Croker’s Call: Stockmen rising through ranks

Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker reveals his trades and tactics ahead of Round 5.

Croker's Call

After a huge return to footy, Croker’s Stockmen were given a bit of a reality check in Round 4.

We managed just 1,064 points, but did move up a few spots to 35k overall which is a positive.

It was enough to secure me a head-to-head victory against a past champion in the SC Playbook league though.

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The left-field move to captain Api Koroisau didn’t pay off, but my fairly unique pick of Luke Keary from a fortnight ago was a good one.

New recruit’s Isaah Yeo and Jamil Hopoate both went well for their price, although the latter has been dropped by the Broncos which hurts me.

Onto Round 5, where we’ll look to bounce back with a strong week.

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BLAYKE BRAILEY – HARRY GRANT

On all reports this is an extremely popular move this week, and why wouldn’t it be?

Grant has been exceptional after securing his loan move from Melbourne to the Tigers.

He’s been under the tutelage of Cameron Smith for some time which will do wonders for his game.

He gets through a heap of work in and around the ruck and his running game will only develop as his confidence grows in the top grade.

Billy Walters is out of the team this week, so Grant appears to be on track to play 80 minutes with match fitness now up to scratch following the break.

He comes up against my boys this week, so if he wants to go low and hit his straps from Round 6 onwards it’s something Croker’s Stockmen are willing to cop.

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TOM FLEGLER – KURT CAPEWELL

Flegler has been good for my side since the opening round, but has been shuffled back to the bench with Matt Lodge returning to his starting role.

Kurt Capewell has immediately been given big minutes at his new club Penrith and there’s no reason why this should continue.

Capewell is an agile back-rower and can be awkward to put to ground as a result.

Recruiting him will strengthen my front-row with Pat Carrigan shifting up, and I’ll look to get him down to my centres where he’s surprisingly available in coming weeks.

The trades leave me with $116k to make a big move next week.

CAPTAIN

TOM TRBOJEVIC

I skippered Tommy T a few weeks back and he demolished the Bulldogs, so hopefully he can provide similar against Brisbane.

I do think Brisbane will bounce back and make a tighter contest of it after last week’s loss to the Roosters.

They’re a proud club and will be out to show they’ve got plenty of ticker despite having a stack of injuries.

The forward pack has been reshuffled fairly significantly though, so if Addin Fonua-Blake and Marty Taupau can win the middle which I think is likely, Tommy will thrive off the back of the go-forward.

Good luck to everyone this week!

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