Round 2 saw plenty of big SuperCoach scores across the board as the weather improved (for the most part) and attacking combinations continue to gel – 316 points scored across the week compared to just the 259 in Round 1 helped massively. We were again reminded of the dangers of getting too trigger-happy chasing last week’s points early on in the season, there were plenty of bouncebacks from rage-trade candidates and some surprise packets continue to pique interest. The less said also about my NRL and SuperCoach sides, the better. Penthouse to the outhouse in the space of a week! How good’s this game…
Looking closer at SuperCoach scores for consistency, and there are quite a few players who have importantly backed up a strong first week with another this round. These are the players that have notched more than 60 across both games:
Sam Burgess, Braidon Burns, Cam Murray, John Bateman, Corey Oates, Briton Nikora, Andrew Fifita, James Fisher-Harris, Shaun Lane, Robbie Farah, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Ken Maumalo.
There are some serious PODs in there, and while many have been helped along by finding the tryline on multiple occasions, it serves as a further example that patience truly does pay when planning trades early in the year. Some of those names are very long odds to keep that sort of form up consistently, while there are a massive swathe of proven guns who haven’t made that list who will find their way to that level soon enough. The focus is of course going to be on breakevens this week, with this round being the last chance to trade players before their prices change next week (for any who will have played 3 games). Make sure you’re thinking long term when pressing that ‘T’ button this week!
On the Honours Board this week after notching tons are the ageless Robbie Farah (back to back!), Tim Lafai, Sam Burgess, Suliasi Vunivalu, Sione Katoa, Jai Arrow, Luke Keary and Blake Ferguson. Plenty of SuperCoach relevance in there which led to some huge scores if you had them. The likes of Fergo, Lafai and Arrow backed up relatively quiet weeks in Round 1 to go large – commiserations to any who may have rage traded.
This week we’ll 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!
Cheapie watch – all the cheapies and their outlook going forward
Injuries & Suspensions – early prognosis and possible SuperCoach impact.
Sam Burgess (129) – The big fella has crossed for 3 tries so far this year and set up another to completely dismantle the Dragons. He looks as dangerous as ever which looks to have dispelled thoughts that a streamlined Surgess with some off-field dramas would start the year slowly. Not to be, as he knocked up a powerful ton before getting a well-earned break with the game in the bag.
Blake Ferguson (119) – Jeeeeeeez. He was unstoppable here and looked like the Fergo of late 2018. Awesome signs for long-suffering Parramatta fans, as I had worried he’d fall back into the comfort of a massive contract if the going got too tough and these games would be few and far between. Shame about that pricetag, but between Lane on the left and Fergo on the right, the Eels have got some serious attacking weapons in their arsenal.
Tim Lafai (116) – More diamonds than rocks this game, as the trademark offloads (7 in total!) hit their mark and he took advantage of some poor defence by Inglis and Gagai out wide. These are the games that make everyone step back and take notice, but past owners will warn you to be wary. In a side that has looked quite clunky to begin the season in their spine, the fact he racked up this score pretty much single-handedly out there bodes pretty well for anyone who’s currently riding the Lafai wave.
Jai Arrow (110) – Wow. He was in everything. Owners were very keen to keep an eye on how his minutes worked out this week after managing just 54 last week, but he thankfully got through 70 of them on Saturday afternoon. Incredible to think this score could have been even more if he had have been awarded what looked like a try for all money early on. Great signs.
Luke Keary (105) – That was one of the best halves first half, with a game that belied the awful conditions and injury-stricken Roosters side he was playing in. The obvious worry is that he has to share points with the likes of Jake Friend and Cooper Cronk when they are back in the side, but this also follows a 58 against the Rabbitohs last week. You don’t need a big base stat game when you play in a team like this – attacking stats will come from everywhere.
Suliasi Vunivalu (101) – Virtually all these points came in a massive first half for Vuni, who notched a hat-trick of tries inside the half-hour mark. Josh Addo-Carr’s almost 20,000 owners will be nervous watching how well they attacked down this edge on Friday, as JAC was barely sighted on the other side. Vuni notched a tryless 50 last week as well, so he’ll definitely have caught the eye at that $400k price. Is he back as a legitimate SuperCoach option?
