One month to go in the regular season and in SuperCoach for overall players. We’ve had the first week of SuperCoach head to head finals and hopefully you’ve survived in any leagues you’re still alive in.
Things are heating up in the race to the finals and it’s hard to see where some of the big names will be rested on the run home. The Broncos and Panthers are in are two way race for the minor premiership. The Warriors are in top four, but only by one game and SJ is firmly in line for the Dally M. The Storm and Raiders are fighting to stay or get back in to the top four respectively. And the Sharks, Knights, Rabbits, Eels, Cowboys, Eagles and even the Roosters are all still in line for a finals berth. Because of this, I’m expecting fully named squads right up to the final week of footy. Good news for us.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
Nth Queensland Cowboys
A valuable two points for the Cowboys before finals. They’ve hit a rough patch over the past fortnight in Qld derbies.
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES vs PENRITH PANTHERS
Thursday, 7.50pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench: 14. Dean Matterson 15. Aaron Woods 16. Kelma Tuilagi 17. Ethan Bullemor
Reserves: 18. Jakob Arthur 19. Ben Condon 20. Kaeo Weekes 21. Morgan Harper 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong
Matt Lodge suffered a suspected ACL injury early against the Roosters which further depletes the Eagles already skint front row stocks. But don’t worry Eagles fans. Sean Keppie ($374.6k – FRF/2RF – BE 62) is here to start for you.
As far as SuperCoach goes, it’s hard to get too excited about anyone for Manly when up against the might of the Panthers. Let’s just move on.
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Zac Hosking 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Matt Eisenhuth 17. Jaeman Salmon
Reserves: 18. Jack Cogger 19. Luke Garner 20. Jack Cole 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Liam Henry
Bad news for Izack Tago with the young gun not even named in the extended squad this week. Zac Hosking ($412.1k – 2RF – BE 59) remains at centre. Otherwise, the side remains as is with no other major injury concerns.
I’m not a judiciary expert by any means, but I can’t figure out how Burgess, Fotuaika and Brown are facing bans while Jarome Luai ($686.4k – 5/8 – BE 71) has been given a slap on the wrist for his shoulder to the face of a prone NAS. I can’t stand the bloke so that’s probably playing into my ire here, but I just don’t understand the differences in the tackles, and you just know that if the players were reversed, NAS would be out for a long time. Nevertheless, he survives.
Manly have been limiting scores to right halves of late, but I can’t see a world where Nathan Cleary ($825k – HFB – BE 50) doesn’t just destroy them after he had 158 on them earlier this season. An easy and obvious vice-captaincy option, if not a straight Thursday captain if you’ve got the balls.
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS vs GOLD COAST TITANS
Friday, 6.00pm, PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
1. Connor Tracey 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Toby Rudolf 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes
Bench: 14. Jack Williams 15. Royce Hunt 16. Jesse Colquhoun 17. Matt Moylan
Reserves: 18. Mawene Hiroti 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Daniel Atkinson 21. Kayal Iro 22. Jayden Berrell
For the first time in quite a few weeks, the Sharks appear to have got through their last contest without major injury although Tom Hazleton is out following the clash with Gurgess. In saying that, Ronaldo Mulitalo ($448.5k – CTW – BE 79) was once again pulled before kick off and despite being named here, has to be a concern once more.
Nicho Hynes ($779.9k – HFB – BE 126) bounced back with a timely ton last weekend. But the kicker is that those who traded him out weren’t even hurt by it as both Cleary and SJ both outscored him still. Regardless, he’s proven that no matter which combo of those guys you’ve landed on, there’s no real loser. And speaking of SJ, he dropped 149 from the position against the Titans last weekend, and Nicho scored 96 and 82 on them last season. Big things are coming.
Gold Coast Titans
1. Jayden Campbell 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Chris Randall 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Joe Stimson 13. Erin Clark
Bench: 14. Kruise Leeming 15. Isaac Liu 16. Klese Haas 17. Keano Kini
Reserves: 18. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 19. Thomas Weaver 20. Jacob Alick 21. Jo Vuna 22. Tony Francis
The Titans star front rower (while Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ($808.4k – FRF/2RF – BE 104) was out), Moeaki Fotuaika has been handed a one game suspension and owners of CNK will feel vindicated after being robbed of a very friendly matchup for the fullback. But Tino is back this weekend and slots straight back in for Moe.
