Late Mail: Knights sweat on injured stars

It’s been ten years to the week since Morris last felt the axe – he was last dropped from a top squad as a Bulldog in 2011 – but Robinson believes the 34-year old needed some time to work on his game after slipping below his best.“Josh would admit he’s not up to his standard. He doesn’t need lessons from me on how to play,” Robinson said.Watch The 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >“He needed to take five and get back to some training and back to some rest and then work on what he needs to do and get back to his best. We need him there. It’s really hard when you see a guy like that and you tell him he’s not playing.“It’s not a nice thing to do, it’s not about ‘I’ll show you’ and ‘you need to perform or else’. It’s as much me failing as it is Josh. It’s hard, when that happens, we just have to keep pushing forward.”Off-contract at season’s end, Morris began the year in superb form but the 34-year has struggled to replicate that football as the campaign marched on.It’s a big call given the Roosters must beat Newcastle to stay in touch with the top four ahead of a rough run that includes games against the Eels and Panthers in the next two weeks, but Robinson believes a breather will do Morris a world of good. “Josh has had a lot of games in a row and his form has slipped a bit so it’s a good opportunity to take a break,” Robinson said.“He’s taken it really well as a well-experienced guy can do. It’s really disappointing but he understands and he’s got back to training and work.“It’s not what he wants but it’s also about getting some time and then getting back to work.”Smith’s return from injury gives Robinson the depth to make such a momentous call.Originally earmarked as Latrell Mitchell’s replacement when the Test and Origin star left for South Sydney, a succession of injuries have stopped Smith from adding to the two NRL games he played in his debut season back in 2019.But the 21-year old has impressed Robinson in the side’s last two outings, scoring in both, and will line up against the Knights.“I’ve been a fan of Billy for a long time. He’s got a hardness and an intensity about the way he trains and he turns up every single session. I like the way he attacked the game on the weekend,” Robinson said.“He’s still learning the game at NRL level but he played with a consistency in that game and took his moments as well. He came up with some high quality plays, it was a good reintroduction into the NRL.”ROUND 19 TEAMS AND LATE MAILEELS V RAIDERSThursday 22 July, Cbus Super Stadium, 7:50pmEELS: 1. Clint Gutherson, 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Will Penisini, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Jake Arthur, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Isaiah Papali’i, 12. Ryan Matterson, 13. Nathan BrownBench: 14. Marata Niukore, 15. Shaun Lane, 16. Oregon Kaufusi, 17. Will SmithReserves: 18. Haze Dunster, 19. Bryce CartwrightPlayers cut: 20. Makahesi Makatoa, 21. Joey Lussick Late mail: Eels look set to be 1-17 with Clint Gutherson in some doubt due to rib injury, with Hayze Dunster on standby should he be late withdrawal. Junior Paulo returns after being rested last week after Origin 3, while Jake Arthur continues at halfback for the injured Mitchell Moses. Blake Ferguson returns after his surprise axing and being unavailable the past few weeks due to calf injury. Will Penisini makes his NRL debut at right centre inside Blake Ferguson. Makahesi Makatoa and Joey Lussick were the 2 players omitted from the 19 man squad 24 hours before kick-off with Hayze Dunster and Bryce Cartwright remaining in 19.RAIDERS: 1. Jordan Rapana, 2. Harley Smith-Shields, 3. Jarrod Croker, 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Semi Valemei, 6. Matt Frawley, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Emre Guler, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Hudson Young, 13. Ryan SuttonBench: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Matthew Timoko, 16. Iosia Soliola 17. Joseph TapineReserves: 18. Caleb Aekins, 19. Ryan JamesPlayers cut: 20. Siliva Havili, 21. Trey MooneyLate mail: Matt Frawley is back in the Raiders squad to replace Jack Wighton at 5/8 who misses out this week due to a rib injury. The only potential change to 17 could be on bench with outside back Matt Timoko named but Ryan James a chance to replace him in the 17. Harley Smith-Shields comes onto the right wing to play his 1st NRL game of the season. Caleb Aekins and James remaining in the 19 man squad after Silivia Havili and Trey Mooney both dropped from the squad on Wednesday