Well. This is it for me. Except for the “Lake Mail” on Thursday, this is the last time you’ll have to listen to me ramble non-sensical gibberish about SuperCoach. It’s been a wild ride at times, but one I’ve truly enjoyed. This community will always have a special place in my heart and I’ll hopefully get to share a beer with a couple of you in the future. Thank you for everything.
But we have one final teams list Tuesday to get through, and brace yourself. It’s not a good one. I hate to end things with you on these terms, but it’s out of my control. I’m truly sorry. And if you do manage to field a full 17 this weekend, go buy a lotto ticket as well. Your luck is at an all-time high
This Weeks Bye Team/s
BRISBANE BRONCOS vs MELBOURNE STORM
Thursday, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Tristan Sailor 2. Corey Oates 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Joshua Rogers 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Tyson Smoothy 10. Corey Jensen 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Keenan Palasia
Bench: 14. Blake Mozer 15. Cory Paix 16. Xavier Willison 17. Martin Taupau
Reserves: 18. Benjamin Te Kura 19. Israel Leota 20. Kurt Capewell 21. Kobe Hetherington 22. Selwyn Cobbo
First, the forced outs. Pat Carrigan was withdrawn last week with a foot issue but has been cleared of anything serious. He’ll miss again this week and will aim to return next week for the finals. Same goes for Adam Reynolds and his calf issue. And Kotoni Staggs will miss after drawing a charge for dangerous contact. He’s taken the guilty plea and will miss just this week.
Now the extra pain. The Broncos have taken a cautious approach and are opting to rest all of Reece Walsh, Payne Haas, Selwyn Cobbo, Ezra Mam, Billy Walters, Kobe Hetherington and Herbie Farnworth.
In a huge boost, Jordan Riki ($449.8k – 2RF – BE 70) returns this weeks on the cusp of finals. He’ll spend the week just aiming to get a run in the legs.
Jock Madden ($393.2k – HFB/5/8 – BE -21) and Joshua Rogers (not in game) make up the halves, and Keenan Palasia ($417k – 2RF/FRF – BE 28) will get a second gig at lock. Delouise Hoeter ($478.9k – CTW – BE 51), Jordan Pereira ($404.1k – CTW) and Jesse Arthars ($310.6k – CTW – BE 49) come into the outside backs. Tristan Sailor ($272.4k – FLB/5/8 – BE -16) returns to fullback.
Needless to say, if you had any playable Broncos this week, you don’t any more.
1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Justin Olam 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jayden Nikorima 7. Tyran Wishart 8. Tariq Sims 9. Bronson Garlick 10. Tepai Moeroa 11. Chris Lewis 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King
Bench: 14. Sualauvi Faalogo 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Aaron Pene 17. Jack Howarth
Reserves: 18. Grant Anderson 19. Joe Chan 20. Keagan Russell-Smith 21. Cole Geyer 22. Tristan Powell
Don’t expect any respite here because it’s equally bad news for the Storm as well. Jahrome Hughes suffered a knee sprain on Saturday night so is being sat this week in the hopes he can play next weekend. On top of that, Bellamy stated last week that he’d “rest up to four or five” guys this week and then went and doubled up on that.
Harry Grant struggled through last week with a shoulder concern and has been given the week off. Cameron Munster, Nick Meaney, Marion Seve, Xavier Coates, Tui Kamikamica, Christian Welch, Trent Loiero, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tom Eisenhuth are the other casualties of this resting plan.
The one bright spot is that Ryan Papenhuyzen ($950.5k – FLB) is starting at fullback after getting through his stint last week. It’s unclear what the plan is with Papi and Meaney moving forward but this is a positive sign regardless.
I’ve done one game and I already hate this week. Strap in.
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES vs WESTS TIGERS
Friday, 6.00pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tolutau Koula 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Jakob Arthur 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. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 15. Dean Matterson 16. Aaron Woods 17. Ethan Bullemor
Reserves: 18. Kelma Tuilagi 19. Josh Schuster 20. Ben Condon 21. Samuela Fainu 22. Christian Tuipulotu
There aren’t any major changes of note for the Eagles who played incredibly well last week. Daly Cherry-Evans ($743.6k – HFB – BE 22) especially so he’s a solid option to replace any one of the other halves you have originally had that won’t be around next weekend. Yeh, it’s that bad.
