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Fitzy says Hynes fine, Chee Kam in for Burgess, Moses to play, Elliott out

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon continued the caginess around halfback Nicho Hynes on Friday but the halfback will suit up for Saturday’s Semi-Final against Souths.

Hynes on Tuesday trained with a protective bib to avoid contact and refused to divulge if he had any injuries from the 93-minute extra-time marathon against North Queensland last Saturday.

Fitzgibbon joked that he was wearing it “because he’s a protected species” and said his team had recovered well from the epic clash with the Cowboys with the benefit of a seven-day turnaround between games.

Rabbitohs forward Tom Burgess has opted not to try for a downgrade and has copped his suspension for a grade-two careless high tackle charge, ruling him out of the clash with Cronulla at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night. 

Burgess, who has been replaced by Michael Chee Kam, did not risk the prospect of challenging the judiciary and ending up with a three-week ban which would have ended his NRL season.

Now he can play for Souths again if they make the Grand Final or if they lose to the Sharks, he can serve the other match of his suspension for England’s World Cup campaign.

His two-game ban was for his high shot on Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco, and he has also accepted a further $1800 fine for another hit on Matt Lodge a minute later.

(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell took to Instagram on Monday night to suggest his teammate’s ban should also be deferred, asking where consistency could be found after Panthers rookie Taylan May‘s suspension for an off-field incident was delayed until next year.

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Souths winger Taane Milne has copped a fine of $1800 for a high tackle on Joseph Suaalii but no other Rabbitohs were charged from the spiteful win over the Roosters.

Eels coach Brad Arthur expects Mitchell Moses will play in Parramatta’s do-or-die semi-final against Canberra after showing no ill-effects from a head knock.

Moses was left flattened after his head contacted the hip of a hard-running Viliame Kikau in last week’s qualifying-final loss to Penrith. But the early signs are good, as the Eels attempt to get past week two of the finals for the first time in five attempts since 2017.

“Every indication all week has been that he’s been fine and his usual self,” Arthur said on Wednesday. “He’s ticked all the boxes at the moment. The medical guys are happy with where he’s at.”

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart has his own injury concern with Elliott out after aggravating a hip problem in the 28-20 upset of the Storm in Melbourne. He went off during the first half and did not return. The Knights-bound forward may have played his last game in lime green.

Canberra lock Adam Elliott (pelvic injury) is out of Friday’s stoush with an unchanged Parramatta while the Sharks have also retained the same squad.

His team is no longer in the finals but Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has pleaded guilty to dangerous contact for his head slam on Burgess and will serve a three-match ban in the group stage of the World Cup for New Zealand.

The Cowboys and Penrith are through to the preliminary finals with Panthers winger Taylan May the only casualty from either side. He has a hamstring problem but has also been banned one week for a high tackle so is not eligible to play until the Grand Final, if the premiers qualify. Teammate Spencer Leniu was fined $750 for a high tackle on Isaiah Papali’i.

All teams for week 2 of the playoffs will be announced at 4pm AEST on Tuesday


First Semi-Final: (4) Eels vs (8) Raiders, 7.50pm at CommBank Stadium

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore 18. Nathan Brown 19. Bailey Simonsson 20. Bryce Cartwright 21. Ofahiki Ogden 22. Ky Rodwell

Mitchell Moses (concussion) is coach Brad Arthur’s main concern, with his son Jake, who replaced him in the second half against Penrith, the replacement option if the former NSW half does not pass the protocols.

Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Ryan Sutton 18. Albert Hopoate 19. Ata Mariota 20. Matt Frawley 21. Peter Hola 22. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Adam Elliott (hip) is out so Corey Harawira-Naera comes into the starting side. Ryan Sutton has been elevated to the bench.


Second Semi-Final: (2) Sharks vs (7) Rabbitohs, 8pm at Allianz Stadium

Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Connor Tracey 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane 14. Teig Wilton 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Braden Hamlin-Uele 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Lachlan Miller 19. Aiden Tolman 20. Matt Ikuvalu 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Luke Metcalf

Coach Craig Fitzgibbon has no injury concerns in his squad after their 93-minute epic against the Cowboys and will field the same 17-man line-up. Dale Finucane is free to play despite being charged with a grade-one crusher tackle, copping a $3000 fine for the incident on Cowboys forward Luciano Leilua.

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Hame Sele 16. Michael Chee Kam 17. Siliva Havili 18. Davvy Moale 19. Blake Taaffe 20. Jaxson Paulo 21. Richard Kennar 22. Peter Mamouzelos

Tom Burgess (careless high tackle) has been banned for his hit on James Tedesco, replaced on the interchange by former Tigers forward Michael Chee Kam. Centre Campbell Graham did not train on Tuesday as he managed shoulder soreness. The strike player also insisted he was in no doubt for Saturday’s semi-final against Cronulla.

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