NRL Round 7 Teams: Dolphins, Bunnies decimated, Panthers half a chance with star duo, Aloiai, Klemmer in judiciary strife


The Dolphins are in disarray with injuries and judiciary trouble reducing them to bare bones leading into next Friday’s trip to Darwin to face Parramatta.

A grade-two hamstring tear to star fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has only compounded their problems. Adding to those tales of woe, utility Anthony Milford was charged with dangerous contact by the match review committee for a late, needless hit on Broncos fullback Reece Walsh in the Dolphins’ 28-14 loss on Friday night.

The grade two charge means Milford will be suspended for two weeks with a guilty plea. Tabuai-Fidow could be out until round 13. The “Hammer” left the field in the 21st minute of Friday night’s loss at Suncorp Stadium.

Five-eighth Kodi Nikorima, who replaced him at fullback, exited late with a calf injury. The Dolphins have already lost Maroons forward Tom Gilbert for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Utility Kurt Donoghoe is suspended until round eight, while second-rower Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) and England centre Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) won’t be available this Friday.

Second-rower Connelly Lemuelu (knee) is not expected back for a fortnight, while Maroons prop Thomas Flegler (shoulder) is also in doubt to face the Eels.

Souths are in a similar state of disarray with Latrell Mitchell (suspension), Lachlan Ilias (broken leg), prop Tevita Tatola (foot) and Tyrone Munro (collarbone) out. Cameron Murray is a chance to suit up next weekend after their Round 7 bye.

Penrith look set to have their first-choice halves combination back after scans cleared Jarome Luai of a knee injury. Coach Ivan Cleary was optimistic about Luai’s prognosis and scans have since revealed no damage.

Luai returned to Penrith’s gym during the week to train on his day off even though the team had the bye. The news is a welcome boost for the Panthers, who struggled without talismanic halfback Nathan Cleary against the Sea Eagles last week.

The halfback may yet still be a couple of weeks off proving his fitness after a month out with a hamstring problem and if he is unable to return, Brad Schneider will again deputise in the No.7 jersey. Second-rower Scott Sorensen will also be in the frame against Wests Tigers on Saturday.

The New Zealand international suffered a minor knee injury in last month’s win over Brisbane but has been targeting a round-seven return.

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Josh Aloiai had salt rubbed into the wound on Sunday when he was hit with a grade-two dangerous contact charge for running into Shaun Johnson on Saturday, after the Warriors halfback attempted a two-point field goal.

Attemping to pressure Johnson, Aloiai collided with the No.7’s outstretched leg and was penalised by the bunker. The penalty allowed the Warriors to draw level at 22-22 after the siren, before a golden-point stalemate meant the match ended in a rare draw.

Aloiai will miss Manly’s trip to Gold Coast next weekend with an early guilty plea, while he would risk a second game on the sidelines if he fights the charge and loses.

Cronulla winger Sione Katoa is the other player facing a ban out of Saturday’s matches, with a one-game suspension looming for his high hit on Murray. If Katoa was to fight the charge and lose, his ban would double to two matches.

Tigers prop David Klemmer is likely to cop two charges for high shots in the loss to the Dragons and with his poor judiciary record, he could be out for a few weeks.

Cowboys pair Sam McIntyre and Kulikefu Finefeuiaki were charged for dangerous contact during North Queensland’s seven-point loss to Parramatta on Saturday, but can accept fines.

Eels second-rower Bryce Cartwright can take a fine for dangerous contact from the same match.

Round 7 teams

Sydney vs Melbourne at Allianz Stadium: 7.50pm, Thursday April 18

Roosters: Dominic Young has one more game to serve on his high tackle ban while James Tedesco and Sam Walker are due to return after sitting out the win over Newcastle with head knocks. 

Luke Keary was charged by the Match Review Committee with a contrary conduct offence and faces a $1000 fine with an early guilty plea.

Sitili Tupouniua failed his HIA against Newcastle and needs to pass the concussion protocols to play.

Storm: Star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen faces a $750 fine for a Dangerous Contact offence involving Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr while teammates Reimis Smith (Careless High Tackle) and Alec MacDonald (Dangerous Contact) have also avoided bans but will cop a financial hit.

Tui Kamikamica could be sidelined with a calf injury, opening the door for Nelson Asofa-Solomona to be recalled from the NSW Cup.

Zac Lomax scores the first try. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

St George Illawarra vs Warriors at WIN Stadium: 6pm, Friday April 19

Dragons: With a five-day turnaround after their clash with the Tigers at Campbelltown, Jack Bird will be stood down after being diagnosed with a category-one concussion in the win over the Wests Tigers. It will be interesting to see if Zac Lomax gets a run at centre with Bird grounded.

