NRL Nines 2020 Tips, Predictions and Preview

Andrew Hendrie:
NRL Nines

A thrilling summer festival of footy takes place across two days in Perth on Friday and Saturday as the NRL Nines roll into town - here’s all you need to know about the tournament.

Staged outside of Auckland for the first time, the NRL Nines offers a total prize money pool of $1 million for the champions and a bonus $1 million for any team that does the Nines/NRL premiership double, which means teams have plenty of incentive to perform.

NRL premiers Sydney Roosters are the reigning Nines champions having won the last edition of the competition in 2017.

A total of 30 matches will be played over the two days, while the Broncos, Dragons, Warriors and Roosters will also take part in a round robin format in the women’s event.

NRL Nines – Key Info


Stadium: HBF Park, Perth
Dates: February 14-15
Times: Friday – 4.00pm to 8.30pm, Saturday – 11.00am to 7.30pm
Prize money: $1 million
Defending champions: Sydney Roosters (2017)
TV: Fox Sports, Kayo (Australia), NRL Live Pass, Sky NZ (New Zealand)

Groups


Pool 1: Panthers, Warriors, Roosters, Knights
Pool 2: Bulldogs, Dragons, Eels, Sharks
Pool 3: Raiders, Wests Tigers, Titans, Rabbitohs
Pool 4: Cowboys, Storm, Broncos, Sea Eagles

Squads


POOL 1

PANTHERS

1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Brent Naden 5. Stephen Crichton 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Jack Hetherington 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Billy Burns 13. Liam Martin 14. Kaide Ellis 15. Daine Laurie 16. Matt Burton 17. Caleb Aekins 18. Tyson Smoothy

WARRIORS

Leeson Ah Mau, Rocco Berry, Jackson Frei, Blake Green, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Temple Kalepo, Adam Keighran, Edward Kosi, Sam Lisone, Ken Maumalo, Taane Milne, Agnatius Paasi, Isaiah Papalli (c), Hayze Perham, Leivaha Pulu, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Paul Turner

ROOSTERS

Max Bailey, McKenzie Baker, Egan Butcher, Lindsay Collins, Nick Davis, Poasa Faamausili, Tom Freebairn, Drew Hutchison ©, Matthew Ikuvalu, Asu ‘AJ’ Kepaoa, Lachlan Lam, Freddy Lussick, Luca Moretti, Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Lupe Tivalu, Christian Tuipulotu, James Tuitahi, Sam Verrills

KNIGHTS

1. Aidan Guerra 2. Kurt Mann 3. Nathaniel Sasagi 4. Bayden Searle 5. Hymel Hunt 6. Gehamat Shibasaki 7. Starford To’a 8. Tex Hoy 9. Sione Mata’utia 10. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 11. Matt Soper-Lawler 12. Pasami Saulo 13. Jirah Momoisea 14. Jacob Saifiti 15. Brodie Jones 16. Kurt Gidley 17. Mason Lino 18. Mitchell Barnett

POOL 2

BULLDOGS

1. Nick Meaney 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Morgan Harper 5. Jack Cogger 6. Jake Averillo 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Dean Britt 9. Ben Marschke 10. Ofahiki Ogden 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Chris Smith 13. Joe Stimson 14. Andrew Ryan 15. Kayne Kalache 16. Toa Mata’afa 17. Isaiah Tass 19. Bailey Biondi-Odo

DRAGONS

Euan Aitken, Adam Clune, Matt Dufty, Jackson Ford, Tyson Frizell, Tyrell Fuimaono, Ben Hunt, Josh Kerr, Tim Lafai, Blake Lawrie, Cameron McInnes, Jason Nightingale, Cody Ramsey, Mikaele Ravalawa, Jason Saab, Tristan Sailor, Jayden Sullivan, Brayden Wiliame

EELS

Blake Ferguson, Brad Takairangi, Clint Gutherson (c), David Gower, George Jennings, Haze Dunster, Jaeman Salmon, Junior Paulo, Maika Sivo, Marata Niukore, Mitch Moses, Oregon Kaufusi, Ray Stone, Rhys Davies, Ryan Matterson, Shaun Lane, Stefano Utoikamanu, Will Smith

SHARKS

1. Wade Graham (c) 2. Briton Nikora 3. Jack Williams 4. Aaron Woods 5. Blayke Brailey 6. Josh Morris 7. Jesse Ramien 8. Chad Townsend 9. Shaun Johnson 10. Ronaldo Mulitalo 11. William Kennedy 12. Sione Katoa 13. Connor Tracey 14. Billy Magoulias 15. Toby Rudolph 16. Scott Sorensen 17. Teig Wilton 18. Braydon Trindall

POOL 3

RAIDERS

1. Harley Smith-Shields 2. Semi Valemei 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Michael Oldfield 5. Daine Spencer 6. Matthew Frawley 7. Sam Williams 8. Dunamis Lui 9. Siliva Havili 10. Sia Soliola 11. Jack Murchie 12. Elliott Whitehead (c) 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Tom Starling 15. Duwanye Mariner 16. Dan Keir 17. Kai O’Donnell 18. Darby Medlyn

