Short and sweet this week team, my real job is keeping me very busy.
Best of luck to all for the round ahead with SuperCoach finals well underway.
COWBOYS V BULLDOGS
Thurs 29 Aug, 1300SMILES Stadium
Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Jordan Kahu 4. Tom Opacic 5. Murray Taulagi 6. John Asiata 7. Michael Morgan 16. Scott Bolton 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Shane Wright 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Coen Hess 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola
Reserves: 19. Tom Gilbert 20. Corey Jensen 21. Enari Tuala 23. Jake Clifford
Jason Taumalolo was back to his barnstorming best last weekend with 103 points, including a try, in 60 minutes. He’s a definite start this weekend with the Bulldogs conceding over 70 PPG to locks over the past five rounds.
Bulldogs: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Will Hopoate 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14. Jack Cogger 15. Renouf Toomaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Chris Smith
Reserves: 19. Danny Fualalo 20. Morgan Harper 21. Fa’amanu Brown 22 Ofahiki Ogden
Just the one change for the in-form Bulldogs with Jayden Okunbor coming onto the wing for the suspended Reimis Smith.
What a turnaround this has been for the Bulldogs over the past month or so.
Will Hopoate cracked the ton on the weekend and now has a 5RA average of 70 PPG, he’s been a super POD to end the season. Josh Jackson is also impressing but at $530k, he’s likely too expensive for most to take a risk on.
WARRIORS V RABBITOHS
Fri 30 Aug, Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitu’a 3. Peta Hiku 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Blake Green 8. Agnatius Paasi 9. Issac Luke 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Adam Blair 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Jazz Tevaga
Interchange: 14. Lachlan Burr 15. Sam Lisone 16. Ligi Sao 17.Chanel Harris-Tavita
Reserves: 18. Bunty Afoa 20. Blake Ayshford 21. Adam Keighran 22. Adam Pompey
Kodi Nikorima returns with Chanel Harris-Tavita switching to the bench. Agnatius Paasi is also back as the starting prop with Lachlan Burr dropping to the bench. Blake Ayshford has been dropped to the reserves and Ligi Sao has been promoted to the bench.
Kenny Maumalo has had a very round time of it of late and it doesn’t get any easier this weekend against a side that has conceded just 40 PPG to left wingers over the past five rounds. However, they have played against the likes of Taulagi, Lomax, Mulitaro and Meaney with Addo-Carr and Oates the only proven first graders.
Jazz Tevaga played 69 minutes at lock for 79 points with 67 coming from pure base. At lock, he’s a start every week.
Rabbitohs: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Dane Gagai 5. Corey Allan 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Sam Burgess 9. Damien Cook 10. Liam Knight 11. John Sutton 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange: 14. Tevita Tatola 15. Kyle Turner 16. Ethan Lowe 17. Mark Nicholls
Reserves: 18. Tom Amone 19. Dean Britt 20. Bayley Sironen 21. Mawene Hiroti
Sam Burgess, Alex Johnston, Kyle Turner and Ethan Lowe have all been named to return. Burgess takes over at prop from Junior Tatola, who reverts to the bench. Johnston has been named on the wing, seeing Dane Gagai and Campbell Graham move into the centres and Corey Allan to the wing. Turner and Ethan Lowe will come from the bench. James Roberts is out suspended.
The Warriors have conceded over 66 PPG to locks over the past five weeks so Cameron Murray could be set for a bounce-back week after a very disappointing 46 points in 63 minutes last weekend.
Outside of Josh Hodgson’s 100 points in round 20, the Warriors have conceded just 20, 46, 30 and 23 over the past five rounds to hookers. However, there are no stars included in this lot and Damien Cook put 115 on the Warriors in round 5, so there’s also that.
BRONCOS V EELS
Fri 30 Aug, Suncorp Stadium
Broncos: 1. Anthony Milford 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Alex Glenn 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Darius Boyd 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Matt Gillett 13. Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange: 14. James Segeyaro 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Gehamat Shibasaki 17. Pat Carrigan
Reserves: 18. Rhys Kennedy 19. Izaia Perese 20. Herbie Farnworth 21. Fanitesi Niu
Whilst the Eels have conceded the least amount of points to left edge 2RF over the past five rounds, you’d be brave to sit David Fifita after his breakout performance last weekend. With Pangai now out for the rest of the season, watch for Fifita to become the alpha dog of this pack.
