Round 5 was more of the same from last week, with even more injury carnage for our SuperCoach teams. Plenty of injuries and reshuffles to look at, so let’s get stuck in.
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.
Pangai’s suspension and the return of Haas meant the minutes got a bit of a shake-up – however no one really expected Haas to come out and beast with 63 minutes in his first hit-out for the year! Seriously impressive and he looks like he will really clog things up more in the minute rotations. For those who might need cover for Fifita injuries this week, an early trade-in of Haas for the likes of Host, Mikaele, etc. seems like a perfect option as Haas can be played as a starter with Pangai out for one more week.
JoeO (41) continues to disappoint, while Lodge (61) appears to be the consistent minute prop. Gillett (36) suffered a first half HIA which he failed, resulting in bigger minutes for Fifita (56) who took over on the right edge.
Flegler (27) had a better game but his time will be up after this week; a downgrade to Haas next week will be perfect.
An early HIA failure by Jennings (21) saw MCK (59) come on at left centre and play out the game, which in turn ensured Garner (80) play the full game and burn owners who sold.
Twal (68) continues to just beast when on the park, but his minutes have continued to be inconsistent and aided by injury. Well done if you got on early but I couldn’t get him at his current price now since he doesn’t cover Round 12.
Mikaele (10) got limited minutes which may have been impacted due to the unplanned Jennings interchange. Eisenhuth (50) was solid in his bench role and this may in turn mean Mikaele’s time in first grade is limited.
Matto continues to churn through 80 minutes, although his workrate was down this week. Aloiai (44) isn’t relevant even though he started at lock this week.
A partial ACL injury to Ash Taylor (28) saw AJ Brimson (52) join Roberts (80) in the halves.
Arrow (47) is the frustrating one as he came off about 3 minutes early due to a cork, but even playing 50 minutes he is just not going to a top-shelf keeper. James (69) taking up more minutes in the middle may explain a few things there, as well as Carty and Proctor both holding down their edges for 80 minutes each.
Whitbread (37) was better than expected in his first game of the year, which obviously lead to Brennan giving him more game time. Wallace (44) continues to plod along but he may face 2-3 weeks on the sideline due to a shoulder charge. Arrow is the likely beneficiary you’d think, if Wallace is out!
Tamou (45) – did you fall for the trap? You were warned haha!
Kikau returned immediately to his 80 minute ways, and Yeo (68) went off with 12 minutes to go due to an AC joint injury (suspected fracture). This is the interesting part, because JFH (76) came back on to replace Yeo after his injury – he seemed like he was looking at 64 minutes (which is in line with my pre-game estimate of 60-65 minutes for JFH at lock with Kikau/Yeo playing 80 each). If Yeo is out, does he end up playing 80 like he did when Kikau was out? This is an unknown, as the Panthers do have a lot of edge backrowers (Fuimaono, Hetherington, Martin and Winterstein when fit).
Luai (8) got confusing minutes while Katoa (72) played the majority of the game at hooker. Sele (25) is making nice cash but his time will be up very soon if his minutes are going to be at these levels.
The injury toll for the Cowboys got worse, as Nene (76) suffered a horrific leg injury near the end of the game. Asiata (who started the game on the edge but still only played 41 minutes) was also injured at the same time, hyperextending his elbow. Given there wasn’t much time left in the game it was a bit of a mess, but I believe Gooper went to centre and Kahu to the wing (not 100% sure) to cover Nene, and Hess was playing right edge.
Granville (34) was replaced and Baptiste (46) was impressive and provided the team with better direction, service and control to play the lion’s share of the minutes. Keep an eye on this, could be interesting!
McGuire (68) continues to get good minutes in Lolo’s absence, although he was lucky to escape suspension for his alleged eye gouge!
It was disappointing to see Finucane’s minutes drop to just 46 this week, and the minutes were spread across BSmith (35), Welch (38) and Kamikamica (34). Both edges played 80 minutes again, which probably doesn’t help with the middle forward minutes. Not much else doing here.
Munster came off with a minute to go and was replaced by Papenhuyzen (1). Yep. Nice one Bellyache.
No in-game injuries this week so we saw Surgess (80) and Sutton (62) play more, Tatola (36) back to his usual minutes as well as a bit of a drop for Murray (58) too. His base dropped again which was partially due to the Warriors spreading the ball wider more often than just going through the middle.
Cook continues to get 80 and Lowe (49) gets the biggest minutes off the bench. Not much else to note this week.
Paasi (36) was looking like he was in line for more minutes again this week before a suspected MCL injury saw him leave the field.
