Teams and Captains – Round 1
It’s the first round of the season and it feels like Christmas, with a long off-season wait finally over and SuperCoach teams finally taking shape.
A lot to get through this week! JT and Lakey have joined up to divvy the workload between teams analysis and captains.
*To Note: All times listed are based on Queensland time.
This Weeks Bye Team/s
St George-Illawarra Dragons
PARRAMATTA EELS v MELBOURNE STORM
Thursday, 6.50pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney
1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Junior Paulo 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Matt Doorey 13. J’maine Hopgood
Bench: 14. Jirah Momoisea 15. Jack Murchie 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Makahesi Makatoa
Reserves: 18. Jake Arthur 19. Ky Rodwell 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Mitch Rein 22. Isaac Lumelume
JT’s Team Takeaways: In a very different side to the Grand Finalists of 2022, Parramatta start with a host of interesting plays in the backline. Courtesy of the suspension to Ryan Matterson (Round 4) and broken jaw to Shaun Lane (indefinite), there are two genuine cheapies in Matt Doorey ($234.8k – 2RF) and Bryce Cartwright ($234.8k – 2RF) who have been named to start. Combined with J’maine Hopgood ($298.8k – 2RF), who is as close to must-have as you can get to start the year at lock having moved over from Penrith, that equates to a hell of a lot of value in the 11-13 jerseys to start the year. The big concern with both Doorey and Cartwright is just how long they have in those spots. Momoisea and Murchie were both favoured at times during the trials and remain on the bench, so minutes could be at a premium. They also both were battling minor injuries during the off-season, so are definitely not set-and-forgets and shouldn’t command 80 minutes. For the price? Relatively risk-free to start your year.
Plus, how good is being at the Carty Party when it goes off (okay, it’s not quite partying like it’s 1999 but it feels like it’s been that long).
One other item of interest is that Josh Hodgson ($385.6k – HOK) has been named to start without a utility on the bench. It may be a big ask for the ageing body to put out big minutes but that definitely looks to be the case for him here. A very interesting watch.
1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King
Bench: 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Chris Lewis 17 Jordan Grant
Reserves: 18. Grant Anderson 19. Bronson Garlick 20. Sualauvi Faalogo 21. Joe Chan 22. Jonah Pezet
JT’s Team Takeaways: Like Parramatta, there’s a freshness in the air at the Storm, again in the second row. Trent Loiero ($365k – 2RF) and Eliesa Katoa ($411.1k) start in the 11 and 12 jerseys in a bid to replace the loss of Kenny Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi from the Storm pack. Of more interest will likely be Eli Katoa, who performed well in the last trial and has more of a pedigree in SuperCoach, having previously averaged 57PPG at the Warriors before injuries and form have caused him to fall away in recent years. A fresh start under Bellamy could be just the tonic and he is priced very nicely. Loiero is cheaper, but has previously been used through the middle and didn’t set the world on fire with efforts on the edge last season. With Tariq Sims likely to be back over the next week or so, this could be a shootout for the prized starting second row spot, and Katoa is the genuine candidate you’d have your money on.
Elsewhere, Christian Welch ($464k – FRF) will unsurprisingly start at prop in his first game as captain for the Storm and commands good interest after playing through the trials on the comeback from injury. In the backline, Reimis Smith ($316.8k – CTW) is priced almost 20 points shy of his 2021 season where he averaged 51PPG and comes in as one of the few healthy outside backs for the Storm. He should be a relatively risk-free play given history and quality of the Storm side. William Warbrick ($200.8k – CTW) should pick himself in your side given he’s bottom-dollar and now gets a great chance to string a fair chunk of games together with Ryan Papenhuyzen (Round 8), Justin Olam (Round 6), George Jennings (Round 4) and Dean Ieremia (Season) all out with injury.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: It’s a big one to kick us off. Unfortunately, we won’t see Papi for quite a few weeks but there’s still plenty of SuperCoach relevancy here so I’ll try to keep it brief.
It should be mentioned that both of these sides are rolling out all new look back rows in this one, but the Eels and Storm were in the hardest 5 teams for right halves to score against in 2022 which goes against Hughes and Moses, not that they’re overly popular to start with. Melbourne were also the hardest team for left halves to score on which is a strike against Dylan Brown however he did score 73 and 100 last year when facing the Storm.
