The minutes have been hard to come by this week, by thankfully we have Matt from NRLSuperCoachStats.com who has pulled them together for us. Have just copied them all below so they are in one easy place for you guys to sift through.
[UPDATE – now with added @CatfishSC ramblings
There was a real chance that this article wouldn’t happen this year with a conspicuous absence of readily-available minutes data. Thankfully, Wenin and his shady connections have managed to find a source so from next week on, we’ll be able to return to our usual format. For this week you’ll just have to survive with the tables below, and some short comments in response.]
Two things stand out – Macca only playing 46 minutes (i.e. that number will only go up) and Gillett not playing 80 minutes. I suspect that was in large part due to his lack of involvement, as he was not good when we needed him to be, so he was taken off the field. Same could be said for McGuire, but he still played close to his usual minutes.
Lodge won’t always get 57 minutes (suspect that he loses some to Macca, with Thaiday spending less (hopefully no) time at hooker and more time in the prop rotation. I wouldn’t worry though as his PPM should go up as he spends less time on the field.
The other major talking point is of course TPJ – will he or won’t he offload? He will most likely be named on the bench… but who knows if he stays there, or whether he still gets 45+ MPG?
RFM playing the full 80 minutes is probably the biggest exclamation point here. I had serious doubts about how much time on ground he would get upon initial review of the bench. If possible I’d wait one more week to observe his minutes, especially given his work rate wasn’t outstanding, even if it will be serviceable at his price point. He looms as at least “strong buy”, or almost a “must-have” if he continues to play 80 each week, but if he’s only likely to play 80 mins and not only 50-60 minutes.
Lichaa remains an inferior option to Cook (and of course Smith) if he doesn’t see the full 80, although his workrate is usually still better than 38 points in 64 minutes. It’s interesting to note Klemmer’s 48 minutes is significantly less than the 61.6 MPG he averaged playing lock last year, but is far more in line with the minutes he got when playing prop in half of 2016 and only slightly more than the minutes he got coming off the bench in 2015. Woods is obviously the main man at this stage, playing 57 minutes and scoring at a strong PPM. Put him on the watch list (even if you have to try forget his haircut).
Fualalo’s 53 minutes as a starting lock raises some eyebrows but his PPM doesn’t seem able to sustain the longer minutes. Still, worth keeping an eye on him.
The first number that jumped out at me was Havili’s measly 30 minutes. That’s scary, even though he scored well due to his try with a linebreak. If that number doesn’t increase though, owners better start planning an exit or a possible upgrade to a Griffin, or even Cook, option. Another option would be to get Griffin into your 2RF, and swap Havili for a Tanginoa/Sao/etc. option (if one of them takes your fancy). In any case, start planning the Havili exit just in case he only gets 30ish minutes again!
Tapine was looking great until injury struck. Who knows how many minutes he would get if he didn’t get hurt, but IMO it inflated Soliola’s minutes for sure. Croker also spent 13 minutes off the field for HIA, with Whitehead filling in at centre.
No other surprises in that line-up…
Latu… mate… 40 minutes, and 24 points? Rubbish! In his defence though, during his first stint he spent a LOT of it standing around waiting for goalkicks to be taken, given the Raiders got off to an absolute flyer and scored 3 tries in 10 or so minutes. I’m tempted to give him one more week but it’s certainly not an ideal start. On the other hand, Jai Arrow with 48 minutes was a surprise, but perhaps he made the most of his opportunities and was rewarded – mid-game – with more minutes.
Will Matthews came from the clouds to notch 55 minutes, almost all in the middle, but the major issue I have with any of Matthews, Arrow, etc. is the return of Jarrod Wallace in Round 3 throwing a spanner in the works of all the middle forward minutes.
Peats only getting 42 minutes, and Rein 38, is surprising. I was thinking it would be closer to a 50-55/25-30 split. Lastly, James played 76 minutes, curiously being taken off for four minutes before going back on (and playing middle ! ! !) for Carty. On the watchlist for sure.
JBrom was a popular pick as a mid-ranger / fallen gun, but 45 points in 48 minutes is disappointing to say the least. If I was an owner I’d have concerns about JBrom’s place in my team. Same goes for NAS – despite starting, only getting 34 minutes is concerning. At least he got a great score this week due to his attacking stats. Kaufusi keeps getting his 80 minutes on the edge, and it’s worth noting that Hoffman also got 80 minutes on the other edge. Smith continues his 80 minute ways too.
