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Ok. I’m ready for the end of the season now. CHN: benched. Hynes/Papy: timeshare. Crichton: suspended. AJ: still injured. Fifita: benched. I.Papali’i: propped. Enough of the punches already. We’re all hanging on by a thread and can’t handle any more downs. Plus there’s no trades left and we have a month to go.
Round 22 sees the start of head to head finals and there’s no better way to steal an unlikely win than nailing your captain pick. The most highly captained man in SuperCoach is Turbo, and the way he’s playing, he should be. But I’ve got a few lesser fancied names to throw at you if you’re needing a pod move.
Disclaimer: The following is not a science by any means. Nothing written below is gospel. The final decision is up to you.
James Tedesco – Round 21 Score – 92 – P2P Average – 92.20 – Captaincy Rate – 6.2%
This is what you’ve been waiting for Teddy managers. Roosters v Broncos. Teddy v the 90+ P2P. Oooohh baby.
Unfortunately for the Broncos and their fans, the Panthers showed Sydney that they’re still a touch off the pace. And the Chooks are really pushing for that top four spot and a double chance in the post-season. They’re currently on the same points as the 4th placed Eels but behind by about 20 points differential. So they have plenty to play for and rack up a big score.
On top of all that, the Roosters will be looking for a bit of vengeance after their first Broncos matchup returned what has to be the upset of 2021. A Brisbane ambush resulted in the then 15th placed Broncos not only beating, but embarrassing the 5th placed Roosters 34-16. And even then, Teddy scored 97 points. In the three previous seasons, his scores on the Broncos were 176, 79, 84, 85 and 75.
Get excited Teddy fans. As a non-owner myself, I’m extremely concerned for this matchup.
Matt Burton – Round 21 Score – 134 – P2P Average – 52.50 – Captaincy Rate – 0.5%
I was looking at the draw this weekend and the Panthers stand out as having the best early round game but they’re biggest SuperCoach standouts are all out. So I was torn about who I would be considering. But it has to be Matt Burton right? This future superstar who just dropped 134 on the Roosters? Yeh, it has to be.
The Dragons have only been allowing 52.5 PPG to left halves this year, with drastically varying week to week results. It was only three games ago where the Titans smacked the Dragons 32-10 but left half Ashley Taylor stained it (yes, I used Charlie Staines as an adjective) by scoring 3 points in 80 minutes. But then the following week, Cody casually posted his 151 point game. Those are the two extremes of scores against the Dragons which just so happen to have occurred in consecutive weeks. But again, Burton is more Cody than he is Ash as far as attacking football goes. He could post another massive game.
Jahrome Hughes – Round 21 Score – 65 – P2P Average – 55.95 – Captaincy Rate – 1.3%
It’s so confusing at Melbourne right now. No one quite knows who is going to be running where and for how long. It’s ridiculous situation for us SuperCoaches that has essentially ruled out Smith, Hynes, Papenhuyzen as captain options and even Grant to a lesser extent. It’s a shame too because both hookers (57.65 PPG) and fullbacks (76.1 PPG) score great on the Raiders. But I’ll just throw a dart this week and say Jahrome Hughes.
Ok, it’s not a complete dart. There’s some stats to back it up. Namely that the Raiders are allowing 56 PPG to right side halves and we’ve seen what heights Jahrome Hughes can get to this season. But really, only Hughes and his halves partner Cam Munster are the consistents left in this side and either present a solid VC play if you wanted to go that way.
Tom Trbojevic – Round 21 Score – 87 – P2P Average – 56.80 – Captaincy Rate – 37.6%
There’s not much more to say about this man. 87 points against the Melbourne Storm?
Obviously things get a lot easier the week after playing the Storm, but the Eels in their current form are ripe for the picking. Turbo has already schooled them once this year, scoring 159 point in round 11. The Eels were heavy favourites that day, sitting second on the ladder and having posted 9 wins from 10 games. Then Turbo happened and the Eagles smacked them to the tune of 28-6. You’d be a very brave man to bet against the man who has two scores over 200 this year, and another of 191. That’s just fkn ridiculous.
Kalyn Ponga – Round 21 Score – 71 – P2P Average – 77.80 – Captaincy Rate – 0.9%
If, for some reason, you don’t have Turbo then you should probably delete team and start planning for next year. If you don’t want to do that, you could always go for Kalyn Ponga as he comes up against the Sharks this weekend. I mentioned the Sharks form last week when referencing Reece Walsh. Over six weeks to that point, they’d given up scores of 66, 104, 65, 114, 71 and then Turbo’s record 226. And then Reece Walsh came out with a 101 of his own. Fair to say that fullbacks scores on Cronulla have been pretty good lately.
But can KP do the same? Let’s take a look at his recent games against the club. In just his second game this season, Ponga scored twice to drag the Knights to a win and had 163 along the way. Last year, he bagged a hat-trick on his way to 158 points. Not bad.