Tolutau Koula ($494.9k – CTW/FLB – BE 13) had the best SuperCoach game of his career with 125 points from fullback and with a matchup against the Tigers who have allowed almost 70 PPG to the position this season, including Manu’s 16 last week dragging it down. A spicy pod to finish the season.
1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Triston Reilly 4. Josh Feledy 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Apisai Koroisau 8. Alex Twal 9. Jake Simpkin 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Shawn Blore 13. Justin Matamua
Bench: 14. Asu Kepaoa 15. Kit Laulilii 16. Fonua Pole 17. Alex Seyfarth
Reserves: 18. Tallyn Da Silva 19. Brandon Wakeham 20. Will Smith 21. Aitasi James 22. Tommy Talau
Jake Simpkin ($277.8k – HOK – BE 9) returns at hooker this weekend which has moved Api Koroisau ($619.1k – HOK – BE 72) into the halves again where he played in round 25. And Alex Twal ($436.8k – FRF/2RF – BE 45) comes back in after missing through illness last week.
But John Bateman and Stefano Utoikamanu are both out for the final round if anyone is still holding onto them.
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS vs SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Friday 8:00pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Michael Chee Kam 13. Cameron Murray
Bench: 14. Jai Arrow 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Hame Sele 17. Davvy Moale
Reserves: 18. Taane Milne 19. Jed Cartwright 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Dean Hawkins
The Bunnies are back in from the bye but have to play for a finals spot here without Latrell Mitchell at the back. He’s been suspended from an incident against Newcastle two weeks ago. Future Bulldog Blake Taaffe ($471.6k – FLB – BE 1) has been named at the back this week.
I want to highlight Cody Walker ($591.8k – 5/8 – BE 69) this week as a final round option. If you’ve held, or if you somehow still have a trade, look at Cody. Left halves are averaging about 60 PPG against the Roosters this year, including Dylan Brown’s 88 two weeks ago and Daine Laurie’s 51 last weekend. Cody has also had a good run against Sydney historically. He only had 42 earlier this season, last year he scored 58 and 59 and two years ago it was 107 and 95. On top of that, the Rabbitohs and Roosters traditionally play in the last round of the year. Cody’s last three games in that match up were the 58, the 107 and 203! back in 2020. He finishes strong.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Fletcher Baker 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley
Bench: 14. Sandon Smith 15. Egan Butcher 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton
Reserves: 18. Corey Allan 19. Naufahu Whyte 20. Drew Hutchison 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Dylan Napa
James Tedesco ($719.3k – FLB – BE 44) is back in after a concussion layoff, and Sam Walker ($526.5k – HFB – BE 69) has been named to start after being promoted from the extended bench last week.
However, Joey Manu ($625.9k – CTW/5/8 – BE 116) will be kept under a microscope after failing to finish the game against the Tigers. He lasted just 23 minutes before being forced from the field with a hamstring injury and has to be in serious doubt to take the field this week. Corey Allan is on standby should Manu not be able to play.
One player who definitely won’t be there though is Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who’s been charged twice from the game and is facing 6 weeks in the naughty corner so his season is over unless he successfully fights both charges at the judiciary on Tuesday night.
Honestly, this game has the potential to be the game of the round as these clubs traditionally hate each other and now have the added incentive of finals implications in consideration. The loser is out so it’s truly do-or-die. Should be excellent viewing.
THE DOLPHINS vs THE WARRIORS
Saturday, 3.00pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu 4. Euan Aitken 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich
Bench: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Isaiya Katoa 16. Max Plath 17. Herman Ese’ese
Reserves: 18. Valynce Te Whare 19. Mason Teague 20. Brayden McGrady 21. Trai Fuller 22. Kurt Donoghoe
The Dolphins season has stalled out in large part due to injuries. As such, they’re not making many changes for the final game of their debut season but captain Jesse Bromwich ($365.2k – FRF – BE 51) is in, essentially replacing Josh Kerr who’s been suspended, with Jarrod Wallace ($585.8k – FRF – BE 91) shifting to the bench.
