Squad Breakdown: Analysing the Round 8 teams

2020 NRL SuperCoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses every squad dropped on team list Tuesday.


It’s great to be back on deck writing the SuperCoach teams analysis after a chaotic month.

A big thanks to the great man Dezzy Creek who stepped in during my absence and nailed the article each week.

Two consecutive weeks of Monday footy is about as good as it gets, although it throws the SuperCoach content plan out the window with everything pushed back!

As such we’re a day late with the analysis this week, but we’ll be back to regular programming from next round.

It’s been a strong month for the Cooma Stallions with green arrows each week sending the boys up to 2,069th overall.

Sign up to SC Playbook for stacks of extra premium articles across the NRL season, including access to our contributor inclusive Whatsapp group where your SuperCoach dilemmas can be answered minutes before kick off!

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I’ve managed to save three trades this season which I’m thrilled about, while I pulled the trigger on my first trade boost last week.

All in all I couldn’t be happier with how the squad is placed at this early stage of the season, so hopefully the patience on the trade trigger and banking those cheapies will pay off come the business end of the SuperCoach season.

This week it’s imperative to do a two week trade plan due to the looming numbers of strong cheapies on the horizon.

Joseph Suaalii looks a great buy this week, then next round (or this week), we’ll hopefully have the likes of Isaiah Tass, Tolutau Koula, Te Maire Martin and Viliame Vailea enter calculations for non-owners.

We can’t have them all, and probably don’t need all, so look at your team and work out how your squad value is tracking and whether you think you’ll need one, two or perhaps none of them.

Many may be well placed to attack guns over cheapies, but it’ll be different for all.

We’ll discuss in depth on today’s SC Playbook podcast.

Let’s take a look at the round 8 SuperCoach teams analysis, squads courtesy of ESPN.

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Thursday, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington. 

Interchange: 14. Cory Paix 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia. 

Reserves: Reserves: 18. Brenko Lee 19. Jordan Pereira 20. TC Robati 21. Ezra Mam 22. Ethan Quai-Ward 23. Logan Bayliss-Brow 24. Ryan James

Analysis: At a tick over $200k, Te Maire Martin becomes a serious option next week as dual 5/8-FLB if he can post a 40-50+ score against Cronulla.

Job security is the issue, but he was all class on return and their fullback and five-eighth spots are up for grabs, so he’ll stay in the team if he delivers this week.

I wouldn’t be going early.

Kotoni Staggs continues to be rocks or diamonds, but in a game where he did next to nothing he knocked out 37 which I can live with.

Adam Reynolds went massive last week in a starring performance, but don’t go chasing last week’s points, there’s significantly better buys at halfback.

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Sharks: 1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aiden Tolman 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane. 

Interchange: 14. Jack Williams 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Royce Hunt 17. Andrew Fifita. 

Reserves: 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Wade Graham 20. Matt Ikuvalu 21. Mawene Hiroti 22. Lachlan Miller 23. Luke Metcalf 24. Franklin Pele

Analysis: Siosifa Talakai, sweet Jesus that was something wasn’t it.

I’m very grateful to be an owner for many reasons, the major one being that I don’t have to decide whether to fork out $700k for him this week.

After plenty of thought, I’d be jumping on if I didn’t own. Cronulla are firing and utilising him so effectively, there’s no reason I can see why he won’t be a keeper for the entire season, with bye coverage as a bonus.

With a -51 breakeven I do think it’s now or never. He’ll gain dual CTW-2RF status in Round 12, and with Izack Tago boasting the same it’ll be invaluable down the track.

For non-Nicho Hynes owners (sigh, me), I’ve had a plan in place for a few weeks to get him in next round for Blake Taaffe.

It’ll be a terrifying watch at Suncorp where he could easily hit his 116 breakeven.

Think ahead, and if you’re in the same boat as me you’ll need to have the funds to get him ahead of games against the Warriors, Raiders and Titans.

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Friday, 6pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Will Smith 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. 

Interchange: 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Sam Lisone 16. Herman Ese’ese 17. Kevin Proctor. 

Reserves: 18. Jamayne Isaako 19. Jarrod Wallace 20. Sam McIntyre 21. Esan Marsters 22. Paul Turner 23. Corey Thompson 24. Jayden Campbell

Analysis: AJ Brimson will be a close watch at fullback where he has averaged 74 points back in 2020.

It’d be a real flyer, but with dual FLB-5/8 positioning he could be a sneaky POD at a very cheap rate, with a game against the Panthers we can have a look for a week or two.

