Magic Round has come and gone and as someone who was fortunate enough to attend 7 of the 8 games over the weekend, I have loved the concept and will be there again next year. Some tremendous footy was played in beautiful Brisbane weather across the 4 days (excluding a brief downpour between the two Friday games) and I’m sure this must have ended up being one of the highest-scoring SuperCoach rounds in the game’s short history. 1,300 is the new 1,000 it would seem. Crazy.
Before we jump into the SuperCoach analysis for the week, some highlights of being in attendance across the weekend include:
- Joe Fitz (Surgebuster)’s absolutely dead-on impression of last year’s winner, Bear.
- Wilfred Zee (Catfish) having to down the last of his $17.40 midstrength in one go when Will Hopoate crossed the stripe (he picked him out in the trading cards handed out before the game) – the great man managed to do a far quicker job than Bob Katter undertaking the same exercise!
- The poor bloke behind us on Friday night who was crying out all game for his anytime try scorer bet Mahe Fonua to “get the f’ing ball” at any stage during the game which didn’t eventuate
- Spilling half of my $23.65 beer (they were super, super expensive) over myself in a failed Mexican wave
- Nick’s constant FOMO on the group chat not being at the ground for any of the games
- Semi, Wenin, Sparky, Wilf and myself carrying on like absolute lunatics when Kalyn Ponga strolled through for the junkiest of junk time points as our captain
- My reaction when new recruit Clint Gutherson did absolutely nothing on the field except miss tackles
- Wenin’s reaction when Zac Lomax was taken off the field
All in all it was a great few days out (despite the result of the final game)!
Lastly, before we actually get stuck into the Weekend Roundup, we are going to be changing things up a little bit in this column from here on out.
The “Cheapie Watch” will be moved to seperate article to help condense things a bit. The Weekend Roundup will go up on the Monday still and the Cheapie Watch will follow on the Tuesday.
So, don’t worry, the Simonsson Star will live on!
As mentioned above, some of the SuperCoach scores coming out of the round were truly impressive, with a number of highly-owned players going large and seeing some totals soaring over the 1,500 mark. The winner for the round finished on a ridiculous 1,591. Simply magic.
This week’s column will again focus on:
- Who Rocked – the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed it
- Who Flopped – the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed your week Who Shocked – the left-field players who will no doubt be high on the list of trade-ins the next round and prime candidates for SC players chasing last week’s points!
- Injuries & Suspensions – early prognosis and possible SuperCoach impact.
Cameron Munster (159) – The Latrell of the week. Tore the Eels to shreds all night to bounce back as expected from all the unwanted media attention from last round. 2 linebreaks, 3 try assists and 3 linebreak assists for his evening out. Interestingly, NRL.com had him down for just one try assist and zero linebreak assists…but it evened out for non-owners because he only got 7 tackle busts per SuperCoach and not the 8 from NRL.com. #MunsterRobbed2k19.
Damien Cook (146) – Round 18, 2019. This is the game where Damien Cook gets to play the Cowboys again, and where you do not need to look anywhere else but him for your captaincy option that week. Tons up against us for fun and made our slow, lethargic, ageing forwards look slow, lethargic and geriatric here. The only silver lining to watching your team get schooled like that is when it’s being done by someone in your SuperCoach side. But after 7 games in a row and countless diet lemonades throughout, I wasn’t seeing much of any bright side at that point. The Sunday Blues were well and truly set in. Nonetheless, it was a masterclass by the game’s premier hooker, and one I’m sure many were glad they witnessed. A tip of my well-worn howdy hat to you, Mr. Cook.
James Tedesco (118) – 3 try assists and a try and he just about tonned up in the first half. Didn’t get to see much action as the Raiders made their comeback late, but has now cracked his first truly big score for quite some time. Playing at Suncorp again in a few days’ time – lookout, Broncos.
Ryan Matterson (111) – The Tigers’ best on the night and reaffirmed himself as a fantastic option for Round 16. Two try assists, a stack of tackles, an offload, a linebreak, linebreak assist and 155 running metres. That pass he threw for Corey Thompson’s try was a thing of beauty. Spare a thought for anyone who gave him the flick when he was named in the halves in Round 8. Hasn’t dipped below 50 all year. Only Jurbo, Klemmer and Nikora can claim that in the 2RF position (as well as RFM in his 2 games…) Reliable as ever despite his versatility meaning he can be shuffled around at the drop of a hat.
Cameron Smith (103) – 36 points from goals is what you’d expect when your team racks up this many tries. At his clinical best which is evidenced by his 3 try contributions (what a lottery that stat seems to be) and 2 try assists. Put the Maroon jersey back on, Cameron.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (103) – Possibly a little lucky to have scored so highly this round with a couple of tight try assist calls going his way but the guy is undoubtedly an attacking machine. Surprisingly, this is just his first ton for the year, which shows how consistent he’s been with an average of over 75. I thought he was reasonably well-contained by the Dragons on the night (9 runs below 8 metres) but made an impact when it counted. Doubled his total runs from 10 last week to 20 here.
