Raiders swing the axe after thrashing from Sharks

Jasper Bruce |

Chevy Stewart (left) is one of two players dropped by Canberra after their dispiriting Sharks loss.
Chevy Stewart (left) is one of two players dropped by Canberra after their dispiriting Sharks loss.

Chevy Stewart and James Schiller have paid the price for Canberra’s 40-0 thrashing from Cronulla, as coach Ricky Stuart wielded the axe. 

Albert Hopoate returns from his cooking accident to replace rookie fullback Stewart when the undermanned Raiders look to bounce back against Manly on Friday night.

Nick Cotric has been called onto the wing in place of Newcastle-bound Schiller, while captain Elliott Whitehead returns from a calf injury to replace Simi Sasagi in the second row.

Pasami Saulo (back) joins Jamal Fogarty, Corey Horsburgh, Zac Hosking and Jordan Rapana in the Raiders’ casualty ward. He is replaced in the 17 by Emre Guler.

Stuart has shown faith in hooker Danny Levi despite a tough afternoon against the Sharks, with Zac Woolford listed in the reserves.

St George Illawarra have been forced into a backline reshuffle as they look to recover from last week’s thrashing by the Sydney Roosters.

Centre Moses Suli (head knock) drops out of the 17 to face local rivals Cronulla, paving the way for reluctant winger Zac Lomax to return to his preferred position. 

Mikaele Ravalawa is back from a knee injury to replace Lomax on the wing.

Fresh from signing a monster contract extension, Heilum Luki returns from an ankle complaint to bolster out-of-form North Queensland against the Dolphins.

Felise Kaufusi and Connelly Lemuelu are the reinforcements for the Dolphins’ forward pack.

Ezra Mam has been named to line up for Brisbane in the first clash with the Sydney Roosters since Spencer Leniu’s infamous on-field racial slur in round one.

Mam missed last week’s defeat of Wests Tigers with a finger injury but is expected to return to partner halfback Adam Reynolds for the first time since round five.

Struggling South Sydney have replaced suspended winger Taane Milne with Izaac Thompson for their clash against reigning premiers Penrith.

Sunia Turuva, fresh from signing with Wests Tigers, and Moses Leota return for the Panthers.

Ethan Bullemor replaces the suspended Haumole Olakau’atu for the Sea Eagles, whose captain and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans dodged his own ban by successfully pleading his case at the judiciary.

Manly will be without both their first-choice second-rowers as Ben Trbojevic continues his recovery from a hamstring issue.

The Sydney Roosters have Daniel Tupou back on deck after he missed the win over the Dragons with a knee issue.

He replaces Michael Jennings in the side to face the Broncos, with Sandon Smith and Victor Radley closing in on a return from their own injuries.

Wests Tigers have named Api Koroisau to face Canterbury despite the captain appearing to suffer a back injury in last week’s loss to Brisbane.

AAP