This round was always coming, wasn’t it! Post-Origin SuperCoach blues set in well very early on, as teams across the competition scrambled to post meaningful totals. If you cleared 1,000 you can be happy – if you cleared 1,100 you can be ecstatic. Far stretch from the last month or so when 1,300 was a merely passable score!
With most SuperCoach sides carrying a fair chunk of Origin representatives, it’s not overly surprising to see some of these scores. Some of the upsets of the round didn’t help matters, either. Nor can SuperCoach favourite Clint Gutherson getting KO’d inside the first minute of the game! If you avoided any of that carnage, you could look forward to a healthy boost up the ladder.
Also in full swing are our trade plans for the second and final bye week – Round 16. Between now and then, we have 9 more trades to make, but just who we use them on is anything but clear right now. RTS? Dud score. Marsters? Dud score. Moylan? Dud score. SJ? Not yet back on field. Milford? Junkiest of junk points to save himself against a weak opposition.
Might as well line faces up on dartboards and throw for your life.
While I had an ordinary week and couldn’t even crack the 1,000, some of the other SC Talk contributors are absolutely flying and deserve a mention at the halfway point of the year. We last did a score update in Round 7, which read like this:
1. Carlos (“Jarryd Haynes Knee”) – 205
2. Nick (“Duffel Bag Boyz”) – 533
3. Stilesy (“The Turnstiles”) – 658
4. Wenin (“Wenins Romes”) – 752
5. Wilfred (“Washed Up Catfish”) – 2,220
6. Serc (“D Dave Smashington“) – 2,990
7. Semisonic (“Beer Ponga”) – 3,181
8. JT (“Basket Straightins”) – 3,919
Sadly many of the team have slipped back a little, but huge shoutout to Carlos whose team is Dwarfing the rest of us sitting at 253! Wenin and Nick are also neck-and-neck and am sure there must be a steak on the line somewhere.
- Carlos (“Jarryd Haynes Knee”) – 253
- Nick (“Duffel Bag Boyz”) – 1,337
- Wenin (“Wenins Romes”) – 1,389
- Semisonic (“Beer Ponga”) – 2,108
- Stilesy (“The Turnstiles”) – 2,512
- Serc (“D Dave Smashington“) – 2,654
- JT (“Basket Straightins”) – 3,396
- Wilfred (“Washed Up Catfish”) – 3,462
Also, it would be remiss of me (and he also demanded it) not to mention NRL SC Talk favourite Joe Fitz (Surgebuster) who is sitting at a very healthy 569th overall! Not exactly mirroring the form of his beloved Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, but perhaps he could get a job there consulting them on picking the best players each week?
As always, the definitions stay the same:
- Rockers – the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed it
- Floppers – the ‘SuperCoach-relevant’ players who killed your week
- Injuries & Suspensions – early prognosis and possible SuperCoach impact.
Rabbitohs 12 def by Knights 20
Mitch Barnett (64) – Scored a very soft try in the first half that had new owners (our own Wenin among them) dreaming of a huge score. Fell away a little bit in output this week despite being out there for 80 minutes, with just the 8 runs, but this game just never got going on any front. Needs to nab that attacking stat each game to remain relevant if he’s not acting as a tacklebot through the middle.
Cameron Murray (34) – Can be forgiven for backing up so soon after his debut Origin game. Still got through 57 minutes of gametime but typical of Souths on the night, could get nothing going. Ran the ball 9 times and most of them (6) were less than 8m. No need to panic as an owner, this game was just an absolute write-off before the kickoff.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (30) – Jeez. One of the four sinbinned players for bringing back the biff. Has now cracked 60 points just once all year. Anyone wanting to take the punt closer to Round 16 at such a discount?
Mitchell Pearce (30) – This game just had to come eventually. He has been churning out man-of-the-match efforts for nearly two months now and rocker SuperCoach scores to boot. On this occasion, while his side won the game reasonably convincingly, he didn’t have a great deal to show for it. A couple of try contributions and forced dropouts help him to something nearing respectability. With a few more of these games over the next few weeks, his ridiculous price might start to look a little more attractive.
