Origin week normally throws up a few spanners but there were surprisingly few surprises this week, with plenty of big-name players backing up and scoring big in the process. Sunday afternoon was a day out for the Cleary/Garrick owners, but not so much for the Hynes captainers who lost a total of 60 points through missed goals! With relatively minimal disruptions and another week of great weather, this round has thrown up plenty of scores beyond 1200+, with a good captain call being the difference between a great and average week. Hopefully you didn’t pick an Eel after today’s games…
It was an unfortunately stacked week in the injury ward, with the Broncos most notably hit. There are always a few niggles being carried around this time of year, so hopefully a week’s reset (for non-international and Origin players) will do the trick in a week’s time. It’s a good chance for us SuperCoaches to reassess our sides as we gear up for a very long run into the finals. Hopefully you’ve got a boost (or two) and some trades up the sleeve to navigate through!
As you’ll see below, it was a relatively tough one to find many popular flops this week, so hopefully you scored well!
The Weekly Top 5
- Rockers– the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed it
- Floppers – the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed your week
- Shockers – 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!
- Trade Fail of the Week – always good value.
- Manic Minutes – a quick check of any minutes of interest across the round.
TRADE FAIL OF THE WEEK
Even though I did own Matt Eisenhuth at one stage this season (yeah), at least I never traded Ronaldo Mulitalo out to get him like one Coach did this week. Obviously liked what they saw with Eisenhuth’s bye-week 65.
1. Penrith’s Guns. It’s hard to single out any particular Panther given they all absolutely clicked, so let’s look at them as a collective. Brian To’o (116), Nathan Cleary (106), Stephen Crichton (100), Viliame Kikau (88), Izack Tago (69), and Taylan May (57) all got on the scoresheet, while Jarome Luai (75) ably assisted them with a couple of try assists. The Knights weren’t really that bad, but Penrith’s Origin brigade well and truly came out with a point to prove and had all the running. A huge relief for Cleary owners who may have been fumbling around for a HFB replacement on short notice if he had have been rested like most suspected.
2. Sharks’ Backline. Another group here. As they can do, Cronulla shared the love around with seven tries between Mulitalo (106 – 2 tries), Katoa (93 – 3 tries), Talakai (79 – one try) & Will Kennedy (79 – one try, two assists). There’s plenty of love in the SuperCoach world for these guys and they could prove a crucial bye week cog in your machine. Surprisingly despite topping the tackle bust count (9) and scoring a hatty, Sione Katoa was still beaten out to the top billing by Mulitalo courtesy of a 3 linebreaks to 1 advantage. Katoa saves you around $100k if you’re looking for somewhat of a cut-price option in their backline, but Mulitalo has scored three tons and Katoa none if that helps make up your mind. Will Kennedy’s price will dip below $350k after next week when his negative score rolls out of his average and could be a great short-term pickup for the bye (assuming he doesn’t do anything dumb again). As for Talakai? Hopefully you’ve kept him around.
3. Reuben Garrick – 121. Garrick owners breathed a sigh of relief as the Eagles stretched away with this game, with Garrick putting on a try and an assist in the second half after heading into the sheds on 20-odd points. The goals also flowed but it was his hitup count (36 points) that was the highlight. The Tigers couldn’t really get a hand on him, with 7 busts in total as a result and he genuinely looked dangerous with most touches. A complete performance by a very valuable CTW who has put on plenty of them lately.
4. Alex Johnston – 114. Jeez the CTW is getting stacked this year. Normally a position of death, there are now a host of season-long keepers at big pricetags we have to somehow fit into our sides. On Johnston’s side is his availability in Round 17. This is now his third hundred in four games that has coincided with 8 tries across that stretch. His combination with Campbell Graham, who is a buy in his own right (and, as a Cody Walker owner, is loved by the scorers!) is really clicking and the Bunnies may be building some confidence after putting away a couple of poor sides in the Tigers, Warriors and Titans lately. They gear up into another good run of games here, so AJ has to come into calculations if you can afford him.
5. Scott Drinkwater – 90. Drinky just keeps on delivering for owners. A try and an assist in this game and plenty of dangerous runs from the back. His arrival has coincided with the SuperCoach downfall of Tom Dearden because he just commands so much of the ball in good attacking positions. Excluding the Penrith game, Drinky has now scored either a try or an assist in every single game he’s played this year. Great returns, and another who is posing tough questions for owners who thought it would be an easy call to get rid of him after the bye.
1. Cameron Munster – 43. Was going to be a tough ask to back up a MoTM effort in Origin, and the 8 runs under 8m from Munster in a difficult matchup underscores that. Only a lone try contribution to his name which is a surprise given Melbourne put five tries on, but that can occasionally happen with the 5/8 king. Not a disaster, but if you want to be negative, three out of his last four games have been below 50 points. On the brighter side, he has also surrounded those poor scores with big tons. Look at the long-term average with Munst.
2. Dylan Brown – 40. Highlights the disappointment that was Parramatta on Monday afternoon. He found it very hard to get into the game, with a linebreak assist to Moses late in the game and a forced dropout the only real attacking stats to show for the day. In fairness to Brown, this score (his equal worst before updates) actually also highlights his very handy floor. It’s Cam Munster-like given how much running and tackling he does. So the 1000+ who traded him in this week can at least take that out of the round.
3. Dane Gagai – 16. Another Origin hangover. This was by far Gagai’s worst score all season. As the likes of Garrick, Manu and the Sharks’ outside backs ramp up in the CTW, Gagai’s season is trending the other way.
4. Cam Murray – 37. This poor score can be attributed to his Origin game and reduced minutes as a result, but it was a surprise to see his lack of output given he should have felt like he had a bit of a point to prove. Just six runs all game and only one offload. Not the usual Cam Murray game we’re used to seeing even with tired legs.