Corey Oates (97), James Roberts (75), Tevita Pangai Junior (70) – Friday’s thumping loss for my Cowboys is still fresh, so it’s tough for me to bring myself to acknowledge just how good these guys were. So I’ll just do it in one paragraph, and then I can move on and erase all memory of that game forever. Oates has gone huge twice now and they’re loving that left side Seibold attack, while the Jet got a couple of handy tries to boost this score – incredible to think he could barely walk with back pain just a week ago. TPJ’s successful one-man mission to destroy his opposition forwards was capped off with a barnstorming second-half try. He’ll have won back plenty of fans with that score and it’s tough to see him going back to the bench when Lodge returns. Do you take on the dodgy hammies though?
Damian Cook (96) – Cook more than made up for a quiet week with a hooking masterclass to carve up the Dragons and prove his worth in this game. Interestingly, his base stats are a little on the low side (42 this week and 39 in Round 1) as he’s not running anywhere near as much, but with that sort of class in attack, owners need not worry. It is tough sitting back and watching this guy run around as a non-owner. Would not recommend.
Clint Gutherson (92) – How good is the King? He’s proven to be a great bang for SuperCoach buck so far and got a double here as the Eels ran riot. His second-half try linking with Ferguson down the edge will ensure ‘2019 Grand Final tickets’ are the #1 google search term in the Parramatta district for at least another week. Glorious.
Dale Finucane (84) – One of the pre-season POD candidates backed up a solid 51 last week with a huge base game here in 65 minutes on the field. Interested to see how he fits in when Joe Stimson gets back into the fold but for now looks to be benefitting from the low-minute players the Storm are carrying on the bench.
Daly Cherry-Evans (81) – He would have been a prime rage trade candidate after last week’s 22, but DCE managed this score with just the one try assist to his name. Imagine what he could do with Turbo back in the side and a game that’s not being played in a cyclone. A definite hold.
Jarrod Croker (80) – Two second-half tries helped Croker along to this handy total and allowed owners to breathe a huge sigh of relief as it was looking like a very quiet outing for the high-priced CTW until that point. The Raiders have played in tough conditions to open their year and followed that up with a game against the miserly Storm, so it bodes well for the likes of Croker to go well on a dry track against some weaker opposition coming up.
Jake Trbojevic (80) – A much-improved performance by Jurbo, who got through plenty more work than he did last week and picked up a try to go along with it (Reuben Garrick you legend). It’s been two weeks of tough conditions, but hopefully with dry tracks and his brother returning in the near future, he’ll be in the Rockers list throughout the season.
Braidon Burns (77) – He finds himself in the Rockers list for a second week now courtesy of a very powerful running game – he’s racking up stats for fun at the moment and looks right at home on that lethal left edge. We said to give it another week with him as he doesn’t have the brightest history in this game, but with back-to-back scores like this and a matchup against the Titans this week to come, his 4,762 owners are about to lose one very valuable POD to start their year.
Shaun Lane (71) – Another Eels recruit who has settled in perfectly. An intercept try helped this score out, and owners must prepare for a 50 point game at some point if he doesn’t grab an attacking stat. The way he’s going, though, that might not be happening too regularly. Only concern for him here was that he was subbed off for Kane Evans with 10 minutes to go, but the game was already gone by that point so it could just be early-year time management. Will be in this list plenty more times to come this season.
Connor Watson (17) – 17 points from your starting fullback? Something’s not right there. It’ll take some time but looking objectively at what the Knights have done here, and it seems like the Ponga switch has just weakened the fullback position unnecessarily.
Jason Taumalolo (19) – Came out of his first hit-up carrying a leg injury and made no impact afterwards. This was a heartbreaker for the many, many SuperCoaches who had jumped on board after last week’s 99 and threw the Captains Armband on him (20% of you!). No one can predict an injury though, and this guy has been pretty unbreakable throughout his career. Another tough call to be made for owners if he is out for any extended period of time.