Anthony Milford proved once again last weekend why he is simply unstartable right now.
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Kane Evans 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Manu Ma’u 13. Marata Niukore
Interchange: 14. Peni Terepo 15. David Gower 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Brad Takairangi
Reserves: 18. Tepai Moeroa 19. Ray Stone 20. Stefano Utoikamanu 21. Josh Hoffman
Blake Ferguson has been named for his first game since round 17, seeing Brad Takairangi dropped back to the bench. Marata Niukore comes into the starting side for the suspended Nathan Brown, while Peni Terepo has been named on the bench at the expense of Tepai Moeroa.
Can Manu Ma’u be stoped? That’s now back-to-back tons from the Super League bound edge forward. The Broncos left edge defence has been reasonably good of late, but Ma’u is a machine.
KNIGHTS V TITANS
Sat 31 Aug, McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Bradman Best 3. Sione Mata’utia 4. Hymel Hunt 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Connor Watson 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Tim Glasby
Interchange: 14. Jacob Saifiti 15. Herman Ese’ese 16. Josh King 17. Aidan Guerra
Reserves: 18. Kurt Mann 19. Chris Gavet 20. Tautau Moga 21. Chris Randall
Connor Watson starts at hooker in place of injured Danny Levi who is out injured.
The Titans have conceded close to 90 PPG to fullbacks over the past five weeks, it’s Ponga time. The only thing standing in his way is the fact that he currently plays for a side that is almost as much of a mess on and off the field as the Titans.
Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kallum Watkins 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 6. Tyrone Peachey 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Sam Stone 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson 15. Jai Whitbread 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Will Matthews
Reserves: 18. Anthony Don 19. Jack Stockwell 20. Ashley Taylor 21. Tanah Boyd
Jarrod Wallace has returned at prop, with Jai Arrow moving back to lock. Nathan Peats shifts back to hooker after Mitch Rein was suspended, while Will Matthews comes onto the bench.
Jai Arrow is going to be so cheap next year.
SEA EAGLES V STORM
Sat 31 Aug, Lottoland
Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brendan Elliot 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu 15. Corey Waddell 16. Morgan Boyle 17. Taniela Paseka
Reserves: 18. Lachlan Croker 19. Tevita Funa 20. Brad Parker 21. Lloyd Perrett
Joel Thompson is out with a broken arm but the Sea Eagles welcome back Curtis Sironen.
Jake Trbojevic nearly continued his average of 70+ vs. top eight sides and he’s up against another one this weekend. Whilst he did score 81 points in 90 minutes against the Storm in round 19, he was on his way to another sub 50 point score last round before scoring a late try.
Tom Trbojevic had an uncharacteristically down week against the Raiders, but he will be fired up for a big game against the Storm. He scored 70 against them in round 19 without a try.
Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane
Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tino Faasuamaleaui 16. Max King 17. Tom Eisenhuth
Reserves: 18. Curtis Scott 19. Brodie Croft 20. Sandor Earl 21. Harry Grant
Will Chambers returns after missing last week, seeing Curtis Scott drop back to the reserves, while Brodie Croft was also named in the reserves with Jahrome Hughes retained in the halves and Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback. Tino Faasuamaleaui has been promoted to the bench in place of Tui Kamikamica.
If James Tedesco or Turbo gets a rest over the coming two weeks and you have a trade up your sleeve then you should definitely consider adding Papenhuyzen to your squad. He has scores of 87, 71, 108 and 123 from fullback this season.
With the Storm now locking down the minor premiership it will be important to keep tabs on the late mail over the next fortnight.
ROOSTERS V PANTHERS
Sat 31 Aug, Sydney Cricket Ground
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joey Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Mitch Aubusson 13. Victor Radley
Interchange: 14. Lindsay Collins 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho
Reserves: 18. Billy Smith 19. Sitili Tupouniua 20. Asu Kepaoa 21. Boyd Cordner
Latrell Mitchell returns after being a late out last round so Billy Smith drops to the reserves.