Luke (32) didn’t see that many minutes which meant Tevaga (52) spent most of his time at hooker instead of in the middle as usual. This again opened up bigger minutes for Burr (46) who is looking like the best forward cash cow so far this year.
Papali’i came off the bench again and only played 48 minutes this week, but most of it (if not all?) in the middle with Tohu and Blair locking down 80 minutes each on the edge.
Ah Mau (48) started again but saw less minutes this week.
This was an ugly game as the Sea Eagles really set out with a “game plan” – take out all the key Knights players. How else do you explain HIAs for Ponga (64), Pearce (68) and Fitzgibbon (63) as well as some heavy shots on Connor Watson (63).
Speaking of which, Watson replaced Ponga at fullback while Ponga was off for his HIA, then Ponga replaced Levi (54) with Watson moving to hooker, and later Lino (71) was brought off for Levi to move back to hooker and Watson played five eighth, but then Lino returned when Pearce was off the field for his HIA (which he failed). Not confusing at all, right?
Guerra (32) suffered a gruesome ankle injury which probably lead to increased minutes for Klemmer (67), DSaif (52), and also with Barnett playing the full 80 minutes on the right edge. Whew, that was a mission!
Fonua-Blake was having a great game but was sinbinned to only play 40 mins all up. Taupau (39) came into the game with a burner in the shoulder, and this may have contributed to the lower minutes. Not ideal, but if AFB is out for two weeks then Taupau’s minutes should go up.
Thompson (76) went off shortly before half time for HIA, but passed it during halftime to return for the start of the second half.
No HIA for Waddell this week and he played well for his 42 minutes.
Koroisau (39) and Fainu (41) are well and truly competing for that #9 jersey right now, given by the split in minutes lately. Not much else of interest here.
Fifita (48) was looking set for a solid 63 minutes in the middle before a hamstring scare sent him up the tunnel at the 65 minute mark. Not great for captainers!
Williams (49) and Bukuya (48) were the big winners given the absences of Gal and Woods, and the injury to Fifita. Prior (42) didn’t play as many minutes as expected.
Jayden Brailey played the full 80, while Blayke only got 4 – and didn’t make a single tackle or run! Capewell and Nikora continue to lock down 80 minutes each on the edges.
This was an interesting week with JWH and Friend still out. Taukeiaho played 52 minutes again and Tetevano only 39. Radley played 63 minutes at hooker before injury forced him from the field.
Interestingly, Mitch Aubusson had originally gone to play lock around the 32 minute mark, but shifted to the right edge once Crichton (76) left the field, only to shift to hooker to cover Radley at the 63 minute mark which saw Crichton go back on and take over on the right edge again. The question mark is was Angus hooked for bombing that try of his, or was he planned to play 60 minutes or so only? Who knows what Trent Robinson is doing!
Anyway not much else to note this week, it’ll be clearer once Friend is back and Radley can go back to lock.
An easy game for the Dragons for the most part, until Paul Vaughan (42) copped a cheap shot and had to go off for HIA. This may have resulted in some extra minutes for Lawrie (57).
Host (40) still played on the right edge with Frizell (57) spending time in the middle, as did Sims (71) who was replaced on the left edge by Leilua (22).
Lomax (9) got junk minutes but scored some junk as well as getting to kick goals while on the field over Lafai haha.
Ogden (44) stepped up as starting prop in Napa’s absence, which saw Elliott (36) get less minutes off the bench.
Tolman (50) got his second lowest minutes of the year, while Jackson (60) continues to play around that 57-60 minute mark at lock.
CHN and Martin both played 80 minutes on the edges.
JMK (66) and Lichaa (14) continue to share minutes at hooker. Not much of interest here outside of Martin and CHN!
Tapine (21) returned but came off the bench, playing limited minutes before injuring himself again! He’s out 10-12 weeks this time too! Such an unlucky player. This again saw extended minutes for Sutton (45) although not as many as last week.
The English Trio of Hodgson, Bateman and Whitehead continue to be the mainstays of the forward pack, locking down 80 minutes each.
Papalii (57) had a big game and capped it off with his try. Not much else to note.
Fergo (46) left the field early in the second half, which saw Niukore (80) playing at right centre and Takairangi (80) on the wing.
This opened up the right edge for David Gower (34), which meant he wasn’t playing middle minutes so Paulo (61), Terepo (54) and Alvaro (49) all benefited.
Lane (80) saw plenty of work in the first half which saw him gassed in the second half (as were the rest of the Eels).
In any case it will be very interesting to see what happens once Manu Ma’u is back the following week!