Munster to rise for Storm, Hasler's return to boost Manly

Gold Coast Titans

Best 17
1. Michael Gordon, 2. Brian Kelly, 3. Dale Copley, 4. Tyrone Peachey, 5. Anthony Don, 6. Ryley Jacks, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Shannon Boyd, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Jarrod Wallace, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Ryan James, 13. Jai Arrow, Bench: 14. AJ Brimson, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Bryce Cartwright

5pm, Saturday February 23 vs. Cowboys - Sunshine Coast Stadium
6:30pm Saturday March 2 vs. Broncos - Cbus Super Stadium

The start
The Titans have the talent to finish way higher than they did in 2018. Coach Garth Brennan has a welcome problem on his hands trying to select a starting 13, with several options in the halves and the outside backs. The forward pack is world class and the Titans will be looking to Ash Taylor to lead the way as they face five tough opponents in the opening rounds. They host the Raiders first-up before travelling to take on the Sharks, Rabbitohs and Warriors, before returning home for the Panthers. If they don't get their act together early it could be a horror start to the year.
Prediction: Win 1/5

First five games
Raiders - Cbus Super Stadium - 6:10pm, Sunday March 17
Sharks - Shark Park - 3pm, Saturday March 23
Rabbitohs - ANZ Stadium - 6:10pm, Sunday March 31
Warriors - Mt Smart Stadium - 6pm, Friday April 5
Panthers - Cbus Super Stadium - 6pm Friday April 12

Manly Sea Eagles

Best 17
1. Tom Trbojevic, 2. Jorge Taufua, 3. Dylan Walker, 4. Moses Suli, 5. Albert Hopoate, 6. Kane Elgey, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Api Koroisau, 10. Martin Taupau, 11. Curtis Sironen, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jake Trbojevic, Bench: 14. Jack Gosiewski, 15. Lloyd Perrett, 16. Manase Fainu, 17. Kelepi Tanginoa

7:30pm, Saturday February 23 vs. Sharks - Lottoland
7pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Roosters - Central Coast Stadium

The start
The search for a halves partner for Daly Cherry-Evans continues with former Titan Kane Elgey joining the Sea Eagles for 2019. Manly also welcome the return of coach Des Hasler who hopes to instil some discipline into a team that was very disappointing last year. The Sea Eagles will be out to impress Hasler early and they have a start full of potential. Their biggest test comes in the second round when they meet the reigning premiers. If Hasler can have them hit the ground running, they should be good enough to beat the Tigers, Warriors and Knights.
Prediction: Win 3/5

First five games
Tigers - Leichhardt Oval - 5:30pm, Saturday March 16
Roosters - Lottoland - 7:35pm, Saturday March 23
Warriors - Christchurch Stadium - 3pm, Saturday March 30
Rabbitohs - Lottoland - 3pm, Saturday April 6
Knights - McDonald Jones Stadium - 5:30pm, Saturday April 13

Melbourne Storm

Best 17
1. Jahrome Hughes, 2. Josh Addo-Carr, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Curtis Scott, 5. Suli Vunivalu, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Brodie Croft, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Joe Stimson, 13. Dale Finucane, Bench: 14. Brandon Smith, 15. Kenny Bromwich, 16. Albert Vete, 17. Sam Kasiano

7:30pm, Friday February 22 vs. Warriors - Kardinia Park, Geelong
7pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Cowboys - Mackay

The Start
The Storm begin their post-Slater era with a challenging first five rounds. They come up against teams all capable of playing finals football and all of whom will consider the Storm to be one of the benchmark teams. They only play two home games in the first five as well, but, as always, Craig Bellamy will have them ready for the challenge. We should really see Cameron Munster step up to make up for the loss of Slater's attacking weaponry.
Prediction: Win 4/5

First five games
Broncos - AAMI Park - 7:50pm, Thursday March 14
Raiders - GIO Stadium - 6pm, Friday March 22
Panthers - Carrington Park - 7:35pm, Saturday March 30
Cowboys - 1300SMILE Stadium - 7:55pm, Friday April 12
Bulldogs - AAMI Park - 4:05pm, Sunday April 7

Newcastle Knights

Best 17
1. Connor Watson, 2. Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 3. Jesse Ramien, 4. Hymel Hunt, 5. Edrick Lee, 6. Kalyn Ponga, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. David Klemmer, 9. Slade Griffin, 10. Tim Glasby, 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12. Sione Mata'utia, Bench: 13. Aidan Guerra, Bench: 14. Mitch Barnett, 15. Daniel Saifiti, 16. Herman Ese'ese, 17. James Gavet

6:30pm, Saturday February 23 vs. Dragons - Jubilee Stadium
5:30pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Sharks - Maitland No. 1 Sportsground

The start
The Knights have been given every chance to start the season off well, with four of their first five games to be played in front of their loving crowd. The halves combination of Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga should have plenty of room to move after the Knights strengthened the front row with offseason buys David Klemmer and Tim Glasby. If they can combine well with new centre Jesse Ramien, we could be seeing plenty of points scored at McDonald Jones.
Prediction: Win 3/5

First five games
Sharks - McDonald Jones Stadium - 6pm, Friday March 15
Panthers - McDonald Jones Stadium - 5:30pm Saturday March 23
Raiders - GIO Stadium - 6pm, Friday March 29
Dragons - McDonald Jones Stadium - 6:10pm, Sunday April 7
Sea Eagles - McDonald Jones Stadium - 5:30pm, Saturday April 13