Mid-season representative break – it’s almost a sense of relief that we’ve hit Round 15 and we have a two week break before we head back into SuperCoach battle. Still, there’s only 10 more rounds of NRL, including one big bye round and two mini-bye rounds (yes I’m treating the round following the Denver Test and also the post-Round 17/Origin round as mini-bye rounds now given how hard Round 14 was!) to go. That’s an eternity for those up the top of the rankings – I can tell you from experience! All the more reason to pause and take a moment to reflect on the minutes that our forwards are getting.
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!
TPJ got the late start but then he went down within 24 minutes with a rib injury. Glenn came on and played the remaining 56 minutes on the left edge. Taga (11) and Mago (19) get junk minutes and are potential AE nightmares – I’d steer clear even if they may score decent in Round 17 – they have a decent chance of popping up in at least a few games from Rounds 18-25 as AE nightmares getting junk minutes. Milford (70) was sinbinned. McGuire (74) probably got more minutes because TPJ may have been slated to spend some time at lock after Glenn came on.
RFM (76) came off the field a bit early with an undisclosed injury but since he seems fine as he’s off to Denver! Lichaa (54) continues to share the hooking job with Holland (26). Woods (61) and Klemmer (60) remain the big minute props even though Klemmer is off the bench now. Not much else of interest, apart from Tolman again only getting 49 minutes.
Morgan played 28 minutes before tearing his bicep trying to tackle a flying RTS. Hampton (44) came on as his replacement but then spent some time off the fielding passing a HIA – this saw Kyle Feldt showing his stuff at fullback (and actually throwing a really nice cutout pass for a TS/LBA!). Hoare (32) came off with a minute to go with an injury that may keep him out for the season (!) but otherwise not much to note, with Gooper playing his usual 80, and Taumalolo getting through his 3rd 80 minute game in a row – this time spending some time on the right edge with Hess (73) playing more in the middle. Not much else of note…
Aitken (66) left the field for HIA which saw Nightingale (19) come on in his stead. Really not much I can say about the Dragons. No injuries to forwards = rotation policy for minutes and who gets more/less minutes in any particular week. Not for me!
Brown played 71 minutes and only came off due to a forearm contusion (i.e. a cork) but I haven’t seen any update on this one yet. Hopefully there’s no fracture and he’s cleared to play Round 16. After being preferred for bigger minutes on his debut, Mahoney (32) dropped back to being the back-up off the bench with Cam King (48) playing the lion’s share of minutes. Terepo (39) dropped back to lower minutes now that Brown is back (surprise surprise) however Alvaro’s 54 minutes is still very interesting.
No injuries meant it was, by and large, a fairly standard rotation with no real inflated minutes anywhere. Barnett got to play the full 80 minutes, Fitzgibbon had a bit of an early breather (74) and this leads me to suspect he may be carrying an injury these past few weeks given how much his base stats dropped off. Ese’ese (49) and Griffin (55) got pretty close to their usual minutes.
RCG played just 22 minutes before a broken jaw forced him off the field. This saw JFH (63), Merrin (50) and Hetherington (45) all get extra minutes. Although this was also due to CHN (75) coming off early. Peachey (70) was sinbinned. With Wallace retiring, the hooker spot is officially Katoa’s for the taking but he (55) continues to share minutes with Egan (25)
Due to the scoreline, Surgess (66) and GI (69) both got early showers, with Clark (22) and Doueihi (11) being their replacements. Cook continues to play 80, and both edges (Sutton and Angus) also got 80 minutes this week. Not much else of note.
Austin was sinbinned for 10 minutes. Otherwise there were no other injuries. Tapine played 80 minutes on the right edge and looked so dangerous all game. Knight got junk minutes (14), coming on for Papalii (66) when the game was well in hand. Dunamis Lui has averaged 45.6 MPG since Junior Paulo got injured (including one game where he inexplicably only got 19 minutes). That’s just a point of interest though, as I could not recommend anybody to trade in Lui! He’s somehow the cheapie that everyone missed though, as he’s made over $110k with more to come with a BE of 16.
Napa injured his ankle after just 14 minutes, which meant JWH played the full 80 minutes. I wouldn’t expect to see that again! Latrell hurt his neck in the 50th minute which saw Aubo (48) play the last 30 minutes at centre. He had been on for Radley on that edge but Radley came back to the edge when Latrell went off. Fergo (79) limped off right at the end but it seems it was precautionary. Issac Liu also played the full 80 minutes! I have no idea what Trent Robinson is doing!
Suli came off with a sternum injury after just 28 minutes, which saw Brad Parker (52) take over at centre. Tom Wright (55) came onto the field and played on the right edge, while Matt Wright – the hooker – played 49 minutes and he was off for a short while for HIA. Hodko (56) played hooker while Wright was off! Hah! JTurbo beasted with 80 minutes again, and Taupau just the 52 minutes in a lopsided scoreline.
Luke Lewis (49) went off with a calf injury, this saw Jack Williams get decent minutes (36) as well as some time for Paulo (26) on the edge. Fifita (52) minute watch continues, as he is clearly being managed, while Gal (68) posted his 3rd straight game of over 60 minutes – but again, was it due to injury? Possibly. Brailey (54) and Seggy (26) continue to share the hooking role.
No injuries to really impact the minutes but the fact that JBrom and Finucane weren’t in the line-up means it’s hard to read too much into things. Smith (75) just had an early shower due to the comfortable scoreline. Stimson (80) played the full game while Hoffman (15) was benched. This may be just to prepare Stimson for the likelihood of playing 80 minutes in Round 17 with Kaufusi likely on Origin duties. Welch (42) and Glasby (51) both had higher minutes, which they have gotten whenever both JBrom and Finucane weren’t playing.
Fonua (66) came off early with a fractured forearm. ET (50) and McIlwrick (30) shared the hooking position. Lawrence was having a killer game until HIA ended his game. The minutes were a bit of a mess as a result of the Fonua and Lawrence injuries, plus the absolute thrashing the Raiders gave them in the final 20 minutes too.
James (75) played big minutes again and came off just for a breather. A great Origin audition, no doubt. Boyle (0) rode the pine for the full game. Arrow (60) is a beast. Peats (62) spent time at lock when Arrow was off and Rein (38) was on at the same time. Hipgrave (59) and Matthews (50) both shared the left edge and Hipgrave spent some time in the middle too.
Kata strained his hamstring in the 52nd minute, which saw him leave the field and Lawton (28) play out the remainder of the game at centre. Tohu and Papalii both played 80 minutes on the edges which meant Manners came off the bench and played 55 minutes at lock. Luke played 80 yet again, which means he has played just five non-80 minute games (1 injury-affected) all year… Agnatius Paasi only got 29 minutes which is a sharp drop from the 44, 46 and 47 minutes he has been getting the past few weeks.