Cam Munster is a name that will peak interest having scored 91 and 121 on Parra last year, and 59 and 74 the year before. Plus, the Eels allowed 60 PPG to left halves through last season. Although, he’s said to be battling osteitis pubis (pubic bone bruising/inflammation) and “feels he has lost some acceleration”. The VC somewhat mitigates the risk there though.
The other big name to consider is Harry Grant. He had 93 in his one meeting with Parramatta last year and in the game he didn’t play, Cheese dropped a 102. Parra gave up a healthy 55 PPG to hookers but those two mentioned were the top of them.
THE WARRIORS v NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS
Friday, 5.00pm, Sky Stadium, Wellington
1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitch Barnett 11. Marata Niukore 12. Jackson Ford 13. Tohu Harris
Bench: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Josh Curran 17. Tom Ale
Reserves: 18. Viliami Vailea 20. Freddy Lussick 21. Ronald Volkmnan 22. Taine Tuaupiki 23. Edward Kosi
JT’s Team Takeaways: Few of us would have seen Josh Curran ($568.2k) relegated to the bench but that’s exactly what’s happened with the surprise cheapie Jackson Ford ($281.2k) and Marata Niukore ($419.5k – 2RF) starting in the second row. Ford’s price is a lot more tempting but there are big-minute players around him in the benched Curran, as well as new lock Tohu Harris ($640.5k – 2RF/FRF) and new recruit Mitch Barnett ($536.6k) who could all split time between both the middle and edge. It seems to have trap written all over him, so he would be a buy only if you needed to fill a spot in your second row and you’d already gotten the likes of Hopgood. He did perform well enough in trials to win this spot, so it may not be a flash in the pan.
Brayden Wiliame ($234.8k – CTW/2RF) is another cheapie to add to the mix having been named at starting centre. He does have a relatively ordinary history in SuperCoach, averaging just 24 and 27 in his last two seasons in the NRL (2020 and 2021), although most of those 2021 games were off the bench. With Viliame Vailea named in the 18 jersey, this spot is definitely not sewn up just yet. Tread very lightly and don’t expect your world to be set on fire.
1. Lachlan Miller 2. Hymel Hunt 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Dom Young 6. Kalyn Ponga 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Daniel Saifiti 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Kurt Mann
Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Adam Elliott 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Leo Thompson
Reserves: 18. Jack Johns 19. Tyson Gamble 20. Brodie Jones 21. Dylan Lucas 22. Bailey Hodgson
JT’s Team Takeaways: In a surprise twist, the reliable Hymel Hunt ($234.8k – CTW) has been named over Titans’ recruit Greg Marzhew ($581.2k) who hasn’t even made the 22-man squad after a patchy trials performance. Hunt offers very good value but with the likes of Marzhew and Dane Gagai lurking, his hold on the spot is probably not too strong, but the absence of Marzhew is very interesting.
Adam Elliott ($564.5k – 2RF) has been named on the bench in favour of the starting lock Kurt Mann ($507k – 2RF) as he is eased into his new side after leg injuries hampered his pre-season. Expect that to be reversed in coming weeks, if not game day. Jack Hetherington ($266.6k – 2RF/FRF) is another new recruit who joins the bench who has commanded some SuperCoach interest, but with both Saifiti twins in the starting prop rotation, and the likes of Elliott and Mann able to play big minutes through the middle, he looks to remain bit-part at best. Not to mention his troubles with discipline.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: This one could be short. But I guess being able to roll the dice with a VC play makes this a tad more interesting for SuperCoach.
The big story is the move of Kalyn Ponga to 5/8. He’ll play on the left where the Warriors allowed the second most points through 2022 (62 PPG). He’ll also be kicking goals if the calf is ok but we also have to consider his previous 5/8 stint with scores of 38, 62 and 24 to open 2019 plus one game with 42 at the end of 2018. Risky.
The Warriors also allowed the most points to fullbacks with almost 70 PPG, so if running Lachie Miller from the start he might be worth a punt. He had three games at fullback last season with 82, 30 and 88.
Tohu Harris is a safer option. He scored 50 against Newcastle in his third game back from injury last year, but in 2021 he had 91 and 85 and he should be feeling fitter and stronger than he was last season.
I’ll also be keeping an eye on Mitch Barnett in an opening round revenge game.
