Weekly wrap: Round 1 winners, losers, injuries

We recap every game from Round one of the NRL, with a focus on how the SuperCoach prospects performed.


Hello, we’re back and this might as well be a manifest on why J’maine Hopgood might just be the greatest thing to happen to Supercoach. What a start to the year he had! Got through 55 tackles as well as 21 carries and 6 offloads for 101 of the finest supercoach points I can remember in a long while. Long may he prosper! 

Minor change up from previous years, we have decided in 2023 to bring one of the Playbook’s great writers along for the ride and will be featuring none other than Clementine Cassidy as a co-writer to give her take on some of the games over the weekend! Can’t wait to see what she has to say on the weekend’s games. 

Like paring DCE and Turbo, Winx and Black Caviar, Jadeja and a turning Indian deck, The Overlord (Or the new Eddie Maguire – Mr Everywhere) has decided to start the year with 2 guns and leave the Spy as an NPR. Good move. 

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I do not think I am alone in saying how good it was to have the footy back! Thursday, the two on Friday, then into Saturday and Sunday; you forget how invested in each game you get when you have some players running around! Even sat down for an Adam Doueihi masterclass on Sunday night.  

The Supercoach scores though were a little on the cold side, some guns fired *cough* Turbo *cough* whilst several cheapies also had breakout games and will be some sought after trades come around midday today.

But with all that planning comes some absolute duds. Can’t win them all! Minutes were a big watch, as some predicted 80 min ‘must haves’ were barely sighted and now leave many a coach in a tricky predicament.  

The Philly Hamstrings – named after Dr Bill Knowles in Philadelphia – had what I thought to be a very solid start to the year, managing 1135, 43 more points than the Spy’s “Greatest ever round 1 team” 

– Nick

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Well, well, well. Fancy finding me here on this fine Monday as you open up the recap and prepare to rejoice or cry for the second time since SuperCoach 2023 opened for the first time.

You see, as founding fathers of The Cobbo x Staggs Support Group (please bring whiskey, Cobbo loaf, and cheese), it was inevitable that Timmy would eventually recognise the sheer chaotic fun that is a Nick x Clementine combination and pop us both together to get fully loose in a Maddest of Monday recap.

And ladies and sirs, the manifestation skills on me – because when Timmy first asked me to join the SC Playbook crew back way back in December 2021 after the SuperCoach gods shined on me and I became the luckiest girl alive and the owner of a bright red tracksuit that reads “Friday Beers” on the back, I read every single one of Nick’s articles and said to my mate “omg this man is a comedic genius master, and I hope I can fill in for him one day!” And so well…you see, I basically manifested myself sitting collaborating on this article for you.

So yeah, now that we’ve established just how good my manifestation skills are…next week when I manifest an easy 150 for Big Fifita, you better be on the great man…

So Round 1 2023. What. A Trip.

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Wins for all four Queensland teams, losses for Eels and Panthers, and ahhh…the Simpsons-predicted Dolphin massacre of the Chooks at Suncorp Stadium.

Plenty of SuperCoach guns did not do gunny things, and potential avoids like the Hammer laughed in our faces as they chopped the Chooks defence in two.

My SuperCoach team was definitely more Captain Teddy vs the Dolphins, than DCE ripping and tearing his way through the Bulldogs. We scored a completely unenviable 1029 points (actually we may be the Khan-Pereira of the round) – which included a whole bunch of 30s and 40s, a Khan-Pereira has-no-base nightmare of a 6 (SIX!!!), and a couple of saviours who I have now built shrines to in the form of Big David Fifita (I undyingly love you again), Cameron Murray, and Tommy T.

Right now, I’m looking longingly at that tempting boost just sitting there tempting me…

Kidding, kidding. I am strong. I will not make it rain like a rapper in Vegas this early in the season.

Because it’s a marathon, not a sprint friends (give me this one – it makes me feel better if I say it over and over again to myself as I sit here rocking back and forth in my safe, dark corner…)

– Clem

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Eels v Storm

The game I watched through my fingers, with my heart in my mouth, thought I’d definitely dodged a bullet, and then instead found myself crying into my beer at the 84th minute harbouring a strong craving for a Bruichladdich X4 Quadrupled Whiskey.

Because that’s right – I death rode Harry…and why? Because I’m an idiot sandwich who didn’t feel complete without a healthy dose of cheese.