Kasiano was a late inclusion but 12 minutes… why? What’s the point of losing all the weight that made him a brilliant impact prop, if not to give him more time on ground? This is worth keeping an eye on…
The craziest interchange management in the NRL. Firstly, there was just under 9 minutes of extra time. Siro must have been gassed to the extent that he was passing out, because he was replaced in the final minute by Winterstein, who got that single solitary minute. Brown never made it onto the field, and poor Api played the full 89 minutes and tackled himself to a standstill (66 tackles I believe!).
A few things to discuss re: middle forwards. Taupau 50 mins – pretty standard for when Lussick isn’t in the team – but he only played 5 out of the 9 extra point minutes. From memory, his average was about 54 or 55 MPG without Lussick, and 43-44 MPG with Lussick. It’s a cracking score but I’d be wary of it continuing once Lussick is back (supposedly 4-6 weeks from 19/02 – it’s week 4 now). Tanginoa with a great 47 minutes (4 of them in extra time), and looked strong on the field, but the question mark is Lussick and also Perrett, who has always been strong for the Sea Eagles when given an opportunity (but injury-prone). And somewhat sneakily, AFB a.k.a. Addin Fonua-Blake with 48 minutes as a starter, a big jump from 35 MPG – BUT he played all 8-9 minutes of extra time, which means he probably only got 39-40 MPG during regulation time.
Big watch on all of the Sea Eagles’ forwards’ minutes. And some concern for JTurbo’s workrate given his increased involvement in ballplaying.
Griffin – plenty of interest in him, and rightly so. Played 60 minutes in regulation time, although he was brought back on with only 4 minutes to go – maybe that doesn’t happen if the game was likely over. Obviously he scored well, but take out the try and linebreak, and he’s still doing fine and will be a moneymaker if he averages 55-60 minutes. The question mark is Brock Lamb/Connor Watson, with Nathan Brown admitting he needed more Lamb on the field. That means Watson maybe spends more time at hooker (which he did when Lamb came on)… although interestingly it was Sione Mata’utia that came off to allow Griffin back onto the field (i.e. Lamb, Watson and Griffin were all on the field at the same time.
Fitzgibbon and Guerra both played the full game on their respective edges – big POD options, the both of them. I wouldn’t get too excited about Barnett’s minutes, as 58 looks great but he played all of extra time. Take those minutes out and he’s almost bang on his 2017 average.
Ese’ese is the other eyecatching mid-ranger from this game – played a strong 52 minutes, including the final 32-33 minutes in one hit. That’s a massive effort from the young prop. However, that means his normal minutes might only be around 42-43 MPG – an increase of 7-8 MPG from his 2017 average, which is still great. However, his PPM all last season was 1.11, and this week he scored at 1.23 PPM which would be incredible for him to sustain in base stats. I would give him one more week before jumping on.
Firstly, Lolo’s 53 minutes is concerning no matter what you think of his score. Yes his on-field performance was strong, he racked up the stats, but not every game is going to be as hard-fought in the middle as these two packs that want to smash each other. The low base stats for both outside backs shows the type of game it was. I wouldn’t be as bullish or excited as some other SuperCoaches are about this game from Lolo.
Matt Scott playing 33 minutes in his first official game back is a decent sign, and you’d expect those minutes to build. He’s definitely going to be a slow burn, and with some of the other, more exciting, mid-range options in the forwards, he may need to go.
Ethan Lowe and Coen Hess did their little reshuffle as usual but it’s worth noting that Lowe stayed on and just came off in the 63rd minute, and didn’t finish the game on the field. I guess it saves an interchange by not taking him off and bringing him back on… but you’d rather Lowe defending on the edge in the 75th minute of a tight game than Coen Hess…
Bolton return to his usual minutes after being an absolute beast last year in the absence of many other alpha forwards.
The good – Tohu 80 minutes – this was highly likely and expected, but still yay! Sao 40 minutes, Papalii 80 minutes – yay!
The bad – Mannering wasn’t there. So we have no definitive guide for minutes once he’s back. Also, we have no definitive confirmation on who remains in the team once he’s back as well. Papalii trapped me last year but if he’s going to be getting 80 minutes each week on that left edge, even after Manners returns, then he is a bargain at $225k. On the flip side, if Sao remains and Manners DOES play left edge as he did at some points during the trial, then Sao is a steal at $193k and playing 40 minutes in the middle.
All in all, the Warriors’ forward minutes will be a mystery until Mannering gets back. However the only confidence I can draw from Round 1 is that Tohu will keep playing 80, and Luke probably 65ish.