1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Edward Kosi 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Ronald Volkman 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Josh Curran 12. Marata Niukore 13. Dylan Walker
Bench: 14. Brayden Wiliame 15. Jackson Ford 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Tom Ale
Reserves: 18. Kalani Going 20. Jacob Laban 21. Ben Farr 22. Zyon Maiu’u 23. Paul Roache
I feel like I’m just continually delivering bad news but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I skirted these. Tohu Harris is missing this game, and potentially more, due to a back injury. Shaun Johnson, Charnze Nichol-Klokstad, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Wayde Egan and Addin Fonua-Blake are being rested for the week,
Additionally, Luke Metcalf suffered a hamstring injury and Rocco Berry ($354.7k – CTW – BE 41) will need to be monitored with a knee complaint.
Te Maire Martin ($453.8k – 5/8/FLB – BE 95) returns to first grade for his first game since getting injured in round 6 and Mitch Barnett ($575.1k – 2RF/FRF – BE 56) comes in at prop for AFB.
PENRITH PANTHERS vs NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Saturday, 5:30pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jack Cogger 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Luke Sommerton 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Zac Hosking
Reserves: 18. Jaeman Salmon 19. Izack Tago 20. Thomas Jenkins 21. Luke Garner 22. Matt Eisenhuth
The Panthers have been resting a couple of players each week the past few rounds in preparation for the finals, and Ivan Cleary has been on record as saying that injuries have made his resting plans change. Unfortunately for the Panthers, that’s happened again with Jarome Luai dislocating his shoulder last Thursday night against Parramatta. His immediate future is in doubt but he’s managed to avoid surgery in an attempt to return some time this year.
Jack Cogger ($372.8k – HFB – BE 60) takes over the 5/8 role but with Mitch Kenny remaining on the sidelines, it’s Luke Sommerton ($200.8k – HOK) who gets green lit to start at hooker.
Dylan Edwards ($523.6k – FLB – BE -3), Sunia Turuva ($446.1k – CTW – BE 8) and Scott Sorensen ($632.9k – 2RF – BE 103) are all back into the team but Izack Tago has been kept in cotton wool with the plan now being to return in week 1 of finals.
But luckily, Nathan Cleary ($811.2k – HFB – BE 59) has been named. Thank for SC Gods Corey Parker.
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Zac Laybutt 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Heilum Luki 13. Reuben Cotter
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Griffin Neame 17. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki
Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Robert Derby 20. James Tamou 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Jack Gosiewski
The Cowboys need a win (and other results to go their way) in order to leapfrog into a finals spot and will be frustrated that Penrith aren’t taking the same track that Melbourne and Brisbane are. But fortunately, NQ got through last weekend without too much to worry about on the injury front and have named an unchanged side. Thank F….
With the way teams have been laid out this afternoon, Scott Drinkwater ($869.5k – FLB – BE 71) is shaping up as one of the few options available as a captain this week. But it’s a catch 22 with the matchup against Penrith who Drinky dropped 95 on in the round 16 upset, but then the Panthers have allowed just 57 PPG to fullbacks this season. The same thing was said last week though and then Gutho scored a 118 before getting hurt.
St. GEORGE-ILLAWARRA DRAGONS vs NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Saturday, 7:35pm, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
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. Connor Muhleisen 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Jack de Belin
Bench: 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Michael Molo 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Ryan Couchman
Reserves: 18. Toby Couchman 19. Jayden Sullivan 20. Alexander Lobb 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Viliami Fifita
Young Sione Finau drops out after suffering syndesmosis injury early in his NRL debut. The poor kid. He’s replaced by Mat Feagai ($279.5k – CTW – BE 47). Jack de Belin ($519.7k – 2RF/FRF – BE 55) returns after suspension for the final week at prop.
1. Lachlan Miller 2. Dominic Young 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Clune 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Leo Thompson 11. Dylan Lucas 12. Brodie Jones 13. Adam Elliott
Bench: 14. Riley Jones 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker
Reserves: 18. Jack Johns 19. Oryn Keeley 20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 21. Jackson Hastings 22. David Armstrong
Awful news for the Knights with scans on Monday confirming a grade 3 AC joint injury for Kalyn Ponga. He’s been ruled out this week and he and the club are very hopeful he’ll be able to return for week one of the finals. NRL Physio’s analysis is below.
