Latrell Mitchell will line up at N0.6 in the Anzac Day blockbuster at the SCG.
Latrell Mitchell will line up at N0.6 in the Anzac Day blockbuster at the SCG. Cameron Spencer

Durko's dissections: NRL previews for Round 7

ROOSTERS 'freak' Latrell Mitchell will present a big challenge for the Dragons defence when he lines up at five-eighth in the Anzac Day blockbuster.

Mitchell, who slotted a 40-metre field goal to steer the Roosters to a golden-point win over the Storm on Friday night, has been named in the No.6 jersey in place of the injured Luke Keary.

Keary has not recovered from the concussion he suffered against the Storm.

Mitchell, described by Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner as an athletic "freak", has already impressed at five-eighth when he filled in there earlier in the season and Dragons rival Corey Norman is aware of the challenge he will be facing in the SCG showdown.

"He's big, powerful, a natural footballer who knows rugby league," Norman said.

"So wherever he goes in the field, centre, five-eighth ... he's going to be dangerous."


At SCG, Thursday, 4.05pm

History: Played 39, Dragons 20, Roosters 18, drawn 1. Last met: Roosters 36-18, round 20, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Roosters $1.40, Dragons $2.90

If the excitement these teams have provided NRL fans this season - and in particular last weekend - is a benchmark, this shapes as yet another classic Anzac Day clash. An average of three points have separated them on this special day in their past 17 meetings, with the Dragons holding an 11-6 edge, including wins in the only two previous clashes at the SCG. The massive loss of Luke Keary by the Roosters is partly offset by the return of skipper Jake Friend. No more than four points have separated them in the past four clashes, and this should be no different. TIP - Roosters

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will boost the Warriors attack. (AAP Image/David Rowland)
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has been playing a lone hand at the Warriors. DAVID ROWLAND


At AAMI Park, Thursday, 7.50pm

History: Played 42, Storm 24, Warriors 16, drawn 2. Last met: Storm 12-6, round 19, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Storm $1.17, Warriors $4.90

Could anyone seriously tip the Warriors after yet another below-par showing at home last weekend? Admittedly they were without playmaker Blake Green - who is returning - but apart from skipper Roger Tuivasa-Scheck they yet again looked inept in attack. With the Storm keen to avenge their first loss of the season and having won their past six against the Warriors, only the hope of some Anzac spirit from the across the ditch can avert a potential whitewash. TIP - Storm

Michael Morgan of the Cowboys during the NRL grand final between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, October 1, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Michael Morgan has found some form for the Cowboys. DAN HIMBRECHTS


At ANZ Stadium, Friday, 6.00pm

History: Played 37, Bulldogs 22, Cowboys 15. Last met: Bulldogs 27-10, round 6, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Bulldogs $1.90, Cowboys $1.90

Despite hanging from the bottom rung of the ladder and conceding 26 points a game, the Bulldogs have shown heaps of courage - as they did in their 14-6 loss to the Rabbitohs at the weekend. But courage doesn't beat class and, at long last, the Cowboys have seemingly woken from their slumber with skipper Michael Morgan finding his leadership guile. Back at the scene of their 2015 grand final victory, the Cowboys should win - even if Jason Taumalolo doesn't play. TIP - Cowboys

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Panthers coach Ivan Cleary looks on after the NRL trial match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Penrith Panthers at Redfern Oval on February 23, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Ivan Cleary will be in the spotlight when the Panthers take on the Rabbitohs. Mark Evans


At Panthers Stadium, Friday, 7.55pm

History: Played 81, Rabbitohs 45, Panthers 35, drawn 1. Last met: Panthers 18-14, round 2, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Panthers $2.14, Rabbitohs $1.70

With just 13 tries in six matches and the incumbent NSW halves leading them around the field, the Panthers' attack is seriously flawed. Add that to the fact they have missed the most tackles in the competition and it is little wonder they are struggling. Conversely, the Rabbitohs are humming along nicely while yet to jump into top gear, and anything but a Rabbitohs victory is difficult to foresee. TIP - Rabbitohs

A dejected Tigers during their 51 to 6 point loss to the Eels during the Round 6 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Monday, April 22, 2019.(AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Tigers will be desperate to rebound after last week's caning. DEAN LEWINS


At Scully Park, Tamworth, Saturday, 5.30pm

History: Played 20, Titans 12, Wests Tigers 8. Last met: Titans 30-12, round 16, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Tigers $1.67, Titans $2.18

After conceding a meagre 13 points a game in the first five rounds, the Tigers caved in against the slippery Eels on Easter Monday to concede 51. Conversely, the Titans had averaged 13 points in attack before they ran rampant against the Knights a day earlier. What that means to two teams playing on a foreign ground - in Tamworth - is arguable, but without skipper Ryan James and Origin prop Jarrod Wallace, the Titans may struggle. TIP - Tigers

Tevita Pangai Junior (centre) in action during Brisbane Broncos training at Clive Berghofer Field in Brisbane, Wednsesday, April 17, 2019. The Broncos are playing the Canberra Raiders in their round 6 NRL clash in Canberra on Sunday. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING
Tevita Pangai will make his return for the Broncos. DARREN ENGLAND


At Suncorp Stadium, Saturday, 7.35pm

History: Played 56, Broncos 36, Sharks 20. Last met: Broncos 12-10, round 20, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Broncos $1.62, Sharks $2.28

With heavyweights the Rabbitohs and Roosters next in line, this borders on grand final day for the under-fire Broncos whose defence is the second worst in the competition. With Tevita Pangai Jnr and James Roberts returning and the Sharks down on troops - and at home where they have a 13-4 advantage over their opposition - surely this is the week the Broncos finally chalk up a win. But many hopefuls have predicted that in previous weeks. TIP - Broncos

cr11 John Bateman of the Raiders and Jack Bird of the Broncos during the Round 6 NRL match between the Canberra Raiders and the Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Sunday, 21 April 2019. (AAP Image/Rohan Thomson) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
John Bateman has been a shining lights for the Raiders in the early rounds. ROHAN THOMSON


At Lottoland, Sunday, 2.00pm

History: Played 55, Sea Eagles 33, Raiders 21, drawn 1. Last met: Raiders 21-20, round 12, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Sea Eagles $2.07, Raiders $1.75

They may not have been robbed, but the Sea Eagles were poorly treated last round and are showing courage - and class - in a surprisingly strong start to the season. But Ricky's Raiders, who have won on just 10 of 28 visits to Fortress Brookvale, are looming as the team to beat in 2019 and - with the best defence in the competition - look set to continue their red-hot start to the season. TIP - Raiders

Mitchell Moses of the Eels runs in to score a try during the Round 6 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Monday, April 22, 2019.(AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Mitchell Moses was on fire for the Eels in the last outing. DEAN LEWINS


At McDondald Jones Stadium, 4.05pm 

History: Played 51, Knights 29, Eels 21, drawn 1. Last met: Knights 18-16, round 18, 2018. Ladbrokes odds: Knights $2.24, Eels $1.65

It has been an age since the Eels visited any ground as raging favourites but they do this weekend against the struggling Knights, despite having won on just eight of their 26 visits to Newcastle. Nathan Brown, with his coaching neck supposedly on the line, has shown remarkable patience with his floundering Knights, while Brad Arthur has had to change a winning combination to include Blake Ferguson. The electric Eels are specials. TIP - Eels