Warriors staff have chosen to give him an extra week off. Marata Niukore's return from a two game suspension pushes Josh Curren out of the starting line up.
Harry Grant owners will not be pleased with his out put last week, only scoring 30 points. Can he bounce back in a big way and repay the faith loyal coaches are putting into him?
Melbourne 22 – 18 New Zealand
Harry Grant – 60 GDS fantasy points