AJ Brimson was a late withdrawal from the game as he continues to deal with an oblique injury and he remains out. As such, Jayden Campbell ($459.2k – 5/8/FLB – BE -8) will be relied on at the back, A handy replacement and with some more performances like the one he just had, JC could make his case to be kept their longer term.
And Sam Verrills has been ruled out for the remainder of the season, so Chris Randall ($582.6k – HOK – BE 53) takes over the starting role. Randall has averaged 72.4 PPG across his last five outings playing a variety of roles off the bench, mostly through the forwards.
Also, the Sharks are the hardest team to score on from left second row, allowing just 46.5 PPG this year. A warning for David Fifita ($754.8k – 2RF – BE 58) owners.
BRISBANE BRONCOS vs PARRAMATTA EELS
Friday 8:00pm, The Gabba, Brisbane
1. Reece Walsh 2. Deine Mariner 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan
Bench: 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia
Reserves: 18. Corey Jensen 19. Xavier Willison 20. Tristan Sailor 21. Jock Madden 22. Jordan Pereira
The Broncos got through the QLD derby with a win but it came at a cost. Adam Reynolds ($688k – HFB – BE 46) and Kobe Hetherington ($329.1k – 2RF – BE 43) couldn’t make the trip due to injury concerns and then Herbie Farnworth ($626.5k – CTW – BE 55) and Jesse Arthars failed to see out the contest.
The three former players have been named but Arthars remains out because of his injury. Deine Mariner ($313.6k – CTW – BE 11) has been recalled to fill the void in the outside backs.
And it has to be noted that Reece Walsh ($646.6k – FLB – BE 103) was seen training in the non-contact bib this week. I haven’t seen anything definitive but he appears to be struggling with a shoulder issue. Should play but something to be aware of.
Meanwhile, Pat Carrigan ($684.7k – 2RF – BE -5) is suddenly a try scoring forward. Like a sesh on a Sunday arvo, Carrigan has broken the seal and now can’t stop making trips to the promised land.
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Daejarn Asi 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Andrew Davey 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Brendan Hands
Reserves: 18. Makahesi Makatoa 19. Waqa Blake 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Jack Murchie
No changes to the Eels are scraping through over the Dragons on the weekend. Arthur Miller-Smith was called into the side late, scored a try but has been replaced in the backs by Daejarn Asi ($375.8k – 5/8 – BE 81) this weekend.
Dylan Brown ($810.9k – 5/8 – BE 117) returned last weekend and knocked up a handy 57 points. He was solid without being spectacular. Just judging by what I saw from him and the Eels, taking their upcoming draw/bye into account, I personally don’t have Brown in the top 3 5/8 options on the run home.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS vs St. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Saturday, 3.00pm, Barlow Park, Cairns
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Jai Arrow 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray
Bench: 14. Tallis Duncan 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Moale
Reserves: 18. Ben Lovett 19. Tyrone Munro 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Dean Hawkins
As mentioned above, George Burgess was hit with a multi-game suspension and with it being his third offence of the season, he drew a three week ban. He’s taken the early guilty plea so he’ll miss the remainder of the regular season due to the Bunnies round 26 bye. Shaquai Mitchell ($261.3k – FRF – BE 51) gets the start thanks to the absolute dearth of front row options left for the Bunnies.
I just mentioned 5/8 rankings and one of the men I have above Brown is Cody Walker ($615.1k – 5/8 – BE 88). The Dragons give up 61.7 PPG to left halves this year, second most in the NRL. I’m expecting a big bounce back from all of Souths and Cody should be big.
