Final Word: Trades, tactics, tips, Round 9

2019 runner-up Walson Carlos has the final say on the major Round 9 plays, including PODs, skippers, trades and more.


8 rounds through the season and we are basically a third of the way through the NRL season and we have a truly intriguing Supercoach year shaping up. 

The Melbourne Storm are posting some huge numbers and that is translating to big Supercoach numbers for their players. Not just the Supercoach favourites in Papi, Munster, Coates and Harry Grant either. Players like Justin Olam and Nick Meaney are really benefitting from being a part of the rampant Storm side.  

The Talakai hype didn’t quite translate to another big performance, but I think owners can feel secure in the fact that he will continue to earn money for another week or two and should return to high scoring this weekend.

When you consider must-haves, the players that come to mind are Ryan Papenhuyzen, Nicho Hynes, Cam Munster, Nathan Cleary, Payne Haas, Isaiah Papali’i and Harry Grant. If you have those players as the base of your side then you are set up for a good season.

Players who I believe are on the cusp and may join that category by the end of the year include James Tedesco, Tom Trbojevic, Zac Lomax, Cam Murray and Siosifa Talakai. 

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It’s that time of the year Supercoaches really need to look at their forward planning and either saving trades where they can or starting to target bye round players they like for Round 13.  

When you look at Round 13 minus the Origin players it is somewhat slim pickings, so unless you’re flush with trades I would advise against bringing in too much ‘deadwood’ that may not score you that many points and could be tough to trade out later down the track when injuries hit. 

Going into this week placed in 1,364th place (small green arrows up 6 spots), I feel like there is still a lot of money to made through some emerging cheapies.

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The question is how much money is going to be enough and I think I’m getting to the point that in the next fortnight I will just sit on the cheapies I have and wait for them to fatten as cash cows and then look to upgrade in the run home. 

Trade targets this week for me are Cody Walker (not fully convinced he’s back), Christian Tuipolotu and Isaiah Tass. There is no way I am using my last trade boost, so I will look to acquire one or two of these players. 

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PODs & Super PODS 

Here’s the players I’ve identified as PODs (Point of Difference players – less than 10% owned) and SuperPODS (less than 2% owned) that should be on your radar. I’ve listed them in ranking order of who I believe is the best to take the risk on: 

PODs (My top-4 ranked) 

1.    Tevita Pangai Jnr Coming into the Rd-13 bye shapes as a solid pick and you should get what you pay for with potential upside. 

2.   Cody Walker – I’m somewhat wary of Cody as the eye test just isn’t marrying up with his SC scores. If you looked at his SC stats you’d say he’s killing it, but I think he’s been flattered, as have Souths, by one game significantly impacted by a sin-bin and another last week that changed with the Lawton send-off. Souths do have an appealing run though. Their next six games include the Broncos, Warriors, Raiders, Tigers, Titans and Dragons. 

3.   Christian Tuipolotou – Scores of 55 and 84 in his last two weeks have been impressive and he appears to have won the spot on the wing for a month at least with Saab out injured. 

4.   Angus Chrichton – 80 points in almost pure base and pure base attack is more like what we expect from the Roosters edge backrower. 

Super PODs (Top-4) 

1.     David Klemmer – Scores of 44, 94, 48 and 76 in his four games this year is very impressive for a player that is 1.5% owned. 

2.    Alex Twal – Has some Supercoach pedigree and is starting to pump out big scores including 81, 46 and 83 in the last three weeks. 

3.    Luke Brooks – It’s not a surprise that Brooks has really seen a rise in scoring with scores of 68, 80 and 101 in the last three weeks coinciding with the return to form of the Tigers and the return of Jackson Hastings. Super POD option for those brave enough. 

4.    David Nofoaluma  – Former Supercoach gun who is benefitting greatly from the Tigers resurgence. Not the tackle busting machine he once was, but can finish a try with the best of the them. 

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This segment will list the players to keep a close watch on over the next month for their Supercoach prospects:

1.     Nick Meaney – Quietly putting together an impressive Supercoach season on the end of a hot backline. 

2.    Scott Drinkwater – Currently keeping an Origin player out of the side and on the bench in the Hammer. In supreme form, but a significant risk to bring in with looming games against Storm and Panthers. 

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The Sea Eagles v Tigers match up looks really interesting given it’s a day game at 4 Pines Park. Tommy Turbo is renowned for exploding in games he returns from injury and he will be relatively low owned because of his price.

I also like Tolatau Koula’s chances against Oliver Gildart who has struggled a bit defensively in the NRL. Kelma Tuilagi also may get some joy running at DCE’s edge.  

The Storm and to a lesser extent the Cowboys matching up against any teams at the moment are good match ups because they are two teams in supreme form. Both teams are at home as well so that doesn’t shape up well for the Dragons or the hapless Knights. 

A bounceback game for the Sharks at Pointsbet Stadium against a Warriors side that have really eeked out some ugly wins early in the season. Nicho Hynes, Talakai and Ramien could be set for huge games against the Warriors inexperienced centres.  

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Nathan Cleary is always a solid option but I certainly expect Parramatta to be up for the challenge against the Panthers so it may limit his scoring somewhat. The Dragons coming off three wins in a row face the litmus test of the Storm.

Papi is the best player in the comp through 8 rounds and can’t knock anyone captaining him. Nicho Hynes and Talakai are also decent options late in the round for those looking for POD captain options. 

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Round-8 Recap

The lock of the week got blown out of the water on Thursday night with the Sharks loss to the Broncos. The Eels also got smashed, so not even close which was disappointing. Close with other bets but no collects. Cleary had the last try until the 77th minute when he set up Luai to score. 

Round-9 Best Bets (Odds courtesy of TopSport) – Total Bets $100

Lock of the Week 

Sea Eagles/Panthers/Cowboys/Can v Cant 1st half Under 18.5 points @ 3.35 (TopUp) x $60

To score a try Multi 

S Talakai/T Koula/A Johnstone/J Taumololo @ $58 (TopUp) x $10

T Trbojevic/R Garrick/T Koula/K Tuilagi @ $44 (TopUp) x $10

First Tryscorer

First Tryscorer – Jai Arrow @ $34 x $10

Last Tryscorer

Last Tryscorer – Nicho Hynes @ $18 x $10

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