The NRL Perth Nines is set to launch the 2020 season in electric fashion.
Each club has sent vastly different squads to Western
Australia for the shortened format.
While we shouldn’t be reading too much at all into player
selections, there’s plenty we can keep an eye out for over the course of the
weekend in regards to SuperCoach relevance.
Players with lingering injuries will front up, a stack of
potential Round 1 cheapies will press their first-grade claims, while a host of
other SuperCoach potentials need only a strong tournament to ease our concerns.
Here are the five key SuperCoach factors to keep an eye out for over the weekend.
Sign up to SC Playbook for detailed pre-season analysis of every top 17 player from every club in the competition + over 200 additional articles once the season kicks off.
STAR’S RUNNING A MUCK
Perhaps the most integral SuperCoach insight we’ll get on
the weekend will be the fitness and agility of Shaun Johnson and Anthony Milford.
Fortunately both men have been named for their respective
sides, with both set to figure in a high number of SuperCoach sides in Round 1.
For Johnson, it’s his growing injury history that has
prospective owners cautious of rolling the dice on the enigmatic playmaker.
If he carves up his opposition – primarily through an abundance of fleet-flooted runs – expect his ownership to surge.
If he appears off the pace and hesitant to run, red flags will be waving for those previously interested in his services.
It doesn’t take a SuperCoach guru to acknowledge the
opportunity at hand for the plethora of potential cheapies at the Nines.
Realistically, the nature of Nines football is so vastly
different to the rigours of an NRL game that the weekend won’t have significant
impact on a coach’s decision on their rookies.
But that’s not to say the players themselves can’t enhance,
or more likely hurt their chances.
For the up-and-coming brigade, it’s more about seeing them
handle the defensive tests of taking on older, more mature opposition in a serious
If they achieve this, with the addition of some standout attacking
movements to boot, hopefully they can increase their chances of a Round 1 berth.
While basically every non-established NRL star fits this category, the main men to keep an eye out for include: Greg Leleisiuao, Cooper Johns, Edene Gebbie, Jason Saab, Tristan Sailor, Tommy Talau, Billy Magoulias, Stefan Utoikamanu and to a lesser degree Kurt Mann.