Captain’s Challenge: Round 9, skippers to target and avoid

We run the rule over the best NRL SuperCoach captaincy and vice-captaincy options to consider.


Dear friends,

It is with a heavy heart that I must confess.

I broke Talakai.

Because you see, it wasn’t really my soul I sold. It was most definitely a cheeseburger.

So. The conversation last Thursday night went like this:

(sound of phone ringing)


“Clementine?! Yeah, it’s Shang Tsung here. WTF have you sold me because I just took it out of the packet and this is not a soul!”

“Umm, a soul? A soul that’s a cheeseburger? A cheeseburger is basically a soul Mr Tsung sir. It’s like soul food. Food for the soul? Eat, Pray, Love?”

“Hmmmph, I did love Julia in that movie. Okay. I’ll try it. Hang on.”

(sound of a suspicious sniff followed by aggressive chewing)

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!

Embed from Getty Images

“Where’s the cheese?”

(whispers) “Ummm in the burger?”

“There’s NO CHEESE! Where’s the cheese Clementine?”

“Ummm. Well it was a long trip to the Outworld and I might have had a little nibble on it? Just a tiny one? I really like cheese!? Everybody knows that I really like cheese! I shouldn’t have been trusted with a cheeseburger! So really, it’s not my fault there’s no chee…”

“…No! No, no, no, no, no! I bet Julia never had to put up with this…this…complete disrespect! You sold me a bloody broken cheeseburger! This is a hamburger! So, now you get a hamburger! Enjoy your broken Talakai…”

“But Mr Tsung?! The whole of SuperCoach own him now! You can’t break him! Please sir!”

“Well, you think long and hard about that next time you eat somebody else’s cheese miss!”

“But sir, ple…”

“Goodbye! Enjoy your broken Talakai who won’t be breaking any tackles tonight. Or making any meters. Or scoring any tries…mahahahahahaha!”

(phone slams down. Sound of phone dial tone in my ear)

So, you see it is all my fault, and I am very sorry. Very sorry indeed.


Pat and George from Mortgage Choice SCW are experts in all types of loans, so if you’re looking to purchase your first home or chase the lowest refinance rate, call on (02) 9521 1611, mention ‘SC Playbook’ for your FREE tailored expert advice session!

Okayyyyy! So, now that Confession Time is over and I feel much better, let’s move on to Captain Congratulations!

And a massive congratulations to every person who was sprinkled with 500 extra unicorn poin…umm I mean updates…and who Sir Captained Our Lord and Saviour King Ryan “The Glorious Mullet Man” Papenhuyzen! What a beautiful way to end a round where our normal Captain High Rollers (ahem Cleary, Talakai, Hynes and co) fell just a little bit flat.

Of course, we must also make our weekly request for the use of the crystal ball held by the lucky 0.1% who whacked the big C on Justin Olam, and also send our condolences to the handful of unhappy people who Sir Captained Moses for 16 Sir Captain points – my heart and the heart of the entire SC Playbook community goes out to you.

So! To the Captains we go!

And, just like a broken record that only plays that classic hit for the ages “I Love My Mullet” – we must start with everybody’s favourite glorious unicorn:

Embed from Getty Images

Our Lord and Saviour King Ryan “The Glorious Mullet Man” Papenhuyzen

Okay but I do not know how he updated 50 bazillion points after the game. But who am I to question the glorious man and his point-scoring skills?

And if the extra points were for having the best haircut in rugba league. Well. It is completely understandable.

I will allow it.

Now playing a Sunday arvo game vs The Dragons, you’d really think the Storm have this in the bag.

The Dragons have strung a few wins together in the last couple of rounds, but really, unless the entire Storm spine gets lost on the green playing a round of golf – there is no way our favourite Storm players aren’t racking up points here and crossing that white line again and again and again…

The Melbourne beast completely annihilated the Knights last week, headed by the glorious mullet of our King Lil’ Papenhuyzen – who scored 107 points seemingly out of thin air.

He is just that good.