PENRITH PANTHERS v BRISBANE BRONCOS
Friday, 7.05pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Luke Garner 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon
Reserves: 18. Zac Hosking 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Tyrone Peachey 21. Jack Cogger 22. Lindsay Smith
JT’s Team Takeaways: In a relatively surprise-free Penrith side, it’s Sunia Turuva ($275k – FLB/CTW) who is generating all the hype after being named on the wing as expected. He will likely be out on the right wing, with the underpriced Brian To’o ($624.3k – CTW) reverting to the much more favourable left edge position in the season-long absence of Taylan May. It remains to be seen whether Turuva will be more To’o than Staines, but 34% of SuperCoaches (bound to be more by game day) are getting themselves a cheap piece of the Penrith Pie through him for Round 1.
The dynamic between Mitch Kenny ($310.2k – HOK) and Soni Luke ($234.8k – HOK) will be an interesting one. Api Koroisau is a huge hole to fill, and Luke looks to have much more of the attacking upside here. If he can command upwards of 35 minutes a game, that price (currently at a breakeven of 22) will rise in quick fashion.
1. Selwyn Cobbo 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jesse Arthars 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Pat Carrigan
Bench: 14. Cory Paix 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Thomas Flegler 17 Martin Taupau
Reserves: 18. Deine Mariner 19. Brendan Piakura 20. Xavier Willison 21. Jock Madden 22 Delouise Hoeter
JT’s Team Takeaways: No real surprises here for the Broncos. Reece Walsh will miss at least one round with a facial injury, meaning livewire Selwyn Cobbo ($586.9k – CTW) gets a shot at the fullback role for at least one round. He’s currently in 13% of sides, so many will be banking on him maintaining that value once he moves inevitably back to the wing on Walsh’s return. In a tough matchup, he’ll need to somehow put on a few attacking stats against the toughest opposition in the comp to spark early.
Payne Haas ($662.4k – FRF) looks to be the only real big-minute prop in the Broncos’ side (Jensen, Palasia, Flegler and Taupau all averaged under 45 minutes per game last season) and should command plenty of time on the field along with Pat Carrigan ($654.6k) who starts at lock and looks like he’s got the lethal offload working once again if trials are anything to go by. If you’re going to own a Bronco, either one of them (if not both) are definitely not the worst starters despite the high pricetags.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: As popular as Garner, Luke and Kenny are in 2023, this game is all about Nathan Cleary. It wasn’t a bad year for the Bronx in 2022 but they still allowed right halves to run up a clip of 63 PPG including Cleary’s own 151 points in round 6. He also had 125 on Brisbane the year before. If he’s in your team, Cleary’s your man.
Other options include Brian To’o who didn’t face the Bronx last year but had 87 and 64 in 2021. The Bronx allowed 51 PPG to left wingers where To’o is playing for now in place of Taylan May. The Bronx allowed just 39 PPG to right wingers.
Then there’s Payne Haas if you’re willing to run with him. Penrith gave up 51 PPG to front rowers and despite not playing them last season, Haas had 106 and 64 on them in his injury plagued 2021.
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES v CANTERBURY BULLDOGS
Saturday, 2.00pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Christian Tuipulotu 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cooper Johns 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Jake Trbojevic 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Sean Keppie
Bench: 14. Kaeo Weekes 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Josh Aloiai
Reserves: 18. Toafofoa Sipley, 19. Ben Condon, 20. Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega, 21. Morgan Harper, 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong
JT’s Team Takeaways: Huge news with Tom Trbojevic ($577.7k – FLB) starting at his lowest price in years and getting his first run for the year. There was some thought that with the bye looming in Round 2, Turbo would be given another week to get himself set but this is a great sign here. Jake Trbojevic ($528.7k – 2RF/FRF) makes his move to the props official, while Sean Keppie ($274.8k – 2RF/FRF) takes his 13 jersey. Keppie hasn’t exactly scored at a rate of knots in his last two seasons, with just 0.82 and 0.86 points per minute, but any uptick on the 35 minutes a game he’s averaged over the last two seasons should see some early value. Ben Trbojevic ($286.2k – CTW/2RF) is one of the bigger avoids to start your year. Limited minutes loom again this season, so the 8% of coaches should be strongly considering other options. Even Josh Schuster ($241.2k – 5/8 / 2RF) would be a better round 1 pick despite not suiting up until at least round 3.
