There is never a dull moment in the NRL! How crazy has this season been so far? Unpredictable to say the least. Injuries and suspensions continue to wreak havoc on club minutes so let’s get stuck into for this week.
As always we must thank Matt Hawker and his ridiculously good site – here’s a direct link to the Minutes section where I borrow these screenshots from – SO GOOD!
The Broncos reshuffled the team again, with Bird to right centre, Jet to left, Opacic on the bench and Niko back in the halves. But then we saw Opacic (19) come off the bench to play left centre, Jet back to right centre and Bird into the middle in a sort of ‘roving’ type of role. It was messy. Haas (8) got injured again. Su’A played the full 80 mins on the right edge. Glenn (69) left the field early with a knee injury, which saw TPJ (59) finish the game on the left edge. He’s been named there this week, which could mean a bit of a Kikau-type game – hopefully 80 mins on the edge, a decent base plus the odd attacking stat.
The Bulldogs did the swifty again, despite naming Martin at lock he played 67 minutes on the right edge and Jackson (60) played lock. Martin appears to just have come off early, not due to injury or anything. JMK (62) shared minutes again with Holland (18). Woods (50) and Klemmer (49) have played less minutes since the swap of Jackson to lock. The question is whether Tolman’s return in the coming weeks changes anything. RFM continued with his 80 minute ways. Elliott (40) spent time off the field for HIA. Fualalo (39) left the field early due to an ankle injury.
Fensom (17) suffered a dislocated elbow but naturally, tried to play on. That’s one tough mofo. Lolo (69) played more minutes as a result. Aside from that, everyone else played around their average minutes. Green surely, SURELY, makes some changes in coming weeks.
Mann only played 8 minutes due to HIA. Lomax got a ‘taste’ of first grade, playing just 5 minutes. JDB played just 30 minutes as he was clearly hampered by injury. Ah Mau (45) and Latimore (39) got extended minutes as a result, and Graham (61) got a small bump in minutes too. Not much else happening there.
Beau Scott played just 24 minutes before HIA ended his game early. Alvaro (40) was beasting it until a bad head clash with the ground knocked him out, and ended his game early. All the forwards got a slight uptick in minutes but nothing to write home about.
No major injuries impacted this game, so it as interesting to see Griffin play just 32 minutes and Levi preferred for bigger minutes at hooker off the bench with 48. Guerra (64) and Yates (16) effectively shared the minutes at lock, while Fitzgibbon and Barnett held down the right and left edges respectively for the full 80 minutes. Nothing much else to note.
JFH played 56 minutes and was beasting it, but a bad miss defensively which lead to a tackle saw him immediately hooked and Luai (24) given his debut as replacement. I believe Peachey and Luai both shared a roving lock and 5/8 role for the remainder of that game. Kikau played a full 80 minutes which was great considering he seemed injured early on. I didn’t notice any particular injury for Wallace (44) but his minutes were definitely much lower than usual, and he was replaced by Katoa (36) at hooker. Merrin did great to play 51 minutes so soon after a compound dislocation!
Doueihi sat on the bench for 80 minutes. Surgess played 73 minutes but it appeared he was ‘forced’ from the field for a HIA in the latter stages of the first half – and he let his displeasure be known to the doctor who reviewed the footage and ordered him off the field! Murray played just 44 minutes off the bench, which was his second lowest minutes since Round 1 off the bench. Not much else to write home about, otherwise I may just start gushing about the Gus and how great he is hah!
Austin injured his ankle in the process of scoring in the 30th minute, which saw Hingano (44) take over at 5/8 shortly after. This in turn meant big minutes for Havili (72) and locked in Papalii for 80 minutes at lock, a big effort from him. Not much else that is SuperCoach relevant, as the injury meant increased minutes for SuperCoach giants like Dunamis Lui, Luke Bateman and the second game for Charlie Gubb. I’m being sarcastic, just in case you thought I was serious!
The Roosters pack finally aimed up this week, and what a time to do it than against the Warriors. No real surprises in the minutes though, with Cordner playing 80 minutes and having his best game of the year, Friend (63) sharing minute with Baptiste (17) with no Radley, JWH getting 39 minutes off the bench and Tetevano also getting 36 minutes off the bench. Most impressive was Napa with his 68 minutes. Matterson only played 68 minutes but I don’t believe there was any injuries, etc. associated with that, as he came off at halftime and came back on in the 52nd minute.
Paseka (22) got injured and was unable to finish his second stint. (Matt) Wright got taken off for the last five minutes to let (Tom) Wright have his debut. Lane (55) shared minutes on the edge with the Frankenstein (38) and otherwise spent time on the middle. Taupau (56) played the same minutes as he did last week, but he showed that he is but a mere human, as he was unable to replicate the superhuman efforts of the past two weeks. Nothing else was particularly surprising about this one.
Kurt Dillon didn’t make it onto the field. Paulo played 80 but shared between edge and lock, with Jack Williams debuting and playing a decent stint of 50 minutes on the edge. Nothing else to note given they didn’t have any injury dramas.
Jacks (39) failed his HIA at halftime, which saw Stimson play halfback for the remaining 41 minutes. This ensured 80 minutes for both Hoffman and Kaufusi. BSmith played 36 minutes at lock off the bench. Finucane built up his minutes (57 instead of just 45 minutes last week) but is still getting back his match fitness as his work rate was down.
Chee-Kam’s great game last week has forced Cleary to consider ways to increase his involvement, and that appears to be at the cost of Rochow’s 80 minutes on the edge. It looked like Rochow (49) spent time in the middle, with Chee-Kam (44) taking over after 36 minutes. Not much else to note, aside from ET only playing 40 minutes. Not sure why that was.
Much of the attention has been on Proctor (48) having to leave the field after Smith’s wishbone tackle. This saw Fotuaika (32) come on and James (80)shift to the edge for the remainder of the game. Wallace (50) left the field to pass a HIA, Matthews (44) failed his HIA which saw Carty (36) come on to play left edge, and then swap to right edge after Proctor went off. Hipgrave (42) was having a solid game but left the field due to a suspected broken wrist, only to get it strapped back up and then returned to the field. Tough guy!
Paasi played 33 minutes between going off for HIA twice – with the results stating that you cannot return after a second HIA in the same game. Tevaga got 48 minutes off the bench, sharing that time between lock and hooker as Lawton played 50 minutes at hooker. Lino (70) left the field early with an ankle injury. Manners played left edge and lock, sharing that time with Papalii on that left edge.