Squad Breakdown: Round 18 team insights

We analyse all the key SuperCoach ins and outs following the release of Round 18 teams.

Squad Breakdown

The teams have dropped for Round 18, with plenty of key players returning and dropping out of squads for week two of head-to-head finals.

In what was a huge round of scoring across the board, the Cooma Stallions produced a solid score of 1,452, leading to a small drop to 14th in the overall rankings.

Here’s our breakdown of the Round 18 teams.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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TIGERS v RABBITOHS

Thursday, 7.50pm, Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joey Leilua 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal

Bench: 14. Matt Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Sam McIntyre

Reserves: 18. Chris Lawrence 19. Tommy Talau 20. Josh Reynolds 21. Russell Packer

Analysis: David Nofoaluma’s fourth ton of the season took his average to a staggering 81PPG.

To put it in perspective, Latrell Mitchell’s blistering 2019 season as strike centre and goal-kicker of the ruthless Roosters outfit saw him average 70PPG.

To think a winger in a side outside the top eight can produce those sort of numbers is quite incredible. 

However, at $671k and games against the Rabbitohs, Storm and Eels to finish the year I’d be looking to spend my money elsewhere. 

For the same reason I’d be steering clear of all Tigers players for the run home. 

Rabbitohs: 1. Corey Allan 2. Alex Johnston 3. Campbell Graham 4. Steven Marsters 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Liam Knight 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Jaydn Su’A 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Cam Murray

Bench: 14. Mark Nicholls 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Patrick Mago 17.  Keaon Koloamatangi

Reserves: 18. Jaxson Paulo 19. Ky Rodwell 20. Troy Dargan 21. Cory Denniss

Analysis: With games against the Tigers and Bulldogs in the next fortnight the Rabbitohs become very relevant. 

Do be aware though they face the Roosters in Round 20, the SuperCoach grand final week, and the Tri-colours may need a win to ensure a top four spot, although they do look fairly secure with a strong for-and-against.

Cody Walker highlighted his form in the past fortnight with 102 and 81 against the Eels and Storm.

He’s always been a capable of going on big runs of scores in SuperCoach, so at just 8% ownership among the top 1000 ranked teams heading into the previous round he’s a serious POD. By now you should hopefully be able to sit him in reserves for the Roosters clash anyway.

There is some risk in Walker, but perhaps not as bad as most imagine. His base of 25BPG isn’t fantastic, but he does only have two scores under 50 this year (31 and 41).

You could certainly make a case for Adam Reynolds with a 5RA of 77PPG, but I’m team Walker every day.

Damien Cook has bounced back into some form with a 3RA of 78PPG. With nice match ups against sides with battling forward packs he could be in for a big few weeks.

He’s already cracked two tons this season and is a very viable option and is owned by well below 50% of top ranked sides.

I held Cam Murray reluctantly last week (but didn’t play in my 17), and I’m hoping after an up and down year he can repay the tremendous amounts of faith in the next two weeks.

I love the match ups for him and am backing him to score well, however I certainly wouldn’t be buying as a current non-owner.

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BULLDOGS v SEA EAGLES

Friday, 6pm, ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 5. Jayden Okunbor 6. Jake Averillo 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Ofahiki Ogden 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Aiden Tolman 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Luke Thompson

Bench: 14. Brandon Wakeham 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Matt Doorey 17. Sauaso Sue

Reserves: 19. Dean Britt 20. Tuipulotu Katoa 21. Tim Lafai 22. Chris Smith

Analysis: Little to add here with Will Hopoate falling off the radar with back-to-back scores of 36 and 24.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner has a 5RA of just 53PPG (one injury impacted score of 17), proving he needs to cross the line to match the elite 2RFs.

Sea Eagles: 1. Tevita Funa 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Abbas Miski 6. Cade Cust 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 

Bench: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka

Reserves: 18. Haumole Olakau’atu 19. Luke Metcalf 20. Morgan Boyle 21. Ben Trbojevic

Analysis: Daly Cherry-Evans flourished with the goal-kicking duties for a monster score of 114 points, made up of four try-assists and four conversions. 

At just $508k, extremely low-ownership and upcoming games against the Bulldogs, Titans and Warriors he’s an exceptional POD for the run home.

For those looking to move on Josh Papalii, Addin Fonua-Blake is a reasonable option at just $463k. 

His respectable season average of 61PPG is slightly skewed due to injuries, suspensions and returning to the field in reduced game time.

In games where he’s played over 50 minutes he’s averaged 66PPG which is a more accurate indicator of his output.

With little depth in the middle, and full match fitness returning from injury, he could well jag some attacking stats in coming weeks and provide value in a difficult FRF position to assess this season.

Jake Trbojevic scored just 72 points with a try and linebreak last week, pass.

