Restings, injuries and suspensions are more of an issue these days than the flow-on effects of Origin, so let’s take a look at what’s been happening in each game so we don’t get caught up in fools’ gold in inflated minutes!
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.
No injuries for the Sharks this week but they were obviously missing key men in the suspended Andrew Fifita and the injured Wade Graham.
Dugan (80) returned to play fullback which meant Kurt Capewell (80) could move back to the left edge, with Nikora (80) manning the right edge as usual.
The big winner in the middle forward minutes lottery was Paul Gallen (61) who wound back the clock with a vintage Gallen-esque performance. Woods (43), Prior (41) and Uele (38) sharing the bigger middle forward minutes, with Williams (27) and Magoulias (29 on debut) getting the remainder.
Jayden (56) and Blayke (25) shared the minutes at hooker.
No injuries aside from Feldt (35) going off for a HIA, which he failed. The Cowboys already had Coen Hess (80) playing left centre; this reshuffle forced Shane Wright (80) to move to right centre and Opacic (80) to the wing. Taumalolo (75) saw more minutes but unfortunately only 29 of his game time was in the middle, with the remainder of his game time being parked on the right edge where his workrate is noticeably lower.
McGuire (58) and McLean (47) saw big middle forward minutes again with Scott (37), Bolton (28), Molo (24) and Jensen (16) taking up the remainder.
Granville played the full 80 at hooker with the new four forward bench configuration. This means Lolo may not be the lock-in captain some considered him to be for the remainder of the season…
No major injuries for the Knights however they were missing Fitzgibbon still which meant Barnett (80) and Mata’utia (80) played on the edges.
Klemmer (67) had his usual beastly game with Glasby (49), DSaif (45) and Gavet (35) getting the majority of the minutes in the middle aside from Klemmer.
Ese’ese (27) had an unhappy game in defence, as did Levi (31) who was hooked and Watson (53) performed brilliantly in his place, before Levi came back on late in the game, just a few minutes before Ponga (78) was sinbinned at the end of the game which was very rough, which ultimately meant Watson shifted to fullback for the last two minutes.
Buhrer (13) played junk minutes.
No major injuries for the Tigers in this game but multiple concussion concerns.
Chee-Kam (64) and Garner (79) were the starting edge backrowers in this game with Lawrence (17) only coming on to replace Chee-Kam when he went off for a HIA in the 64th minute, which he passed. When he was available to return to the field he replaced Garner, but within a minute he got caught in that ugly clash with Ponga, Hunt and also the ground, which meant Garner quickly came back on for Chee-Kam.
This was also the first week of Matterson (61) playing lock, and especially with a four-forward bench. Twal (50), Eisenhuth (42), Mikaele (34), Aloiai (33) and Clark (20) received the remainder of the middle forward minutes.
Concerning signs for Matto owners if this four forward bench / Matto to lock experiment continues, as Matto may not get the minutes required for him to be a must-start each week in the backrow.
No new injuries for the Rabbitohs but some confusing rotations. Turgess’s (40) return saw him immediately get more minutes off the bench, which immediately ate into Britt’s minutes (27).
Murray (63) got his highest minutes total since before Origin, and that’s a positive sign moving forward. It’s worth noting however that Surgess is due back though and that may change up the minutes again.
Tatola (50) also saw decent minutes in the middle with Knight also on the sidelines this week. Nicholls (30) and Turner (30) got lower minutes in the middle as well.
Sutton (38) played his lowest minutes aside from injury all year (unless he had an undisclosed injury, although he returned in the second half) with Su’A (42) seeing decent minutes on that left edge.
Cook and Lowe both played 80 minutes at hooker and on the right edge respectively.
Another frustrating week where Mary’s rotations make little sense and his usage of his bench is confusing as always. Dufty (3) getting just three minutes highlights how stupid Mary’s decision to play him off the bench is.
Kerr (18) barely saw any game time and even Korbin Sims (22) is also seeing lower and lower minutes. Even Lawrie (43) and Leilua (36) didn’t get much game time.
Graham (72) saw a sharp increase in minutes at lock, as did Vaughan (60) at prop, and if either were to keep similar minutes for the rest of the year they would be worth consideration (Graham as a 2RF downgrade option that will pump out 55+ scores for cheap and Vaughan as a legitimate FRF POD option).
Frizell played the full 80 minutes on the edge for only the second time this season, and Tariq (66) didn’t play out the game (not sure if there was a HIA involved, I just saw him come off and no reports of injury, etc.).
No major injuries this week however we did see Niukore (73) – who was playing on the left edge for the injured Shaun Lane – go off the field for a HIA which he passed and returned to start the second half.
In other fun things, Mahoney (63) came off the field and we got to see the return of Gutho (80) the hooker in attack, with the extra middle forward in Kaufusi (17) defending in the middle while Mahoney was off the field.
Nathan Brown (68) saw his highest minutes of the season and pumped out plenty of work while on the field. This saw a small reduction in Paulo’s minutes (46), as well as Evans (36), Moeroa (30) and Gower (26). Alvaro (41) got his first taste of first grade since Round 11 this year.
