Bye Round 1. Almost half the competition is on Vacay and another handful are on Origin duties. Things are tight this week. But remember, it’s Best Ball style play this round. Your best scoring 13 players only count towards your totals.
For those that aren’t sure, you must select your 17 man squad as standard. But it’s simply the best 13 scorers from those selected that will be counted, plus one AE if required. If an unselected benchie top scores for you, ALA Harrison Edwards in round 11, it will not count. So get those team selections right.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
Gold Coast Titans
Hell of a lot of players missing this week.
STATE OF ORIGIN I
1. Reece Walsh 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Ben Hunt 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Tom Gilbert 12. David Fifita 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Harry Grant 15. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Jai Arrow 18. Tom Dearden 19. Christian Welch
New South Wales
Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary, Tyson Frizell, Payne Haas, Nicho Hynes, Apisai Koroisau, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin, Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Murray, Tevita Pangai Junior, Junior Paulo, James Tedesco, Brian To’o, Tom Trbojevic, Isaah Yeo, Hudson Young
18th player – Steven Crichton
The guys listed above do not suit up in NRL teams leading into Origin, obviously.
THE DOLPHINS vs St. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS
Thursday, 7.50pm, Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Brenko Lee 5. Tesi Niu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Isaiya Katoa 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Herman Ese’ese 11. Kenny Bromwich 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Ray Stone
Bench: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Mason Teague 17. Valynce Te Whare
Reserves: 18. Poasa Faamausili 19. Kurt Donoghoe 20. Edrick Lee 21. Jeremiah Simbiken 22. JJ Collins
It was a night to forget for the Dolphins and the ex-Storm boys when they ran into a Melbourne team eager for a win heading into the Origin period. Felise Kaufusi let the occasion get the better of him, getting binned in the opening 5 minutes and now copping a suspension that has cost him an Maroon jersey as well as a couple club games. Kenny Bromwich ($439.1k – 2RF/FRF – BE 70) goes back to an edge with Herman Ese’ese ($373.4k – FRF/2RF – BE 25) into prop and Mark Nicholls ($431.3k – FRF – BE 16) returning from injury on the bench. Also, Ray Stone ($342.2k – 2RF/HOK – BE 42) gets the start at lock in place of Queensland’s Tom Gilbert.
Those coaches who were hoping Robert Jennings would be recalled during this stretch have been left disappointed. It’s Kodi Nikorima ($482.8k – 5/8/HOK – BE -23) who gets the fullback jersey to cover Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow while away for Origin, leaving Jamayne Isaako ($680.6k – CTW/FLB – BE 51) on the wing where he’s been starring all season.
Anthony Milford ($319.9k – 5/8/HFB – BE 50) starts in the #6, partnering Isiaya Katoa ($367.1k – 5/8/HFB – BE 54). I had some concerns around Katoa after he was hooked early against Melbourne but he’s survived for now.
But in some good news, Valynce Te Whare ($200.8k – CTW) gets his second game, albeit from the bench which will ultimately ruin his scoring and cash gen. Great work team.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Jayden Sullivan 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Michael Molo 11. Jack Bird 12. Ben Murdoch-Masila 13. Jack de Belin
Bench: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Toby Couchman 16. Jaiyden Hunt 17. Josh Kerr
Reserves: 18. Billy Burns 19. Max Feagai 20. Zane Musgrove 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Paul Turner
One week after cutting the coach and fixing up the team selections, the Dragons managed an upset win over the Roosters, but now have to re-jig once more. Fortunately (or unfortunately because of their form), the Dragons only have one missing piece for Origin so they’ve got more credible ins than outs.
Ben Hunt is away with the Maroons so Jayden Sullivan ($371.1k – 5/8/HOK – BE 93) is the halfback this week and Moses Mbye ($249.7k – FLB/HOK – BE 32) comes back onto the bench as utility. Additionally, Jack Bird ($599.7k – CTW/2RF – BE 70) has recovered enough from his soreness to come back into the side as well.
Blake Lawrie has been diagnosed with a fractured hand so will miss about a month while rehabbing that.
Zac Lomax ($530.5k – CTW – BE 46) was recalled last week, put back into his favoured right centre spot, and helped the Dragons to a win. He didn’t score fantastically but his 43 points included 34 in pure base so if he can get some more attack going, as we know he can, he’s one to keep an eye on in coming weeks.
PARRAMATTA EELS vs NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Friday, 8.00pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Wiremu Greig 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Joe Ofahengaue 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Matt Doorey 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Ofahiki Ogden 15. Brendan Hands 16. Luca Moretti 17. Makahesi Makatoa
Reserves: 18. Daejarn Asi 19. Haze Dunster 20. Ky Rodwell 21. Jack Murchie 22. Isaac Lumelume
With so many SuperCoach outs this week, we get a risk-free look at a VC loop and most of us will be focussed on this game right here. However, bye planning can be a fruitless endeavour at times and the SC Gods have smitten us once more. (Smitten? Smote? What’s the past tense of smite?)
Ryan Matterson came limping off last weekend just after halftime and has been reported to have a calf injury and will now miss the next few weeks. I know he was on the top of many buy lists for the Eels bye schedule, as he was on mine, and hopefully you held off until now.
