Round 19 saw plenty of controversy on the field, plenty of drama and plenty of SuperCoach points, though not to the same level as last week. Just the three players raising the bat for a 100 this week – Shaun Johnson, John Bateman and Cody Walker (he’s back!)
By now, everyone is mostly done with their sides (mostly as we don’t have many trades left) outside of a few last tweaks, so the focus really becomes who can hold their form for the run home and who can avoid the dreaded injury/suspension curse. Thankfully, outside of Tevita Pangai’s ill-timed hit on AJ Brimson that saw him both sinbinned and suspended for a week, there are minimal SuperCoach-relevant players in the injuries and suspensions list this week. Phew!
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.
Sharks 16 def Cowboys 14
Shaun Johnson (108) – Started the game on fire, running it on the last and cutting through only for Josh Morris to butcher a try off the back of it. Kicked into gear again at the back end of the first and second halves to pile on the points and prove the difference between the two teams. Three forced dropouts, three linebreak assists and two try assists to ensure another bumper score. Yet to string two scores above 60 together this season and has a tough assignment against the Bunnies this week, but maybe his efforts here help him find the confidence to get some consistency back.
Bronson Xerri (83) – When Kyle Feldt left the field late in the first half for a HIA (that he didn’t return from), it shifted Tom Opacic to wing and Shane Wright to centre. I thought at that point the floodgates would open for Xerri out on the edge, who was well-contained to start but in the end, it was a cutting run through the middle for the matchwinner that ballooned his score out. A forced dropout and a linebreak assist were the other couple of attacking stats he notched.
Briton Nikora (42) – Don’t think many will argue that this wasn’t a score worthy of the flop list. Marking up on the Cowboys’ weak left edge defence and was unable to crack through, crawling his way into the 40s courtesy of a reasonable tackle count (31). Would have been a very tough call to make to sit him given his last-start ton and favourable matchup but disappointed again.
Josh Dugan (85) scored a very simple try off the back of a scrum but his first-half highlights reel was the Duges we know and love. Couple of absolute clangers in there including an air swing attempting to kick the ball dead in goal that should have led to a try.
Paul Gallen (74) knocked together just his 3rd game of 60+ minutes for the season, with just about all these points coming through base stats (jeez it was a grind of a game). He outscored the likes of Jason Taumalolo (62), who could get nothing going in the slippery conditions despite a huge 75 minutes of game time. Lolo has now gone three games without an effective offload which had looked like becoming a much more regular part of his arsenal earlier in the year.
Knights 26 def by Tigers 28
Kalyn Ponga (84) – Well the night didn’t quite end the way he would have wanted, with a very controversial sinbinning in the final stages for a shoulder to Michael Chee-Kam being the talking point. It started a lot better though, with Ponga stepping through about 75 would-be defenders to stroll across the line. Finished the game with ten busts from his 15 runs. His last score below 60 was back in Round 3. Incredible.
Robbie Farah (84) – Pinched a try to help his side get over the line in his 300th and spent 80 minutes on the park after Liddle was omitted in the leadup to the game. His price may have almost halved since its peak of $655k earlier in the season but the old stager can still pull out these games when given the chance.
David Klemmer (71) – More good signs for those that have banked on Klemmer for the run-home with game time of 67 minutes here. He’s always going to match that with his base work, and while his hitup points were a little down on most weeks (29), his tackle count was at the higher end at 34 courtesy of a 90% completion rate by the Tigers. While the Kngihts continue to carry the likes of Buhrer and Watson on their bench, those minutes should stay right where they are.
Esan Marsters (32) – He ran the ball 6 times. 6. His tackle count made up more than half his final points which would have been even worse without a couple of offloads, which he’s put away for much of this year.
David Nofoaluma (37) – Decidedly more involved than his centre partner in Marsters, but couldn’t get much going in his 16 runs as the tries and linebreaks he’s been putting on at will over the last few weeks dried up. Not what you’d expect when his team puts on 28 points.
Mitchell Pearce (18) – Two penalties given away and three errors to his name. What has happened to this guy in SuperCoach? Two-thirds of his points (one try assist) came in the one play. Has now not scored above 50 since R11. If ever someone was due…
Good to see early-season cash cow Luke Garner (73) back in the NRL for his first game since Round 8 and setting up a try in the process with a handy standing offload. The 7,558 Garner owners would have loved it if their teams were still active.