1. Hayze Perham 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Ryan Sutton 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Fa’amanu Brown
Bench: 14. Jayden Tanner 15. Corey Waddell 16. Franklin Pele 17. Jacob Preston
Reserves: 19. Braidon Burns 20. Josh Reynolds, 21. Andrew Davey 22. Jackson Topine 23. Jayden Okunbor
JT’s Team Takeaways: The unfortunate news of Luke Thompson’s long-term injury means the door is now open for some cheapie Bulldogs forwards, but Fa’amanu Brown ($460.5k – HOK) was probably not the one we expected to see lining up in the lock jersey. He did actually play one game there last year in Round 25 for 43 points in 69 (lel) minutes, so perhaps it’s not overly surprising that he is given a chance there now that Reed Mahoney ($574.8k – HOK) has arrived to take the hooking spot. Brown will have Pangai Junior hunting for the spot once he’s back from injury in Round 4 given TPJ is slated for a run through the middle full-time this year. Back on Mahoney, it’s a four-forward bench as well, so Mahoney could well see 80 minutes straight away unless they move Nu Brown there at some stage.
There are plenty of cheapies available at the Dogs for Round 1, but it would pay to steer clear of any of the bench forwards and focus your attention on the Hayze Perham ($370.9k – CTW/FLB) and Paul Alamoti ($200.8k – CTW) combination in the backline. Alamoti picks himself in your side, while Perham is at somewhat of an awkward price but has been earmarked by new coach Ciraldo as a star of the future. It’s a huge test out the back but that’s a huge confidence boost and it looks his spot to lose now.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: It’s one of the first things I checked in team lists and thankfully, Turbo has been named. It’s still risky with those breakaway hammies but we know what he can do. He had 66 on the Dogs in round 3 last year and incredible scores of 170 and 144 in 2021. While the Dogs are, and should be still, a much improved team than recent years, they still gave up 66 PPG to fullbacks last year.
Matt Burton is one of the best 5/8’s in the game right now and attracting plenty of SuperCoach interest. But he only scored 20 and 37 against Manly last year in the same role.
Other less popular option could be DCE, if anyone is taking the alternate route at halfback. He scored 108, 62, 119 and 132 on the Dogs recently. Huge.
Nth QUEENSLAND COWBOYS v CANBERRA RAIDERS
Saturday, 4.30pm, Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Nth Queensland Cowboys
1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Coen Hess 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. James Tamou
Reserves: 18. Brendan Elliot 19. Riley Price 20. Tom Chester 21 Gehamat Shibasaki 22. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki
JT’s Team Takeaways: This team was very much as-expected with Coen Hess ($400.8k – 2RF/FRF) making what should be a temporary move to the second row while Heilum Luki is on the comeback trail from injury. Jake Granville ($234.8k – HOK) wins back the bench spot for the year. Interestingly, despite playing off the bench 8 times from Round 12-onwards last season, Granville was never used to spell Reece Robson ($678.2k – HOK) who played the full 80 in all bar one of those games (74 minutes). That should allay any fears Robson owners have of him not getting 80, but it is Round 1 and fitness levels aren’t generally at their peak here.
I know there’s lots of talk about Reuben Cotter ($623.4k – FRF) wanting to become an 80-minute player, but for his body’s sake, I hope he reins it in somewhat. That’s very unlikely to eventuate given the stacked forward pack the Cows have rolled out, but he can do it in a pinch (think last year’s game in Darwin against Parra). He should sit around the 55-60 minute mark to start the season which should see him maintain his current 59 breakeven.
1. Sebastian Kris 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Harley Smith-Shields 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Pasami Saulo 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Harawira-Naera
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Emre Guler
Reserves: 18. Albert Hopoate 19. Matt Frawley 20. Zac Woolford 21. Trey Mooney 22. Peter Hola
JT’s Team Takeaways: The Xavier Savage injury forces the move of Seb Kris ($513.2k – CTW) to fullback, with Jordan Rapana ($526.1k – CTW) remaining on the wing as was the case in the trials. The Raiders have been further hampered through the loss of Josh Papali’i to a calf injury that sees him miss at least one round. Buyer beware for anyone eyeing off starter Pasami Saulo ($243k – 2RF/FRF) given how much Ricky loves to shuffle the pack around. Interesting to see him get the nod over Emre Guler ($342.7k – FRF) given he is a new recruit to the side. You just get relatively large trap vibes here.
