It’s been a rough slog the last few weeks but we’re finally at the rep round! It’s technically not the middle of the season as there are only 11 rounds after this week out of the 25, but it certainly feels like halfway with the break coming at the right time. It’s a good chance to take stock of where things lie, and where the depth chart seems to be sitting for potential Round 16 nuff out options.
Thanks as always go to the legend that is Matt Hawker and his website, www.nrlsupercoachstats.com. I borrow the screenshots from his Minutes section, which for this season you can find under the ‘2019’ tab (just under ‘Stats Table’ which is obviously the most used tab for myself). Make sure you consider donating to help him with the running costs, etc. as we SuperCoaches hammer his servers every week.
Unfortunately Cotric (68) hurt himself this week rather than getting an early shower, and he’s out for the next few weeks although the injury was revealed to be less severe as first thought (thankfully!). We saw Bateman (80) move to centre for the last 12 minutes of the game.
Sutton (47) went off after being caught in a crusher tackle courtesy of Andrew Fifita, but thankfully was okay after being checked and returned to play out a decent chunk of minutes.
Papalii (57) quickly returned to his bigger minutes this week and had another great game. Tapine (55) finally saw a higher share of minutes, but still not enough to see him as a valid option yet.
Soliola (37) replaced Cotric so his minutes were inflated at the end. Not much else of relevance as Whitehead continued to play 80, and Havili (65) shared minutes with Starling (15) at hooker.
Xerri (25) was obviously the big loss for the Sharks, leaving the field for a HIA which he failed. Dugan (80) replaced him at right centre with Graham (55) coming onto the left edge, and Capewell (80) out to the wing.
Fifita (49) had another quiet game which was somewhat surprising given the scoreline, with Gallen (51) and Williams (43) getting more than you would have expected. Uele (33) also performed admirably off the bench, which saw Prior (37) play less minutes as did Bukuya (27).
Blayke Brailey played the full 80 minutes which was impressive for such a young rookie. There are some question marks over how this Sharks’ pack will look later in the season, with Woods’ return imminent. It will depend on what Morris does with his hooker position though.
Peachey (13) left the field early on with a suspected pec injury, which saw Fotuaika (80) shift out to the unfamiliar left edge position early on.
A subsequent ankle injury to Jai Arrow (28) left the Titans bench short on troops, which explains massive minutes for Wallace (72) and – by his standards – Shannon Boyd (47).
We even saw Peats (49) and Rein (52) sharing the time at hooker and also defending at lock too. Stockwell (28) and Whitbread (31) didn’t get any particular bump in minutes.
Carty played 80 minutes on the right edge.
Lawton (35) started the game and shared the minutes with Luke (45) at hooker.
Tevaga (56) played in the middle only with two hookers already in the squad. Ah Mau (38) saw a drop in his minutes, possibly due to game script.
Tohu (68) left the field early with an ankle injury, that may have resulted in extra minutes for Blair (61) – who also got sinbinned in the final minute.
Papali’i played 80 minutes again, and he looms as a bit of a left-field POD for those who have the stomach to roll the dice on him.
The Cowboys lost McLean to injury last week and with Taumalolo having played multiple 80 minute games, it appeared intentional from Paul Green to restrict him to just 59 minutes this week with McGuire playing 80 (out of a total 85 minutes).
Green also had Asiata back on the bench this week and he trusted Asiata to play 47 minutes – more minutes than most of the bench forwards – which also dug into Lolo’s minutes.
Hess (49) injured his knee in this game which mean Wright (36) took over on the right edge.
Molo (36) and Bolton (37) took over the rest of the middle forward minutes, with Granville (66) and Baptiste (19) splitting the minutes at hooker as usual.
No injuries but multiple HIAs messed around with the rotations for the Tigers. Eisenhuth had left the field for a HIA which he passed, and played 72 minutes in an impressive performance. Twal only played 53 minutes as a result.
Chee-Kam (62) also went off for a HIA which occurred when he was hit high while trying to score (resulted in the penalty try).
Farah (67) shared minutes at hooker with Liddle (18) although it is becoming increasingly hard (impossible) to predict when Farah or Liddle will get more minutes from week to week.
Matto played the full 85 minutes but it is just so hard to predict the minutes for anybody else in the pack aside from Twal and Eisenhuth both likely to get anywhere from 50-70 minutes each.
Finucane (62) went off about 10 minutes before half time for HIA, with Papenhuyzen (22) replacing him and playing that roving playmaker role in the middle that he has been doing when not replacing someone due to injury. Finucane passed his HIA and retired to the field to start the second half.
Cam Smith (72) had an early shower which saw Brandon Smith (39) spend the last 8 minutes at hooker. Papenhuyzen took a shot at goal (which he missed) while Smith was off the field – kicking ahead of both Croft and Munster.
KBrom (58) was replaced on the left edge in the second half by Stimson (22) who was extremely productive while on the field, while Kaufusi held down 80 minutes on the right edge as usual.
JBrom (54), NAS (36), Welch (35) shared the rest of the middle forward minutes in their normal manner.
No injuries for the Knights either in this game aside from Saulo who only played 9 minutes before leaving the field for a HIA, with there not being enough time for him to pass the HIA and return to the field.
