Croker’s Call: Firepower added for daunting bye week

Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker reveals his NRL SuperCoach trades and tactics for Round 13.

Croker's Call

Well the difficult bye round has arrived, my first as a Supercoach player with last year’s Origin schedule reshuffled.

Hopefully the preparation and advice from across the community has my side well-placed to make a charge up the ranks.

I need it, the Stockmen hit 1,201 points last week to see a small rise into 13k overall. A big jump this week would be warmly welcomed.

Nicho Hynes, Daine Laurie, Charlie Staines and Connor Watson all hit the mark for me last week.

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Unfortunately the daunting prospect of looping Hynes’ score was a bit too much for me. Talk about stressful!

Having to wait for updates and trying to monitor all sorts of variables with dropping players and auto-emergencies became a bit much, so I kept things simple and went with Nathan Cleary as captain, it didn’t work out, lesson learned.

As it stands I will have 14 players on the field this week once I’ve made trades.

It would’ve been 15 till Blake Ferguson dropped out of the Eels side.

Here’s what I’m doing this week on the trade front.

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SAM WALKER to BEN HUNT

Sammy Walker has proven what a class act he is in a short space of time.

Injury saw him rested last week, and he may be managed throughout the year with his rookie frame, provided the Roosters are ticking along well.

In comes Ben Hunt who missed Origin selection and immediately came onto my radar.

Speaking of class, Ben has been among the game’s elite playmakers for many years and his attacking spark appears to translate well to Supercoach.

He shouldn’t be owned by many others so I’m hoping he does some damage as the newest recruit of the Stockmen.

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TYSON FRIZELL to BRANDON SMITH

It’s tough to part ways with Tyson Frizell who has been great with an average of 69 points this season.

Not many seemed to have him in their sides either which made it all the more enjoyable to own him.

Injury will unfortunately see him miss a run of games, so he makes way for Brandon Smith who is excelling with the quicker speed of the game.

With Melbourne’s ability to control the ruck, there dominance in the middle third of the field paves the way for the mobile forwards such as Smith and Harry Grant to carve up.

Playing in a relentless Melbourne side he should continue to do damage, and as a Kiwi he won’t be impacted by the Origin set up, so he should get big minutes throughout the period and into finals.

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CAPTAINS

Ben Hunt was my vice-captain last night and scored pretty good with 69 points.

I don’t think it’s enough this week despite having two attempts at getting it right.

My captain is a pretty obvious pick this week in Nicho Hynes who has been in terrific form since getting a regular shot in Melbourne’s starting team.

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Let’s hope he can continue on with his run of big scores and deliver in a tough week all round.

Good luck to everyone this week, and go the Blues!!!

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