UPDATED: Team Announcement: SC Spy eyes fast start

Focused on a fast start to the NRL SuperCoach season, the SC Spy drops his initial team ahead of Round 1.

Pre-season Spy Talk

One day… One day and it’s on!!

It has to be the best time of the year. Perfect beach weather, horse racing, St Pats Day, and NRL! What a combo people.

Anyway, let’s get down to business with my fully updated team announcement with changes made from my initial squad last month shown below.

I’m happy to say I haven’t done anything too dramatic which was always my aim to trust my initial gut instinct.

Sign up to SC Playbook for hundreds of extra premium articles across the NRL pre-season and regular season, including access to our subscriber special question and answer podcast.

Embed from Getty Images

HOOKER

Connor Watson – (Previously Harry Grant)

With Harry injured, I’ve shifted Watson to hooker. At that price and with his projected role it’s a no brainer. Injury risk is there of course, so I’ve partnered him with Lachlan Lam as backup who could be really handy starting at the Chooks.

BENCH

Lachlan Lam – (Previously Jake Simpkin)

As above, Lam comes in to offset injury risk and Simpkin hasn’t even been named for Round 1. Maybe a downgrade as the year goes on if he can earn a start.

Embed from Getty Images

FRONT-ROW – No changes

Christian Welch

I like him as a really solid option at mid-range price who can then be upgraded to a gun when ready.

He’s under priced I think due to being eased back from injury in 2020, but his average once settled was significantly higher and he loves an offload. Check out my full player profile article on Welch here..

Matt Lodge

Pretty hard to pass up. The question is do I start him or bench him? I’ll likely start him to allow me to stack elsewhere, but I’ll have a backup plan in case his minutes underwhelm early and I’ll see how Brisbane’s side is for Round 1.

BENCH

Spencer Leniu

In for me. Hopefully he will make some slow cash.

Stefano Utoikamanu

As per the above.

Embed from Getty Images

SECOND-ROW

Angus Crichton

My first picked forward. An absolute gun and lock in skipper in the early weeks for mine.

Ryan Matterson

Another stud. I’m going to lock him in and leave him. My only concern is head knocks, but at that price if he was to be ruled out after copping one it’s an easy trade to another gun. The upside is there and consistently when playing 80 minutes is amongst the best.

David Fifita – (Previously Luca Moretti)

I’m finding it so difficult to leave Fifita out given he is one of the most talented young guys in the comp with huge upside. I just hope he sees enough clean ball.

Time will tell and if he isn’t getting enough of it I’ll move him on, but I love this guy! A huge upgrade while going a little cheaper at hooker and freeing up $100k in my centre below.

GET ONBOARD WITH TOPSPORT! Back your knowledge, and follow our NRL market previews throughout the season. Use the code SCPLAYBOOK when signing up. Check them out here ahead of season kick off.

BENCH

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui

At the moment I have Tino, but I’m not 100% sold yet. It’s a tricky decision. I think I’d prefer Fifita if having to decide between the two due to upside and the big question over Tino’s minutes, but I may not be quite able to afford to do this. I’ll see how this plays out over the next few weeks.

Jordan Riki

From what I’ve seen this kid is very good, and his starting spot makes him a lock for my team.

Shawn Blore

I know he is injured, but unless I can find another guy at a similar price I’m happy just to leave him and he can make money when he returns.

Embed from Getty Images

HALFBACK – No changes

Nathan Cleary

I’m just locking him in! He was the best halfback by a mile last year, and has the ability to score even higher in my opinion depending how he wants to play it and how much ball Luai sees.

That’s the question mark as Luai killed it last year, especially in the back half of the season, and Cleary would often set up the middle before hitting Luai wider who did the creating. Cleary will be fired up after Origin and the GF defeat!

BENCH

Sam Walker  

I’m running with him to free up cash so that I can afford all the other guns that I want. Hopefully N Cleary stays healthy, but if not I’ll deal with that when it comes. Happy to roll the dice here and maybe Walker plays sooner rather than later?

Embed from Getty Images

5/8

Jarome Luai

I’m doing it! I really want Cody Walker from Round 4, but I’m starting with Luai, let’s see if he can repay the faith. It’s not without risk given his slightly lower base, but his confidence is high which is seeing him run the ball more and I love Penrith’s first two weeks.

BENCH

Matt Moylan – (Connor Watson shifted to Hooker)

He’s a walking hamstring strain the poor bugger, but hopefully he stays healthy long enough to make $100k or more!

He won’t be in my 17, but if injuries hit he may be called upon. Not my favourite pick, but at that price the risk is lessened considerably.

Embed from Getty Images

CENTRE/WING

Brian Kelly

A star of the game and on the up.

He’s 3% ownership at the time of writing and his average of 56PPG was actually closer to 63PPG taking out injury affected games in 2020 and 65PPG over 80 minutes.

The Titans have a better side this year, so Kelly will be starting for me and I’m hoping for a flyer!

Kurt Capewell – (Previously Brian To’o)

Reluctantly I’ve had to drop To’o to keep Matterson. The decision to take Kelly over To’o is because I already have a bulk of Panthers and they play Melbourne in Round 3. That was the decider with Kelly playing against the Cowboys that week.

The good news is that in comes Kurt Capewell at $100k cheaper who is a starting back-rower available at CTW which means he isn’t as reliant on attacking stats, although he has those in him.

I expect he will likely play close to 80 minutes most weeks with Liam Martin doing some work in the middle and also spelling Kikau on the other edge.

I am happy to cop the odd 60 minute game, ala Isaiah Yeo last year. Could Capewell be this year’s Yeo? Time will tell once we confirm Penrith’s rotation.

Charlie Staines

Picked without hesitation. Let’s see if he can build on his 120 minutes of NRL that has so far produced six tries. He’s available cheap due to limited game time last season.

Daine Laurie

Named in the 1 jersey, you beauty! Locked in.

BENCH

Bailey Simonsson  

Provided he starts at the Raiders he is a must pick for cash generation and an option for your 17 if needed, though don’t expect miracles as Canberra don’t necessarily feed their wingers as much as other teams.

Tesi Niu (Previously a placeholder)

Hoping he can lock down a role and make some cash before being moved on.

Ben Trbojevic (Previously a placeholder)

With dual position he frees up cash and allows me some added flexibility. Maybe he gets a run at some stage, but otherwise he won’t be an auto-emergency nightmare.

Embed from Getty Images

FULLBACKS – No changes

James Tedesco

I’m locking him in and enjoying the Chooks games. I can’t wait 4-5 weeks and panic every time he touches it.

He also has a decent early draw and I expect him to be freshened up. An early 150+ would be absolutely gold to keep his price afloat and make it hard for non-owners to get him! The only question is do I skipper him from Round 1? I might wait two weeks…

Ryan Papenhuyzen

Given he’s confirmed as goal-kicker, I’m going Lil Papi for sure.

Good luck for the opening week or two everyone, and let me know if you think I’ve missed a trick at all with my side.

I have one more night of some minor tinkering if it’s needed before it’s go time.

3 Responses to “UPDATED: Team Announcement: SC Spy eyes fast start”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *