Surge’s Teams Analysis – Round 11

I’ve given up predicting whether or not players will return from injury after Payne Haas was supposed to miss a month with an ankle injury and played last week. Meanwhile Trent Merrin has to basically get his finger stuck back on and he returned the next week…let’s say I have less faith in every team’s injury report than I do the Australian banking system right now.

Let’s get to it.


Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers, 7:50pm, Panthers Stadium

Panthers: 1 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Tyrone Peachey, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Tyrone Phillips, 6 James Maloney (c), 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Sione Katoa, 10 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11 Corey Harawira-Naera, 12 Isaah Yeo, 13 James Fisher-Harris Interchange: 14 Wayde Egan, 15 Jack Hetherington, 16 Viliame Kikau, 17 James Tamou

Reserves: 18 Jarome Luai, 19 Kaide Ellis, 20 Tyrone May, 21 Nick Lui-Toso

Wests Tigers: 1 Corey Thompson, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Benji Marshall, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer (c), 9 Elijah Taylor, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Robbie Rochow, 13 Matthew Eisenhuth Interchange: 14 Alex Twal, 15 Jacob Liddle, 16 Michael Chee-Kam, 17 Sauaso Sue

Reserves: 18 Tim Grant, 19 Chris McQueen, 20 Josh Aloiai, 21 Tyson Gamble


Nathan Cleary ($600k, 115 BE) returns just in time to face dad’s team, push for an Origin spot and murder James Maloney’s ($547k, 81 BE) SuperCoach relevance. Even worse, Kikau pushes to the interchange in favour of Yeo ($533k, 95 BE), while Peachey ($448k, 37 BE) takes up the ‘left winger killer’ role at centre.

Sione Katoa ($244k, 36 BE) gets the start and looks good on paper but trust me, I owned that bloke for a week and he was useless!

Over at the Tigers, is that Fonua dropped? Nooo! Now Kevin Naiqama gets back in the team and, given how Ivan Cleary has managed the Tigers’ backline, who knows when our Mulleted Mate Mahe will get another run. Disaster.

Player of Interest:

Viliame Kikau ($509k, 56 BE). So, is he an epic cash cow or genuine gun? Your answer to that will determine whether to move him on in the next couple of weeks, as he appears to have topped out in price and is now back on the interchange. Unlike other Players of Interest this week, Kikau is hardly a POD at more than 60% ownership, which is surely all the more reason to look at alternative options if you think the only way is down from here. That being said, he is a dual FRF/2RF averaging 61 PPG, so…

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – Sione Katoa ($244k, 36 BE)

2-Palavi – Tyrone Phillips ($205k, -27 BE)

FRIDAY, May 18

Parramatta Eels v NZ Warriors, 6.00pm, ANZ Stadium

Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Brad Takairangi, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Peni Terepo, 11 Beau Scott (c), 12 Tepai Moeroa, 13 Manu Ma’u Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Suaia Matagi, 16 David Gower, 17 Marata Niukore

Reserves: 18 Josh Hoffman, 19 Siosaia Vave, 20 Jaeman Salmon, 21 Raymond Stone

Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Blake Green, 7 Mason Lino, 8 Bunty Afoa, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 16 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Adam Blair Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Chris Satae, 16 James Gavet, 17 Simon Mannering

Reserves: 18 Gerard Beale, 19 Karl Lawton, 20 Albert Vete, 21 Anthony Gelling


The Eels ring in the changes, most interestingly Manu Ma’u ($606k, 75 BE) moving into the middle and Beau Scott to the edge. Cam King ($352k, 54 BE) starts at hooker while Marata Nikukore debuts off the bench.

The Warriors were smashed last week but welcome Isaac Luke ($488k, 130 BE) back…probably. Mason Lino starts at halfback, while FRF/2RF Chris Satae ($177k, 14 BE) is set to make his second appearance of the year.

Player of Interest:

Clint Gutherson ($418k, 56 BE) finally showed signs of life with a 60 last week, despite the poor Eels performance. While I’m tempted to say this is one for the true believers, you could do worse than pay $418k for a dual CTW/FLB pod (2% ownership) who plays round 13 and averaged 67 PPG last season.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – Marata Nikukore ($164k, 18 BE)

2-Palavi – Chris Satae ($177k, 14 BE)

Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters, Friday 7.55pm at Suncorp Stadium

Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Tom Opacic, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Tevita Pangai jnr, 12 Jaydn Su’A, 13 Joe Ofahengaue Interchange: 14 Sam Tagataese, 15 Gehamat Shibasaki, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 Patrick Mago

Reserves: 18 Kontoni Staggs, 19 Todd Murphy, 20 George Fai, 21 David Fifita

Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Joseph Manu, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Mitchell Aubusson, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Isaac Liu Interchange: 14 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Kurt Baptiste, 17 Victory Radley

Reserves: 18 Nat Butcher, 19 Sitili Tupouniua, 20 Lindsay Collins, 21 Mitchell Cornish


The Broncos have Bird, Glenn and Haas out with youngsters Mago and Shibasaki making their debuts. TPJ ($440k, 33 BE) gets the left edge spot running off Milford and I’m honestly not sure how to feel about that as an owner…good, I guess? Opacic and Ofahengue are SuperCoach irrelevant but start at centre and lock respectively.

Anyone keen to bring in McCullough ($510k, 20 BE) after his recent great form (61 and 92) has likely hit the reverse trade button after today’s Smith news, which is a shame since he is easily the Broncos best this year.

Lazy Latrell ($527k, 37 BE) feasted on a Warriors team having a rare ‘bad old Warriors’ game on the way to a tonne. As a Queenslander, please please select him for Origin Mr Fittler. Otherwise, Radley comes back in at Butcher’s expense.

Player of Interest:

Anthony Milford ($481k, 57 BE). The excuses are running out for Milf to recapture the form of previous years, with the run of games at home failing to spark the kind of big games we are used to seeing. His evasive stats are down, he is running the ball less and the Broncos are much poorer as a result. The solution seems easy (ie: stop shovelling the ball on for Darius to do sweet FA with it) but if it was going to change you’d think it would’ve happened by now. Also doesn’t play round 13.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – Mitchell Aubusson ($261k, 34 BE)

2-Palavi – Patrick Mago ($195k, 22 BE)

2-Palavi – Gehamat Shibasaki ($164k, 18 BE)


Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights, 3.00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Brenko Lee, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 AJ Brimson, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Keegan Hipgrave, 13 Jai Arrow Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Max King, 16 Jack Stockwell, 17 Moeaki Fotuaika

Reserves: 18 Bryce Cartwright, 19 Konrad Hurrell, 20 Kane Elgey, 21 Morgan Boyle

Knights: 1 Kalyn Ponga, 2 Ken Sio, 3 Sione Mata’utia, 4 Nathan Ross, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Connor Watson, 7 Brock Lamb, 8 Herman Ese’ese, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 Josh King, 11 Lachlan Fitzgibbon, 12 Mitchell Barnett, 13 Aidan Guerra (c) Interchange: 14 Danny Levi, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jacob Saifiti, 17 Daniel Saifiti

Reserves: 18 Jamie Buhrer (c), 19 Jacob Lillyman, 20 Jack Cogger, 21 Cory Denniss


Jai Arrow ($596k, 100 BE) is back, pushing Wallace to lock and King to the bench. Nathan Peats ($356k, 63 BE) makes a long-awaited return…possibly too late to retain his Origin jersey, while Cartwright ($249k, 39 BE) gets dropped in the midst of a rash of Titans backrow injuries. Deservedly so.

The Knights are pretty much 1-17, with the likes of Fitzgibbon ($576k, 25 BE) and Barnett ($397k, 18 BE) continuing to surprise.