WESTS TIGERS

1. Corey Thompson 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Robert Jennings 4. Moses Mbye (c) 5. Michael Chee Kam 6. Billy Walters 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Mikaele 9. Tommy Talau 10. Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Luke Garner 13. Chris McQueen 14. Sam McIntyre 15. Paul Momirovski 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Pat Richards 18. Matheson Johns

TITANS

1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Jonus Pearson 5. Phil Sami 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jai Whitbread 9. Mitch Rein 10. Sam Stone 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Jaimin Joliffe 13. Jai Arrow 14. Greg Leleisiuao 15. Treymain Spry 16. Erin Clark 17. Darius Farmer 18. Michael Gordon

RABBITOHS

1. Damien Cook (c) 2. Dane Gagai 3. Cameron Murray 4. Jaydn Su’A 5. Junior Tatola 6. Ethan Lowe 7. Campbell Graham 8. Braidon Burns 9. Bryson Goodwin 10. Troy Dargan 11. Joshua Cook 12. Lachlan Ilias 13. Keaon Koloamatangi 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Jaxson Paulo 16. Edene Gebbie 17. Jack Johns 18. Patrick Mago

POOL 4

BRONCOS

1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Tesi Niu 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Izaia Perese 4. Kotoni Staggs 6. Anthony Milford 7 Brodie Croft 8. Tom Dearden 9. David Fifita 11. Payne Haas 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake

Turpin 14. Cory Paix 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Jesse Arthars 17. Ilikena Vudogo 18. Corey Parker

SEA EAGLES

1. Luke Metcalf 2. Edwin Ipape 3. Zach Dockar-Clay 4. Brendan Elliot 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Lachlan Croker 7. Cade Cust 8. Tevita Funa 9. Toafofoa Sipley 10. Abbas Miski 11. Corey Waddell 12. Martin Taupau (C) 13. Haumole Olakau’atu 14. Sean Keppie 15. Taniela Paseka 16. Zac Saddler 17. Reed Izzard 18. Dane Aukafolau

STORM

1 Nicho Hynes 2 Dean Ieremia 3 Brenko Lee 4 Marion Seve 5 Sandor Earl © 6 Cameron Munster 7 Cooper Johns 8 Tui Kamikamica © 9 Harry Grant 10 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11 Max King 12 Chris Lewis 13 Tom Eisenhuth 14 Trent Loiero 15 Justin Olam 16 Darryn Schonig 17 Siti Moceidreke 18 Judda Turahui

COWBOYS

Michael Bell, Jake Clifford, Scott Drinkwater, Mitch Dunn, Kyle Feldt, Jake Granville, Coen Hess, Peter Hola, Connelly Lemuelu, Esan Marsters, Josh McGuire, Tom Opacic, Reece Robson, Dan Russell, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Jason Taumalolo, Shane Wright

Schedule of Play


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14

4:05pm: Warriors (W) v Roosters (W)
4:30pm: Panthers v Roosters
4:55pm: Warriors v Knights
5:20pm: Bulldogs v Eels
5:45pm: Dragons v Sharks
6:10pm: Raiders v Titans
6:35pm: Wests Tigers v Rabbitohs
7:00pm: Cowboys v Broncos
7:25pm: Storm v Sea Eagles
8:05pm: Broncos (W) v Dragons (W)

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15

10:20am: Roosters (W) v Broncos (W)
10:45am: Warriors (W) v Dragons (W)
11:10am: Knights v Panthers
11:35am: Roosters v Warriors
12:00pm: Sharks v Bulldogs
12:25pm: Eels v Dragons
12:55pm: Rabbitohs v Raiders
1:20pm: Titans v Wests Tigers
1:45pm: Sea Eagles v Cowboys
2:10pm: Broncos v Storm
2.40pm: Quarter Final 1 – 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B
3:05pm: Quarter Final 2 -1st Pool B v 2nd Pool A
3:30pm: Quarter Final 3 -1st Pool C v 2nd Pool D
3:55pm: Quarter Final 4 -1st Pool D v 2nd Pool C
4:20pm: Broncos (W) v Warriors (W)
4:45pm: Dragons (W) v Roosters (W)
5:20pm: Semi Final 1 – Winner Quarter Final 1 v Winner Quarter Final 2
5:45pm: Semi Final 1 – Winner Quarter Final 2 v Winner Quarter Final 4
6:25pm: Women’s Final
7:00pm: Men’s Final

NRL Nines – Best Bets


The Nines format can be a bit of a lottery at times, but for me there’s four clear standouts with the squads announced – and that’s the Eels, Sharks, Broncos and Panthers.

Parramatta are equipped with a number of speedsters, including the likes of Clint Gutherson, Maika Sivo, Blake Ferguson and Mitch Moses, while Ryan Matterson and Shaun Lane are the sort of fleet-footed forwards who can also make an impact.

Shaun Johnson was born for the Nines and if he is firing on all cylinders, he can single-handedly propel the Sharks deep into the tournament, while young Broncos forwards Payne Haas and David Fifita could potentially light up the competition. Throw in Anthony Milford and Brisbane could arguably be the team to beat.

Penrith also can’t be discounted with the likes of Nathan Cleary and Fijian star Billy Kikau, while Brent Naden and Dylan Edwards also provide a lot of pace.