night.ROOSTERS V KNIGHTSFriday 23 July, Sunshine Coast Stadium, 6:00pmROOSTERS: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Billy Smith, 4. Joey Manu, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Drew Hutchison, 7. Sam Walker, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreave, 9. Sam Verrills, 10. Isaac Liu, 11. Angus Crichton, 12. Sitili Tupouniua, 13. Victor RadleyBench: 14. Lachlan Lam, 15. Nat Butcher, 16. Egan Butcher, 17. Siosiua TaukeiahoReserves: 18. Adam Keighran, 19. Fletcher Baker, 20. Josh Morris, 21. Ben ThomasPlayers cut: Late mail: Roosters only player in some doubt is Sio Siua Taukeiaho, after he missed last week’s game due to a hamstring injury which he has been managing over the Origin period. He will need to pass a final fitness test at the Captain’s run, with Fletcher Baker to come onto bench if Taukeiaho fails to come up. James Tedesco returns after he was rested last week following Origin 3. Sam Verrills (neck) and Drew Hutchison (knock) are expected to overcome bumps and bruises and play. Billy Smith has won the left centre position on form, with Josh Morris dropped to an extended bench. Smith is a chance to be handed goal kicking duties after Sam Walker had an off-week with boot in Round 18.KNIGHTS: 1. Kalyn Ponga, 2. Dominic Young, 3. Kurt Mann, 4. Enari Tuala, 5. Hymel Hunt, 6. Jake Clifford, 7. Phoenix Crossland, 8. Jacob Saifiti, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Daniel Saifiti, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Mitchell Barnett, 13. Connor WatsonBench: 14. Sauaso Sue, 15. David Klemmer, 16. Josh King, 17. Brodie JonesReserves: 18. Jack Johns, 19. Simi Sasagi, 20. Tex Hoy 21. Lachlan FitzgibbonPlayers cut: Late mail: Knights will be sweating on the fitness of both Kalyn Ponga and David Klemmer after both failed game day HIA’s on weekend. David Klemmer is expected to be ruled out, with Jack Johns set to replace him on the bench, while Kalyn Ponga is expected to be cleared (with Tex Hoy on standby). Daniel Saifiti missed Origin 3 due to a rib injury and is expected to play this week. Jacob Saifiti suffered an ankle injury last week and is in some doubt. Sauaso Sue returns after missing the last few games due to a hamstring injury.COWBOYS V STORMFriday 23 July, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, 7:55pmCOWBOYS: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow*, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Murray Taulagi, 4. Connelly Lemuelu, 5. Kane Bradley, 6. Scott Drinkwater, 7. Tom Dearden, 8. Francis Molo, 9. Reece Robson, 10. Jordan McLean, 11. Shane Wright, 12. Mitchell Dunn, 13. Jason TaumaloloBench: 14. Tom Gilbert, 15. Heilum Luki, 16. Coen Hess, 17. Jake GranvilleReserves: 18. Lachlan Burr, 19. Michael Bell, 20. Peter Hola, 21. Daejarn AsiPlayers cut: Late mail: Cowboys received a massive blow on Thursday with fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ruled out due to him having emergency appendectomy surgery and unless they seek exemption to bring in a player outside 21 man squad announced on Tuesday, we will see Scott Drinkwater move back to fullback with Daejarn Asi coming onto left edge to partner Deaden in halves. Coen Hess is currently in the HIA protocols and will need to get clearance to play, with Lachlan Burr coming onto the bench if ruled out. Connelly Lemuelu passed a game day HIA last week and Kyle Feldt was limping but both are expected to play.STORM: 1. Nicho Hynes, 2. Dean Ieremia, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cooper Johns, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 10. Christian Welch, 11. Chris Lewis, 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Tui KamikamicaBench: 14. Aaron Booth, 15. TAaron Pene, 16. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 17. Ryan PapenhuyzenReserves: 18. Trent Loiero, 19. Jordan Grant, 20. Isaac Lumelume, 21. Marion SevePlayers cut: Late mail: Storm have both Jahrome Hughes (calf) and Josh Addo-Carr (back) in some doubt, both will need to prove fitness by taking part in Captain’s run on Friday to play. If both are ruled out Nicho Hynes would move into halves to partner Cooper Johns, with Ryan Papenhuyzen (concussion/neck) returning at fullback and either Isaac Lumelume or Marion Seve coming onto left wing to replace Addo-Car. Christian Welch returns after being rested last week after Origin 3. Trent Loiero or Jordan Grant would come onto the bench if Papenhuyzen starts. RABBITOHS V WARRIORSSaturday 24 July, Sunshine Coast Stadium, 3:00pmRABBITOHS: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dane Gagai, 4. Campbell Graham, 