With week 8 comes a return to regular programming: the standard 1-2-3-2 games structure. I have enjoyed the extended rugby league weekends however, I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself flicking on the TV Friday evenings or Saturday arvo out of habit and being disappointed that there’s no games on. I’ve missed them and am ready to have those slots back. (Sidenote – why couldn’t the Friday game start at 7pm last week? Since there was no game before hand).
It was an incredibly high-scoring round. 11 players recorded triple figure scores, most of them being popular guns in our game. And three of those scores were above 150. The scenes.
Also, the police would like to speak to the 22,696 people who reportedly witnessed the abuse of 17 men at AAMI Park on Monday night.
Let’s look at the teams.
BRISBANE BRONCOS v CRONULLA SHARKS
Thursday, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington
Bench: 14. Cory Paix 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia
Reserves: 18. Brenko Lee 19. Jordan Pereira 20. TC Robati 21. Ezra Mam 22. Ethan Quai-Ward 23. Logan Bayliss-Brow 24. Ryan James
Changes: No changes
Winner: NRL fans. The two most dominant centres over the past month go head-to-head in this one. Kotoni Staggs ($569k / 37 pts / BE 47) disappointed owners in round 7 but watching Staggs match up against Sifa on the Broncos right edge? This will be fun.
Loser: He’s been named today but there is a very real concern for Payne Haas ($665k / 73 pts / BE 70). He suffered an AC joint injury, which can take a number of weeks to heal. So with the short turnaround between games, expect and plan for a late withdrawal here.
SuperCoach Talk: The Broncos are unchanged after their comeback win. It was a solid second half effort for the Broncos as they held onto some form of respectability against the Dogs last Friday night.
The game was headlined by a superb outing from Adam Reynolds ($567k / 115 pts / BE 14) which got them over the line, and the successful comeback of Te Maire Martin ($205k / 38 pts). If the NRL had a “Comeback Player of the Year” award, TMM would already have it sewn up.
TMM has retained the starting fullback gig, having done nothing wrong there last week. And as mentioned, Haas has also been named despite being under an injury cloud.
Cory Paix ($237k / 77 pts / BE -20) was pushed to the bench before kick-off last week but put up some good numbers when he did come on. He’s already added $30k to his starting price but is still cheap enough to grab and he has a good break even. He’s been named on bench but could come into the starting side for kick off. Luckily this is the first game of the round so we’ll know before the round starts.
Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aiden Tolman 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Jack Williams 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Royce Hunt 17. Andrew Fifita
Reserves: 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Wade Graham 20. Matt Ikuvalu 21. Mawene Hiroti 22. Lachlan Miller 23. Luke Metcalf 24. Franklin Pele
Changes: Braydon Trindall out
Dale Finucane in
Winner: That was the performance of the year from Siosifa Talakai ($700k / 165 pts / BE -55) in the first half of last Thursdays game. 2 tries, 2 assists, 3 linebreaks, one linebreak assist, one try contribution and 11 tackle breaks? Insane numbers. We maybe be able to add 1 ended career to that too. At right on $700k now, Sifa might be priced out of contention, but his negative breakeven means he’s not getting cheaper anytime soon either.
Loser: All of us non-Talakai owners. Jeez that was a tough game to watch. Anyone else turn it off at half time?
SuperCoach Talk: The Sharks put a beatdown on the Eagles at this time slot last week, and while you might be able to argue that Manly are a better football team than Brisbane, I’d wager that Staggs will be able to hold Sifa far better than Harper did. But don’t let that hold you back from VC-ing him. Or Nicho Hynes ($756k / 97 pts / BE 114) for that matter. Cleary dropped 151 on the Broncos just two weeks ago after all.
Dale Finucane ($426k / BE 91) returns after his week off in the concussion protocols. He goes back to lock, which means Cameron McInnes ($478k / 47 pts / BE 68) is benched. McInnes produced just 47 points last week so wasn’t looking like an immediate buy anyway.
Wade Graham ($355k) also comes onto the extended bench as he pushes for his first NRL action of the season. Teig Wilton ($479k / 68 pts / BE 34) is officially on the clock. Graham is cheap-ish after a injury-plagued 2021 season so if he can get involved in the Sharks attacking game, he could be a nice downgrade option in a couple of weeks.
