Team lists: Round 24 squad analysis, captaincy special

With a focus on captaincy choices, 2020 NRL Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the squads dropped for round 24.


The teams for NRL Round 24 have landed!

Week two of NRL Supercoach head-to-head finals have arrived, and we’re less than a month away from crowning a new overall champion.

The Cooma Stallions had a strong week, notching 1,442 points to creep up into 5,300th overall.

We’re on the rise, with the top 1% finish still in sight, hopefully, but there’s plenty of work to be done.

I’ve been short on time the last few days, compounded by a laptop meltdown, so the below analysis will briefer than normal.

Captaincy choices are the big talking point this week, so that’s what I’ll focus most of my attention on.

Nathan Cleary v Manly, Kalyn Ponga v Bulldogs, Latrell Mitchell v Dragons, Nicho Hynes v Titans and Shaun Johnson v Tigers.

Let’s get stuck into the Round 24 analysis, with squad lists courtesy of Fox Sports.

Embed from Getty Images


Thursday, 7:50pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney

Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Ray Tuaimalo-Vaega 6. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Sean Keppie 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dean Matterson 15. Aaron Woods 16. Kelma Tuilagi 17. Ethan Bullemor 18. Jakob Arthur 19. Ben Condon 20. Kaeo Weekes 21. Morgan Harper 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong

Analysis: Ben Trbojevic starts in the back-row.

I’ll be sitting Reuben Garrick out of my start 17 this week, and if you own any Manly players I’d also be looking to sit in what appears a one-sided affair.

Embed from Getty Images

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Zac Hosking 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 18. Jack Cogger 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Matt Eisenhuth 17. Jaeman Salmon 18. Jack Cogger 19. Luke Garner 20. Jack Cole 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Liam Henry

Analysis: Still no Izack Tago, which means Zac Hosking starts at centre again, and Stephen Crichton will play left edge.

This actually boded fairly well for Brian To’o last week who is on a tear since Origin.

He’s a great trade in option this week, however I’d be very wary if running low on depth and trades as I think Penrith rest a host of stars in Round 27.

So where does Nathan Cleary sit in the captaincy pecking order?

Playing game one of the week isn’t ideal as any of ‘The Big Five’ captaincy options could easily go 150+ and provide a vice-captaincy loop opportunity.

For this reason, Cleary is probably the logical VC option.

Manly concede 48% of tries down their left edge and 30% on the right.

Cleary will be going directly at the weaker right edge of Josh Schuster, oh boy…

Manly concede the 10th most point to halves which isn’t too bad, however they’re missing a stack of middles.

Cleary VC for me at this stage, the straight C play could pay off though.

Embed from Getty Images


Friday, 6pm, PointsBet Stadium, Sydney

Sharks: 1. Connor Tracey 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Siosifa Talakai 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Braydon Trindall 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Toby Rudolf 11. Briton Nikora 12. Wade Graham 13. Cameron McInnes 14. Jack Williams 15. Royce Hunt 16. Jesse Colquhoun 17. Matt Moylan 18. Mawene Hiroti 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Daniel Atkinson 21. Kayal Iro 22. Jayden Berrell

Analysis: Ronaldo Mulitalo returns, pushing popular early week purchase Mawene Hiroti out of the 17.

Mulitalo comes up against the Titans far weaker right edge which concede 40% of their tries.

I suspect that when Kieran Foran is available the left edge concedes far more than that.

This makes Ronaldo a decent play in my eyes, albeit risky as we know he can go low.

Nicho Hynes goes up against the stronger defensive edge of Foran and Fifita.

While this isn’t ideal, Nicho isn’t your traditional halfback that sticks to an edge.

He actually set his tries up on his opposite edge last week, so I wouldn’t be concerned.

I actually think he’s a terrific captaincy option this week as plenty don’t own, so there’s a big opportunity at home.

