The first round of price changes has passed us, and now there’s some expensive cavalry returning to the ranks that will have us tempted to fire up that trade boost button yet again. Are you patient enough to hold fire?
*To Note: All times listed are based on Queensland time.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
PARRAMATTA EELS VS PENRITH PANTHERS
Thursday, 7.00pm, Commbank Stadium, Sydney
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Ryan Matterson 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Matt Doorey 15. Brendan Hands 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Makahesi Makatoa
Reserves: 18. Jakob Arthur 19 Jirah Momoisea 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Toni Mataele 22. Haze Dunster
JT’s Teams Analysis: We were unsure exactly where Ryan Matterson ($696.7k – 2RF – BE 70) would land on his return and it’s good and bad for SuperCoach. He’s in the second row, which means J’maine Hopgood ($454k – 2RF – BE -32) remains at lock and is unlikely to have his minutes eaten too much into (though they were last week, strangely). The unfortunate one is Matt Doorey ($284.9k – 2RF – BE -9) who has been bumped to the bench and is also battling a knee injury picked up last week. There’s every chance he could fall out with Momoisea on the extended reserves as cover. Either player should spell Matto briefly given it’s his first game back, but long-term Matto should be punching out big minutes.
Brendan Hands (not yet in game) has been named to make his debut off the bench and is a hooker by trade. Is this a sign that they are going to start limiting Josh Hodgson’s ($418.8k – HOK – BE 32) minutes? Great name nonetheless, though I’m sure the commentators are already writing gear for if he drops a ball.
Bailey Simonsson ($394k – CTW / FLB – BE 57) remains as their first-choice winger, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see Haze Dunster ($234.8k – CTW – BE 23) given a crack soon should Simonsson’s relatively patchy form continue.
And how about the CARTY PARTY ($320.4k – 2RF – BE -14) continuing to live on! In hindsight, he was the one we should have gotten on over Doorey, though at 15% to 16% ownership, there’s not much in it. He manages to hold his spot in the starting second row where he’s averaged almost 60 a game from 80 minutes. Wild, wild stuff. Shaun Lane is still around a month away, so for now, the party rages on.
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Luke Garner 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon
Reserves: 18 Matt Eisenhuth 19 Zac Hosking 20 Tyrone Peachey 21 Jack Cogger 22 Tom Jenkins
JT’s Teams Analysis: The Panthers are fresh off the bye so name a fairly settled side. Scott Sorensen comes onto the bench, pushing Matt Eisenhuth back to the extended reserves. This will be Penrith’s third game, so the likes of Soni Luke ($234.8k – HOK – BE -17) and Sunia Turuva ($275k – CTW / FLB – BE 0) should have some nice boosts to their value come next week.
On the other end of the spectrum – Nathan Cleary ($841k – HFB – BE 161) who has thankfully been named after picking up a leg issue in round 2, is due for a massive price drop. Though, if history shows, he’ll make this value back in a few weeks time (if not this round).
MELBOURNE STORM VS WESTS TIGERS
Friday, 5.00pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne
1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. (TBA) 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King
Bench: 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Tariq Sims 17. Bronson Garlick
Reserves: 18. Tom Eisenhuth 19 Grant Anderson 20. Aaron Pene 21. Sualauvi Faalogo 22 Jonah Pezet
JT’s Teams Analysis: A massive in with Cameron Munster ($848.3k – 5/8 – BE 110) coming back into the side as scheduled in a return from a nasty finger break in the first week. He’s down to just 5% ownership but that should climb almost immediately given the likes of Doueihi and Burton have failed to kick on consistently in his absence. Tyran Wishart and Johah Pezet are on the bench / extended reserves as cover, but it’s an early game so thankfully team lists should give a good indication before you pull the trigger (hopefully with a non-broken finger). One or both of them will be coming in regardless now that Jahrome Hughes has been found guilty at the judiciary and will miss two weeks.
Tariq Sims ($470.4k – 2RF – BE 40) is again named on the bench where he played last week and should play through the middle again here, leaving Loiero ($375k – 2RF – BE 38) and Katoa ($485.2k – 2RF – BE -9) to remain 80-minute edge backrowers.