GOLD COAST TITANS v PENRITH PANTHERS
Friday, 6.00pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Will Smith 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Bench: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Sam Lisone 16. Herman Ese’ese 17. Kevin Proctor
Reserves: 18. Jamayne Isaako 19. Jarrod Wallace 20. Sam McIntyre 21. Esan Marsters 22. Paul Turner 23. Corey Thompson 24. Jayden Campbell
Changes: Jamayne Isaako, Jarrod Wallace, Jaimin Jolliffe out
Phillip Sami, Tanah Boyd, Herman Ese’ese in
Winner: There weren’t a lot of positives to come out of the Titans round 7 loss, but at least Jayden Campbell ($472k / BE 78) got through his game in ressies. He’s been named on the extended bench.
Loser: Let’s hope the David Fifita ($753k / 42 pts / BE 83) centre experiment was a one-week only thing. It….did not work.
SuperCoach Talk: The Titans have made just two changes to their squad so far. Jamayne Isaako ($410k / 42 pts / BE 50) and Jarrod Wallace ($346k / 8 pts / BE 76) are out. Tanah Boyd ($339k) and Herman Ese’ese ($316k) come in.
Boyd goes to the utility role, with Will Smith ($255k / 30 pts / BE 0) starting at 5/8 and AJ Brimson ($446k / 34 pts / BE 72) at fullback.
I do not, in any way, believe this is how they run out. I would expect Campbell to come in, AJ to 5/8, Smith to bench and Boyd out. But we’ll see how it goes.
Jaimin Jolliffe ($349k / 21 pts / BE 60) failed to finish the game because of a calf strain and remains out. Moeaki Fotuaika ($464k / 47 pts / BE 69) is back as starting prop.
Beau Fermor ($475k / 49 pts / BE 67) has hit a wall with attacking stats since his opening few rounds and has starting leaking cash. I wouldn’t talk you out of selling him but a CTW with a base of 44 PPG (from base+power stats) is still worth holding onto IMO. He was also the Titans top SuperCoach scorer of the round, so there’s that too.
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Taylan May 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Matt Eisenhuth 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon
Reserves: 18. Robert Jennings 19. Chris Smith 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Lindsay Smith 22. Mitch Kenny 23. Christian Crichton 24. Sean O’Sullivan
Changes: No changes
Winner: It’s really hard to watch Nathan Cleary ($955k / 158 pts / BE 3) as a non-owner. Just don’t do it to yourself. I’d prefer to have him and he flops rather than not have him and sit through the past to weeks again. It’s a mental health thing.
Loser: The dynamic duo of SuperCoach, Izack Tago ($483k / 31 pts / BE 73) and Taylan May ($533k / 59 pts / BE 48) have been “quiet” of late. I mean, they’re still scoring way better than most of the comp but when you’re used to seeing 80+ games consistently, anything less feels like a disappointment.
SuperCoach Talk: The Panthers have named an unchanged lineup, as you’d expect after back-to-back training drills. In saying that, youngster Soni Luke ($175k / 35 pts) was an inclusion prior to last game in place of Mitch Kenny ($299k / BE 36). Luke was sensational on debut and managed to keep Apisai Koroisau ($506k / 39 pts / BE 46) on the bench for 26 minutes. It was a blowout so it may have been a tactical rest, but the fact that Soni played well enough for the Panthers to feel comfortable with him there that whole time speaks volumes. He’s going to be special.
With what both of these teams have been serving up lately, this game is prime VC territory. If you’ve got Cleary, it has to be him. If not, just pick a Panther. Any of them will do.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS v MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Friday, 7.55pm, Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray
Bench: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hame Sele 16. Davvy Moale 17. Liam Knight
Reserves: 18. Trent Peoples 19. Jaxson Paulo 20. Richard Kennar 21. Dean Hawkins 22. Peter Mamouzelos 23. Josiah Karapani 24. Shaq Mitchell
Changes: Taane Milne, Jacob Host out
Isaiah Tass. Saliva Havili in
Winner: Is Cody Walker ($464k / 77 pts / BE 30) back? I’ll say no for now, but it was definitely good to see him putting on a high score again. He finished on 77 points, but was over the 60 mark at halftime, so I want to see some full efforts from him before I get too excited.