No major injury concerns although Tevaga (64) again appeared to need some assistance when he left the field, but he returned to finish the game in the second half.
Burr (47) did spend time off the field shortly after he came on off the bench for a HIA, which he passed. Lisone (11) barely saw the field and in fact only came on while Burr was off for his HIA.
We saw a sharp drop in Ah Mau’s minutes this week to 42, which meant Paasi (40) saw more game time as did Afoa (36).
Otherwise Luke (66) and Keighran (14) shared the minutes at hooker.
A few concussion concerns for the Titans with Sami (41) leaving the field at the start of the second half which saw Cartwright (39) come on and Peachey (50) shift to left centre, with Copley (68) playing on the left wing.
Copley also left the game late with a hamstring injury, which put Sam Stone (70) back onto the field and Carty to left centre and Peachey to left wing for the last 12 minutes.
Gordon (70) was sinbinned in this game as well to really muck around with the rotations.
Wallace (49), Whitbread (47), Stockwell (46) and Fotuaika (46) were the main middle forwards for the Titans with Latu (24) getting junk minutes.
There is minimal interest here but all eyes will be on Arrow’s minutes when he is expected to return in Round 21.
Two injury concerns with Alex Glenn (41) leaving the field for a precautionary groin complaint, which saw David Fifita (80) shift to left centre and a weird mix of Darius Boyd (80) defending next to Fifita and rotating with Palasia (26) in attack, before Palasia also went off with a knee complaint.
I believe McCullough (80) was even playing on the edge at the end of the game, with Seggy (25) also on the field but playing at hooker.
Pangai (45) obviously got sinbinned but also then hooked early in the second half – disaster for owners! Carrigan (60) was the big winner from the extra minutes due to Pangai’s benching, with Lodge (64) also getting some extra minutes when Palasia went off.
Haas (58) is a beast. JoeO (45) and Kennedy (26) played the remaining middle forward minutes.
The Storm had Jesse Bromwich (49) in discomfort as he struggled with a sternum injury, and he ended up leaving the field at the end of regulation time. Welch (11) didn’t last long before a head knock sent him off the field for HIA, which he failed.
Finucane (73), BSmith (55) and NAS (46) all played some extra minutes, while Stimson (21) replaced KBrom (78) late in the game too.
CSmith and Kaufusi played the full 90 minutes at hooker and the right edge respectively.
Otherwise Hughes (83) was dumped on his head (not quite) by JTurbo and that gave the Storm a free interchange, which they used to bring back Papenhuyzen (34) at fullback to finish out the game.
No injuries for the Sea Eagles which saw some simple interchanges. Fainu played the whole 90 minutes in a massive effort for the young rake, with Croker (0) warming the pine all game.
JTurbo (90) and Sironen (90) were also there for the whole game, while Thompson (73) was taken off for Waddell (17) late in the game.
Fonua-Blake (58) shared minutes with Boyle (32) while Taupau (57) shared his minutes with Paseka (33).
No major injuries this week for the Bulldogs, with some… confusing… rotations. But it is Dean Pay, so maybe they’re not that confusing after all.
Tolman (74) played massive minutes with Napa (45), Elliott (42) and Smith (38) the other middle forwards to get decent time. Fualalo (25) and To’omaga (16) barely saw the field in comparison.
Jackson and CHN played 80 minutes each on their respective edges. Lichaa (28) started but then JMK (52) played the lion’s share of minutes at hooker – maybe that isn’t that surprising either!
Calf injuries to both Cordner (57) and Taukeiaho (36) were cruel for the already-injury-plagued Roosters, and probably aided the likes of Verrills (80) and Radley (59) staying on the field longer than expected. Tupouniua (23) replaced Cordner with Angus (33) already playing in the middle at the time.
JWH (49) played his usual minutes with Liu (32) and Tetevano (31) filling out the remaining middle forward minutes. Aubusson held down 80 minutes on the edge this week.
Trent Robinson definitely has some interesting decisions to make with who he’s going to replace Cordner with on the left edge, and also missing both starting props as well.
No Kikau this week meant Yeo (80) and Martin (80) played the full game, and also long minutes for JFH (74) yet again too. It didn’t leave much game time for Tamou (45), RCG (42), Winterstein (25) and Leota (17) to share, especially not when Luai (37) is also getting thrown on in the middle in a “roving” type 3rd half role.
Kenny (33) and Egan (47) split minutes at hooker again, with Cleary showing that he is happy to play the ‘hot hand’ on a game by game basis between these two hookers.
Whare (70) was sinbinned in the first half.
No injuries for the Raiders which made their rotations a bit simpler. The Three Englishmen of Hodgson, Whitehead and Bateman all played the full 80 at hooker, the left edge and right edge backrow spots respectively.
Papalii (44), Lui (51), Soliola (36), Tapine (36) and Horsburgh (34) also shared the middle forward minutes fairly evenly, with Havili (22) and Guler (17) getting junk minutes.