Surge’s Teams Analysis – Round 18

The third phase of the NRL season starts this week and for SuperCoaches it’s the equivalent of rounding into the straight at Flemington on the second Tuesday of November.

While you can hardly call it a sprint to the finish when there are a full eight rounds to go, it is a sprint to get your final team sorted and cranking out the absolute maximum amount of points ASAP. So get the whip out lads, your leagues aren’t going to win themselves.

You only want two types of players in your team – guns that form part of your top 20-21 players and a handful of cheapies that ideally are base price, dual position and won’t see the field to muck up any potential vice-captain loops you may want to execute later on.

Regarding Players of Interest, we all know the guns by now and if you don’t then I can’t help you. What I will do is try to help out those who are looking for PODs to round out their team and play a role in that final 20-21, even if not an every week top 17 player.

One little tangent – how good are the site contributors going as a whole this year? Usually we are let down by Nick but even he’s having a cracking year, despite all the delete team tantrums! All but Carlos and Semi are in the top 1% of the 130,000+ players and they’re just outside it (Serc is the black sheep of the family, we don’t talk about his ranking…)

  • Wilfred 360
  • Nick 563
  • Wenin 944
  • Surgebuster 1,111
  • Carlosthedwarf 1,657
  • Semisonic 1,884
  • Serc 3,440

Let’s get to it.

FRIDAY, July 13

Penrith Panthers v Cronulla Sharts, 6.00pm at Panthers Stadium

Panthers: 1 Caleb Aekins, 2 Christian Crichton, 3 Waqa Blake, 4 Dean Whare, 5 Tyrone Phillips, 6 Tyrone May, 7 Jarome Luai, 8 Trent Merrin, 9 Sione Katoa, 10 James Tamou, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Isaah Yeo (c), 13 James Fisher-Harris Interchange: 14 Wayde Egan, 15 Corey Harawira-Naera, 16 Jack Hetherington, 17 Moses Leota

Reserves: 18 Liam Martin, 19 Kaide Ellis, 20 Tyrone Peachey, 21 James Maloney, 22 Nathan Cleary

Sharks: 1 Valentine Holmes, 2 Sione Katoa, 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 Wade Graham, 13 Paul Gallen (c) Interchange: 14 Joseph Paulo, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Aaron Woods, 17 Jayson Bukuya 

Reserves: 18 Scott Sorensen, 19 Ava Seumanufagai, 20 Sosaia Feki, 21 Kyle Flanagan


Caleb Aekins ($164k, 20 BE) makes his debut at fullback for DWZ in the only change for the Panthers. Cleary, Peach and Maloney are named on the reserves but you’d imagine are very unlikely to play given what’s been said this week up the mountain.

Wade Graham ($361k, 2 BE) returns from injury, pushing everyone’s favourite ‘yeah sure I’ll be a great bye round purchase, trust me’ Scott Sorenson out of the 17. Otherwise, Aaron Woods ($447k, 76 BE) is still behind Matt Prior ($451k, 94 BE) in the pecking order for both club and state.

Player(s) of Interest:

Wade Graham ($361k, 2 BE). Several injury-affected games sees this long-time ‘almost gun’ priced extremely well. Averaged 60PPG in three of the last four years, so the pedigree to be a fine fourth or fifth 2RF is definitely there. Owned by just 2%.

Paul Gallen ($608k, 94 BE) The Sharks are on the outside looking in at a top 4 spot and as a result Gallen is playing big minutes. Those minutes were unaffected by the Woods signing, with the Galbot playing 68, 68 and 69 minutes in the last three games. Sporting a 3RA of 84 and a 5RA of 70, sure we could’ve picked him up $100k cheaper a few rounds ago but we didn’t have the certainty that the real Gal was back then. Now we do. His current 6% ownership is incredibly low compared to other premium 2RF options (Lolo 53%, Jurbo 43%, Burgess 36% and Arrow 27%).

Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels, 7.55pm at McDonald Jones Stadium

Knights: 1 Nick Meaney, 2 Ken Sio, 3 Sione Mata’utia, 4 Cory Denniss, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Connor Watson, 7 Mitchell Pearce (c), 8 Josh King, 9 Danny Levi, 10 Daniel Saifiti, 11 Mitch Barnett, 12 Aidan Guerra, 13 Herman Ese’ese Interchange: 14 Nathan Ross, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Jamie Buhrer (c), 17 Jacob Lillyman,

Reserves: 18 Luke Yates, 19 Sam Stone, 20 Jack Cogger, 21 JJ Felise

Eels: 1 Clint Gutherson (c), 2 Bevan French, 3 Michael Jennings, 4 Jarryd Hayne, 5 George Jennings, 6 Corey Norman, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Daniel Alvaro, 9 Cameron King, 10 Siosaia Vave, 11 Marata Niukore, 12 Brad Takairangi, 13 Nathan Brown Interchange: 14 Tepai Moeroa, 15 Tim Mannah (c), 16 David Gower, 17 Peni Terepo

Reserves: 18 Kane Evans, 19 Kirisome Auva’a, 20 Jaeman Salmon, 21 Kaysa Pritchard


Mitchell Pearce returns after three months out, while Nick Meaney ($164k, 20 BE) is the second fullback debutant of the week. Danny Levi ($294k, 38 BE) starts for Griffin who is out for the year, while the Rossdog ($359k, 81 BE) and Daniel Saifiti ($425k, 15 BE) return as well.

The Eels have Tepai Moeroa ($401k, 36 BE) back from suspension for Will Smtih. Yawn.

Player(s) of Interest:

Mitchell Pearce ($479k, 51 BE). For all the (deserved) talk of CTW being awful this year, HFB might be just as bad. Behind SJ it is a wasteland, so where do you turn if you want a second halfback? To a proven performer (62 and 66PPG the last two seasons) who is only 1% owned, that’s where.

Clint Gutherson ($429k, 35 BE) Gutherson has a 3RA of 62 and has shown that playing in a woeful team hasn’t hurt his SuperCoach output, whether at five-eighth or fullback.  Still a POD at just 5% ownership, he’s a perfect fourth or fifth CTW for the run home.


Canterbury Bulldogs v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 3.00pm at ANZ Stadium

Bulldogs: 1 Will Hopoate, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Kerrod Holland, 5 Reimis Smith, 6 Lachlan Lewis, 7 Jeremy Marshall-King, 8 Aiden Tolman, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson (c), 12 Rhyse Martin, 13 Adam Elliott Interchange: 14 Fa’amanu Brown, 15 Clay Priest, 16 Ofahiki Ogden, 17 Danny Fualalo

Reserves: 18 Asipeli Fine, 19 Matt Frawley, 20 Francis Tualau, 21 John Olive

Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston, 2 Campbell Graham, 3 Hymel Hunt, 4 Dane Gagai, 5 Robert Jennings, 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 Adam Doueihi, 15 Cameron Murray, 16 Mark Nicholls, 17 Tevita Tatola 

Reserves: 18 Matt McIlwrick, 19 Braidon Burns, 20 Dean Britt, 21 Kyle Turner, 22 Billy Brittain


David Klemmer ($522k, 82 BE) has been named to back up, thankfully pushing Greg Eastwood out. Can Bulldogs fans start a fundraiser to get him to the Super League please? Or the Toronto Wolfpack? Anywhere? Will Hopoate ($431k, 77 BE) will continue to disappoint at fullback.

For the Bunnies, Hymel Hunt ($301k, 38 BE) is in for Inglis and Mark Nicholls ($286k, 55 BE) is back on the interchange – this guy has more lives than Wile E Coyote!

Player(s) of Interest:

Rhyse Martin ($506k, -24 BE). This guy…or as Trent Copeland calls him, “God 2.0”. He’s far from a POD and only in this space because 66% of Supercoaches don’t own him but at $506k, he is an incredible bargain (despite being $340k above his starting price). Forget the 153 last week, although why would you want to, and focus on the fact that he’s an 80-minute edge forward kicking goals and averaging more than 48 base PPG. Even if you’re reluctant to repurchase if you sold earlier, he is a no-brainer for the run home.

Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm, 5.30pm, Lottoland

Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Bradley Parker, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Manase Fainu, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 1 13 Jake Trbojevic Interchange:  14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Kelepi Tanginoa, 16 Frank Winterstein, 17 Taniela Paseka

Reserves: 18 Jorge Taufua, 19 Thomas Wright, 20 Tevita Funa, 21 Toafofoa Sipley, 22 Lloyd Perrett

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

Reserves: 18 Cheyse Blair, 19 Tui Kamikamica, 20 Young Tonumaipea, 21 Ryley Jacks, 22 Brodie Croft, 23 Albert Vete


Manly are 1-17, with DCE and the Turbos named to back up from Origin.

The Storm have all six Origin players backing up as well as Jesse Bromwich returning ($371k, 54 BE). That pushes the hugely impressive Jahrome Hughes ($423k, 8 BE) to halfback and everyone else to the reserves.

Player of Interest:

Dylan Walker ($342k, 77 BE) Let’s face it, CTW is a tyre fire this season so if you’re going to gamble on cheaper options at one position this is it. Walker averaged 64PPG through to round 21 last year and was a premium CTW option before fading late – so the pedigree is there. Less than 1% owned and with games against the Bulldogs, Titans and Tigers still on the schedule, there are worse fliers to take.

Canberra Raiders v NQ Cowboys, 7.35pm, GIO Stadium

Raiders: 1 Nick Cotric, 2 Michael Oldfield, 3 Jarrod Croker (c), 4 Joseph Leilua, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Sam Williams, 7 Aidan Sezer, 8 Dunamis Lui, 9 Josh Hodgson, 10 Junior Paulo, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii Interchange: 14 Blake Austin, 15 Luke Bateman, 16 Siliva Havili, 17 Iosia Soliola

Reserves: 18 Liam Knight, 19 Jack Murchie, 20 Royce Hunt, 21 Craig Garvey

Cowboys: 1 Lachlan Coote, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Enari Tuala, 4 Kane Linnett, 5 Antonio Winterstein, 6 Te Maire Martin, 7 Johnathan Thurston (c), 8 John Asiata, 9 Jake Granville, 10 Scott Bolton, 11 Gavin Cooper, 12 Coen Hess, 13 Jason Taumalolo Interchange: 14 Ben Hampton, 15 Shaun Fensom, 16 Shane Wright, 17 Corey Jensen

Reserves: 18 Justin O’Neill, 19 Ethan Lowe, 20 Mitchell Dunn, 21 Francis Molo, 23 Jake Clifford


Jordan Rapana ($473k, 89 BE) is back, with Nik Cotric ($537k, 84 BE) at fullback. Joe Tapine ($597k, 96 BE) has been named pending the judiciary and Junior Paulo ($334k, 66 BE) is in for the injured Boyd.

The Cows welcome John Asiata ($326k, 50 BE) back, pushing Jensen to the bench in an otherwise unchanged team.

Player of Interest:

Josh Papalii ($625k, 89 BE). He’s no bargain at $625k but most seemingly have their 2RF set or eyes on the likes of Arrow or Jurbo. There’s certainly no premium gun at any position owned by so few (less than 4%). Averaging 74PPG in games where he’s started in the middle (although he has moved around a little in some games) big papa could be the gun POD needed to push you up the table or win a critical H2H.

SUNDAY, July 15

Brisbane Broncos v NZ Warriors, 2.00pm at Suncorp Stadium

Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jordan Kahu, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge,  9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Jayden S’uA, 13 Josh McGuire Interchange: 14 Kotoni Staggs, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 Tevita Pangai jnr

Reserves: 18 Jonus Pearson, 19 Patrick Mago, 20 David Fifita, 21 Sam Tagataese, 22 Jake Turpin, 23 Tom Opacic

Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2 David Fusitu’a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Gerard Beale, 6 Blake Green, 7 Shaun Johnson, 8 James Gavet, 9 Issac Luke, 10 Agnatius Paasi, 11 Isaiah Papali’i, 12 Simon Mannering, 13 Adam Blair Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Tevita Satae, 16 Joseph Vuna, 17 Anthony Gelling

Reserves: 18 Ligi Sao, 19 Karl Lawton, 20 Blake Ayshford, 21 Mason Lino


The Broncs have all their Origin players named, meaning Staggs ($203k, -2 BE), Ofahengaue and TPJ are pushed to the interchange.

The woeful Warriors have named Gerard Beale ($209k, 50 BE) on the wing for the injured Maumalo, while Joseph Vuna ($164k, 37 BE) and Anthony Gelling ($317k, -5 BE) make the interchange.