Anyhow, enough about my unfortunate dietary choices. Let’s look at the game with the 16-12 golden point win to the Storm. Melbourne hasn’t lost a Round 1 game for two decades, and it was Harry the Wizard who burrowed over in the 84th minute for a try that ensured that Ballamy-is-God-stat remained true.

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Now let’s move on to fun things like celebrating what shall forever be known as Hope You Hopped on Hopgood Day.

And I am sorry, but Hopgood is a bonafide gun masquerading as a cheapie, and where did you come from (word on the street is that the RL Guru manifested you?). And thank you kind 84-minute playing base-monster for singlehandedly saving the Friday Beers from complete Round 1 annihilation.

You are a gentleman, a sir, and a complete HopGod, and with your 101 points every SuperCoacher should have you in your team.

And yes “you’re a wizard Harry”. The great hooker scored a 91 proving he’s a consistent hooker-gun and probably not one to death-ride. And I will cop that on the chin. Although to be fair, the 60-odd he was on before that sneaky golden-point try did not impress me much (okay, okay I’m a salty non-owner here – he was still impressive with 54 tackles and a hand in Melbourne’s first try of the game).

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I am completely sad in my heart that I flipped Christian Welsh out of the final version of my team. Whacking out 67 points, tackling his heart out, and throwing casual offloads, the great man is most definitely underpriced at 464k and is one that I am most desperately trying to get into my team – potentially using Pele who we shall speak of more of later.

Melbourne mid-rangers came to the mid-ranger party. And did we all miss a mid-ranger named Josh King? The man played his heart out over massive minutes, finishing on 96 points. He is currently on minute-watch for me. Eliesa Katoa looked a great-get scoring 54, while Trent Loiero whacked out a casual 47.

William Warbrick at 30 points isn’t a cause for panic yet. Keep an eye on him over the next couple of rounds, but of the cheapie wingers out there, he certainly wasn’t the worst.

A sad moment for Munster-owners turned into a happy moment when he Undertaker’ed himself and got back on the field after a compound dislocation of his finger in the first half. Before the injury he looked pretty good (despite a bad defensive read leading to the Paulo try), and I feel sad for owners who must now consider moving the great man on as it is revealed the injury will see him miss a few weeks.

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Special mention to big Junior Paulo who crashed over for that try and top scored for the game on 103 points and Will Penisini who also scored for a 72. Nick Meaney owners would have also been stoked with his 76 points – one to watch in CTW.

To the Eels cheapies – and we’ve already discussed the great HopGod – GET HIM IN YOUR TEAM, Carty Party owners would’ve been dripping wet with all the champagne showers going down as they celebrated his 59 points, and Doorey owners shouldn’t panic over his 34 points – watch him over the next few weeks instead.

Mitch Moses (16 points) and Dylan Brown (32 points) faded into oblivion as Hodgson put them into a deep, deep sleep that hopefully does not last for 100 years. At some point in the season, surely the Eels halves comes into contention for a spot in your halves (but maybe keep them on the watchlist until the Hodgson-spell is broken and they do Eels-halves attacky things again).

Minute watch – Paulo 68, Cartwright 84, Doorey 73, Hopgood 84, King 81, Katoa 84, Loiero 84, Welch 58, Grant 84, NAS 53

Reported injuries: Cameron Munster (finger), Xavier Coates (shoulder)

Judiciary: Eliesa Katoa (Grade 1 – Dangerous Contact)

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Warriors v Knights

Picture this. You’re sitting in a stadium full of people screaming “up the Wahs” the drums are beating, and over the loud speaker the guy yells ‘Are there any Knights fans in the house?’ Dead silence. Then a little voice next to me pipes up “me!”.

And that’s right, in a crowd of 16,000 screaming, flag waving, die-hard Warriors fans, I literally sat next to Knights tragic and Kalyn Ponga’s biggest fan girl – my nephew.

So unhappily for him (and his eardrums having to sit next to me), the ‘Wahs’ took the win in a close game with a 20-12 scoreline, which saw Kiwi-favourite, Tohu Harris, play 80 minutes knocking out a casual 81 (71 points in base) to prove he’s a bona-fide gun of absolute consistency.

If Tohu gets the big minutes next Round, he’s surely a consideration for your team.

Kalyn Ponga finished on a respectable 72, scoring a try assist early in the first half. He did look really good and dangerous at times, but if you’re a non-owner I’d watch next week first before bringing him in.

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Special shoutout to Egan whacking out 99 points (one to watch for pod-hunters), big Bunty Afoa for scoring a try to the elation of the entire stadium “BUUUUUNTY AFOA!”, and Millar who ran for 174 metres and made a couple of desperate try-saving tackles to finish on 52.

