Squad Breakdown: Analysing the Round 24 teams

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


We’ve arrived at NRL SuperCoach head-to-head grand final week!

It took some monstrous scores in Round 23 to claim a berth in the decider, with the week’s top scorer notching 1700+! Incredible…

The race for the overall crown is also down to the final two rounds, with those sitting around the top 10, or even 100, no doubt getting a little edgy.

My advice to anyone questioning themselves, back yourself, you’ve likely made it this far on largely your own instinct, so why change?

That way, at least if something goes wrong and costs you some end of season prize money, you’ll live with the decision, rather than taking someone else’s advice when your call could’ve won it all!

Just remember that once your troops are out on field it’s entirely out of your hands, so don’t try and get too worked up about what may or may not happen, or if something does go wrong like an injury.

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Regardless, good luck and enjoy the final couple of rounds!

The Cooma Stallions had what I thought was a stellar week with 1,493 points, it lift me a grand total of 21 spots to 933rd, tough going.

I’m happy with my side this week and will be saving my final trade for next week to avoid any potential auto-emergency issues that may arise.

My analysis will be a touch briefer today, there are fairly few SuperCoaches with any trades at all up their sleeve, while many are saving a final trade for Round 25 for potential carnage.

With NRL squads still fairly deep with SuperCoach relevant players on deck, I’ll touch on a few sit v starts, along with a few buy targets to consider.

When considering the analysis below, do note that there’s unlikely to be much resting going on next week due to the tightness of the NRL ladder.

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Penrith are probably the exception, although Ivan Cleary hasn’t historically rested players in the final round.

Even if Canberra do lose to Manly, essentially locking in the fifth through to eighth positions, they’d also still likely have something to play for in week one of finals.

The below is obviously based on head-to-head comps finishing this week, which is the large majority, but some have been set up to have their grand final next week, so consider this when reading the below.

As always, the SC Playbook podcast will cover just about any question you have, so tune in for anything that’s missed below.

Let’s take a look at the Round 24 teams, with squads courtesy of Fox Sports.

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Thursday, 7.50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Ryan James

Bench: 14. Billy Walters 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Corey Jensen 17. Rhys Kennedy

Reserves: 18. Delouise Hoeter 19. Jordan Pereira 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Keenan Palasia 22. Zac Hosking

Analysis: Brisbane have two fairly awkward match ups to come with Parramatta at Suncorp, then the Dragons in Sydney, so I wouldn’t be too keen to invest this week.

However, I do think that while playing for a top eight spot they’ll bounce back against the Eels, so I’d be reasonably happy to play the likes of Payne Haas, Selwyn Cobbo or Adam Reynolds.

Kotoni Staggs is probably a sit outside 17s if you’re in a position to do so.

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Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Waqa Blake 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

Bench: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore

Reserves: 18. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Bailey Simonsson 20. Bryce Cartwright 21. Sean Russell 22. Ky Rodwell

Analysis: Parramatta hit their straps last week, albeit against the Bulldogs, and finish next round against Melbourne in Sydney.

For that reason I’d also be reluctant to invest in any of their players, including Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses who are fairly popular coming off big scores.

I think there are players with far softer fixtures to target than Parramatta.

I would however be more than happy to play any of their players I own in my 17.

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Friday, 6pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Taylan May 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo

Bench: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Matt Eisenhuth 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Charlie Staines

Reserves: 18. Sunia Turuva 19. J’maine Hopgood 20. Chris Smith 21. Kurt Falls 22. Lindsay Smith

Analysis: Here’s where things get a little interesting, with the Panthers facing a dream match-up with the Warriors in Penrith.

It’s the fixture SuperCoaches should be targeting ahead of grand finals, and even overall players looking for major rises.

Of course Penrith have key players out, but it’s likely to still be a bloodbath with some significant individual scores incoming.

Play every one of your players, and consider investing.

Jarome Luai’s return makes that left edge hot property.

Izack Tago is one of the most traded out players this week, madness. Hold, and play!

While they haven’t been in great form, Taylan May and Brian To’o are both decent buys this week in my eyes, while Dylan Edwards may be a super POD to end the season.

Ditto a goal-kicking Stephen Crichton at very low-ownership.

If the score does blow out, players such as Viliame Kikau, Isaah Yeo and Api Koroisau may be in line for early showers, so I’d certainly lean towards their backline contingent.

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Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Viliami Vailea 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Edward Kosi 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Tohu Harris 11. Euan Aitken 12. Josh Curran 13. Bunty Afoa

Bench: 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Dunamis Lui 16. Eliesa Katoa 17. Tom Ale

Reserves: 18. Adam Pompey 20. Rocco Berry 21. Ben Murdoch-Masila 22. Daejarn Asi 23. Taniela Otukolo

Analysis: No SuperCoach interest here, I’d sit any players I own.

