Captain’s Challenge: Who to skipper in Round 12?

We run the rule over the best NRL SuperCoach captaincy options to select in Round 12.

Captain's Challenge

This week, the captaincy choice looks a fairly clear race in two.

While we’ll go through a few alternatives options as there will be some huge PODs as a result of the masses flocking to Nathan Cleary and Tom Trbojevic, there’s no point going too far past the highly owned pair.

After a blistering few weeks with our number one picks recording the round’s biggest scores, we missed the mark in Round 11 with James Tedesco as our number one option.

He scored 97, and yep, nowadays that’s deemed a misfire!

It was due to the enormous scores recorded by Cleary and Trbojevic.

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There’s a slight revamp to the format as ‘Safety First’ seems to be an outdated category.

Locking in forwards with big base would have fallen in this category in the past, and fullbacks/halves were more likely to drop under ‘Risk it to get the Biscuit’.

But under the new NRL style that’s become a far faster game resulting in mass points and huge SuperCoach scores, there’s hardly any risk in captaining outside backs with high ceilings.

Furthermore, captaining forwards is almost an extinct tactic outside of maybe a particularly crafty hooker such as Harry Grant on his day.

Chase those high ceilings people, it’s the only way to win SuperCoach! Plus, it can end a head-to-head match up in the blink of an eye.

Instead, we’ll drop our preferred picks into tiers, with a category set aside for risky/POD picks.

Let’s take a look at the Round 12 captaincy options.

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TIER ONE

NATHAN CLEARY

It’ll be extremely hard to go past Nathan Cleary this week, and anything I rattle off will largely be reiterating information you already know, but here it is anyway.

The Penrith playmaker has back-to-back scores of 225 and 190. He has six tons in 10 games with a low score of just 69.

He comes up against the Bulldogs who have quite comfortably conceded the most points in the NRL.

The Bulldogs concede the fifth most SuperCoach points in the NRL to halfbacks and five-eighths, second to fullbacks and first to every other position.

If as expected the Panthers put a minimum 40 odd on the Dogs, that’s minimum 20 or so points in goals alone he’ll accrue.

No more to add, hard to pass up.

TOM TRBOJEVIC

If you think Cleary is the obvious option, look at Tommy Turbo’s numbers.

He has five tons in six games this season for a season average of 129PPG.

That an average of 11 points more per game than Cleary, and he’s gone off early in three of those games!

The Knights have conceded the fifth most points in the NRL this season and concede the sixth most SuperCoach points to fullbacks.

However, they started the season relatively well before injuries struck, since the dip in form it’s far worse than the already grim numbers.

Valentine Holmes put 138 on the Knights last week, doing nearly all of his damage in the first half.

My only concern is that the Knights do field a fairly strong team this week (on paper at least), and Kalyn Ponga’s return is enormous for them.

I don’t expect a huge turnaround, but I do think they are capable of it in front of their home fans.

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TIER TWO

JAROME LUAI

It’d take some big knackers, but I really do think Luai is a decent play this week.

Realistically, the smarter play would be to VC Luai and C Trbojevic though.

There’s been plenty of occasions both this year and last that Penrith have sent almost all their attack through the left edge of Luai, culminating in the 5/8 surpassing his halfback on numerous occasions.

If that occurs this week he can go very big and beat Cleary once again, although you can’t exactly say his ceiling is as high as Cleary’s because it isn’t.

In recent weeks, it’s just been the Cleary show who has taken complete control of the attack in the opposition 20m and shown his willingness to take on the line himself.

It’s a huge POD move that could reap massive rewards.

I think he’s clearly the third/fourth best skipper pick this week alongside Nicho Hynes.

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DAVID FIFITA

Surprisingly David Fifita is still owned by 24% of the top 100 ranked teams and the ownership remains similar through to the top 1,000.

He returns from a two week suspension and will be fresh and fired up to return with a bang.

He’s already shown he can go large with two scores around 150 this season.

On any other week he’d be a terrific POD skipper for those who held, but with Turbo/Cleary boasting far higher ceilings plus their great match ups I wouldn’t go to Fifita, but thought he was worth mentioning anyway.

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CAPTAIN RISKY/POD SKIPPERS

NICHO HYNES

Feeling bold? The straight C on Nicho Hynes would be a huge play.

I think he goes 100+ against Brisbane, so his score isn’t risky as such, however the risk lies in avoiding Cleary/Turbo. I actually rate him above David Fifita.

Brisbane have conceded the third most point in the NRL this season, and have conceded the most SuperCoach points of any team to fullbacks.

Hynes is coming off scores of 138, 182 and 96 in his past three weeks.

While impressive last week with the aid of the sin-bin, I’m not convinced Brisbane back up their heroics against the Roosters.

I think Melbourne will run riot on the SuperCoach conducive Suncorp Stadium surface, and Hynes will again be in the thick of it.

AVOID

Honestly, I’d just avoid going anyone other than Cleary or Trbojevic as straight skipper this week, simple as that.

VERDICT

I can’t go past Nathan Cleary as my number one pick.

Looking elsewhere just seems to be getting too tricky with what appears to be such a straight forward move.

While he’s my pick as the best skipper, I think it’s a weekend where risk mitigation could be a smart move.

Giving Nathan Cleary the VC and looping if he goes 150+, then putting the C on Trbojevic for his day match up against the struggling Knights.

At this stage I’m on the fence with what I’ll do personally, but as I said, my number one pick is Cleary.

If you’re doing that, Nicho Hynes is the obvious VC option.

Good luck to everyone with the big decision in Round 12.

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