Surge’s Teams Analysis – Round 8

A heavily-jetlagged edition of Teams Analysis this week, as I only just got off the plane last night. Having just spent the last three weeks unable to check final teams or keep up with the whispers, I can’t imagine how hard it would be for anyone outside of Australia and New Zealand to play this game seriously.

You’ll see what I mean a little further down.

Let’s get to it.


St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters, Allianz Stadium 4:10pm

Dragons 1 Matthew 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 Jacob Host

Reserves: 18. Hame Sele 19. Zac Lomax 20. Mitchell Allgood 21. Reece Robson

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

Reserves: 18. Frank-Paul Nuuausala 19. Sitili Tupouniua 20. Kurt Baptiste 21. Reece Robinson


Jacob Host gets a run at the expense of Hami Sele for the Dragons, while TKO returns to the bench for the chooks. Some tempting VC options in this game, including Mitchell ($520k, 40 BE) and Matterson ($609k, 33 BE).

Gareth Widdop ($634k, 112 BE) is in freefall, with a 3RA of just 41. This coincides with the rise of Ben Hunt’s ($553k, 37 BE) increasing role with the ball. I’d thought to make Hunt this game’s Player of Interest, thinking his ownership would be tiny – but it’s more than 6% (which is a huge surprise to me).

Despite the win and holding the Dogs to nil last week, the Roosters are out of sorts. Teddy ($610k, 63 BE) is maintaining a 64 PPG average while not yet being on the same page with his teammates – there’ll be better days ahead. TKO’s ($372k, 52 BE) return to the side shouldn’t set anyone’s hearts aflutter.

Player(s) of Interest:

Euan Aitken ($561k, 59 BE) The 46 points in base stats last week was no surprise but the consistent ability to find the line this year (five tries) and 16 PPG in evade stats has catapulted him into the elite CTW conversation. In a year when even Jordan Rapana, the only ‘sure thing’, has faltered you could do worse than anchoring your CTW with Aitken.

Mitchell Aubusson ($246k, 23 BE). Seemingly guaranteed the right centre spot after Manu (and Reece Robinson’s) poor form, Aubo is a fantastic DPP option to pair with Ryan Matterson, given the price. Ignore all the bitter owners of previous years, Aubo plays round 13 and you can use him in the 17 in a pinch – all for just $246k!

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Nat Butcher ($192k, 15 BE)

1-Palavi – Mitchell Aubusson ($246k 23 BE)

Melbourne Storm v New Zealand Warriors, AAMI Park 7:00pm

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

Reserves: 18. Pat Kaufusi 19. Tui Kamikamica 20. Brodie Croft 21. Young Tonumaipea

Warriors 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Anthony Gelling 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Blake Green 7. Mason Lino 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Simon Mannering 12. Isaiah Papalii 13. Adam Blair. Interchange: 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Sam Lisone 16. Albert Vete 17. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Reserves: 18. Ligi Sao 20. Joseph Vuna 21. Chris Satae 22. Sam Cook 


Are the Storm back? The impressive win over the Broncos at Lang Park would suggest so. When they’re firing, one or both of Vunivalu ($435k, 12 BE) or Addo-Carr ($404k, -36 BE) go large so anybody wanting to take a flier at CTW (and who doesn’t this season?) could do worse than one of them.

The Jesse Bromwich injury might tempt some to take another look at Asofa-Solomona ($357k, 45 BE) but there’s nothing to suggest his minutes will increase beyond the current 38 MPG despite now being the lead prop.

No SJ or Tohu Harris hurts Hiku owners, while Papalii’s ($250k, 32 BE) return to the team may shunt Mannering ($596k, 100 BE) back to lock next week when Harris returns from concussion. That would be…really good.

Player(s) of Interest:

Peta Hiku ($447k, 68 BE). With a 2RA of just 39, a fairly high BE and no SJ again this week, it might well be time to drop the second-highest owned CTW in SuperCoach. But given that he’s only crossed the stripe once this year and is still a base stat beast (31.4 average), it’s hard to think the absence of SJ will hurt too much. If he’s one of the two biggest problems in your team at the moment, you’re doing better than me!