Will Warbrick ($217.4k – CTW – BE 16) is a popular rage trade target this week, but might as well be kept in given he can cover you (not well, admittedly) up until the round 9 bye, won’t lose value (hopefully) and could jag a try as CTWs often do. If you can’t lose absolutely anyone else in your CTW, I guess you could move him on, but you’re making no money.
1. Adam Doueihi 2. Charlie Staines 3. Brent Naden 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Brandon Wakeham 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole
Bench: 14. Daine Laurie 15. Alex Twal 16. Shawn Blore 17. Alex Seyfarth
Reserves: 18. Star To’a 19. Joe Ofahengaue 20. Justin Matamua 21. David Nofoaluma 22. Jake Simpkin
JT’s Teams Analysis: Another week, another shakeup at the Tigers. Fun for the neutral, probably not great for the faithful.
Adam Doueihi ($610.9k – 5/8 – BE 101) is moved back to fullback, pushing star of the show Brandon Wakeham ($234.8k – 5/8 / HFB – BE -3) into the halves where he’ll likely play halfback despite Luke Brooks ($547.8k – HFB – BE 44) being named in the jersey. Daine Laurie ($490.7k – FLB – BE 36) is named in the 14 jersey on return from his knee injury. In short – I wouldn’t be going anywhere near these Tigers the way they’ve been moved around by their coach all season. For those eyeing off Wakeham, you can wait another week, as he has only played the one game. He has moderate historical form when starting, with averages of 43 and 44PPG in 2019 and 2021. He has been a bit-part player for his career so far so last week’s wild run on the park may be the outlier.
Doueihi’s last regular stint at fullback was back in 2020 where he averaged around 55PPG in the position. On that result, and with him looking like he’s battling a leg issue that he carried into last week and had strapped by the end of the game, he’s a popular trade out target this week even before teams have seen what he’s got to offer from the back. A chance at a more focused running game should be good for him, but the diabolical service from Luke Brooks is highly unlikely to give him much of a chance to do anything creative. And did we mention how Tim Sheens seems to be literally just making it up as he goes along? There’s every chance Doueihi gets a breather for Laurie or something this week. Few would blame the traders this week.
Isaiah Papali’i ($831.7k – 2RF – BE 139) and John Bateman ($622.8k – 2RF – BE 93) will play their first game paired up in the second row with Papali’i back from suspension. There was some talk that Bateman could move to lock, keeping Shawn Blore ($234.8k – 2RF – BE 26) in there, but that hasn’t eventuated.
Tommy Talau remains sidelined with that head knock from Round 2.
Poor old David Nofoaluma is the odd one out in all of this shuffling. He was benched last week and now finds himself in jersey 21. What a fall from grace for the once SuperCoach star.
THE DOLPHINS VS BRISBANE BRONCOS
Friday, 7.05pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Brenko Lee 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Kodi Nikorima 10. Kenny Bromwich 11. TBA 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Tom Gilbert
Bench: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Ray Stone 17. Mason Teague
Reserves: 18. Poasa Faamausili 19. Kurt Donoghoe 20. JJ Collins 21. Anthony Milford 22. Robert Jennings
JT’s Teams Analysis: With Felise Kaufusi failing to have his charge downgraded at the judiciary, he will now miss four weeks, leaving a vacant second row spot that could likely be filled by Tom Gilbert ($537.8k – FRF / 2RF – BE 12) who has been killing it at lock, or Ray Stone ($246.9k – 2RF / HOK – BE 36) who has struggled for gametime due to injury and being on the pine. Jarrod Wallace ($391.6k – FRF – BE 53) is back for this game against his former club, pushing Kurt Donoghoe out of the side.
