Spy Talk: Fixture analysis, hardest/softest run home

The SC Spy runs his eye over the fixtures of every club to determine who have the softest and hardest draws to end the year.

NRL

Legends!

I’m going to whip up below a quick reference guide for the run home. This is draw related only and will take into account my opinions on teams based on current form.

It will be best used when looking for a potential POD and to make sure a player you are looking at doesn’t have an easy game followed by real tough ones.

I have ordered the relevant teams into tiers from a fixture’s viewpoint. Within each tier, are not ranked in any specific order. Happy SuperCoaching!

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Strongest Draw

CRONULLA SHARKS

Rabbitohs / Dragons / Tigers / Manly / Bulldogs / Knights

This is a beauty! Cronulla have the best draw available. This brings into contention a strike weapon such as Ronaldo Mulitalo, while it may make you reconsider selling Siosifa Talakai. After a super POD, perhaps Jesse Ramien or Connor Tracey?

GOLD COAST TITANS

Canberra / Storm / Manly / Dragons / Knights / Warriors

This is equally as good as Cronulla but with far less relevant SuperCoach options. It could be great for David Fifita as the only real option.

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WESTS TIGERS

Brisbane / Knights / Sharks / Chooks / Dragons / Raiders

A handy draw if you want a punt on someone from the Tigers. Doueihi perhaps?

BRISBANE BRONCOS

Tigers / Chooks / Knights / Storm / Eels / Dragons

I really like this draw and I tell you what, Selwyn Cobbo could have been handy this week. Brisbane to win five of their last six? Possibly… This may tempt Cobbo and Kotoni Staggs owners to hold strong.

CANBERRA RAIDERS

Titans / Penrith / Dragons / Knights / Sea Eagles / Tigers

The Raiders have an excellent draw outside of Penrith, but don’t have many overly relevant SuperCoach players in their attacking contingent. With the soft run, surely the fleet-footed Joe Tapine adds to his tally of just one try this season!

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Quality Draw

NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS

Dragons / Bulldogs / Chooks / Warriors / Rabbits / Penrith

Three really good matchups await the Cowboys and two others that are in the middle for mine. Penrith last round is not ideal! Hopefully you can afford to sit a few. It does help the likes of Valentine Holmes who is very popular for good reason. Those selling Scott Drinkwater should consider the run, while Jeremiah Nanai looms as a POD should he continue on his rampage of attacking stats.

CANTERBURY BANKSTOWN BULLDOGS

Knights / Cowboys / Warriors / Eels / Sharks / Sea Eagles

It’s decent for the Bulldogs, especially two of the next three, but also hard to predict as we simply don’t know what the Eels will produce. Overall I don’t mind it, but it’s far from a slam dunk. I’m happy enough though if you want a Matt Burton type. Just consider that injuries/COVID/restings come into play later in the season, it will be harder to sit any Bulldogs players such as Burton and Jacob Kiraz in tough match ups.

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Middling Draws

SYDNEY ROOSTERS

Manly / Brisbane / Cowboys / Tigers / Storm / Rabbits

This isn’t ideal, but it does really open up if the Storm continue to be below par, while the Rabbitohs do have a tendency to leak points. With a decimated Manly it could easily swing from a toughish draw on face value to an easier draw. It’s hard to assess as a result, so make judgement for yourself on attacking players such as James Tedesco (match up proof anyway), Joseph Manu and Daniel Tupou.

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS

Cowboys / Sharks / Raiders / Titans / Tigers / Broncos

The Dragons have a tough fortnight followed by an okay run home. Lomax owners have enough there to be excited in the last month.

NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS

You don’t want a Knights attacker, so I frankly don’t think it matters. For Eddy Lee holders however, there are 50%+ games you can play him in happily enough.

PARRAMATTA EELS

Penrith / Manly / Rabbits / Bulldogs / Brisbane / Storm

Whilst it doesn’t look great there is still a chance each week for them to perform, but it’s not going to happen the easy way. I don’t think it’s a horror run by any means and really it comes down to a week-to-week basis for the Eels with five of the six opponent tending to be leaky on their day.

It does pose question marks over holding the likes of Maika Sivo, Dylan Brown and Mitch Moses, would you play any of these guys confidently in a stacked squad against tough opposition? Perhaps, but worth thought when making your final trades. Isaiah Papali’i and Ryan Matterson will continue to get through work and jag some attacking stats, so they’re less of a concern.

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MANLY WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES

Chooks / Eels / Titans / Sharks / Raiders / Bulldogs

A real middling draw for the Sea Eagles. Importantly no super difficult matchups loom. While it’s not ideal for Reuben Garrick and Daly Cherry-Evans owners this week, it was a tough match up with the Roosters regardless.

MELBOURNE STORM

Warriors / Titans / Penrith / Brisbane / Roosters / Eels

The Storm have a great fortnight ahead, then a slightly trickier run home, but not horrible outside of Penrith. Head-to-head players may look to avoid certain players with a difficult finals draw, but overall players will struggle to ignore the next two weeks, they’ll then likely have a fired up Storm team importantly playing for a top four berth.

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Worst Draws

SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS

Sharks / Warriors / Eels / Penrith / Cowboys / Chooks

The hardest run of all outside of a somewhat rejuvenated Warriors and up and down Eels. For Latrell owners they tend to put scores on the Chooks as well lately so that game may prove key! This doesn’t mean their key men can’t go well, but it’s more of a challenge and it isn’t guaranteed. Latrell has shown he can score well against good teams, however it makes holding onto Cody Walker a far tougher prospect.

While Alex Johnston is on fire, is he worth it with his low floor if South Sydney revert to their old ways from earlier this season? It shouldn’t worry someone like Cam Murray and Damien Cook who will continue to play big minutes and get through mountains of work in tough games.

PENRITH PANTHERS

Eels / Canberra / Storm / Rabbits / Warriors / Cowboys

This is pretty tough, but the facts are it’s Penrith and may not matter all that much. Don’t read much into it for them. Cleary for example is still a great skipper option in all of them, with the Cowboys being the toughest if at full strength and still playing well.

Players such as Izack Tago, Brian To’o and Taylan May could be sit option in a few of the harder encounters.

NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS

Storm / Rabbitohs / Bulldogs / Cowboys / Penrith / Titans

Very tough, but not a lot of SuperCoach relevance anyway.

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