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Anthony Gelling ($197k, 1 BE)

2-Palavi – Isaiah Papalii ($250k, 32 BE)


South Sydney Rabbitohs v Brisbane Broncos, ANZ Stadium 7:50pm

Rabbitohs 1 Alex Johnston, 2 Richie Kennar, 3 Greg Inglis (c), 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 Cameron Murray Interchange: 14 Adam Doueihi, 15 Mark Nicholls, 16 Jason Clark, 17 Tevita Tatola

Reserves: 18 Robbie Farah, 19 Hymel Hunt, 20 Campbell Graham, 21 Kyle Turner

Broncos 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 18 Tom Opacic, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Jack Bird, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Josh McGuire, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Jaydn Su’a, 13 Tevita Pangai jnr Interchange: 14 Sam Tagataese, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Kodi Nikorima, 17 Korbin Sims

Reserves: 18 Jonus Pearson, 19 Todd Murphy, 20 Patrick Mago, 21 Payne Haas


No Surgess again for the Bunnies but the return of Cam Murray ($516k, 29 BE) helps offset that somewhat. Adam Doeuhi also returns at Hymel Hunt’s expense.

Fresh off a tonne, Damien Cook ($608k, 17 BE) is now a credible captain option. As a Bulldogs supporter, gee I’m glad we dumped him for Michael Lichaa!

Bennett’s decision to start a middle forward at hooker was a disaster in round 1 but here’s hoping McGuire will do a better job than Thaiday. In any case, it helps TPJ’s ($367k, 39 BE) case for extra minutes which he should get with the start at lock. Jaydn Su’a ($295k, -1 BE) isn’t a cheapie but is mightily interesting now that he has Gillett’s edge spot.

Player(s) of Interest:

Cody Walker ($548k, 59 BE). Off the radar after a slow start to the year, Walker is currently riding a 3RA of 68 and I think at this point we might as well count junk points as base stats for him. With Pearce out and Clearly possibly unfit for Origin, Reynolds is a good chance to be out in round 13, making Walker all the more attractive.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Mark Nicholls ($254k, 15 BE)

3-Palavi – Tevita Tatola ($246k, 17 BE)

3-Palavi – Adam Douehi ($250k, 29 BE)


Manly Sea Eagles v Newcastle Knights, Lottoland, 6.00pm  

Sea Eagles 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Dylan Walker, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Lachlan Croker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Jack Gosiewski, 13 Jake Trbojevic Interchange: 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Shaun Lane, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Taniela Paseka

Reserves: 18 Frank Winterstein, 19 Jonathan Wright, 20 Thomas Wright, 21 Toafofoa Sipley

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

Reserves: 18 Cory Denniss, 19 Josh King, 20 Brock Lamb, 21 Jacob Lillyman


Manly are in all sorts on and off the field and you have to wonder how they’ll rebound after being flogged at home by the hapless Eels last week. Matt Wright in for Parker is the only change to the team, apart from the immortal Lewis Brown joining the bench. Given Manly play round 13, they have quite a few interesting cheapie options (see below).

For the Knights, Connor Watson’s ($306k, 39 BE) return couldn’t be more timely, given the Pearce injury. Jack Cogger holds his spot ahead of Brock Lamb and no Danny Levi means Slade Griffin ($338k, 43 BE) owners breather a sigh of relief – perhaps even a price rise might be on the cards?

Well played to those who got on Ken Sio ($353, -76 BE) and to @carlosthedwarf for recommending him in last week’s Buy Sell Hold.

