NRL SuperCoach trials review – Part 2

2019 NRL SuperCoach runner-up Walson Carlos reflects on the key SC talking points from every trial game thus far.

Key Analysis NRL Pre Season

With the NRL pre-season in full swing, let’s take a look back on each trial played thus far to identify the major SuperCoach talking points to come from the clashes.

To check out Walson’s recap of the opening trials, check it out here.

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Raiders v Sea Eagles

It’s a shame to see the injury to Haumole Olakau’atu. Again he looked really dangerous on that right edge for Manly. Hopefully he can suit up for Manly in Round – 1.

Ethan Bullemor will be very highly owned if he can maintain that starting left 2RF position for the Sea Eagles – he seems to have the front running ahead of Karl Lawton.

Still no sight of Andrew Davey – he must be still in recovery from his ACL injury. Turbo will be as involved as ever and only the tough first two games and salary cap management would put you off outlaying the big bickies for the Supercoach GOAT.

For the Raiders, Joe Tapine priced under $500k is going to be very tempting for those Supercoaches chasing a FRF. He is such a dynamic player, his footwork and tackle break ability is rare for a FRF.

Corey Horsburgh is interesting also. It might be a wait and see with the Canberra Raiders forwards, although if I was to take a chance on one it would be Tapine.

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Tigers v Roosters

This game was affected by torrential rain and a lot of stars were missing for the Roosters.

Who gets the starts in the two centre positions for the Roosters and who kicks goals?

They are two very big and very Supercoach relevant questions – Adam Keighran and Paul Momirovski (who both are perhaps under injury clouds after trial) become live options if they secure a CTW position for the Roosters and get the goal-kicking.

I want to wait and see how the Sam Walker – Luke Keary combination works and shakes out Supercoach wise before committing to either of them.

For my Round-1 team if fit I’m leaning towards starting with Tedesco and Crichton and contemplating Daniel Tupou as a high priced POD in the CTW position.

Side note: In pure NRL Radley looks so good, but his game at this stage doesn’t translate to big SC scores.

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The Tigers looked better this week with Jackson Hastings, Oliver Gildart and Luciano Leilua providing some promising touch in attack.

Leilua had five tackle breaks and five offloads and he just looked good running off Hastings.

Kelma Tuilagi is currently 9% owned but if he has nailed that left edge 2RF spot for the Tigers than he will be in almost 40% of sides I predict.

Tuilagi has shown strong potential and as a starting 2RF is almost a must if he has job security until the initial price rises occur in Round-3 at least.

Just because of his price, Oliver Gildart must be considered for a CTW spot, but I don’t want to be riding with too many Tigers.

Will Hastings jag the goalkicking? Another positive for Hastings is he appeared to have a license from Maguire to play both sides of the field which means more touches and more Supercoach points.

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Panthers v Eels

The first half 33 minute stint from Ryan Matterson playing in the middle at lock was just about the main thing I saw this whole weekend.

13 runs, 13 tackles, 1 offload and 1 tackle break before Matterson went off with a lower leg injury.

The volume (particularly in attack) and quality of Matto’s output was outstanding and even though the move from the edge to the middle means probably a drop in minutes, he has such a Supercoach friendly game.

I’ll be awaiting injury updates and if he gets the all clear I’ll most likely start with Matterson.

I really like the Eels start to the season and for that reason I’m considering a lot of their players for my starting 25 SC players.

Gutherson must be considered as a FLB POD with so many Supercoaches going Papi and Teddy.

Sean Russell looked really sharp and will be in my squad for Rd-1 as long as he is named on TLT.

I’m also seriously considering Simonsson , Penisini, Makatoa (if he makes the team), Kaufusi, Mahoney, Lane, Papali’I, Paulo and RCG.

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Basically I have the whole team under review and am going to have a deep dive into who can provide me the best value starting the season.

I am very high on the Eels to have a dominant start to the season and put a few big scores on teams in dominant wins.

This will lead to some of their players scoring well and providing good value in Supercoach. 

Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses are both upside options in the HFB and 5/8 positions respectively.

The Panthers were missing some key players, most notably Nathan Cleary, Dylan Edwards, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo. Some pretty influential players there it’d be fair to say.

The news on Cleary’s fitness for Round-1 will shape many Supercoach teams.

I’m leaning towards maybe fading Cleary in the early rounds even if he is back.

I have some interest in whoever secures the left wing position whether that be Taylan May or Robert Jennings. If they go with Staines I’ll give him a miss.

Liam Martin is a player of significant interest if he is getting 80 minutes on the right edge.

Coach Ivan Cleary does tend to mix it up a bit with the rotation and minutes of his back-row and for that reason I’m wary.

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Dragons v Rabbitohs

Rabbitohs halfback Lachlan Ilias was solid in what he did and looks like the go-to cheapie to fill a HFB spot. His kicking game was impressive.