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. Mark Nicholls, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. Keaon Koloamatangi, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Cameron MurrayBench: 14. Taane Milne, 15. Jacob Host, 16. Patrick Mago, 17. Jai Arrow. Reserves: 18. Braidon Burns, 19. Jed Cartwright, 20. Blake Taaffe, 21. Dean HawkinsPlayers cut: Late mail: Rabbitohs have Campbell Graham in doubt as he is currently in NRL concussion protocols after he failed game day HIA last week, with Braidon Burns to come in at right centre if Graham is ruled out. Jacob Host has been cleared to play after a head clash with Liam Knight last week. Cody Walker (knock), Adam Reynolds (knock), Jai Arrow (Covid) and Latrell Mitchell (rested) are all set to play.WARRIORS: 1. Reece Walsh, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Adam Pompey 4. Euan Aitken, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Jazz Tevaga, 10. Matt Lodge, 11. Jack Murchie, 12. Bayley Sironen, 13. Josh CurranBench: 14. Taniela Otukolu 15. Eliesa Katoa, 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Leeson Ah Mau, Reserves: 18. Kane Evans 19. Edward Kosi 20. Sean O’Sullivan 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila Players cut: Late mail: Warriors could have one change with Chad Townsend still struggling with shoulder injury. He returned last week and the shoulder wasn’t right, so will need to pass a fitness test to play and will probably have to get needled up. If he is ruled out Sean O’Sullivan would come into partner Kodi Nikorima in halves.SEA EAGLES V TIGERSSaturday 24 July, Suncorp Stadium, 5:30pmSEA EAGLES: 1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jason Saab, 3. Brad Parker, 4. Morgan Harper, 5. Reuben Garrick, 6. Kieran Foran, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Taniela Paseka, 9. Lachlan Croker, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Haumole Olakau’atu, 12. Josh Schuster, 13. Jake Trbojevic Bench: 14. Dylan Walker, 15. Josh Aloiai, 16. Sean Keppie, 17. Toaofoa SipleyReserves: 18. Moses Suli, 19. Cade Cust, 20. Jack Gosiewski, 21. Kurt De LuisPlayers cut: Late mail: The Sea Eagles will welcome back Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans after both were rested on the weekend following Origin 3. Jake Trbojevic (hip) and Josh Aloiai (wrist) have both been named to return from injury but still need to tick a few boxes and pass a final fitness test. Toafofoa Sipley started at prop last week ahead of Taniela Paseka and there could be another forward reshuffle this week, with Sean Keppie another option to start. TIGERS: 1. Daine Laurie, 2. David Nofoaluma, 3. Junior Pauga, 4. Tommy Talau, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Adam Doueihi, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Stefano Utoikamanu, 9. Jacob Liddle, 10. James Tamou, 11. Luke Garner, 12. Luciano Leilua, 13. Thomas MikaeleBench: 14. Joe Ofahengaue, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Tukimihia Simpkins, 17. Moses MbyeReserves: 18. Michael Chee Kam, 19. Jake Simpkin, 20. Alex Seyfarth, 21. Shawn BlorePlayers cut: Late mail: The Tigers have Moses Mbye in doubt after he suffered ankle injury against the Broncos last week, Jake Simpkin to come onto the bench if Mbye is ruled out. Alex Twal failed a game day HIA and is in the NRL concussion protocols and will need to get clearance to play, with Alex Seyfarth coming onto bench if Twal is ruled out. Luciano Leilua (knock) and Daine Laurie (passed HIA) will both be right to go after training with the squad this week.Tom Sangster runs through the market movers for Round 19.PANTHERS V BRONCOSSaturday 24 July, Suncorp Stadium, 7:35pmPANTHERS: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Charlie Staines, 3. Stephen Crichton, 4. Matt Burton, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Tyrone May, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Isaah YeoBench: 14. Mitch Kenny, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Spencer Leniu, 17. Liam Martin Reserves: 18. Brent Naden, 19. Paul Momirovski, 20. Matthew Eisenhuth, 21. Izack Tago Players cut: Late mail: Penrith received a massive boast this week with Jarome Luai set to return from a knee injury with the Panthers set to be 1-17. James Fisher-Harris is set to overcome neck injury to play his last game for 3 weeks, as he will return to Sydney to be at birth of baby before returning where he will need to spend 14 days in quarantine before returning back to Panthers bubble.BRONCOS: 1. Tesi Niu, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Herbie