Player(s) of Interest:

Dally Cherry-Evans ($575k, 118 BE). Looked to be a premium halves option as recently as two weeks ago but a 2RA of just 35 and more off the field drama places that in serious jeopardy. Discipline is also an issue, with -12 in negatives last week. Plays round 13 and there’s bugger all premium alternatives out there, otherwise the 118 BE would make him a straight up sell. Depending on your options, he still might be.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Lewis Brown ($192k, 21 BE)

2-Palavi – Jack Cogger ($208k, 8 BE)

2-Palavi – Akuila Uate ($256k, 8 BE)

2-Palavi – Taniel Paseka ($164k, 5 BE)

1-Palavi – Lachlan Croker ($264k, -1 BE)

1-Palavi – Jack Gosiewski ($221k, -3 BE)

Penrith Panthers v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Panthers Stadium, 7.55pm

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

Reserves: 18 Wayde Egan, 19 Nick Lui-Toso, 20 Thomas Eisenhuth, 21 Kaide Ellis

Bulldogs 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 9 Michael Lichaa, 10 David Klemmer, 11 Josh Jackson (c), 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner, 13 Adam Elliott

Interchange: 14 Asipeli Fine, 15 Danny Fualalo, 16 Greg Eastwood, 17 Kerrod Holland

Reserves: 18 John Olive, 19 Rhyse Martin, 20 Renouf Toomaga, 21 Matthew Frawley


Both teams are unchanged for this clash, which is a bit boring, eh?

James Maloney’s ($595k, 33 BE) 61 points last week helped keep his price stable. With a 33 BE you might get a little more juice out of the orange but his time is coming. RFM ($514k, 7 BE) has been incredible but is well out of reach as a buy and, like every player in this game, doesn’t play round 13.

PS – I knew the Panthers’ Sione Katoa was the best Sione Katoa to start the season with…if only I held him!

Player(s) of Interest:

James Fisher-Harris ($428k, 58 BE). Has made his money…or has he? Another base stat monster at more than 42 per game, JFH just needs to jag an attacking stat or two to spark more price rises. Averaging 63 MPG since he took the starting role, minutes won’t be an issue.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Jack Hetherington ($164k, 26 BE)

2-Palavi – Sione Katoa ($192k, -17 BE)

2-Palavi – Christian Crichton ($232k, 9 BE)


Gold Coast Titans v Cronulla Sharks, Cbus Super Stadium 5.30pm

Titans 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Brendan Elliot, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Bryce Cartwright, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Mitch Rein, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Will Matthews, 13 Jai Arrow Interchange: 14 Max King, 15 Jack Stockwell, 16 Keegan Hipgrave, 17 Morgan Boyle

Reserves: 18 Brenko Lee, 19 Ryan Simpkins, 20 AJ Brimson, 21 Kane Elgey

Sharks 1 Josh Dugan, 2 Edrick Lee, 3 Jesse Ramien, 4 Ricky Leutele, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Andrew Fifita, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Matt Prior, 11 Scott Sorensen, 12 Wade Graham (c), 13 Joseph Paulo Interchange: 14 Jayson Bukuya, 15 James Segeyaro, 16 Avagalu Seumanufagai, 17 Kurt Dillion

Reserves: 18 Kurt Capewell, 19 Jack Williams, 20 Braden Uele, 21 Trent Hodkinson


Kane Elgey gets the axe, which means Carty starts at six. I’d be so excited if this was 2016!

Phillip Sami ($408k, 88 BE) was lost in the centres, so he’s been moved back to wing, with Brendan Elliott getting the call up for his first game this season. Roberts-Davis gets the chop.

Scott Sorenson holds his place on the right edge for the Sharks, but be wary of buying a week early. Why’s that? Well, in a stunningly bad SuperCoach move, I decided to bring Kurt Capewell in last week while running late for a flight from Edinburgh to Belfast and shouting directions to my wife. Capewell had been named to start, so surely the position was his until both Lewis and Graham returned, right?

I was rewarded for that with Capewell getting dropped out of the 17. I probably just should’ve driven myself.

Player(s) of Interest:

Joseph Paulo ($257k, -14 BE). A starting lock at $257k and plays round 13, you say? Yes, well it might be too good to be true, given Flanagan’s tendency to change things up from week to week but the injuries at the Sharks are real and someone has to play the middle forward minutes.