Embed from Getty Images

Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Chris Randall 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. David Fifita 12. Joe Stimson 13. Erin Clark 14. Kruise Leeming 15. Isaac Liu 16. Klese Haas 17. Keano Kini 18. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 19. Thomas Weaver 20. Jacob Alick 21. Jo Vuna 22. Tony Francis

Analysis: No AJ Brimson still, meaning Jayden Campbell retains the fullback role. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui returns from suspension.

At next to no ownership, Tino will come back fresh from a three week spell ready to fire.

If you already have three gun front-rowers to rotate between I wouldn’t look to get him, but if you are running with two he looks a strong buy.

He finished last season with three round average of 90 and a five round average of 82.

Embed from Getty Images


Friday, 8pm, The Gabba, Brisbane

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Deine Mariner 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Brendan Piakura 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Corey Jensen 19. Xavier Willison 20. Tristan Sailor 21. Jock Madden 22. Jordan Pereira

Analysis: Brendan Piakura has been benched.

With a breakeven of -23 he’ll make cash this week, let’s just hope he gets decent time and earns a bomb.

He can likely be moved on next week while holding some value. If you don’t, he probably stays for the season.

Keep an eye on final teams as Reece Walsh was in some minor doubt for this clash.

Embed from Getty Images

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Daejarn Asi 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Joe Ofahengaue 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Andrew Davey 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Wiremu Greig 17. Brendan Hands 18. Makahesi Makatoa 19. Waqa Blake 20. Ofahiki Ogden 21. Ky Rodwell 22. Jack Murchie

Analysis: Daejarn Asi starts at centre. Ryan Matterson has been benched, with Andrew Davey starting, but this may flip come game day.

Matterson off the pine isn’t ideal, he looms as a potential sit outside 17 candidate.

Fingers crossed he starts come game day which would make him a definite play in 17s.

He played the full 80 last week and set up a try for 83 points, with 65 in base! Enormous.

Embed from Getty Images


Saturday, 3pm, Barlow Park, Cairns

Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Jai Arrow 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray 14. Tallis Duncan 15. Jed Cartwright 16. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Mo

ale 18. Ben Lovett 19. Tyrone Munro 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Dean Hawkins

Analysis: Tyrone Munro drops to 18th man in a blow for owners, with a very playable match-up with the Dragons looming.

That being said, he wasn’t named in NSW Cup and was elevated from 18th man to starting last week so he could still play.

The Dragons left edge is one of the weakest in the competition defensively, so if Munro does play he becomes very viable to start at CTW.

This also bodes very well for Campbell Graham who has had two down weeks.

South Sydney’s middle forward crisis hurts their outside backs scoring potential, and makes me a little wary of captaining Latrell Mitchell.

He’s still a genuine POD skipper option, but if the Bunnies struggle without their grit in the middle it may limit his scoring.

Embed from Getty Images

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Max Feagai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Michael Molo 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Ben Murdoch-Masila 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Ryan Couchman 16. Toby Couchman 17. Zane Musgrove 18. Jaiyden Hunt 19. Sione Finau 20. Nick Lui-Toso 21. Paul Turner 22. Tautau Moga

Analysis: Jack Bird and Zac Lomax are out.

Embed from Getty Images


Saturday, 5:30pm, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Starford To’a 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Seyfarth 16. Alex Twal 17. Shawn Blore 18. Justin Matamua 19. Aitasi James 20. Triston Reilly 21. Josh Feledy 22. Kit Laulilii

Analysis: Not too much to write about here.

Embed from Getty Images

Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran 18. Freddy Lussick 20. Edward Kosi 21. Bunty Afoa 22. Viliami Vailea 23. Ronald Volkman

Analysis: Taine Tuaupiki starts at fullback with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad at fullback.

No Charnze is a bit of a concern for Dallin Watene-Zelezniak owners this week.

Look, he should still score well and Shaun Johnson will continue to deliver him peaches, but DWZ has a great combination with a sweeping Charnze.

Can Tuaupiki provide the same quality? Perhaps, but certainly a concern.

