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Scout Report: Round 26 teams wrap

Tue, Aug 29, 2017 - 04:10PM
By ‌Lone Scout‌‌, ‌NRL.com

It all comes down to this.

It's the final round of the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership regular season, with prizes and bragging rights up for grabs in NRL Fantasy. If your team is still in contention the captaincy decision could make or break your season, as could your final trades.

Here are all the team changes and the players to watch for NRL Fantasy in Round 26.

 

Cowboys: No changes. Jason Taumalolo is averaging 70 in his last three games, his most consistent scoring run since the start of the season. 

Broncos: Korbin Sims' broken arm means Sam Thaiday is named at prop, so Ben Hunt could actually start at hooker as named this week. There's quite a reshuffle on the bench with Benji Marshall, Tevita Pangai Jr and Joe Ofahengaue coming in and Jaydn Su'A and Jai Arrow dropping out, while Jordan Kahu replaces David Mead on the wing. James Roberts scored 60 against the Cowboys in Round 2 and is an option in the outside backs if you need to trade out an injured player like Dylan Edwards (via a dual-position reshuffle). 

 

Eels: Manu Ma'u is back, with Kenny Edwards shifting to the bench and Frank Pritchard dropping out. Nathan Brown took out Parramatta's player of the year award on Monday night and is pretty much guaranteed to score at least 55 again as usual.

Rabbitohs: Dean Britt replaces the suspended Zane Musgrove in the 17, but expect another reshuffle like we saw last week with Cody Walker moving to fullback, John Sutton to the bench and Bryson Goodwin to centre. Sam Burgess scored only 26 in 80 minutes last week.

 

Roosters: Unchanged. Those looking to trade in an outside back could take a gamble on Latrell Mitchell or Blake Ferguson, who are both capable of bumper scores and could score a few tries against an injury-ravaged and out-of-form Titans side.

Titans: A lot of changes here, with Nathan Peats (shoulder), Tyrone Roberts (shoulder) and Ryan James (ankle) booked in for surgery and Jarrod Wallace copping a three-match suspension. Leivaha Pulu, Kane Elgey, Morgan Boyle, Pat Politoni and Joe Greenwood join the starting side.

 

‌Sea Eagles: Curtis Sironen returns in place of Shaun Lane in the second row. Jake Trbojevic is in great touch after scores of 74 and 66, while Martin Taupau is coming off back-to-back 50+ efforts. Tom Trbojevic will go down as the best centre in Fantasy this year but will lose dual-position status next season after playing the whole 2017 campaign at fullback. 

Panthers: Dylan Edwards' knee injury is a major blow for Penrith and his Fantasy owners, with Dean Whare to wear the Panthers No.1 jersey this week. Josh Mansour is in great form with tries in his last three games and could be a simple straight swap for Edwards.

 

Storm: Unchanged. Cameron Smith only needed 58 minutes to score 71 points last week, with a try and nine goals, while the Storm amazingly had a total of four players score more than 70 points in the romp of Souths, including a 115 from Suliasi Vunivalu (and Josh Addo-Carr wasn't far behind with 67). 

Raiders: Sia Soliola is back, bumping Joseph Tapine to the interchange and Clay Priest out of the side. Jordan Rapana is averaging 50 points a game on the wing this year - a superb achievement - but he's less likely to be racking up tries against this Melbourne outfit.

 

Knights: Jason Saifiti starts at prop with brother Daniel ruled out, and new face Tyrone Amey joins the interchange. Dane Gagai is averaging 54 in his last three games.

Sharks: Jeremy Latimore replaces Sam Tagataese on the interchange and Jack Bird is a chance of being a late inclusion. Andrew Fifita and Paul Gallen are both captaincy options this week.

 

Dragons: Josh Dugan is back after being dropped for missing the team bus on the weekend, with Kalifa Faifai Loa making way and Josh McCrone back to the bench. Three of the Dragons' four bench players spent a combined 30 minutes on the field last week, so it's still a case of the starting pack being asked to do the bulk of the work - which is good news for Fantasy guns Cameron McInnes, Paul Vaughan and Jack de Belin.

Bulldogs: Brett Morris is out with a ribs injury, with Chase Stanely his replacement, while Josh Reynolds has been added to an extended bench and could make one more appearance in Bulldogs colours. David Klemmer scored a season-high 74 last week including his first try of the season.

 

‌Wests Tigers: Michael Chee-Kam and Matt McIlwrick are suspended but the Tigers will be boosted by the inclusions of Luke Brooks and Elijah Taylor, with Kevin Naiqama replacing Chee-Kam in the centres. A lot of Fantasy leagues could come down to the last game of the regular season and the performance of James Tedesco against a leaky Warriors defence. The best fullback in Fantasy only has one really massive score to his name this year - a 91 agianst Souths back in Round 1 - but his owners will be hoping he can bookend the season with another monster effort in his last game as a Tiger.

Warriors: No changes for the Warriors after their one-point loss to Manly. Simon Mannering is averaging 64 in his last three games while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson could get some good attacking numbers against the team with the most missed tackles in the NRL.

 

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