With a breakeven of 68, Beau Fermor has peaked and can be moved onto a genuine keeper or another cheapie. It can easily wait a week if needed though.

The less said about the decision to move David Fifita to centre the better, non-owners were handed a golden ticket with that decision…

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Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Taylan May 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Matt Eisenhuth 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo. 

Interchange: 14. Soni Luke 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon. 

Reserves: 18. Robert Jennings 19. Chris Smith 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Lindsay Smith 22. Mitch Kenny 23. Christian Crichton 24. Sean O’Sullivan

Analysis: Plenty are jumping off Izack Tago having peaked for now at $482k with a breakeven of 72, but with Penrith having early bye coverage it’s madness.

He may well be a keeper, but let’s leave him until Round 13 and move on after Round 13 if he isn’t.

I’m not bothering with Nathan Cleary analysis, but with a breakeven of 5 at $955k, move heaven and earth to get him in this week because he could put 200 on the Titans.

Viliame Kikau has always been a bit of a rocks and diamonds player, at least when comparing to genuine 2RF guns, but it’s interesting to see him play 80 minutes three weeks in a row.

It hasn’t exactly helped his scoring, but it does make him more appealing.

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Liam Martin has done a nice job for owners having made a notch under $100k, averaging 60 points, with a breakeven of 26.

He’s a hold for another week or two before being moved onto a gun as he’ll likely jag a spot on Freddy’s Origin team.

He’s been excellent but isn’t quite keeper material, which we never expected anyway.

You could make a case to buy most of this side…

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Friday, 7.55pm, Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Josh Mansour 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray. 

Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Hame Sele 16. Davvy Moale 17. Liam Knight. 

Reserves: 18. Trent Peoples 19. Jaxson Paulo 20. Richard Kennar 21. Dean Hawkins 22. Peter Mamouzelos 23. Josiah Karapani 24. Shaq Mitchell

Analysis: Isaiah Tass is bottom dollar and has earned a starting spot, however Taane Milne is only suspended for one week so I wouldn’t go early.

He’s every chance to keep his place should he deliver a strong performance, but he could just as easily play limited minutes off the bench next week.

He hasn’t been overly impressive, but boy Cody Walker is hard to pass up at a mouth-watering $463k.

With a breakeven of 31 and a potentially tough match up with Manly we can have another look, but I like him.

Moving teammate Lachlan Ilias to him will cost you just over $150k.

Cam Murray continues his mammoth form and remains a great buy every week, do be aware he may get a few rests over the Origin period though.

That being said, the fact South Sydney are struggling will help as he won’t want to miss much action, nor will the club be in a great position to sit him early.

He played 80 minutes in the middle last week for 61 tackles, animal.

Keaon Koloamatangi is a genuine POD option, but with potential Origin coverage I prefer more proven guns in Murray, Papali’i, Fifita or even Talakai prior to earning his dual status.

I’m a very happy Campbell Graham owner who has scored under 55 just once this season.

He based 43 last week, and has 37BPG for the season, amazing numbers.

There’s a chance Tass plays right edge, with Graham shifting to the Rabbitohs lethal left side which would be glorious viewing.

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Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Karl Lawton 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic. 

Interchange: 14. Dylan Walker 15. Ben Trbojevic 16. Kurt De Luis 17. Toafofoa Sipley. 

Reserves: 18. Morgan Harper 19. Jorge Taufua 20. James Roumanos 21. Viliami Fifita 22. Josh Schuster 23. Kaeo Weekes 24. Jacob Sykes

Analysis: Tolutau Koula has a breakeven of 25, so non-owners probably don’t need to jump on just yet, although he’s a solid buy.

If I didn’t own, I’d be tempted to wait a week. Even if he scores 50+ he won’t cost you too much money, while it will help alleviate a few job security issues, particularly with Tommy Turbo due back shortly.

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Saturday, 3pm, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Rocco Berry 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Adam Pompey 5. Viliami Vailea 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Matt Lodge 11. Euan Aitken 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Jazz Tevaga. 

Interchange: 14. Taniela Otukolo 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Jack Murchie. 

Reserves: 18. Edward Kosi 20. Ben Murdoch-Masila 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Pride Petterson-Robati 23. Junior Ratuva 24. Valingi Kepu 25. Jackson Frei

Analysis: Viliami Vailea returns after his early season injury. At $205k, he’ll likely be a great buy next week.

The club extended his contract last week in a show of faith in his ability. Another one I’d be hesitant to go early on though.

Not a lot else to report at the Warriors at the moment, although they do play Round 13 which is handy.