Joining Matto on the sidelines is new recruit Andrew Davey who suffered a concussion early on. Ironically, Matto came on for Davey. And the Eels are also without Junior Paulo who’s in Blues camp. With Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Shaun Lane both still out injured, the forward stocks have taken a real hit in recent weeks. The pack is cursed.
This does bode well for J’Maine Hopgood ($674k – 2RF – BE 49). He started the year so well, then fell out of favour with coach Arthur and subsequently SuperCoaches. But a recent resurgence (82 PPG) coinciding with his return to the starting side four weeks ago and the likelihood of extra minutes being forced upon him, Hopgood will be re-joining many SuperCoach sides.
Also, Joe Ofahengaue‘s ($420k – FRF/2RF – BE 40) inclusion is interesting. Released from the Tigers earlier today and straight into the side at prop.
But as far as vice-captains go, Mitch Moses ($758.8k – HFB – BE 87), Dylan Brown ($823.6k – 5/8 – BE 88) and Clint Gutherson ($700.8k – FLB – BE 134) will all be popular options.
Moses has that concussion blip but has posted scores of 147 and 130 around that. DylBags has scored 3 tons in his past four games. And Gutho was on quite a roll before last weeks 25. All should be big this week.
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Peta Hiku 5. Robert Derby 6. Ben Hampton 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Heilum Luki 13. Jake Granville
Bench: 14. Jack Gosiewski 15. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame
Reserves: 18. Mitchell Dunn 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Sam McIntyre 21. Thomas Duffy 22. Jason Taumalolo
66-18 to the Tigers? What in the actual f*ck? So much for all those Cowboys bye players I invested in. It was an awful night all round. But let’s not dwell on failures of the past.
The Cows lose all of Tom Dearden, Val Holmes, Murray Tuilagi and Reuben Cotter to Queensland, which doesn’t make a bounce back game any easier. In their places are Zac Laybutt (not in game) and Robert Derby (not in game) have earned NRL debuts for Friday night, while Ben Hampton ($235.7k – CTW/HFB – BE 24) comes in for Dearden and Jake Granville ($318.1k – 2RF/HOK – BE 42) is at lock.
Jason Taumalolo ($491.4k – 2RF – BE 80) returns from injury as far as the reserves. He would be a big inclusion if called up, coming at a critical time. The others? Not so much. Lolo was once a bye period staple in SuperCoach circles but has fallen far from grace in recent years. If he can somehow get that former form back, the Cowboys will be elated.
Also back are Griffin Neame ($407.4k – FRF – BE 7) and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown ($293.8k – FRF – BE 41) in the engine room.
The one bright spot for the Cowboys, if any, is that Scott Drinkwater ($649.5k – FLB – BE 30) has been finding his feet. He’s posted 54, 75 and 95 scores from his last three games and is a genuine option for your Tedesco, Trbojevic, Walsh or Latrell trades.
Seriously though. There were 7 tons posted against the Cowboys last weekend. How does that happen?
THE WARRIORS vs BRISBANE BRONCOS
Saturday, 5:30pm, McLean Park, Napier
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris
Bench: 14. Bayley Sironen 15. Josh Curran 16. Demitric Sifakula 17. Tom Ale
Reserves: 18. Ronald Volkman 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Ali Leiataua 22. Kalani Going 23. Zyon Maiu’u
The Dubs had the week off and return fresh and with some key inclusions. Jackson Ford ($510.5k – 2RF – BE 57) returns from a concussion layoff and Luke Metcalf ($250.4k – 5/8) has been named at 5/8 in place of Ronald Volkman after the latter broke his hand last game.
Metcalf presents an interesting downgrade option should he kick on and make the spot his own. You’ve still got two weeks to look into that though.
And while everyone else is juggling key outs, the Kiwis don’t have any such concerns. They’re pretty much full-strength and look likely to extend the Broncos losing streak. I know Anton will be happy.
1. Tristan Sailor 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Billy Walters 10. Corey Jensen 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington
Bench: 14. Cory Paix 15. Xavier Willison 16. Brendan Piakura 17. Martin Taupau
Reserves: 18. Jock Madden 19. Tyson Smoothy 20. Delouise Hoeter 21. Israel Leota 22. Benjamin Te Kura
While the Warriors lose no-one, the Broncos will have to travel to New Zealand without Payne Hass, Reece Walsh, Pat Carrigan, Selwyn Cobbo and Tom Flegler. Brutal.
Tristan Sailor (not in game) goes to fullback for his debut opportunity, and Deine Mariner ($257.8k – CTW) comes into the outside backs, Keenan Palasia ($266.3k – 2RF/FRF – BE 12) and Corey Jensen ($328k – FRF – BE 62) start in the front row while young guns Xavier Willison ($234.8k – 2RF/FRF) and Brendan Piakura ($234.8k – 2RF) have been called onto the bench.
In some positive news, Adam Reynolds ($572.4k – HFB – BE 140) is back into the halves. His leadership and play will be invaluable to this young side and they’ll be far better for having him guiding them around the park.
