Croker’s Call: Tough times as Stockmen hit a wall

Canberra Raiders captain Jarrod Croker reveals his NRL SuperCoach trades and tactics for Round 15.

Croker's Call

The Stockmen have hit a flat spot after such a promising start to the season.

The times of being ranked around the top 1,000 seem a distant memory.

We had a stinker last week with just 891 points, no not the round where half the competition were on the bye, round 14, grim stuff. I’m now ranked 16,000th overall.

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Taane Milne 14, Ben Hunt 14, Jason Saab 26 and an auto-emergency of Shawn Blore, also 14, made things tough.

We’re a resilient outfit though, and the squad still looks good, but it’s time to start putting a few points on the board to make a charge back up the table.

I’ve also been alerted to the fact we have five trades next week in some sort of mega bye week, I’m already anxious at the thought of trying to sort out that many moves in a week.

Let’s take a look this week’s trades and captains.

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TRADES

DAINE LAURIE to ALEX JOHNSTON

What a recruit Laurie has proven to be since making the number one jumper at the Tigers his own.

He’s done a tremendous job for the Stockmen, but with tough games ahead I’ll be moving him on.

In comes Alex Johnston whose try-scoring ability is simply freakish, while it’s fair to say he’s in a decent position to cross the stripe with Cody Walker, Latrell Mitchell and Dane Gagai inside him calling the shots.

He jagged another double last night and got my week off to a positive start.

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CONNOR WATSON to JOSEPH SUAALII

Watson is another who has been great for my side this season for the majority of the time.

While he rarely had any ground-breaking scores, all in all he was pretty consistent and made some decent money.

Back to the bench, he moves on to Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii who might get a run this week with Sam Walker ruled out for the Roosters.

I don’t need him as a number this week anyway, but he’ll provide a strong option in Round 17 against the Bulldogs where he should score well.

It also frees up $250k to provide some flexibility for this mega trade week coming up…

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CAPTAINS

I was surprised to hear people were selling off Tom Trbojevic of late.

Five centuries in seven games for an average of 116, why?

I guess he missed a few games which is likely the reason.

Regardless, I’m a very happy owner of the Blues Origin one hero and will be captaining him this week against the Titans.

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My vice-captain will be Nicho Hynes who should kick plenty of goals in a near full-strength Melbourne side taking on the Tigers.

Add in the odd try and assist and with a bit of luck I can use the loophole ploy with him, although it’d need to be big with a fresh Trbojevic on Sunday.

Good luck to everyone in Round 15!

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