Michael Morgan (24) – It was an ordinary night from Morgo after a brilliant round 1 Performance, and he worryingly looked hampered with a shoulder complaint for much of this. While the forwards were dominated, the Cowboys did have plenty of chances down the Donkeys end and just couldn’t break through early. Again, you just have to resist the urge to rage trade guys like this unless there’s something more long-term with that injury.
Gareth Widdop (28) – This is Mr. Widdop’s second week in this illustrious list and he’ll likely be owned by about half of the 14,417 owners by 2pm Monday afternoon. He’s been barely sighted when the Dragons have been on the attack and the mid-game shift with Dufty to the back just doesn’t make sense and doesn’t seem to affect Widdop positively at all. Just ugly.
Latrell Mitchell (29) – Was shuffled pre-game into the 5/8 role so you can forgive him for a low score in those conditions. Started the year very quietly so, like Crichton, will have some bargain hunters waiting to pounce if the score plummets as expected.
Kerrod Holland (30) – Oh boy is this guy treading on some thin ice at the Dogs. He was at his woeful best in defence and made worse reads than a Bryce Cartwright/Pete Evans co-authored anti-vaccination textbook. Or just worse reads than Bryce Cartwright on the field, which already says plenty. He doesn’t even want to go looking for the ball to make up for it in attack – it’s very tough to expect the Doggies’ halves to get the ball out that wide to you when it might as well be a cake of soap half the time, I guess. I’d banked on him as a high base stat CTW that would get a lift from his goalkicking. Should have just looked at the team he was in and gone shopping elsewhere. Oh well.
Josh Hodgson (33) – I genuinely thought my app was broken when I checked in on his score, or my Caxton Street ales on Friday night had gone down a little too quickly. How on earth does a hooker playing 80 minutes that’s not named Michael Lichaa churn out THAT score? Between the loss of Jake Friend this week and that atrocity, it was a tough round for plenty of SuperCoaches’ backup hooking options. This is a guy who used to regularly push out 40+ BPPG, so I’m at a loss to explain it. Tough call coming up this week for owners.
Jordan Kahu (46) – A sub-50 score with an LB/Try? That’s a floppin’.
Mitchell Moses (46) – Ah, the old rollercoaster up to its usual tricks for this former Rocker. In a side that racked up 36 points, the fact over half Moses’ points came through goals will be a little concerning for owners. Still a very solid score, but what will it be when the Eels don’t fire?
Roberto Farah (123) – Okay, seriously, should we be starting to look at this guy as a genuine hooking option? That performance was complete class and that makes it two weeks in a row. The point of the Shocks is to highlight the players who played uncharacteristically well, but it’s very hard to argue with a 100+ average to start the year! The age factor is a worry but the amount of impact he has on their attacking structure can’t be understated. Very interesting… Who’s taking the Breakeven Bait this week?
Sione Katoa (108) – A huge score from the winger but he might have picked up an injury in the process, opening the door for some Sweet Xerri Pie time this round. They’ve got some handy finishers in that backline – but how good would that score have been in Round 2, 2018?
Ken Maumalo (92) – 3 linebreaks and a try in a monster game from the winger, to back up a 66 last week. In a side that was thoroughly beaten on the night, that score is quite surprising. The price is definitely right for those looking for a genuine POD option this week if your current crop of CTWs are stinking it up like mine, but can you trust this Warriors side?
Josh Dugan (90) – A great score in a rare second game without an injury for Big Duges. Looks settled in the centre spot with the likes of attacking weapons SJ and Moylan around him.
Boyd Cordner (87) – I’m labelling this as a shock because Cordner looked for all money to be a bit of a dud this year with Crichton coming into the side and his 80 minute games likely to be limited as a result, and I’m probably still not changing that view. Two tries (good as they were) aren’t likely to come every week, but well done to anyone that owned him here.
Dylan Napa (87) – He was just about captain of the Floppers last week, so I think it’s only fair that we add him into the list of Shocks this week as no one would have seen this coming. His score was inflated by a great try scored in the second half, but up until that point had looked twice as busy as he did against the Warriors. That’s what owners wanted to see from the get-go, but it’s again why we say to just calm down and give your players a few weeks before completely writing them off. Spare a thought for poor Surgebuster, who not only had to watch his side crumble after going out to a 10-0 lead early, but also had Napa on his bench. I’m sure you were not alone, buddy!