Loser: I fell victim of the appeal of cash generation with Blake Taaffe ($250k / 21 pts / BE -2). I spoke all week about how I wasn’t sold on him as a SuperCoach option but the allure of cash sucked me in again. This one’s on me.
SuperCoach Talk: HUGE SUPERCOACH NEWS!!! Isaiah Tass ($175k) has been named for his second game of the season. He’s filling in for Taane Milne ($417k / 17 pts / BE 99) who misses this week through suspension so do not grab him yet. Hopefully, he puts on such a show that Demetriou is forced to keep him in the side going forward.
Jacob Host ($318k / 8 pts / BE 67) is out as well. He dislocated his shoulder and looked to be in a lot of pain. Hame Sele ($331k / 10 pts / BE 70) copped a heavy head knock and is in concussion protocols. He needs to be passed fit to take his spot.
Lachlan Ilias ($308k / 46 pts / BE 29) isn’t the SuperCoach commodity that we were hoping he’d be. He can probably be moved on if you can find a suitable replacement
Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Karl Lawton 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Kurt De Luis 17. Toafofoa Sipley
Reserves: 18. Morgan Harper 19. Jorge Taufua 20. James Roumanos 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Josh Schuster 23. Kaeo Weekes 24. Jacob Sykes
Changes: Haumole Olakau’atu, Morgan Harper, Taniela Paseka, Andrew Davey out
Martin Taupau, Sean Keppie, Ben Trbojevic, Kurt De Luis in
Winner: It was a first half annihilation against the Sharks which led to Tolutau Koula ($239k / 20 pts / BE 24) getting far more game time than expected, and then ultimately, the starting gig this week. So I can at least enjoy that part of last week’s game.
Loser: That right edge of Morgan Harper ($393k / 7 pts / BE 83) and Jason Saab ($238k / 30 pts / BE 26) were embarrassed by one man (machine? monster?) for 40 straight minutes. It took a rookie to come on field at half time and put a stop to the devastation. For that, Harper has been demoted for round 8.
SuperCoach Talk: All you’ve likely heard about the round 7 game was how Sifa destroyed the Eagles. And while true, Manly turned things around after half time to make a game of it. Down 32-nil at the break, Manly won the second stanza 22-2. They can take some confidence from that.
A shining light was Haumole Olakau’atu ($620k / 79 pts / BE 31) who’s score includes -8 points for a controversial sin-binning. What’s worse is that they’ve had time to review it and still hit him with a one-game suspension. Ethan Bullemor ($261k / 30 pts / BE 43) is the man to fill in on the edge for the Eagles. Also out are Andrew Davey ($341k / 19 pts / BE 55) and Taniela Paseka ($412k / 54 pts / BE 36) through injury.
They’ve got a couple of big ‘ins’ with the likes of Martin Taupau ($425k / BE 69) and Sean Keppie ($305k / BE 65) heading the engine room. They, along with Kurt De Luis ($240k), provide a much needed injection of leadership and work to this side.
And in big AE nightmare news, Ben Trbojevic ($189k) has been named on the bench. If Cleary kills it in the earlier game, DO NOT throw the captaincy on Burbo.
Christian Tuipulotu ($224k / 55 pts / BE -9) isn’t on the bubble any more, that way last week, but he is still cheap and just help his spot in the team. It’s risky, but the option is there if you need and/or want it.
THE WARRIORS v CANBERRA RAIDERS
Saturday, 3.00pm, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Rocco Berry 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Viliami Vailea 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Matt Lodge 11. Euan Aitken 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Jazz Tevaga
Bench: 14. Taniela Otukolo 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Jack Murchie
Reserves: 18. Edward Kosi 20. Ben Murdoch-Masila 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Pride Petterson-Robati 23. Junior Ratuva 24. Valingi Kepu 25. Jackson Frei
Changes: Josh Curran, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Aaron Pene, Edward Kosi out
Rocco Berry, Vlilami Vailea, Eliesa Katoa, Jack Murchie in
Winner: Ummm….. well…..