Damien Cook (26) – I assumed the app was broken. Understandably fatigued after a big effort in Origin and he was relatively unsighted in his 69 minutes on the park. Just an enigma of a performance from the guy who’s normally so reliable and his lowest score since he was a bench hooker at the Dogs (how does everyone bring up the Cowboys and Kalyn Ponga and forget that the Dogs once had this guy in their ranks? @Surgebuster). Might be looking at a rest after Origin 3 at this point.
Corey Allan (36) doubled his score from last week. Because of course he did. POD option Kurt Mann (35) was reasonably well-contained but recorded a simple TS/LBA to Hymel Hunt to open the Knights’ accounts. Outside of that, was a little uninvolved which might temper anyone who had eyed off his negative breakeven this week. Sam Burgess (54) couldn’t notch a big score despite dotting down for a try late and now goes in for shoulder surgery that will sideline him for a few weeks.
Tigers 0 def by Raiders 28
Jarrod Croker (87) – Might have just been one week too late but Croker bounced back to form with a strong effort in the Raiders’ demolition of the Tigers. A try of his own to go with a miracle try assist where he flicked the ball in just before it went over the sideline for Simonsson’s try. Hopefully you didn’t rage trade him!
John Bateman (81) – Jeez this is hurting for non-owners. Has come back into the fold since his layoff with a fractured eye socket and hasn’t missed a beat. .Was in everything in the first half, culminating in a try off a great exchange with CNK on the edge. 34 tackles, 3 busts, a linebreak assist and 12 runs. He didn’t need the try to make this score worthwhile. Has to be in your side soon enough.
Ryan Matterson (78) – In a round where many Round 16 bye week candidates didn’t exactly shine, Matto was an exception. Same can be said for his Tigers side. An incredible 54 tackles (no misses) and 12 runs – his only other stats were a tackle bust and an ineffective offload. With more work being done in the middle, he’s a definite must-have….if he doesn’t make Origin!
Esan Marsters (37) – Somehow held up over the line early in the game by Simonsson and at the end of the day, both he and the Tigers badly needed that. His base output has just fallen off a cliff recently, and has many reconsidering him as the rolled-gold round 16 option we all thought he would be. He hasn’t offloaded since Round 7. And he’s averaged just a nudge over two tackle busts per game since that time. Hmm.
Joseph Tapine (26) – An absolute disaster for coaches that brought him in as a Round 12 play. With Hudson Young suspended for 5 matches, we thought Tapine’s time on the field would increase from last week’s 35-minute showing. It did. But only to 40 minutes. And he barely made a dent in that time. My steak bet with Wenin (Tapine to average more than 52 points per game for the rest of the year) is looking safe.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (40) – Been appearing on this list a little too often lately for my liking. His third score of 40 or less in his last four games. He got a try assist this time and still ran the ball strongly from the back, but maybe we were blinded by the tries he was scoring early in the year boosting that average? That’s a reasonably Kahu-ish return at the back from a guy that is now starting to drop in price. Forgetting about SuperCoach, though, and the guy is still a vital cog in this Raiders side and one of the reasons they’re doing so well this season. Just surprising when his team racked up 28 points, he only hit this score.
With the Round 16 bye coming up, the Tigers were the main focus for SuperCoaches here. Alex Twal (55) hasn’t quite recaptured his early season form that was seeing him put out 60+ scores on the reg, but was still very busy here. Could be the Aidan Tolman of the second bye week at a handy sub-$500k pricetag. Robbie Farah (40) won’t be getting a look-in now that he is sharing duties with Jacob Liddle (16). Earning a recall to the side during the week, David Nofoaluma (35) and Mahe Fonua (24) continued their indifferent season. No busts for Fonua who didn’t finish the game, and just 3 for Nofo. What is going on here!? Nofo was at least busy out there with 19 runs to his name, but almost half of these (9) were below 8m.
Warriors 10 def by Storm 32
Jahrome Hughes (114) – Has been somewhat the forgotten man this season, with just the one score above 47 since Round 1. He tore the Warriors apart here, though, with a couple of tries, an assist and 6 tackle busts making sure we don’t forget he’s around before Round 16. Was moved to the halves mid-game to accommodate the loss of Brodie Croft to a head knock. Need to see a little bit more consistency from him but will need to take on a greater role in Munster’s absence so could be a very sneaky play for the bye.
