Team announcement: Sam Williams

Boasting one of the smartest minds in the NRL, Raiders halfback Sam Williams reveals his SuperCoach side for Round 1.

Expert Analysis Pre Season

Canberra Raiders playmaker Sam Williams has one of the craftiest minds in the game, but can it translate to NRL SuperCoach?

To avoid any trouble, he’s had to steer clear of teammates at the Green Machine in his side.

Here’s his SuperCoach team ahead of Round 1.

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FULLBACK

Tom Trbojevic || $714,800 || FLB

One of the most damaging players in the competition and hard to keep out of the game.

His understanding of the game and when to inject himself is as good as anyone in the game.

There are very few games in which he doesn’t do something that rates highly within the supercoach game.

Ryan Papenhuyzen || $508,200 || FLB

Showed last year he is a real weapon for the Storm and with the go forward of his big men it is hard to keep someone with his speed out of the game. 12 months of experience will put him in a position to have a big 2020.

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CENTRE/WING

Blake Ferguson || $505,700 || CTW

One of the strongest runners of the ball in the competition, and with a personality like Fergo’s he won’t sit on the wing and wait for the game to come to him. This takes the speculation out of how many points he will receive each game as a result of runs. On top of that, he is up there with the top finishers in the game.

Jack Bird || $499,800 || CTW

A very talented player with a point to prove. Bird is a strong ball carrier and the team with more time under there new coach will only be better. An important factor is having a big pre-season for any player, but with a history of injuries Bird can hit the ground running on the back of time on the training field.

Braidon Burns || $454,400 || CTW

The addition of Latrell Mitchell might just give Burns some more freedom with teams now on the lookout for another big attacking threat. On the back of this, he will also have the experience of another off-season and strengthening his body.

Jesse Ramien || $422,000 || CTW

Back home at a club he obviously is comfortable at, he understands the players around him and how they play, which made for a successful first stint at the club. He is an athletic centre and has plenty of potential.

Tommy Talau || $208,200 || CTW

Let’s hope the promising young centre gets a start to provide some valuable coin.

Xavier Coates || $203,500 || CTW

Has the potential to start the season on the end of an exciting young backline. The experience of Boyd can also speed up his development and understanding of what it takes to be consistent in the NRL.

Greg Leleisiuao || $171,900 || CTW

Leleisiuao is a damaging runner and looks to be in the frame for a start at the Titans.

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5/8

Cam Munster || $644,400 || 5/8

Munster is one of the best at breaking a game open and his combination with Smith and Papenhuyzen will be crucial to the Storm’s season.

He’s now established himself as one of the real leaders within the team, and he’s still at an age where he can take his game to a new level.

Smith will still take pressure of his kicking game and can chime in with his left boot when needed. He’s also an extremely strong defender.

Jarome Luai || $257,400 || HFB-5/8

Luai is playing in a team full of talent and his speed and footwork on the back of this creates the room a young half needs. If playing off the bench he’s still capable of producing big numbers in a small time frame.

HALFBACK

Mitchell Moses || $579,300 || HFB

The recruiting of players around Moses will enhance his running game and speed that causes defensive headaches.

Confidence is a key and he looks to have plenty. He is still taking on the pressure of a younger spine and will want plenty of touches in the early rounds.

Billy Walters || $201,000 || HFB-HOK

Walters may even start at hooker for the Tigers following a strong pre-season. His availability at halfback is key to the selection.

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HOOKER

Api Koroisau || $338,800 || HOK

A strong runner and clever hooker. The ability of the Panthers to create speed around the ruck will allow his running game to flourish. Koroisau also has a good organiser in Cleary, which will allow him to back himself.

Blayke Brailey || $201,000 || HOK

There’s plenty of faith shown in him from coach John Morris, meaning he’s likely to get big minutes.

Teams will try and make him work big in defence if he is going to be out there for long periods. There’s more upside in his game going into 2020 and also plenty more responsibility from the eason prior.

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FRONT-ROW

James Fisher-Harris || $615,700 || FRF-2RF

Fisher-Harris had a monster year in 2019. He has a great work rate for a big man and is as strong as anyone in his carries. The creativity of Api will also help him in growing his game. I think he is growing into a real top line player.

Trent Merrin || $408,000 || 2RF

Merrin shouldn’t be underestimated on his return to the NRL. He had just the one year out of the NRL to tackle the UK Super League, so he’ll be in fine condition for his return. His late footwork at the line and crafty offload for a big bodied player makes him an enormous attacking threat anywhere on the park. Hopefully he gets big minutes at lock for the Dragons.

Zane Musgrove || $201,100 || FRF

Musgrove has had a strong pre-season and should get a decent run at the Tigers this season.

Stefano Utoikamanu || $171,900 || FRF

The young Eels forward has big wraps around him, let’s hope he gets a run off the bench.

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SECOND-ROW

Jason Taumalolo || $723,400 || 2RF

JT speaks for himself, brilliant footwork and takes plenty to get him down.

The new stadium will be a key with how the surface plays, but I can imagine it being fast and that will make him harder to contain.

He will also have Holmes hanging off his hip which could lead to one of the real strike weapons in the NRL.

Viliame Kikau || $543,200 || 2RF

Kikau looked good in the Perth Nines and another year of consistent NRL will benefit him.

He’s extremely hard to contain when given early ball which he gets plenty of from Cleary. Offloads and tries will offer big points.

Jaydn Su’A || $303,600 || 2RF

A key strike weapon at the Rabbits. A full pre-season with his new team will benefit him and allow the team to understand his strengths.

David Fifita || $501,900 || 2RF

An extra 12 months of development will benefit his young body. He’s a big body with footwork, I also feel Croft will offer him some good direction, allowing him to narrow his focus on his game which has plenty of potential.

Billy Magoulias || $221,700 || 2RF

The early rounds will show if Cronulla are going to play around with his skill or not. He could be an early season find if the Sharks choose to use him to link with his halves or not, which would see him getting plenty of key touches.

Tom Eisenhuth || $184,900 || 2RF-CTW

Hopefully Eisenhuth jags a spot on the Storm bench, otherwise he’ll be flicked on once teams are announced.

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