As suspected, Nathan Brown wasn’t ever going to play 80 minutes with a four forward bench, but on that stinking hot day out west he still played 59 minutes and scored at a cracking pace. Otherwise, as suspected, Brad Arthur played all his middle forwards, aside from Brown, around 30-40 minutes. Alvaro has a great PPM but having already averaged 37 MPG last year, he needs much more than 39 MPG to justify his selection in your team.
Taka played 61 minutes but it’s important to note that he came on for Moses while he was off for his HIA assessment, which inflated his minutes by 14-15 minutes. Plus his score features a beautiful TS/LBA pass for one of Hoffman’s two tries.
The rumour is that Will Smith may find his way onto the bench, especially given their little scare with Moses copping HIA, so that could change up the minutes again.
The man of the moment, Viliame Kikau, played just 35 minutes but it’s worth noting that he was probably not meant to come off the field yet when he did. Rumours abound on what he actually injured, ranging from a pec injury to a dislocated finger, but what matters is whether he is named to play this week (update: yes he has, and as starter too!).
The concern for Merrin is only playing 50 minutes – but getting through a ton of work in that time. In contrast, RCG with a massive 61 minutes but only scoring 34 points? That’s not very good for a middle forward! JFH with a score of 48 in 59 minutes is also very interesting, given all of that is base + base attack (just the single tackle bust).
The question though is who CHN will steal minutes off – as he only played 16 minutes and used to be an 80 minute man!
Katoa’s injury throws the minutes a bit out of whack, as does Gal starting off the bench after a non-existent preseason. We had Bukuya starting at lock, and then playing big minutes as he shifted to the edge when Capewell spent the final 28 minutes on the wing in Katoa’s stead. Wade Graham also spent 12 minutes off the field for a HIA assessment.
Normally you’d back Gal to bounceback after a subpar effort (40 points in 45 minutes) but he didn’t look that good on the field though. Is this the beginning of the decline? I wouldn’t say so, but I’d also avoid putting the C on Gal this week (if you have him) “just in case”. Fifita got good minutes (just didn’t do enough with them) whereas there isn’t too much else going on in the Sharks’ pack.
Firstly – Paul Vaughan 56 minutes! Sure, he only scored 52 but if he’s going to get those minutes, he’s a potential must-have given his 6 games where he played 55+ minutes (averaged 56.3) resulted in an average of 85.0. EIGHTY-FIVE POINT ZERO (which does include 4 tries… but still!)
Otherwise, JDB 58 minutes is disappointing (plus take out his try and linebreak and it wasn’t all that impressive), Graham 50 minutes is subpar, and don’t even talk to me about Leilua Jnr’s 21 minutes. All we can really hope for is an injury to Friz or Sims haha (N.B. let’s not really hope for injury to players).
Not much else going on apart from McInnes continuing to get 80 minutes.
The main thing is that Cook played 80 mins. Brilliant. Lock him in if you don’t have him! Second thing is that Crichton also played 80 – but is this trustworthy given Murray didn’t play many minutes at all? What happens when he is fit and able to start? Surgess not playing 80 minutes – not a complete surprise I guess. The question is whether he ever drops below 70, in which case he may not be a genuine keeper.
Nicholls got decent minutes but that PPM leaves much to be desired. Might have to just see how he goes this week, once Murray is back as starter (hopefully) and we see how that plays out. Hymel Hunt not getting any minutes at all is also relevant – we’ll need to see what happens with the bench and whether he gets carried again next week…
It’s hard to place much stock into these minutes. Cordner coming off the bench and only playing 56 minutes is definitely skewing the minutes for other players – especially Ryan Matterson. Expect Aubo and Cords to play 80 minutes each on the edges – that leaves minimal minutes in the middle to go around.
TKO got “okay-ish” minutes but the major issue is the fact that he didn’t kick goals – even though he and Latrell were both on the field at the time one of the tries was scored. Latrell took the kick!
No one else seems to be relevant… especially not Jake Friend if he isn’t going to play 80.
How do you even analyse this mess of a team! Everything seems likely to change each week. Rochow obviously piques some interest with 80 minutes on the edge, but does ET really only play 66 usually? Does Matulino really only get 34 usually? Or does Chris Lawrence really give up 10 minutes each week? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. I suspect not even Ivan Cleary knows.
For that reason, I would be REALLY hesitant to jump straight on Rochow. See how the team lines up this week. See how the team actually runs out this week. And see how the minutes actually go down this week. Then make a decision…