The Rookie Commandments – Part 1: Trades

Sixth overall in 2021, our newest contributor Clementine Cassidy provides some golden insights for rookie SuperCoaches to follow this season.

Key Analysis NRL Pre Season

Hey guys and girls!

Welcome to The Rookie Commandments, a few little tips and tricks and ins and outs of SuperCoach, to hopefully help you up your game this season.

Now I’ve put this together mainly for beginners, but honesty time – did you, or did you not, run out of trades with three weeks to go last year?

If you answered “yes!” and then quietly whispered “but actually it was five weeks”, let’s have a little chat before ya’ll start making it rain trades this season like a rapper with unlimited dollar bills.

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Gather round friends while I tell you a sad story of longing and regret, accompanied by the sound of my tiny violin.

Since the beginning of time, SuperCoaches have been crying unfair when it comes to the pointy end of the season and they’ve got no trades left.

But this isn’t the local ‘everyone gets a participation medal’ Under 5s touch footy series, and learning to use your trades strategically is the difference between a successful season with bragging rights, and a season where you drop out of contention with four weeks to go, bravely announce to your team “next year is our year”, and watch your hard-earned ranking fall hundreds of places and the league you were leading be won by that guy with the shit backline you already beat twice.

It’s a cruel, cruel world, I know.

But wait! Oh, but what’s this? A little bit of joy to start our season!?

The cries of the SuperCoaches HAVE been heard! Our prayers HAVE been answered! This IS our year!

Because this year, we’ll all get a sweet 42 trades to make it through the season. That’s five more than last year because Uncle Sangsta Clause flicked us a few extras as a special COVID bonus…

What. A. Guy.


You still need to treat those trades like they’re your last carton of beers and the bottle store’s closed for the next 25 weeks.

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Now I’m no mathmagician (I’ll leave the stat crunching to Adam Driussi), but 42 divided by 2 = 21. So, if you’re firing off 2 trades every week, you’re basically going to be screwed with 3 weeks to go (4 weeks if you’re playing for Overall glory) – never mind the byes in round 13 and 17 when you’ll be wanting to use the 3 trades up your sleeve AND the brand-new boujee Trade Booster feature where you’ll be tempted to use an extra trade in 5 rounds of your choice.

Yes, your trades are there to make your team the very best it can be, but they’re also there to get you through Origin, injuries, concussions, COVID casualties, suspensions, races up the Corso…the list goes on…

So, my best advice to you is this. Try not to make any trades this season for that rash sideways move you’re about to do because:

  1. You have those sneaky 5 extra trade rounds that are just burning a hole in your pocket
  2. 2RF X scored 10 more points than your 2RF Z last week and Jo Blogs on a SuperCoach Facebook page said “jump off that ride and get on X” so you jumped off – straight onto the Blogs Bandwagon to nowhere
  3. You hate Z’s haircut anyway so what’s he even doing in your team, and
  4. Your winger who normally scores 60+ dared to score a 20

So that brings me to literally the most important thing:

Do not rage trade your perfectly healthy fit players if they go off script and have a bad week.

Rage trades equal no trades when you actually need them, and I guarantee your 50-point Lil Papi will get 150 points the week you trade him out.

Then you’ll be the one crying at the end of your season when you realise Des is going to give Tommy a nice rest before the finals and your Cleary and Grant are also getting a nice rest too, along with half your other players, and you’re going to cop an AE featuring that NPR rookie who’s suddenly about to get a 10-minute run on the park in the last 10 minutes of the game his teams losing anyway…

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Enjoy those 5 points… Lil Papi’s 50’s not looking so bad now, is it?

But seriously. Here’s a tip:

If you really can’t control your rage and you must trade that winger who normally scores 60+ points but only scored 20 points this week, just rage trade them out of your team when the week opens, teach them a good lesson for a few days, and then reverse that trade before they play…tada!

Now sit back and watch them pay you back with a sweet 80+ points to make up for disappointing you. Ahhh the wingercoaster…she’s a ride.

Anyway, this year, just try to hold that trigger happy trading finger my friend, and whisper quietly to yourself “do I really need to make a trade this week?”

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Here’s some definite “heck yes I need to trade” trade sitches:

  1. Your cow made a bunch of cash, he’s peaked, and you have enough bank to upgrade him to a bonafide gun. Do it, then go reward yourself with a nice cold one and a bucket of KFC. You basically ARE SuperCoach right now!
  2. You picked an absolute bludger of a player who’s leaking cash faster than a 40-year-old virgin in Vegas. Cut. Him. Off. Now. (Actually, bad analogy – poor blokes probably having the time of his life. Let him live…just not in your team).
  3. You picked Harris/ Doueihi/ or any other player carrying a significant injury into 2022, because you’ve been living under a rock and you didn’t realise they’re busted for half the season. Oops. Trade. Then make sure you read the team lists and injury lists. Every. Single. Week.
  4. Your guns on a downward spiral to nowhere, his form’s dropped drastically over the last three weeks, his breakeven’s so high he’d need a 420 to reach it, and there’s another decent player just waiting in the wings who you can trade him to (plus bank some cash while you’re at it). Hit that trade button friend. It’s perfectly okay to trade a gun.
  5. Your very best gun player copped a serious injury and he’s not some cheapie you can just ignore while you deal with the bigger problems in your team. He IS the biggest problem in your team. Eek okay. Two schools of thought and it really depends on your individual team, planning, and if you’re playing Overall or Head-to-Head:
  6. You can hold, as long as you have a decent player to swap him for and so long as this isn’t some 4 week + injury, OR
  7. You can trade him out to somebody else decent if he’s going to be sitting on the sidelines for a solid few weeks.