Keep an eye on the third Trbojevic brother Ben who has been named in the extended squad and could be a brutal auto-emergency if added to the gameday side.

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PANTHERS v EELS

Friday, 7.55pm, Panthers Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 9. Api Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo

Bench: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 17. Zane Tetevano

Reserves: 18. Mitch Kenny 19. Kurt Capewell 20. Matt Burton 21. Charlie Staines

Analysis: I’m not going to ramble on about Penrith too much because they’ve rightly been given plenty of attention over the past month.

Basically every backline player, along with Api Koroisau and Isaah Yeo (for those who sold), are viable options for the run home with games against the Eels (56 points conceded in two weeks), Cowboys and Bulldogs.

Josh Mansour and Brian To’o both crossed last week and are continuing to score well. Stephen Crichton failed to cross for just the second time since Round 5, and it highlighted his try-scoring reliance with just 22 points.

His lack of base is a major concern, but with the run ahead there’s no way I’d be selling. Although it’s a fair play to sit him in reserves if you have four other strong CTWs.

I wouldn’t be playing Jarome Luai in 17s this week if it can be avoided, but he’s certainly not a bad option if it’s essential. To play him or not in the final two weeks will be a brutal decision that could well decide many finals clashes.

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Jai Field 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown

Bench: 14. Ray Stone 15. Andrew Davey 16. Kane Evans 17. Oregon Kaufusi

Reserves: 18. Haze Dunster 19. Stefano Utoikamanu 20. Will Smith 21. Samuel Hughes

Analysis: It’s hard to invest in any Eels this week with a game against what will be a fired up Penrith outfit.

From next week though the Eels finish with games against the Broncos and Tigers, which brings a few players into consideration.

After managing back spasms in the three weeks prior where he didn’t play over 50 minutes, Junior Paulo played a promising 55 minutes for 61 points against the Warriors.

At just $447k he’d be a great option if we knew game time like that would continue, but it’s too big a risk for me. I can’t get the vision out of my head of Jai Arrow leaving the field early on numerous occasions last season with back spasms.

However, there is zero medical insight into this so don’t let that sway you if you like Paulo!

Mitch Moses is a Hail Mary play next week, but DCE looks a better option.

Ryan Matterson scored 74 on the weekend almost entirely in base aside from a handful of tackle busts. He remains a must-have for any lunatic that doesn’t own him.

After an extremely rare hot streak, Regan Campbell-Gillard has a 5RA of 51PPG.

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DRAGONS v RAIDERS

Saturday, 3pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Zac Lomax 5. Cody Ramsey 6. Corey Norman 7. Adam Clune 8. Kaide Ellis 9. Ben Hunt 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron McInnes

Bench: 14. Billy Brittain 15. Josh Kerr 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Jackson Ford

Reserves: 18. Eddie Blacker 19. Tyrell Fuimaono 20. Brayden Wiliame 21. Max Feagai

Analysis: As one of the very few Zac Lomax non-owners I’d death ridden him for the past three rounds against Queensland opposition. 

I escaped with the gun centre posting a 3RA of just 60PPG, phew…

With games against the Raiders, Knights and Storm to finish the year I’d think very hard about an anti-POD play with him.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have to hold it’s not a concern, but at 91% ownership in the top 100 and 1000 ranked teams I think it’s a huge opportunity to make up ground.

The Dragons seem to be sending plenty of attack down the left edge away from Lomax which is fairly perplexing considering he’s their strike weapon in the opposition red zone.

Cam McInnes scored 91 in the golden point lost to the Cowboys almost entirely in base, making 48 tackles and running 18 times (15 over 8m).

For anyone that owns Ben Hunt, Matt Dufty or Euan Aitken I’d be moving on this week.

Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Semi Valemei 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Jordan Rapana 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Tom Starling 10. Ryan Sutton 11. John Bateman 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Joe Tapine

Bench: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Hudson Young 17. Corey Harawira-Naera

Reserves: 18. Sam Williams 19. Matt Frawley 20. Matt Timoko 21. Sia Soliola

Analysis: Josh Papalii has been named to play with his injury not as bad as first thought. However, he’s only rated a 50-50 chance of playing and minutes could be a concern if he does take the field, so proceed with caution.

With 36 points in 31 minutes he was on track for a big score with expected game time likely, but an injury cruelled those hopes.

Owners can wait for more info during the week to decide on whether to hold or sell.

John Bateman rescued his score with a try, hopefully the attacking stats flow with games against the Dragons, Warriors and Sharks to finish the season.

He looks like a really good play for the run home. 

