Player Profile: Is Curran the man to fill 2RF gap?

Booming onto the scene with a stellar fortnight, is Warriors back-rower Josh Curran the man to fill out the decimated 2RF spot?

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While most positions have been decimated by injuries and suspensions late in the season, none have been more dramatically affected than the second-row.

A host of high profile players have become unavailable or unplayable for different reasons, leaving many SuperCoaches without three active options.

To name a few, there’s Angus Crichton, Corey Harawira-Naera, Ryan Matterson, Jason Taumalolo (extended bench), Tevita Pangai Jnr/James Fisher Harris (both named on extended bench after periods out), Tohu Harris, Brandon Smith (rested Rd 23), Victor Radley and Tyson Frizell.

A few may return this week, while many won’t play again until the NRL finals.

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It’s left the position absolutely depleted, meaning many of us have to burn one of our final trades to get a full side on deck.

The player on top of everyone’s list that has come to the fore in recent weeks is Warriors back-rower Josh Curran.

Curran has been a sensation in recent weeks with back-to-back centuries, but mixed minutes and roles between the middle and edge this season have made his scoring hard to accurately assess.

I thought I’d take a dive into his stats to get a better gauge of what we can expect from him in the final rounds, hopefully helping the decision to trade in or not.

Leading into Round 22 Curran was owned by 16% of the top 100 ranked SuperCoaches overall, 17% of the top 1,000 and 17% of the top 10,000.

This would have jumped slightly which Adam Driussi’s stats article will reflect when available, but regardless he offers a point of difference to many SuperCoaches.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of all SuperCoach abbreviations.

THE NUMBERS SO FAR

Average: 71PPG

Minutes: 70MPG

Base: 48BPG

These are the three key stat categories to monitor thus far, but we can get a better idea of his output with a closer look.

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EXPECTATIONS

The above numbers are slightly misleading as he’s played five of his 11 games this season either in the middle of the field or off the bench (twice).

This obviously alters his minutes and points per minute output.

The Warriors seem to have settled on Curran as an edge back-rower, with Bayley Sironen preferred at lock.

So I think it’s fairly safe to assume he plays an 80 minute edge role for the remaining three games, hence I’ll focus on those numbers for my analysis.

In his six games as an edge back-rower this season his numbers read:

Average: 84.2PPG

Minutes: 78MPG (4×80, 79 and 70)

Base: 53.2BPG

While obviously inflated by two big tons of 139 and 111 in his past two games, the numbers make for excellent reading.

Those two scores also show his excellent ceiling and ability to knock up attacking stats.

Making for better reading is that they were brought down by below par numbers against SuperCoach killers Melbourne where he scored 55 points in 70 minutes with just 39 in base.

Taking out that game you could tack a few extra points onto each key category listed above.

Even then, his worst score in the six games being 55 against Melbourne is pretty reassuring.

POWER STATS

One of the most key categories in SuperCoach is that off power stats, basically points scored in offloads and tacklebusts, so how does Curran stack up in that department in his six games on the edge this season?

Offloads: 8 ( 30 points, one ineffective) = 5PPG

Tacklebusts: 16 (32 points) = 5.3PPG

= 10.3PPG

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OPPOSITION

So how does he match up for the final three games of the season?

BRONCOS:

Concede the sixth most SuperCoach points of any club to back-rowers.

RAIDERS:

Concede the fourth most SuperCoach points of any club to back-rowers.

TITANS:

Concede the seventh most SuperCoach points of any club to back-rowers.

VERDICT

The numbers are extremely pleasing, Curran looks nearly impossible to fault and looks a great recruitment option at an affordable $570,200.

With his output of 53.2BPG you’d think that’s his floor and pretty close to the lowest score he’ll produce.

Add in his powers stats and that jumps to approximately 63.6PPG.

He has three very friendly match ups where there’s every chance he accrues some major attacking stats.

While that 84.2PPG average may be a little inflated due to two huge scores, there’s no reason why he can’t add additional tacklebusts, offloads and hopefully the odd try or try-assist on top of his base.

He’s very hard to knock, and will be a very appealing option for Round 1 next season if he maintains a big minute role.

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SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

3RA = Three round average

5RA = Five round average

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

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