Weekly Wrap: Highs, lows and shocks, Rd 1

Check out our Round 1 NRL SuperCoach wrap, with James Tedesco reminding us why he's a must despite his high price tag.

Weekly Wrap

Hello and welcome to the first weekly wrap of NRL SuperCoach 2021.

Tim, or ‘the Overload’ as I like to call him (he insists we call him ‘The Runner Up’), has rightfully asked me back on board for another year of wrapping up each week’s SuperCoach matches. 

There is always a touch of trepidation when Round 1 rolls around. You have switched and changed your side so many times that you can’t remember who you ended up putting in your side!

The chopping and changing of each position and saving teams becomes pretty confusing at times and you somehow start telling yourself that Blake Lawrie is a good option.

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There were some big scores throughout round 1 with Tedesco, Papenhuyzen and Mitchell all going large.

Looking at the way the game is played and how they now award points, I’d say we are going to be in for a record-breaking scoring year. Players have the ability to go 150+, whilst a quiet game can still net you 60.

For ‘The Cooma Pumas’, we were able to have one of the most expensive sides to start the year.

Yep, I managed my cap so well I had $0 left over! A trait the Spy would be proud of.

Speaking of.. I have bought myself a bigger phone this year so I don’t have to scroll so much to see where the Spy has fallen in the rankings. 

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Storm v Rabbitohs

It was Papi v Latrell and Munster V Cody in our first matchup of 2021 and the points decision – pun intended – was nearly identical, with the Bunnies duo getting up 199 to 195.

It was a massive 124 from Papi to kick off proceedings. He looks an absolute must with the goal-kicking responsibilities in a Melbourne side that came out firing from minute 1.

They are fast, dangerous and have forgotten what losing is like. I can’t wait to see how they fair once Grant gets back.

For Souths, I haven’t seen a left edge that dangerous since I had to pull over on the Hume Highway.

Every attacking chance they had they went left which is huge for Walker owners, and not so for those with Mansour or even Campbell Graham for that matter.

Taking this into account, Alex Johnson might be a good option in the weeks to come if he keeps scoring tries.

Cook was back to his 2020 frustrating form. At his price he can’t be putting out performances like that for owners.

Give him a week or two, but the failure to run the ball looks worrying. As for Arrow, he got through a massive amount of work off the bench. I’d hold off jumping in buying him yet until we see some consistent minutes.

Minute watch:

Storm: Brandon Smith (70), Christian Welch (50), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (45).

Rabbitohs: Jacob Host (64), Jaydn Su’a (37), Cam Murray (74), Jai Arrow (45).

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Knights v Bulldogs

The wet in Newcastle didn’t seem to deter either side from scoring points with the Dogs looking like they’ve kept the tackling bags in the shed throughout the pre-season.

Popular cheapie Connor Watson was benched before kickoff, which probably led to a few taking the reserve off him – me included – but a solid 53 to start the year shows some promise. 

Mitch Barnett has been a somewhat Supercoach sleeper for the past few seasons.

He has a higher than usual average with a good base, but seems to have been held back by injury or suspension.

He was great on Friday, scoring a try and assuming the goal-kicking duties whilst Ponga is injured. Expect his ownership to skyrocket over the coming weeks.

For the Dogs, it was a bit of the same old from them. Flanagan looked good early, but their on line defence was non-existent. It might take a few weeks for them all to gel. Either that or Trent Barrett forgot he also has to coach the side’s defence. 

Minute watch:

Knights: Jayden Brailey (80). Daniel Saifiti (60), David Klemmer (74), Mitch Barnett (80), Connor Watson (53).

Note: Injuries inflated most of these significantly.

Bulldogs: Ofahiki Ogden (51), Jack Hetherington (57), Adam Elliott (80), Josh Jackson (74).

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Broncos v Eels

I might be coining a new phrase here when I say that was a game of two halves!

Brisbane were right in it but just seem like they have forgotten how to win games of football being unable to hold Parramatta out in the final 20. 

Brisbane’s cheapies in Riki and Niu were solid but didn’t exactly set the match alight, whilst another popular SuperCoach player in Lodge left the field with a leg injury and may be set for some time on the sidelines.

The hooking conundrum was made a little clearer I thought with Mahoney scoring a huge 134. He scored a try and set one up, but the 53 tackles and 0 missed are what excited me.

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It might be a year to pick a hooker who will score you 60 each week by making that in tackles!

I really liked the look of Paulo before the season started. Unfortunately I couldn’t fit him into my side, but he may finish the season as the highest scoring front-row forward. His score was inflated by a try on the weekend, but his offload and tackle breaking ability are where he scores his points. 

And Fergo with 92!! That’s about what he scored last year in five games. I don’t tend to pick players who don’t need to dress up for Halloween, but I may make an exception for Fergo if he keeps this form up!

Minute watch:

Broncos: Matt Lodge (18, injured), Jake Turpin (80), Tevita Pangai Jnr (38), Jordan Riki (80), Pat Carrigan (80).

Note: Injuries inflated minutes in the pack.

Eels: Junior Paulo (59), Ryan Matterson (80), Nathan Brown (56), Isaiah Papali’I (56).

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Warriors v Titans

There was a big watch here as to see how Titans big recruits David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui went up against the Warriors. The pair were solid without going to those great heights we all expected them to.