Many expected Joe Tapine ($699.5k – 2RF / FRF) to play at lock as he did in the trial, so he should shift there next week on Papali’i’s return. Unfortunately despite being a genuine SuperCoach weapon at lock, that will mean Corey Harawira-Naera ($481.8k – 2RF) likely only lasts there one week here.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: It might surprise you to know, and it did me, that Val Holmes is the most popular SuperCoach player in this game. He had 92 (the highest left centre score against Canberra) and 49 last year and a 97 in 2021. He’s definitely not a bad play.
Reuben Cotter and Joe Tapine are also highly owned but both playing front row and I’m not sure about trusting them with the captaincy straight off the bat unless you’re very risk adverse. Even so, in their 2022 matchups, Cotter scored 51 and Tapine had 71 and 44 respectively.
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS v SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
Saturday, 6.35pm, PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Braydon Trindall 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Cameron McInnes 15. Wade Graham 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Jack Williams
Reserves: 18. Connor Tracey 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Thomas Hazelton 21. Jayden Berrell 22. Niwhai Puru
JT’s Team Takeaways: Well the news to shake the SuperCoach foundations to their core is official – Nicho Hynes will miss Round 1! There has been talk that the injury could be anywhere from a week to a month or anywhere in between, but it’s now at least certain that he will miss the first game and that’s a huge $900k on your bench if you have him.
Elsewhere, the sight of Wade Graham ($365.6k – 2RF) is not ideal news for those wanting to go a Sharks outside back like Katoa ($630.7k – CTW), Mulitalo ($640.9k – CTW) or Talakai ($635k – CTW) as the attacking plays tend to suffer when Graham is in the mix as was evident last season. The big mover in the off-season has been the love for Teig Wilton ($493.6k – 2RF) who starred in the trials and has climbed to 15% ownership. Wilton’s best football was at the start of last year where he averaged 57 points from 72 minutes a game without Graham, before seeing that output drop sharply on his return to the side. Their career trajectories may be going in opposite directions given their age gap but it definitely puts some risk into the purchase. Briton Nikora ($650.5k – 2RF) should remain largely unaffected having averaged 80 minutes a game last season despite the likes of Graham, Wilton, Williams and McInnes floating around.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Tom Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray.
Bench: 14. Blake Taaffe 15. Michael Chee-Kam 16. Davvy Moale 17. Shaq Mitchell
Reserves: 18. Jed Cartwright 19. Terrell Kalo Kalo 20. Ben Lovett 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Josiah Karapani
JT’s Team Takeaways: It’s a fairly stable side for the Bunnies, who will again run Blake Taaffe ($400.9k – FLB) as a utility. There are a couple of cheapies in the mix on the bench, with Michael Chee-Kam ($234.8k – 2RF/CTW) looking to build on a disrupted 2022, Shaq Mitchell ($234.8k – FRF) impressive in the trials and Davvy Moale ($234.8k – FRF) by far the most popular of the three given he was the most likely candidate picked in the pre-season to pinch minutes off starters Tatola and Burgess. Having all three of them on the bench, as well as big-minutes in the second row and lock, mean all three could be very slow burns. If you were to flip a three-sided coin, Moale is probably the guy you’d want it to land on given he played 12 games last year and Shaq/Cheek just 3 each. Slightly more security there.
Izack Thompson ($336.7k – CTW) gets a start on the wing, but with Taane Milne returning from suspension in round 2, he should be a wait and see for now.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: Many coaches are starting with Latrell this year, but he only had 52 when these sides met last year which coincidentally was what the Sharks allowed to fullbacks across the season. Instead, it was Cam Murray you wanted to be on with his 83 points.
