To cap off the final week of the SuperCoach year, and what a year it’s been, I thought we’d mix it up a little and instead of writing a round recap (because who really wants to be reminded about the likes of Turbo’s 1 point, SJ’s late scratching, Moses’ flop, Cleary’s flop, Munster’s injury, McInnes’ injury, among many others…), we’d focus on the best and the worst of the 2019 season that was!
This year saw a stack of players breach the $800k mark and put non-owners between a rock and a hard place. In the case of late-year Turbo, anyone who bought in definitely did not get the best that he had to offer. James Tedesco has finished the year with an absolute bang, but he never really dipped, did he? He’s currently at an average just shy of 85 points for the year and hasn’t dipped below the $600k mark at any point. Without doubt, the SuperCoach gun of the year!
In terms of individual performances, Tom Trbojevic’s 167-point effort against the Dragons in Round 14 stands at the top of the class. And under 10k owned him at that point, because he was just one game back from a long layoff with a hamstring injury that unfortunately troubled him throughout the year. Just over 4,000 got to tally up his Round 3 152-point demolition of the Warriors as well!
And it wouldn’t be a SuperCoach year without a bunch of flash-in-the-pan players who went big for long enough to get us all interested, only to fall away as they so often do in this caper. The likes of Mitchell Pearce (peak price of $660k – current price of $387k), Cody Walker (peak price of $752k – current price of $476k), Clint Gutherson (peak price of $608k, current price of $430,700), Daly Cherry-Evans (peak price of $713k, current price of $484k) and Robbie Farah (peak price of $656k, current price of $447k) went on huge runs at various stages of the year, but through a combination of either representative commitments or poor team form, found consistency hard to come by. The old trap.
Who could forget some of the SuperCoach lowlights (or highlights, depending on whether you owned these guys or not) from throughout the year as well? Let’s do a little recap of some of the best:
- Isaiah Papali’i getting dropped from the Warriors Round 1 team after being pencilled in a hell of a lot of SuperCoach pre-season sides
- Corey Harawira-Naera getting dropped the day before his Round 12 bye week matchup
- Mitch Barnett getting himself suspended long enough to miss his Round 16 bye week matchup
- Patrick Herbert starting the year solidly, playing Rounds 7-11 and firming himself as a great cheapie option for the Round 12 bye…only to get injured and scratched the day before the game. He would go on to play just four more times for the year and hasn’t cracked 50 since.
- Shaun Johnson getting scratched from Sunday’s game after lockout.
- Shaun Johnson getting benched midway through his bye-week matchup against the baby Broncos
- Anthony Milford being injured in the week before his Round 16 bye week matchup.
- Round 1 cheapie Bailey Simonsson getting one game in the Raiders side to start the year, then being dropped for the rapid recoverer Jordan Rapana. He wouldn’t play again until Round 8
- Jayden Okunbor playing 8 games straight up until Round 10, then getting injured before the crucial Round 12 bye week everyone had him there for.
- Corey Allan in general (spoilers for later…)
- Joe Tapine firming to be a great Round 12 POD buy before getting relegated to sub-40 minute stints.
- Sio Siua Taukeiaho being rested for the Round 16 bye week with concussion
- Matt Moylan playing one good game for the year and looming as a POD buy for the bye weeks but succumbing to dodgy hamstrings every second game
- The continued misuse of Rhyse Martin that saw him float between reserves, bench and now the English Super League
- Poor old Nathan Brown getting injured in Round 1 and then only making it back on the field after the first bye
- Jason Taumalolo tonning up in Round 1 then getting injured the following week when everyone jumped on the bandwagon
- Latrell Mitchell getting randomly shuffled to 5/8 throughout the year.
- Round 25 team list Tuesday
See a running theme in most of those? BYE. PLANNING. IS. OVER. RATED.
Finally a huge shoutout to some of the NRL SC Talk contributors who will be following Round 25 with great interest as they try to sew up a spot in either the top 500 or top 1000:
- Stilesy – 356th
- Carlos 389th
- Nick – 827th
Carrying the duds (myself) in the SC Talk lineup for sure!
And all the best to those still in the hunt for top 10 spots. Yeehaa!
