Squad Breakdown: Manly Sea Eagles 2023 SuperCoach analysis

2020 NRL Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams takes a deep dive into the credentials of the Manly Sea Eagles for Round 1.

NRL Pre Season

1. Tom Trbojevic

2. Christian Tuipulotu

3. Tolutau Koula

4. Brad Parker

5. Reuben Garrick

6. Cooper Johns (Josh Schuster)

7. Daly Cherry-Evans

8. Josh Aloiai

9. Lachlan Croker

10. Jake Trbojevic

11. Kelma Tuilagi

12. Haumole Olakau’atu

13. Sean Keppie

14. Ben Trbojevic

15. Toa Sipley

16. Taniela Paseka

17. Ethan Bullemor

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Team News

Tom Trbojevic is expected to be fit for Round 1, while Jason Saab won’t return till later in the season due to injury.

Reuben Garrick has declared he wants to move to the centres at some stage when it suits what the team requires, but as it stands I’ve got him on the wing.

Kelma Tuilagi is likely to line-up on the left edge outside Josh Schuster. Schuster himself has been ruled out of round 1, with a likely return in round 3 following the round 2 bye.

The pack pretty well picks itself, while Ben Condon and Zac Fulton will push for bench roles.

Jake Trbojevic may make the move to prop as per NSW Origin, which would open the door for a role at lock.

This is pending which style of footy Anthony Seibold wants to play, be it a big bopper at lock or a more agile ball-playing 13.

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Bulldogs (H), bye, Eels (H), Rabbitohs (A), Knights (H), Panthers (A), Storm (H), Tigers (A), Titans (H), Broncos (Suncorp, Magic Round)

First five round strength of schedule rating (1 toughest, 10 easiest)


2023 gainsSquad changes, via NRL.com

Ben Condon (North Queensland Cowboys, 2025), Zac Fulton (2024), Cooper Johns (Melbourne Storm, 2023), Nathaniel Roache (2023), Kelma Tuilagi (Wests Tigers, 2025)

2023 losses

Kieran Foran (Titans), Dylan Walker (Warriors), Martin Taupau (Broncos), Andrew Davey (Bulldogs).

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Reuben Garrick $742,600

The price tag and early bye will scare most of Garrick, and I think that’s fair.

But there’s a genuine case to start with him as a POD.

To think he averaged 71 points per game last season, essentially without Tom Trbojevic. He spent time at fullback, but you’d also argued he scores less tries in that position so it may not matter too much.

The season prior, for anyone needing a reminder, Garrick averaged a mammoth 88 points per game!

This was the 2021 season of record breaking scoring, and Manly arguably capitalised better than any other side in the comp, so maybe we don’t expect the same from Garrick, but it is a sign of his ceiling and consistency.

Turbo is back for now, and while he is, Garrick could well feast on tries.

Due to the early bye, and price tag I’ll avoid, but he could be the No.1 CTW pick before we know it.

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Daly Cherry-Evans $693,000

I thought I’d mention DCE for anyone that is eyeing him off, but for me I can’t consider with the early bye.

It’s not that much more to pay up to get Nathan Cleary or Nicho Hynes who I feel are worth every cent extra you’ll pay.

If Garrick gets injured and he starts kicking goals post round 2 bye we can reconsider, but not for me.

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Haumole Olakau’atu $682,400

Here’s a sneaky early POD play…

While everyone is looking towards Cam Murray or David Fifita as premium 2RF picks, why not Big Ola?

Prior to jersey gate which derailed Manly’s season and Ola’s, he averaged 68PPG.

I love the impact Turbo has on back-rowers, as he attracts defenders sweeping out the back, they can stroll through plenty of space.

He’s a Supercoach treat, busting tackles, offloading, and producing plenty of attacking stats.

Not a bad early play for mine…

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Tom Trbojevic $577,700

I don’t want to spend too much time on this, I feel like pointing out his 141 point average two years back should be enough to make anyone buy him.

In context, Nathan Cleary is the only other play to averaged over 100 points in a Supercoach season (108 the same year).

Now Turbo isn’t going to do that again, I don’t think, but it shows what he’s capable of.

Last season people were paying $1m+ for him, so why wouldn’t you pay half that having been priced on a 55 point average after the reduction due to injury?

Sure there’s injury risk, but it’s not as big as risk as starting with out him and blasting a tonne and forcing an early round 3 trade that could have been avoided from the get go.

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Jake Trbojevic $528,700

I won’t be starting with Turbo, but I did want to give him a mention.

We believe he moves from lock to prop this season, which essentially doesn’t mean much, but we suspect he may play more of a workhorse role rather than the ball-playing job he had under Dez Hasler.

He’s priced on a 50 point average, but has averaged 66 back in 2020.

He could be a front-rower playing 80 minutes. If he’s punching out 45+ tackles and 15+ runs with a few attacking stats to boot he could be a great picked up round 4 before his initial price rise.

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Sean Keppie $274,800

If Jurbo moves to prop, Keppie might win a few extra minutes at starting lock.

He starts very cheap having averaged 26 points in 32 minutes last season.

The season prior he averaged 40 points in 47 minutes per game.

He’s scored at just .82 and .86 points per minute the past two seasons which is very ordinary to be honest.

Realistically he needs to be playing 45+ minutes in my opinion to warrant the trade, whether or not he’ll get that I’m not sure, but at the price he’s hard to ignore if starting lock.

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Josh Schuster $241,200

Cooper Johns will start in Schuster’s place round 1, he’s a trap, so don’t buy.

The big question is whether or not to start with Schuster knowing he misses round 1, they have the round 2 bye, and there’s no guarantee he’ll play round 3 with his calf injury.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.

Once he’s back he’ll become a must-have and will require a trade for non-owners at some point. If we start with him, we save that trade. If we start without, he becomes a perfect downgrade for an underperforming player to free up cash between round 3-5.

I’m leaning towards the latter, as the way I see it we’d be making a trade on an underperforming gun regardless.

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