Squad Breakdown: Analysing the Round 16 teams

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


It’s the penultimate week before the second and final bye week.

Hopefully SuperCoaches took the rep round as an opportunity to relax and refresh ahead of the run home to finals.

Round 17 targets are looking fairly slim, so we have a big decision on whether or not to go hard at the bye round in two week’s time, or to sacrifice a few numbers to focus on strength of squad.

Head-to-head focused players need not load up for that tough week, they should be prioritising saving a few trades for finals, and getting the best 17 players on the park as quick as possible.

The Cooma Stallions had a slightly below par Round 15, scoring 1,158 to drop a few spots to 246th overall.

We’re fairly well set up for coming rounds and the run home, so hopefully we can mount a challenge for overall glory.

Let’s take a look at the Round 16 teams, with squads courtesy of ESPN.

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Thursday, 7.50pm, Brookvale Oval, Sydney

Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Morgan Harper 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Sean Keppie 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Taniela Paseka 18. Ben Trbojevic 19. Kurt De Luis 20. Ethan Bullemor 21. Jorge Taufua 22. Kaeo Weekes

Analysis: No Round 17 coverage for Manly and a tough clash with Melbourne this week, so not a lot to speak of here.

Reuben Garrick and Haumole Olakau’atu are season long holds, while Tolutau Koula can be sold either this week or next for a handy profit, ideally next with a breakeven of 13.

A few Josh Schuster owners are looking to cut ties, I’d hold strong in the expectation he regains a starting role at some point. But obviously don’t play in your 17 while on the bench.

In fact, at $350k with a 4 point score in his rolling average, he could be a handy cash grab for sub $300k in a few week’s time provided his minutes return. Surely…

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Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Dean Ieremia 3. Marion Seve 4. Justin Olam 5. Grant Anderson 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Chris Lewis 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith 14. Jayden Nikorima 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Ryan Papenhuyzen 20. Tyran Wishart 21. Jordan Grant 22. Bronson Garlick

Analysis: Melbourne do play Round 17, and as the second best side in the NRL they’re super relevant.

Ryan Papenhuyzen is expected to return for his first game in a while despite being named on the extended bench. At $930k with a breakeven of 144, returning from injury, against Manly at Brookie… I’m not even slightly tempted to go early on him.

Obviously if he plays off the bench he’ll be a no-go this week.

Watch him this week, and make plans to pounce next week, hopefully at well under $900k.

The Cameron Munster injury may open a door for anyone needing a spine spot freed up to get him in.

I’m waiting on more information on Munster as to whether or not I hold or sell as he’s been named, and cleared of a serious injury.

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At this stage, I’ll hold this week regardless of whether or not he plays and sell to Papy next week (via duals), if he’s out for an extended period, but it looks like he won’t miss too much action, if any.

He’s a gun we’ll all want for the run home so I’m likely to hold.

Harry Grant will be cheap post Origin, make plans to get him in come Round 18/19.

Grant Anderson has been named but is still a chance at dropping out for Papy.

He’s bottom dollar at $175k with a breakeven of -54. If he does keep his spot should Papy come in, he looks a terrific way to free up cash for bigger trades, even with question marks over job security.

Fortunately Melbourne play in the first game of the round, so we’ll know answers to all of these questions.

With Felise Kaufusi out due to personal reasons, who will also miss next round, Chris Lewis has been named to start in the back-row at $233k and becomes a possible short-term option.

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Friday, 6pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Mitchell Barnett 13. Kurt Mann 14. Simi Sasagi 15. Leo Thompson 16. Mathew Croker 17. Pasami Saulo 18. Jake Clifford 19. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 20. Bradman Best 21. Hymel Hunt 22. Daniel Saifiti

Analysis: Despite Round 17 coverage, I’m not keen on Newcastle’s players this week even with a nice Titans match up.

They’ve been so ordinary this season, and now lose Kalyn Ponga indefinitely, so it’s hard to invest.

Mitch Barnett is one that I am potentially eyeing off next week at $465k with a breakeven of 32 playing a big minute role.

If Ponga and Clifford were to be missing he may even kick goals in Round 17.

But with job security issues across the squad, and plenty of forward depth, I’m more than happy to wait a week and reassess.

David Klemmer is chugging along okay but has never really interested me, especially with Daniel Saifiti due back as soon as this week.

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Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Paul Turner 7. Toby Sexton 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. David Fifita 18. Corey Thompson 19. Herman Ese’ese 20. Aaron Booth 21. Kevin Proctor 22. Sosefo Fifita

Analysis: No Round 17 coverage and no form means no interest from me.

David Fifita will be a huge POD target post Origin period once he gets some minutes under his belt.

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Friday, 7.55pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Robert Jennings 19. Matt Eisenhuth 20. Chris Smith 21. Sunia Turuva 22. Sean O’Sullivan

Analysis: Pretty well the entire Penrith starting side are relevant, so I’ll just focus on a few key matters.