Now, we can’t really look at last year’s stats for this game as it is when our favourite hero was cruelly taken out of the game through injury – (which in turn saw the glorious emergence and crowning of our Prince Nicho Hynes – who we will discuss later) – however in that game he did score a 23 in 14 minutes, so if we wanted to judge a Captaincy on last year’s PPM vs the Dragons…well it is a rather delicious 1.64….

But anyway, our favourite mullet holds a 99-point average this year, and a three-round average of 110. And that is quite enough statistical stats for me to big C him.

There’s really no need to be cute with your Captaincy choice this weekend – 32.8% of people have already also put the big C on him. Just follow the masses and be a slave to the mullet my friend.

I know I will be.

Embed from Getty Images

Mr Nathan Cleary

Okay so my Captaincy choice of last round fell just a little bit flat.

Though to be honest, 176 Sir Captain points is really nothing to sniffle over, but there is a slight depression in the fact that those who stayed faithful to the mullet scored 38 more Sir Captain points than us Cleary Captainers.

I think. That maths was hard for me. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Anyhow, we do not dwell on the past – so let us look to the future.

And the Panthers play the Eels on Friday night at BlueBet Stadium.

And look. Despite what happened last week vs the Cowboys – there’s a high chance that the Eels are going to come out swinging in this one.

They CAN bring it in a tough game, as they showed in their win over the Storm in Round 3 of this year. So, you know – despite last week’s scoreline, this is not going to be a walk in the park for the Panthers.

However, Cleary scored an 89 vs them last year including a try and an assist, and our million-dollar man is enjoying a 3-round average of…(double checks)…ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO POINTS!!.

So, he is very much a Captaincy choice this week, and in fact, he is the second most Captained so far this round at time of writing this – so you won’t be alone if you straight C him.

But just know, I do prefer a nice safe Vice Captaincy on our second (sorry Mr Cleary you only got 1 extra point last week) favourite unicorn.

Get your looping loops in order just in case…but I have a really good feeling about The Glorious King Mullet this week…or our next Captain Contender:

Embed from Getty Images

Prince Nicho Hynes

Another Sunday game. Another Captaincy choice.

Playing the last game of the round is Prince Nicho Hynes vs the Warriors.

And I do love my Warriors and I do hope they win. But if I remove my rose-tinted Warriors love heart glasses for a second – the reality is that I really think our favourite lovable Prince is going to royally do a number on them.

And that will translate to points. Lots and lots of lovely Sir Captain points.

We have already forgiven the lovable rogue for his poor SC showing (by his standards) of just 68 points last week – and I would expect him to go over a ton vs the Warriors.

Last year he averaged 92.5 points vs them (although of course we must remember this was at fullback for the Storm).

And expect the Sharks, after their tired showing last week vs the Broncos to come out ready to tear the Warriors to shreds.

Just a small note though – Prince Nicho Hynes has dropped to a 67-point average over the last three games – although that does include a 35 vs that unbreakable beast – the Storm – so do not allow that stat to alarm you at all.

If you want to whack the big C on our favourite Prince this Sunday, do it. And do it with confidence.

Embed from Getty Images

Captain Risky Random(s)

Okay. So.

I do feel quite bad about breaking Talakai.

So just before, I popped on my UberEats app and ordered ANOTHER cheeseburger to be delivered to Mr Tsung as a heartfelt apology for eating the cheese out of his last one.

(I also ate the pickles but thank God he didn’t notice that or there would have been absolute scenes).

And anyway, I just got a text:

“Just got the delivery. It was delicious. Because it was delicious and tastier than any soul I’ve ever devoured, I’ve decided to break the Talakai curse and he will score at least 80 to 130 points on Sunday. Also, I’m just boiling the jug for a cuppa…wanna come over and watch Eat, Pray, Love?”

So, there we go.

(and also! Did Mr Tsung just ask me over on some sort of tea drinking Eat, Pray, Love date?? What a turn in events! I will deny of course, but it is nice to know he has forgiven me for the cheese-eating incident and I can possibly rely on him for more cheeseburger to in-demand player swaps if I play my cards right and keep him sweet).

