The long wait is finally over, the NRL is back and more importantly we are upset over pixels on our screen yet again! Life balance is restored I say, it’s good to know what day of the week it is again when someone asks me. Round 1 had many highs and lows, the pinnacle of the Dolphins welcome game to the NRL to Penrith being cursed by a 12-13 score line for the 2nd time in a row. SuperCoach wise I would say it was relatively low scoring spread so teams that didn’t perform well in the first round have nothing to worry about. I was 91k after round one last year and still finished 192nd overall! To assist in structuring your team correctly for the next round, let’s go through the best buys, sells and holds of the week.
Round 1 Score: 1,011 (Tedesco captain)
Overall Rank: 52,520
JACKSON FORD – 2RF – $281,200 – BE -6
There was a lot of unknown with Jackson Ford to start the year, making the country switch from the Red V to the Warriors for the 2023 season and not a lot of people had the highest of expectations for his SuperCoach potential this season. That all changed with him starting in the preseason challenge on the left edge and performing well. Starting with him was a gamble in itself as Niukore looked far more likely to be the 80 minute edge with Josh Curran on the bench ready to pounce at any opportunity given. Round 1 comes and Ford plays the 80 minutes with Niukore only getting through 60 minutes. Ford played well scoring 59 points against the Knights with 38 in base and 14 in base attack (TBs/OFF). I have some reservations on Ford and it’s why I have him rated at only a 7/10, firstly there isn’t any guarantee he will play 80 again and I do want to see one more week of it before saying he’s a lock of a buy. Secondly he scored 59 in a game with a linebreak against the Knights in New Zealand, the Warriors play top 6 sides from 2022 in 7 of the next 9 games. The worry about that is that any attacking stats could be very hard to come by so seeing how he performs against the Roosters could be very telling. He has a lot going for him based off his first game and I’m even considering bringing him in but only because of issues in my team rather than Ford’s necessity.
TOHU HARRIS – 2RF/FRF – $640,500 – BE 34
Could anyone else hear Catfish screaming Friday afternoon? I could and my guess is it would’ve been about Tohu getting a monstrous 76 points in base for a total score of 88. Playing the full 80 minute, Harris by no means disappointed and we could be in for some huge value with him. Outscoring the likes of Tino and Tapine very convincingly and almost matching Haas’ entire score with just his base. At time of writing he is owned by 6.6% of SuperCoachers so he could be a great pod to own through the entire season.
J’MAINE HOPGOOD – 2RF – $298,800 – BE -44
If you are apart of the 40% of players who don’t own him, stop whatever you are doing: put the controller down, put the kid down, pull the car over and trade him in. Just do it. Debut game for the club with 81 base points, 5 offloads and 84 minutes straight. I didn’t even need to write the stats but I enjoyed it far too much. If you own him, play him! (That was for you JT).
ALOFIANA KHAN-PEREIRA – CTW – $200,800 – BE 33
We all knew what we were getting ourselves into with AKP: rocks and diamonds. We saw what he can produce in the last trial game with a hat trick in 12 minutes and finishing with 6 tries in the 2 games. If you were like me and thought he’d score against the Tigers leaky right edge against Nofoaluma and Talau, we were clearly wrong. Debut game to the NRL and he had 3 errors, a penalty, 16 points in hitups and -1 for tackles. I’m willing to give him a pass and I do believe the tries will inevitably come, might sound crazy but he could potentially be a play this weekend either. I say hold him until he has a decent try scoring run, reap the profits then cut him to the SuperCoach pits.
BRANDON SMITH – HOK – $478,200 – BE 53
Not an ideal debut for the Roosters but there’s still not enough reasons to trade out one of the most owned players in SuperCoach. Early HIA combined with Victor Radley doing what he does best (getting knocked out), Smith played way more lock than expected and I can’t see that repeating too often. Roosters as a whole were diabolical and only completed 62% of sets. They will improve and Smith will alongside them, he’s a strong hold for me especially since there isn’t a strong downgrade option yet. If Smith scores very low and Soni Luke plays 50+ minutes then it’s time for a tough conversation but for now we stay strong.
EGAN BUTCHER – 2RF – $482,100 – BE 55
Not the performance us owners were hoping for but looking at it closer there were definitely some positives to take away from it. The sin bin that could have very easily led to a suspension and thank the heavens it didn’t, in the 70 minutes he finished on 36 points. If you take out the sin bin and penalty he would’ve had 48 in base and with the added 10 minutes he would’ve bumped that to 50+ very easily. His breakeven is only at 55 and he could beat that this weekend in the first half against the Warriors in Sydney. Definitely a hold until at least round 4.
MATT BURTON – 5/8 – $594,500 – BE 95
What an absolute shocker. The flop of round 1 has to go to the 27% owned player who scored an abysmal 18 points. There wasn’t a great number of 5/8 options to start the year, most on Doueihi and Burton and one prevailed strongly over the other. Ponga and Munster the pod options both performed well but now Munster has injured his finger it really narrows down the choices at hand. For right now, Burton should leave your side as the Bulldogs were not clicking at all and it might take half the season to get into a rhythm. He will lose a fair amount of cash in rd 3 as he’s against Melbourne in Melbourne this weekend.
Adam Doueihi, Kalyn Ponga, Isaiya Katoa
CAMERON MUNSTER – 5/8 – $848,300 – BE 96
Extremely unlucky for Munster owners, he had a solid first showing but with the injury he is facing 2-4 weeks on the sidelines and that’s just too much time to have almost $850k not playing. I would look to move him out this week to someone who performed well in round 1 with a good run coming up.
Adam Doueihi, Nicho Hynes, Kalyn Ponga
Jeremiah Nanai – 2RF – $659,400 – BE 98
Viliame Kikau – 2RF – $686,800 – BE 99
I’ve looped these two guys together because they are in the same mould for their situations. Scores of 27 for Nanai and 32 for Kikau, absolutely dreadful. If you are apart of the 20% of teams that owns 1 of them then there are plenty of options to flick them too so no need to stress at all.
Patrick Carrigan, Cameron Murray, Tohu Harris