Several stars raced for the playoffs, Kris was axed with a long spear tackle suspension

Kalyn Ponga, Jackson Hastings, Tohu Harris, Joey Manu, Connor Tracey, Harry Grant And Jarome Hughes are among the big names scrambling to be right for the opening round of the NRL Finals.

All eight teams will make changes in the opening week of the finals after several players were rested or injured in the finals.

Ponga is considered the least injury-prone player of the Knights duo due to the AC joint injury he sustained Jesse Ramien tackle two weeks ago.

Hastings has a better chance of returning from a syndesmosis injury at home against Canberra on Sunday after spending three weeks on the touchline.

Raiders winger Seb Kris has endured a season-ending suspension after being sent off for a spear tackle in Sunday’s loss to Cronulla. He has been charged with a dangerous third-rate throw that comes with a five-game suspension, which he accepted with an early admission of guilt rather than risking six if he had taken justice.

Hughes is struggling with a knee injury, although the Storm will call him halfback and give him as much time as possible to prove his fitness ahead of Friday’s qualifying finals against the Broncos in Brisbane. Grant will almost certainly play after being out for a week with a shoulder injury.

Captain of the Broncos Adam Reynolds (calf) and lock Pat Carrigan (foot) are specific starters.

Tracey injured his knee late on Sunday in the win over Canberra and his coach Craig Fitzgibbon wasn’t sure the full-back would be right for Saturday’s playoff against the Roosters.

With full-back first choice Will Kennedy absent due to thigh injury Daniel Atkinson could be shoved into the #1 jersey Nicho Hynes or Matt Moylan could also be switched to the reverse side.

Manu missed Friday’s win against the Souths with a hamstring injury, but the Roosters are confident he will be okay with coming on as a substitute against the Sharks Corey AlanBut Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (suspended) will not play again this year and is a winger Daniel Tupou (Knee) is a chance to go through to the final.

“Losing Joey, Jared and Toops (Tupou) last week wasn’t ideal for us, but I think Junior (Pauga), Corey and those center forwards did a fantastic job,” Five-Eighth said Luke Keary On Monday. “If we bring Joey back that’s great but I have a lot of faith in Corey because he’s such a good football player.

“They pushed Joey a little last week … we haven’t practiced this week so I assume they’ll give him every chance.”

Harris has been plagued by a back problem and the Warriors captain’s chances of facing Penrith are only estimated at 50/50.

Week 1 Finals Teams

Qualifying Finals: Friday, September 8, 7:50 p.m. EST, Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Broncos (2) vs. Melbourne Storm (3)

Opportunities: Broncos $1.60, Storm $2.35 – odds above PlayUp

Broncos: Adam Reynolds (calf) and Patrick Carrigan (foot) are expected to return after being out for a few weeks to recover from minor injuries, while Reece Walsh, Herbie Farnworth, Selwyn Cobbo, Ezra Mam, Billy Walters, Payne Haas and Kurt Capewell doing this will be returning after a break in round 27.

Center Kotoni Staggs is also back after serving a one-game suspension.

Jesse Arthars will beat Corey Oates at Brisbane’s left wing position. Arthars trained on the left wing during the Broncos’ full practice session Sunday while Oates trained with the club’s secondary squad.

Coach Kevin Walters has a crucial decision to make regarding his bench four, but from Sunday’s session the front runners appear to be hooker Tyson Smoothy, second rower Brendan Piakura, support Corey Jensen and versatile forward Kobe Hetherington. Paikura is off the game after conceding fines on three charges, but young striker Xavier Willison is absent after injuring his ankle in the defeat to the Storm.

Storm: Jahrome Hughes’ knee injury is the biggest concern. Nick Meaney could join Cameron Munster if the New Zealand playmaker is absent and Ryan Papenhuyzen remains at full-back. Papenhuyzen is likely to end up on the bench if Hughes is fit and Meaney returns to full-back after his break last week.

Munster, Marion Seve, Xavier Coates, Christian Welch, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Tui Kamikamica and Trent Loiero got a week off from Craig Bellamy in the finals.

Qualifying Finals: Saturday, September 9, 4:05 p.m. EST, BlueBet Stadium
Penrith Panthers (1) vs. New Zealand Warriors (4)

Opportunities: Panthers $1.24, Warriors $4.10 – odds above PlayUp

Panthers: Young hooker Soni Luke was rested in Round 27 as Ivan Cleary ended up playing against most of his regular team, allowing the Panthers to edge Brisbane to first place in the Minor Premiership. Center Izack Tago made a strong comeback after suffering a hamstring injury against the Cowboys.

Co-rower Scott Sorensen and hooker Mitch Kenny are returning after minor leg injuries.

Warrior: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and Shaun Johnson received the finals. Tohu Harris’ back injury means he will do everything he can to be fit at the start.

Luke Metcalf and Jazz Tevaga are unlikely to play again until later in the playoffs due to hamstring problems.

Elimination Finals: Saturday, September 9th, 7:50pm EST, PointsBet Stadium
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (6) vs. Sydney Roosters (7)

Opportunities: Sharks $1.90, Roosters $1.90 – odds above PlayUp

sharks: Connor Tracey is scheduled to undergo an examination on Monday to determine the extent of the knee injury he sustained in Sunday’s win against Canberra. Second rower Brite Nikora (headbutt) is ready to go.

After playing his final game of the regular season at Shark Park on Sunday, retired forward Wade Graham will be given another chance to play at the site.

Roosters: Joey Manu was late in the win over Souths with a hamstring injury so he will likely replace Corey Allan in the centres.

Veteran winger Daniel Tupou’s knee injury will sideline him for another week but Jake Turpin (head punch) should be available for selection.

Front rower Fletcher Baker was fined $1,000 for a dangerous throw but is allowed to play.

Elimination Finals: Sunday, September 10, 4:05 p.m. EST, McDonald Jones Stadium
Newcastle Knights (5) vs. Canberra Raiders (8)

Opportunities: Knights $1.22, Raiders $4.30 – odds above PlayUp

Knight: Jackson Hastings’ ankle and Kalyn Ponga’s shoulder will be treated extensively this week to try to get the key duo back on form for Sunday. Adam Clune and Lachie Miller will replace them again if they are out.

Tyson Frizell, Dane Gagai and Phoenix Crossland will be back after being rested in the win over the Dragons.

Veteran forward Adam Elliott was fined $3,000 instead of a two-game ban for a careless high tackle on Billy Burns.

Raiders: Seb Kris’ dangerous shot suspension opens the door for the recall of Albert Hopoate on the wing as retiring club legend Jarrod Croker is unlikely to make the finals. Several stars raced for the playoffs, Kris was axed with a long spear tackle suspension

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