So on that note: Save a chunk of your trades for injuries

You can count on three things in life – death, taxes, and copping injuries to your SuperCoach team.

Injuries were the absolute pits in 2021, and as the season went on, they just got worse and worse. And teams without depth were quickly out of their depth as coaches who used up all their trades earlier in the season, sunk to even greater depths of despair.

So, in other words. Things got really deep.

Your team is going to need two things in 2022. Depth, and trades for injuries, particularly with COVID already making its unwelcome presence felt in the pre-season training camps.

You can’t start the season with a bench full of NPRs and hope that they’ll either play at some point or some other cheapie comes along that you can just trade them to.

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Let’s say you’ve got Cleary in your team and he gets a minor injury or a suspension for just a week or two. You don’t want to have to waste 2 trades getting in a player to fill his place while he’s out because you’ve got some NPR warming the bench at HB. Worse, the player you traded in might lose cash or you might get problems elsewhere in your team, meaning more trades and a whole lot of despair trying to get back in your million-dollar man Cleary, who you could’ve just benched if you had a bit of depth.

This is why it’s so important that you do your research and build your team around players who are actually starting this season; whilst also keeping one eye on any decent rookies who might step up and win a spot in the team later in the year due to injuries or form too.

Last year was a complete battlefield, and the SuperCoachers who did well, had enough depth in their team that they could simply swap an injured player who wasn’t out for too long to get them through – thus saving their precious trades for the end of the season when the shit really hit the fan.

Look at the stats & listen to the experts and make a trading plan

Now I’m no stat Queen, but one thing I did last year was learn to read the stats and plan my trades in advance accordingly.

You literally do not need to be a spreadsheet-creating, stat-crunching God to make this work. I made my plan on a bunch of little yellow post-it notes and the back of a Coles receipt.

Look at things like their draw, their byes, Origin, their averages, how they perform with the players they have around them, how much cash they’d likely cost depending on price rises or drops, what round they’d be best to bring in, who backup players could be…and adjust your plan for any injuries or suspensions that crop up too.

Hot tip also: Go subscribe to the SC Playbook Podcast right now, because there’s nothing like some actual expert opinion to help guide you through the season and the stat minefield… (#notsosubtleplug).

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Team lists are literally your best friend

Not looking at the team lists throughout the week is like trying to put an IKEA flatpack together without looking at the instructions.

You’ll end up with two sides missing, no support up the middle, and a whole bunch of screws loose.

Basically, just an absolute freaking disaster waiting to happen.

It sounds so obvious, but the amount of people I’ve seen on Facebook post potential teams using injured players or having to cop an AE because they ‘forgot’ to check the team lists, is literally mind boggling for a game that’s based on real-time plays and real-life players.

But seriously, at least look at the final team before they run on the field. You don’t want to cop an AE because your player injured himself during warmup or copped a positive on his COVID test, especially if it’s a player you just traded in…

…because another glorious update this year is the feature to change trades during a round after lockout!

And FINALLY – Learn to trade your duals properly

Okay, so up until around Round 6 last year, I literally had no idea how to use my duals properly (and neither did a certain person I know who’d been playing the game for years).

So basically, I was just straight trading duals to other players with the same positions and dual status, and wasn’t getting the advantagey reward of a dual – like swapping a hooker for a winger via that guy in the second row.

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Okay, so here’s what to do (and maybe everybody knows, but wowee it took me over a season to work it out, so just skip if it’s obvs to everyone else…).

New players take note:

There’s a CTW on a hot streak you NEED in your team. At the same time your high-price HOK sucks. You don’t really want to get rid of any of your CTW players and you don’t have enough cash to straight swap them anyway. Plus, you don’t really like the look of any of the other HOKs on offer either. You have a guy at CTW who’s a dual 2RF, and you also have the glorious Mr Smith with his dual HOK/2RF positioning.

Okay, so first up hit trade on your HOK. Then hit Trade Out. You can then hit the little ‘S’ by your HOK/2RF dual to swap him up to HOK. Now hit the little ‘S’ by your CTW/2RF to pop him up to Smith’s 2RF spot. And voila! Hit Trade In, select that hot CTW you had your eye on…and say bye bye to that bludger of a HOK…using just 1 trade.

And that ladies and gentleman, is a basic lesson in trading your duals.

(Seriously, I’m beginning to think this was literally something only me and Ry…ahem he that shall remain nameless…didn’t know about…*insert awkward whistling here).

Oooh he’s good…

So Sangsta Clause doesn’t do things in halves, and ANOTHER glorious gift for Supercoachers this season, is the exciting news that there’ll be three positional update rounds in Round 6, 12 & 18.

Players are assessed, and if they’ve been playing a different on-field position to the one they’ve already got, they’ll be upgraded to a dual.

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This gives us WAY more flexibility with trades and is probably my fave update of the whole thing.

Seriously, is 2022 God’s gift to SuperCoachers or what? Just delete the app right now, cos’ the season’s over and we’re all going to come first…

Okay, so now I’ve written about 1000 words too much, so for those who just skipped to the conclusion, I’ll quickly boil this whole essay down to 8 little words:

Don’t do yourself a mischief wasting your trades

Until next time when we look at how to choose a team with our heads and not our hearts…

Clementine x

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