Weekly wrap: Round 20 winners, losers, injuries

Nick Moon recaps every game from Round 20, eyeing the Supercoach studs and duds.



The major byes are finally behind us. And while some of us (not me) soared up those rankings, some of us (me) went tumbling, tumbling down.

And that’s what you get for doing your bye planning on a bunch of yellow post-it notes with such clever forward-planning tactics as “only Cowboys on a bye, sweet as bro, no trades for you!”

With the last Origin game played last week, the big question was which of the Origin stars to get back into your team first, and would Nathan play, and how many tries would Big David Fifita score.

And the answer was Harry and Val, and no he would not play (to the sweet relief of non-owners everywhere), and none. Zero. Nada.

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Now, I’m not definitely saying that I’m to blame for that last one – but I jumped on a pod last week, and during said pod, I led a prayer circle. And my prayer went a little something like this:

Dear SuperCoach Gods

I know that 2023 David Fifita is totally shagadalic, getting completely involved in the action this year. But I must ask that he can please abstain from scoring this weekend, because I can’t get him into my team. Amen.

And well. A small word of warning – this week Val will be the object of my anti-prayers…

And in other news, how good have the try celebrations been for Try July! And Nicho’s wet hair celebration – a thing of pure beauty!

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And can we please join in congratulating SJ – a contract extension, a new baby, an absolute steller performance vs the Sharks on Sunday…and how happy was Spy! And I know he’s my arch nemesis as we battle it out to reign supreme in the rankings this year…but gosh it warmed the heart to see a photo of him toasting SJ and enjoying his 135 points with a delightful celebration whiskey.

The Friday Beers finally posted a respectable score this round moving up 1600 places to squeeze our way back into the top 10,000. 1346 with some stellar performances from Greggy M, Piakura, AFB, God Charnze, and Nikora. My trade-ins of Ponga and Harry also went well…even if it did mean death riding Fifita behind the couch – which didn’t turn out that badly at all.

The Philly Hamstrings scored a 1184. An excellent Vice Captaincy on KP, but down a player due to the loop and copping a Croker 10 and a Kennedy 26.

And a big thank you to Nick for giving me another bye round rest break last week…that’s another 100 beers for you – pretty sure the tally’s up to me shouting you beers for life by now…

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Knights v Tigers

By Clementine Cassidy

7,382 people traded in this round’s top scorer and in his 100th club game, Kalyn Ponga absolutely came to the party for owners and new owners, with the top score of the round – 137 points.

And even though he was a bit askew in the kicking stakes – hitting only 3 out of 7 – a try, three try assists, and four line break assists…and well, I hope that everybody who VC’d him did that loop!

A three-round average of 121. What. A. Guy.

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And even though the Knights took the win 34 – 18, the Tigers didn’t go away, and can we please talk about Bula – top scorer for the Tigers on 79 points – 2 tries and a great defensive effort – and what an absolute player he is! You’d be stoked if you held.

(Says the person who traded him in for 4 weeks for a grand total of about 60 points, a bye, and a nice cash drop – I can’t help but feel like it was me – I was the jinx…sorry to all).

The Knights wingers feasted, with Dominic Young scoring a couple of tries to finish on 109 points. With 18 tries in his last 15 games, he’s in the top spot of the 2023 try scorers’ list.

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Out on the other wing big Greggy M managed to catch the bus and came to the party with a try, THREE line breaks, NINE tackle busts, and 106 points.

New South Wales new hero, Bradman Best also crossed for a try in a 12-minute point scoring fiesta – where the Knights thumped in 3 tries in quick succession – finishing up on 64 points.

For the other Tigers players, IPap owners would also be stoked with his 72 including running over Gamble to send Bula over for his second try; while Bateman scored a 69 including 44 points in tackles. Api in his first game back also crossed the line and scored a 51 – the Tigers look so much better when he’s in the team.

Injuries: Nil.

Judiciary: Nil.

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Bulldogs v Broncos

By Clementine Cassidy

It was an absolute performance from Adam Reynolds, who scored a try and 3 assists to finish on 112 points, helping the Broncos take the win over the Bulldogs – the final score 24 – 44.

But a special mention must go to the other Reynolds, Josh, who the day belonged to, after he played his last NSW Cup game, with a massive crowd turning out to watch his final performance.

And despite the score looking more even at half time at 22-18 with 7 tries scored, the Bulldogs couldn’t keep up with the Broncos in the second half, even though the Broncos were missing the likes of Carrigan, Haas, Flegler, and Reecy Walsh.

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And how good was being a Piakura owner this week! 87 points, a try and an assist, plus a nice little 53k price rise!

Billy Walters and Tristin Sailor also came to play, the former scoring a try to finish on 73 points, and the latter finishing on a 70.

Cobbo on 43 points, couldn’t get it done for owners this week – copping a sinbin too.