Player of Interest:

Connor Watson ($416k, -1 BE). Nailing the Fitzgibbon prediction was nice but few things are more frustrating than taking an unpopular stand on a player only to have them rub it in your face immediately. Watson displays a Cody Walker-like ability to jag points and, with a 3RA of 70, I am waving the white flag. A good option for owners of the Player of Interest above.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – Keegan Hipgrave ($188k, 9 BE)

2-Palavi – Moeki Fotuaika ($164k, -33 BE)

2-Palavi – AJ Brimson ($164k, -4 BE)

NQ Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 5.30pm, 1300SMILES Stadium

Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Justin O’Neill, 4 Ben Hampton, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 Matthew Scott (c), 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo Interchange: 14 Te Maire Martin, 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 Corey Jensen, 17 Ethan Lowe

Reserves: 18 Francis Molo, 19 Jake Clifford, 20 Javid Bowen, 21 Enari Tuala

Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston, 2 Campbell Graham, 3 Greg Inglis (c), 4 Dane Gagai, 5 Hymel Hunt, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 10 George Burgess, 11 John Sutton, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Sam Burgess Interchange: 14 Cameron Murray, 15 Adam Doueihi, 16 Jason Clark, 17 Tevita Tatola

Reserves: 18 Robbie Farah, 19 Mark Nicholls, 20 Braidon Burns, 21 Kyle Turner


Put a fork in the Cowboys, they are done. Paul Green isn’t even rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as they line up 1-17. What’s the definition of insanity again?

The Rabbitohs are firing and are 1-17 as well. Those who held Cam Murray ($493k, 60 BE) will be pleased he managed 44 minutes off the bench when it could’ve been worse. But he’s starting to leak real cash now and must be a concern with round 13 still three games away.

Player of Interest:

Angus Crichton ($578k, 47 BE). I’m tempted to say that he finally came good last week with his 112 but the reality is that he has been doing the job all year, albeit not quite to the stratospheric heights of 2017. His 51 PPG in base is exceptional for an edge player, as expected and he decision is whether he merits a 2RF spot in time for round 13 ahead of the likes of Taumalolo, Burgess, Fitzgibbon, Brown, Matterson, Murray, Gallen etc.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – Campbell Graham ($207k, -32 BE)

Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles, 7.35pm, AAMI Park

Storm: 1 Billy Slater (c), 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Christian Welch, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Joe Stimson, 17 Jahrome Hughes

Reserves: 18 Patrick Kaufusi, 19 Brodie Croft, 20 Harry Grant, 21 Justin Olam

Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Frank Winterstein, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Toafofoa Sipley

Reserves: 18 Tom Wright, 19 Lewis Brown, 20 Jorge Taufua, 21 Tevita Funa


The lack of any information (other than there’ll be a big shake up) on the NSW team for Origin 1 makes it difficult to bring in Api Koroisau ($473k, 12 BE) this week, even though he’s probably the premium HOK option behind Cook at the moment. The Trent Hodkinson ($281k, 41 BE) signing may bite into DCE’s goalkicking but otherwise won’t have any real SuperCoach impact, while Paseka’s injury is further evidence somebody is sabotaging Manly bench forwards, Nancy Kerrigan-style.

Brandon Smith ($232k, 10 BE) starts for the Storm in place of Cam Smith, while utility Jahrome Hughes and Tim Glasby come onto the bench.

Player of Interest:

Cam Smith ($523k, 85 BE). With the bombshell announcement today that Cam Smith has declared his availability for round 17, the hold or sell proposition has changed a little.

As far as his SuperCoach effectiveness goes though, we can put the unicorn debate to rest now, surely? Smith received three consecutive Monday downgrades to start the season, has been penalised plenty, sinbinned and now suspended. I think all we need is a plague of locusts and the apocalypse is well and truly upon us.

The reality is that a lot of factors have gone into Smith’s diminished effectiveness this year, the primary one being the distribution role he has assumed with Croft not being up to it. Less runs, less dummy half work and missing two of the next three games all makes for a conundrum for owners, regardless of his availability for round 17.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Matthew Wright ($214k, 24 BE)

2-Palavi – Lloyd Perrett ($206k, 34 BE)

2-Palavi – Brandon Smith ($232k, 10 BE)

SUNDAY, May 20

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders, 2.00pm, Glen Willow Oval

Dragons: 1 Matt Dufty, 2 Nene Macdonald, 3 Euan Aitken, 4 Tim Lafai, 5 Jason Nightingale, 6 Gareth Widdop (c), 7 Ben Hunt, 8 James Graham, 9 Cameron McInnes, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Jack De Belin Interchange: 14 Jeremy Latimore, 15 Kurt Mann, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Blake Lawrie