Connelly Lemuelu ($354.8k – CTW – BE 35) is a big watch for mine, if not a sneaky buy this week. He has been in great form after starting last week and coming off the pine in rounds 1 and 2 (the latter where he suffered an unfortunate HIA and only played 20 minutes). With an extended run now at the starting position, and the possibility that coach Bennett keeps Kenny Bromwich ($544.8k – 2RF – BE 82) at prop where he played last week given the lack of depth there, this could be an 80-minute edge forward brewing with attacking upside for at least four games. The fact he was named to start there with Kaufusi to begin with, prior to Kaufusi’s scratching, is a further plus. He’s notched plenty of attacking stats so far and is finally getting a chance to shine. A breakeven of 35 keeps him from being a lock and load buy this round, but from next week if all goes well I’m all aboard.
Keep an eye on the big Milf who may find himself a late inclusion with Isaiya Katoa ($258.1k – 5/8 / HFB – BE 6) failing to train today. One to keep an eye on but if you own Katoa there’s no need to move straight away given the breakeven is so low.
1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan
Bench: 14. Cory Paix 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Corey Jensen 17. Martin Taupau
Reserves: 18. Deine Mariner 19. Brendan Piakura 20. Kobe Hetherington 21. Jock Madden 22. Xavier Willison
JT’s Teams Analysis: No changes for the Broncos from last week. Reece Walsh ($554.8k – FLB – -32) is about to soar in value after a cracking start to the season (though what was up with him being on 0 points after about an hour last week? Crazy). Payne Haas ($693.2k – FRF – BE 53) is looking fantastic this season but is probably not an immediate trade in given his breakeven if you have problems elsewhere.
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS VS GOLD COAST TITANS
Saturday, 4:30pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Tom Chester 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Griffin Neame 11. Coen Hess 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Heilum Luki 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. James Tamou
Reserves: 18. Brendan Elliot 19. Riley Price 20. Mitchell Dunn 21. Laitia Moceidreke 22. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki
JT’s Teams Analysis: The Cowboys shuffle the pack around this week with Reuben Cotter ($597.1k – FRF – BE 86) picking up a knee injury that will see him miss 2-4 weeks. He was underperforming for SuperCoach prior to that so is a simple trade out this week. Griffin Neame ($349.8k – FRF – BE 51) is his replacement in the starting side.
The Cows are persisting with Tom Chester ($234.8k – FLB – BE -13) at the back while Drinkwater remains sidelined until round 6. He looks likely to keep a utility role once Drinky is back, with Jake Granville ($227.9k – HOK – BE 19) not cutting the mustard there in his ripe old age. Not ideal for SuperCoach given that will limit his scoring and he’s only eligible for fullback, but looks a great prospect in years to come.
Heilum Luki ($451k – 2RF – BE 69) is named on the bench in his second game back from an ACL injury. He pushed Coen Hess ($380.8k – 2RF/FRF – BE 49) from the park with 20 to go last week and with the Cowboys struggling in the engine room, may even come in there to start on game day.
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Joe Stimson 13. Isaac Liu
Bench: 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Jo Vuna 16. Erin Clark 17. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui
Reserves: 18. Klese Haas 19. Sam McIntyre 20. Toby Sexton 21. Keano Kini 22. Treymain Spry
JT’s Teams Analysis: It’s the same 17 as last week for the Titans, with coach Holbrook opting to retain the same spine combination as always despite shifting Jayden Campbell ($478k – FL – BE 107) into the action in the first half last week to play at fullback, pushing AJ Brimson ($645.7k – FLB / 5/8 – BE 90) into the halves and Keiran Foran ($432.1k – 5/8 – BE 54) onto the bench. That seemed to be a weather issue according to Holbrook, but it shows Campbell could be an X-Factor throughout the year.
