Round 21 was a great weekend of footy. There were a number of upsets and games with huge finals implications that played out like finals footy. Hopefully we get the same this week. But as SuperCoaches, we have to survive the teams drops with our now very limited trades. So boys. Let’s cut down on the suspensions and keep ourselves healthy, please.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
Who would have guessed from the start of the season that at this stage of the year, we’d be without so many relevant SC guns due to a Warriors bye week.
BRISBANE BRONCOS vs SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Thursday, 7.50pm, 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. Brendan Piakura 13. Patrick Carrigan
Bench: 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Corey Jensen 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia
Reserves: 18. Xavier Willison 19. Jock Madden 20. Tristan Sailor 21. Delouise Hoeter 22. Jordan Pereira
Both Marty Taupau and Jesse Arthars have been suspended following separate incidents against the Bunnies. They’re replaced by the returning Tom Flegler ($445.9k – FRF – BE 29) and Deine Mariner ($257.8k – CTW – BE -35) and also Brendan Piakura ($376.9k – 2RF – BE 1) comes back in on the right edge.
Reece Walsh ($666.5k – FLB – BE 85) came back with a bang even though he was said to be a little under the weather. He didn’t look like it with that backflip though. He’s still got a big BE to deal with as well as the Broncos round 25 bye week, but with performances like that, he could be worth the punt for the run home.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sandon Smith 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Egan Butcher 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley
Bench: 14. Jake Turpin 15. Nathan Brown 16. Terrell May 17. Fletcher Baker
Reserves: 18. Corey Allan 19. Siua Wong 20. Drew Hutchison 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Dylan Napa
The Chooks finally got back in the winners column to haven’t made any major changes. Only Victor Radley ($534.5k – 2RF – BE 42) coming back in after being a late withdrawal last week, with Nathan Brown ($390.7k – 2RF – BE 35) going back to the bench.
It’s also been reported that Sam Walker ($558.8k – HFB – BE 112) could return in the next couple of weeks.
James Tedesco ($700.4k – FLB – BE 7) was at his vintage best against the Titans, at least early on. Teddy posted his biggest score of the year and only third ton, but the Bronx haven’t allowed a fullback ton against them all year. This will be the game that truly proves if he’s back or not.
WESTS TIGERS vs SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Friday, 6.00pm, Scully Park, Tamworth
1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Junior Tupou 5. Charlie Staines 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. Will Smith 15. Shawn Blore 16. Alex Twal 17. Aitasi James
Reserves: 18. Justin Matamua 19. Asu Kepaoa 20. Jake Simpkin 21. Tommy Talau 22. Tallyn Da Silva
With the Tigers loss last weekend, they’re heading toward their second straight wooden spoon. The last time we had bac-to-back winners (losers?) of the unwanted accolade was the Knights three-peat from 2015-17. Ahh…the glory days.
As such, they’ve made a couple of changes. Tommy Talau and Brandon Wakeham are out. Coming in are Charlie Staines ($424k – CTW/FLB – BE 2) and Luke Brooks ($588.4k – HFB – BE 125) who are both returning from long injury layoffs. Staines is on the wing and Junior Tupou ($352.2k – CTW – BE -36) shifts into the centres.
Shawn Blore ($512.7k – 2RF – BE 50) is the other incoming player for Wests, having missed last week with a quad issue. He starts from the bench.
For those still chasing a back-up hooker, Api Koroisau ($432.4k – HOK – BE 28) seems to be hitting some solid form lately. His price is low due to his injury affect 10 point game in round 15, and he’s scored 51 and 63 since returning.
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. Hame Sele 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray
Bench: 14. Davvy Moale 15. Siliva Havili 16. Jed Cartwright 17. Thomas Burgess
Reserves: 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Shaquai Mitchell 20. Tallis Duncan 21. Peter Mamouzelos 22. Dean Hawkins
Latrell Mitchell ($813.6k – FLB – BE 135) was withdrawn last week to be given another week of recovery but gets named here and I hope to the lord Corey Parker that he stays in. If so, he’s almost an auto-pick against a Tigers side allowing 73.3 PPG to fullbacks this season. I’m all in.