Loser: It’s been a rough 24 hours for The Warriors and their fans, and it doesn’t get any better here with the news of a suspected MCL injury for Josh Curran ($588k / 32 pts / BE 101). He’s looking at about a month out.
SuperCoach Talk: There are a host of changes for the Warriors this week, mostly forced through injury and suspension.
Joining Curran on the sidelines is Dallin Watene-Zelezniak ($436k / 38 pts / BE 54) who was the recipient of one of the worst head clashes I’ve seen in recent memory. Fortunately, he’s said to be progression through the concussion protocols really well, but is an obvious out here thanks to the five-day turnaround between games. Aaron Pene ($255k / 22 pts / BE 28) and Edward Kosi ($231k / 4 pts / BE 23) are the other outs.
The big news for us is that Viliami Vailea ($205k) has been recalled onto a wing. A bottom-priced rookie coming in at just the right time. You can watch the game this week to make sure (a) he last longer than the week and (b) he’s worth a pick up. V2 scored 16 points in the round 1 encounter against St George.
Rocco Berry ($313k / BE 47), Eliesa Katoa ($319k / BE 50) and Jack Murchie ($303k) are the other three returning to the Warriors 17.
I maybe could have had Jazz Tevaga ($447k / 58 pts / BE 12) up in the winners section, but it didn’t feel right putting anyone there this week. Still, he’s retained the lock role which suits him down to the ground. Even in the demolition, Jazz scored 58 points. Think I might grab him for Randall.
Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Semi Valemei 5. Xavier Savage 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Tom Starling 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench: 14. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 15. Corey Harawira-Naera 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsburgh
Reserves: 18. Harry Rushton 19. Matt Frawley 20. Jarrod Croker 21. Emre Guler 22. Trey Mooney 23. James Schiller 24. Peter Hola
Changes: Harry Rushton out
Elliott Whitehead in
Winner: Tom Starling ($498k / 72 pts / BE 7) continues to go from strength to strength this season. I hope you made the leap from Randall early. The price difference between them has remained roughly the same but the scores (and confidence in them) are vastly different.
Loser: Xavier Savage ($286k / 7 pts / BE 76) is a SuperCoach no-go at the moment. He’s playing on the wing of a very poor side at the moment and is available only at fullback where we have far better options. He’ll be losing a bit of cash if he continues the path he’s on, maybe just in time for round 12 when he may get a dual designation.
SuperCoach Talk: Both of these sides are smarting from one-sided affairs and both will be looking for a shot at redemption. The way things are going for the Raiders and Warriors, you’d almost expect a draw here.
Elliott Whitehead ($406k / BE 50) returns from copping just the worst facial of all time, and Harry Rushton ($175k / 18 pts) drops off the bench.
The big kicker here is the demotion of Corey Harawira-Naera ($488k / 32 pts / BE 63). He’s been moved to the bench with Adam Elliott ($313k / 41 pts / BE 31) in favour of Whitehead, Hudson Young ($494k / 45 pts / BE 69) and Ryan Sutton ($455k / 58 pts / BE 37). I don’t have any Raiders forwards in my side, and I won’t be rushing to get them either. Ricky’s rotations are unpredictable.
On the other hand, I’m keeping Jordan Rapana ($466k / 26 pts / BE 61) in my black book. He just dropped $40k and has a relatively high break even. If he gets it going though….. He averaged 74.3 PPG in the #1 jersey in 2021. He’s averaged 26 there so far this year.
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Saturday, 5.30pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson
Bench: 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Ava Seumanufagai
Reserves: 19. Josh Cook 20. Jackson Topine 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Reece Hoffman 23. Billy Tsikrikas 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Tuipulotu Katoa
Changes: Jacob Kiraz, Jayden Okunbor, Billy Tsikrikas out
Brent Naden, Jake Averillo, Ava Seumanufagai in
Winner: After TMM, the best part of last Friday’s game was the debut of Jacob Kiraz ($175k / 56 pts). The kid looked like he definitely belonged in the top grade. Unfortunately, he was only able to play due to an exemption because of all the COVID outs so he’s back out of this side immediately. So long sweet prince.