5. David Nofoaluma – 27. Nofo had a 3RA of 86 heading into this game but hadn’t played first grade since Round 8. He couldn’t even clear a breakeven of 28. No busts, no offloads, not many runs. Although he did get an intercept (5 points), so there you go. Always worth a thought during the bye weeks so perhaps another day game against the Dogs next week might right the ship again.
1. Tino Fa’asuamaleuai – 123. This is Tino’s highest ever score in SuperCoach and his first ton in two years. To think it came from the bench and was capped off with a try literally on the wing. Wild day.
2. Marion Seve – 127. Who had Seve top-scoring for Round 14 in their multi?
3. Josh Aloiai – 121. Who had the former Tiger scoring his first ever double in their multi?
4. Matt Moylan – 101. This is Moylan’s first ton since 2018. Was Joseph Sualii even born then?
5. Adam Elliott – 95. Something’s in the milk down in Canberra. Two scores of 90 in a row.
An untimely ACL injury for Heilum Luki (14) forced a forwards reshuffle that ultimately saw Jason Taumalolo (74) rack up his biggest stint on the park all season. It’s a couple of big games in a row for Lolo now who has put his knee injury behind him. In the same game, cheapie FRF benchie Michael Molo (30) got a reasonable stint on the park, and Jack de Belin (66) put on his 3rd 65+ minute game in a row. Looming as a somewhat interesting SuperCoach bye week play if he can keep up the time but his scores have been a little mediocre this year.
Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (47) played a David Fifita role off the bench and even snuck over for a couple. Hard to understand how it’s all gone so wrong given the talent they have at their disposal in the forwards. Unsurprisingly, fellow Origin players Cam Murray (44) and Damien Cook (68) had breathers throughout the game.
The HIA mess in the Roosters game led to the forward trio of Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua and Nat Butcher all playing 80, with Tupouniua spending time at centre and Butcher shifted to the edge. It’s a reprieve for Butcher owners, with him playing through the middle and probably likely to get a rest like he did during R13. Similarly, Harry Grant (57) benefited from Brandon Smith’s (36) various injury stoppages throughout the game. For anyone still holding onto Josh King (65), he played his most minutes in a month. So that’s something.
With the Broncos’ injury carnage on Saturday night, Pat Carrigan (68) backed up a huge Origin game to put in another mammoth effort with Payne Haas (28) unable to return. He’s actually put on some decent scores this season to keep his price just under the $600k mark, and if it wasn’t for Origin, would command serious thought. As should Joe Tapine (53) if you didn’t jump on for the bye, whose minutes can be erratic but output rarely falls. Same can’t be said for Tom Starling (32) who again lost out in the minutes battle with starter Zac Woolford (48).
One player who may be flying under the radar but has his third 64+ minute game in a row this week is Joe Ofahenhaue (64) who now has scores of 94, 88 and 83 in his last five games. There’s not a lot of big-minute forwards in this Tigers pack at the moment so the experience of Joe O is being called on. One to definitely consider in the leadup to R17. In the same game, it looked like Haumole Olakau’atu (68) picked up a little niggle late in the second half which robbed him of more points as it did last week. And big ouch for anyone looking to use the VC loophole who also owned Ben Trbojevic (12) with a short and not so sweet stint late in the match.
All of the Panthers’ Origin contingent, excluding Api Koroisau (69) and Liam Martin (56) got a full game which was interesting given the Knights game was well in hand very early. The Wednesday loss must have really stung, hey? For their opposition, David Klemmer (60) continues to motor on, but not much else is doing in steel city.
Josh Curran (52) made his return off the bench this week and probably got a few extra minutes with Euan Aitken (58) and Ben Murdoch-Masila (21) coming off during the night. And it’s fair to say that despite some very big minutes since making his return from an ACL injury, Tohu Harris (75) hasn’t set the world on fire with his scoring.
Ronaldo Mulitalo (70) was given an early shower which could have cost him some points the way the Warriors had folded. And another popular buy this week in Cam McInnes (62) got an 18-minute stint midway through the game but came back on in the 50th to relieve Wade Graham (50) of his duties. The main concern for McInnes could be Dale Finucane, who is still slated for a R16 return.
And to round out the week, the Dogs/Eels game had a bit going on in terms of minutes’ interest. Tevita Pangai (49) made his return and was promoted to starting prop. He had a couple of breaks throughout the game. Good to see Raymond Faitala-Mariner (61) continue to build his minutes despite being pushed to the pine, and Max King (58) put on his best score all season – just when is the right time (if at all) to get rid of him?
And it was not a great round for Isaiah Papali’i (52) and Ryan Matterson (37) who had season-worst outputs for minutes. Matto’s is probably the more understandable given he was returning from Origin, but it was a surprise to see him taken off with much of the game still to go.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
- Xavier Coates – Ankle – 6-8 weeks
- Jeremiah Nanai – Ankle – 0-1 week
- Ben Murdoch-Masila – Arm – TBA
- Kotoni Staggs – Shoulder – 0-1 week
- Adam Reynolds – Ribs – 0-1 week
- Payne Haas – Shoulder – 0-1 week
- Herbie Farnworth – Bicep – 8-10 weeks
- Heilum Luki – ACL – Season
- Cory Paix – MCL – 4-6 weeks
- Daly Cherry-Evans – Quad – 0-1 week
- Tyson Gamble – Leg – 4 weeks
HIA – Kalyn Ponga, Luke Keary, Tom Gilbert, Ezra Mam, Euan Aitken (did not return).
- Brent Naden – 4 weeks