This round saw the shoring-up of the Top 8 teams with the Warriors and Tigers finally put to bed, leaving the next two rounds basically of interest to punters and SuperCoaches! Something’s in the water this season, though, as scores of 1250+ appear to have become the norm. As defensive lines gear less towards sticking their tackles and more towards sticking to a COVID-safe Mad Monday plan, we may be in for some monster scores to close out the regular season as well…
This week was a bit of a rollercoaster for popular players, with the likes of Lomax, Yeo, Fifita, Koro, Brimson and Mann having quiet games, while the usual suspects like Cleary, the Storm Camerons, Teddy (even after a rare downgrade), Cook and Mansauce delivered. And if you had one of Luai, DCE or Wighton rounding out your halves, you were absolutely cheering.
You’ll notice a familiar theme for this week’s floppers. CTW carnage indeed.
Spare a thought also for a mate in a Draft league who made the unfortunate call to captain Josh McGuire in a knockout final, going down by 5 points after McGuire sprayed the referee while in possession and got sat down for 10 for it… “F*** me, c***”, indeed.
With just two rounds to go, trades may now be running short, but with so many injuries and suspensions floating around, you’ll need to play it very smart from here. Hopefully you’re still in the race for a Grand Final spot or to climb up the Overall Ladder. Let’s go!
This year’s weekly roundup will be the streamlined version we closed the year out with in 2019, focusing on the 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!
As a bonus addition this year, I’ll also include my Trade Fail of the Week. It’s a great feature to use with your SuperCoach Gold subscription – you can see who SuperCoach players are trading in and out and who they’re trading for. There’s always some absolute headscratchers and this week is no exception.
JT’S TRADE FAIL OF THE WEEK
Daly Cherry-Evans was ticking all the boxes this week. A poor opponent, backing up from a massive 114 the week earlier, still getting the goalkicking, still no Turbo, even a breakeven (do they matter these days?) of 57. What, then, inspired some of the trade-out decisions made by some SuperCoaches who owned DCE during the week boggles the mind. Cleary/ARey/BMoz you can understand. Even a cheap Mitch Moses. Jarome Luai worked out okay. But these guys: Kaide Ellis (who?), Jacob Host (he didn’t even play!), Reuben Cotter (even I wouldn’t give my love to that Cowboy man), Jordan Riki (also didn’t play)??? What. Are. You. Doing. Champions.
1. Daly Cherry-Evans – 112. DCE has had a pretty handy year since Turbo went down in Round 6, with 8 of 11 games going above 50 and 3 tons across that time – two in a row now. He’s had a try assist in all but two of those 11 games, and now with the goalkicking duties has another string on his bow. That one play to set up a try for Sironen, where he just kept bobbing up during the play, broke the line and then put a deft kick through was something special. A further two try assists made sure that this game was only ever ending in triple-digits. With Turbo and Garrick returning from this week, it would be a decent gamble to keep playing him, but with games against fellow-bottom-8ers the Titans and Warriors, there could be some absolute fireworks still to come.
2. Daniel Tupou – 134. Been steadily building but his first ton for the year, which has been disrupted quite a bit through injury, was only just around the corner. It seemed like every time he touched the ball there was something about to happen. Three linebreaks, a try assist (I feel like it was Teddy’s though…) and two tries of his own, with 9 busts…it was an absolute walk in the park for the big unit. You really do just sit back and wonder why Ryan Hall cannot score in this side. I think even I’d be a shout standing on that edge.
3. Cameron Smith – 119. Vintage CS9 performance here. Took advantage of Josh McGuire being Josh McGuire and getting sinbinned while in possession for backchat (seriously WTF) to help pile on two tries with short balls at the line before finishing with another assist and six goals (no misses). The base was awful, with just 31 tackles and the one run, but he just doesn’t need it sometimes. It’s a concern if he was to come up against stiffer opposition, but with the Tigers and Dragons to come, I don’t think you need to worry about those columns too much.