Ryan Matterson (56) made a shift to lock with the dropping of Matt Eisenhuth to the bench, and this, unfortunately, meant a drop to just 60 minutes on the park. It saw a decent uptick in his base point per minute output as he churned through the work through the middle, but the loss of minutes negated this. No attacking stats for a couple of weeks now as he’s been in battering-ram mode. Tough call to make on whether to play him unless we see if this is how Maguire wants to rotate the bench in the long run.
Connor Watson (76) played supersub for the evening, coming off the bench for 54 minutes and setting up a try with a short-side dummy half run and adding 38 tackles to his count. Nathan Brown might be unsure on where to play him but at least for now, the hooking role suits him best from a SuperCoach angle.
Jesse Ramien (84) notched his highest score for the year courtesy of an early try (a gift thanks to a Momirovski dropped ball right on his goal line that Ramien simply picked up and planted down) and an assist of his own. He’s an attacking weapon when on song so a little surprising he hasn’t quite kicked into gear despite the Knights’ decent run this year.
Corey Thompson (80) made a welcome return to fullback after missing last week’s game through injury and scored pretty much all of these points in the first half, off the back of assists from Garner and Brooks. He owes them a beer.
Rabbitohs 20 def Dragons 16
Cody Walker (108) – Finally, a reappearance of the confident, dangerous Calker! First try since round 10, and his three linebreaks on the night were equal to his total over his last 8 games. Had his hands on the ball plenty in the attacking zone and hopefully this kickstarts him in the run home. POD, anyone? Can’t forget he was once $750k before his Origin callup derailed his season.
Corey Norman (35) – Had seemed to be building to something over the last month or so, with a 3RA and 5RA of 55+. Not a lot to get totally excited about, but if the Dragons were to do anything at the back end of the year he would need to kick on. Apart from a single linebreak assist, and despite running the ball 13 times which is pretty enormous for a half, there’s not much to speak of. So there goes that.
Braidon Burns (59) took part in the most controversial moment of the game, with his offload to Campbell Graham for the Bunnies’ matchwinner at the death looking very, very suspect. Nonetheless, it helped inflate his score considerably, with Burns looking like finishing the game in the low 30s without that play.
Cam McInnes (59) had one of his quieter outings in recent weeks with no attacking stats to his name. A whopping 3 penalties pushed this score down as well, with his tackle count (49) providing him a safe enough floor. Outmatched, but not by much, by his opposite number in Damien Cook (63) who helped himself to a linebreak and linebreak assist from around the same number of runs. Been a long time between tons now for Cook.
Cameron Murray (63) had his most minutes on the park in quite some time with 64 of them here. More than enough time there for the workhorse to rack up a handy score, although gone were the junk points of last week. Good signs for him in the run home after being managed throughout Origin.
Good to see Gareth Widdop (40) make it back on the park – got going late with some pressure goalkicks from the right touchline but was a little rusty as expected – couple of errors and a kick dead.
Jason Saab (67) almost had the perfect debut, with two tries from the beanpole to get the Dragons back into the contest.
Eels 24 def Warriors 22
Ken Maumalo (95) – Doubled up courtesy of some dodgy defence from the new pairing of Waqa Blake and Ethan Parry out wide. Even without those tries, though, his standard 38 hitup points should be more than enough that owners need to see to keep playing him week-to-week regardless of the opposition.
Isaac Luke (89) – Given hardly any minutes at the start of the year and even dropped at stages, but Luke has been given plenty over the last three weeks to sit with a 3RA of 90 courtesy of tries (one here), goals and plenty of tackles. Unfortunately, one of his 34 tackles has now resulted in him receiving a possible three-game suspension. Rough.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (88) – Another controversial moment across the weekend and one that has probably received the most attention was RTS’ flick pass that would have likely been the matchwinner called forward. For SuperCoach, that meant an 18-point swing as it would have been a TS+OL and kept Sheck from tonning up. There was no questioning his first try assist, though, with a crafty basketball pass over the top to an unmarked Beale. He’s keeping pace with Turbo and Teddy for now, but compared to the run home from those two, it’s as good a week as any to make the switch if you haven’t already.