I understand why plenty are selling Izack Tago with just two scores over 60 since Round 4, but I think I’ll hold.

Despite the above, he’s also not scored below 30 the entire season which is very good for a centre.

He looks exceptional, is on the best attacking edge in the NRL, is basing 32 and has dual CTW-2RF positioning.

At this stage I’m happy to hold and play on match up each week, he’s a fair sit candidate this week for anyone worried about his scoring.

Taylan May is 100% a hold, while Brian To’o is a great buy for head-to-head players this week as he’ll be a must-have for the run home.

Overall players have a tough decision to make considering he’s $628k with a breakeven of 4, a clash with the Roosters and will miss Round 17.

If you’re happy with your bank I’d wait, if you’re concerned you need some cash I’d be tempted to get this week.

Viliame Kikau is a keeper in my eyes, he’ll belt out 40s and 90s, but I’ve been enjoying the ride.

Api Koroisau is a borderline keeper but I’ll likely be selling either before Round 17, or straight to Harry Grant in Round 18/19.

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Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Lindsay Collins 9. Sam Verrills 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 16. Nat Butcher 17. Fletcher Baker 18. Paul Momirovski 19. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 20. Adam Keighran 21. Terrell May 22. Lachlan Lam

Analysis: No Round 17 coverage for the Roosters so not a heap of interest for me.

I’m starting to regret selling Joseph Suaalii, freak…

Angus Crichton is a season-long hold for me unless he gets benched permanently, which he shouldn’t.

If he does play off the bench this week or Round 18 post Origin he’s an easy sit outside the 17 for that week.

With a breakeven of 77 Nat Butcher can be moved on this week, or next week latest. With a game against the Panthers and concussion concerns I’d be trading this week.

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Saturday, 3pm, CommBank Stadium, Parramatta

Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Corey Allan 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Max King 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Tevita Pangai Junior 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Corey Waddell 16. Joe Stimson 17. Kurtis Morrin 19. Declan Casey 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Harrison Edwards 24. Jackson Topine

Analysis: Max King is pushing his case as a borderline keeper at $460k with a three round average of 65 points.

However, with few trade out targets in my side I’m happy to part ways.

Ditto Jacob Kiraz who has been exceptional of late with scores of 85 and 98 to sit with a breakeven of -41!

I still think he’ll be a sell, but there’s a lot of cash to be made in the meantime, and if the Dogs can maintain their form, who knows, maybe he will become a hold?

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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. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Dale Finucane 16. Teig Wilton 17. Andrew Fifita 18. Connor Tracey 19. Braydon Trindall 20. Kade Dykes 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Lachlan Miller

Analysis: Siosifa Talakai’s Origin call up is a blow for owners, hopefully Jack Wighton takes the bench utility role for Game III and we get him back!

Regardless, I’m holding for the season as long as he’s starting.

If Wighton isn’t 14, he may be the Blues 18 which would make Nicho Hynes available, we’ll wait and see how it plays out.

Ronaldo Mulitalo and Sione Katoa remain great buys, Jayden Brailey is a cheeky hooking POD play, as is Jesse Ramien at centre.

While rock solid, Cam McInnes doesn’t scream buy me in my eyes.

He’ll likely hover around that 55-65 average which is decent, but it doesn’t make him a must-have.

The dual HOK-2RF is valuable also, but the return of Dale Finucane is a slight concern for minutes.

Finucane played just 39 minutes on return against the Titans, and McInnes played just 50 for 48 points.

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Saturday, 5.30pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 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. Tom Gilbert 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Jake Granville 15. Luciano Leilua 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame 18. Ben Condon 19. Brendan Elliot 20. Kane Bradley 21. Iosefo Baleiwairiki 22. Kyle Feldt

Analysis: With a nasty hamstring injury, Reuben Cotter is a sell for me, while Reece Robson is an indefinite hold.

I’d also hold Scott Drinkwater one more week, then make the decision on whether or not he is the one to make way for Lil Papy.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow didn’t generate the money we’d hoped, however he delivered big time in Round 13 when we needed, so that’s a huge win. He can be sold this week or next.

Val Holmes is popular this week, but with a tough clash with Brisbane looming, then Origin duties in Round 17, and a reasonable breakeven of 23 I’d wait till Round 18+ to jump on if keen.

The Cowboys play just two days after Origin III, so take this into serious consideration with their squad. Val is every chance to be rested.

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Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Jake Turpin 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Jordan Pereira 19. TC Robati 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Delouise Hoeter 22. Rhys Kennedy

Analysis: Ezra Mam retains his place despite the return of Adam Reynolds.

I don’t mind him as a buy, but now at $374k with a breakeven of 17 and a 36 in his rolling average I think the ship has sailed.

Even more so with buys such as Dylan Brown and Ryan Papenhuyzen emerging.