I wouldn’t imagine he’d be a top 17 player in most sides though, but he could earn some cash if he can keep his spot and will provide cover for late withdrawals.

As expected, the Rabbitohs side revolves around Cody Walker and he revels in that with his unique combination of speed, fitness and silky skills.

The Rabbitohs tough start to the season (Rd-2 v Storm, Rd-3 v Roosters, Rd-4 v Panthers) after they play a favourable match up in the Broncos first round will probably see me wait until later in the season to consider many of the Rabbitohs options.

The players I will be watching closely will be Cody Walker, Cameron Murray, Latrell Mitchell, Damien Cook and Keaon Koloamatangi.

Apart from Mitchell (who is suspended Rd-1) all of these players could score really well in the opener against the Broncos, particularly Walker and Cook, but then that draw which sees them matched up against the other three heavyweight teams from last year’s Top 4 puts me off getting them in to start the season.

I really believe all five of those players will be Supercoach options as the Rabbitohs draw opens up later in the season.

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Lachlan Ilias and Jai Arrow are very serious considerations for my Round-1 team.

Arrow’s role is hard to get a read on after he started on the edge in the trial, but he did a lot of work in the middle throughout his time on the field.

The reality is he looks a value proposition at his price so it’s a low risk play to start the season.

The Dragons are a side I was warming to before the Charity Shield, and still am.

I believe they are in for a good season and they have quite a few Supercoach relevant players.

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The Dragons draw to start the season is moderate with tough games and more open games.

If Jack Bird gets 80 minutes as an edge 2RF I think he will find his way into my side as he’s got a very SC friendly game.

There is competition at the Dragons though with Sims and Su’A. Tyrell Sloan is another I’m considering – he is awkwardly priced but he’s an excitement machine.

The Dragons FLB has a lot of flare and attacking ability that is great for Supercoach.

In real NRL the coaches will be working hard with him on his positioning as he got caught out a few times with kicks in the Charity Shield.

I think I can safely say that Talatau Amone will be in my side and I think he’ll be in a lot of sides. Dual positioning is handy also with him available at 5/8 and CTW.

Ben Hunt, Moses Suli and Cody Ramsey also warrant consideration for your Rd-1 SC team.

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Broncos v Cowboys

This game was severely affected by surface water on the grounds from the rain at Mackay.

Despite that, it’s pretty clear the Broncos badly need Adam Reynolds because their back up halves are very ordinary.

I’m not sure if I’ll take a risk on Jeremiah Nanai in the 2RF position to start the season. Nanai is a player of the future and has a lot of upside, but he was unsighted in the trials.

It gives me probably too much concern of what his minutes and role will be even if he starts in the 2RF for the Cowboys in Rd-1.

Jason Taumalolo is a former SC gun that seems a great value proposition if he is fit and the Cowboys are committed to getting him 60+ minutes a game.

Although it’s tough to trust Todd Payton after what he pulled last year, I can’t believe he would not be utilising Lolo to the best of his ability this year so I’m most likely going to start with him in my team.

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Reuben Cotter was very solid in the middle, but the question is will he get the minutes necessary?

Turpin looked really sluggish and is either unfit or he laboured with an injury, so Corey Paix could get the nine jersey by default and he is very cheaply priced.

Jordan Pereira is in my squad so far and I just need him to hold the wing spot for Round-1.

Payne Haas is the obvious SC player of choice. His workrate is next level and he is almost fixture proof.

You have to pay up for Haas though as he’s priced at just under $600k.

Even though he seems great value, I think I will keep my powder dry on Kotoni Staggs.

I can’t knock him as a value proposition, but with his injury history I am probably going to tread warily and see how he goes early in the season.

Flegler certainly peaks some interest also and comes into consideration for inclusion.

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Storm v Knights

This was a pretty good trial for both teams – the weather was good and I believe they both got a fair bit out of it, albeit some injury concerns.

The most notable from a SC point of view is the Xavier Coates HIA, so hopefully he recovers in time for Round-1.

From a Newcastle point of view, I thought Ponga had some good touches but not enough for me to seriously consider him.

There is nothing in what they’ve shown in the two trials that tell me they’ve worked out how to best use Ponga.

It’s concerning given Pearce was so often blamed for taking away from his game.

To be fair, Jake Clifford has had two really good trials and he was close to the Knights best against the Storm and scored an excellent try.

He’s priced as a mid-ranger but has the goal-kicking to add to it, so if you think the Knights will start well and score some points Clifford could be a real POD option.

The upside for the Knights is they play three day games straight up, so that is more conducive to point-scoring than night games.

For that reason and because he looks good I’m going to start the year with Kurt Mann.

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I think he’s a genuine value proposition and will earn money and score well Supercoach wise.