While Staggs on 30 points – it is honestly an absolute repeat of last year, and surely that elusive ton comes soon – owners need SOMETHING to feed on and justify their purchase to themselves for the remaining rounds left…

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For the Bulldogs, Preston, a popular trade to Fifita, played like he had an absolute vendetta, punishing every single person who traded him out, crossing the line and scoring an 81 – outscoring Big David by around 20 points.

Waddell top scored with 90 points, and Kiraz managed a 72 – breaking 11 tackles, and running for 230 metres, whilst Mahoney tackled his way to 64 points.

Injuries: Adam Reynolds (wrist), Toby Sexton (head knock), Braidon Burns (abdomen)


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Manly v Cowboys

By Clementine Cassidy

It wasn’t a perfect performance, but the Cowboys have made it five straight wins after defeating Manly 8 – 19, meaning everybody who jumped on, or held the likes of Val and Scotty D – have benefited from the Cowboys making it rain points – 196 points in their last four games.

And let us start with our new million-dollar man – Scotty D. And before the bye rounds, if you had told me that Scotty D was going to be a million bucks at the pointy end of the season – I would not have believed you. But here we are. And if you own him, and especially if you jumped on him when he was a whole lot cheaper and just when he started to ton up literally EVERY SINGLE WEEK, well congratulations to you!

86 points this game, and a five-round average of 120. Just wow.

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Val Holmes owners should also take a bow. 93 points. The man is in the form that those of us who brought him in in at the beginning of the season hoped he’d have then. A five-round average of 100 points. He was definitely one of the Origin players we should have brought in last week.

On the flip-side, Cotter only managed a 35 with a try and Taulagi a 25.

For Manly, Garrick scored a 50 which isn’t panic stations for owners considering he left the field for a HIA assessment.

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The man with the best thumb in NRL, Jakey T, scored a 62 including 52 points in tackles, Olakau’atu scored a 59, and Daly Cherry Evans a 49. And Schuster a 41 with a try assist is somebody I’d move on now as an upgrade or to free up cash.

And a big shoutout to Dean Matterson – on for the Garrick HIA and a try on debut in his first 4 minutes of NRL!

Complete. Heartwarming. Scenes.

Injuries: Nil. 

Judiciary: Reuben Garrick (Dangerous Contact – Tripping)

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Roosters vs Storm

By Clementine Cassidy

Despite only leading 6 – 4 at half time, the Roosters could not keep up with the Storm in the second half – the Storm taking the win 30 – 16. And the Roosters have now sunk to 14th on the ladder, suffering their 10th loss this season.

It was a Cook to Harry Grant trade for me this week, and by god I reached some levels of elation when he crossed to score a try and finished up on 95 points in 75 minutes! He’s a must-own in the Hooker spot, ranked number one, and even though he can throw up a low score every now and then – you do not want to be on the wrong side of a Harry Grant ton.

In life consistencies – a hatty for Xavier Coates to see him finish on 77 points, including a spectacular sight of him running in open space to cross the line. Last time Storm played the Roosters, he scored a hatty too…it is just what he does.

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The other popular post-Origin Storm trade-in, Munster, scored a 65 with two try assists. Not the hugest of scores, but you’d still be happy and surely he’s one of the must-owns to finish the season in that 5/8 spot. He’s cheap too at 661k (though he does have a 118 BE this week vs Newcastle – although he’s fully capable of hitting that and punishing you for not bringing him in).

And Warbrick on 19 points dropped a casual 75k. A 10 and a 19 in his last two games and a 144 BE this week…do you cash out before he drops more cash, or do you hope and pray you’re actually playing him when he crosses the line a few times…

For the Roosters, 2 tries (including one with 3 minutes to go) and 3 line breaks saw Danial Tupou finishing up on 122 points.

Owners rejoiced to hear that Joey M was playing fullback this round. Scoring a 79 including a try assist and 16 points in tackle busts – his 5-round average is 86 and he’ll be a keeper in my team until the end.

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Victor Radley scored a 75….and oh yes…in the biggest NRL consistency ever – on report too…

Billy Smith finally scored some points and gave some joy to anybody who still owns him, finishing up on a 70. While a big congratulations goes to Siua Wong, who scored his very first NRL try in the dying minutes.

And lastly, let us talk about my SuperCoach nemesis – Brandon Smith. 24 points in 49 minutes…I cannot believe I considered taking him back before lockout – thank god I had the strength to resist my favourite SuperCoach situationship and he stayed well away from my team…

Injuries: Naufahu Whyte (knee)

Judiciary: Victor Radley (Dangerous Contact), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Dangerous Contact – Tripping)

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Warriors v Sharks

By Nick Moon

The most liked Instagram photo/story this week was the one where SJ introduced his newest arrival! He was probably wondering why some many ”Supercoach” people were congratulating him!

And what a play to have the daughter during the week it turned out to be! Absolute weight off his shoulders and turned Mt Smart into a massive head wetting party where all were invited!

He put on a show, scoring a scintillating 135, setting up four try assists and banging over five goals. He had a massive breakeven after coming off two lowish scores, but his effort on Sunday means owners can nearly go straight to Cleary… But then again, why would you? He’s firing, the Warriors are aiming for a top four spot, and he’s a dad of two!