I am looking at Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad right now cursing myself for taking him out of my team. He played his heart out scoring a decent 70 points. While he won’t be playing the Knights every week, he’s definitely one to watch priced at a low 327k.

Niukore IS in my team. And when he crossed for that try, myself and 15,998 Warriors fans jumped up out of our seats screaming with joy. Only to find out it wasn’t a try, making me feel quite sad in my heart indeed and my Kalyn Ponga-loving nephew to cackle away next to me at my great sorrowful moment.

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What to do with Niukore? He was training houses down in the pre-season and yet he spent so much time on the bench, where I desperately watched him, heart pounding, as he jumped on the bike, sat back down, went for a jog, sat back down…before finishing off on just 34 SuperCoach points. He’s a minute-watch, and if he doesn’t get the minutes next Round, I’m flipping him out of my team.

The cheaper option of Ford however, was outstanding for the Warriors, playing the full 80, running for 150 metres and making a line break. He out-scored and out-minuted Niukora, and at a delicious 281k, might just be who I flip Niukora to.

Lastly, a special SC watch on the pitch invaders who legitimately formed a full third team running out on the field at the end of the second-half. The points per minute on the guy who sculled a beer, jumped a fence, made around 100 metres, and busted about 50 security guard tackles surely deserves a place in your SC team. He is a bonafide gun – Get. Him. In.

Minute watch – Ford 80, Niukore 61, Harris 80, Barnett 49, Elliott 55, D.Safiti 53

Reported injuries: Tyson Frizell (head knock)

Judiciary: Adam Elliott (Grade 1 – Dangerous Contact)

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Penrith v Broncos

I mean wow. The most stunning of STUNNING upsets went down on Friday night at BlueBet Stadium.

12-13 to the Broncos. Round 1 defeaters of the Premiers. Reynolds showing which halfback actually has ice in his veins as he iced a field goal in the 71st minute. And WTAF.

And look, there is an Api/Kikau-sized hole at Penrith and it’s not being filled right now by a Kenny/Garner.

Instead, half the hole could be better plugged up by a SuperCoach cheapie named Soni Luke, who added SPARK to the team when he came on with his darting runs and his try, except he only got 25 minutes and why please Ivan? I don’t even own the man, but even I can see he should surely be allowed more time on the field than that.

Owners should be happy with his 59 points, and non-owners should definitely have the cheapie on their watchlist before potential price-rises.

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Those who jumped on Garner would have felt quite sad that he only got 50 mins. If he gets low minutes next week he must be considered as a move on, as his output just isn’t there. The whole Penrith left edge clearly miss Kikau, and dare I say it, they just look clunky and not very Panther-like.

Nathan Cleary death-riders would have felt quite pleased with themselves after he scored a lowly 53. But I wouldn’t get too comfortable on your high-horse as the great man won’t be tossing up these mid-range scores often (please?), and I fully expect a fighting comeback from Nath and the whole Panther’s team next week vs the Bunnies.

SuperCoach coveted wingers, To’o (43 points) and cheapie Turuva (39 points), didn’t benefit from the clunky Panther’s attack or the Broncos excellence in defence and neither scored. I wouldn’t be trading these guys out just yet though – To’o is a proven gun and 43 points with no tries is nothing to be sad about, and surely once the team un-rusts themselves, the attacking opportunities will definitely come for these two.

Special mention to Liam Martin, who top-scored for the Panthers with 83 points including a try. One to watch definitely.

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To the Broncos we go, and ahh Staggs. 29-points Staggs. Whilst he was very decent in defence in his 57 minutes, using mathematical calculations we can determine that he won’t score his first ton until Round 5, when you have patiently copped his 30s for weeks on end.

And psycho-analysis says that if you own him, you will feed off that ton for the next four games until he does it again. In the 20 minutes where the man does not touch the ball, I could literally fry up three Kotoni snags, slap them between three pieces of bread, smother them with tomato sauce, and eat them one after another and still have time left over to scull three beers before looking wanderlingly at the TV and wondering why TF Kotoni still hasn’t touched the ball…

And Cobbo, oh my Cobbo. I am so glad I unsituationshipped myself from you before Round 1 lockout. Because my team was already a mess without adding your 24 points as fill-in fullback to the mix, and I just don’t know if I’m ready to ride the Cobbo rollercoaster again this season. Maybe keep him on your watchlist for when he moves back to wing and scores a hattrick or two.