Both edge forwards played 80 minutes again with Barnett also in trouble for a crusher tackle which will see him miss the next few weeks.
In Klemmer’s absence, Glasby (53) again saw his highest minutes of the year while Ese’ese (42) also saw a bump. Gavet (37), DSaif (46) saw their usual minutes while Sione (36) and Buhrer (17) are irrelevant off the bench.
The Rabbitohs had already lost Sam and Tom Burgess and when George joined them on the sidelines with a stomach issue in the pre-game, their pack was looking fairly light on; that was even before Murray (41) played reduced minutes due to his struggles with a viral issue.
Tatola (45) and Knight (51) saw increased minutes, as did Nicholls (39) and also Dean Britt (52). Tom Amone played 24 minutes in his NRL debut.
Adam Doueihi (53) was effectively hooked in the second half with Sutton (80) moving into the halves, and Kennedy (15) playing on the edge.
Ethan Lowe played 80 minutes on the right edge in Surgess’s absence, and of course Cook played his usual 80 as well.
No injuries for the Panthers which makes some of their minute rotations even weirder than it looks.
Kikau and Martin played 80 minutes each, with Kikau holding down the left edge and Martin starting off at lock before shifting to the right edge after Winterstein (27) went off.
JFH (74) also playing long minutes as he started at prop and then shifted to lock after Winterstein went off. Tamou (56) played big minutes while RCG (39) and Leota (30) didn’t get that many minutes off the bench.
Kenny (32) started the game at hooker but Egan (52) soon took over, and they shared some minutes on the field at the same time with Kenny playing at lock for some of his time on ground.
Luai (10) was given junk minutes late in the game when they were chasing points.
The Eels only had the one injury issue with Josh Hoffman (57) suffering a bit of a scare after being accidentally kneed in the head by his teammate, but a quick trip to the hospital cleared him of any issues. Ma’u (80) shifted to right centre for the final 23 minutes with Stone (23) playing out the game on the right edge.
Brown (59) quickly assumed a semblance of his usual minutes at lock which had direct impact on the minutes of Niukore (28) and Terepo (30) and even Paulo (48).
Mahoney (73) was given an early shower which actually saw Niukore get a few extra minutes at the back, with Brown finishing the game at hooker. Gower (51) had another great game off the bench.
Lane played the full 80 minutes but you wouldn’t have known it, as he didn’t have much work to do.
The Broncos were in all sorts early on, with Fifita (55) leaving the field early on for a HIA (which he passed) and he was replaced by Su’A (32); Gillett (65) followed suit shortly after (with a broken nose to boot). This saw Carrigan (34) come on and Pangai (52) shift out to the right edge temporarily. This didn’t help the Broncos’ already flimsy defence and the Eels ran riot any time they got into the opposition 20m zone.
Haas (64), Lodge (61) both saw big minutes as expected, with Flegler (34) seeing a spike with Glenn not there to play his usual 80 minutes on the left edge.
Turpin (50) and Macca (30) shared the minutes at hooker.
Just the one injury for the Sea Eagles this week, with Koroisau (24) suffering a leg injury which saw Fainu (56) get bigger minutes and a potential for 80 minutes in coming weeks, depending on how bad the injury is.
DCE (70) and Jake Turbo (69) getting early showers, seeing Siro (80) move into the halves for the last 10 minutes, Boyle (11) to the right edge and some extra minutes for Paseka (31).
AFB (58), Taupau (59) played longer minutes this week with Gosiewski (22) not getting much game time.
McInnes was in la-la land after 22 minutes, an obvious pick to fail his HIA. Robson (58) replaced him at hooker and played out the game.
This ensured Host and Tariq would play 80 minutes on the edges, and bigger minutes for Korbin (49) and Frizell (55). Leilua (37) and Lawrie (37) both saw lower minutes despite Robson not taking his minutes as a middle forward this week.
Mary also threw on Field (13) late in the game just to try get some points, with not much happening for the Dragons.
Teddy was rested this week which saw Manu (80) move to fullback and Aubo (80) to right centre. We also saw a reshuffle of Butcher (69) to starting lock and Liu (56) to starting prop. Butcher had a huge game but the minutes just won’t be there long term and he’s too expensive now already – meaning you’ll be burning trades for sure.
Taukeiaho (54) saw less minutes this week with the game comfortably in hand but you can expect him to be back to usual next week with Cordner off playing Origin. Cordner (76) was given an early shower at the end of the game.
Radley (67) and Verrills (13) shared minutes at hooker again. The rest of the rotation isn’t that important given how many outs and reshuffled players the Roosters had this week.
Marshall-King (77) had one of his best games in first grade but went off just before fulltime with an injury.
DWZ (56) was also subbed off in the second half and I can’t find if it was due to injury or not. To be honest though, it would not surprise me at all if Dean Pay just decided to replace him for no reason, shifting CHN (80) to right centre with Martin (24) playing the game out on the edge.
Jackson (44) saw lower minutes with Napa (50), Tolman (58) and Sue (43) getting more minutes. The Bulldogs are a dumpster fire and you don’t want any of their forwards in your team.