Nathan Brown (87) – This was the Brown in Base Stat Beast Mode here. 68 minutes, 45 tackles and 34 hitup points and he looked the best he has all season. Even notched a rare linebreak assist just to add a bit of icing on top. He has a 3RA of 82 at the moment, with a sprinkling of attacking stats (one try, one try assist, one linebreak assist) over those games. Definitely undervalued if he can keep up these minutes which is the big question.
Clint Gutherson (81) – Inches away from sneaking a double with a dart from dummy half but just couldn’t get the ball down. Prior to that, had a terrific first half where he set up a try out wide with a brilliant cutout ball and ran the ball strongly from his half. He’s been getting himself more involved the last few weeks and his 22 hitups here were his equal-most for the season. Few very handy matchups in the coming month and Gutho looks like he’s just warming to the task.
Manu Ma’u (79) – The doubts around whether Ma’u would continue to get 80-minute games with Brown’s return and Mau’s signing to the Super League has gone away with four scores now of 70+ and a 5RA of 74. Ultra-consistent and ultra-involved, Ma’u bumped this score up by being involved in a couple of key plays throughout the game (two try contributions) and a linebreak assist as the Eels’ right edge kicked into gear. Top-tier CTW stuff.
None of SC relevance.
Jazz Tevaga (69) had ankle issues coming into the game, took a tough hit where he looked for all money like being taken from the field for a HIA and then finally succumbed in the second half to what looked like a nasty shoulder problem, before coming back on with 12 to go. Quite the day out and did little to curb his output.
Maika Sivo (69) scored a double but still couldn’t crack 70. Hard to believe when you watch his huge run down the sideline where he basically sent Blake Ayshford back over the Tasman with a massive fend to set up a try. Mitchell Moses (62)
Titans 12 def by Broncos 34
Kotoni Staggs (93) – While unfortunately the goalkicking duties were taken away from him and put back on Jamayne Isaako’s capable boot courtesy of one too many misses over the last few weeks, Staggs didn’t need them this week. Two tries in the space of 5 minutes was enough to have him notch a rocking score as expected. One to play on matchups in the run home.
Anthony Milford (87) – The flat-track bully finally got going here and tore through some very flimsy Titans defence to score one of his own and set one up, though it could have been more but for a handful of errors. Looked genuinely dangerous though, despite the opposition.
David Fifita (81) – Wilf has called him the breakout SuperCoach star of next year (wasn’t it meant to be this year?) and certainly showed it in 80 minutes of gametime on the edge here, filling in for the still-injured Matt Gillett. His running game through the Titans’ flanks was immense – couple of linebreaks, six busts and two offloads. Potential is there once gametime gets locked in on a regular basis.
Payne Haas (75) – 60 minutes of game time, did what he always does. Not much more to say, really.
Tevita Pangai (16) – Absolute disaster of a game from TPJ. Now spending a week on the sidelines through suspension, his night out was interrupted by a badly-timed shot on Philip Sami defending a bomb that saw him collected high and sinbinned as a result. He came back on with 4 minutes to go in the half and then got an early shower with 25 to go and the game wrapped up. Not the usual minutes he’s been getting on that edge (80) so one of the bigger disappointments of the week.
Tyrone Peachey (21) – Speaking of disasters…
Matt Lodge (90) crossed for a rare try (jeez how bad are the Titans) but is just a step below the likes of David Klemmer in base output and minutes on the park. Jamayne Isaako (77) has taken back the goalkicking and would be a handy POD if you believe the hype about the Donkeys’ easy-ish run home after this week.
Kallum Watkins (38) made his NRL debut and probably wishes he waited another week. Couple of errors as he struggled to get involved but wouldn’t have been too impressed watching some of the defence of his teammates.
Anthony Don (78) was a late callup (where’s he been?) and notched a customary try to be one of the Titans’ few shining lights.