Fifita was reported to be carrying the sniffles, so I will let him off this week. He is up against Brisbane next week so I’m expecting 80+ from him. 

It wasn’t a game that the bean counters at SuperCoach scoring had to be on their toes for with only two players breaking 70.

My boy David Fusitu’a couldn’t repay myself and other owners that have stuck by him as he finished with a measly 20. Get involved David!!

Minute watch:

Warriors: Addin Fonua-Blake (56), Eliesa Katoa (62), Bayley Sironen (49), Tohu Harris (80), Jazz Tevaga (53), Ben Murdoch-Masila (32).

Titans: David Fifita (70, ill leading into game), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (64).

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Roosters v Sea Eagles

New rule. I don’t have to comment on Manly games when they get beaten by 40 or more ok? 

Right now, that little clause is in Teddy Teddy Teddy!! Scores this week can be grouped into three lots. Those who captained Teddy, those who owned Teddy but didn’t captain him, and those who don’t own Teddy.

For the latter, log out and start again. 162 to kick off his 2021 with a massive statement.

Forget the cost, he is a must and obvious captain choice week in week out. B Morris knocked out 124, but don’t be jumping the gun yet. The CTW area is far too hot and cold in my opinion. 

Crichton looks a must, but he may spend a week on the sidelines due to suspension.

I’ll be looking at getting him and his beautiful locks into my side in the coming weeks

For Manly, they may have been better off playing Rishabh Pant at hooker or Ravi Ashwin in the centres as they’ve had more success at the Sydney Cricket Ground of late.

Jake did Jake things to knock out 60, but with other 2RFs having a bit more attacking upside, he probably isn’t a viable option whilst his brother makes the rehab centre his own.

Minute watch:

Roosters: Lindsay Collins (63), Sio Siua Taukehiaho (43), Angus Crichton (80), Sitili Tupouniua (80).

Note: Jake Friend, Adam Keighran injuries would have impacted some minutes.

Sea Eagles: Marty Taupau (47), Jack Gosiewski (45), Jake Trbojevic (80), Andrew Davey (35).

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Panthers v Cowboys

Well the Panthers just picked up where they went off from last year with a big win over the Cowboys.

Nathan Cleary was back to his unicorn best scoring 103 points. I think he was awarded the TA for Brett Morris’ intercept in the game before. The big letdown was Staines which I think we all saw coming. Give him a few weeks though. It’s not like he can lose you too much money! 

To’o, Luai and Yeo were all enormous despite the lack of consonants in their name.

Let me tell you, Microsoft Word does not like me typing out those three names! You could have anyone of those three and be confident they will score well for you week in week out. 

We may have also seen the demise of the once great Jason Taumalolo. 51 minutes was the biggest concern out of the match and under new coach Todd Payten, the trend is worrying. If I was an owner is be giving him next week’s match against the Dragons and then reconsidering. 

Minute watch:

Panthers: James Fisher-Harris (61), Api Koroisau (48), Moses Leota (34), Viliame Kikau (43), Kurt Capewell (66), Isaah Yeo (69), Spencer Leniu (38), Liam Martin (51).

Cowboys: Reece Robson (56), Jason Taumalolo (51).

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Raiders v Tigers 

My pod play for 2021 was to bring in Jack Wighton at 5/8 which didn’t exactly pay off.

The return of Hodgson may have hindered his output, with Starling far more likely to give him early ball. 

Ryan James was huge off the bench scoring a try and amassing 69 points. Nice. He and the other bench forwards did however take some heat off Papalii which is the only worry there.

If James continues his form for the next couple of weeks we could see a huge prise rise.

The Tigers left edge duo of the Leilua brothers have some massive talent, but they lack the game awareness of the upper tiered footballers to put it kindly.

Luciano looks like he will score 60+ each week with his tackle busting and offloading ability, but is let down by often trying to push that pass that isn’t on. 

I thought Laurie was terrific at the back with the young fullback seemingly in everything with a solid score of 47.

He’s got a long way to go to become the Tigers’ favourite Laurie, but if he runs out in a singlet and starts shadowboxing who knows, he may even get himself a statue at Leichhardt before Round 10.

Minute watch:

Raiders: Josh Papalii (49), Josh Hodgson (80), Hudson Young (80), Joe Tapine (42), Ryan James (41).

Tigers: Joe Ofahengaue (43), Jacob Liddle (80), Alex Twal (59), Stefano Utoikamanu (33).

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Dragons v Sharks

The 6pm Sunday night match is a good time for these two sides to play.

Most SuperCoach teams for the weekend were wrapped up before this clash kicked off, with very little SuperCoach to keep an eye on. Matt Moylan was solid scoring 52, but neither side has too many players that warrant consideration in the coming weeks. 

Ben Hunt is available at both hooker and halfback and was solid setting the Dragons’ three tries up. He’s a cheap option if the Dragons can score some points each week. It was a wet game, so I wouldn’t be reading too much into my analysis.

Minute watch:

Dragons: Andrew McCullough (80), Josh Kerr (70, HIA), Tyrell Fuimaono (59), Poasa Faamausili (23).

Sharks: Braden Hamlin-Uele (46). Toby Rudolf (64), Billy Magoulias (11).

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