He’ll be a terrific cash in come Round 18 for owners.

Barring injury, Kotoni Staggs looks locked in for Round 17, you beauty.

Wait for more news on Payne Haas’ injury. If he misses this week, then Round 17, I’d understand selling.

However, if the injury isn’t serious as it now seems, I think he’ll be so good to own for the run home, so holding would be preferred. Tough one…

If he were out for a lengthy period, which looks unlikely, Thomas Flegler would become relevant.

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Saturday, 7.35pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Thomas Burgess 16. Siliva Havili 17. Hame Sele 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Liam Knight 21. Ben Lovett 22. Davvy Moale

Analysis: South Sydney are very hard to assess, initially we thought they were flush with SuperCoach stars and would be hot property with Round 17 coverage.

Now they face a strong Eels outfit, then they’ll be missing a stack of players for Round 17.

They also have a savage run home against the Eels, Knights (bye round), Dogs, Storm, Warriors, Eels, Panthers, Cowboys and Roosters. The head-to-head finals run is particularly difficult.

Cody Walker is a reluctant hold for me, likely to then be sold off Round 18 barring a form resurgence.

Campbell Graham looks safe from the Origin arena and remains a great buy, but isn’t a must-have.

Cam Murray is popular this week, but coming off an Origin head knock where he played big minutes, and will do again in Game III, I’d be waiting till Round 18/19 to buy, even for head-to-head players. Furthermore, he has a breakeven of 88 so he’s likely to drop cash.

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Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Marata Niukore 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Ky Rodwell 18. Tom Opacic 19. Jakob Arthur 20. Nathan Brown 21. Bryce Cartwright 22. Hayze Perham

Analysis: With Round 17 coverage, Ryan Matterson becomes a huge play for non-owners following his Origin snub.

I’d wait until next week though in case he is called up for the Blues again.

With a breakeven of 117 he’s also likely to be a fair bit cheaper.

Isaiah Papali’i is a must for any non-owner, while Shaun Lane has quietly put together scores of 98, 59, 91 and 82 in his past month and is a POD option having seemingly locked in an 80 minute role.

Averaging 73 points this season, Dylan Brown is a serious option at $629k with no scores under 40 this season, and a base of 35 which is brilliant for a five-eighth.

Mitch Moses is also a POD play at $589k with a breakeven of 50, but he’s a bit harder to attain at halfback.

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Sunday, 2pm, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Euan Aitken 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Ronald Volkman 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jazz Tevaga 11. Jack Murchie 12. Tohu Harris 13. Josh Curran 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Bayley Sironen 18. Adam Pompey 20. Aaron Pene 21. Rocco Berry 22. Freddy Lussick 23. Daejarn Asi

Analysis: The Warriors return to New Zealand for the first time since COVID struck, and what a day it’ll be!

SuperCoach-wise, with no Round 17 coverage I have no interest.

Euan Aitken moves to centre which I don’t think is good for his SuperCoach output at all.

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Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. James Roberts 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Jackson Hastings 8. James Tamou 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Luke Garner 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Joe Ofahengaue 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Adam Doueihi 16. Alex Seyfarth 17. Fonua Pole 18. Asu Kepaoa 19. Junior Tupou 20. Austin Dias 21. Jacob Liddle 22. Justin Matamua

Analysis: Despite the Round 17 coverage, I have very little interest in the Tigers.

There’s been some chat around Luke Garner, but he’s not for me.

David Nofoaluma possibly, but the Tigers would have to go big this week.

Adam Doueihi could be a super POD if starting next week, but on return from an ACL injury it’d be a very bold play.

Let’s see how the side plays out this week.

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Sunday, 4.05pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

Dragons: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tariq Sims 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Aaron Woods 17. Michael Molo 18. Josh Kerr 19. Tautau Moga 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Billy Burns

Analysis: The Dragons have Round 17 coverage but have very little SuperCoach relevance.

I will mention though they do have a great head-to-head finals draw if they can emulate that form shown against South Sydney in the coming month.

Zac Lomax is the only player that partially gauges my interest. He’s a weapon, I’m just not convinced on the Dragons creating much opportunity for him

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Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Adam Elliott 14. Tom Starling 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 17. Corey Horsburgh 18. Matt Frawley 19. Corey Harawira-Naera 20. Trey Mooney 21. Semi Valemei 22. Adrian Trevilyan

Analysis: There’s been such little relevance at the Raiders this season, and with no Round 17 coverage that won’t change much.

Joe Tapine is the exception who is on an absolute tear!

He’s rocking a 3RA of 85 and a 5RA of 78 to sit with a breakeven of 45 at $629k.

Making his scoring even more impressive is the fact he has just one try and one assist to his name all season, while basing 52 points. He’s good enough to produce more attack before the end of season.

I wouldn’t buy if I was an overall player until Round 18, but he looks a good play for head-to-head players.

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