The aftermath of the Origin round is always stressful – in many cases more stressful than the Origin round itself due to the uncertainty about injuries, players backing up, the minutes they might play and so on. Throw in a few unexpected late team changes, some injuries occurring early on and it was a difficult round to navigate!
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!
Alex Glenn (80) walked straight back into that left edge spot, and Su’A (80) continues to hold down that right edge in Gillett’s absence. Opacic (60) was hooked for Staggs (20) to play in the centres at the end of the game. Macca was given a 20 minute rest and played 60 minutes backing up from Origin, and McGuire (61) spent the last 20 minutes playing hooker in his stead. TPJ (50) was given decent minutes in the middle but his work rate was well down on his usual PPM – suggesting either that Bennett was justified in resting him and not burning him out by playing massive minutes or the Storm forwards contained him well. Lodge (55) had another big game and JoeO (46) was strong off the bench. Mago (8) got junk minutes.
Toomaga (15) was named to start but never made it back on for a second stint. Klemmer (56) continues to get consistent minutes off the bench. Woods (49) was given less time this week as RFM and Jackson both played the full 80. Tolman’s first game since Round 4 saw him play 47 minutes off the bench. Holland (27) continues to play bench hooker with Lichaa getting just 53 minutes.
Taumalolo played the full 80 again, rotating through that left edge for another week with Gooper (55) coming off the bench after the first 25 minutes. Hess (58) also played less minutes after Origin, with Linnett (41) also spending his time in the second row. Not much else to note…
Nightingale’s benching saw him play just 7 minutes, and doing the Kurt Mann of just playing in the middle of the field. Yes, Jason Nightingale playing prop, essentially. JDB played 63 minutes after Origin, while Host warmed the pine for 80 minutes yet again. Jeez you have to feel for the poor kid… Ah Mau played a season high 47 minutes, while Frizell put in a massive effort playing the full 80 minutes after Origin just 48 hours earlier.
Terepo (39) and Alvaro (39) have both been killing it in Brown’s absence but as with all props, BA just likes to play them all for around 40 minutes when they have no injuries. Brown coming back and starting at lock saw him play the full 80 and he was so good for them. Mahoney (51) had an impressive debut, and it’s concerning for Cam King (29) to already be playing second fiddle to a first-game rookie. Niukore started on the edge but had to go off the field for HIA twice, passing it once and then he wasn’t able to return the second time.
Buhrer (8) lasted minimal time before a suspected ACL ended his game and potentially his season. This saw inflated minutes for Guerra (74) and also big games from Fitzgibbon and Barnett (both 80 minutes). Griffin played 59 minutes but Levi also played 45. It seems Griffin is more trusted to play and defend in the middle than the lieks of Lillyman (14) and even Heighington (30).
All of the Panthers’ Origin contingent backed up with the three backs all playing the full game. RCG also played 55 minutes which is basically his season average, but this may have been due to Kikau’s injury which saw him restricted to just 14 minutes. Egan and Katoa (25 and 55 respectively) continue to share that hooking role which saw increased minutes for Merrin (51) and also Tamou (40) off the bench. JFH however saw less minutes, playing just 48. Kaide Ellis (22) managed to get sinbinned yet again!
Fuimaono rode the pine for the full 80, while Surgess and Sutton played the full 80 minutes on the edge. Murray played 59 minutes as the starter, and Farah also played the full 80 at hooker. Nicholls got decent minutes (38) but was not as effective with his time on the field this time. Not much else to note…
BJ’s 2nd minute HIA (and subsequent failure) saw an early reshuffle of Whitehead (80) to centre and Papalii (80) to the edge, with Bateman playing a huge 72 minutes at lock. Rapana’s injury in the 58th minute saw Papalii playing centre and Whitehead on the wing! This was later corrected with Hingano (22) finishing the game on the wing. Boyd (44) also had to play more minutes as well.
Napa (28) got less minutes after Origin but he was also sinbinned. Liu and Aubo both played the full 80, whereas Radley was only given 58 minutes on the edge with Butcher taking the rest. Baptiste rode the pine for the full 80 with Jake Friend actually having a decent game for once this year. The minutes are very hard to predict this year for the Roosters and it’ll only get murkier once Cordner and Matto return.
A 14th minute injury to Koroisau saw Matt Wright playing hooker for 66 minutes. Let that sink in for a moment. Sipley (24)and Paseka (17) continue to get junk minutes with a huge reliance on JTurbo (76), AFB (58) and Taupau (54). Lane also had a strong game, playing 71 minutes.
An early HIA failure to Luke Lewis (20) saw Gal play big minutes, 69 of them in fact. Nice. Fifita got lower minutes as foreshadowed last week (47 this week) and we saw Brailey and Seggy (51 and 29) continue to share minutes at hooker. Paulo (11) filled in for Gal at lock when he went off. Prior (68) continues to play big minutes but his workrate isn’t on the same level as a Gal, Fifita, etc.
Weird to see the lack of players backing up from Origin for the Storm, but Felise Kaufusi was massive in his 76 minutes backing up. Hoffman played almost the full game (77) aside from leaving the field for a burner / HIA. Glasby got inflated minutes (59) due to JBrom playing just 33 minutes before injury his hamstring. Welch (43) also got a nice bump in minutes too. Stimson (10) got junk time.
MCK got benched in the pre-game and played just 38 minutes. Ouch. Aloiai started and played 49 minutes and we saw CLaw holding down the other edge for 73 minutes. The rotations do my head in at the Tigers, it’s far too unpredictable for my liking and I’d stay away from all Tigers’ forwards for that reason.
King (2) and Fotuaika (1) both got injured/suffered head knocks almost as soon as they came on the field, which mean James (80) played a massive game in the middle, as did Jarrod Wallace (72). Hipgrave (60) was sinbinned twice. Arrow (53) played less minutes than expected because he was backing up but also because he hurt his shoulder in the first half again, although he returned in the second half. Scary.
Tohu (80) is a beast but so is Papalii it seems, who also played the full 80 on the edge this week. Manners (56) is a bench forward now but his minutes are actually quite steady – 55-60 or 80 almost every week depending on injuries, etc. At his price… hmm… Luke has stopped playing 80 minutes now but still getting 65ish (66 this week) with Lawton filling in the remaining 14 at hooker. Paasi has been strong and is getting consistent minutes now at 47 this week.