NRL trials week two: How the Supercoach contingent fared

We recap every game from week two of the NRL trials, with a focus on how the Supercoach prospects performed.

NRL Pre Season

Knights v Eels

Hopgood is locked in and could well be the highest owned player in Supercoach this year, making his scores largely irrelevant to serious players because everyone will have him. He should generate great cash.

Who will be the Eels 11 & 12 with Lane and Doorey sustaining seemingly long-term injuries? Could this be the year Bryce Cartwright makes a Supercoach resurgence? Due back Round 1 or 2, be careful not to get sucked into traps filling this position.

Greg Marzhew is certainly raising some eyebrows among SC players. He has the high scoring game and O’Brien will surely commit to him for a few games. The Knights have a softer draw – definitely tempting but not without some risk.

Jayden Brailey is decently priced and is one to keep an eye on. I don’t think he’ll drop value so he is low risk in my book and could have upside. He’s a very good player.

Kalyn Ponga is the big question mark. No doubt he is under-priced, but he doesn’t have the goal-kicking and it is a fair gamble to take. 50 BE to start is not huge though for a player of his calibre.

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Sea Eagles v Roosters

Olakau’atu looks very good and showed a nice combination with Koula. It’s not like they were playing spuds either – the Roosters are no joke. Very impressive!

Kelma Tualagi will benefit from Schuster no doubt. I have to rid myself of some recency bias as I had Kelma last year and he basically did nothing with the Tigers, particularly after he signed with Manly. Schuster is a must-have.

Seibold could have freed the Des Hasler shackles at Manly and that looks exciting, particularly if you add in DCE and Turbo. Garrick must come under consideration also.

I’m pondering Suaalii but I’d expect the Roosters to start slow in 2023 – they looked clunky and had a lot of injury clouds.

Tedesco is not a lock for me, but I’d have to be brave not to go him.

Egan Butcher comes under serious consideration as a mid-priced 2RF.

Brandon Smith could be a wait and see I feel but if you like him then put him in.

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Dragons v Rabbitohs

Cook looked sharp.  

Cody looked sharp. 

Latrell looked sharp. 

I’m mildly interested in Burgess who takes a bigger role than in 2022.

Davvy Moale will come under consideration pending likely minutes.

Cameron Murray must be considered, although he is highly priced. Murray and Cook are lethal in the middle of the field off any quick play-the-balls

Saints, nothing.

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St. Helens v Panthers

This was a high quality game, seriously affected by some crazy weather. The Panthers blew off some rust, but it did show how much they’ll miss Koroisau and Kikau. I’m not sure that they’ll be as formidable without those two players, however they are still probably favourites to win the comp.

Panthers will be stung by that and in Round 1 will come out steaming. I’m leaning towards sticking with Nathan Cleary to start.

Brian To’o will come under serious consideration as will whoever gets named in the 11 jersey – likely to be Luke Garner, Scott Sorensen or Zac Hosking. Whichever one it is would appear to be good value.

Soni Luke is a wait and see with no trial form to go on and no indication of split minutes with Mitch Kenny.

Fair play to St. Helens, they came out and turned up and deserved the win. Good side.

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Broncos v Cowboys

Interesting game – lots of penalties and stoppages but I would still consider it to be a fairly high-quality game.

The Cowboys dominated all of the second half and the Broncos were very brave in defence.

The Cowboys have a very set side that was successful deep into the 2022 season, a bit like the Rabbitohs so they should start fast.

Val Holmes looked great in the trial and will be high ownership I feel. Only the Cowboys early form in 2022 at home in the heat is the only thing that dissuades me somewhat.

Holmes scored 16, 49, 31 and 53 in the Cowboys first four games in 2022 at QLD Country Bank Stadium. That’s an average of 37.25 which is pretty dismal at his price. But I do believe the Cowboys are a different team now and they showed that in the back half of the 2022 season. Holmes is in for me.

Tualagi comes under consideration as he is flying high and is as confident as they come after playing for Australia at the end of the year.

Drinkwater has to be considered given what he can do, but it’s a hard watch similar to Cody Walker in previous years.

Cotter is a solid FRF option with some upside in attack.

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People are sleeping on Jason Taumalolo, for me he needs to be properly considered. He looks very fit indeed.

Payne Haas remains an option because fit and firing he could play huge minutes if Kevvy Walters decides to go that way.

Carrigan is similar and offloads more frequently than Haas.

I’ll pass on Cobbo but I can definitely see the appeal, particularly if Walsh is fit and he gets that cut-out ball going to the winger.

Walsh is a similar proposition to Ponga – probably good value, but he is a risk. He’s $14k dearer than Ponga.

Staggs and Farnworth look lethal on the edges, but can you be sure they are going to see clean ball? I’ll wait and see on those two.

With no Reynolds or Walsh, the Broncos winning that game was a bit of an upset really, but trial results aren’t always a great indicator.

Jesse Arthurs is too good a player to be in reserve grade. No doubt he will start in reserve grade for the Broncos if Walsh is fit.

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Warriors v Storm

Scrappy game. I think the wind in Christchurch wreaked havoc with kicking, catching and passing and led to a lot of errors. The Warriors fifth tackle options really struggled to get decent results.

CNK – solid, I’d be interested to see his SC score? He could be a mid-range CTW, borderline cheapie.