The only asterisk on this is that Ponga doesn’t have the kicking tee these days, which you’d expect to have contributed to these scores. But in actuality, Ponga kicked 3/5 in round 6 (+8 points) and a much worse 0/2 in the 2020 matchup (-4 points). So it really hasn’t factored in too much.
As a Knights fan, I’m excited to see how the combinations of the Knights spine work for the first time this year but as a SuperCoach fan, I am frothing at this matchup. If only we could VC and C fullbacks in the same week.
Adam Doueihi – Round 21 Score – 86 – P2P Average – 81.80 – Captaincy Rate – 1.5%
The absolute top 2 SuperCoach matchups in 2021: Fullbacks on the Broncos, right halves on the Cowboys. All aboard the Adam Doueihi train.
The Cowboys have been awful against right halves in particular this year. Of the 20 games the club has played, nine of them have resulted in scores between 94 and 148 inclusive. Blake Green, of the Knights at that time, has the low score on them of 33 points. Next low is 51. So, essentially a floor of 50 with a huge ceiling.
And one of the 94 point games was from Doueihi. The Tigers played NQ in what can be described as their worst performance of the year, and worse still when you consider the circumstances of the club that week (RIP Tommy). The Cowboys started strong out of the gates and ran out winners 34-30. Doueihi set up two tries with associated line break assists and kicked 3/6 goals. And the Cowboys aren’t much better these days.
Goal kicking. Dangerous with ball in hand. Playing a team gifting points to his position. Yes, please.
Cody Walker – Round 21 Score – 90 – P2P Average – 45.80 – Captaincy Rate – 5.9%
It’s so hard to go past Cody Walker at the moment. He has been in ridiculous form averaging 102.4 PPG over the past two months. So while the Titans have only been allowing 46 points to left halves each week, is this even considered a long shot at this point?
While the points against the Titans have been low all season, they’ve been particularly lean in the four games since their round 17 bye but that’s come from left halves Jakob Arthur (20), Jayden Sullivan (38), Jake Averillo (44), and Scott Drinkwater (15). None of those men are in the same stratosphere as Cody so I’m not overly concerned about that but it’s worth mentioning. The high score from the position this season is 105, coincidentally to Benji Marshall in round 7 while Cody was filling in at fullback. Cody had 68 points that day.
Cody has had prolonged success against the Coasters, previously scoring 70, 86, 84, 74 and 92 tracking back to 2016. He’s played them six times and they are his second favourite team to play against with a 79 PPG average, behind the Warriors. It’s to be expected with the Titans being whipping boys during much of that period and they’re definitely better now, but the Bunnies are also a step above most of the NRL so I can’t see this week being too stressful on them.
Nicho Hynes – Round 21 Score – 41 – P2P Average – 76.10 – Captaincy Rate – 1.6%
I’m happy that Ryan Papenhuyzen has returned to the NRL. Rugba leeg is much richer when he’s flying. But it truly sucks that his return has cruelled the SuperCoach seasons of two of the best young fullbacks prospects in the game. Nicho without Ryan (plus that Magic Round game) averages 105.1 PPG. With Ryan, either off the bench or starting, Nicho averages 25.8 PPG. He’s put up back to back 40’s in the past two weeks playing 47 MPG with Papenhuyzen taking over thereafter.
What really hurt this week is that the highest score Canberra allowed to a fullback this year was from Nicho. He had 138 in round 11, playing with Cooper Johns and Chris Lewis in the halves. If he was playing 80 this week with a full strength side it could have been magical. As it stands though, I’m considering sitting him all together. That’s depressing.
Isaiah Papali’i – Round 21 Score – 66 – P2P Average – 48.23 – Captaincy Rate – 1.1%
To be perfectly honest, I’m fairly certain that the Ice man will still put up a really solid score. He’ll be playing in his preferred role in the trenches and therefore should see plenty of more grunt work involved throughout the game. The problem is that the higher workrate means increased fatigue and therefore lesser on-field time.
He has obviously been a revelation this year playing the entire year on an edge. But he doesn’t always play 80 minutes in that role. A combination of personnel, rotation (Cartwright, Lane) and role (shifting to the middle at times) and meant he averages just under 70 minutes per game. However, in games where he’s played over 70 minutes Papali’i averages 91.8 PPG. In games where he plays below 70, that average drops to 74.1 PPG. Awful right?
As I said, he should still be good but the role change could mean he’s less good. That’s all.
There are so many great matchups this week. I didn’t even mention Latrell against the Titans (80.45 P2P) or Garrick (62.75 P2P and 128 vs Eels). There’s plenty to choose from and hopefully we can all land on the right one.
For me, as hard as it is to go away from Turbo, I’m finding it equally difficult to turn my back on Ponga. Both guys could go crazy this weekend and a zig on Ponga while everyone else zags could help me climb the rankings a little bit. Or it could backfire spectacularly.
Or with a VC on Adam Doueihi, maybe it won’t matter.
As always, you can ask me any follow-ups in the comments below, or even hit me up on twitter @dlake631, and hopefully I’ll be able to help some more. Good luck for the round ahead.