Jordan Pereira (84) – Plenty of points in combination with Tim Lafai, but something was amiss for the Bunnies out wide here. A tremendous finisher but tough to see him doubling up too often throughout the year if the Dragons keep this form up.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (80) – Helped along by a stack of injuries in the forwards, JWH used the extra minutes to churn out a heap of base stats here. He’s never truly been SuperCoach relevant and that likely won’t change this year (he hit just 44 last week), but that was a monster performance from him.
Corey Thompson (78) – Fool Fusitua once, shame on him. Fool Fusitua twice….well, double-shamed I guess. Thompson was on the end of two immaculate Farah try assists to cross the line, but while David Fusitua might have fallen for it twice, you can almost guarantee opposition coaches focus on this play from now on.
In honour of our first fallen cheapie of the year, Bailey Simonsson, I thought I’d take a leaf (read: blatantly rip off) out of Surgebusters book and give the cheapies a star rating on the Simmo Scale from 1 to 5, based on a combination of their weekly performance, value for money and job security going forward. 1 being the best and 5 being the worst (i.e. Nuff/Auto Emergency Nightmare candidate in the very near future).
Briton Nikora (92) – Undoubtedly the cheapie of the year so far. This was a massive performance from him and his combination with Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan looks deadly. Would probably have played out the full 80 but was taken off at the hour mark (before returning with 5 to go) with an HIA. Robbed him of notching a ton but we can’t be too greedy there. Absolute gold if he keeps this up with Graham still months away from returning.
Dylan Brown (69) – I thought the midweek slapdown from Eels legend Peter Sterling might have affected his game, especially when he dropped it cold early on. Should never have worried, as Brown went massive in the second half and cemented his spot in this Eels lineup in the process. Overshadowed his more-fancied halves partner in Mitchell Moses.
Charnze Nikoll-Klokstad (52) – I marked him down as having a good first game in tough conditions last week and he backed it up against a strong Storm outfit in Canberra in the dry. Looks very promising and a few more attacking stats seem just around the corner.
Adam Keighran (31) – gave away penalties, dropped off tackles, kicked dead and made errors. It was a tough fall back to reality for the 2-game rookie but he’ll still get a huge boost from last week’s 87. Job security doesn’t appear an issue.
Blake Lawrie (55) – Was very, very busy in his time on the field and was one of only a few Dragons who seemed to stand up to the rampaging Rabbits. It remains to be seen exactly where he fits into the lineup now that Korbin Sims comes back into the fold, but anything north of 40 minutes off the bench will be enough to create plenty of value with that sort of workrate.
Luke Garner (50) – Didn’t get the try like he did last week but still got through a fair chunk of work in 65 minutes on the park. The minutes were always the big question and with a second game in the sample size now it doesn’t look to be an issue. Good stuff from him. His spot seems quite secure based on the strong performances so far, but he’s not quite at 1 Simmo Star due to the higher price.
Maika Sivo (29) – Patiently waiting for this prolific reserve grade tryscorer to break through for his first and it’ll extend into next week. Was making plenty of runs early in the game before a couple of errors seem to quieten him down. His job was mainly making some tough runs from the back which he did well, so can’t see him being dislodged from a winning side based on that performance.
Lachlan Burr (29) – He came out of the blocks flying at over 1PPM and seemed to be doing everything right, but didn’t make it back from the bench after being subbed out 32 minutes in. Not great signs for owners looking to capitalise on his starting lock spot and $196k pricetag. At least if he holds those minutes either starting or off the bench he’ll create some value, particularly with Lisone now suspended for two games.
Thomas Mikaele (22) – Was subbed off for an HIA but again looked very sharp in his time out there (31 minutes all up). Great pickup at bottom dollar price and should see a nice price rise for owners if he can back it up again next week.