That reason alone probably makes Addin Fonua-Blake a hold at least until after the first major bye round, but if he’s your ticket to a Talakai, Hynes, Cleary etc he can be moved on.

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Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Semi Valemei 5. Xavier Savage 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Tom Starling 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton. 

Interchange: 14. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 15. Corey Harawira-Naera 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsburgh. 

Reserves: 18. Harry Rushton 19. Matt Frawley 20. Jarrod Croker 21. Emre Guler 22. Trey Mooney 23. James Schiller 24. Peter Hola

Analysis: Nothing to report at my poor old Raiders unfortunately. Brad Schneider has done a great job as a cash cow, but he’s peaked at $391k with a breakeven of 46 and can be sold.

It’s not urgent with a nice match up this week, but surely he just becomes Cleary, Hynes or a gun fullback (via duals) for you?

Tommy Starling is going along nicely, some people are turning Chris Randall into him.

I do think Starlo may be back to 60-65 minutes at some point though, so I’m not overly keen.

I’d prefer trying to run a Grant/Cook hooking combo, but there are fairly limited options in the position so I do understand.

It’s been pointed out a HIA caused his 15 break against Penrith, I’m just not convinced his size holds up for 80 minutes in the NRL, despite handling things very well.

I’m a huge fan, I just think Ricky Stuart will look to play him in a shorter role at some point, that being said, it’s speculative, so an 80 minute role may continue.

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Saturday, 5.30pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson. 

Interchange: 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Ava Seumanufagai. 

Reserves: 19. Josh Cook 20. Jackson Topine 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Reece Hoffman 23. Billy Tsikrikas 24. Paul Alamoti 25. Tuipulotu Katoa

Analysis: Tevita Pangai Jnr remains a genuine POD at an affordable $566k. The Bulldogs have had a very tough start to the season, and the big fella has scored well with an average of 61 points.

He’s dual FRF-2RF and is offloading like a man possessed, a great sign that Trent Barrett has given him the licence to do so.

He’s played 80, 80 and 73 minutes the past three rounds.

Yes there’s injury/suspension risk, but that’s a decision for you to make as to whether you want to take it on!

Max King is close to peaking $375k with a breakeven of 25. I’ll be holding another week or two and hoping he can jag a starting spot, because if he can increase on his 37 minutes at 1.28 points per minute, he could easily hit $450-500k.

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Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Kevin Naiqama 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley. 

Interchange: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho. 

Reserves: 18. Lachlan Lam 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Ben Marschke 21. Naufahu Whyte 22. Adam Keighran 23. Renouf Atoni 24. Tom Carr

Analysis: Teddy was solid in the ANZAC Day clash with 76 points, he was in everything!

He had 23 runs and 11 tacklebreaks which is outstanding.

My plan has been to stick strong and turn into Tommy Turbo when he returns and bottoms out.

If he can deliver a big score against the Dogs it’ll be a decent enough play, get into them son!

Owned by just 18% of SuperCoaches, Joey Manu remains a great buy having notched his third tonne in four games.

He does have low scores in him, but he’s in career best form and could decimate the Dogs if the Roosters can sort out their attack. He’ll also play Round 13 which is magic.

Joseph Suaalii is hard to assess at a slightly awkward $259k with a breakeven of 3. On any other week he’d be a locked in trade, but with so many cheaper CTWs coming up next week I’m tempted to avoid, but the bye coverage is a big factor too.

Realistically he’s a strong buy, but he’s far from a must-have. Already owning Koula and Vailea, I personally am struggling to fit him into my CTW with an eye to Tass next week.

Angus Crichton has back-to-back 80 minutes games, yet has averaged just 46 in that time.

With Origin looming, and minutes a concern, he’s a pass for now despite the tempting price tag.

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Saturday, 7.05pm, TIO Stadium, Darwin

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Hayze Perham 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Dylan Brown 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Jakob Arthur 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Nathan Brown. 

Interchange: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright. 

Reserves: 18. Wiremu Greig 19. Mitch Rein 20. Tom Opacic 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Solomone Naiduki 23. Elie El Zakhem 24. Luca Moretti

Analysis: Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses have likely peaked with breakevens of 79 and 87 respectively, the decision now is whether you think they’re keepers or not?

I don’t think they are, despite stunning starts to the season. I personally turned Moses into Cleary last week, and am planning to have Hynes in my second HFB spot.

Brown at centre doesn’t help, I’m happy to cash him into Cody Walker for a monster profit, or move across to Cam Munster.