The glorious Patty C is someone I kept a close eye on the whole game (so did my mate and she doesn’t even play SuperCoach). Anyhow he’s an absolute weapon of toughness and consistency, racking up 50 tackles and scoring a very respectable 74.

He’s potentially a cheaper version of Murray priced at a very delicious 654k, and one I’m definitely looking to get into my team. Payne Hass rewarded owners who trusted his reliability, throwing out a casual 79 points and proving himself as one to consider in 2023.

Minute watch – Garner 50, Fisher-Harris 47, Kenny 67, Luke 26, Haas 65, Carrigan 70

Reported injuries: Scott Sorensen (head knock)

Judiciary: Nil

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Manly v Bulldogs

He’s back baby!

Manly completely impressed in their 31-6 annihilation the Bulldogs at Brookvale on Saturday afternoon. The great Tommy T back in the team literally makes them play 90% better. It is basic physics. The man didn’t even go full-flight soaring sea eagle-mode – and still scored a casual 97. If I didn’t own, I’d be doing everything to get him into my team come Round 3.

The Bulldogs on the flipside looked clunky in attack with the halves failing to take control of the game. Also, who TF gave Kikau a kicking licence? He will surely never be kikauing again.

DCE was the pick of the halfbacks this Round. How is this man 34 years old and skipping around the field like a filly at springtime cutting teams in half and scoring hattricks?? The 2.8% of owners must, of course, have a round of applause for savvily getting on the 119-point top scorer of the round.

Garrick revealed himself as THE Round 1 choice of high-priced wingers scoring a casual 110 points, and with Tommy T feeding him tries out there on the left and all those glorious kicking points, surely it must make him a serious consideration to be in everyone’s teams.

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Mahoney was surely Best on Ground for the Dogs – trying his absolute heart out and scoring a try. Not for me right now, but 75 points cannot be sniffed at and he must be one to watch.

Poor Matt Burton had a bludger of a game (potentially his worst ever for the Dogs) missing six tackles, making four errors, and executing some pretty poor kicks for a grand total of 18 SuperCoach points. BUT DO NOT PANIC if you’re an owner. You have another free watch next week before his price changes, so maybe give the man a chance to redeem himself, surely a bounce-back is on the cards…

Of the cheapies and the awkwardly priced not-quite-cheapies, we had a 53-minute Preston on 25 points, Alomoti on 22 points with not much opportunity with the ball so nothing to panic about there yet owners, awkwardly-priced-Perham on 33 points who I’m not convinced on SuperCoach-wise.

As for Pele – well, I like to jump on my soapbox every now and again and preach to you about hoarding your trades like they’re your last carton of beers and the bottle shops closed for 27 weeks. On this occasion as I stare at his 8 points however, I’d like to join you as we crack one open and scull it right to the bottom – where we’ll hunt for a decent FRF to replace Pele.

BUT if you can hold off until next week – his price won’t change…but DO NOT play him whatever you do (clearly this could come back to bite me so actually, you do you boo).

Minute watch – Keppie 39, Olakau’atu 80, Jurbo 80, Kikau 72, Pele 9, Preston 52, King 62

Reported injuries: Lachlan Croker (head knock)

Judiciary: Nil

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Cowboys v Raiders 

Not a huge Supercoach scoring game. Despite Scotty Drinkwater crossing for a double, he still couldn’t manage to break 60! Seems an extremely low score with 2 tries. Might have played himself out of being a POD… 38 points of his 59 were attacking stats.  

Cotter was given big minutes, banging out 67 in his first hit out, and scored 63 which was all base baby! 1 tackle bust; he looks a must in the FRF. Val did enough to warrant holding but will need to find a few more attacking stats to justify his heft price tag. 

Tough road trip for the boys from Belconnen to start they year, but they fought back well. Joey Taps looked to ease into the season managing 56 points in 49 minutes. A good floor but another who will need to start moving that dial into the 70s. 

Minute Watch – Lolo 53, Cotter 67, Robson 80, Nanai 80, Tapine 49, CHN 66, Young 80 

Reported Injuries – Nil. 

Judiciary – Jordan Rapana (Grade 1 – Shoulder Charge), Kyle Feldt (Grade 1 – High Tackle) 

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Sharks v Rabbitohs 

Cam Murray. A Supercoach God amongst men. My word that man can play football! He was my first picked in 2023 and those who passed on him will be spitting chips today! Banged out 84 in 80 minutes, if we see more of those minutes this year, I may need new pants. 

