The 2020 NRL season heads into the finals and we kick off with the big clash between last year's Premiers and this year's Minor Premiers. The Roosters were shocked by the Rabbitohs last week, but will come prepared for a tough encounter with the Panthers. The weekend's action is set to thrill with two teams facing elimination and two looking for a week off.
Good luck with your tips.
Friday, October 2
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To'o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Reserves: 14. Tyrone May 15. Kurt Capewell 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano 18. Mitch Kenny 19. Dean Whare 20. Matt Burton 21. Spencer Leniu
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Isaac Liu
Reserves: 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Angus Crichton 17. Sonny Bill Williams 18. Nat Butcher 19. Mitchell Aubusson 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Matt Ikuvalu
Verdict: No team ever wants to enter the finals on the back of conceding 60 points, but that's what the Roosters face this weekend after their embarrassing effort against the Rabbitohs. They welcome back some key outside backs but face the red-hot Panthers who prepared for their finals run with a 42-0 win over the Bulldogs. The Roosters' big loss last week has taken some sting out of what would have been a highly-anticipated clash between these two heavyweight contenders. You can be sure it will be a much improved Roosters effort out at Penrith.
Tip: Panthers by 8
Saturday, October 3
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemi 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papali'i 9. Tom Starling 10. Dunamis Lui 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joseph Tapine
Reserves: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Iosia Soliola 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera 18. Sam Williams 19. Kai O'Donnell 20. Michael Oldfield 21. Matthew Timoko
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Connor Tracey 7. Chad Townsend 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Toby Rudolf
Reserves: 14. Siosifa Talakai 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Jack Williams 18. Teig Wilton 19. Braydon Trindall 20. Mawene Hiroti 21. Bryson Goodwin
Verdict: These two played just last week, with an under-strength Raiders team being good enough to beat the Sharks by 10 points. This week for the finals, coach Ricky Stuart brings back his rested stars and it's hard to see where the Sharks will find enough improvement to match this line-up. The Sharks are a team that can switch on, but without their general Shaun Johnson, they lack the firepower to match the Raiders at home.
Tip: Raiders by 14
Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels, Suncorp Stadium, 7:50pm (AEST)
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Reserves: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nicholas Hynes 18. Darryn Schonig 19. Isaac Lumelume 20. Albert Vete 21. Ryley Jacks
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown
Reserves: 14. Will Smith 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 17. Marata Niukore 18. Ray Stone 19. Brad Takairangi 20. Oregon Kaufusi 21. Daniel Alvaro
Verdict: The Storm rested many of their stars last weekend and were beaten by the Dragons, while the Eels, with most of their stars and their Top 4 position on the line, struggled to beat the Tigers. If the Eels have been saving a gear for the finals, it will have to be used from the very start of this game. If they let the Storm get their noses in front it could be a very long night for the blue and golds. The Storm live for this time of year and with doubts over the future of captain Cameron Smith still lingering, they won't go down without one hell of a fight.
Tip: Storm by 18
Sunday, October 4
Rabbitohs: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su'A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cameron Murray
Reserves: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Liam Knight 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Keaon Koloamatangi 18. Steven Marsters 19. Hame Sele 20. Troy Dargan 21. Patrick Mago
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Mitchell Barnett
Reserves: 14. Chris Randall 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Herman Ese'ese 17. Sione Mata'utia 18. Josh King 19. Gehamat Shibasaki 20. Tex Hoy 21. Brodie Jones
Verdict: This game really should have been played in Newcaslte, only the Knights failed to turn up last week and were trounced by the Titans. The Rabbitohs, spurred on by the opportunity of jumping the Knights on the ladder, went on to destroy the Roosters in a record-breaking clash between the bitter rivals. If last week's form holds true the Rabbitohs could lap the Knights here. The inconsistency of both teams through the season means we just might see a tight one
Tip: Rabbitohs by 16