Today the NRL has released the draw for 2014, and from a Supercoach perspective, the thing that we always look at is the bye schedule. In 2014 the byes are looking like this:
Red = BYE
Green & Origin = Playing (Green = good run for bye coverage, Orange = mediocre run for bye coverage)
You can also download the full draw, in Word, HERE
Great Byes Analysis from Tommy Sangster this year as well, check it out HERE
As you can see, Souths and the Roosters have the pick of the draws from an SC perspective, as they play all 3 of the “big bye” weeks (R11, R14 and R17). The Bulldogs, Titans and Tigers play all 3 of these weeks as well. This is great news for non-origin representatives from these teams, however it is shocking news for origin reps (e.g. Myles, Bird, Farah, Maloney, Pearce, McQueen etc…), as it means that these guys will miss 5 games out of an 8 week period, with the likelihood of missing more games as well, if they are unable to back-up after Origin.
On the flipside of that, Manly misses both R11 and R14, and the Sharks also miss 2 of the first 4 bye weeks (R12 and R14). A number of teams miss both R14 and R17 (Broncos, Warriors, Raiders) also.
Teams that miss R11, but play R14, and then miss R17 are Melbourne, the Knights, and the Eels, so players from these teams could be good purchases in R12, and they will then give you a solid 5 week stretch of continuous games.
The Dragons miss R11, but then don’t have their 2nd bye until R18, so they could be good purchases in R12 also. The Cowboys miss R14 and R18, which really rules them out as an option, as they don’t provide either early season or late season coverage, as with the Panthers, who miss R11 and R15.
Our Draft Expert, Simon Kurtz (follow Simon on Twitter) has also put together the below, which looks at a sample of players and how they fare over the bye period in 2014:
So there you have it, the 2014 draw is now available!! Given that there are 10 rounds of footy before the byes even hit, there are differing views on just how important bye coverage is in selecting your initial team. There is no doubt though that it comes into play from around R8 onwards.
What do you think of your teams draw in 2014? Who’s your (very) early premiership favourite?
Join the conversation on twitter - NRL SC Talk on Twitter
Like us on Facebook - NRL SC Talk on Facebook