Storm 10 def by Sea Eagles 11
Manase Fainu (95) – If this guy can land a regular starting #9 spot without sharing the duties, he’d almost be a SuperCoach must-have. 90 minutes of gametime here. 5 effective offloads for the evening – I can’t recall many times where even the likes of Damien Cook would have matched that. What a gun. Outside of that, he had one attacking stat (a linebreak assist) to his name.
Jake Trbojevic (81) – While he’s a reliable enough player, the fact that this is Jurbo’s highest score of the season (and he needed 10 minutes of golden point to get there) will be surprising. His tackle count was enormous at 69 but needs to get the ball in hand more often in attack. 16 hitup points is not ideal. Hopefully, as he did post-Origin last season, this is where he kicks into gear.
Martin Taupau (78) – Last week it was AFB’s turn for the big score, this week it’s Marty’s. Minutes were inflated to around 57 with golden point but his impact while on the park was much better than in the previous month, with four offloads and even a forced dropout to his name by the end. Melbourne’s defence was solid on him for the most part, with no tackle busts for the night.
Cameron Smith (53) – Shows what happens when goalkicking dries up for him, with just 1/2 for the night and few chances on Manly’s line. A little surprised his tackle count was so low given the 90 minutes he spent out there, but his understudy and namesake in Brandon Smith was getting through enough of it through the middle for CS9 not to worry too much.
Cameron Munster (44) – This is the worry for Munster owners, who have paid a hefty price for his services. A handy enough floor due to his high tackle count and runs, but sometimes just goes through games with very little to show for it. In this case, a solitary linebreak assist to open up space for Hughes down the left edge (only for Papenhuyzen to then get reeled in with the line beckoning which would have given him 4 extra TC points) was all he got. And it was wiped out by a slew of negative points – missed field goal (-1), missed tackles (-5), kick dead (-3), penalty conceded (-2) and three errors (-6). Not at Milford-levels of needing a woeful opponent to score well but a few too many of these 40s this year (7).
Brandon Smith (84) is on the field for a good time, not a long time. Sneaky try out of dummy half and a stack of work through the middle in just 48 minutes out there. In just about any other club he’d be a walk-up start to the hooking position.
Like Jurbo, Dale Finucane (76) was a beneficiary of some extended time out there thanks to Golden Point with 73 minutes of gametime and the usual base work. It was his effort on the guitar & vocals on Sunday night that caught the most attention, though. 100 SuperCoach points to Dale.
Tom Trbojevic (70) and Daly Cherry-Evans (56) notched scores that owners would have been happy with prior to the game. While not getting a try or setting one up this week, Turbo’s runs (28!) were decent enough to see him hit the 70 mark. Is that his floor? DCE notched the game-winning field goal and set another try up through his boot for Joel Thompson (eventually). Happy with that.
Bulldogs 12 def by Roosters 20
James Tedesco (99) – Looked on from the get-go after steaming through the middle on a couple of occasions early. Was called back for a forward pass that would have led to a try but then got one of his own courtesy of a JWH offload to Victor Radley through the middle (of course Teddy was there backing up). I guess the Dogs are due some props – 20 runs for Teddy on the afternoon and only 3 tackle busts. Not a bad effort given the form he’s in. Possibly lucky to be awarded the try assist for Morris’ try where he ran the wraparound play but I guess that’s how they’ve been awarding them all year.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (41) – Hobbled off the field midway through the second half with a calf injury that will see him sidelined for at least a week. Unfortunately didn’t get enough time out there to add to some of the attacking stats he got last week but at over 1PPM, he still has some value if he can knock out 60+ minutes. Just 38 minutes here.
Kerrod Holland (25) – First game since Round 8 and it’s clear in his time off the park that defence hasn’t improved a great deal. Steamrolled by Joseph Manu to concede a try. Am sure that hasn’t been missed by the Dogs’ faithful.
Luke Keary (26) – The Keary bubble has burst a little as it inevitably does each year. Up to 17k owners at the moment and they won’t have been impressed with a largely uninvolved effort against a poor defensive side, but it was a strange old game all around from the Rosters. Running the ball just once all day is not ideal.
Angus Crichton (28) – Looks gone in more ways than one.
Latrell Mitchell (47) – Typical of the Roosters’ day, he started the game brilliantly with an offload to create space (no LBA awarded, though). After that, just a further 8 hitups for his afternoon as he reminded us all of his ‘Lazy Latrell’ moniker. Weird old afternoon.