Anyhow. So:

Guess who’s back? Back again?

FOLLOW EXCLUSIVE SC PLAYBOOK MARKETS! The crew at Topsport are offering markets picked out by our team of experts, with added value on top every single round. Check them out, and use the code ‘SCPLAYBOOK’ when signing up.

Terrorising Talakai’s Back. Tell a Friend.

So. He did not score all the points last week and he did not make the people who had straight Captained him very happy.

And in my defence. I said to Vice Captain him unless you had watermelon-sized balls (which apparently 3.3% of you have – and okay – but I have to ask – does it hurt when you walk??!).

But this week. This week he is playing a Sunday match vs the Warriors.

I would like to think there will be a try two tries. The man is a wrecking ball and will be out to smash whoever gets in his way.

For the riskier amongst you – you can Captain him. Just know I prefer Prince Nicho Hynes in this game. But as we like to say:

What is life without risk?

(Fine Print Disclaimer: this saying has never ever come through for me in any of these Captaincy articles so just know – the risks I try and get you to take are like being told there’s a 90% chance it’s black, but then putting it all on red anyway. You have been warned).

Anyhow, a second slightly out there and risky contender:

Scotty “You Make Me Thirsty” Drinkwater

Well. Well. Well.

Here’s a sight for sore eyes and thirsty ummm… thirsts. The Cowboys tearing it up the ladder to 3rd place and Scotty Drinkwater tearing it up on the field last week with a try, three try assists, and 500 line break assists to gift his lucky owners with 113 thirst-quenching SC points.

Playing the Knights on Saturday night in a home game in Townsville. I’d expect the Cowboys to win this one.

The Knights, as we mentioned earlier, have just come off an absolute drenching by the Storm.

There will be another drenching this weekend. A drenching of the Drinkwater kind.

Scotty now boasts an average of 88 points – and that includes two tons in his last two games.

I’ll just leave you with that stat. He is most certainly a sneaky Vice Captaincy choice indeed.

Embed from Getty Images


I LOVE a Sunday Session, and the Sunday Sessions are where it’s at this week my friend.

Whack that C on a royal – either our King Lil’ Papi or our Prince Nicho Hynes. The riskier amongst you may consider a Terrorising Talakai Captaincy, but just know this is a RISK.

For your Vice Captains, I’d like you to consider Mr Nathan Cleary, however if you have an unquenchable thirst for a man named Drinkwater, or any other left-field options you have your eye on – perhaps a high-class hooker or a wingercoaster up against a weak defence – you may Vice Captain them too.

Now I must go.

Just so you are aware, I’ve held it together for you all for the sake of this article, but this is a really hard day for me, because it is the day I breakup with Big Fifi and the pain I am going through today in my second great heartbreak of the SuperCoach season is not an easy thing to bear.

(The first, of course, being Cheese – and the reminders of him are like little stabs in my heart still…the block of cheese on the shelf at Coles, the block of cheese in my fridge, the piece of cheese in the cheeseburger I “nibbled on” on my trip to the Outworld…)

Embed from Getty Images

Anyhow, I have begun to compose a breakup song for Big Fifi, which is sung to the tune of Mariah Carey’s great breakup hit – “Heartbreaker” and may or may not actually be the lyrics of her song with a couple of subtle word changes, however here it is:

“David Fifita, you got the best of me
But I just kept on holding you incessantly
Oh why, did you have to run your game on me
I should have known right from the start
You’d go and break my heart.”

And that is as far as I’ve got. And I am in tears already.

But anywho…let us leave it that and I may feel able to share the rest of the song with you in my book I am publishing titled “Reflections on Heartbreak – One Girl’s Journey Through a SuperCoach Season”.

Now as always, enjoy the rest of the week my friend, whatever it is that you are doing, and may your team win and your Captain score you a double ton!

Clementine x

Leave a Reply