Harry Grant and Cam Munster are out Round-1 and are real considerations for the squad in my opinion.

It’s a long season and if I had to bet on it I would probably back Grant and Munster to finish top overall SC points for their position in season 2022 even though they are starting with a game handicap because of suspension.

Brandon Smith also becomes a more genuine option now that he’s available for Round 1.

We’ll have to wait and see on the health of Papi, but I’m sure he will be in many teams, nor will Jahrome Hughes who’s looking very sharp.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona is looking as damaging as ever and is creating opportunities, but it’s hard to bank on him due to his limited minutes.

The wing positions are also very interesting at the Storm. How will Coates go? Who will fill the role as the other winger? Jennings, Meaney or Ieremia?

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Sharks v Bulldogs

The score line probably made this game look more one-sided than it was.

The Bulldogs weren’t too bad, but they certainly have some work to do.

Similarly, I think it might’ve flattered the sharks a bit. The Sharks strike me as a middle six team. They won’t finish top five and I don’t think they’ll finish bottom five, so likely a 6th-11th place finish for the Sharkies awaits.

The Bulldogs are in for a tough season, but I do think they will jag some scalps along the way and improve on 2021.

Supercoach wise I think Hynes is a risky proposition because of his high price.

Although the Sharks pack is good, I’m not sure he’ll be afforded the same opportunities as he got in Melbourne.

Andrew Fifita and Royce Hunt could be decent cheapies if they jag a spot in the top 17 and get some decent minutes.

Briton Nikora’s pre-season has been very impressive and he is a 2RF mid-range POD should teams wish to roll the dice with him.

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For the Bulldogs, Max King is shaping as a bottom dollar cheapie in the FRF position.

Matt Burton is a risk much like Nicho Hynes, but probably even more so because of an inferior supporting cast.

Hynes and Burton will go well, I just can’t see them scoring at or above where they are valued at to start the season.

TPJ showed the goods with the tackle breaks and the offloads and then the bad with the sin-bin for being overly aggressive.

I think it’s fair to say the Bulldogs have a discipline problem and I’m not sure their new recruits will really help that.

In the last 11 games last year the Bulldogs won only two penalty counts….out of 11 games!

Luke Thompson looks set for a big year and may well be a top five FRF in Supercoach, so I couldn’t knock anyone playing him.

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Warriors v Titans

With the wild weather in south-east Queensland this trial got cancelled which has significant ramifications for both teams.

I think most teams like this last hit-out before the season to finalise the last few contentious spots and to build combinations and momentum.

Anyway, it wasn’t to be for two SC relevant sides. There is a bit of mail about that Viliami Vailea will pip Jesse Arthurs for the centre spot vacated by the departing Peta Hiku.

If this is the case, Vailea gives Supercoaches a low-risk cheapie that could earn some significant cash.

Aaron Pene is priced at a 33 average and I could see him getting decent minutes and averaging somewhere more like the high 40s. He’s a value proposition.

Rocco Berry (CTW) and Eliesa Katoa (2RF) seem to present similar value with definite upside, but I’d be wary of Nathan Brown’s bench makeup as Katoa may not yet be viewed as an 80 minute edge back-rower just yet and would more than likely play 60-65 minutes.

Shaun Johnson is Shaun Johnson. Barring injury he is very Supercoach relevant and I couldn’t knock him as a starter come Rd-1 in Supercoach, but he does come with the injury risk and now he is going into Round-1 without a trial under his belt.

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Euan Aitken is owned by over 20% of Supercoaches and it’s not hard to see why after the way he finished last season in the 2RF position.

The fact that he is available in CTW is also handy. Josh Curran is a Supercoach gun and I believe that will continue. AFB is consistent and will bring it every week.

For the Titans, David Fifita is the obvious gun that comes to mind. It will be hard for Supercoaches to go without him, however when the last image of him we have is him limping off the field in the All Stars game the pick doesn’t come without some injury risk.

Beau Fermor may have wrestled away the 2RF spot from Kevin Proctor who is tipped to be benched and play middle when he comes on.

Fermor can play and has serious attacking upside. He’s also dual positioned with availability in CTW and 2RF, I’m warming to him by the minute.

I can’t come into Sexton even though I believe he is a good young halfback. He’s priced at a 50 average and I feel like that’s about right. I think he’ll have his good weeks and have some quieter weeks.

Now’s the fun part Supercoaches, analysing all the TLT data and trusting your gut and putting out the best team you can for Round-1. Good luck Supercoaches!

4 Responses to “NRL SuperCoach trials review – Part 2”

  1. Ace Ventura

    Thanks for the write up!!

    Plenty Eels players have gotten me aroused.
    If papy is out round one I will be taking a serious look at gutho instead.
    Liked the look of matto and Ipap.
    I’ve locked reed in as my starting hooker.

    Think eels get off to an absolute flyer to start the season.

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