Minutes Madness – Round 21

Another round in the history books and what a great week of footy with some classic upsets and some high quality games as well! It’s business time now for the NRL but especially for SuperCoach, as the overall battle really heated up, with just 18 point separating #1 and #2 and less than 200 points across the whole top 10. We could see our closest overall race since 2015, where roughly 100 points separated the top 10 coming into the home straight, and the winning team shot from #8 with a bullet to take out the top spot! Super keen to see how the next few weeks play out.

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!

Another great deal from the team at PlayOn just for NRL SuperCoach Talk – it’s a private NRL contest for Thursday night – a $5 Double Up. Finish above half the field and double your money. On top of the cash, 1st place will receive a free $20 entry into the $2,500 Premier League game on Saturday. If you’re looking for the contest, you won’t find it in the lobby as it’s hidden. The exclusive link is here – https://playon.co/en/games/111912/enter?affiliate_token=50a7b843274b1d


No major injury issues this week for the Broncos but we saw TPJ with limited minutes (49) due to ongoing injury issues. This inflated David Fifita’s minutes to 47 for the week, as he also took some minutes off Alex Glenn (64). Kotoni Staggs (26) got game time at left centre because Jordan Kahu was so bad (54) that he got hooked, prompting a reshuffle of Boyd to fullback and Isaako back to the right wing. McGuire (49) didn’t have his best game and in fact has been suspended for this week, so look for JoeO (48) to have a big game at lock in McGuire’s absence (as he has done all year). They need him to contain Taumalolo this week…


Another game without any major injury issues for the team. Tolman (70) got the extra minutes in Klemmer’s absence, while Elliott (59) also saw a nice bump in game time as well, as did Fualalo (51). The rest of the bench forwards got junk again, and Jackson/Martin also held down 80 minutes each on the edges again. As always, Lichaa (67) and Brown (13) shared the hooking role. Not much remains of interest aside from Martin, Tolman and Jackson (at a pinch).


Taumalolo had his best game for months, but his minutes didn’t actually improve (64, as opposed to 73 and 61 the last two weeks). In fact, his work rate was only marginally better, and his score was really saved by his try + LB and TBs, and TS/LBA and effective offload. He probably scored about 60 points between those two plays alone! Hess played 80 minutes again, while Scott (44) and McLean (48) have jumped straight into bigger minutes as starting props. Bolton (36), Asiata (32) the big losers while Fence (16) also got injured. Granville (51) and Hampton (29) continue to share the minutes at hooker.


Dufty (70) was sinbinned this week, Kurt Mann (15) continues to be an AE nightmare as a middle forward off the bench, Vaughan (11) got HURT and is out for the next four weeks, which saw Ah Mau (52) and Lucy Leilua (40) get extra minutes. Friz (73) playing extra minutes in the middle while Tariq (80) stayed on the edge primarily allowed JDB (52) to get a bit of a rest, as he is not looking as good as he was early in the year. I mean, maybe a week off could have helped? Who knows. You’d expect Graham/Ah Mau to keep getting more minutes in Vaughan’s absence.


The Brown-dawg (80) delivers again as the presence of a bench utility this time – Salmon (15) – as well as a bench backrower – Takairangi (54) ensured the base stat beast played the full 80 in the middle for 69 beautiful points. Cash Mahoney played 80 minutes at hooker in an impressive performance given his age and experience. Bevan French sucks and was hooked for the final 15 minutes for Salmon, who now gets a run at five eighth this week. Niukore (58) didn’t even get close to 80 which makes him a risky prospect with Takairangi named on the bench again.


Mitch Pearce (42) came off early in the second half with a bad cork, but hopefully will play this week. Buhrer (38) came on for him. Ken Sio was sinbinned for 10 minutes but still had a bad game regardless. JJ Felise (14) debuted for the Knights but played the same minutes that Lillyman was getting even as a starter, so I wouldn’t expect much more. Guerra (80), Fitzgibbon (80), Barnett (76) remain key members of the team, as do DSaif (50) and Ese’ese (50).


Josh Mansour (78) came off just at the end with a bad facial cut, but should be right for this week. Katoa (66) and May (14) are sharing the minutes at hooker. Nothing else of note aside from RCG’s return netting him 44 minutes, and see JFH get his lowest minutes (51) for some time. Kikau (80) continues to beast, while Merrin (39) and Tamou (36) continue to disappoint. New coach though, who knows what will happen.