Warriors: Veteran forward Jazz Tevaga is set to miss a few weeks with a hamstring strain.

Parramatta vs Dolphins at TIO Stadium, Darwin: 8pm, Friday April 19

Eels: Bryce Cartwright will cop a fine of $750 fine for Dangerous Contact on Tom Dearden.

Dolphins: Max Plath is back from his hip-drop tackle ban while veteran five-eighth Anthony Milford faces a ban for Dangerous Contact.

Milford was put on report in the 37th minute for a hit on Reece Walsh in the loss to Brisbane and faces a two-game ban even with an early guilty plea.

Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) and fellow forward Tom Flegler (shoulder) should be back but Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) is another couple of weeks away.

Star fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is likely to be out for a few weeks after injuring his hamstring against Brisbane.

Penrith vs Wests at Carrington Park, Bathurst: 3pm, Saturday April 20

Panthers: Second-rower Scott Sorensen is a chance to overcome his knee injury while Jarome Luai has a similar problem. Nathan Cleary could make a return from his hamstring strain.

Tigers: John Bateman and Samuela Fainu will return from concussions from the Round 5 loss to the Dolphins. Rookie five-eighth Lachlan Galvin will also be available after serving a two-game ban.

David Klemmer is likely to face judiciary trouble after being reported for two high tackles against the Dragons.

Api with the no look pass to Utoikamanu ????

???? Watch #NRLTigersDragons on ch.502 or stream on Kayo:

— Fox League (@FOXNRL) April 14, 2024

Gold Coast vs Manly at Cbus Super Stadium: 5.30pm, Saturday April 20

Titans: Young prop Keenan Palasia (thigh) should be right to return but Phil Sami’s ankle injury will keep him out another week. 

Sea Eagles: Reuben Garrick should return from a concussion in the centres but prop Josh Aloiai was hit with a Grade 2 Dangerous Contact charge for his last-minute tackle on Shaun Johnson, which ended up sending the Warriors game into overtime. He is looking at a one-game ban if he accepts the charge.

Winger Jason Saab (hamstring) and props Matt Lodge and Nathan Brown (knee) are set to be available.

Brisbane vs Canberra at Suncorp Stadium: 7.35pm, Saturday April 20

Broncos: Second-rower Jordan Riki has been charged with a Grade 1 Careless High Tackle offence and will be fined $1000 should he enter an early guilty plea. The fine increases to $1500 should he fight the charge and be unsuccessful. Payne Haas (knee) is unlikely to be back and Adam Reynolds’ hamstring injury means Jock Madden will get another run at halfback.

Raiders: Elliott Whitehead (calf) and winger Albert Hopoate (arm) are a chance to return while Jordan Rapana (knee) should be right after missing Sunday’s clash with Gold Coast.

Canterbury vs Newcastle at Accor Stadium: 2pm, Sunday April 21

Bulldogs: Young prop Sam Hughes has been charged with Grade1 Dangerous Contact and is facing an $1800 fine as this is his second offence.

Kurt Morris is back from suspension while Max King (wrist), Kurt Mann (hand), Blake Taaffe (concussion) and Harrison Edwards (neck) are all under injury clouds.

Knights: Veteran forward Tyson Frizell is no certainty to return from his hamstring problem. Kalyn Ponga’s hip injury should not keep him out.

The Sharks extend their lead after a floating pass finds Katoa ????

???? Watch #NRLRabbitohsSharks on ch.502 or stream on Kayo:

— Fox League (@FOXNRL) April 13, 2024

Cronulla vs North Queensland at PointsBet Stadium: 4.05pm, Sunday April 21

Sharks: Dale Finucane (head) and fellow forward Braden Hamlin-Uele (knee) are on the comeback trail while winger Sione Katoa was charged with a Grade 2 High Tackle for a hit on Cameron Murray in the win over Souths and is facing a one-game suspension.

Jack Williams (thigh) and Royce Hunt (calf) are maybes.

Cowboys: Kulikefu Finefeuiaki and Sam McIntyre face $1000 fines for Dangerous Contact on Bailey Simonsson and Daejarn Asi in the loss to Parramatta. 

Bye – Rabbitohs

Latrell Mitchell has two more matches to serve on his ban but  Cameron Murray, who suffered a concussion in the loss to Cronulla, should be right to return in Round 8. Front-rower Tevita Tatola (foot) and winger Tyrone Munro (collarbone) are likely to be sidelined for a few weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.