Reserves: 18 Reece Robson, 19 Zachary Lomax, 20 Mitchell Allgood, 21 Hame Sele

Raiders: 1 Jack Wighton, 2 Nick Cotric, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Blake Austin, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Iosia Soliola, 9 Siliva Havili, 10 Shannon Boyd, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano, 15 Luke Bateman, 16 Charlie Gubb, 17 Dunamis Lui

Reserves: 18 Liam Knight, 19 Michael Oldfield, 20 Sam Williams, 21 Craig Garvey


Both teams are 1-17, except for the usual Dragons 17 jersey rotation (Lawrie in for Lomax). De Belin, Hunt and Austin are fighting to be fit for the game, so there may be late changes. Gee I’m struggling to come up with much to say about this one and if I talk about Widdop, Rapana or Croker again I’ll bench myself for a week and bring that Wenin bloke back –nobody wants that, right?

Player of Interest:

Joe Tapine ($505k, 16 BE). Slim pickings for interesting players in this clash, especially with both teams missing round 13, so Tapine gets the nod. Has a 3RA of 73, while dual FRF/2RF flexibility with the likes of Kikau or Burgess is gold…and only 3% owned.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Charlie Gubb ($240k, 45 BE)

2-Palavi – Kurt Mann ($194k, 36 BE)

Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury Bulldogs, 4.10pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sosaia Feki, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Edrick Lee, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Kurt Capewell, 12 Jayson Bukuya, 13 Paul Gallen (c) Interchange: 14 Joseph Paulo, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Ava Seumanufagai, 17 Jack Williams

Reserves: 18 Kurt Dillon, 19 Braden Uele, 20 Luke Lewis, 21 Josh Dugan

Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Matt Frawley, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Jeremy Marshall-King, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson (c), 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Rhyse Martin Interchange: 14 Adam Elliott, 15 Clay Priest, 16 Renouf Toomaga, 17 Kerrod Holland

Reserves: 19 Greg Eastwood, 20 John Olive, 21 Asipeli Fine, 23 Michael Lichaa


My boy Kurt Capewell continues to Bradbury his way into the starting team week after week. Gallen ($558k, 96 BE) returns, hopefully with enough time to both lose a bit of cash and round into form for round 13.

Not much doing at the Bulldogs, with Priest in for Fualalo. Although, I note that Michael Lichaa has been named on the reserves in the number 23 jumper a la Payne Hass. I knew Lichaa had gotten fat but not to that extent!

Player of Interest:

Will Hopoate ($536k, 52 BE). Longtime podcast listeners will know I am typing this with gritted teeth but Hoppa has impressed as a CTW SuperCoach option in a year of very slim pickings. Riding a 3RA of 70 and with an outstanding work rate for the position (36 PPG in base), he’s right around the top 5 at CTW. Only 2% owned, so if you’re set at CTW for round 13 he’s worth a flier.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Ava Seumanufagai ($249k, 24 BE)

3-Palavi – Jack Williams ($164k, 18 BE)

2-Palavi – Renouf Toomaga ($164k, 6 BE)

1-Palavi – Rhyse Martin ($164k, -74 BE)

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Latex Salmon
Latex Salmon

SO just my 2 cents.
1. Turbo/ teddy. 2 Cotric/turbo 3. Latrell 4 Aitken 5 the Fox
6. Green/ Maloney 7 Cleary
8. RCG 9. Cook 10. Vaughn/ Fifi?? (Doubtful)
11 Frizell 12 Cordner 13 jurbo
14. Peachey
15 Crichton
16 De Belin
17. Klemmer/Boyd.

18. McInnes/ C. Walker/ Sims.

The players I have listed first are the players id go with.
So that means I’d leave teddy and Maloney out.

kegs kings
kegs kings

The forward pack picks itself really. Only query is the hooker. That bench will be really close. The backs are where the questions are. Teddy or turbo. They surely can’t pick non specialised wingers so only one will get a run I think. I’d lean to turbo with his brother there.

Latex Salmon
Latex Salmon

Yeah I think turbo is in front by a smidgen, some poor defensive reads by teddy has put his jumper in jeopardy. I too think that cotric is a close lock, every time he it’s the ball up he fends a few blokes away. Which just adds to Teddy’s woes. Thanks for the comment