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Friday, 7.55pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne

Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Young Tonumaipea 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harry Grant 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Brandon Smith

Bench: 14. Chris Lewis 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Josh King

Reserves: 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Trent Loiero 20. William Warbrick 21. Cooper Johns 22. Marion Seve

Analysis: Despite being in red-hot form, I’d be wary of buying Melbourne players with games against an equally hot Roosters outfit, then finishing with the Eels.

The exceptions I’d say are Cameron Munster who is relentless, and Harry Grant who is the best hooker in SuperCoach.

They remain solid buys, but I wouldn’t invest in any others.

While I wouldn’t be keen on him personally, Nelson Asofa-Solomona has spent time on the edge the past two weeks, for minutes of 64 and 70, and scores of 68 and 113.

If that role continues he is a genuine super POD for the final two weeks. However, with Felise Kaufusi back on deck I’m not so sure it will.

I’d still play Jahrome Hughes in my 17, if I owned any other Storm players outside of those mentioned above I’d be tempted to sit.

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Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Angus Crichton 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley

Bench: 14. Connor Watson 15. Egan Butcher 16. Lindsay Collins 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho

Reserves: 18. Drew Hutchison 19. Terrell May 20. Siua Wong 21. Fletcher Baker 22. Oliver Gildart

Analysis: Pretty much identical to above in terms of being wary of investing in any Roosters despite their terrific form.

They play South Sydney next week at the unveiling of the new stadium, and there’s likely to be plenty on the line in that game.

James Tedesco is an obvious play, while it’d be hard to sit Angus Crichton off a 160 point performance, but if your squad is stacked I see some merit in it as an anti-POD play, we know he has a 45 in him.

As a scarred non-owner, Joey Manu’s three round average of 53 has been an absolute delight to watch. It remains one of life’s great mysteries how he didn’t score well in the onslaught against the Tigers.

Regardless, he’s a freak and should be played this week in 17s, while his wing partner Joseph Suaalii is probably a sit.

My old mate the Guru nailed it last week saying that having a roaming Joey inside him won’t help his output, even if the Tigers incompetence in letting in Nat Butcher for four tries contributed to that.

Sam Walker is a sit candidate, that’s a tough call with his upside, but Melbourne will be masters at shutting him down.

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Saturday, 3pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

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

Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Corey Horsburgh 17. Corey Harawira-Naera

Reserves: 18. James Schiller 19. Ata Mariota 20. Matt Frawley 21. Trey Mooney 22. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

Analysis: No interest here outside of Joe Tapine who returned in style from a rib injury.

He’s an obvious play and potential buy candidate for anyone after a FRF, while Adam Elliott has back-to-back scores in the 30s the past two weeks in slightly limited minutes, sit.

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Sea Eagles: 1. Tolutau Koula 2. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Dylan Walker

Bench: 14. Ben Trbojevic 15. Josh Schuster 16. Martin Taupau 17. Kurt De Luis

Reserves: 18. Ethan Bullemor 19. Kaeo Weekes 20. James Roumanos 21. Jamie Humphreys 22. Jacob Sykes

Analysis: In current form there’s no way I’d invest in Manly players, particularly with key players out and the fact they’re out of the running for a top eight spot.

Sit v starts are a little tougher, with a clash against Canberra coming off a very underwhelming performing against Newcastle.

I think you probably have to play Daly Cherry-Evans and Haumole Olakau’atu if you own them, the upside is too good.

I’d be tempted to sit any others if you do own. The match-up with the Bulldogs next week looks decent.

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Saturday, 5.30pm, Pointsbet Stadium, Sydney

Sharks: 1. Lachlan Miller 2. Matt Ikuvalu 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Royce Hunt 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Dale Finucane

Bench: 14. Teig Wilton 15. Cameron McInnes 16. Aiden Tolman 17. Andrew Fifita

Reserves: 18. Braydon Trindall 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Franklin Pele 21. Kayal Iro 22. Luke Metcalf

Analysis: Cronulla are one of the more relevant SuperCoach teams with a nice finish against the Bulldogs and Knights.

This makes them a great play for both head-to-head grand finalists and overall players.

Nicho Hynes is averaging an incredible 86 points this season, everyone pretty well already owns and he’s the obvious captaincy play in Round 24.

Ronaldo Mulitalo has been extremely disappointing of late, even Matty Moylan’s return didn’t help him. Regardless, he’s a play this week.

While he hasn’t exactly set the world alight over the past month, Jesse Ramien remains a decent super POD play in my eyes at tiny ownership.

Siosifa Talakai has been named in a huge relief for very patient owners, he’s a play in 17s this week.

I’d be tempted to sit Cam McInnes this week for anyone with strong depth, he may need an attacking stat to go 65+, which he’s more than capable of achieving so he’s a solid enough play if required.

A shout out to big Andrew Fifita who is now above $300k with two 60+ scores in the past three weeks, unfortunately it’s come 23 rounds too late big fella!

