Spy Talk: Tackling The Week’s Big Questions, Round 12 – Almost Origin!

Fresh off a 91st placed finish last season, the SC Spy looks into the big dilemmas facing SuperCoaches each week.



How did we all go last week? I managed to get back to a bit of form with a 1045 and a rise of 300 spots. The big six weeks though is upon us and that’s the Origin/Bye period. For those chasing glory you need an eye on Round 13 next week / round 14 the week after, with possible post Origin resting, and then the same for Round 17 (second bye weekend) and Round 18 immediately following Origin 3.

In terms of the weekends following the two Wednesday Origin matches, you just need to check if you have coverage on the bench for blokes like Harry Grant, Munster, Cleary, Tedesco in case they get rested by their clubs. Hard to know if this will happen but has to be a possibility.

Really, this week it’s all about identifying who you want to bring in and who you may look to move on so let’s get into it.

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Round 13 Targets

Scott Drinkwater

Big fan of him as a target. Excellent bye round match up and a decent run home after this if you wish to keep him or flip him to a round 17 bye round keeper. I’ll be trying my best to go directly from Ilias to Drinky next week.

Reece Robson

Playing excellent footy and a great scoring when getting 80 minutes which he has in the last four games. With Granville back on the bench, this is a question mark on his minutes. He may eat into them a little or may not at all if he is either unused or if he shares the field with Robson, we really don’t know! Robson’s break-even of 16 makes it a little tricky if money is tight but if you can wait a week, I would advise it. On a personal front, I am stuck with Randall who may well leak $30-40k and if Robson make the same cash, it’s a $70k swing. This is a fair bit of coin, and I would consider Robson a pretty decent bye number even if he loses some minutes over the next fortnight. He won’t lose me cash and could be the different between next weeks planned trade of Ilias directly to Drinkwater. As such I think I’ll be going this week and praying for 80 minutes or close too! But if you can wait, then wait…

Jacob Kiraz

Just get him! Basement price, breakeven of -83, plays the first bye, and averages 26 per game in tackle busts and offload in his first 2 matches. That without anything else… Move on in 3 weeks if you need, or hold as a bench centre…

Nat Butcher

Another slightly tricky one given the Chooks forward rotation mystery week to week as Trent Robbo looks to find what he wants before settling… Sitili Tupouniua is on the bench and could start back row instead of Butcher, but Butcher may still play lock with Radley out, and next week Angus Crichton will likely be out for Origin duty opening up another spot. Like Robson, he has a breakeven of 16 and someone like Josh King has a BE of 78. There is another potential swing of $70k+ if you wait a week on that trade but if you are looking to move on someone next week with a low break even, this issue is nullified… More on King below…

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

If he misses Origin now, he’s already lost a heap of cash and will spend a month or month on the sting for the red-hot cowboys! I’ll be getting on!

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Tevita Pangai

I quite like him off the bench if he again plays around 60 minutes. He can inject himself more quickly into the game and then do what he does best. Pretty rock solid to me as a round 13 purchase with the risk of course that he gets binned in the bye week or suspended this weekend. I already own and all I will ask for is a few more offloads over the next fortnight…


The boy is a gun! He comes in so hard at times that again a sin bin or small suspension worries me a little but outside of DCE, he is a try scorer and also works hard. Can wait a week but I am happy to own and hold for the year.

Joey Manu & Rueben Garrick

I will put these blokes together in one basket. That basket is called “I’m not sure they are must haves”. I am pretty confident in them to produce solid scores don’t get me wrong, but I wonder if their upside is capped due to the Chooks run over the next 4-5 games and Garrick no longer running off Turbo? Both are not must haves but also could be safely locked in to do a job and potentially deliver above expectation if they can nab a try or two! Personally, I think I am going to choose Drinkwater over them before looking at Round 17 targets. The positive for Manu/Garrick however, is that their bye weekend prospects are much better than some of the other weeks either side. Just to be clear, I would be happy to own, but Manu may be stifled in weeks after round 13 and I originally wanted Garrick as a keeper… Now I’m not quite as sure! A couple of close watches for the coming weekend again good opposition.

We will check out a few more Round 13 targets next week once Origin teams are named and some unforeseen targets are revealed…

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Round 17 Targets

A quick note that it’s ok to purchase Round 17 targets if they are absolute quality. I brought in Mitch Moses & Ronaldo Mulitalo last week for upside. If you over stack Round 13 then you might not have the trades to get to a good Round 17 number and then settle on a cracking side for the run home. In saying that, you may still need to move some guys on to stay competitive next week. Guys like Josh King & Will Penisini for me fall in that category, or guys that could be held through to their bye Round in 17 (and beyond if necessary) or you can move them on now to set yourself up for Round 13. It’s down to individual sides and what you need to do in order to maximise high quality bye numbers!

What Does My Side Look Like?

At this stage I will take approx. 12-14 into next week. 14 would be possible if Burbo returns and plays but it looks like 13 players which I am happy enough with as most are quality outside of say Vailea but he also has tries in him. I would prefer 1 or 2 more but I am hoping to make this up in Round 17 when people might come up a little short with trades starting to run low.

This will leave me with 16 trades in hand before attacking round 17.

From here I will then aim to use approx 6-8 trades leading into Round 17 which would give me a total of 13-15 players if injuries are kind (unlikely!) and obviously this may be lower if blokes like Talakai/Hynes make Origin. So maybe it will end up around 12 but that will not include many cheapies outside of say a Trent Peoples if named or a low-price Stefano if his minutes improve but let’s see how things play out! It will be a week-by-week assessment and will of course depends on players prices and who can be afforded.

That will leave 8-10 trades with only a few players I will want to/must get back in. The likes of To’o & Matterson appear near must haves, whilst Fifita and then options such as Teddy, Haas, Cam Murray & Coates are all in there in an ideal world! But trades will be running low so there may need to be compromise on trades as we go. For example, I won’t use a trade for the 2nd bye round if it’s only going to net me 40 odd points in all likelihood. I’d want 60-100+ or a solid 50 from a cheaper guy.

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That or a basement cheapie who plays and I can bring in and free up the cash for a GUN!! Post origin I may need to choose the best 3 out of those guys mentioned above because to get them in I’ll also need to downgrade someone to a nuff to be able to afford them. It won’t be easy but worst case I can live without Haas, Coates & even Cam Murray.  Plenty to play out troops!

Putting it together that should leave around 4 trades to get me home but with the near perfect team and extra depth this year (minimal non players) that will hopefully be enough to cover injuries/multiple injuries.

I hope this has helped! It’s impossible to know how things will play but as always, the lessons are –

  1. Be wise with trades and don’t throw them away!
  2. Target quality for the byes over quantity (or value prospects who are basement price and can score 50+)
  3. Be aware of the rounds following Origin 1 & 3
  4. Check who you may want/need for the run home from Round 18 onwards and see if you will have the trades to do it and then a few to cover injuries…

Cheers all!

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