Spy Talk: The hit back, Round 19

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


Hey Legends!

After being Joey Manu’d last week the boys are reeling! But they are a tough mob and can’t wait to get back into things tonight to make amends. Funnily enough I do have the cash to go to Manu but instead I’m taking the Garrick approach as his combination of work rate, goalkicking and improving play at FB make him mighty hard to pass up as a non-owner!

The other thing is if I am any chance of somewhat reversing what happened last weekend, I need to stick to anti-pod Manu (now back to the centres) and hope To’o outscores him by 200 or so over the run home. That way we will be square 😉

From here I already have a bunch of pods/semi-PODs in the form of Sivo, Robson, Fifita, Lane, To’o & Drinkwater.  Even guys like Crichton, Talakai and Mulitalo are around 50% ownership for the top guys. That’s still half that don’t own which means ground can be made up!

That being the case I will this week add a highly owner player, a current POD who is about to become more popular and 1 mega POD who I can’t pass up! More below where I breakdown a big list of options for the run home along with a predicted per game average…

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James Tedesco

Teddy is the SC stud of past and current years. Mr consistency and tends to finish a year well. With the Chooks fighting for the 8 he will be everywhere as long as the body is ok which as of right now seems to be fit and firing! Now that Origin is done and the fact he won’t be at near 100% ownership like some previous seasons, he is a great man to have. Ability to score large tons is the biggest drawcard here but his workrate also appeals. Is he someone you can go against? Of course!! There are plenty of options right now which is great for both NRL & Supercoach!

Predicted Average – 85PPG

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Latrell is different in terms of player profile because he has less work rate, can miss games traditionally through suspensions and injuries but he can do the same as Teddy. Large tons! A tough run home will test him and may cap his upside, but he is a fine play. Pray he doesn’t get himself a week or 3 on the sidelines if you do bring him in and he will be very highly owned if you want to join me on the anti-pod train! I can’t stress how difficult his run home is outside of ROUND 21 v the Warriors on Saturday arvo. If I have a spare trade I might need to get him for that game alone… Hopefully the Warriors continue their recent upward trend with players returning.

Predicted Average – 71PPG and won’t play every game

Side note – I hope he goes really well and takes Souths into the finals he is so good for the game of rugby league!! What a pleasure to watch.

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Nth Qld Cowboys

I am going to jump into Cowboys players now because they are a good football team with plenty of attack and the most mint of runs home in comparison to a lot of other clubs. Add in the fact it is pouring rain in nearly all locations this weekend except for Townsville where they meet the Tigers Sunday arvo and it the appeal deepens!


Wests Tigers – St George Illawarra Dragons – Canterbury Bulldogs – Sydney Roosters (All 4 arvo games) – NZ Warriors – South Sydney – Penrith (Hopefully with guys rested but I doubt it given Penrith like to take momentum into finals).

The last round is a concern. Hopefully depth is good by then but its one to consider if you have a heap of Cowboy attackers. Personally, I’ll ideally sit Drinky and my Super-Pod below for that game.

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Valentine Holmes

Val Holmes doesn’t necessary top the list, but he could easily. Near career best form from an athletic viewpoint, similar to his pre-NFL adventure, goalkicking and just a gun. Playing at centre hurts a bit because they can tend to get cut out when an overlap presents or miss out on Try Assists if the fullback is sweeping. The goalkicking squares this up a lot and I think he is a nice point of difference if you need a good centre.

Predicted Average – 69PPG

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Scotty Drinkwater

I have him slightly ahead of Val because he is the prime Try Assists option of the Cowboys. Add in an improved workrate and tackle busting ability with the soft draw he looks primed. Lack of previous pedigree and an ability to potentially go a little low is the risk here but he could easily go 120 – 120 two weeks running. As an owner is bloody hope so!

Predicted Average – 76PPG More if you can sit him for the Penrith game and even the Chooks.

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Murray Taulagi

Here he is! Basically owned by no one. Left edge of this sizzling attack and a strong workrate. 12 offloads in the last 5 games and he really does have the ability to go super large if things pan out his way. Worst case as long as he stays healthy, he should be rock solid for you. You can play him every week and even against Penrith he scored 48 without an attacking stat. Like it! In for me just need to confirm how I do it. Might need to drop Mitch Moses who has a trickier draw and move some guys around!

Predicted Average – 73PPG

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Joey Manu

A quick note on Manu. His move back to centre is very handy for non-owners but I would expect his workrate and roving ability will be increased from earlier in the season when he played there. I still rate him as a buy if you can afford him, but he is far from a must playing at centre. Still a scary watch especially if he keeps jumping into dummy half. The Chooks slightly tougher draw helps but there are still some easier ones in there! If he ever goes back to 5-8 or Fullback ill bring him in immediately it won’t matter who I have to cut…

Predicted Average – 66PPG (If playing centres all season)

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I’m going Garrick over Manu this week. Averaging 90PPG since his return to FB in round 12. Getting more and more at home and combinations clearly on the improve… Also hasn’t kicked the last 2 games and limped through the game v Melbourne! The run home is hardly terrifying either…

Predicted Average – 84PPG (If kicking)

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Cherry Evans

He likely won’t be goal kicking for 2 much longer one would suspect but I tell you what he is on fire with ball in hand so it may not matter. Quite frankly I think he is a pretty damn good buy if you want to pull the trigger. Does so much with Turbo out and Ola on his outside is very handy for try assists.

Predicted Average – 77PPG

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Cameron Murray

Should steam home! Increased minutes this year and a key player. Tougher draw may see less attacking stats but given his huge base and how good he is, they are sure to still come at times.

Predicted Average – 76PPG

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Storm Contingent

Just a quick note on the Storm boys Harry Grant, Munster & Hughes. They will need to do some more now that Papi is out which is good, but their forward pack is currently getting slowed right up/less go forward then you would normally see so this will make it harder to produce those easy points. Rounds 20 & 21 do deliver huge opportunity and the run home is ok without being great. Still great buys but there is a flag there. Can’t wait to see how the Storm respond. For the record I own Munster happily, will buy Harry next week and will bypass Nick Meaney but I do believe he is a rock-solid purchase!! Wouldn’t knock anyone that wants him… Hughes is also a weapon.

The Sum Up

Plenty of options and how good is it for the game! For me this week –

Papi – Garrick

Hoeter – Teddy

Moses – Taulagi

Next week Robson to Harry Grant and this will leave me with 5 trades for the run home but with basically everyone I want outside of Cam Murray who can be a final month trade in if injuries hit or trades are left over.

VC – Can’t be Garrick as he is now my Fullback with Teddy so I will go with Sivo or Olakau’atu as it will need to be early. Teddy if I don’t skipper him…

Skipper – Tedesco! Though I am keen on Drinky/Fifita as options. Drinky maybe it if I can conjure the cahonas before The Chooks kick off. Teddy v Knights though…

Good luck superstars!

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