Will Hopoate (80) and Reimis Smith (91) combined to put on the Dogs’ only points of the afternoon through two tries down the right side. Hoppa has been somewhat of a surprise packet since Round 14 – laying on a 5RA of 80 despite being up against some pretty handy teams (including the Roosters twice). If he played for anyone else, he’d be in a lot more than the 3k sides he currently resides in.
Panthers 18 def by Raiders 30
John Bateman (105) – What a man. Might have gotten a fortunate try with Penrith spilling an attempted short kick off into his waiting hands, but outside of that was in everything. 35 tackles (no misses), 5 busts, a linebreak, linebreak assist and his only negative stat for the day was a penalty conceded. Onya.
Nathan Cleary (73) – Went a little quiet in the second half as the Raiders got the upper hand. Just the one try assist for the game, the early cutout ball to To’o in the corner, but by virtue of his handy base stat game and goalkicking this score was more than enough. 14 runs for the game is also at the high end for halves and one of the reasons he’ll be in this list a lot more in the run home.
Brent Naden (14) and Josh Mansour (27) – An afternoon to forget for the centre/wing pairing who made a couple of crucial errors to let Canberra in. They’re POD plays given Naden’s inexperience and Mansour’s long road back from injury, but a few more ordinary scores will at least get their prices reasonable for 2020.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (46) – It wasn’t any niggling injuries this week that seemed to slow him down, as he did cross for a second half try, but 11 runs is very quiet from CNK. Couple of big scores recently piqued the interest and reminded us of what he was capable of at the start of the year, but that might slow down now with back-to-back 40s despite the Raiders scoring well in both games.
James Tamou (77) now has four tries for the year after barging over again here, but at just 45 minutes, will never be a genuine SuperCoach buy. Josh Papali’i (72) was another prop that crashed over, but like Tamou, had limited minutes (43). Has managed to notch four scores in a row above 60 now, but might just rely too much on these odd attacking stats. Especially when he’s been shuffled between starting and bench the last few weeks.
Jordan Rapana (65) had a very quiet first half and looked troubled by a niggle, but sprung to life in the second with two linebreaks, one of which led to a vintage Rapana try. Hard to trust that the injuries will stay away (same can be said for many at this stage of the year I guess) but hugely undervalued right now at sub-$400k based on what we know he can do in this game.
Brian To’o (57) was on about 40 after 15 minutes with an early try out wide (much more regulation than what he’s been doing lately – not a finger laid on him) but then could only really get the odd hitup returning the ball from his own end.
Moses Leota (37) went himself on the back of a chip regathered by James Fisher-Harris (66) and powered over. As a non-Cleary owner, thank you for not shovelling it onto him and going yourself This guy is a PPM beast right now – 2.6 last week and 2.1 here! Like Brandon Smith, he’s there for a good time, not a long one.
Injuries & Suspensions
The Roosters were the hardest hit over the weekend, with both Taukeiaho and Cordner (calves – 1 to 2 weeks) hobbling off. Luckily, initial thoughts of more serious injuries seem unfounded but their young brigade will again have to stand up for at least a week or two.
The Broncos will have to contend with another groin issue to one of their second rowers with Alex Glenn joining Matt Gillett on the sidelines with the same issue. Could be a like-for-like replacement this week with Gillett not far off getting a run.
Other injuries to come out of the weekend included a nasty concussion to Michael Chee-Kam in that collision that saw Ponga binned. Thankfully nothing serious coming out of that (not even a charge for Ponga…). Jesse Bromwich (Sternum – 1-3 weeks) and Dale Copley (Hamstring – 2 weeks) picked up minor injuries in Saturday’s games.
Well it formed plenty of talk over the weekend, but Jake Trbojevic’s soft charge for a nasty dangerous throw (won’t miss a game with an early plea) formed an odd contrast with both Nic Cotric’s earlier suspension and the dangerous throw charge given to Isaac Luke (2 weeks) on the same day. Lucky.
Tevita Pangai (1 week) has accepted the early guilty plea for the rough shot put on a defenceless Philip Sami in the first half.