THE DOLPHINS v SYDNEY ROOSTERS
Sunday, 2.00pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Brenko Lee 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Jarrod Wallace 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Tom Gilbert
Bench: 14. Herman Ese’ese 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Ray Stone 17. Kurt Donoghoe
Reserves: 18. Connelly Lemuelu 19. Poasa Faamausili 20. Mason Teague 21. Anthony Milford 22. Robert Jennings
JT’s Team Takeaways: Well in a huge move foreshadowed a couple of days ago, Anthony Milford has been officially relegated to the bench, with Isaiya Katoa ($216.1k – 5/8 / HFB) given a mammoth task at just 19 years of age in playing 5/8 for a new club in just his second game of first grade, against the Roosters of all teams. Wow! It can be difficult to read too much into it, but the fact Milf is all the way down in jersey 21 suggests there will be a very remote chance Katoa doesn’t play there on game day (why would anyone do that to a young kid anyway…). Not a must-start by any stretch given the Dolphins are expected to struggle and attacking stats will be difficult to come by, but dual-positioning and almost bottom-dollar ticks a couple of good boxes.
Ray Stone ($246.9k – 2RF / HOK) may play a very hard style of game, but it is yet to translate into SuperCoach points with averages of around 30 in his last two (injury-disrupted) seasons. Off the bench behind Tom Gilbert ($494.1k – FRF/2RF), it could be a very slow burn before he makes you much cash.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph Sua’ali’i 4. Corey Allan 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Brandon Smith 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Egan Butcher 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley
Bench: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Naufahu Whyte 17. Terrell May
Reserves: 18. Jake Turpin 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Sandon Smith 21. Siua Wong 22. Junior Pauga
JT’s Team Takeaways: With Joey Manu gone for at least one round with a facial injury, Corey Allan ($258.1k – CTW/FLB) steps up for his new club in the centres. Despite the pricetag and the Origin jersey in his wardrobe, he’s one to avoid for the time being. The Butcher brothers, Nat ($580k – 2RF) and Egan ($482.1k) currently sit in almost the exact same number of teams (5.4% and 5.3%, respectively), and will fill the void of Angus Crichton and Sitili Tupouniua in the second row, both of whom are out indefinitely. Nat Butcher averaged 68PPG when playing 80 minutes last season, so starts around 13PPG underpriced and is a proven performer. Egan on the other hand, starts out cheaper and priced almost 10 points lower than Nat with a breakeven of 46. With a very SuperCoach-friendly game as evidenced by his 1.15PPM through the middle last year, he has the most room to grow out of the pair. Both look likely to get 80 minutes with three props on the bench and Hutchison there as a ‘break in case of emergency’ utility.
Lakey’s Captains Chat: This is a very hard game to gauge right off the bat. We have no historical data from the Dolphins either for or against to form any baseline predictions from. So let’s look at what we do know first.
The Roosters are hard to score SuperCoach points against, ranking in the top half for lowest P2P in all but two positions. And those were the outside backs targeting their left side defence. Hammer is by far the most owned Dolphin, and he had 98 on the Chooks in 2021 from fullback, but only an injury affected 12 (in 57 minutes) last year plus a 46 while on the wing. But Sydney only allowed 45 PPG to fullbacks in 2022. Not much interest here until we know more.
For the Chooks, we’ve got two main candidates for captaincy as far as I see it: Teddy and Walker. Teddy is the “obvious” one, but we thought the same last year against Newcastle and he scored 32. Then again, he scored 162 against Manly in round 1 of 2021 so it could go either way. Walker had 24 in round 1 last year. It was a rough afternoon for the Chooks. But at least Sammy will have the kicking duties to bolster his score and I can’t imagine a similarly low score to start things off here.
WESTS TIGERS v GOLD COAST TITANS
Sunday, 4.05pm, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Brent Naden 4. Tommy Talau 5. Charlie Staines 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Api Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’I 12. Shawn Blore 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Bench: 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Twal 16. Fonua Pole 17. Asu Kepaoa
Reserves: 18. Alex Seyfarth, 19. Starford Toa, 20. Brandon Wakeham, 21. Justin Matamua, 22. Junior Tupou
JT’s Team Takeaways: There are no real surprises in this Tigers side, with John Bateman given a rest as expected and Shawn Blore ($234.8k – 2RF) given a starting second row berth in his absence. Try and not be lured in by the green tick and the pricetag – Blore will very likely revert to the bench in round 2 or 3 when Bateman comes back. Asu Kepaoa ($455.3k – CTW) is a classic Tim Sheens random centre on the bench move. Good to see him back. Hopefully no silly buggers with the starting Tommy Talau ($301.6k – CTW) who looks set to finally launch himself on the NRL and SuperCoach scene this year.