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Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Jacob Kiraz 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Braidon Burns 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. Luke Thompson

Bench: 14. Zach Dockar-Clay 15. Joe Stimson 16. Harrison Edwards 17. Chris Patolo

Reserves: 19. Declan Casey 20. Bailey Biondi-Odo 21. Jackson Topine 22. Kurtis Morrin 23. Jeral Skelton

Analysis: No interest here, I’d look to sit Jacob Kiraz and Max King.

Personally I’d still likely play Matt Burton if I owned despite three sub 50 scores in his past four games, but there’s a fair case to sit.

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Saturday, 7.35pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Hame Sele 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray

Bench: 14. Kodi Nikorima 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Thomas Burgess

Reserves: 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Taane Milne 20. Davvy Moale 21. Jed Cartwright 22. Michael Chee Kam

Analysis: Games against the Cowboys and Roosters make me a little wary of the Rabbitohs SuperCoach contingent, but in saying that, their attack is so elite at the moment it may not matter too much.

Alex Johnston is on an absolute tear, what a star. It’s getting harder to say avoid due to the tough run and his low floor, he just keeps on getting over the stripe.

Not for me, but a fair investment with huge upside.

Latrell Mitchell has certainly proven himself completely fixture proof, he’s a cheeky captaincy option, but there’s likely better.

Cody Walker is one I’m very torn on whether to sit or start, I’ve benched him pretty frequently but he’s looking better with every game.

My concern is that a sweeping Latrell steals almost all of his try-assists when the Bunnies swing wide, so he’s not getting the TAs we’ve seen in the past.

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Cowboys: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Reuben Cotter 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo

Bench: 14. Tom Gilbert 15. Coen Hess 16. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 17. Griffin Neame

Reserves: 18. Brendan Elliot 19. Tomas Chester 20. Jake Granville 21. Riley Price 22. Ben Condon

Analysis: With games against the Rabbitohs in Sydney, then Panthers in Townsville to end the season, I’d be reluctant investing in any Cowboys.

Tom Dearden’s absence won’t help Val Holmes on the left, he’s a potential sit option despite coming off a tonne.

However you’d want to be fairly stacked to consider it, which some certainly will.

Jason Taumalolo is likely a sit, averaging just 50 points in 50 minutes since Reuben Cotter returned to the starting team three weeks back.

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That being said, he’s one I wouldn’t be overly concerned if I did have to play (which I do).

Scott Drinkwater is also a potential sit with his low floor and the move to the halves which I don’t see helping his output.

The Bunnies score plenty, but they’re also still conceding a few.

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Sunday, 2pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. Brent Naden 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Pauga 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Jock Madden 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Zane Musgrove 11. Thomas Freebairn 12. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Fa’amanu Brown

Bench: 14. Fonua Pole 15. Austin Dias 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Kitione Kautoga

Reserves: 18. Justin Matamua 19. Tyrone Peachey 20. James Roberts 21. Tukimihia Simpkins 22. Brandon Tumeth

Analysis: No interest here, although Adam Doueihi is definitely a play in 17s.

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Dragons: 1. Cody Ramsey 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Jack Bird 4. Zac Lomax 5. Tautau Moga 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jayden Sullivan 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Josh Mcguire 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin

Bench: 14. Tyrell Fuimaono 15. Jaiyden Hunt 16. Jackson Ford 17. Tyrell Sloan

Reserves: 18. Jack Gosiewski 19. Jonathon Reuben 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Joshua Coric 22. Josh Kerr

Analysis: No real interest here, Zac Lomax is definitely a play in 17s. Ben Hunt is a genuine option for anyone in a head-to-head grand final this week.

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Sunday, 4.05pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Sosefo Fifita 3. Brian Kelly 4. Phillip Sami 5. Greg Marzhew 6. AJ Brimson 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Sam McIntyre 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Isaac Liu

Bench: 14. Paul Turner 15. Herman Ese’ese 16. Moeaki Fotuaika 17. Klese Haas

Reserves: 18. Corey Thompson 19. Jarrod Wallace 20. Toby Sexton 21. Esan Marsters 22. Sam Lisone

Analysis: My cheeky little AJ Brimson call is paying off (not that I invested), with 82 points last week backing up his 11 in the round prior.

With upcoming games against the Knights and Warriors, he remains a serious option for both overall and head-to-head players.

Yes there’s risk involved, but he has a three round average of 87 since making the move back to the halves, I still like him.

David Fifita is an obvious play, what a beast! Back-to-back scores of 90 and 85 have repaid some faith for patient owners.

He’s a genuine buy option, but I do still worry he could so easily go missing and knock out a 40 odd. 

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Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Edrick Lee 3. Dane Gagai 4. Krystian Mapapalangi 5. Dominic Young 6. Anthony Milford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Daniel Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Brodie Jones 13. Sauaso Sue

Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Mathew Croker

Reserves: 18. Jack Johns 19. Chris Randall 20. Enari Tuala 21. Simi Sasagi 22. Jirah Momoisea

Analysis: No interest here.

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