JT’s 2019 Top 5
#1: James Tedesco (Ave: 84)
What a season it’s been for Teddy. Nothing at all like his indifferent beginning to the 2018 year, where he, along with his Roosters’ side, found the combinations a little rusty at first. He now finds himself at an insane price of $854k that’s going to put him at Cook-levels of difficulty in terms of nabbing for your 2020 Round 1 side. This guy dipped below 50 points just twice all year, tonned up 5 times and has played 20 of a possible 23 rounds so far. If he was out of your side at any point during the year, you weren’t SuperCoaching properly. Not much else to say.
#2: Manu Ma’u (Ave: 73)
Just when this terrifying human being started to find a ridiculous base stat game that kept him below genuine gun status over the last few years, he’s headed off to the Super League! Ma’u finished the season with an absolute bang and is racking both attacking and base points up for fun, with his lowest score across his last ten games being an incredible 64. In terms of SuperCoach, it’s been by far his best season. Averaging 63 points in 2018, which included plenty of time at centre (resulting in his very handy dual positioning this year), he’s added an extra 11PPG to that in 2019 courtesy of base points per game that dipped below 48 just once in his last 13 games. His injury to start the year, along with limited time from the bench when he finally made it on the park in Round 7, kept many away. But he has been by far the best CTW in the all-important run-home. We hardly knew ye.
#3: Payne Haas (Ave: 78)
Like Ma’u, missed a good chunk of games to start the season (through suspension in this case) but more than made up for it. Hands down the cheapie of the season and possibly greatest all-time SuperCoach cheapie (he was $181k to start the year!). One of those rare cases where you get a young forward who gets called up to play big minutes across the season, yet still manages to keep up his workrate throughout the year (base points regularly above 1 per minute). Thankfully for SuperCoaches, he didn’t make the Origin 3 squad after debuting in Game 1, and his massive 96 points in Round 16 was much-needed. Crossed the stripe four times this year and has been close to many more. In a position that can be very tricky at times, having this beast pushing out 60+ minutes in FRF has been very handy all year. Surely he’s in everyone’s sides come Round 1 next year, despite what’s looking like a very tough starting price.
#4: John Bateman (Ave: 71)
Huge question marks over how the Englishman would adapt to the game of NRL and indeed SuperCoach on his arrival to the Raiders. Trickily-priced at $400k to open the year, many (myself included) weren’t willing to take the punt until we’d seen what he could offer, despite being a dual CTW/2RF, playing in the backrow. Would he get 80 minutes? Yes. Would he break tackles and offload like he did in the Super League? Yes. Would he make all those who doubted him to start the year look like fools? Yes, yes, yes. His season was interrupted after copping a broken eye socket in Round 12 and seemed like he’d be gone for up to two months, which would take him beyond the all-important Round 16 bye. What was that about doubting him? Yeah, the bloke came back in under a month, played that game and scored 80. Unfortunately, all his time this year has been spent playing at either lock or second row, so unfortunately this will be the last we see of him in our CTWs!
#5: Cam Smith (Ave: 74)
Overtaken by Damien Cook last season as the premier SuperCoach rake, many just figured it would be more of the same from CS9 this year. A little slower, possibly managed minutes. Not to be. Has played every single game possible, averages 74 with 6 tons across the year (five of them coming from Round 17-onwards). Thanks to his goalkicking, which the likes of McInnes and Cook don’t have despite their superior base stat games, he dipped below 50 points just twice all year. As reliable as they come and as crafty as ever. With SuperCoach scorers being a lot more lenient this year on hookers passing the ball at the line, CS9 has helped himself to 13 try assists, 14 linebreak assists and 17 forced dropouts. As well as his 380 points just from successful goals. Cook might have averaged more over the year, but you can’t beat that consistency throughout the year.
James Fisher-Harris (66 ave) – massive minutes all year no matter where he played on the park. Low score of 48 and dropped below 50 just twice.
Jason Taumalolo (79 ave) – Cruelled by injury at the start of the year but was at his damaging best when he could get out there. He’s developed an offload that gets regularly trotted out now. How good!
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (57 ave) – Has fallen away a little as he’s battled ongoing niggling injuries at the back half of the year, but in both real-life NRL and SuperCoach NRL he’s been up there for cheapie of the year. 10/23 games above 60 points. Outta nowhere.