The horrible news is that Adam Doueihi (60) injured his ACL and came off, with Burns (20) replacing him for the remainder of the game. Tatola (2) got junk minutes, as did Jason Clark (2), which mean Cam Murray (51) got a nice little bump. The backrow of Sutton, Crichton and Surgess all played 80 minutes and appear likely to keep those minutes up for the rest of the year. Not much else to note aside from HOW GOOD Cook (80) is.


Josh Papalii (50) was an interesting POD for a few weeks at lock but his minutes have slowly dropped, which has coincided with Tapine’s minutes being down or him being out of the team, as well as Soliola not playing as a middle forward in previous weeks. If he’s in your team as a POD I’d be trying to move him on before he loses all value. Nothing else really stands out here, with Hodgson, Tapine, Whitehead continuing to get 80 minutes each.


O’Sullivan warmed the pine for the full 80 minutes, with there not really being any opportunity to put him into the game nor was there any injury to deal with. Matto stayed at 5/8 for the game although in attack they rotated at times, with Matto ending up at left centre in some set plays. JWH is playing some strong footy for him, getting 52 minutes, as is Taukeiaho with 48 minutes. Liu (72), Cordner (80), Friend (80) are getting the big minutes while Radley (40) is having a huge impact while he’s on the field. Aubo (48) played decent minutes off the bench.

Sea Eagles

There was just one minute of extra time as DCE did what was required to seal the win with a left-footed field goal. Taupau played his usual 50-55 minutes (52 this week) and smashed out a strong score with his usual PPM. Gosiewski got a run after a long injury lay-off, playing 40 minutes off the bench. This saw Shaun Lane (65) spend time in the middle as well as on the right edge – after he tore up the Sharks early on with a double. Paseka (16) is AE nightmare fuel. AFB (35) got lower minutes this week, as did Tanginoa (35). Hodkinson warmed the pine for the full 80.


Fifita (33) came off just a few minutes into his second stint due to HIA, which he failed. He’ll need to pass the protocol to play this week. Graham finally made it through the full 81 minutes this week, and scored great as a result. Brailey (35) and Seggy (46) are still sharing the minutes at hooker even if Brailey is starting. Woods (37) surprisingly got less minutes this week in spite of Fifita’s HIA – although ten in the bin probably didn’t help him there. Gal (72) had a big game, and Prior (51) also got a nice bump in minutes this week.


JBrom seems set to play 45-50 minutes, with 49 this week. Finucane (53) continues to build his minutes slowly and the remainder of the middle forward minutes are shared between Glasby (38), Welch (24), NAS (41) and KBrom (35). Hoffman (65) and Stimson (15) shared the minutes on the left edge, while Felise holds down that right edge for 80 minutes. Smith officially played 80 minutes because the Storm were out of interchanges, however he just came off the field with an ankle injury at the end, and the Storm finished the last 5-6 minutes with only 12 players.


Benji hurt himself earlier in the game but stuck it out, before eventually coming off at the 66 minute mark. Liddle (14) replaced him with Farah (80) moving to the halves for the last part of the game. Corey Thompson (57) came off injured after trying to score a try. Garner (54) played extra minutes as I believe MCK (80) shifted to centre, with Naiqama to the wing (someone please correct me if this is wrong). The ‘Huth played big minutes off the bench (66) while basically every other forward shares the minutes far too much to be worth considering.


Jai Arrow… sigh. At least he looks fit, with his strapping on his knee gone. He played 73 minutes and probably would have stayed the whole game if needed, but he was given a rest. Whitbread (0) warmed the bench the whole game. Matthews (77) played big minutes on the edge but this is due to change with Hipgrave back in the team this week – there’s a question mark over whether he will impact Arrow’s minutes or not. James (54) has been disappointing but it may be because he is managing an injury. Wallace (65) had a big game as well. Peats (56) and Rein (31) continue to share the hooking role and also the field for some part of the game, with Peats usually defending at lock when he and Rein are both on at the same time.


The Warriors’ forwards are hard to predict, with Paasi getting 45, 41, 49 and then suddenly dropping to 35 this week. You could blame Adam Blair (80) but he played 80 minutes two weeks ago too. Manners (72) and Papalii (73) are getting big minutes. Luke continues to play 80 minutes while he can, and Tevaga (65) was big for them in the middle of the park this week. Not much else of note, pending Tohu Harris’s return. I don’t think you can really trust Manners at this stage…




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Catfish (Wilfred Zee) won the competition outright in 2016 and now writes weekly pieces for the Daily Telegraph.

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Cheers CF! Much appreciated!

Hitro Okesene
Hitro Okesene

Thanks CF. Some really good breakdowns of the games I didn’t see. Brown seems a beast playing 80 in the middle!