Croker’s Call: Stockmen raid Hunter for reinforcements

Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker reveals his NRL SuperCoach trades and tactics for Round 2.

Croker's Call

Well any ambitions of a fast start to my 2021 campaign were short-lived with a disappointing opening round of SuperCoach.

Croker’s Stockmen knocked out just 1,127 in what was a high scoring round across the park.

It leaves me reeling in 39,583rd overall, so there’s plenty of work to do early.

Fortunately the mighty Raiders got home following a big second half against the Tigers.

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We were slow out of the gates, but a far improved second half showed enough to suggest we’re on the right track for a crack at going one better than 2019.

As for my SuperCoach side, alarm bells are ringing early, especially following the concussion of Ryan Matterson last night.

Hopefully it’s not too serious for the Eels back-rower and he comes out of the knock okay.

Nathan Cleary and James Tedesco both went big for me, Kurt Capewell was solid at centre, while the majority of my squad just hung around that 40-50 point mark, not good enough.

One positive was that my bargain priced players all scored fairly well, so that’s something!

Let’s see what we can whip up in Round 2 to kickstart our season in the right direction.

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I was really excited about locking Api into my side in Round 1. Unfortunately it backfired with the Penrith hooker playing just 48 minutes in the comfortable win over the Cowboys.

While I’m sure big minutes will await him in tighter games, he has to go at the price.

In comes Jayden Brailey who went the distance on return from injury at the Knights.

He’s looked very sharp and is extremely cheap at hooker. This frees up plenty of cash and he should score well.

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The less sad about my Jacob Host gamble the better. The South Sydney recruit looked decent in a tough match up with Melbourne, but his scoring was limited.

He’s now been benched and therefore has to go. In comes an old teammate of mine in Taree boy Mitchy Barnett.

Lucky we didn’t give him the tee at the Raiders because I might’ve been out of a job if we realised how well the big fella hits them.

He looked really good in the season opener, and in what looks a pretty strong Knights side he should get plenty of opportunities to add the extra before Kalyn Ponga returns.


Like most, I’m on the fence with my captains for Round 2 due to the weather.

I think I’ll play it safe and go with James Tedesco who looks to have gone to another level in 2021, if that’s possible.

I’m toying with the idea of going safe with Barnett due to the wet weather, but I can’t afford Teddy to get 200 which would send me back even further.

My vice-captain will be Nathan Cleary, but with the torrential rain predicted in Sydney on Saturday I won’t be getting my hopes up for a monster score.

Good luck to everyone in Round 2, and as usual, if you have any feedback on my trades please let me know!

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