Jai Arrow did succumb to a hamstring compliant, but if I am Jason Demetriou, (I’m obviously not) he won’t be getting an early mark unless the Bunnies are winning by 40. 

Latrell looked like he didn’t get out of 3rd gear yet still posted a classy 73, but it was Lachlan Ilias who stole the headlines, turning in a great knock and showing the rest of the competition that Souths have a right-hand side. C Graham anyone!? 

The Sharks looked a little lost and couldn’t go with South’s aggression as they settled into early life Nicho-less. They did however report a saving of $123 in water due to Nicho and his locks not taking the field.   

Teig Wilton was one I had my eye on most of the pre-season, and he didn’t quite reach the heights I thought he might have. Will be a different player once Hynes returns, but if it wasn’t for a dive over from a kick, his 67 would have looked more like a 50. Did play the full 80 though which is promising 

Minute Watch – Wilton 80, Nikora 80, McInnes 29 Moale 39, Murray 80  

Reported Injuries – Tavita Tatola (head knock), Jai Arrow (hamstring), Jack Williams (head knock), Latrell Mitchell (knee) 

Judiciary – Wade Graham (Grade 1 – High Tackle – Reckless), Briton Nikora (Grade 1 – Shoulder Charge), Braden Hamlin-Uele (Grade 1 – High Tackle) 

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Dolphins v Roosters 

This is just Wayne’s world and we are all living in it! Why did we all doubt a man who took both Brenko and Edrick Lee and made them Origin winners and question whether he could get this side of misfits up! What a start they had. Absolutely blew the Chooks off the park and with it, a lot of Supercoaches scoring weekends as Tedesco carried most of the Captaincy load for Round 1. 

He popped up like usual, although couldn’t find the attacking stats he would have usually enjoyed on a dry Suncorp track and finished with 52 pre updates.  

Walker looked solid, scoring 60 with only 12 attacking points in goal kicks credited to him. Brandon Smith will frustrate me and plenty of other owners but that’s life with the Cheese. Get on board and ride the wave! 

Management are also meeting this week to discuss Egan Butcher’s spot in the side… lost 17 points in negative stats!! The Philly Hamstrings and many others can’t be having that this early in the season. The knives are coming out for butcher!! (Ahhhhhhh) 

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For the Dolphins… Dare I say does Isaako become a near must?! Priced at 383K, will make some big dollars come round 3 and has the goalkicking. I don’t think he was mentioned anywhere on any podcast or by any experts that I can remember.  

Katoa… Be patient! Thought he was outstanding as a 19-year-old, playing in his NRL debut for a new (New) club. Might be a slowish burn but he will be there long term 

Minute watch – Stone 36, JMK 72, Cheese 59, E Butcher 69 (Included sin bin), N Butcher 80, Turpin 63 

Reported Injuries: Victor Radley (head knock), Matt Lodge (head knock) 

On report: Egan Butcher (dangerous contact) 

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Tigers v Titans 

The Adam Doueihi v David Fifita Supercoach watch game was won by Doueihi who scored a magnificent 89 point performance. In a side that scored only 10 points, he pops up everywhere and has the most Supercoach designed game I have seen in many a five-eight. Scored one and set the other up, tackle busts, forced line dropouts, line breaks, goals… He did it all. A very happy owner. 

The pair were by far the best performers on the night, with big D Fifita scoring 83 which included a try assist with Foran putting him through a gaping hole. Hopefully Foran’s injury isn’t too bad, because pairing him up with Fifita on the left edge looks an absolute set and forget.  

Brimson was another who had a solid start, scoring 65 at fullback which included a try and try assist, so very little in the way of base stats. He also might find himself in the 6 if Foran can’t lace the boots up next week. One to think about  

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Stefano scored well in limited minutes, but I think spending a bit more on a Cotter and Welch might be the way to go.  

Alofiana Khan-Pereira. Big name and big wraps. Ended the night with 6 points. Plenty would have played him in their 17s but fear not, he may be even cheaper come round 3, where you could pick him up for $573 and a long neck of Melbourne. Can’t pick them all! 

Minute Watch – Twal 68, Utoikamanu 49, IPap 80, Blore 18 (Failed HIA), Joe O30, Api 46, Fifita 80, Tino 57 

Reported Injuries: Kieran Foran (knee), Shawn Blore (head knock), Tommy Talau (leg cramps) 

On report: Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (high tackle) 

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