Honestly though, I could have avoided writing anything this week and just copy/pasted Physio tweets for this entire article. But I digress.
Lachie Miller ($613.4k – CTW/FLB – BE 97) gets a call up to fill in for the week. Miller was tearing up (as far as SuperCoach goes) over the first half of the season but has lost the faith of the coaching staff and since signed overseas for next season. Now his chance to show the club what they’re missing out on. FWIW, Miller averaged 67 PPG from his 12 games this year with his only sub-50 scores coming against Penrith, Parramatta and Cronulla.
For the rest of the squad, AOB has said he won’t take any risks with anyone on the eve of finals so Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Kurt Mann, and Jackson Hastings are likely to be given another week off to recover. While Dane Gagai, Phoenix Crossland and Tyson Frizell have all been given a rest.
GOLD COAST TITANS vs CANTERBURY-BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS
Sunday 2.00pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Jojo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 7. Thomas Weaver 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. David Fifita 12. Klese Haas 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Bench: 14. Keano Kini 15. Kruise Leeming 16. Joe Stimson 17. Jacob Alick
Reserves: 18. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 19. Jo Vuna 20. Tony Francis 21. Josiah Pahulu 22. Ken Maumalo
Kieran Foran ($345k – 5/8 – BE 50) was removed with 11 minutes left in the game for a HIA and since he’s been named here it would appear he’d passed.
Moeaki Fotuaika ($495.2k – FRF – BE 92) comes back in having missed last week for the birth of his child. No other changes for the Titans who have been eliminated from finals contention for have no reason to rest anyone for next week.
1. Hayze Perham 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Luke Thompson 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 13. Max King
Bench: 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Samuel Hughes 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Jayden Okunbor
Reserves: 19. Jeral Skelton 20. Bailey Biondi-odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Ryan Sutton 23. Raymond Faitala-Mariner
We got the news midway through last round that Jacob Kiraz and Braidon Burns were out of the game and more than likely played their last game of the season. And so have Harrison Edwards and Tevita Pangai after both have been dropped.
Otherwise, the Dogs have gone back to how they started the season with Hayze Perham ($393.9k – CTW/FLB – BE 59) at fullback and Jake Averillo ($494.6k – CTW/FLB – BE 36) in the centres.
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS vs CANBERRA RAIDERS
Sunday, 4.05pm, 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. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes
Bench: 14. Jack Williams 15. Royce Hunt 16. Thomas Hazelton 17. Matt Moylan
Reserves: 18. Kayal Iro 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Oregon Kaufusi 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Daniel Atkinson
Finally, some good news. Nicho Hynes ($751.4k – HFB – BE 79) has been named. He was also named last week but pulled out due to a quad concern so will need to be closely watched heading into this must win game. For the Sharks, that means they’ve reverted to their usual lineup of late with Matt Moylan ($337.9k – 5/8 – BE 83) dropping back to the bench and Jesse Colquhoun out of the squad.
1. Jordan Rapana 2. Sebastian Kris 3. Jack Wighton 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Emre Guler 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Jarrod Croker 17. Hohepa Puru
Reserves: 18. Pasami Saulo 19. Albert Hopoate 20. Trey Mooney 21. Danny Levi 22. James Schiller
Well, enough of that good news. Let’s get back to normal programming. Josh Papali’i has played his last game this year after requiring surgery for a biceps tendon he injured last week. He could be joined in on the sidelines by Corey Horsburgh ($579.3k – 2RF/FRF – BE 61) who was cited for a shoulder charge. He’s heading to the judiciary to fight the charge so he either gets off or will miss the next four weeks. Not ideal for a team currently on a major slide and still a very real chance of missing finals if results earlier in the weekend go against them.
It seems Ricky hasn’t sobered up a bit with the rest of his team list after causing havoc for the late mail on Saturday night. Shout out to JT who had to handle that one due to myself being out with the kids. Anyway, the Raiders lineup looks very much like it did that night but who knows what to expect out of Ricky except some sort of angry rant about why his team was hard done by.