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

Foooooooooty!! That’s what on my mind right now. We are genuinely close and trials have already begun. How bloody good.

Below I’ve named my initial team. I’ve basically locked down a structure with a couple of possible moving parts and decisions that can be made, mainly at hooker and five-eighth.

As always, Round 1 team lists are vital, so I’ll keep this side until we get those and reshuffle as required pending cheapies named and bench make-ups. Hopefully I can all but lock this side in!

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HOOKER

Harry Grant

Hooker is well and truly up for grabs! The excitement of both watching Harry, and also the fact he is so young, means that if he can get an 80 minute role he could be absolutely anything.

I’ll really need some word out of Melbourne before Round 1 to try and get an idea of whether Brandon Smith will also play some 9, during matches.

If he is expected to then the fallback is Cook who is consistently an elite gun.

The different between the two is that we basically know Cook’s potential (which is excellent mind you), whereas we don’t actually know Grants yet, which is exciting given what he showed last year and during Origin as a 22-year-old!

I’ll add that I could go very brave and start Connor Watson here, but I think it carries too much risk if he was to get hurt as it would be tricky upgrading him. So I’ll likely avoid this after giving it some more thought.

BENCH

Jake Simpkin

Currently Jake Simpkin for cash generation assuming he get 30+ minutes off the bench. But pending team lists I could lock in Jacob Liddell or Connor Watson as my backup.

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FRONT-ROW

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 underpriced 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

My bench make-up for every position will entirely depend on teams named in Round 1, but he will do for now!

Stefano Utoikamanu

As per above.

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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 headknocks, 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.

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 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.

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BENCH

Jordan Riki

From what I’ve seen this kid is very good. Maybe he starts?

Either way, surely he sees decent minutes, though the pack is stacked at Brisbane. If a decent basement cheapie comes along and Riki is named on the bench I’ll grab them instead to free up $100k while we see how Riki plays out.

Shawn Blore  

A place holder for now, but again another young kid whose team probably need him playing decent minutes.

Luca Moretti

An absolute placeholder. I’ll confirm someone when teams are named.

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HALFBACK

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  

Again this depends on teams and other cheapies. I’ll reassess the week of Round 1. For the record I don’t mind Chanel Harris-Tavita at NZ. My full player profile on CHT is here….

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5/8

Jarome Luai

I’m also undecided here. Cam Munster is an obvious target, but I’d be tempted to start with Luai for reasons stated above, plus Penrith’s brilliant early season draw.

Munster’s high ownership scares me though, so I’m worried about the risk if I don’t pick him and he goes mad early. There’s a big decision to be made.

BENCH

Connor Watson

He will be in my side, but could end up at hooker. With Moylan, I’m worried about injury but I may just start him to cover risk as he has a good SC record when fit and healthy and he is also highly owned.

I’d love to pair Munster and Luai! But I’m not sure money will allow that early.

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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.

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

Brian To’o

Another player not yet 100% locked in, but likely to start for me to ensure I don’t start slow due to too many dud cheapie centre scores!

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

I’m praying he starts at fullback for the Tigers, if not I’ll reassess. Currently I don’t have Tesi Niu, so I could swap him 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.

Max Feagai  

I’m hoping again he starts for St George. He appears a strong ball carrier and would be there to make quick cash.

Placeholder

I’m not sure on the last spot yet. Ideally I want a $170k option but we will see if anything decent arrives come Round 1.

Tesi Nui is also a strong chance, though he does cost $60k more. I may opt for a non-player if needed, although I’d only do that for one position max.

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FULLBACKS

James Tedesco

I’m locking him in and enjoying the Chooks games. I can’t wait 4-5 weeks and panic everytime 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 appears to be kicking for Melbourne, and the obvious injury risk for Tommy Turbo and Manly’s tough draw, I’m going Lil Papi!

There it is troops, my initial train on squad.

The boys have been positive yet focussed and are training the house down, so I’m expecting big things from the Spy’s boys with Teddy and Cleary at the helm and a few young stars to kick us into a genuine premiership threat!

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