And just to muddy your start/sit decisions a little bit, right wingers average 74.6 PPG against the Dragons….. ahem….. Tyrone Munro. And I know he’s currently outside the starting 17 but he was brought in last week and I’m hoping for the same again.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Max Feagai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Michael Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila
Bench: 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Toby Couchman 17. Zane Musgrove
Reserves: 18. Jaiyden Hunt 19. Sione Finau 20. Nick Lui-Toso 21. Paul Turner 22. Tautau Moga
The Dragons lost both Francis Molo and Moses Suli ($347.4k – CTW – BE 37) during and before the Eels game, however Suli has been named here. Jack Bird filled in at centre for Suli last week but picked up another injury so is ruled out again. Michael Molo ($309k – FRF – BE 13) is taking over for his brother up front.
The Dragons one and only SuperCoach asset, Zac Lomax, also picked up an injury and is out this week, so like the Eagles above, the less said here the better.
WESTS TIGERS vs THE WARRIORS
Saturday, 5:30pm, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole
Bench: 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Seyfarth 16. Alex Twal 17. Shawn Blore
Reserves: 18. Justin Matamua 19. Aitasi James 20. Triston Reilly 21. Josh Feledy 22. Kit Laulilii
The Tigers showed some resilience on the weekend even now that they’re only playing for pride.
It’s bad news for Charlie Staines though. He’s only been back for two weeks but has now suffered what Coach Sheens described as a “minor hamstring injury”. He’s out of the side this week. Asu Kepaoa ($239.4k – CTW/2RF – BE 38) is the man to fill in for Staines. Stefano Utoikamanu ($451.1k – FRF – BE 10) and Shawn Blore ($491.3k – 2RF – BE 95) also return from concussion and take their places at prop and bench.
Daine Laurie ($453.2k – FLB – BE 89) failed a HIA last weekend but is still in the side for now.
Now, Api Koroisau ($583k – HOK – BE 5) has the second highest 3RA in the position, behind only Harry after his 150-ish score two weeks ago. Api is in great form.
1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris
Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran
Reserves: 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Edward Kosi 21. Bunty Afoa 22. Viliami Vailea 23. Ronald Volkman
A moment of silence for everyone who broke the bank to bring in Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad last weekend. He was KO’d after 17 minutes, finishing on a score of 15 and now misses this weekend in the concussion protocols. Young Taine Tuaupiki ($209.5k – FLB – BE 30) steps into the fullback role just as he did during the game last weekend.
We’ve spoken ad nauseum about Shaun Johnson ($865.8k – HFB – BE 52) and the Warriors fantastic run home, and just after dropping 149 on the Titans, he gets the Tigers who allow 60.9 PPG to right halves on the year and 68.4 PPG there from their past five games. Just give the man the Dally M now.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS vs THE DOLPHINS
Saturday, 7:35pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Siua Wong 13. Victor Radley
Bench: 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Dylan Napa
Reserves: 18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Elie El Zakhem 20. Jake Turpin 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Corey Allan
Nathan Brown is the third casualty of the weekend bans and he has the added honoured of setting a brand new, potentially unbeatable, SuperCoach record. Brown entered the game in the 62nd minute, put a high shot on Ben Trbojevic with his first tackle, and was sent off immediately. A -18 final score is now the lowest SuperCoach score of all time and will prove extremely hard to beat.
Drew Hutchison ($266.7k – 5/8/2RF – BE 5) remains in the halves after a win last week.
The Dolphins allow the second most points to right centres this year (57.4 PPG) and the most to fullbacks (79.6 PPG) so both Joey Manu ($666.8k – 5/8/CTW – BE 97) and James Tedesco ($736.6k – FLB – BE 129) have very nice matchups. However, Teddy only scored 51 on them earlier this season, and Manu didn’t play.
1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich
Bench: 14. Ray Stone 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace
Reserves: 18. Herman Ese’ese 19. Max Plath 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Harrison Graham 22. Jack Bostock
Not much in the way of changes for the Dolphins 17, but Uncle Wayne played some shenanigans with the final lineup last week so a few positional shuffles could be on the cards before a ball is kicked in this one. He’s already swapped Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($513.3k – FLB/CTW – BE 77) and Kodi Nikorima ($619.6k – 5/8/HOK – BE 90).
But FINALLY, Jamayne Isaako ($582.6k – CTW/FLB – BE 12) had a game owners could be proud of. It sucks it was against my team but since the Knights still won, this is a win-win for me. Hopefully this is the start of a late year resurgence from the winger.