Cameron Smith (81) – Crafty as ever from the veteran. Two try assists, one off a grubber behind the line and the other an inside ball to Hughes to open the Storm’s account. Those that went for McInnes this week as a POD over Smith (me) were left a little red-faced here. A surprisingly low tackle count (23 – his second lowest for the year and well down from the 35-45 he usually puts in) but when he can create points like that you don’t really need it.
Ken Maumalo (74) – At a tricky price now but looming as a genuine CTW option for your Round 16 side. You thought he and the Warriors were going to put in a much better showing when he crossed early but after this, they got nothing going, despite his best efforts – 22 runs and 13 of them over 8m. Certainly the most involved of the Warriors’ backline outside of captain RTS. Seems to string a few of these games together so will be a big trade in target against the Titans this week.
Dale Finucane (64) – Mr. Meat and Potatoes himself dished up another big base stat effort here in a huge 71 minutes. With his HIA from last week still to roll out of the average, SuperCoaches will get another chance to look at him here to see if those minutes keep up again (he’s been at an hour or more since Round 7 outside of that game). Another potential Origin risk, though.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (28) – It was a wet, sloppy sort of game and RTS just couldn’t spark anything, try as he might. Brought down inches short on a few occasions that would have badly helped out his lowest score of the season. With Round 11’s score of 41 (his second lowest!) also still fresh and pumping that breakeven right up, you can’t blame SuperCoaches for being hesitant to bring him in despite his game against the Titans this week and Round 16 matchup looming. You can’t keep a guy like him down for long, though. Strike while the going’s cheap(ish)!
Cameron Munster (40) – His lone attacking stat was a forced dropout where the bounce of the ball fooled RTS, but outside of this was yet again just a bit-part player in the Storm attack. He had a huge breakeven before this game and that will continue to grow after this effort. He’s still got one of the best base-stat games for a 5/8 in the SuperCoach world, but we’re not buying these players for base, are we? His 5th game in the 40’s in his last 7 outings. Yuck.
Not many others of note in this game. There has been some passing interest in the likes of Tohu Harris (56), Kenny Bromwich (49) and even Nelson Asofa-Solomona (35) who has been strong lately, but all had below-par games in the New Zealand cold. Ryan Papenhuyzen (46) was electric off the bench as well, yet again!
Sharks 42 def Eels 22
Bronson Xerri (104) – For the second game running, the rookie has been on fire with a two-try effort here (hat-trick in Round 11). Made a huge difference for those that played him versus those that left him on the pine (or worse yet, had sold him before that game in R11). Looked dangerous most times he got the ball in hand and while his first try might have been a bit lucky with a ricocheted kick finding its way to him, his second was all Xerri. Broke the line down the edge, passed the ball back infield to Graham whose misdirected pass found its way to Xerri who brushed aside some feeble Parra defence to score. Awesome to watch even as someone who plonked him on my NPRs yet again! The cash he’s making shows no signs of stopping.
Andrew Fifita (91) – Jeez, he was on about 70-80 after he crashed over in the first half. How did he not go even more ballistic? Wasn’t given a big workload with the game already sewn up early into the second (46 minutes in total) but that early stint ensured this mammoth score. Just can’t stop throwing offloads.
Mitchell Moses (80) – A couple of try assists, one for Sivo off a grubber and the other a junk-time speculator out to Josh Hoffman ensured that the SuperCoach Rollercoaster knocked out another great score here, to back up his 110 from last week. The Eels need more from him on the field but SuperCoaches could not have asked for much else here. Missed tackle count of 7 for the night shows where a lot of the game went wrong for Parra.
Clint Gutherson (0) – Heartbreaking for Gutho and his owners, with Gutho absolutely cleaned up early in the game by Josh Dugan diving for the ball and stumbling off with an HIA. He looked gone for all money and that was exactly what happened. Will drop a stack of cash but surely he’ll be back soon enough.