Teddy is unstoppable at the moment with a 5RA of 114 so I think it’s safe to say that we can ignore that fact that the Panthers have conceded just 40 PPG to fullbacks over the past five rounds.
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Stephen Crichton 3. Dean Whare 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. James Maloney 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Mitch Kenny 10. Moses Leota 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14. Jarome Luai 15. Spencer Leniu 16. William Burns 17. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Reserves: 18. Wayde Egan 19. Sione Katoa 20. Hame Sele 21. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
Moses Leota has been named to start at prop, James Fisher-Harris goes back to lock and Isaah Yeo is out of the side. Jarome Luai returns after an eye injury, while Billy Burns will make his NRL debut from the bench.
Viliame Kikau has been a massive disappointment for most of the season and with a challenging matchup against the Roosters, I will be sitting him this weekend.
The Roosters have conceded less than 35 PPG to right sided halves over the past five rounds making Nathan Cleary a potential sit for this round.
SHARKS V RAIDERS
Sun 1 Sep, PointsBet Stadium
Sharks: 1. Josh Dugan 2. Sione Katoa 3. Bronson Xerri 4. Josh Morris 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Kurt Capewell 15. Braden Hamlin-Uele 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Jayson Bukuya
Reserves: 18. Billy Magoulias 19. Blayke Brailey 20. Kyle Flanagan 21. Matt Moylan
Sosaia Feki is out with a groin injury and is replaced by Sione Katoa. On the bench, Jayson Bukuya comes in for Jack Williams.
Andrew Fifita was back to his best off the bench last round with 67 points in just 43 minutes. However, it remains tough to make a case for starting him in your side and the Raiders have conceded the fifth-fewest amount of points to prop forwards over the past five rounds.
This is a difficult match-up for the Sharks SuperCoach relevant players with the Raiders proving difficult to score against but it’s hard to leave the likes of Shaun Johnson and Bronson Xerri out of your 17 given the form that they are currently in.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Nick Cotric 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Sia Soliola 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton
Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Hudson Young
Reserves: 18. Sam Williams 19. Emre Guler 20. Michael Oldfield 21. Tom Starling
Joey Leilua is out through suspension and this sees Nick Cotric shift from wing to centre and Bailey Simonsson come into the starting side on the wing. Siliva Havili comes onto the bench.
Josh Papalii produced another big score on the weekend and seemingly can’t be stopped right now.
The Sharks have conceded the least amount of points to right edge second-row forwards over the past five rounds, but it’s John Bateman.
DRAGONS V TIGERS
Sun 1 Sep, Sydney Cricket Ground
Dragons: 1. Tristan Sailor 2. Zac Lomax 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Jonus Pearson 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Corey Norman 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jackson Ford 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Tyson Frizell
Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Korbin Sims 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Patrick Kaufusi
Reserves: 18. Mikaele Ravalawa 19. Josh Kerr 20. Jacob Host 21. Ben Hunt
Patrick Kaufusi back from a concussion protocol, seeing Jacob Host drop out. Ben Hunt has been named among the reserves after he missed last week’s game also through concussion.
No much doing for the Dragons right now despite the continued poor output from Paul Vaughan after a strong few weeks and the complete ruining of Jackson Ford’s 2020 cheapie prospects for us.
Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson 2. Robert Jennings 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Esan Marsters 5. David Nofoaluma 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Thomas Mikaele 9. Josh Reynolds 10. Oliver Clark 11. Luke Garner 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Ryan Matterson
Interchange: 14. Matthew Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Alex Twal 17. Michael Chee-Kam
Reserves: 18. Tommy Talau 19. Chris McQueen 20. Sam McIntyre
No changes for the Tigers, however, it will be interesting to see if Josh Reynolds reverts back to the bench before kick-off and Ryan Matterson to hooker.
The positional shift of Matterson to hooker for periods of the game didn’t impact him too much last round with 62 points in pure base from 66 game time. He did have a HIA, which unfortunately prevented him from going very big following a try in the first three minutes.