MELBOURNE STORM vs CANBERRA RAIDERS
Sunday 2.00pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne
1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Tom Eisenhuth 13. Josh King
Bench: 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Eliesa Katoa 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
Reserves: 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Reimis Smith 20. Jonah Pezet 21. Tariq Sims 22. Tyran Wishart
This game is huge for both sides in the lead in to finals. Both the Storm and Raiders currently sit on 30 competition points so the winner will be a game ahead inside the top four with only three rounds to play. I’m expecting a fiery encounter.
The Storm copped it heavy last weekend. They lost Jahrome Hughes ($648k – HFB – BE 13) and Xavier Coates ($464.8k – CTW – BE 98) before the game, and then George Jennings during the game to a knee injury. Hughes and Coates are back in though Hughes will be under the microscope all the way up until final teams are named.
In far more positive news, Ryan Papenhuyzen got through his return game in the QCup without worry. He played the first half as the Storm look to ease him back into action and he’ll get another run for the Falcons this week in his comeback bid. Papi will be aiming for a return to the top grade in the coming weeks.
Back to SuperCoach, whether Hughes is out or not, look for Cam Munster ($684.8k – 5/8 – BE 91) to have a big game again. He’s averaged 74.3 over his past three games despite a quieter outing against the Panthers. He had scores of 84 and 81 against the Raiders in regular season games last season, plus a 71 in week 1 of the finals while playing fullback.
1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Ethan Strange 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh
Bench: 14. Adrian Trevilyan 15. Emre Guler 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Ata Mariota
Reserves: 18. Brad Morkos 19. Matt Frawley 20. Tom Starling 21. Trey Mooney 22. Utuloa Asouma
The Raiders escaped with a win against the Tigers but the game showed more cracks in the green machine than providing a form turnaround. They just couldn’t shake a gutsy Tigers outfit and then Jack Wighton‘s ($503k – 5/8 – BE 4) final play blow up with the referee’s spoke volume’s about the teams mindset, to me anyway. Wighton escaped with a fine for the indiscretion but is free to play.
However, Sebastian Kris was had to leave the field immediately after scoring his second try of the afternoon with a hamstring injury. He’s out which sees Ethan Strange ($200.8k – CTW) called up for a debut in this clash.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS vs CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Sunday, 4.05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott
Bench: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Brodie Jones 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker
Reserves: 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Jack Johns 22. Daniel Saifiti
As a Knights fan, I’m eagerly looking forward to this game. I’m not expecting a repeat of last time but a kid can dream.
The club had a few issues that arose from last week’s win over the Dolphins. Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($623.4k – 2RF – BE 69) being charged for dangerous contact but escaped with a fine. Adam Elliott ($442.6k – 2RF – BE 28) was split open and had to receive stitches to continue. But the major concerns are over Bradman Best and Jacob Saifiti ($357k – FRF – BE 22) who suffered groin and hamstring injuries respectively. Saifiti has been named at this stage but will be given close attention through the week and if any concerns linger, I’d expect he’ll be pulled.
Kalyn Ponga ($1.024M – 5/8/FLB – BE 82) is officially the most in-form player in SuperCoach. Even with monster games from SJ and Harry lately, KP is topping the charts for 5RA with a mammoth 131.2 PPG. He’s got four tons from those five weeks with his only “failure” being 96 points against the Storm. An incredible run. And included in that 5RA is the 180 points he had last time he played the Doggies.
1. Jake Averillo 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Tevita Pangai Junior 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench: 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Liam Knight 17. Corey Waddell
Reserves: 19. Harrison Edwards 20. Kurtis Morrin 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Hayze Perham 23. Samuel Hughes
The Dogs will be eager to make amends for that 66-0 loss at the hands of the Knights in round 18 and are in a good spot to spring an upset fresh off their bye. Bye teams are an even 23-23 coming off the bye, but for the Dogs, their last post bye game was that round 18 one.
With the week off to freshen up, the Dogs have made just one change to the 17 that played in round 22. And it’s the season debut of Luke Thompson ($512.4k – FRF/2RF). Hopefully he can get through the game in good shape.