Morgan under pressure; Bennett to have Bunnies humming

North Queensland Cowboys

Best 17
1. Ben Hampton, 2. Kyle Feldt, 3. Justin O'Neill, 4. Javid Bowen, 5. Nene Macdonald, 6. Te Maire Martin, 7. Michael Morgan, 8. Matt Scott, 9. Jake Granville, 10. Josh McGuire, 11. Gavin Cooper, 12. Coen Hess, 13. Jason Taumalolo, Bench: 14. Ethan Lowe, 15. John Asiata, 16. Scott Bolton, 17. Jordan McLean

5pm, Saturday February 23 vs. Titans - Sunshine Coast Stadium
7pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Storm - Mackay

The start
Just like the Knights, the Cowboys have been given a golden run of home games to start their post-JT era. There isn't a game you would consider as easy among the first five however, so the Cowboys will be under the pump early. Coach Paul Green will have to reassess his plans after the sacking of Ben Barba and he'll need Michael Morgan to step up if they are to have any chance of bouncing back from last season's shocker.
Prediction: Win 1/5

First five games
Dragons - 1300SMILES Stadium - 7:35pm, Saturday March 16
Broncos - Suncorp Stadium - 7:55pm, Friday March 22
Sharks - 1300SMILES Stadium - 5:30pm, Saturday March 30
Raiders - 1300SMILES Stadium - 5:30pm, Saturday April 6
Storm - 1300SMILES Stadium - 7:55pm, Friday April 12

Parramatta Eels

Best 17
1. Bevan French, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Brad Takairangi, 4. Michael Jennings, 5. Josh Hoffman, 6. Clint Gutherson, 7. Mitch Moses, 8. Daniel Alvaro, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Junior Paulo, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Manu Ma'u, 13. Nathan Brown, Bench: 14. Will Smith, 15. Tepai Moeroa, 16. Marata Niukore, 17. Tim Mannah

5:30pm Friday February 15 vs. Raiders - St Marys Leagues Stadium
7pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Panthers - Panthers Stadium

The start
The wooden-spoon holding Eels start the season with two big rivalry games against the Panthers and Bulldogs. With Corey Norman gone, they have a big decision to make in the halves in finding a partner for Mitchell Moses. If they struggle in their first two games, they could be in trouble as they face the Roosters and Sharks next up. It could be another long year for Eels fans after this tough start to the season. Prediction: Win 1/5

First five games
Panthers - Panthers Stadium - 4:05pm, Sunday March 17
Bulldogs - ANZ Stadium - 4:05pm, Sunday March 24
Roosters - ANZ Stadium - 7:55pm, Friday March 29
Sharks - ANZ Stadium - 7:35pm, Saturday April 6
Raiders - GIO Stadium - 6:10pm, Sunday April 14

Penrith Panthers

Best 17
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Dallin Watene-Zeleniak, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9. Sione Katoa, 10. Moses Leota 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Isaah Yeo, 13. James Fisher-Harris, Bench: 14. James Tamou, 15. Tyrell Fuimaono, 16. Jack Hetherington, 17. Wayde Egan

Saturday February 23 vs. Rabbitohs - Redfern Oval 7pm,
Saturday March 2 vs. Eels - Panthers Stadium

The start
The Panthers have star fullback Dylan Edwards returning from a lengthy injury break and new coach Ivan Cleary will be keen to start his second stint at the club on a winning note. On paper they have a relatively easy start to the year, playing four teams that finished below them in 2018. Their big test seems to be in the third week when they take on the Storm, but they'll have to be at their best early against the Eels and Knights who will be fired up to pull off upset victories.
Prediction: Win 4/5

First five games
Eels - Panthers Stadium - 4:05pm, Sunday March 17
Knights - McDonald Jones Stadium - 5:30pm, Saturday March 23
Storm - Carrington Park Bathurst - 7:35pm, Saturday March 30
Tigers - Panthers Stadium - 7:55pm, Friday April 5
Titans - Cbus Super Stadium - 6pm, Friday April 12

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Best 17
1. Alex Johnston, 2. Braidon Burns, 3. Greg Inglis, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Robert Jennings, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Adam Reynolds, 8. George Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Thomas Burgess, 11. John Sutton, 12. Cameron Murray, 13. Sam Burgess, Bench: 14. Kyle Turner, 15. Kurt Dillon, 16. Tevita Tatola, 17. Matt McIlwrick

Saturday February 23 vs. Panthers - Redfern Oval
7:30pm, Saturday March 2 vs. Dragons (Charity Shield) - Glen Willow Stadium, Mudgee

The start
The Rabbitohs' toughest test should be their season opener against the reigning premiers, the Roosters. They then tackle another fierce rival in the Dragons before three teams which finished below them last season. New coach Wayne Bennett will have the Bunnies fired up for the Roosters, knowing a victory will make a big statement about the team's premiership chances. He'll then have a job on his hand making sure they maintain that intensity through the next four games.
Prediction: Win 3/5

First five games
Roosters - Sydney Cricket Ground - 7:55pm, Friday March 15
Dragons - Jubilee Stadium - 7:50pm, Thursday March 21
Titans - ANZ Stadium - 6:10pm, Sunday March 31
Sea Eagles - Lottoland - 3pm, Saturday, April 6
Warriors - Sunshine Coast Stadium - 3pm, Saturday April 13