Another week in the history books and we are definitely seeing some interesting trends now in terms of the minutes for the various clubs.
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!
This was a rough game for the Raiders. Despite the fact that they got their first win, we saw quite a few reshuffles due to injury. Firstly, Wighton missed the game due to the birth of his second son – congrats to Jack and his family. Papalii was also dropped to reggies in a message to him and the rest of the team. We saw a reshuffle of Cotric to fullback, Oldfield to left wing, and despite Whitehead (80) being named on the right edge, he played left and Tapine (80) played right edge. In this game, Oldfield (40) and Hingano (2) both knocked themselves out with poor tackle technique, getting their head caught in the wrong place basically. Sam Williams also got hurt, going down in the 56th minute with a knee injury. Hingano’s concussion meant Havili (78) played massive minutes. Oldfield’s concussion meant Croker played the second half on the left wing, Whitehead to left centre and Soliola (63) to the left edge. This meant the likes of Luke Bateman (67), Dunamis Lui (57) and even Liam Knight (30) played significantly more minutes than usual.
Things weren’t so nice on the Bulldogs’ side either, with BMoz (11) copping a stray boot to his face trying to ankle tap a Jordan Rapana in full flight. Holland (69) came off the bench and played on the left wing for BMoz. Pay’s use of Adam Elliott (23) was weird, after taking him off at the 20 minute mark, he only brought him back at the end for the last 3 minutes, replacing RFM (78). Woods (65) and Klemmer (63) played much bigger minutes as a result. Lichaa’s second 80 minute game in a row raises some eyebrows, and as long as Nu Brown is not on the bench, he could be a bit of a smokey POD. Fine (16) got more game time than his last game at least (only played one minute in round 2 haha).
This week Brailey played 70 minutes because Seggy hurt himself in a tackle after just 10 minutes on the field. Gal played 71 minutes in easily his most Gal-like performance of the season. As suspected, this impacted on both Fifita (58) and Prior (54) – both of whom played well below their season averages (Fifita 62.5 MPG, Prior 63.75 MPG before this week). Fifita though, well, it looked like he had hurt his hamstring or one of the muscles in his leg, and then realising the Sharks were out of subs, the trainer may have casually had a word to him, to which Fifita came out of the next tackle clutching his head, and was subbed off in the 74th minute for Prior. So arguably, Fifita may have played another 6 minutes, and Prior 6 minutes less, but for this ‘HIA’. Lewis (64) shared minutes on the right edge with Capewell (16) again.
Joey Manu hurt his bicep in the process of scoring his try, and left the field in the 33rd minute. As a result, he is now known as the guy who scored 16 SC points including a try! Aubo (47) came on and played out the game at right centre, which in turn guaranteed Matterson the full 80 minutes on the edge. Trent Robinson appears to have acknowledged that Jake Friend is in poor form at the moment, with him only playing 45 minutes. Radley took over at hooker fulltime to play 35 minutes there. Napa (67) played big minutes as a result.
The Dragons were largely untroubled by injury/HIA this week which was interesting – it still shows some uncertainty due to TSims playing 75 minutes, but some of that was in the middle after Leilua (19) came on. Also Kurt Mann (19) came onto the field and I cannot for the life of me remember where he played – can anyone confirm? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was at right centre and Aitken spent a bit of time on the right edge… Vaughan played 49 minutes, but his PPM dropped drastically to score only 40. Alarming signs… hard to trust any of the Dragons’ forwards at the moment.
[UPDATE] So I’ve been informed that when Mann was on, he was basically roaming and even playing in the middle at one stage, both he and Aitken were roaming around.
Adam Reynolds (71) went up the tunnel right at the end, but not sure why. Doueihi played just 9 minutes and made a bit more coin for owners. Nicholls (41) got plenty of minutes in Surgess’s absence, which hopefully means he makes a bit more coin next week before he can be moved on. Tatola (40) also got a nice 15 minute increase in his usual minutes. Cam Murray (61) continues to play around that 55-60 minute mark which isn’t ideal, but he’s still making money and going to play Round 13. He’s a problem for later in the season.
The emergence of Jacob Liddle (41) continues, and he has been promoted to the starting team this week with Godinet dropped for Josh Reynolds. Packer (44) injured himself so the minutes for this week will be shaken up again. Twal (49) was great again and had his second ‘bigger’ minute game for the year. This week he starts so he would be a great DFS play – it’s hard to know if he’s an actual option for classic SC though given ET’s imminent return, which could see the ‘Huth’ take Twal’s starting spot, or at least you’d back ET to get 65+ minutes at lock and Huth to get big minutes off the bench again like in the first few rounds. Rochow’s minutes continue to vary but it seems locked at high 60s to the full 80 – he’s certainly making enough coin for owners for now. The Tigers’ pack and rotation are just too variable for me to want anybody in that pack (aside from Rochow but he’s too expensive to buy now).