Thomas Flegler (65) – SuperCoaches saw dollar signs flash before their eyes when he made a break in the first half on his way to a huge score off the bench. Much better signs than his 10 minutes on the park last game, which might have led to some dropping him and looking for the likes of Host last week. As we say, it pays to wait sometimes in this game. Another week of similar minutes before Lodge comes back will be welcomed greatly.
Reuben Garrick (62) – A few attacking stats here have seen his score jump nicely, but he remains a big job security risk with talk of Brendan Elliott being moved to his wing when Tommy Turbo returns. It would be a dagger as another game like that would mean he makes some big cash for us early, but again it will simply be a wait for TLT to answer that.
Tom Opacic (52) – Got a very handy try assist with the game already gone to salvage a solid score, but from a real-life perspective he did little to lock down his spot in the centres. Enari Tuala is breathing down his neck in reserves, and given Green has already stated that he won this spot on his trial form so he can lose it for the same reason, owners (like myself) will be a little nervous come TLT.
Junior Tatola (36) – Just can’t see this guy notching scores big enough over the coming weeks to make more value than other forwards who start cheaper than him, but delivered another reasonable return here.
Jacob Host (24) – That was a pretty ordinary performance from Host after many had brought him in as a result of his big-minute round 1 performance. PPM was again shoddy, notching under 0.4PPM from an hour on the field. With a poor effort here including some vital missed tackles, he’s suddenly looking quite shaky. Bad news if he gets relegated to the bench on Sims’ return, but it seems likelier that Lawrie makes way and Host continues to plod along and generate some early cash.
Blayke Brailey (35) – Was a huge beneficiary of his brother unfortunately succumbing to an HIA early on, and played out 56 minutes in his place. Not the greatest output in that time on the field but you’ll take what you can get at $168k!
Corey Horsburgh (33) – Had 33 minutes on the park which is much longer than he’ll probably get consistently, but was enough to deliver a solid return at 1PPM.
Bryce Cartwright (31) – Lel.
Hame Sele (25) – Somehow got onto the park after looking gone for all money last week, and got through 31 minutes for not much of a result. Has the starting lock spot for now but remains to be seen how long that’s for. Once he goes back to the bench that might be curtains for the hopes he’d make an easy $100k in price rises if he doesn’t go larger.
Tui Kamikamica (14) – Surprisingly fell back to just the 25 minutes on the park and was quiet in the process. He’ll stay in the side but that sort of effort’s not going to do much for owners.
Mikaele Ravalawa (13) – Had a very quiet night as the ball rarely got sent his way, with Lafai and Pereira doing the damage. Didn’t necessarily do much wrong, but with two losses to start the season, the rookies in the lineup can sometimes be the first ones to be scapegoated.
Josh Kerr (15) – just the 15 minutes on the field and made an error and gave a penalty away at a crucial juncture in the game. Not good signs.
Injuries and Suspensions
Well the big news coming out today is obviously the 6-10 weeks that Jason Taumalolo is now facing on the sidelines with a Grade 3 MCL tear, as if my football weekend from hell needed a nice little rotten cherry on top (although obviously it’s Lolo who feels the most pain!). McGuire will move to lock in his place with Cooper and Hess reverting to their more familiar starting second row spots after both have spent time coming off the bench to start the year. Get well soon, JT13!
Brett Morris also injured his MCL on the weekend but the early prognosis is a little better, expected to miss only a couple of games with a lower range tear.
Joseph Tapine came off early in the Raiders’ loss to the Storm with a suspected broken thumb, which could have him out from between 4-8 weeks.
There were a sprinkling of minor injuries that kept players out of Round 2, with Josh Mansour, Cooper Cronk and Jake Friend being pre-game withdrawals, while Michael Morgan (Shoulder), Sosaia Feki (Knee), Matt Moylan (Knee) and Lachlan Fitzibbon (Cramp?) picked up mid-game knocks. Not sure on how serious those might be at this stage but fingers crossed for owners that they all pull up fine.
On the suspension front, Liam Knight for the Rabbitohs is looking at 1-2 weeks for dangerous contact and, of more SuperCoach relevance given the impact on Lachlan Burr, Sam Lisone could miss 2 matches even with an early guilty plea for a crusher tackle on Sunday night.