Farnworth, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Tyson Gamble, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Thomas Flegler, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Kobe HetheringtonBench: 14. Cory Paix, 15. Rhys Kennedy, 16. Keenan Palasia, 17. TC Robatii Reserves: 18. Ethan Bullemor, 19. Jesse Arthars, 20. Xavier Willison, 21. Xavier CoatesPlayers cut: Late mail: The Broncos have TC Robati in doubt after he suffered a corked thigh last week which forced him from field and will need to past fitness test to play but is expected to be ruled out. This would see Ethan Bullemor come onto bench, while Jesse Arthars could replace Cory Paix on the bench to provide cover for Kotoni Staggs as he returns to full fitness after an ACL injury. Jake Turpin (HIA) and Jordan Riki (shoulder) are both expected to overcome injury to play.DRAGONS V TITANSSunday 25 July, Cbus Super Stadium, 1:50pmDRAGONS: 1. Matt Dufty, 2. Jordan Pereira, 3. Gerard Beale, 4. Cody Ramsey, 5. Mathew Feagai, 6. Jayden Sullivan, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Blake Lawrie, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Josh Kerr, 11. Jack Bird, 12. Tariq Sims, 13. Josh McGuireBench: 14. Adam Clune, 15. Tyrell Fuimaono, 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 17. Jack de BelinReserves: 18. Kaide Ellis, 19. Talatau Amone, 20. Billy Burns, 21. Tyrell SloanPlayers cut: Late mail: Dragons coach Anthony Griffin shuffled things up on Team list Tuesday naming a new-look pack. Matt Dufty returns from suspension, Cody Ramsey and Gerard Beale move to the centres, with Jordan Pereira and Max Feagai coming onto wings. Jayden Sullivan comes in replacing the suspended Corey Norman, Jack Bird moves to the backrow, Josh McGuire replaces Jackson Ford at lock, while Josh Kerr has been named to start at front row, with Jack de Belin benched.TITANS: 1. Alexander Brimson, 2. Greg Marzhew, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Patrick Herbert, 5. Corey Thompson, 6. Ash Taylor, 7. Toby Sexton, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Moeaki Fotuaika, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. David Fifita, 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleauiBench: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Jaimin Jolliffe, 17. Beau FermorReserves: 18. Esan Marsters, 19. Sam McIntyre, 20. Tanah Boyd, 21. Jayden Campbell Players cut: Late mail: Titans are expecting one minor alteration to 17 named. with Tyrone Peachey set to start at lock, Tino Fa’amsuamaleaui push up to prop and Moeaika Fotuaika dropping back to the bench. AJ Brimson, Tino Fa’amsuamaleaui and Moeaika Fotuaika didn’t train with the squad earlier in week, but Titans say all 3 will play. However Ash Taylor is in some doubt as he recovers from a heavy knock last Friday, with Tanah Boyd on standby should Taylor be ruled out. Highly rated youngster Toby Sexton is confirmed to make NRL debut and will line up on the right edge.BULLDOGS V SHARKSSunday 25 July, Cbus Super Stadium, 4:05pmBULLDOGS: 1. Nick Meaney, 2. Corey Allan, 3. Will Hopoate, 4. Aaron Schoupp, 5. Jayden Okunbor, 6. Lachlan Lewis, 7. Jake Averillo, 8. Ava Seumanufagai, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King, 10. Jack Hetherington, 11. Corey Waddell, 12. Josh Jackson, 13. Luke ThompsonBench: 14. Bailey Biondi-Oro, 15. Dylan Napa, 16. Joe Stimson, 17. Ofahiki Ogden Reserves: 19. Kyle Flanagan, 20. Sione Katoa, 21. Falakiko Manu, 22, Matt DooreyPlayers cut: Late mail: Just one change expected for the Bulldogs, with Matt Doorey possibly coming onto bench over Joe Stimson. Josh Jackson returns to his preferred right edge position this week with Corey Waddell switching over to left edge. Nick Meaney (knock) and Lachlan Lewis (ribs) are both expected to play.SHARKS: 1. Will Kennedy, 2. Sione Katoa, 3. Connor Tracey, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6. Braydon Trindall, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Toby Rudolf, 9. Blayke Brailey, 10. Aaron Woods, 11. Siosifa Talakai, 12. Teig Wilton, 13. Jack WilliamsBench: 14. Mawene Hiroti, 15. Royce Hunt, 16. Briton Nikora, 17. Braden Hamlin-UeleReserves: 18. Billy Magoulias, 19. Luke Metclaf, 20. Andrew Fifita, 21. Jonaiah LualuaPlayers cut: Late mail: Sharks look set to be 1-17 with Royce Hunt named on bench to play his first NRL game of season after he recovered from knee surgery. He has been training with squad the last few weeks after returning to full contact and only just has to get through Captain’s run on Saturday to be confirmed to play.

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