Ryan Papenhuyzen (53 ave) – Points per minute of 1.2 from fullback/bench utility. That’s incredible. Of his 18 games, just 5 were for 80 minutes. Seven scores above 70 points. 8 tries. Few will forget his 119-point effort against Parramatta in Magic Round from just half an hour. Crazy stuff. Thankfully those short stints on the park will have him ripe for the picking if he can overtake Jahrome Hughes for the fullback spot next year (or more accurately, if Brodie Croft is replaced by Hughes in the halves as they are starting to do regularly…)
JT’s 2019 Top 5
#1: Corey Allan (Ave: 26) (somehow)
Ugh. Started the year bottom-dollar, has now played 16 games, 14 of them for 80+ minutes, and has made a grand total of $16.1k. At least we had him for that bye week score of 18 points! Unmitigated disaster after being wrapped as a great backline prospect. He started the year on the wing despite being more practiced in the #1 jersey. So maybe we could forgive those efforts. But it was his mid-season move to fullback to replace Alex Johnstone that we thought might be handy enough. Had a top score of 54 and top base score of 21. Joiiiiiiisus. Now he’s even ruining Stilesy with his AE nightmare-ness at the back end of the year.
#2: Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Ave: 48)
Has fallen away massively on his breakout 2018 season where he averaged over 60, to now being sub-$400k and averaging just 48 despite playing the full 80 most weeks. His try tally, which is what had him bordering on gun status in the second row, has dropped from 9 to 5 (most off kicks) and he has broken the line just twice this year. 14k owners at Round 1 to just 3k tells the story.
#3: Esan Marsters (Ave: 53)
His goalkicking got so bad during the year that he just ended up ditching it entirely. Not ideal. David Nofoaluma got back on the park and enjoyed somewhat of a tackle busting, offloading renaissance. Not ideal. Surprisingly one of the few areas where Marsters improved from 2018 from a SuperCoach perspective was his tryscoring. 9 this year compared to just 3 last year. Yet his average dropped from 61 to just 53 this year. From Round 8, his offload also absolutely disappeared, finishing with only another 11 throughout the year. He couldn’t bust a tackle to save himself. Everyone expected him to eventually put out a string of 2018-esque performances, but scores like last week’s 15 were far too common. Who’d have thought he’d be less than $375k by this time?
#4: Jake Trbojevic (Ave: 63)
Possibly controversial to sit him in the floppers given that average. But if you look at what he has delivered consistently in the past, this is a huge drop for the former gun. Pricewise as well – shaving $170k off his initial asking price of $650k+ as of Round 24. So what’s happened to him? Well, the start-mid year went pretty much as it has done the last few years. Scoring well in the beginning, fading a little during the Origin period. It’s been the final third of the year, post-Origin, that has hurt the most. Reduced minutes, his role in the side basically just to shovel the ball on at the line or take meaningless hitups when the pass isn’t on. Does he just need a rest? Even in the two games he’s scored this year, where he would previously be getting hundreds, he notched just 69 and 80. Just three scores over 75 all season. I guess the combination he once had with his brother wasn’t able to get going given Tommy couldn’t stay on the park long enough for it to gel, but even when Turbo was going large, Jurbo was not.
#5: Matt Moylan (Ave: 45)
Has only been able to trot out for 11 games this year and he played out the full 80 in barely half of them. His hamstrings just wouldn’t hold together and it has resulted in him missing huge chunks of the season. He was sidelined from Round 4 after his first hamstring tear, and made it back in Round 11 for a huge 78 points, including four try assists. So naturally, many (me included) then eyed him off as a POD option through the middle of the season and for the Round 16 bye week. What did he do? Scored some 20s and 40s (with the help of a few fortuitous try assists given in late updates, take that SJ), missed weeks at random and has now earned himself (barring a final-round/finals miracle) a Mad Monday nudie run as he hasn’t scored. Despite being in a team that has racked up plenty of points this year with plenty of attacking weapons. Maybe that was the problem. Too many chefs, too many dodgy hamstrings.
Corey Oates, Michael Morgan, Sam Burgess, Coen Hess, Rhyse Martin, Kerrod Holland, whoever I captained each week
Through injury, poor form, suspensions, being dropped by the coach. It was a year to forget for SuperCoach owners of the above despite all being relatively highly regarded at the start of the year. The pain is still too much to go into detail.
To close out on the year, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed wrapping up the SuperCoach weeks and lending my north Queensland twang to our weekly podcasts, despite having my worst-ever season. Will be back in 2020! As will my Cowboys…