Shaun Johnson comes up against the Tigers slightly weaker right edge that concede 42% of their tries.

What we know is that the Tigers middles are decent, with the majority of points being conceded down the edges, so this bodes very well for SJ.

The Tigers concede the third most Supercoach points to halves.

Keep an eye on the Hamilton forecast in NZ, there’s a few showers predicted but it looks minor, so it shouldn’t have much of an impact.

I think there’s better options this week than SJ, but that’s probably me talking as a salty non-owner from last week.

I wouldn’t hit back at anyone wanting to give him the C.

Embed from Getty Images


Saturday, 7:35pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Siua Wong 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Dylan Napa 18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Elie El Zakhem 20. Jake Turpin 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Corey Allan

Analysis: A decent match-up here for attacking players such as James Tedesco, Dan Tupou, Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii.

Joey Manu v Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow will be entertaining viewing.

Embed from Getty Images

Dolphins: 1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich 14. Ray Stone 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Herman Ese’ese 19. Max Plath 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Harrison Graham 22. Jack Bostock

Analysis: Not much of note here other than Jamayne Isaako who bounced back to form last week with a tonne.

40% still own the Dolphins flyer, 60% of those owners sat him outside their 17! ah the joys of Supercoach…

Embed from Getty Images


Sunday, 2pm, AAMI Park, Melbourne

Storm:  1. Nick Meaney 2. William Warbrick 3. Marion Seve 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Christian Welch 11. Trent Loiero 12. Tom Eisenhuth 13. Josh King 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Eliesa Katoa 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Alec MacDonald 19. Reimis Smith 20. Jonah Pezet 21. Tariq Sims 22. Tyran Wishart

Analysis: Xavier Coates and Jahrome Hughes return, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Eli Katoa have been named on the bench.

The Storm are heavy favourites, and as a team that rarely loses two on the trot probably rightly so.

Howeverm their middles aren’t great, and Canberra’s are, so it’ll be a fascinating contest.

Melbourne clearly have the advantage out wide, but how much opportunity will they get?

It’s a big game in the battle for the top four, Cam Munster lovvvvveeessss a big game.

Embed from Getty Images

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Ethan Strange 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Adrian Trevilyan 15. Emre Guler 16. Pasami Saulo 17. Ata Mariota 18. Brad Morkos 19. Matt Frawley 20. Tom Starling 21. Trey Mooney 22. Utuloa Asouma

Analysis: Rookie Ethan Strange starts at centre for the injured Seb Kris.

Jordan Rapana busted eight tackles at fullback last week and looked excellent.

Super POD anyone?

I wouldn’t advise so.

Embed from Getty Images


Sunday, 4:05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Enari Tuala 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jackson Hastings 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Adam Elliott 14. Kurt Mann 15. Brodie Jones 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Hymel Hunt 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Jack Johns 22. Daniel Saifiti

Analysis: Bradman Best is out.

Kalyn Ponga was sub 40 with about 25 minutes to play last week, and ended up on 121 points.

It was his forth tonne in five games, all over 120 points, my word…

The Bulldogs concede the seventh most points in the NRL to fullbacks.

As it stands, he’s my top pick as skipper.

The day game, at home in Newcastle, against a Doggies outfit that have a stack of new combinations together looks appetising.

If we take weekly captaincy percentages out of it, I think the best play for me would be VC Cleary, C Ponga, but gee it’s a tough week.

However, I was stunned to see Ponga at 74% captaincy among the top 10% of overall ranked Supercoaches!

This has blown out immensely across the course of the week, adding another level of complication as there such a huge POD opportunity.

Good luck whichever way you land!

Embed from Getty Images

Bulldogs: 1. Jake Averillo 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Braidon Burns 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Tevita Pangai Junior 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Liam Knight 17. Corey Waddell 19. Harrison Edwards 20. Kurtis Morrin 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Hayze Perham 23. Samuel Hughes

Analysis: Luke Thompson makes his long-awaited return from injury.

Leave a Reply