RTS bumped up to 102 🤣🤣🤣u guys have lost it…— Mark (@Alohaduz) May 13, 2019
1 Line Break
4 Tackle Busts
0 Try Assists
Where do u get 102 points….
Kalyn Ponga (90) – His points total had barely moved since half-time but we all had a feeling something like this was coming. Welfare check required on Keiran Foran’s ankles, as that was a lethal step he put on here. His lowest score since being moved to fullback is a 64 in Round 7. What a gun. Only ran the ball the 9 times (same as last round) which is a little concerning but quality over quantity, I guess.
Cameron Murray (82) – Stood up Matt Scott in the defensive line and strolled past for an easy try. Had his lowest minutes of the season at just 53 which was a little disappointing but still churned out his equal-highest score. He’s doing enough for an Origin callup here, and might be worth starting to discount him when you’re adding up your available players for Round 12…
Payne Haas (77) – 61 minutes had him far ahead of his starting front row partner Lodge and the benchies, so with his tremendous workrate he was always going to go well. I thought he was showing signs of slowing down over the last couple of weeks, hitting in the 50s, but they just couldn’t tackle him on the night.
Corey Oates (76) – Loves Suncorp and another big-running effort here to boost his score. Had fallen out of relevance a little with some sub-50 scores strung together but now has a 3RA of 68. Gathering momentum for Origin coming up.
Mitchell Pearce (76) – Follows the ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule when it comes to the Shockers, with 3 games in a row now above 75 points enough to make him a genuine option this year, despite the lack of pedigree in this competition. Connor Watson is basically there to tackle, with Pearce doing just about everything in the playmaking stakes. Would have been a good shout a few weeks ago while the price was right but who would have ever seen this coming?
Dean Pay, Brad Arthur, Mary McGregor (-100) – Definitely worth a trot here. What are they thinking?
Clint Gutherson (10) – This was as ugly as they come. I took a punt on him this round and while it hurts here as he wound up dropping $55k, I have no doubt he’s someone you’ll want in your CTW week-to-week. Just don’t play him at hooker to start the game Mr. Arthur, for the love of god. 9 missed tackles and two errors (one which led directly to a try) for the match which seemed to be all he was getting scored for in the second half as the Storm strolled home.
Brings in Gutherson. Hold my beer. pic.twitter.com/xwZnUyD9v7— NRLSCTalk (@NRLSCTalk) May 11, 2019
Jacob Host (16) – This is the week to give him the flick if you haven’t already.
Andrew Fifita (19) – Came out of the blocks absolutely flying with 3 offloads from 4 runs and then clutched at the hamstring and was gone before we knew it. A true shame for Fifi and owners as he looked very much on for a big one.
Jayden Okunbor (25) – Another error-riddled game surely has him barely clinging onto his spot in the side. Hopefully he holds until Round 12 but who the hell knows.
Michael Morgan (29) – Lost 25 points through missed tackles, errors, penalties and a last-minute sinbinning for getting in the way on a kick chase. He’s trying and coming close to notching up attacking stats, but is just getting too frustrated and that last play typified it. That banana kick for O’Neill’s second try was the work of a rugby league magician, though. I’ll be holding on but have no doubt he’ll be one of the most traded out this week.
Reuben Garrick (29) – Crashed back to earth after his 61 and 111 in the last two weeks.
Viliame Kikau (31) – Looked absolutely gassed out there in the second half and was reduced to lumbering around in the defensive line for much of it. Must still be hampered by last week’s knee issue as he busted just the one tackle all night. Surprised the Tigers didn’t target him more in defence. Firming up very nicely in price for a Round 12 look-in but can you trust that he is fit enough?
Blake Ferguson (31) – Had an airswing trying to kick away Munster’s grubber for Addo-Carr’s first try and Parramatta never recovered from there (it was 14-6 at the time). At a very handy price now for what he can produce and a handy run coming up in the short-term means he’ll likely bounce back quickly. Whether he plays Origin is the big question and misses Round 12 makes him a definite risk, but even then he’s arguably nudging keeper status in the CTW position.
Lachlan Burr (32) – A very quiet night for him in the 50 minutes on the field. The last 3 rounds have seen his PPM dip below 0.8, so this is definitely a cow that can be traded up this week.
Maika Sivo (37) – Lucky to not have been sent from the field for his shot on Jahrome Hughes. Score would have been even worse if he didn’t fall over the line for a consolation try in the second half.
Bronson Xerri (39) – Just missed out on crossing the stripe but put on a late offload/linebreak assist to salvage some points for the many owners who had backed him in for a big score against the Gold Coast.