Coaches will be hoping it was also a weather issue for David Fifita ($683.3k – 2RF – BE 89) who was also given a 20-minute rest last week. Given the likes of Clark, Vuna and Fa’asuamaleuai should be playing through the middle, you would think that should be the exception outside of any other strange mid-game shufflings.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS VS MANLY SEA EAGLES
Saturday, 6.30pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray
Bench: 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Michael Chee Kam 16. Davvy Moale 17. Jed Cartwright
Reserves: 18. Ben Lovett 19. Dean Hawkins 20. Tallis Duncan 21. Taane Milne 22. Peter Mamouzelos
JT’s Teams Analysis: More forward carnage at the Rabbitohs means a chance at more minutes for Davvy Moale ($253.8 – FRF – BE 26), you would think. Hame Sele misses this week with concussion, Shaquai Mitchell misses with a foot injury and Tevita Tatola will miss a couple of weeks with a knee concern. All good news for Moale, surely? Nope – here’s Daniel Suluka-Fifita ($247.3k – FRF – BE 26) to be randomly named as starting prop again! DSF was dropped last week after being named to start two weeks ago. Moale was ultimately promoted over him to start in Round 2, but his continued naming on the bench is becoming a frustration. For now he’s definitely not an urgent sell but he doesn’t look like going anywhere fast.
Blake Taaffe ($400k – FLB – BE 112) rejoins the bench after missing last round, and it looks as though Izaac Thompson ($350.7k – CTW – BE 15) will keep rewarding the 10% of SuperCoaches who own him, continuing to keep Taane Milne at bay on the extendeds. His first try of the year last year (though only scoring 57 in the end) will see another couple of price rises, so he’s an easy hold.
Jacob Host’s ($295.9k – 2RF – BE 30) return from a calf injury pushes Michael Chee-Kam ($299.6k – 2RF / CTW – BE -11) out of the starting side, but he remains on the bench so will gain some more value when he steps onto the park. Should that combination resume, Chee-Kam will be an easy sell in a few weeks’ time once his scoring returns to normal.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Josh Aloiai
Bench: 14. Kaeo Weekes 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Sean Keppie
Reserves: 18. Toafofoa Sipley 19. Cooper Johns 20. Morgan Harper 21. Karl Lawton 22. Ben Condon
JT’s Teams Analysis: Manly roll on with the same squad as last week. Sean Keppie ($274.8k – 2RF / FRF – BE 7) retains his role on the bench in jersey 17 and should be good for a couple of price rises. He’s nudging almost 40 minutes a game there so still getting an opportunity. Josh Schuster ($241,200 – 5/8 / 2RF – BE -9) has shaken off a leg complaint from last week and is named at 6. Keep an eye on team lists as Cooper Johns is lurking on the bench to act as cover if needed.
Prices will move after this week for all Sea Eagles who’ve played their opening two games. The lowest breakeven is of course the maestro Tom Trbojevic ($577.7k – FLB – -25) who has been tremendous so far this season. Haumole Olakau’atu ($682.4k – 2RF – BE 94) is at the other end of the spectrum. He’s playing good NRL footy but it hasn’t yet translated to SuperCoach despite some good attacking stats. Should his price continue dipping he’ll remain a definite watch.
WARRIORS VS CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Sunday 1.00pm, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Edward Kosi 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris
Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Bayley Sironen 16. Jazz Tevaga 17. Tom Ale
Reserves: 18. Josh Curran 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Ronald Volkman 22. Rocco Berry 23. Demitric Sifakula
JT’s Teams Analysis: A big in for the Warriors is the return from concussion for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad ($327.1k – FLB/CTW – BE 16) who is held by 31% of SuperCoaches. The Warriors looked a handy team with him in and even handier without last week, so it’s a comfortable hold for those owners.
Similarly, Jackson Ford ($281.2k – 2RF – BE 22) is back straight into the second row in welcome news for his 15% of owners. He may only be good for one price rise though, with Mitch Barnett missing this game through a shoulder issue but having played there in his spot last week. The form of Jazz Tevaga ($555.2k – 2RF – BE 35) last week in his own return was impressive, and he’s likely to claim plenty of minutes through the middle this year in his usual bench role. That would force the Warriors hands and likely move Barnett back into Ford’s spot on return. With Ford’s 4 from his HIA game still rolling in his average for a fortnight, he will need a big game here to avoid a high breakeven next round.
Unlucky for Wayde Egan ($591k – HOK – BE 20) who has been in almost career-best form of late but has to sit out at least a week under the new standown concussion policy. Freddy Lussick ($276.4k – HOK – BE 28) takes his spot, with Tevaga likely to relieve hooking duties as needed.