Loser: It’s exactly the opposite for Jayden Okunbor ($360k / 23 pts / BE 72). He looks out of his depth every time he takes the field this year. I don’t think we see too much more of him.
SuperCoach Talk: Both Kiraz and Okunbor are out along with the other debutant, Billy Tsikrikas ($175k / 24 pts). The COVID crew of Brent Naden ($249k / BE 26), Jake Averillo ($286k / BE 58) and Ava Seumanufagai ($249k / BE 49) all return from quarantine. Nothing here tickles the SuperCoach fancy.
It was fun to see the Fox, Josh Addo-Carr ($492k / 98 pts / BE 11) back flying again, albeit for one half. Scoring a double and an almost-ton was the type out production Doggie fans were clamouring for when he made the move this season. Hopefully they’ll see more of it.
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Kevin Naiqama 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley
Bench: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho
Reserves: 18. Lachlan Lam 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Ben Marschke 21. Naufahu Whyte 22. Adam Keighran 23. Renouf Atoni 24. Tom Carr
Changes: Daniel Tupou out
Kevin Naiqama in
Winner: Joseph Suaalii ($260k / 56 pts / BE 3) is this weeks top downgrade choice. He played very well these past two weeks and it’s only a matter of time before he’s able to cross the stripe to hit a big score. In fact, mark it down for this week. It’ll happen.
Loser: In the space of three weeks, Nat Butcher ($440k / 16 pts / BE 95) has gone from starter to bench to bit-part player. He’s irrelevant now.
SuperCoach Talk: The big news is the suspension to Daniel Tupou ($539k / 26 pts / BE 84) for his careless high tackle on Ravalawa. It was an ugly looking incident so the Grade-2 charge is warranted in my book. Luckily, Mika was able to get up and play on. Tupou will miss just one week. Kevin Naiqama ($332k / BE 31) comes in as cover in the only change for the Roosters.
Victor Radley ($533k / 60 pts / BE 59) and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($394k / 33 pts / BE 63) are back in the starting side, after being benched for last weeks kick off due to illness.
There’s not a lot to get excited about at the Roosters at the moment. They’ve got a number of popular guns performing under what is expected, like James Tedesco ($611k / 76 pts / BE 66) and Angus Crichton ($510k / 43 pts / BE 74), but Joey Manu ($688k / 100 pts / BE 97) keeps doing big things. Another huge game saw the man pass 100 (or right on) for the third time in four weeks. He and Sam Walker ($562k / 52 pts / BE 50) are the only two guys you can roll out with confidence these days.
PARRAMATTA EELS v Nth QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Saturday, 7.05pm, TIO Stadium, Darwin
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Hayze Perham 3. Will Penisini 4. Dylan Brown 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Jakob Arthur 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Nathan Brown
Bench: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright
Reserves: 18. Wiremu Greig 19. Mitch Rein 20. Tom Opacic 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Solomone Naiduki 23. Elie El Zakhem 24. Luca Moretti
Changes: No changes
Winner: That’s two really good scores in a row for Reed Mahoney ($544k / 84 pts / BE 10). They’ve come in a big Eels win and a close loss, so I’m keeping a close eye on his game this week so I can get a decent read on what Mahoney is doing.
Loser: It has to be Dylan Brown ($688k / 77 pts / BE 77) who was moved to the centres to accommodate Jakob Arthur ($299k / 20 pts / BE 66). It was just lucky he scored a try to save his score. And he’s been named there again. Brad Arthur can f*#% right off.
SuperCoach Talk: I suppose you can say that the Eels lineup remains unchanged. But as a Dylbagz owner I’m not happy about it. I will note that both Tom Opacic ($364k / BE 67) and Solomone Naiduki ($175k) are named on the extended bench so I’m hoping, no PRAYING, that one of these boys gets called in.
Isaiah Papali’i ($767k / 123 pts / BE 42) has made non-owners pay over the past two weeks. He’s scoring tries for fun again and is an urgent upgrade in the front row.