Angus Crichton (41) – Wenin called him a sell during last week’s podcast and he did little here (in general) to defy that call. Just the 8 runs all game and not a single offload. His base hasn’t exceeded 55 once this season and his last 3 games have been below 50 base points. Needs tries to score big. It’s definitely not the same Crichton of years past.
Curtis Scott (100), Kenny Bromwich (93), Dale Finucane (86), Brodie Croft (81) – Expected when your team scores 64 points. All tryscorers, all finding it a little too easy against the hapless Parramatta defence. Great stuff especially by Curtis Scott to not only crack the ton but score that brilliant long-range try.
Paul Gallen (98) – A goalkicking backrower? Sign me up! Had to shoulder a fair chunk of the workload with Fifita going out of the game early and produced a pretty vintage Gallen performance. His last-minute try and goal was just reward for the old fella. Minutes have been an issue for him this year, and his 64 of them in this game was well above his average for the season, so I don’t expect too many to be rushing to buy.
Anthony Milford (97) – Didn’t Wilfred enjoy this one! If only the Milf could come up against reserve grade opposition every week, he’d be an absolute certainty for your SuperCoach side. A game coming up against the Roosters this week will be a real test for him, but may just be actively stepping up in his role with rookie Dearden alongside him now.
Peta Hiku (94) – A couple of meat pies helped the reliable Hiku to a very good score on the night, including the matchwinner. A 3-round average of 74 now but a very awkward price.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (93) – 21 hit-ups, all above 8m. That’s Lolo-like from the surprise packet. He slipped back a little with a quiet game last round but was the beneficiary of a heap of injuries to the Chooks on Sunday and played through 67 minutes, his busiest outing of the year by far.
Luke Brooks (93) – Before we’d barely settled in our seats, Brooks had helped himself to an OL/LA/TC, try, TS/LBA in the space of 20 minutes as the Tigers ran riot. Things quietened down after that but it was enough to push him up to by far his highest score of the year so far.
Josh Morris (91) – Third time in the Shockers this season, but when he’s not scoring tries, he hasn’t hit above 40.
Jack Wighton (89) – Pounced on a grubber to score his 4th try in 3 games and that’s pushed him out to a 3 round average of 80. Would be the POD-diest of PODs if you were to pick him up for Round 12 with under 3k ownership, but his average over the first 6 rounds was just 36 with a peak of 53 points. Weird, given the Raiders were doing so well over that time.
Josh Papalii (86) – Just his third score above 52 all year and was finding metres easy to come by against the depleted Roosters outfit.
Corey Thompson (80) – Three linebreaks and five tackle busts from just the 12 runs all game. Duly rewarded with a try courtesy of a peach of a pass from Matto out wide. Just his second score above 50 all year.
Justin O’Neill (77) – Another brace of tries to make it seven for the year. In 2017, he scored once in 20 games and in 2018, he scored twice from 21 appearances. Weird. As an aside, for anyone who wants some insight into how poorly the Cowboys’ off-field management may really be, read NRL.com’s story on O’Neill’s resigning for 3 years last year. Not only did they not announce it officially, but O’Neill himself wasn’t even sure at one point whether he had. Even weirder.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
With all the talk of the surface struggling to hold up from the weight of the weekend’s 8 games, it was surprisingly well-intact by the time the final siren sounded. However, that didn’t stop a truckload of injuries, some quite serious, over the 4 days.
Andrew Fifita (hamstring) got off to a flyer against the Titans but was gone shortly after with a hamstring strain. The good news is that he may not miss any game time at all as the issue is minor, but the bad news is that it has a reasonably high rate of potential recurrence. Matt Prior followed not long after for the Sharks during the game with a burner but should be right for this week (wouldn’t Paul Gallen have been worth a look if both those guys were ruled out!).
Jack Bird (ACL) has unfortunately been ruled out for the season with an ACL injury, meaning James Roberts may have earned himself a reprieve. In the same game, Toa Sipley (ACL) also went down and looked in real trouble. No word yet on exactly how long he may be out for. Api Koroisau (foot) remains in the wars after going off early again.
On Saturday, Connor Watson (foot) and Edrick Lee (Achilles) both left the field in discomfort but may be back this week.
Sunday’s early game was just pure carnage. Daniel Tupou (Head – unknown timeframe), Latrell Mitchell (Groin – returned to the field but in some doubt for this week) and Boyd Cordner (HIA) left the Roosters’ bench looking bare.
Jordan Rapana (PCL) limped out of the game and the results of scans will determine whether his stay on the sidelines is only a few weeks or potentially longer-term at 6-8, but he is renowned for his recovering abilities so all the best!
John Sutton (Ribs) looked in a lot of pain late in the second half of the final game of the round.
The only player to be cited during the round was Maika Sivo who has been slapped with a Grade 3 careless high tackle charge and will miss one week with an early guilty plea.