Blake Taaffe and Tallis Duncan drop out (Jed Cartwright ($266.3k – 2RF/CTW – BE 23) on bench). Otherwise, they’re basically the same side as round 21.
An alternative option to Latrell, or maybe just get both, is Cody Walker ($671.5k – 5/8 – BE 86). You can shift Ponga to fullback to accommodate the move and get Cody’s games against Wests (who he’s scored 80 PPG on in the last three seasons), Cronulla (55.3), St George (65), Newcastle (97.5) and Sydney (72.2).
Cam Murray ($533.3k – 2RF – BE 13) is also nice and cheap and could be up for a big end to the year judging by last weekend.
MELBOURNE STORM vs PARRAMATTA EELS
Friday 8:00pm, Marvel Stadium, 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. Alec MacDonald 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Tyran Wishart
Reserves: 18. Grant Anderson 19. Chris Lewis 20. Tepai Moeroa 21. Aaron Pene 22. Jayden Nikorima
The Storm lost Reimis Smith to a hip adductor injury as well as Justin Olam and Nelson Asofa-Solomona while Tariq Sims has been suspended a couple weeks. Which sees Marion Seve ($535.1k – CTW – BE 78) and Young Tonumaipea ($563.2k – CTW – BE 91) in at centre, Tom Eisenhuth ($343.7k – 2RF/CTW – BE 53) on the edge, Eli Katoa ($549.7k – 2RF – BE 109) returns on the bench and Tyran Wishart ($200.8k – 5/8/HOK – BE 54) is on the bench.
Despite the shock loss last week, Cam Munster ($646.3k – 5/8 – BE 50) had his hands on everything and finished close to the 100-point mark. He had 65 on the Eels earlier this year, but scores of 91 and 121 on them last year. A great VC option.
1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Waqa Blake 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Ofahiki Ogden 9. Brendan Hands 10. Junior Paulo 11. Andrew Davey 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Luca Moretti 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Joey Lussick 17. Ryan Matterson
Reserves: 18. Haze Dunster 19. Makahesi Makatoa 20. Wiremu Greig 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Jack Murchie
Shaun Lane‘s horrible year took another bad hit with a dislocated elbow just about ending his season. He’ll be glad to see the end of 2023, I’m sure. Andrew Davey ($337.5k – 2RF – BE 68) goes to the left edge, so unfortunately Ryan Matterson ($513.6k – 2RF – BE 64) stays in his bench role. He’s getting just 48 MPG in that role this year and still punching out almost 60 PPG. We just need more minutes from the gun to get him back into elite territory.
Speaking of, Clint Gutherson ($904.1k – FLB – BE 120) continued to stake his claim as a top choice fullback in SuperCoach. The Eels were soundly beaten by the Cowboys but King still knocked up a 115 in the loss. And it was pretty much on him that Mitch Moses ($783.5k – HFB – BE 144) managed 72 points on the day thanks to the two tries he was gifted from Gutho.
CANBERRA RAIDERS vs NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Saturday, 3.00pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra
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. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Ata Mariota
Reserves: 18. Nick Cotric 19. Matt Frawley 20. Trey Mooney 21. Ethan Strange 22. Utuloa Asouma
The Raiders keep the same line up as last week as they look to bounce back at home.
Corey Horsburgh ($669k – FRF/2RF – BE 72) top scored in the game against the Warriors with 76 points, but apart from that, there’s not a lot of SuperCoach excitement coming out of the nation’s capital. I miss the days of Leipana.
1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 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. Enari Tuala 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Lachlan Miller 22. Jack Johns
Much of the same here for the suddenly resurgent Knights too. They’ll be wanting another strong performance as they make an unlikely charge towards finals. However, they will be without Daniel Saifiti for at least this week after he aggravated his quad injury last week. Brother Jacob Saifiti ($354.5k – FRF – BE 63) starts in his place.
I’ll admit, I didn’t give my Knights much chance against the Storm and so I shied away from Kalyn Ponga ($965.7k – FLB/5/8 – BE 84) as a captaincy option, but he went out and dominated once more. He’s now on an average of 103.4 PPG while at fullback. Can Canberra stop him? His scores of 86, 98 and 107 them in recent games suggest not.
St. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS vs MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Saturday, 5:30pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
St George-Illawarra Dragons
1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Jack de Belin
Bench: 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Michael Molo 16. Toby Couchman 17. Jack Bird
18. Zane Musgrove 19. Sione Finau 20. Ryan Couchman 21. Max Feagai 22. Jaiyden Hunt
As I mentioned above, it looks like the Dragons have avoided the wooden spoon, barring some unlikely form turnaround from Wests.
Their only change from last week is the end of Moses Mbye with Connor Muhleisen ($200.8k – HOK) onto the bench.
Jack Bird ($472.3k – 2RF/CTW – BE 103) got through his return game so could be promoted to starter.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench: 14. Dean Matterson 15. Aaron Woods 16. Sean Keppie 17. Ethan Bullemor
Reserves: 18. Kaeo Weekes 19. Ben Condon 20. Jakob Arthur 21. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong
Props Taniela Paseka and Josh Aloiai are both out due to injury meaning the Eagles will be fronted by Tof Sipley ($393.4k – FRF – BE 40) and Matt Lodge ($425.2k – FRF – BE 37). Good times for Manly fans.
Reuben Garrick ($648.8k – FLB/CTW – BE 94) starred for the Eagles last week and finally put a solid score on the board again. He had 110 on the Dogs earlier this year and before that, scores of 72, 169 and 59. He loves playing them.
PENRITH PANTHERS vs CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Saturday, 7:35pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 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. Zac Hosking
Reserves: 18. Jack Cogger 19. Luke Garner 20. Jaeman Salmon 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Liam Henry
Izack Tago owners were left frustrated as the young gun suffered a leg injury in the warm ups last week. That frustration turned to outright devastation as the Panthers resident herp virus Tyrone Peachey ($498.3k – CTW/2RF – BE 45) then bagged a double. Just when you think he’s gone, Peach comes back again and again to cause more embarrassment. Anyway, I digress. Tago remains out.
Spencer Leniu was also injured so is replaced on the bench by Matt Eisenhuth ($381.2k – FRF/2RF – BE 18) and Zac Hosking ($458.5k – 2RF – BE 60) makes another appearance.
I’m targeting Nathan Cleary ($821k – HFB – BE 156) as captain again this weekend. Right halves against the Sharks are averaging 63.7 PPG this year, but in the last two weeks, DCE has scored 109 and SJ dropped 135. Cleary could be anything.
And just quietly, Scott Sorensen ($604.6k – 2RF – BE 53) is averaging 67.2 PPG this year, and 70.5 PPG while starting on the edge. Unreal numbers from someone who’s gone well under the rader.
1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Connor Tracey 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Oregon Kaufusi 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Toby Rudolf 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes
Bench: 14. Jack Williams 15. Siosifa Talakai 16. Thomas Hazelton 17. Royce Hunt
Reserves: 18. Matt Moylan 19. Kayal Iro 20. Braden Hamlin-Uele 21. Daniel Atkinson 22. Tuku Hau Tapuha
First of all, Nicho Hynes ($921.4k – HFB – BE 144) was cleared after a tripping report and then his Walsh impersonation on the weekend so he’s free to play but with the Panthers 2nd worst 43.8 PPG to right halves, not to mention the Sharks struggles, Nicho will be tough to rely on as a skipper option this week.
Last week’s cheapie Jesse Colquhoun has copped a one-game suspension for dangerous contract, but Wade Graham ($269.6k – 2RF – BE 31) is back and goes straight to the left edge. And Cam McInnes ($554.7k – 2RF – BE 36) takes over from Dale Finucane who’s out again.
However, there’s no recall to the starting side for Siosifa Talakai ($631.5k – CTW – BE 78) despite that left edge continuing to be torched. He’s on bench and could be dropped on game day again.
CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS vs THE DOLPHINS
Sunday 2.00pm, Salter Oval, Bundaberg
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. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
Bench: 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Kurtis Morrin 16. Corey Waddell 17. Samuel Hughes
Reserves: 19. Jayden Okunbor 20. Harrison Edwards 21. Ryan Sutton 22. Jeral Skelton 23. Liam Knight
After a flash sighting last week, Viliame Kikau ($581.7k – 2RF – BE 89) officially gets named to return this time.