Josh Curran ($568.2k – 2RF – BE 123) looks to have fallen well off the pecking order, named on the extended reserves this week after missing round 3.
1. Hayze Perham 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Ryan Sutton 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Bench: 14. Jayden Okunbor 15. Corey Waddell 16. Jayden Tanner 17. Fa’amanu Brown
Reserves: 19. Braidon Burns 20. Josh Reynolds 21. Karl Oloapu 22. Jackson Topine 23. Kurtis Morrin
JT’s Teams Analysis: Not much to say about the Dogs this week, with the same 17 as last time around. Not sure why but Jayden Okunbor remains named on the bench – he’s played four minutes in round one and didn’t make it on the park last week, so presumably he is emergency backline cover for now.
No sign yet of Tevita Pangai Junior on his return from injury. We know he will come back through the middle, so it would be the likes of Faitala-Mariner and the bench forwards who will suffer the most on return. How good is that for Jacob Preston ($302.1k – 2RF – BE -62) who is forming a lethal combination out wide with Jacob Kiraz ($644.8k – CTW – BE -15). Both are strong buys this week despite rising significantly in value after playing their third games already. Between them they had just one linebreak last week and still totalled 131 points. Fantastic for edge players.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS CANBERRA RAIDERS
Sunday, 3.05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
1. Lachlan Miller 2. Hymel Hunt 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Leo Thompson 11. Brodie Jones 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Kurt Mann
Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jack Hetherington 16. Mathew Croker 17. Jack Johns
Reserves: 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Adam Clune 20. Thomas Cant 21. Enari Tuala 22. Tyson Frizell
JT’s Teams Analysis: The Knights shuffle the deckchairs again with Greg Marzhew ($581.2k – CTW – BE 59) named for his first start of the year. The surprise today was that it was star Dom Young who made way, with Hymel Hunt ($257.3k – CTW – BE 34) retaining his spot on the wing. Not even named on the extendeds. Ouch.
Daniel Saifiti ($479.4k – FRF – BE 56) will be a watch for owners, being named despite suffering a shoulder injury that saw him leave the game early last week. The forward depth is pretty shocking there, with no regular prop forwards on the extended reserves. A welcome in for the Knights is the return of Kurt Mann ($507k – 2RF – BE 58) to the starting lock spot after missing the last two with a shoulder injury, and Jayden Brailey ($607.7k – HOK – BE 125) back as hooker after concussion protocols last week. Of note, that pushes Leo Thompson ($349.9k – FRF – BE 14) into the prop jersey after he played 62 minutes at lock last week. He is comfortably the best cheapie (ish) option at the Knights with all these forwards out, and should stand to make decent game time again with the low-minute forwards on that bench, as well as Crossland.
Tyson Frizell has been named on the extended reserves in jersey 22 as he looks to come back from that nasty ankle injury a couple of weeks ago. Should he push into the side, you would imagine Brodie Jones drops back to the bench and pushes Johns out, who is back himself from an ankle injury (jeez there’s been a curse this year).
1. Sebastian Kris 2. James Schiller 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Albert Hopoate 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Pasami Saulo 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Emre Guler
Reserves: 18. Matt Frawley 19. Brad Schneider 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Peter Hola
JT’s Teams Analysis: A couple of important changes for the Raiders, with Josh Papali’i ($617.6k – FRF – BE 62) back from a calf issue that has seen him miss the first three games, pushing Pasami Saulo ($284.9k – 2RF / FRF – BE 6) who has been picking up the slack at a good clip of 36MPG. You would expect Papali’i’s minutes to be managed on return, giving Saulo and Emre Guler ($377.6k – FRF – BE 42) a chance to at least maintain the minutes they’ve been getting. Somewhat surprisingly, Corey Harawira-Naera ($452.8k – 2RF – BE 65) remains named at lock (though plays in the second row with Whitehead moving there), leaving Joe Tapine ($675.8k – 2RF / FRF – BE 77) to the props again. Tapine has been very quiet so far this season with just 48MPG – a couple of those have been in very spicy conditions so that may explain it. That should have nowhere to go but up despite Papa’s return.
