Forget defensive structures or wet weather, COVID-19 looks to be the only thing that can stop James Tedesco this year. Last week it was a failed temperature check, this week it was a postponement of a game due to a Coronavirus scare at one of his opponent’s children’s schools. Just imagine explaining this entire thing to someone in 2019.
With the Bulldogs/Roosters game still to be played, we’ll run through the games to date for now, but hopefully I’m back tonight replacing Latrell’s face with Teddy’s for Rocker of the Week!
This week, the SuperCoach points were a lot harder to come by on field. Not sure what it was. There seemed to be plenty of dew around for a lot of the games and some defensive lines (barring my own side…) seem to be slowly getting the hang of back-to-back-to-back-to-back defensive sets with these 6 again calls. It also seems to be a merry-go-round for SuperCoach rocker of the week in the fullback position this year. Last week it was Ponga. Week before, Turbo. This week it was Latrell who had his best game so far this year, albeit against the Titans, in a 112-point rout. With a game still to go, do Teddy or Hoppa make their claim?
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
It might be a bit of schadenfreude, but I love looking up a player who has just gone massive during the week to see what poor, unfortunate SuperCoaches have made a tradeout at completely the wrong time (we’ve all been there). This week, Latrell Mitchell caught the eye. With a good run coming up and settling into the fullback role week-by-week, he’s definitely someone people were looking at bringing into their sides, not out. There were 41 trades to Best/Ponga/Grant which is fair enough, and even 3 to BMoz (remains to be seen…), but the guy who traded out Latrell for Manly’s injured Albert Hopoate has to win this round. Jeez.
Spare a thought as well for the many SuperCoaches who traded in Kurt Capewell only to see him go off with injury very early into the game. Horrible luck. But the guy who traded him out for Nick Meaney of all players this week is absolutely playing 4D Chess.
1. Latrell Mitchell – 112 . Yes it was against the Titans and yes the first try was fortunate, with a bobble close to the line that he managed to regather (one of about 3000 the Bunnies got on the arvo – poor Titans fans). But this is now three good scores in a row with a 51 and 71 before this week. With his price having bottomed out at $520k and now rising bigtime, and with games against the Warriors, Bulldogs and Tigers coming up, this is the time to bring him in. Just watch out for the odd quiet game – 9 runs in total this week is very low by fullback standards and means if the attacking stats dried up, a < 40 is a strong possibility.
2. Cam McInnes – 111. Have been given a good three game sample size to watch this guy run around and I’m convinced. Got over for a rare try off a short ball close to the line – normally he’s the one providing them – and will now be in regular rotation with Ben Hunt. 45 tackles and no misses defending through the middle and 15 runs is just huge. McInnes over Matto for mine.
3. Cameron Smith – 115. Before this, every score this year was 70+. Has finally gone the ton courtesy of a couple of try assists and a very effective running game on the night – two effective offloads and three busts. Has outpointed Damien Cook in a big way which is very surprising given how the game is meant to be evolving. Amazingly, had dropped cash off his starting price before this week ($14k in total). But with Api Koroisau slowing down a little, Cook having stalled all seasonv and McInnes available at 2RF – do we just ignore the receding hairline, the age and the way the game is supposedly too quick for him now and just lock him in?
4. Ryan Matterson – 94. Got over for a second half try off a kick to inflate the score but his offloading game (3 here) and 19 hitups is fantastic for a player on the edge. It means the floor will generally be higher than most that play their game out wider and opens up attacking opportunities for higher scores which we saw here. McInnes has the form at the moment and the extra base but having a 2RF of Lolo/Matto/McInnes would be the dream.
5. Jason Taumalolo – 86. 50 tackles and just 13 runs after the Warriors effectively targeted him in the defensive line. Not what we’re used to seeing from Lolo but the good signs for me were, despite his knee pain, he still offloaded three times. I like that boost.
6. James Tedesco – Surely….
1. Kurt Capewell – 3. Sincere condolences to anyone who made the unfortunate move to Capewell this week, eyeing off a big price rise from the dual 2RF/CTW. Injured in the opening stages of the game and did not return (confirmed now out for 10 weeks). Fingers crossed for good results for him with his scans. At least you will make a bit of money just by him stepping out onto the park…
2. Esan Marsters – 13. One of the worst performances I’ve seen from a Cowboys player in quite some time. Marsters had a bit of hype coming back into the season resumption with scores of 77 and 47 with plenty of running but has reverted back to the poor defensive days of 2019 since then. The icing on the cake was the sinbinning with just seconds on the clock. Very Hess-like.
3. Scott Drinkwater – 35. Saved by a try assist to Feldt in the final 10 minutes of the game but leading up to that point had been very ineffectual. Just two runs all game which is horrible. That’s his strength and the reason he scored so highly to kick the season off. Definite tradeout option with a tough draw coming up.
4. Nathan Cleary – 39. His return was very underwhelming for those, like me, who had held despite his 2-game suspension for inappropriate Tik-Tokness. Penrith’s forward pack were dominated for the most part of this game, particularly in the second half, and Cleary had nothing to work off. 8 runs is promising, but he faces another tough fortnight with the Storm and Bunnies coming up. The mid-game switchup between Luai and Burton isn’t ideal for finding consistency in his partnerships, either.
5. Ryan Papenhuyzen – 35. We’ve held and held and held and waited for the breakout game but it just hasn’t arrived. Had a 59 breakeven heading into this week which wasn’t huge but has missed it by a long way. Just two tackle busts from his 19 runs is a very low strike rate. Time to move along.
1. Kodi Nikorima – 110. There just seems to be something about the Cowboys and making mediocre players look like superstars. We did it for years with Tim Moltzen and we seem to do it with Nikorima. In fairness, he had an absolute day out and it was more than just a flash or two of brilliance. With the goalkicking, does he become a play in SuperCoach for the first time in a very, very long time?
2. Peta Hiku – 104. Anyone who told me Hiku was going to ton up after his opening effort to gift Feldt a try that never should have been one…Sigh.
3. Matt Dufty – 120. Just the spark that the Dragons needed it would seem. Was involved heavily in everything on the Sharks line all afternoon and finished with a try and two assists. He was at a very cheap $363k before this game but is only available at fullback which is just far too stacked. But great signs for the Dragons going forward if he can turn this into a run rather than just a flash in the pan which has been a problem for him.
4. Waqa Blake – 88. How many ex-owners would have been tearing their hair out watching Blake go to town in the second half? That fend was a thing of beauty.
5. Anthony Milford – 69. Lel.
INJURIES & SUSPENSIONS
- Martin Taupau – thumb. Injured after just 8 minutes of game time on Thursday night. Should be right for this week.
- Moses Suli – finger. 1-3 weeks after having surgery on his fractured finger.
- Jordan McLean – calf. TBA.
- Valentine Holmes – ankle. TBA.
- Kurt Capewell – knee. 10 weeks
- Dale Copley – ankle. TBA.
- Luciano Leilua – ankle. Couldn’t see the game out and is touch-and-go to play the Cowboys this Saturday night.
- Kotoni Staggs – hamstring. TBA. Injured doing a run at training (thanks for the live-tweeting during your Sunday morning stalking session, Wenin).
- Jesse Arthars – shin. 4-6 weeks.
- Matt Moylan – hamstring. Scratched pre-game but should be right to go this week. Kennedy lived for another price rise at least.
- Tom Gilbert – Crusher – 3-4 weeks
- Russell Packer – High Tackle – 2-3 weeks.