Api Koroisau ($666.2k – HOK) obviously has the ability to play 80 minutes, but the placing of Jake Simpkin ($342k – HOK) in the utility jersey would have me very worried as an owner after forking that money out. Given he’s at a new club and despite the captaincy, his role remains largely unclear at this point.
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Phillip Sami 5. JoJo Fifita 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Sam Verrills 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Isaac Liu
Bench: 14. Jayden Campbell 15. Erin Clark 16. Moeaki Fotuaika 17. Joe Stimson
Reserves: 18. Sam McIntyre, 19. Keano Kini, 20. Chris Randall, 21. Klese Haas, 22. Treymain Spry
JT’s Team Takeaways: The 4th most popular player in the game, Alofiana Khan-Pereira ($200.8k – CTW) gets a start on the wing as expected after lighting it up with four tries against the Dolphins a couple of weeks ago. The left-edge combination between him, Beau Fermor ($688.1k – 2RF) and new recruit Keiran Foran ($453.8k – 5/8) looked lethal in that game. Tanah Boyd ($384.6k – HFB/HOK) is in 28% of sides on the back of a cheap price and goalkicking duties, but will need Sam Verrills ($551.7k – HOK) to pivot the Titans attack down his side if he’s going to make many inroads. Of course that means David Fifita ($689.8k – 2RF) remains as risky a buy as ever given he also didn’t get much ball in that trial, but at least Holbrook hasn’t named him on the bench or something strange again…
Lakey’s Captains Chat: And a blockbuster to end round 1. In all seriousness, there is a renewed interest in this game thanks to the recruitment out West and this is their first test to see how all those pieces fit together.
The most owned players in this game, all at over 20% ownership, are Khan-Pereira, Utoikamanu and Tanah Boyd. None of which are captain plays.
Then there’s David Fifita and Adam Doueihi. Fifita comes with his own risks: his usage being the primary one. A devastating weapon on his day, he often gets relegated to decoy runner and bit part player. He still averaged 65.6 PPG for the year and scored 53 on the Tigers. As a huge plus, the Tigers left edge has super leaky last year. Right 2RF’s scored 71 PPG down that side, but will now be facing a brand new left side defence including Isaiah Papali’i. (FWIW: L2RF’s scored 56 PPG against the Eels last year, the side Ice played on predominantly while babysitting Mitch Moses).
Doueihi has just signed an extension with the club as he continues his comeback from ACL injury. Pre-injury, he was dominant and scored 141 on the Gold Coasters in 2021. He hasn’t played them since. And yes, he averaged 59 last year but excluding his few bench starts and a game in the centres, AD scored 72 PPG in the #6. The Titans allowed 54 PPG to right halves last year.
As for Papali’i, he scored 80 and 58 against the Titans in 2022, who allowed 52 PPG on that edge.
the hard part this year will be the cheapies that you dont buy 🙂
How sure are we that Too’ goes back to the left now?
Loving the new style! Slightly put off David Fifita and Boyd now
Thanks for the write up, appreciate it
Thanks boys! Great to be back in amongst it for another year.
I missed the memo on Valynce Te Whare.
Why has he not been named?
Awesome write btw.
He was never really a chance to be named. A rookie who has a few centres in front of him that needs to play a bit of reserve grade. Should find his way into the team later in the season
Great start to the year!
Great article guys! Can’t wait till it all kicks off – well this unlimited trade and stuffing about period is quite a luxury, but still it’s all hypothetical, so bring on the real stuff! 😉
It has been a long off season and it is so good to pore through the analysis by Lakey (Semi) and JT again. Welcome back guys, we have missed your wisdom.
Very slick double act boys. Excellent analysis (as always) and the new format is a ripper. Thank you!
The info mart
Undecided on last trade. Would you have Welch as your playable frf or Egan Butcher (not Currently in my 17) as a stepping stone to Fifita and in the hope he kills it? Other 2RF Murray.N.Butcher.Wilton.Hopgood.Preston. Have a few roosters but willing to trade 1 or 2 after round 3. Just hoping they fire and will make coin.
Hope this catches you before the game. Welch has something to prove being captain and Egan Butcher will want to cement his spot with Crichton and Tupouniua out for a while.
Tossing up between Cleary & Teddy for captain? Head is saying Cleary for the safe option but Heart is saying Teddy for potential for big scores. Which way you guys leaning?
Hope you didn’t go Cleary like some of us … well, me at least :/