Player of Interest:

Anthony Milford ($474k, 8 BE). Both teams were popular due to round 17 coverage so there aren’t too many PODs floating around. But with three home games on the trot coming up (followed by games against the Bulldogs and Cowboys) and a 2RA of 84, it’s fair to ask if the Milf we have waited for all year is finally here. He’s owned by just 6%, which is less than half that of Cody Walker (12%) and Munster (16%).

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Wests Tigers, 4.10pm, Jubilee 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 Luciano Leilua

Reserves: 18 Patrick Herbert, 19 Hame Sele, 20 Blake Lawrie, 21 Reece Robson, 22 Jai Field, 23 Darren Nicholls

Wests Tigers: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 Esan Marsters, 4 Kevin Naiqama, 5 Corey Thompson, 6 Benji Marshall, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 Russell Packer (c), 9 Robbie Farah, 10 Ben Matulino, 11 Chris Lawrence, 12 Josh Aloiai, 13 Elijah Taylor Interchange: 14 Alex Twal, 15 Suaso Sue, 16 Michael Chee Kam, 17 Matt Eisenhuth

Reserves: 18 Jacob Liddle, 19 Luke Garner, 20 Tim Grant, 21 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak


Luciano Leilua ($190k, -18 BE) returns to his customary AE nightmare role with the return of the Origin players, while Kurt Mann ($301k, 15 BE) has somehow made way for Jason Nightingale ($225k, 21 BE) and is now a priority sell. Damn you McGregor!

The Tigers have plenty of changes, with Benji ($323k, 50 BE), Nofo ($446k, 62 BE), Aloiai and Matulino ($382k, 68 BE) in for Reynolds, MWZ and McQueen.

Player of Interest:

Matt Eisenhuth ($485k, 69 BE). Has been in this space before as a POD, Eisenhuth has fallen off the watchlist of many due to yo-yoing from starter to interchange and last week’s bye. Fortunately that hasn’t impacted his base point output much (47 BPPG) and that, along with his FRF/2RF status and 3% ownership, make him an interesting third FRF or fifth 2RF option for the run home.

Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters, 6.30pm, Cbus Super Stadium

Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Konrad Hurrell, 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 Moeaki Fotuaika, 16 Will Matthews, 17 Jack Stockwell

Reserves: 18 Morgan Boyle, 19 Leilani Latu, 20 Kane Elgey, 21 Brendan Elliot, 22 Jai Whitbread

Roosters: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Nat Butcher, 12 Victor Radley, 13 Isaac Liu Interchange: 14 Zane Tetevano, 15 Lindsay Collins, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Kurt Baptiste

Reserves: 18 Matthew Ikuvalu, 19 Sitili Tupouniua, 20 Ryan Matterson, 21 Sean O’Sullivan, 22 Paul Momirovski, 23 Poasa Faamausili


The Hurrellcane ($274k, 63 BE) returns in the centres with Copley out for the year, while Jack Stockwell ($222k, 43 BE) gets an interchange spot. My god, this team is awful – just look at it.

The Roosters are resting Cordner but Teddy and Latrell have been named. Joey Manu ($306k, 24 BE) returns from suspension, JWH ($440k, 41 BE) starts and Aubo ($326k, 30 BE) comes back to the interchange. A Ryan Matterson sighting on the extended bench is very promising for those who held.

Player of Interest:

Blake Ferguson ($637k, 99 BE). There is absolutely nothing of POD interest for these two teams so at 14% ownership, Fergo is the closest thing. The highest scoring CTW after Ryan Matterson at 63PPG, he is priced at a premium. Yet with an impressive 36BPPG he’s probably this season’s Jordan Rapana.

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Roosters forward Victor Radley will miss this Sunday’s clash with the Gold Coast through suspension, despite the club naming him in their team list on Tuesday.

An NRL spokesperson said the club’s application for the player to serve a one-match ban in Wednesday night’s under-20s match between NSW and Queensland was denied last week.

“That decision still stands,” the spokesperson said. “Under the NRL rules the Under-20s match cannot be included.

“As a result Victor Radley is suspended for the Round 18 match against Gold Coast Titans.”