Tom Starling ($514k – HOK – BE 12) has been benched in the same rotation as last year with Zac Woolford ($316.4k – HOK – BE 32) named for his first game of the season as starting hooker. Danny Levi will unfortunately be out for around 8 weeks with a broken jaw. Last week, Starling was able to push out almost 80 minutes, but had to get Jamal Fogarty ($620k – HFB – BE 81) to step in for a fair bit of it. Unsurprisingly he won’t be tasked with playing big minutes going forward on that basis. Starling averaged just 42PPG from this same role last season, so despite the low breakeven and good attacking game, won’t play enough of the game to justify his hefty pricetag. Woolford is also a miss given he scored just 30PPG last year in 40MPG.
Fogarty has been named to start despite picking up a knock last week, but has Frawley and Schneider looming in jerseys 18 and 19 as cover.
ST GEORGE/ILLAWARRA DRAGONS VS CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Sunday, 5:15pm, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Moses Mbye 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack Bird
Bench: 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Zane Musgrove 16. Toby Couchman 17. Josh Kerr
Reserves: 18. Michael Molo 19. Max Feagai 20. Jaiyden Hunt 21. Talatau Amone 22. Aaron Woods
JT’s Teams Analysis: The Dragons’ only change to the 17 from last week is dropping Michael Molo to the bench to be replaced by cheapie Toby Couchman ($200.8k – 2RF – BE 14) who suffered a head knock in his first game and played just the 33 minutes.
Still no sign of Jack de Belin in the team lists, so Jack Bird ($573.2k – CTW/2RF – BE 50) remains at lock. It’s tough to know what will happen to his minutes week-to-week. Last round he got the full 80, before that just 47 minutes. He was in fact subbed off in the first round for Couchman, before coming back on to play the remainder of the game after Couchman’s HIA – presumably that rotation will resume here. If he was to remain an 80 minute lock given the history there with scores, he would be a huge play, but at a 50 breakeven and with JDB still to return, there’s no real rush.
Ben Murdoch Masila ($234.8k – FRF / 2RF – BE 19) looks to be a very slow burning cow despite being a starting second rower at almost bottom dollar. He had a HIA last week which caused his minutes to dip, but still doesn’t look like an 80 minute player. If you’re one of the 8% who still have him, you might as well hold and hope for a rare attacking stat.
1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Royce Hunt 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Braydon Trindall
Reserves: 18. Jack Williams 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Thomas Hazelton 21. Jayden Berrell 22. Connor Tracey
JT’s Teams Analysis:
Nicho Hynes ($902.6k – HFB – BE 91) is a huge inclusion for the Sharks, and will have his first game coming back from a calf injury in the trials. Given the superstar quality of the player, it’s no surprise the Sharks have waited patiently for him to come back, but the minor ankle issue picked up by backup half Brayden Trindall ($334.2k – HFB – BE -39) may have forced their hand. Trindall finds himself on the bench as backup, though may drop out depending on how confident they feel in both Hynes and Trindall’s own injury. Somewhat of a tough break for the 12% who jumped on Trindall early – he has already made a staggering $100k and stood to make a ton more should he have suited up, but the likelihood he now has to wait for his second price rise, or it’s barely anything at all, is high. When playing in the same utility position last year in 11 games, Trindall barely averaged around 15 minutes of time on the field.
It’s been Briton Nikora ($669.8k – 2RF – 29) who has been benefiting from the partnership with Trindall lately, putting on scores of 92 and 81 the last fortnight including a couple of tries. Interestingly, over his first 16 games playing with Hynes last year, Nikora averaged just 53PPG. Once everything got clicking though and Hynes settled in, that turned into a 5RA of 90 to finish the season! In the trials, it was Teig Wilton ($524.5k – 2RF – BE 40) whose side Hynes seemed to favour most. If it’s a floating Hynes that should mean more quality ball for Wilton on the favoured left edge.
Finally back on Hynes – it may be worth holding fire just yet given he’s got the bye in Round 6, though if your only avenue to him is to move Nathan Cleary on, you could do it now given Cleary’s massive breakeven will mean the gap widens even more week-by-week.