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TITANS v BRONCOS

Saturday, 5.30pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Beau Fermor 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Corey Thompson 6. Ash Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Mo Fotuaika 11. Sam Stone 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Tyrone Peachey

Bench: 14. Erin Clark 15. Jai Whitbread 16. Jai Arrow 17. Sam Lisone

Reserves: 18. Tanah Boyd 19. Treymain Spry 20. Darius Farmer 21. Nathan Peats

Analysis: The Titans face the Broncos, Sea Eagles and Knights over the next three weeks. AJ Brimson continues to score well, and while I’d be going someone like DCE over him, he remains a viable option. 

Mo Fotuaika has played 70, 64 and 64 minutes the past three weeks and is an option for the run home. He scored 83 on the weekend almost entirely in base with 38 tackles and 20 runs.

At $489k he’s a cheap option for any concerned Papalii owners. Jai Arrow played 69 minutes on return so that shouldn’t be a concern towards Mo’s minutes, although the move back to the front-row might be.

If you were doing so you’d want to see Arrow named at lock come kick off.

Beau Fermor is playing big minutes, including the entire 80 on the weekend. He’s scoring well, $334k and has a breakeven of -3, where in the world was this two months ago when we had trades to burn Beau!!!

At least he’s not an auto-emergency threat at the moment which is very reassuring, although his output will be impacted significantly at centre.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Richard Kennar 6. Sean O’Sullivan 7. Tom Dearden 8. Rhys Kennedy 9. Issac Luke 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Alex Glenn 13. Pat Carrigan

Bench: 14. Corey Paix 15. Ben Te’o 16. Xavier Coates 17. Joe Ofahengaue

Reserves: 18. Jesse Arthars 19. Ethan Bullemor 20. Brodie Croft 21. Pride Petterson-Robati

Analysis: David Fifita showed his reliance on attacking stats with just 41 points against the Panthers. With games against the Titans, Eels and Cowboys to finish the year I think they’ll come.

He warrants very serious consideration for the run home and was owned by just 12% of the top 100 ranked teams and 18% of the top 1000 leading into Round 17. The updated numbers will drop in Adam Driussi’s column in the next day or two.

Kotoni Staggs is one who catches the eye with a clearly improved Brisbane outfit against Penrith and the friendly draw ahead.

He’s affordable at $515k and with a 3RA of 74PPG should attract plenty of interest this week. His ownership is low and what he lacks in base stats he now makes up for in goal-kicking numbers.

Payne Haas returned from suspension with 89 points in 80 minutes.

He had 53 tackles, 19 runs and three tackle breaks, just get him back in already… The gap between him and the next best front-rower is ridiculous.

Pat Carrigan played a few less minutes last week, but with the current bench named I can’t see him not playing 80 with a hooker and winger named. Ditto Haas who becomes a huge captaincy option for those winning their finals clashes comfortably.

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ROOSTERS v KNIGHTS

Saturday, 7.35pm, SCG, Sydney

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Isaac Liu

Bench: 14. Nat Butcher 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Angus Crichton 17. Sonny Bill Williams

Reserves: 18. Poasa Faamausili 19. Mitchell Aubusson 20. Freddy Lussick 21. Ryan Hall

Analysis: The run home for the Roosters is a little tough to assess against the Knights, Sharks and Rabbitohs. All three are top eight sides who can be great or rubbish on their day.

Regardless, the Roosters are getting plenty of troops back and in typical Trent Robinson style will be about to peak for finals, giving them plenty of interest in SuperCoach.

James Tedesco bounced back from a lean spell like only he can, with 176 and 132 points, freak. He’ll rightly be a popular captaincy option this week.

Brett Morris is comfortably as cheap as he’s been since Round 5. At 16% ownership in the top 100 and 11% in the top 1000 he’s a huge POD with the Roosters hitting form. 

He’s already cracked the century barrier four times this season.

At a slightly more affordable $538k I think Daniel Tupou is a tremendous alternative at very low ownership. He has a season average of 65 points. 

The Roosters target him just about every time they’re kicking in the opposition red zone, and if he gets an unobstructed run to the contest he’s near impossible to stop.

Luke Keary and Kyle Flanagan are just a notch or two below the likes of Munster and Cleary so it’s probably not worth the gamble with both capable of going low.

I was very surprised to see Siosiua Taukeiaho play just 49 minutes in the crunch clash against the Raiders. I’d be very concerned if I was an owner, particularly with a top four spot pretty well locked in and key forwards returning who need minutes before finals.

Angus Crichton played just 31 minutes on return from injury. In that time he scored 56 points with 21 tackles and nine runs. Keep an eye on his role this week for a potential POD for the final two rounds.

Obviously he’s not a pick up while on the bench.

You’d think Robbo would want to get big game time into him, but there is a stack of competition in the back-row. His bonus is that he can comfortably transition into a middle role which is big for his potential minutes.

Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Enari Tuala 4. Gehamat Shibasaki 5. Starford To’a 6. Mason Lino 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Kurt Mann 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Aidan Guerra 13. Herman Ese’ese

Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Josh King 17. Brodie Jones

Reserves: 18. Sione Mata’utia 19. Pasami Saulo 20. Tautau Moga 21. Chris Randall

Analysis: I’m not sure how many times I’ve written this in 2020 alone, but let Kalyn Ponga’s 158 be a lesson to anyone who sold for the future. He’s out this week in a huge blow for teams lacking depth.

With games against the Dragons and Titans in the final two weeks you should not be selling unless you’re in big trouble in your head-to-head finals clash and need another gun. Particularly with number one replacement option Ryan Papenhuyzen also out.

If you can cover him for one week with a genuine gun, I’d hold.

With many teams having just two trades to play with you’re effectively sacrificing him for the final two rounds.

Mitch Barnett has also been given a rest in bad news for those who brought in recently.

With a few key names out and a rampant Roosters outfit named, I’ll consider sitting Kurt Mann this week. He’s not much of a concern, but if there’s a week for him to go low than this is it. Although the following numbers have me reconsidering.

He’s averaging just under 50 in base over the past month which is mental for a guy available at centre that’s regularly still finding attacking stats.

David Klemmer has disappointing scores over the past fortnight of 59 and 58. However, the minutes of 62 and 68 in that time were extremely promising for owners.

He’s offloaded just once in that period, so hopefully that returns against the Roosters.

Klem’s minutes could very well reduce with NSW Origin prop Daniel Saifiti named to return on the bench.

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STORM v COWBOYS

Sunday, 4.05pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium

Storm: 1. Nicho Hynes 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Brenko Lee 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Tino Faasuamaleaui 

Bench: 14. Ryley Jacks 15. Darryn Schonig 16. Albert Vete 17. Isaac Lumelume

Reserves: 18. Tom Eisenhuth 19. Sandor Earl 20. Tui Kamikamika 21. Max King

Analysis: With games against the Cowboys, Tigers and Dragons to finish the year Cam Smith, Cam Munster could go large.

They are must-haves and need no further push, particularly with the huge news Ryan Papenhuyzen is out injured.

Munster’s output in attack will intensify, while the Papy’s injury is terrible news for any who is forced to trade Ponga.

Papy’s ton against the Rabbitohs was his fifth this year and all came from Round 7 onwards.

In 49 minutes of game time, Tino Faasuamaleaui scored 86 points with a try included. If he starts and plays big minutes for the Titans next year he could be absolutely anything…

Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Justin O’Neill 4. Esan Marsters 5. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Jake Clifford 8. Francis Molo 9. Reuben Cotter 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Mitchell Dunn 13. Josh McGuire

Bench: 14. Daejarn Asi 15. John Asiata 16. Tom Gilbert 17. Corey Jensen

Reserves: 18. Shane Wright 19. Jake Granville 20. Ben Hampton 21. Peter Hola

Analysis: Josh McGuire is playing big minutes in Jason Taumalolo’s absence, but he’s still pretty hard to have. 

With Melbourne and Penrith in the next fortnight Val Holmes should be off the radar despite a huge 93 points on return to fullback against the Dragons.

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SHARKS v WARRIORS

Sunday, 6.30pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Connor Tracey 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Briton Nikora 12. Siosifa Talakai 13. Toby Rudolf

Bench: 14. Teig Wilton 15. Jack Williams 16. Andrew Fifita 17. Royce Hunt

Reserves: 18. Scott Sorensen 19. Bryson Goodwin 20. Braydon Trindall 21. Billy Magoulias

Analysis: SJ returns in a huge relief for those who frustratingly held, hopefully he regains the goal-kicking duties with his troublesome groin or whatever it is he’s hurt this time…

Siosifa Talakai owners will be thrilled to see him named to start in the back-row with the carnage of today’s teams.

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. Adam Pompeye 3. Hayze Perham 4. Peta Hiku 5. George Jennings 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Karl Lawton 10. Isaiah Papali’i 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris 13. Jazz Tevaga

Bench: 14. Wayde Egan 15. Adam Blair 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Lachlan Burr

Reserves: 18. Josh Curran 20. Paul Turner 21. Tom Ale 22. Gerard Beale

Analysis: Despite a cruel sin-binning, Jazz (PPM) Tevaga still managed 58 points in 57 minutes. He remains a terrific buy with big upside for the run home. 

RTS is in sensational form with a 3RA of 97PPG.

I still have Ponga and Papy comfortably ahead of him in the fullback pecking order, but I can see why people would be tempted.

Back to 80 minutes, Tohu Harris scored 77 points with 21 runs and 40 tackles, big numbers! I’d still be going Jazz over him though if interested in either man.

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SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

3RA = Three round average

5RA = Five round average

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

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