Matt Moylan (21) – Well, this was always the risk with him. Can be very uninvolved in some games and that was exactly the case here. Error-riddled (3 of them) effort and apart from an off-the-uprights grubber for a forced dropout and a late linebreak assist, would have had an even more ordinary score. Like Moses, will probably do the opposite next week and resume the rollercoaster ride
Kyle Flanagan (82) continues to impress, with his stay in the first grade side extended another week with Shaun Johnson not being cleared in time for the game (although is expected to play this week). Caps off a remarkable run for the young kid, with a 5RA of 60! Maika Sivo (66) scored twice but badly needed those points as he was barely sighted running the ball (just the 9 – you need to get back there and help out, mate!). An aggrieved owner here, but what were the scorers looking at when they decided to take Shaun Lane’s (52) second half try assist off of him and give it to…no one? Sigh. Blake Ferguson (66) notched his first score above 43 since Round 8 as he tried hard to spark something for Parra.
On the injury return, and even off the bench, Wade Graham (56) and Nathan Brown (51) posted some very respectable scores. Of interest, Graham replaced Kurt Capewell (38) early in the first half and then was subbed off for Capewell for the final 15. Good news for Briton Nikora (41) owners, as he played out the full 80. What wasn’t great was Nikora’s output – had a try assist (justifiably) taken off of him in the reviews but aside from that, just tackled and ran the ball a bit. Not making the cutting, busting runs he was at the start of the year. Is he still a keeper even with the 80 mins? We’ll see post Round 16. Brown’s return looks like it might hurt Manu Ma’u (45) owners, though, with Brown’s ball-magnet and tacklebot style of play depriving Mau of the sort of base stats he’s been churning out recently.
Cowboys 20 def by Sea Eagles 22
Jason Taumalolo (93) – Incredible that this guy racked up a career-best 311 metres (honestly) and yet still probably had one of his poorer games of the year out there by his standards. It means little for SuperCoach though, with his 50 hitup points (honestly) being boosted nicely by this newfound offload he’s got in his game (4 effective). Again pushed out 80 minutes but may be showing signs of fatigue with a couple of uncharacteristic errors. Seems to be as safe a captaincy option as there can be in this game. Take out that Round 2 injury game and he’s averaging a ridiculous 96 points. His lowest score in that run is a lowly 72 points. Hero.
Martin Taupau (76) – Seems to be taking it in turns with AFB each week to be the dominant, tackle busting, offloading forward in the Manly pack. Couldn’t be contained by the Cowboys in the first stint and came back on to make plenty of metres in his second. His minutes are again a bit of a worry, with just 48 here, but at least he looks to have shaken off the niggling injuries. This is where his PPM needs to be consistently if he’s to be held in our SuperCoach sides for a while longer.
Jake Trbojevic (70) – I thought his score was going to be affected by the fact his role seemed to be just shovelling the ball on at the line most of the night, but his 50 tackles, some of them crucial as he did a very handy job on Lolo, ensured his score was up here at the end. One of the few who performed so well in the forwards after Origin.
Reuben Garrick (23) – Very uninvolved in this game and looming as a must-sell this week with a price in freefall.
Dylan Walker (21) – This game has been coming since his return. No random attacking stat to help him out here.
What a fantastic buy Cade Cust (64) is turning out to be for owners that jumped on the cheapie for the bye round. He edged out Kane Elgey here to partner the returning DCE (50) in the halves and scored what turned out to be the matchwinner, in addition to setting up one of his own. The dollar signs will be burning in the eyes of all his owners.
Joel Thompson (81) broke through for his 3rd try of the year and has a couple of solid scores in a row now with a 60 from last week. Just not enough base to warrant a look-in. As is the case for second row partner Curtis Sironen (70) who crossed for his first meatie of the year.
Tom Trbojevic (62) was involved in two try assists to help him notch a nice score in his return, but looked very ginger running the ball and uncertain under the high ball – contributing to most of his 4 errors. Even so, was still an inch or two away from opening up the Cowboys defensive line and going even larger, which is a scary thought. With the hamstring injury still fresh, I think most will hold back on pulling the trigger on him until Round 17. Hopefully that price comes down a bit before then!
For my poor Cowboys, only Michael Morgan (58) likely remains of relevance in the SuperCoach world outside of Lolo. Morgo tried hard to get things going and outside of that 10-minute stint in the first half where we ran riot, had most of his efforts shot down by Manly or let down by his teammates. I like the move for him back to fullback, but with 5 errors to his name, will need to settle in there quickly. Still plays the same attacking lynchpin role he would normally play at 5/8, but at least gets some more hitup points running it from the back (18 in total here).