4. Luke Keary – 140. Late addition to this list after getting a huuuuuge upgrade in scores overnight. Two tries, two assists, five busts, a linebreak, three linebreak assists. It was one of those red-hot Keary games that he can pull out every now and again. Scores of 11 and 18 preceded this game here, underlining his rocks or diamonds SuperCoach scoring. What a smart buy he would have been if you backed him in to buck that trend against the undermanned Knights this week.
5. Nathan Cleary – 104. What a year he’s having. Surprisingly just his 4th ton of the year but has an average of 85, emphasising just how good he’s been. He and Luai seem to be that rare halves pairing in SuperCoach that can both go large together.
1. Zac Lomax – 10. A couple of early missed goals, errors and missed tackles had him on about -2 at halftime and he didn’t recover from there. Didn’t help that he was getting cut out for Cody Ramsay twice on debut. 7 runs, 4 errors. Just an awful game. An afternoon game against the Knights should prove a little more profitable next week but with the Storm to close out his year may have a few eyeing off a resting. Considering he’s averaged 65 for the year that seems a little unfair but might be best to jump off the guys in the out-of-contention teams.
2. Maika Sivo – 29. Just like Parramatta, the whEels have fallen off. It’s not for lack of trying – 16 runs is a decent effort for a winger – but they’re just not leading to anything. The lack of quality ball at the line is hurting Sivo bigtime. Since he annihilated my Cowboys way back in Round 8 and caught everyone’s eye, he’s gone 39, 25, 76, 7, 32, 40, 69, 26, 43 and now 29. So many rocks, so few diamonds. If there isn’t a diamond this week against the Broncos, they might as well just see themselves out to an early Mad Monday.
3. Kurt Mann – 33. In a testament to how good a season Mann has had, this is just his second score below 50 since the COVID-break resumption. Chris Randall subbed him out at around the hour mark and he didn’t get back on the field with the game already gone, making his equal-lowest minutes for the year. Would have thought he’d bounce right back next week against the Dragons, but may now miss a week through suspension. Disaster!
4. Isaah Yeo – 42. Yeo got an early rest at around the half-hour mark before coming back onto the field with 25 to go. With Penrith ultimately holding 65% of the ball all game, his usual defensive output suffered a little bit here. If you held onto him despite his concussion in R16, it unfortunately didn’t pay off here.
5. Will Hopoate – 33. I wanted to add Brimson here given his quiet showing against the Broncos, or even Papalii who struggled to 33 from 35 minutes with some shoulder soreness, but this one surprised me more. Normally, Hoppa launches into the back end of the season when the Dogs improve slightly with their year already in the toilet, but this year he hasn’t really gotten out of second gear. Was firing after moving mid-year into the fullback role before missing a stack of games through injury. Came back and immediately hit the ground running with an 85 but since then has gone 24, 36 and now 33. Was one for the POD-hunters and I know I was interested, but didn’t expect him to be so poor here. 19 runs and the only attacking stat was a lone tackle bust.
1. Hudson Young – 127. Eye-gougingly good game here.
2. Jack Murchie – 83. Has made $200k this year!
3. Jayden Okunbor – 66. Damn, just 3 more points.
4. James Fisher-Harris – 79. The forgotten Panther. Finally getting some good minutes with 77 here and his usual base to follow.
5. Esan Marsters – 83. I was more shocked than anyone when he broke through the line to score.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
- Peta Hiku – HIA – TBC.
- Kodi Nikorima – Shoulder – TBC.
- Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – Leg – TBC
- Boyd Cordner – HIA – TBC.
- Cade Cust – Ankle – season.
- Addin Fonua-Blake – Knee – season
- Api Koroisau – HIA – TBC.
- Spencer Leniu – HIA – TBC.
- Matt Doorey – PCL – season.
- Josh Kerr – HIA – TBC.
- Billy Brittain – HIA – TBC.
- Beau Fermor – Hamstring – season.
- Elijah Taylor – HIA – TBC.
- Kurt Mann – Crusher – 1 week
- Rhys Kennedy – Crusher – 1 week
- Dane Gagai – Striking – 1 week
- Luke Brooks – Striking – 1 week