There was a slew of Supercoach players running around in this game, and if they had a black jersey on, chances are they went well… AFB – Absolutely Fkn Brilliant. God I wish I could find a way to bring him in. What joy it must be to be an owner. Scored a try and set up another for a huge 122.

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A late Sin Bin didn’t dampen Nicho’s output too much, still managed to score 72 with a try but the loss of eight points did effect plenty that had the C armband on him. It’ll be interesting to see how they can find an extra 20 or so of his usual ‘Nicho’ points.

Nikora barged over late to top score for the Shire boys with 99 whilst Will Kennedy hasn’t turned into the POD I thought he may have, scoring only 26

And do we need to talk about Ronaldo?! I mean I don’t, I’m not an owner – the one thing that has gone right for me this year, but my word the weight of expectations really has hung heavy on his shoulders! Might have read (or listened) to a bit of his own media. Those who paid $633k two weeks back have amassed 28 points in total. Can’t play bottom 8 sides every week. Manly into Penrith into Souths with a BE of 147. Yuck.

Minutes played – AFB 65, Harris 36, Egan 80, Wilton 16

Injuries: Teig Wilton (knee), Shaun Johnson (ankle)

On report: Wade Graham (Tripping), Rocco Berry (Dangerous Tackle)

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Dolphins v Panthers

By Nick Moon

There were more eyes on the team sheet than this game in general I would say! We were all waiting to see if Ivan would let his child play with the big boys, but like the cautious parent he is, he decided to hold him back just another week when the rest of his friends are back!

With the Cleary omission, Peachey was given another week as was Hosking, who may still feature in a few sides. Neither did anything, finishing with 41 and 47 respectivelly, so nothing to get excited about but a number nonetheless.

It was though another absolute clinic put on by Izack Tago! Opposition centres should be taking notes because he is giving out free lessons to all and sundry. Finished Sunday arvo with 108 points which if you watched the game, seems about 30 less than what he should have gotten. Seems an automatic trade in but I’d like to see how he fares once Cleary and co are back. Not sure he will have the same impact when Daddys number 1 boy returns.

Turuva looks a sell as he only managed 31 and now has three scores in the 30s on the trot. Whilst everyone’s most despised player of 2023, Soni Luke, came on for his 10 minutes and managed 11 for all owners out there. The definition of an AE nightmare. He has had one score over 23 since Round 7. Get in the bin son*

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*This was written late last night and before the updaters found the softest try assist ever where he magically went from 11 to 31. That makes me sick. The scorers have awarded two try assists to one try somewhere and I’ll be writing a letter. @Spy reach out.

For the Dolphins, another gutsy performance to come away with sweet FA. Kept up with the Panthers for the most part but just couldn’t find a way through. Lemuelu is the gift that keeps on giving, scoring another try and finishing with a very handy 77; but it was the wingers that would have had most owners on edge.

VTW looked very out of his depth and that debut against the Sharks seems a lifetime ago, whilst Isaako had another very quiet game finishing with only 35, his fourth sub 60 score on the trot. Wingers against Penrith aren’t expected to do well, but he wouldn’t get a better chance on Sunday to go big.

Minutes played – Lemuelu 80, Stone 47, Luke 12, Sorensen 80, Hosking 72

Injuries: Nil.

On report: Jarrod Wallace (shoulder charge), Felise Kaufusi

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Eels v Titans

By Nick Moon

And just to top off what was looking like a solid week, AJ Brimson misses the bus or forgets his boots or couldn’t get someone to cover his shift, so he doesn’t play! Leaving me with 16 scoring players. Hmm the option was there to trade in Gutho but the devil didn’t answer my call, so I didn’t sell my soul.

In what turned out to be a really good game of footy, not many Supercoach guns came to play. Moses was still on his high horse after being Freddys lovechild for the past month scoring only 41, which was a massive dagger for those captaining him considering Ponga and even Nicho to a lesser degree, whilst Mr Three Minutes bagged a dubious try to finish with 61 after updates. I hope when he retires, we see him as a referee, because my gosh he knows how to do their job and is happy to give out advice.

Hopgood was busy, as was Matterson but neither found any attacking stats with the latter a real disappointment for owners as he can’t seem to crack a starting spot. Both players’ minutes are down which is a concern for the remaining six weeks

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Lane played the full 80 for the first time this year but couldn’t score over 40. I’d avoid at this point.

David Fifita backed up which was more than could be said about Brimson but failed to have any real impact, not sure if that hip injury hampered him or the 34 minutes in Origin wore him out. He finished with 60 whilst Tino had 58.

Minutes played – Paulo 44, Lane 80, Hopgood 61, Matto 43,  Gutho 2 min 40 (In Origin), Tino 50, Fifita 80,

Injuries: Nil.

On report: Regan Campbell-Gillard (Dangerous Contact), Maika Sivo (Dangerous Tackle)

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