And he’s not the only big name back for the Dogs. Jacob Preston ($549.1k – 2RF – BE 50) is back on the other edge, Josh Addo-Carr ($458k – CTW – BE 97) is in on the wing, Toby Sexton ($516.1k – HFB – BE 57) returns from a HIA layoff which moves Jake Averillo ($497.9k – FLB/CTW – BE 15) to fullback, and Reed Mahoney ($523.8k – HOK – BE 88) gets his starting spot back. Braidon Burns ($513.1k – CTW – BE 86) also replaces Paul Alomoti. A lot of moving pieces.
Meanwhile, Jacob Kiraz ($504.7k – CTW – BE 24) has three very good scores in a row of 72, 71 and 69. Two of those have come in the centres where his increased workrate in coming to the fore.
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Kodi Nikorima 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. Herman Ese’ese 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace
Reserves: 18. Isaiya Katoa 19. Harrison Graham 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Max Plath 22. Jack Bostock
It was reported yesterday that Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($575.4k – FLB/CTW – BE 89) was training at fullback with Valynce Te Whare ($407.5k – CTW – BE 62) at centre and Tesi Niu ($397.8k – CTW/FLB – BE 41) back on the wing and that’s how they’ve been named. Kodi Nikorima ($619.1k – 5/8/HOK – BE 68) has been named at 5/8 and Jeremy Marshall-King ($599.7k – HOK – BE 108) is back in the team. It has been said that he’s been back training, albeit in a non-contact capacity. So do we think he’s any chance of actually running out?
What I am looking for here is a Jamayne Isaako ($597.5k – CTW/FLB – BE 105) bounce back game. Ice has fallen off a cliff of late, with a season low score before the bye. But that was the Panthers, right? Last week, that same team easily beat the Dogs and their right winger scored two tries and 104 points.
GOLD COAST TITANS vs NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Sunday, 4.05pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Jojo Fifita 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Joe Stimson 13. Erin Clark
Bench: 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Chris Randall 16. Klese Haas 17. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui
Reserves: 18. Aaron Schoupp 19. Jacob Alick 20. Ken Maumalo 21. Kruise Leeming 22. Thomas Mikaele
No changes here but Tanah Boyd ($459.8k – HFB/HOK – BE 52) was axed from the starting lineup midway through last game. The halfback lasted just 60 minutes, and in a sign of why, had just 6 SC points to his name when he was hooked. Jayden Campbell ($420.9k – 5/8/FLB – BE ) came into the halves and the Titans rattled off three converted tries to zip from that point forward.
David Fifita ($795.4k – 2RF – BE 144) hasn’t been at his best in recent weeks and it doesn’t get any easier here. The Cowboys are allowing 57 PPG to left edge forwards but have really tightened things up of late. No one in the position has scored over 50 against them from the past five games.
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Semi Valemei 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 13. Reuben Cotter
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 16. Jason Taumalolo 17. Sam McIntyre
Reserves: 18. Zac Laybutt 19. Kyle Feldt 20. Riley Price 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Mitchell Dunn
Jeremiah Nanai will be out for the next four to six weeks after he suffered an AC Joint injury against Parramatta. And until Heilum Luki returns, the Cowboys will run Kulikefu Finefeuiaki ($277k – 2RF – BE 35) in the backrow. They’ll also be without Griffin Neame who’s in HIA protocols for the week. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown ($230.1k – FRF – BE 21) and Sam McIntyre ($307.7k – 2RF – BE 50) come onto the bench. Otherwise, there’s no need to mess with a winning formula.
From a SuperCoach standpoint, I’m getting real sick of not owning Scott Drinkwater ($1.081M – FLB – BE 146). The dude is on another level right now. It’s both fun and extremely painful to watch. On the other hand, Val Holmes ($845.4k – CTW – BE 134) has suddenly become attainable again thanks to his sin-binning last week. He’ll drop some cash in the next couple of weeks.