There’s very few SuperCoach relevancy left in this patchwork side so let’s just move on shall we.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS vs CANBERRA RAIDERS
Saturday 7.35pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Hame Sele 11. Michael Chee Kam 12. Jacob Host 13. Liam Knight
Bench: 14. Jed Cartwright 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Shaq Mitchell 17. Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Reserves: 18. Richard Kennar 19. Tyrone Munro 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Keaon Koloamatangi 22. Dean Hawkins
The Bunnies pulled a fast one on the NRL, withdrawing Campbell Graham ($742.8k – CTW – BE 76) from the Origin squad due to a sternum issue after he was named 18th man. And now here he is. Named to play on Saturday night. Sly.
Obvious outs are Latrell Mitchell and Cam Murray for NSW and Jai Arrow for QLD, but a shock exclusion from the Blues side was that of Damien Cook ($582.1k – HOK – BE 53). The incumbent was overlooked for Api Koroisau despite not really doing anything wrong to lose the spot. But the Blues loss is Souths and SuperCoach gain. Cookie now plays rounds 13 and 19 (providing he’s not recalled by then) and he’s a serious option to cover Grant over that time.
Cody Walker ($794.9k – 5/8 – BE 72) is still about too. He just added 110 to his already stellar form line and will have his hands all over everything Souths do now that Latrell isn’t around.
Since I haven’t mentioned it to now, Blake Taaffe ($400.9k – FLB – BE 114) and Liam Knight ($319.5k – 2RF/FRF – BE 40) are the men to cover the Origin outs. But please don’t. But Shaq Mitchell ($285.8k – FRF – BE 7) is back on the bench for anyone who hasn’t been able to get rid of him yet.
1. Sebastian Kris 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Pasami Saulo 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Corey Horsburgh 13. Joseph Tapine
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Nick Cotric 17. Ata Mariota
Reserves: 18. Hohepa Puru 19. Danny Levi 20. Matt Frawley 21. Harley Smith-Shields 22. Peter Hola
Hudson Young has earned an Origin debut, so Corey Harawira-Naera ($399.7k – 2RF – BE 66) gets a recall on that left edge. Other than Young, the Raiders have kept the same lineup as last week thanks to the Origin retirement of Josh Papali’i ($501k – FRF – BE 73). And these guys will all want to make up for last week’s capitulation at the hands of Manly.
Zac Woolford ($285.8k – FRF – BE 7) spent a week on the sidelines for concussion and is straight back into the 17 now with Tom Starling ($336.2k – HOK – BE 40) and Danny Levi pushed to the reserves.
An interesting sight too is Joe Tapine ($610.2k – 2RF/FRF – BE 71) getting named at lock as Corey Horsburgh ($601.7k – 2RF/FRF – BE 73) goes into second row to cover Elliott Whitehead who’s out through suspension.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS vs MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Sunday 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Jack Johns 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott
Bench: 14. Lachlan Miller 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker
Reserves: 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Enari Tuala 20. Brodie Jones 21. Adam Clune 22. Kurt Mann
The Knights were also embarrassed and coach O’Brien has made some drastic changes. None more than Lachie Miller ($613.4k – CTW/FLB – BE 88) being dropped to the bench and Queensland exclusion Kalyn Ponga ($511.3k – FLB/5/8 – BE -7) going back to fullback. This is huge for Ponga as it takes him out of the front line defensively and allows him free reign on the offensive side of the ball. But Miller owners have copped a cruel blow to their bye plans and he’ll now score poorly here and miss the next week because of the bye. Tyson Gamble ($327.1k – HFB/5/8 – BE 66) comes into the halves.
Ponga has had a largely unsuccessful transition to 5/8, as he did in 2019, but we know how dangerous he can be at fullback.
Adam Elliott ($522.6k – 2RF – BE 75) will get his first start of the year at lock. Is this the start of seeing the same Adam Elliott that was so good for the Raiders last year?
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Kaeo Weekes 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Josh Schuster 7. Cooper Johns 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Samuela Fainu 13. Sean Keppie
Bench: 14. Christian Tuipulotu 15. Karl Lawton 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Ben Condon
Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Dean Matterson 21. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 22. Morgan Harper
They just got themselves back on track with a big win but that where the good news ends for Manly.
Already without Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans thanks to Origin duties, the Eagles have now lost Jake Trbojevic for up to six weeks with a torn calf. On top of that, little brother Ben Trbojevic aggravated a hamstring injury early last week and is also set for a few weeks out of the game. It’s not great reading especially if you just bought in to Burbo last week when he was elevated to the starting side.
And add Karl Lawton into the mix as he dislocated his shoulder last week.
Covering for the Origin outs are Cooper Johns ($229.1k – HFB/5/8 – BE 15), with Kaeo Weekes ($265.1k – 5/8/HOK – BE 44) playing fullback. Tof Sipley ($375.1k – FRF – BE 40) and Christian Tuipulotu ($387.7k – CTW – BE 45) both onto the bench.
Haumole Olakau’atu ($602.8k – 2RF – BE 98) is also said to be dealing with a cork in his knee but should be ok to play provided he gets through the week’s training.