Broncos 18 def by Titans 26 (lel)
Brian Kelly (93) – Couldn’t be stopped here on his way to two tries. He can be very much rocks or diamonds, but at least those who bought in for a solid bye round return of 52 will see some cash rises after this score.
Payne Haas (72) – Some handy updates in scoring after the game saw him clear 70 points yet again. A great effort after he was a little quiet in his debut Origin game. His minutes were understandably down at just 48 but that workrate was good enough to defy that. Hopefully back to the 60+ minutes on the park this week and a PPM to match!
Anthony Milford (71) – One of the all-time great junk time tries. They all count, though. Outside of that another failed effort to guide his side around when they needed him the most. This was a matchup that the flat-track bully should have excelled at, and the fact he left it so late will make new and prospective owners a little worried.
Jai Arrow (45) – First game in the NRL since Round 10 and was a little quiet after backing up from Origin. Just the 41 minutes. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come as his gametime is managed over the rep period, and he firms as a post- Round 17 buy.
Thomas Dearden (0) – Another unfortunate departure early into the game for a popular SuperCoach player. Worst fears confirmed early today with news that Dearden would need an extended stay on the sidelines as he recovers from the syndesmosis injury suffered here. Bye planning is overrated.
Jake Turpin (81) shifted into the halves with Dearden’s unfortunate early exit from the game and settled into the role handily, crossing for the Broncos’ only try of the first half. Stuck his tackles and showed his worth with a good running game – 5 busts and two linebreaks from just the 4 runs! What?! Joining him as one of the Broncos few shining lights on a dark day for the club was Alex Glenn (78) who notched his first score above 60 for the year. Andrew McCullough (68) posted a very handy score here that was helped through the early injury to Dearden and injection into the game off the bench as a result. He joins a Round 16 hooker logjam with Cameron Smith and Cam McInnes, but is the cheapest of the lot by a decent way. Only risk is that he gets a callup for game 3 if the Ben Hunt hooker experiment doesn’t pay off in Game 2.
Panthers 19 def Roosters 10
Viliame Kikau (111) – That one has to be bittersweet for his owners! Misses last week through illness and then comes out and steamrolls them for his first career double! Hopefully you held off the rage trade! Looked by far the most dangerous he has all year with a consistent running game – 18 busts, an offload, a linebreak and 16 runs in total. Base stats that aren’t always there for him.
Victor Radley (72) – Somehow, 17,315 teams still own this guy. I’m assuming the majority of them have rage-quit the game by now given his early season rubbish SuperCoach form. Crossed for just his second try of the year and hit 60+ for the second time in three rounds. Hmm. Still not doing enough tackling for a non-creative hooker.
Nathan Cleary (43) – Without goals, it would have been a very ordinary score. Another one you can forgive for backing up from Origin and with Maloney being on fire, but a few stats are worrying here for owners. He hasn’t laid on a try assist since Round 6, and he’s put two or more try assists together in the one game just once this year (Round 2). Many would also argue some of his linebreak assists awarded throughout the year have been dubious. Dips under a 60 point average now, but the dearth of options at HFB this year means he’s still near the top of the class there.
James Maloney (95) finally got going from a SuperCoach and NRL perspective as he took the reins to guide the Panthers home against one of his 5000 former clubs. Continuing the renaissance theme, Josh Mansour (76) continues to impress coming back from injury this year. A linebreak and a linebreak assist were his two attacking stats here – the rest was a run-heavy base stat game. Hopefully he’s warming up to the form of yesteryear.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (62) is looking like being a popular buy over the coming weeks, with the ultra-consistent prop turning out another solid effort here. Could have been more if he was more accurate with his goalkicking, missing his two shots for the afternoon. While he was off the field, Drew Hutchison (22) knocked one over instead. While it’s his base stat game that makes him such a valuable option (averages nearly 1 base point per minute – at 50+ minutes that’s pretty handy), that bye round goalkicking had sealed him in the eyes of many as a must-have for 16. Can’t see him losing it, but would want to hope Hutchison keeps shanking them at training!
Interestingly, James Fisher Harris (48) started the game at prop forward and notched out a score that was a little underwhelming. I didn’t expect it to make much difference with his good run leading up to this game being a result of a massive workrate through the middle, but a drop back to 69 minutes stung a little.