Paulo has played 67 and 60 minutes in the last two weeks, which included a Gallen-esque 53 points from base stats last week. If you need cash to upgrade other positions, you could do worse than look at Paulo as a cheapie option.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Keegan Hipgrave ($172k, 25 BE)

3-Palavi – Will Matthews ($212k, 30 BE)

2-Palavi – Joseph Paulo ($257k, -14 BE)

2-Palavi – Scott Sorenson ($177k, -102 BE)

2-Palavi – Kurt Dillon ($164k, -2 BE)

North Queensland Cowboys v Canberra Raiders, 1300SMILES Stadium, 7.35pm

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 Enari Tuala, 21 Sam Hoare

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 Junior Paulo, 11 Joseph Tapine, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Josh Papalii Interchange: 14 Ata Hingano, 15 Shannon Boyd, 16 Luke Bateman, 17 Dunamis Lui

Reserves: 18 Liam Knight, 19 Michael Oldfield, 20 Bradley Abbey, 21 Jack Murchie


One team finally broke out of a slump last week, while the other sunk deeper into theirs. Shaun Fensom’s return to the 17 (yay!) comes at the expense of Asiata, whose pec injury will keep him out 2-3 months.

Taumalolo ($598k, 12 BE) is back in form and a must for round 13, while the other JT ($456k, 47 BE) has stopped the bleeding. Enough for those who traded him out in frustration to bring him back?

Not much doing at the Raiders, with Papalii moved to the middle and Bateman back to the bench. The three middle forwards on the bench suggests Tapine ($417k, 59 BE) will continue to get 80 minutes.

Player(s) of Interest:

Jordan Rapana ($474k, 45 BE). Despite almost identical stats to his running mate Leilua, there’s a real sense of disappointment in Rapana’s downturn in form recently. His base and evade stats are largely consistent, albeit a little down on last year, it is simply the drop in tries and try assists (only two of each in seven games, compared to 21 and five in 24 games last year) that are making the big difference. If the Raiders can turn it around, he’s an absolute bargain.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

3-Palavi – Liam Knight ($164k, 16 BE)


Parramatta Eels v Wests Tigers, ANZ Stadium, 4.10pm

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 Kaysa Pritchard, 10 Suaia Matagi, 11 Manu Ma’u, 12 Tony Williams, 13 Peni Terepo Interchange: 14 Will Smith, 15 Kenny Edwards, 16 David Gower, 17 Tim Mannah (c)

Reserves: 18 Tepai Moeroa, 19 Kane Evans, 20 Josh Hoffman, 21 Cameron King

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

Reserves: 18 Tim Grant, 19 Chris McQueen, 20 Tyson Gamble, 21 Mahe Fonua


Hayne out, French in is a straight swap of disappointments, although that pales in comparison to Nathan Brown missing out yet again – how frustrating!!!

Chris Lawrence ($391k, 6 BE) returns on the left edge for the Tigers, who’ll look to bounce back from their last minute defeat to the Knights. Luke Brooks ($584k, 22 BE) still has a little growth left in him but beware – he makes Chris Sandow look like the model of consistency. With his 121 rolling out of his average next week, he’ll need to put up a big one this week or risk haemorrhaging cash.

Player(s) of Interest:

Mitchell Moses ($402k, -18 BE) has a short burst of Supercoach relevance each year and this may be the opportunity to take advantage. There is, of course, an element to chasing last week’s points here and every chance the hot streak cools off in advance of playing in round 13, given he only averages 18 PPG in base stats.

Robbie Rochow ($411k, 72 BE) plays round 13 and bugger all decent forwards do. The problem is the drop off in base stats, from 49 PPG in the first five rounds to 29 PPG the last two weeks. As that’s the main source of his scoring, it is definitely a concern for owners.

You’ll have to decide whether losing some cash is worth losing the points he’ll provide that week but until then keep him out of your 17.

Palavi(s) of Interest:

2-Palavi – George Jennings ($255k, 1 BE)


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The Duke

I bit the bullet and transferred out Carty over TPJ for my Fifita trade. I felt a little sad doing it, he was like the Tom Hanks as the drunk uncle in Family Ties of my team.

Still, this is a harsh business and no friends are allowed. Outside of the posting board, of course.