Hayze Perham ($256k / 61 pts / BE 10) is on the bubble this weekend. He’s had games of 12 (in 12 minutes) and 61 (in 80). If he keeps getting game time he could be a solid little earner, but there’s a small chance that Sean Russell ($285k) is able to return in the coming weeks from his rib injury. Keep an eye on it.
Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 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. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Griffin Neame
Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 20. Connelly Lemuelu 21. Ben Condon 22. Emry Pere 23. Brendan Elliot 24. Ben Hampton
Changes: No changes
Winner: Scott Drinkwater ($537k / 102 pts / BE 30) is killing it in his time at the back and for the second week in a row, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($385k / BE 88) has been named on the extended bench. I wouldn’t want to be Todd Payten when he has to decide between the two.
Loser: The bunker. We’ve had incidents where players have been hit in the shoulder, or balls, and been sent for a HIA by the independent review bunker. But then Jason Taumalolo ($587k / 62 pts / BE 43) gets sent to Disneyland and is able to stay on field? C’mon.
SuperCoach Talk: The Cowboys are rolling and remain unchanged for this Saturday blockbuster. The changes have come in the makeup of that 17 though.
Heilum Luki ($407k / 70 pts / BE -27) is back in the starting side, along with Coen Hess ($300k / 30 pts / BE 38). Lolo goes back to #13 and Reuben Cotter ($470k / 43 pts / BE 59) is benched again. It happens every week. Watch for the game day shenanigans.
Newly minted Dolphin, Tom Gilbert ($425k / 46 pts / BE 28) is also back to the bench for now. Although he and Luki started this way last week before swapping.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS v MELBOURNE STORM
Sunday, 2.00pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Simi Sasagi 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jake Clifford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Kurt Mann
Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Sauaso Sue
Reserves: 18. Tex Hoy 19. Jack Johns 20. Brayden Musgrove 21. Pasami Saulo 22. Dylan Lucas 23. Jaron Purcell 24. Krystian Mapapalangi
Changes: Dane Gagai out
Sauaso Sue in
Winner: Young Simi Sasagi ($242k / 33 pts / BE 25) was a late inclusion last week and now gets a start in the centres for the Knights. Unfortunately, it’s because Dane Gagai ($573k / 41 pts / BE 57) fractured his cheekbone, so Sasagi gets roughly 3-5 weeks to make a impression. And if you’re interested, he’s on the bubble this week.
Loser: Brodie Jones ($331k / 37 pts / BE 21) suffered a hyper-extended elbow on Sunday and his loss is another hit to the Knights back-row stocks. He has been named today so hopefully it’s a minor thing, but final team lists will be important.
SuperCoach Talk: Gagai is the only out for the Knights, with Sauaso Sue ($250k / BE 47) coming onto the bench where Sasagi was last week.
Not much SuperCoach interest with the Knights any more. Kalyn Ponga ($552k / 35 pts / BE 23) copped a HIA, which he passed but it kept him off the field for a while and he went back to low scores.
David Klemmer ($508k / 48 pts / BE 24) looked good during the match, but it’s hard for a prop to score points while watching conversions. And Tyson Frizell ($551k / 58 pts / BE 45) continues to play his heart out every week. He’s the one man who can hold his head up walking off the field. Mind you, I wouldn’t be too eager to play any of them.
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King
Bench: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tyran Wishart 16. Trent Loiero 17. Tepai Moeroa
Reserves: 18. Chris Lewis 19. Marion Seve 20. Alec MacDonald 21. Jordan Grant 22. Jack Howarth 23. Bronson Garlick 24. Cooper Johns
Changes: Chris Lewis out
Tyran Wishart in
Winner: The two highest fullback scores of the year belong to Ryan Papenhuyzen ($858k / 155 pts / BE 58). He well and truly carved up the Warriors on Monday, commemorating the day with two tries, an obvious nod to two-up.
Loser: Shout to my poddy co-host JT, who sold Xavier Coates ($436k / 123 pts / BE 1) this week after holding him through his low days. The beers must taste extra bitter today.
SuperCoach Talk: As a Knights fan, I am not looking forward to this one at all. Oh boy.