Montoya – after suspension? Dynamic running and he has tacklebreak ability, while he’s also a good finisher. He will definitely be a POD, but he is in career best form no doubt.

Vailea – looks a bit light but seems to be in favour over Pompey. Showed in first trial he has good hands which could lead to TS and LBA’s. Promising in limited touches – too attack reliant though I feel.

SJ – woeful first half. Didn’t find touch off a penalty. Kicks were either too long or too short. Seemingly didn’t want to get tackled. The only positive was his defence was actually pretty good. If he gets it close to right the Warriors might go okay in 2023.

AFB – solid. Expect the same SC return as 2022.

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Tohu Harris – very interested. Minutes is the key. He might be a watch and see, although if you went him early I don’t think he’ll hurt you.  

Jackson Ford – another cheapie backrower. Appears to be in favour for a left edge backrow spot. He’s a big body but defended really well and hits a good line on the edge. If named to start on TLT he is straight in for me.  

Niukore – played right edge second-row for the first 20 minutes, then shifted to the middle. The talk is he’ll play big minutes and he is quality. Get him in! 

Barnett – looked really good in the middle. Interested in minutes distribution.

Jazz Tevaga – not there. Where does he fit in and what minutes does he take in the middle on return from injury?

Meaney – very ordinary and uninvolved – couldn’t contemplate at that price.  

Warbrick – big body, solid cheapie – if named in starting side Round 1, he’s straight in.

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Reimis Smith – not much of a backs game, but looked rusty.

Hughes – solid but again will be down on scoring I feel because of the lack of quick pla-the-balls with no Cheese this season.

Munster – as crafty as ever but see above in the same boat as Hughes. Might be overvalued.

NAS – looked really good and has strong tacklebreak ability. He’s so explosive, but what minutes can he get out? If they have their fair share of ball, he could average 60 in 40 minutes. Always a judiciary risk though because he plays right on the edge at all times.

Loeiro – pretty plain on the edge. I think he’s a middle.

Eliesa Katoa – limited touches but looked good. Probably another mid-ranger at 2RF that goes in if named for Round 1  

Coates is an avoid for me – will be similar to 2022.

Jordan Grant actually looked good – could have an increased role if he makes the 17. Wait and see.

Welch – looks good. Loves to offload. Serious consideration.  

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Tigers v Raiders

Douehi looks good – straight in!

Tommy Talau solid cheapie if named and you know with the way the Tigers are playing this year he’ll see some ball.

Seyfarth is yet another mid-range 2RF that could be relevant with game time – probably less upside than the others mentioned.

Junior Tupou – can play on the wing and might be a smoky for Round 1.

Tapine – straight in. Offloading. Increased minutes at lock possibly?

Danny Levi looked sharp but likely has to split mins with Starling.

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Bulldogs v Sharks (Tim W recap)

The Sharks looked extremely sharp in this and probably gave bright-eyed Doggies fans a slight reality check amid all the pre-season hype.

That being said, it’s really only a trial so don’t be too deterred with the result.

Ronaldo Mulitalo again switched wings with Sione Katoa, this seems to happen a lot. While it’s not a deal-breaker for anyone keen on Mulitalo, I much prefer the right edge winger outside Nicho Hynes, in this case it’s Katoa. Mulitalo scored a double, so it probably sounds silly, but I just like the right edge winger at Cronulla.

Nicho Hynes was excellent again and had a hand in just about everything for the Sharks, just the ultimate accumulator. It’s getting harder and harder to leave him out of Round 1 teams.

Sifa Talakai looked outstanding and is genuine POD CTW to start the season, he’ll benefit from Wilton starting on the left edge.

Teig Wilton impressed again, I want him playing 80 in round 1 badly, if he does he looks hard to leave out as yet another mid-range 2RF.

The Bulldogs looked clunky in attack, very understandable this early on with a new-look side. It did raise a few concerns over Matt Burton though, will he need time to flourish with new men around him?

Lock in Paul Alamoti as a cheapie, while Jacob Preston is doing everything he can to get named in Round 1. He’s a big worker with attacking upside, if he gets named on a three forward bench I’ll be very tempted even with a question mark over minutes.

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Dolphins v Titans (Tim W recap)

I’m finding it very hard to go near any Dolphins players. Don’t get sucked into and false ideas about the Titans from this game, they didn’t have much to beat.

Alofiana Khan-Pereira scored a hat-trick within the first 11 minutes, then a fourth in the 68th minute, his job security looks safe for at least a while. Lock and load.

David Fifita looked dangerous and had some very skillful moment, again though, it’s a hard game to get too excited about.

I’m not keen on him, but Aaron Schoupp busted 13 tackles!

Rumours were put to bed of Schoupp kicking goals, with Tanah Boyd taking the role, although at 4/8 he wasn’t overly convincing.

I’m not sold on Boyd, but at the price with the Titans looking fairly dangerous in attack he looks hard to ignore.

He linked up well with Kieran Foran who had a field day, that whole left edge including Beau Fermor will benefit enormously.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow has a linebreak, four tacklebusts and 10 runs, but I can’t go near him in round 1 in this side.

Ray Stone had a crack as he always does, but with limited upside he really needs decent minutes to make any money.

Popular 2RF mid-ranger Tom Gilbert finished with four runs, 0 tacklebreaks, 0 offloads and 29 tackles. Hard pass.

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