Bulldogs 12 def by Dragons 36
Zac Lomax (86) – Might have gotten a lucky try in the second half but even without this, was heavily-involved in the centres and notched pure base of 33 points (17 tackles, 1 miss and 17 hitup points). When you mix in his goalkicking which he’s won back from the benched Jai Field, he looms a solid enough option for Round 16 even if you missed him at his cheap price early in the year.
Corey Norman (80) – His last 5 games read: 93, 19, 17, 71 and 80 now. If it wasn’t for those two 80-minute teen scores in there, he might be getting a fair bit more chatter about him given his $447k pricetag. Tore the Bulldogs apart here but won’t get to play them every week. The Mitchell Moses of the Round 16 bye week.
Cam McInnes (46) – Unlucky not to get a late TS/LBA to help this score out. His tackles were down to just 40 (3rd-lowest of the season) and he ran the ball just twice. His forwards didn’t need much help getting a roll-on though, so probably didn’t need to be making his usual darts. Would be nice to see a bit more attack at the line, with just the one forced drop out to his name.
Aidan Tolman (42) – His role in shovelling the ball on at the line finally caught up to him in terms of SuperCoach scoring, with a PPM of just 0.8 in his short time on the field. Did his job in Round 12 but now looms as a sell with the current rotation.
Rhyse Martin (25) – Poor Rhyse.
Keiran Foran (90) has now strung two big SuperCoach games together in a row for the first time all year. Fellow much-maligned half Ben Hunt (101) capped off a fantastic week by being involved in everything, tonning up and is now nudging over 60 points per game.
Some interest in players at the Dragons for the Round 16 bye week, namely Euan Aitken (59) who broke the line once on his way to one of his better outings of the year, and Tariq Sims (71) who is starting to warm into his year after a quiet start – a 5RA of 64 with just the one try in there, and an improved running game, has gotten my attention. Of the two, Aitken is the more cut-price at just $296k, but has yet to go big this season and fallen way off the radar.
Mikaele Ravalawa (114) and Jacob Host (89) were SuperCoach relevant much earlier in this season, but only the dead teams that have held onto them will be celebrating here.
Injuries & Suspensions
Not much of note on the judiciary front, with Keegan Hipgrave accepting a two-match ban with an early guilty plea (shoulder charge). Chris Satae has accepted a one-match ban for dangerous contact as has Tom Burgess (striking), while Josh McGuire has somehow escaped with just a fine for his second eye gouge of the year. Unbelievable.
In the news this week was Sam Burgess being sidelined after he completed his duties against the Knights to undergo shoulder surgery. He’s now looking at around 5 weeks on the sideline.
Also during the week:
Cheapie half Tom Dearden will, unfortunately, be looking at a significant stay on the sidelines, with minimum timeframes having him at 5 weeks as he recovers from surgery on a syndesmosis injury picked up early on Sunday. This would see him out beyond the all-important Round 16 bye even as a best case.
Alex Glenn (MCL sprain) will sit out this weekend’s fixture
Joe Ofahengaue picked up a nasty knee laceration in Origin after landing on a stray boot spike and will also miss this weekend.
Also for the Broncos, Corey Oates (cork) failed to back up from Origin but should be okay for this weekend’s game.
Kevin Proctor played on with a fractured eye socket in his side’s win over the Donkeys but will now be out for around 2-3 weeks. The Carty Party had a week off with the cold (lel) but could resume over this time.
Jayden Brailey hyperextended his knee. Unfortunately for owners of his younger brother, he is likely to be back by around Round 15. The Cowboys’ injury crisis continues with Mitch Dunn (shoulder) and Jordan McLean (hamstring) facing a few games at best on the sidelines. For McLean, the timing is horrible, with an Origin call-up looming through David Klemmer (wrist) out for at least a month. Corey Jensen and Javid Bowen look to be the Cowboys’ replacements there.
Benji Marshall (eye) and Mahe Fonua (ankle) left the field early in the Tigers’ horror night out at BankWest on Friday. No word yet on if they will be back on deck this round.
Of interest as well to SuperCoaches, Patrick Herbert (quad) was a surprise scratching before the Warriors/Storm game, but word out is that this was a precautionary measure due to some tightness there. Should be good to go for this weekend.