The halves of Cameron Munster ($730k / 110 pts / BE 32) and Jahrome Hughes ($646k / 108 pts / BE 58) both destroyed the Warriors by either scoring or setting up tries at will. The two of them made up the rest of the four tons the Storm scored to close out the round.
Look for both Justin Olam ($544k / 63 pts / BE 30) and Nick Meaney ($391k / 71 pts / BE -11) to have a field day this weekend. The Knights are giving up the most points to both left CTW spots.
Actually, look for everyone to have a field day.
ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS v WESTS TIGERS
Sunday, 4.05pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Dragons: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jack Bird 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Andrew McCullough 10. George Burgess 11. Tariq Sims 12. Josh Mcguire 13. Jack de Belin
Bench: 14. Talatau Amone 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Aaron Woods 17. Tyrell Fuimaono
Reserves: 18. Tautau Moga 19. Jackson Ford 20. Josh Kerr 21. Tyrell Sloan 22. Cody Ramsey 23. Jack Gosiewski 24. Jayden Sullivan
Changes: Jaydn Su’A out
Tyrell Fuimaono in
Winner: For now, Talatau Amone ($213k / 23 pts / BE 32) remains on the bench, but considering Jack Bird ($481k / 21 pts / BE 94) has been named even though it’s suspected that he fractured his arm, I call bullsh*t on this team list. I would say they didn’t have time to consider changes after playing yesterday afternoon, but Su’A isn’t there either. So I say Amone “earns” a recall to the starting side due to injury.
Loser: I don’t really understand what Moses Mbye ($347k / 12 pts / BE 73) brings to this team. It’s well known that SuperCoach scoring doesn’t always equate to real world influence, but I watched the entirety of the ANZAC day match and cannot remember sighting the Dragons fullback. But this is the guy that’s keep Tyrell Sloan ($438k / BE 91) in reserves? Ok.
SuperCoach Talk: The Dragons ANZAC Day upset victory over the Chooks has come at a steep price. They lost both Bird and Jaydn Su’A ($478k / 55 pts / BE 53) but only the latter has been named out for now. Tyrell Fuimaono ($328k) comes onto the bench to replace him with Tariq Sims ($469k / 52 pts / BE 50) on an edge.
Other than that, it’s the same side that held on to beat their arch-rivals. Ben Hunt ($537k / 60 pts / BE 36) keeps on plodding along, with a 58.6 average through the opening seven weeks. You could have done far worse than starting with him this year. In fact, many did.
Tigers: 1. Starford To’a 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Luke Garner 4. Oliver Gildart 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Bench: 14. Jock Madden 15. Alex Twal 16. Thomas Mikaele 17. Alex Seyfarth
Reserves: 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Tyrone Peachey 20. Junior Tupou 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Austin Dias 23. Fonua Pole 24. Junior Pauga
Changes: Daine Laurie out
Kelma Tuilagi in
Winner: Hasn’t David Nofoaluma ($490k / 102 pts / BE -31) come from the clouds to be SuperCoach relevant once again. The Tigers are on the up and scoring tries again. Hastings has almost single-handedly turned this club around and his right side combinations are working wonders for Nofo, who has four tries in their two wins.
Loser: Jake Simpkin ($322k / BE 50) was handed the starting role, suffered a bad injury and has now lost the spot to Jacob Liddle ($448k / 68 pts / BE 34) again. That’s rough.
SuperCoach Talk: Both Simpkin and Kelma Tuilagi ($298k / BE 12) have returned to training with the main squad after being late withdrawals from round 7. They should be fine to play on Sunday afternoon but Simpkin is currently named on the extendeds. Tuilagi is in the side for Daine Laurie ($402k / 41 pts / BE 38) with a little inter-squad switching.
Starford To’a ($341k / 50 pts / BE 19) goes to fullback, Oliver Gildart ($287k / 15 pts / BE 53) starts at centre and Alex Seyfarth ($264k / 61 pts / BE 19) is relegated to the bench.
It’s Tuilagi’s last chance in my side, and many more. He’s got a low breakeven but the in-game injuries and outs have really stunted his growth. It’s now or never.