Spy Talk: Answering the big questions, Rd 16

The high-flying SC Spy in 298th place answers the burning questions plaguing NRL SuperCoaches ahead of Round 16.

Spy Talk

Hey Gang! 

After a full week off footy I’m freshened up, and much like a horse in early spring I’m ready for a big campaign when it matters most! 

This hopefully means getting the right balance of superstars, PODs and anti-PODs, and hopefully my secret weapon of going into the last couple of rounds with a couple of trades when everyone else has run out! Whether I make it that far with said trades though only time will tell.

So onto the big issues facing SuperCoaches this week…

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Please don’t forget that there are still eight full rounds of footy after Origin concludes.

That’s 10 full rounds at the time of writing. There is a lot of footy left and the way the year is rolling we are almost certainly going to have a week or multiple weeks where a bunch of our players fall victim to suspension, injury or the dreaded late season rest. 

This is equally as important for overall players and head-to-head players who will need to be at full strength for grand finals! Squads have the potential to get very thin…

Basically even one or two saved trades could be the difference between overall or head-to-head glory. 

So any trades you make between now and then should be absolute musts. That is bye coverage keepers, stud keepers from Origin/non bye round, or a genuine downgrade to free up cash to bolster the remainder of your squad. 

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Imagine having two trades heading into the last round when others don’t. Turbo gets hurt or rested and so does your other fullback (say Tedesco for example). 

You could then bring in Papenhuyzen and Ponga both of which could go 150+ any day of the week! 

Across two weeks you could score 250 from Lil Papi and 250 from KP. That’s 500 points and doesn’t even include captaincy, while others are stuck with a fullback auto-emergency!! 

Obviously that’s a hypothetical and may not happen, or it may happen across other positions, but it just outlines how valuable trades could be and doesn’t it make a 40-50 score from a bye coverage guy who then becomes redundant look mediocre. 

Something to consider anyway! I’ll also add that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use trades now, just make sure it’s absolutely worth it..

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Nathan Cleary – Hold or sell 

At the time of writing Nathan is yet to see his specialist, but there is optimism he will only be out for three weeks or so. 

If this is the case I strongly suggest holding because, like the above scenario, Cleary could go bananas any given week and if you sell then find you can’t get him back, a captaincy score of 200 is a lot of points you are missing in a single week. And this could happen multiple times. 

If you have the luxury of selling and then getting him back without hurting your trade count too much absolutely do it, but make sure you have the coin to do so. Alternatively if he is out 6+ weeks or the season then you can obviously sell. Big news coming on Wednesday!

Tevita Pangai Junior – Hold or sell

He could also be a nice hold if you have coverage in the forwards. But I don’t mind selling him if you don’t have the coverage or want to chase some extra points. It’ll be difficult to bring him back however, so if you sell just be prepared to be without for the rest of the season. Unless you are stacked with trades!


It really all revolves around trade balance v point scoring. 

Determine for yourself if you need to make those trades to generate enough points. I think I will only have seven or eight players for the second bye week (all of which are good players) so that can be a guide. 

Anyone with 10+ is in a very good spot! And the other big factor is who you still need to bring back in. Fifita, Grant, Turbo and Lil Papi all shape as must-haves while there are some fringe guys who could go huge, namely Val Holmes from round 20 onwards. 

When assessing trades consider who you absolutely need to still get in and that will help you with your trade count post Origin. 

Personally I will have six trades left once I bring back Papi (I already own Grant, Fifita and Turbo, plus the other guys I consider must-haves). 

This figure seems reasonable, but maybe 4-5 trades is okay once you have your team set. 

Anything lower you are flirting with danger, but may just pull it off if you have depth!! To be completely honest I don’t want to be any lower than six and I wonder if I need more? 

I will strongly consider my trades this week and next and may forego a bye number in order to save another trade… Decisions!!

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This Week’s Moves

This week, as discussed above, is still up in the air. 

Do I trade Cleary for Nikorima (two trades used to get him back!) or do I look elsewhere? Do I hold or sell Pangai Jnr?

Gutho will move to Garrick and Fifita will come in and that will only leave Hynes to straight swap for Papenhuyzen to set up my side. 

The case to sell Cleary is that I have saved trades previously and can conceivably bring him back without issue and bank points in the meantime, including an extra genuine bye number. 

It would also allow me to move Utoikamanu to Fifita and keep Barnett who looks perfect now he is back on an edge. I then need to ensure I can afford to get Cleary back when he returns. A few sums to do there.

Big decisions all round and I can foresee a late Wednesday night trying to land on something I’m content with!

Skipper will be Turbo, with an option to VC him if my auto-emergency looks okay.

Best of luck troops and see you next week!!

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This little additional blurb I have had to include following my weekly late night trade analysis. 

I had actually already sent across my finished article for posting but have since realised how incredibly difficult Round 18 will be. 

This makes holding guys like Cleary and TPJ even harder and has helped me decide to sell. 

Not only are you adding bye numbers, you are possibly getting extra numbers in Round 18 as well. 

Check your sides and consider who may not play. Namely Turbo, Tedesco, Hynes (Papi may well be back, although Hynes may play 5-8 if Munster rests), Angus Crichton, Fifita (plays Friday night), To’o, Luai and Gagai are all names who may not back up so check how many you may be looking at potentially for Round 18 and let that guide your trades. 

You are better off getting an extra number for the bye rather than waiting for round 18 teams and having to then trade to get a full team. 

It’s all a little bit speculative, but if you can envision needing an extra player or two come that round then you might as well trade TPJ and/or Cleary prior to the bye if trades allow and that way you get the new players bye points plus their Round 18 points. 

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Example TPJ-Fonua Blake equals 60 odd for the bye but also another 60 odd in Round 18, that is if he is the difference between you having 16 and 17 players! 

That’s 120 points approx! Another example for me personally is keeping Gutho and selling Hynes now. 

It’s risky given what Hynes has done but with Papi due back in round 18 if Hynes sits, Gutho may be a vital extra man AND he plays the Gold Coast! Potentially 100-150 points against a 0 for Hynes if they are your 17th man that week!

Team make up will determine what you need to do and you may have enough players, but if like me you have gone early on guys like Fifita and Grant plus are holding a lot of other Origin guys it’s worth a look to help with trades now.

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