Felise Kaufusi (80) returns and Stimson immediately becomes irrelevant (just 7 minutes) – that’s how brutal Bellamy is! The Tigers got the wood over the Storm in yet another tight encounter this week, and surely that’s the first time in a long time that the Storm have lost twice to the same team in a single season. Hoffman and Kaufusi look likely to play 80 minutes on their respective edges each week, and if Smith continues his 80 minute ways at hooker, along with a four forward bench, you just can’t go near any of the Storm middles. Not much else happening there.
The return of Simon Mannering (57) off the bench still means he is locked in for big minutes. It’s had an immediate impact on all the middle forwards, with a sharp drop in minutes for Afoa, Paasi, Lisone and even Pulu – basically everyone except Tevaga (57) and Blair (72). Luke continues to play 80 minutes, as does Tohu. Gelling got just the single minute of game time, replacing Blake Green in final 1-2 minutes. Minute watch on Manners continues as he is named to come off the bench again this week.
Granville only played 55 minutes this week, with TMM getting the other 25 minutes at hooker. Lolo’s minutes are concerning, playing a season low 45, but it’s not like I didn’t warn you all. Ok, I’ll wipe the smug smile off my face. Lowe continues to be irrelevant with just 41 minutes, and Bolton saw a small uptick in minutes (41) as starting prop in McLean’s absence. Unfortunately not enough to warrant a trade on him. Hess plays 80 for the 3rd week straight, which may now confirm him as an 80 minute player. His base wasn’t anywhere near as strong this week.
Levi’s inclusion saw him play 47 minutes off the bench, which cut into Griffin’s minutes (60) at hooker, but he spent some time playing lock. His PPM there seems to increase a little bit overall, not great signs for Griffin. Ese’ese (41), DSaif (43) and Barnett (41) all went down on their usual minutes. If Levi is going to get that much time, then there are some concerns for Ese’ese owners – except this week, given Barnett is out.
With no injuries, but a tight game, Opacic sat on the bench for the full 80. Lodge’s usual minutes seem to be in that 40-45 range, and TPJ’s first game back saw him play 42 minutes which could be his range for now. Su’A played 71 minutes as Glenn’s replacement, but his PPM left a lot to be desired. Macca playing 80 minutes is a great thing for the Broncos, and also for SC, and this looks set to continue. Not much else going on here.
Copley copped another head knock in the 53rd minute and failed his HIA, which saw Carty (55) play the last 27 minutes of the game at left centre. James played the full 80 mins, which saw him split his time between prop and the left edge. Wallace (54) is slowly building his minutes whereas Arrow (60) was an absolute monster during his time on the ground. Peats played the full 80, which may have been due to Copley’s HIA and Carty not spending time at lock, as Rein was on the field for 17 minutes at hooker. Boyle and Hipgrave (both 15) got minimal minutes as as result. Arrow’s minutes seem consistent but it’s really hard to tell if his minutes were planned or if they have been boosted due to the last three weeks’ worth of HIAs/injuries that have happened mid-game.
The Sea Eagles were always going to be interesting this week, given the new-look forward pack, but Frankenstein (29) started but it appears did not do the job given Gosiewski (51) got more time on the right edge playing off the bench. He’s since been rewarded with the starting spot, and firms as a decent downgrade option with some job security (and plays round 13 too) – even if his scores aren’t going to be fantastic given a mediocre PPM. Croker (54) came off the field twice for HIA, and each time Hastings (26) played hooker and Koroisau (80) moved to five eighth, which was very interesting. Otherwise Taupau’s minutes (42) were surprisingly low, although there has been some word that he had an injured ankle which limited his gametime. Jake continues to pump out those 80 minute games, even if he wasn’t as involved this week.
Auva’a left the field early due to a suspected knee injury, but appears to be fine since he was named this week. Mannah was sinbinned so lost 10 minutes of his usual game time. Brown played a massive 71 minutes, but he did seem to want to come off about 3-4 minutes early due to his ankle injury – but they had run out of interchanges! They should have borrowed a leaf out of Fifita’s book in terms off getting himself off the field… hah! Terepo (50) had another decent minute game off the bench and has since been named to start this week in Brown’s absence. His PPM was not great though as he only scored in the mid-30s despite the 50 minutes.
Merrin (42) was sinbinned this week but was still given his “usual” 40ish minutes, scoring at an acceptable PPM given he did lose -8 for the sinbinning. Still, you can’t really expect much more in terms of game time and he is probably a sell. JFH got 65 minutes to back up his 66 from last week. There weren’t any injury issues this week aside from Blake leaving in the 70th minute due to an ankle injury, although Egan sat on the pine for the full 80. Tamou (44) got more than his last two weeks off the bench, while RCG (45) got less minutes as a result. CHN (29) has played four out of his five games so far this year for below 40 minutes, which has seen his price plummet. With him looking set to start on the right edge while Yeo (80) is playing centre for Blake, this could see him build up some nice scores again – however it’s hard to know exactly how long Blake is out for. Kikau played 76 minutes, not entirely sure why he missed 4 minutes.
[UPDATE] I’ve been informed that Kikau went off for JFH – presumably for the remainder of the game, but then came back for the final 10 minutes after Blake was injured. It could mean that Kikau was meant to play around 65ish minutes…