I wouldn’t begrudge anyone holding, however the Cowboys have the second best defence in the NRL, then the Eels face the Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles and Raiders before missing Round 13.

Isaiah Papali’i needs no analysis, what a gun. He’s a great pick up at any stage and continues to batter non-owners (the large majority of us) for a second straight year.

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Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo. 

Interchange: 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Reuben Cotter 17. Griffin Neame. 

Reserves: 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 20. Connelly Lemuelu 21. Ben Condon 22. Emry Pere 23. Brendan Elliot 24. Ben Hampton

Analysis: Scott Drinkwater is on a few radars with a three round average of 90, but I’m not convinced.

The Cowboys have a tough upcoming five weeks against the Eels, Knights, Tigers, Storm and Panthers.

They do play Round 13, but how is his job security with Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow on the extended bench?

He averaged 80 minutes the past two seasons for averages of 54 and 55, he’s a serious talent in attack, but I think there are better options.

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Jason Taumalolo is getting better by the week, as are his minutes. Dual FRF-2RF, early bye coverage, he’s a great buy, while far from being a must-have.

Heilum Luki is very tough to assess, he looks a great buy as per last week, at $407k with a breakeven of -26.

But he was switched to the bench last week and played just 51 minutes.

If we knew he was getting 80 you’d near lock him in, but if he plays 50 again without any attacking stats he might not be the buy some are hoping for.

I don’t mind the trade, but not for me.

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Sunday, 2pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Edrick Lee 3. Simi Sasagi 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jake Clifford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Kurt Mann. 

Interchange: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Leo Thompson 17. Sauaso Sue. 

Reserves: 18. Tex Hoy 19. Jack Johns 20. Brayden Musgrove 21. Pasami Saulo 22. Dylan Lucas 23. Jaron Purcell 24. Krystian Mapapalangi

Analysis: Chris Randall is nearing his peak at $392k with a breakeven of 32. I’m not convinced on any replacements though, unless you don’t own Harry Grant, so I’ll hold in hope of an attacking stat to initiate another price rise.

If it doesn’t come, we can assess replacement options in the meantime.

Simi Sasagi starts at centre with Dane Gagai out for a month. At $242k with a breakeven of 26 he’s a close watch this week.

It’s hard to get excited elsewhere till Newcastle show a glimpse of form, especially as they don’t play round 13.

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Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Josh King. 

Interchange: 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tyran Wishart 16. Trent Loiero 17. Tepai Moeroa. 

Reserves: 18. Chris Lewis 19. Marion Seve 20. Alec MacDonald 21. Jordan Grant 22. Jack Howarth 23. Bronson Garlick 24. Cooper Johns

Analysis: A lot to deal with here and so little time.

Papenhuyzen = Must-have.

Coates = Hold until peaks, play on match up.

Munster = Probably a must-have, but Cody at $270k cheaper???

Grant = Just get him already…

Josh King = Pretty well peaked, breakeven 66, can be moved onto a gun at anytime.

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Sunday, 4.05pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Dragons: 1. Moses Mbye 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jack Bird 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Andrew McCullough 10. George Burgess 11. Tariq Sims 12. Josh Mcguire 13. Jack de Belin. 

Interchange: 14. Talatau Amone 15. Blake Lawrie 16. Aaron Woods 17. Tyrell Fuimaono. 

Reserves: 18. Tautau Moga 19. Jackson Ford 20. Josh Kerr 21. Tyrell Sloan 22. Cody Ramsey 23. Jack Gosiewski 24. Jayden Sullivan

Analysis: Despite the ANZAC Day win, nothing excites me at the Dragons.

Zac Lomax remains rock solid with no scores under 50 this season, but I prefer CTWs in stronger teams.

The Dragons don’t play Round 13.

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Tigers: 1. Starford To’a 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Luke Garner 4. Oliver Gildart 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue. 

Interchange: 14. Jock Madden 15. Alex Twal 16. Thomas Mikaele 17. Alex Seyfarth. 

Reserves: 18. Jake Simpkin 19. Tyrone Peachey 20. Junior Tupou 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Austin Dias 23. Fonua Pole 24. Junior Pauga

Analysis: Massive credit to the Tigers for an inspiring fortnight, but there’s not quite any SuperCoach interest just yet. If they keep it up we may be speaking differently in a few weeks time, although there’s no Round 13 coverage so probably not.

Hopefully Kelma Tuilagi can gets some luck and get through big minutes without issues and start generating some coin for patient owners.

He’s a quality footballer, attacking stats and decent scores will come.

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