Team lists: Supercoach Round 25 squad analysis

2020 NRL Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the squads dropped for round 25 of the 2023 season.


Five superstar captains, five scores of sub 82.

It was one of the great levellers in rounds with the big boys failing to step up for owners, with that ‘vital decision’ really failing to have much of an impact at all.

Any lunatic that had the gonads to go with someone like Reece Walsh or Harry Grant were rewarded for the bold play, but there wouldn’t have been many.

We move onto Round 25, week three of head-to-head finals for Supercoaches that are still alive.

We’re now just three weeks away from the crowning of the new overall champion.

The Cooma Stallions won’t be that champion, but we are making some steady progress after a disappointing mid-season slump.

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1,287 points last week has propelled us up into 4,895th overall.

The top 1% dream remains alive, the squad are praying for mass restings/outs across the competition in the final weeks with three trades up the sleeve.

Perhaps more importantly, we’ve edged five points back ahead of the Rugby League Guru…

With people so low on trades – plenty being out entirely – I won’t be going into as much detail in my analysis below in the final weeks.

Instead, I’ll focus on a few head-to-head match ups that look enticing, sit v starts, and captaincy options.

Let’s take a look at the Round 25 squads, with team lists courtesy of Fox Sports.

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Thursday, 7:50pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville

Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Murray Taulagi 4. Peta Hiku 5. Semi Valemei 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Jake Granville 15. Coen Hess 16. Heilum Luki 17. Griffin Neame 18. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 19. Zac Laybutt 20. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 21. Robert Derby 22. James Tamou

Analysis: It’s hard to gauge what the Cowboys and Sharks will throw up here, a tight contest, or a blow out?

Scott Drinkwater is $950k with a breakeven of 174.

If you have the cash he’s an option this week for head-to-head finals, but I’m eyeing a potential move of Latrell Mitchell (bye) to him next week. Maybe…

The Cowboys face the Dolphins who are becoming depleted, then Penrith who may well opt to rest plenty in Round 27.

One to keep in mind.

Jeremiah Nanai returns from suspension.

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

Analysis: The Sharks have a reasonable run home, with three teams that could throw up anything in the Cowboys, Knights and Raiders.

Ronaldo Mulitalo bounced back last week with a tonne, but I think there are far better and safer options this week.

Nicho Hynes is probably one you’d want to avoid as skipper in case the Sharks get towelled by a fresh Cowboys outfit, a sneaky vice-captaincy play might be the go.

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Friday, 6pm, Go Media Stadium, Auckland

Warriors: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 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. Bunty Afoa 11. Jackson Ford 12. Marata Niukore 13. Tohu Harris 14. Dylan Walker 15. Jazz Tevaga 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Josh Curran 18. Tom Ale 20. Taine Tuaupiki 21. Freddy Lussick 22. Edward Kosi 23. Ronald Volkman

Analysis: Another great match-up for the Warriors against Manly who are lacking middles, and face a trip across the Tasman after a tough grind against Penrith.

Shaun Johnson is a captaincy option, or at the very least VC.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak hasn’t quite hit the heights new owners would have hoped the last few weeks, but there’s no reason why that big score isn’t looming.

He’s dropped to a much more affordable $634k and comes up against the weaker left edge of Manly, he remains a good buy in my eyes.

Tohu Harris is on a tear, but he has been bolstered by two tries in two weeks.

There’s every chance he gets a rest in coming weeks so I wouldn’t be buying.

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has been named to return from a concussion, which also helps Dallin Watene-Zelezniak provided he plays.

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Sea Eagles: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Morgan Harper 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. Kelma Tuilagi 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Jakob Arthur 15. Dean Matterson 16. Aaron Woods 17. Ethan Bullemor 18. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 19. Ben Condon 20. Samuela Fainu 21. Austin Dias 22. Jamie Humphreys

Analysis: No interest at Manly this week.

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Friday, 8pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Bailey Simonsson 5. Sean Russell 6. Daejarn Asi 7. Dylan Brown 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. J’maine Hopgood 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Joe Ofahengaue 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: I actually like this match-up for Parramatta who must win their next two games to stay in finals contention before their Round 27 bye.

For head-to-head players needing a win, Clint Gutherson looks one of the better placed options this week who will benefit from Dylan Brown and Maika Sivo’s returns on that lethal left edge, while I’m assuming he likely goal kicks with Mitch Moses out.

Overall players not so much due to the final round bye.

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With Andrew Davey out, J’maine Hopgood starts on the edge. I’m fairly puzzled as to why this isn’t Ryan Matterson, I suspect it may change come game day, but who know with Brad Arthur.

Overall focused players could go down the route of selling Hopgood still at great value at a tick under $700k.

With the bye in Round 27, it’s an option for those with enough depth and trades up the sleeve.

Dylan Brown is a super POD for H2H players this week.

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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. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton 18. Sam Walker 19. Dylan Napa 20. Corey Allan 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Nathan Brown

Analysis: The Roosters have found a bit of form, but I wouldn’t be looking to invest in any of their players.

Joey Manu has been rock solid and remains a hold.

Angus Crichton returns, while Sam Walker has been named 18th man.

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Saturday, 3pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

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: No real interest here, although it’s a nice match-up for the Tigers with the Dolphins missing a host of stars.

I’d be looking to play Isaiah Papali’i and John Bateman if I owned, in particular Papa who will be going at Isaiya Katoa.

Jahream Bula could also knock up a score here.

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Dolphins: 1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Jack Bostock 4. Robert Jennings 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Herman Ese’ese 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Euan Aitken 13. Mark Nicholls 14. JJ Collins 15. Josh Kerr 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Trai Fuller 19. Max Plath 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Mason Teague 22. Valynce Te Whare

Analysis: While it loomed as a great match-up for the Dolphins, with a number of key players out it doesn’t bode too well.

Jamayne Isaako remains a strong play in 17s, but I’m not sure I’d be rushing to buy even if in a H2H final.

Valynce Te Whare drops to the extended bench.

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Saturday, 5:30pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

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

Analysis: A tough match-up for the Titans contingent.

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui is this week’s most traded in player off the back of a tonne on return from suspension.

I think he’s a decent buy and should score okay, but it’s a poor match-up.

I think H2H players in must wins could target players with better fixtures.

As an overall player, I’m hoping to get him at a slight discount next week with a breakeven of 92, but no major harm in going this week, especially if you need a FRF with Payne Haas on the bye, just don’t expect the world.

Kieran Foran is out, meaning Jayden Campbell has been named at five-eighth, with Keano Kini at fullback.

AJ Brimson has been named on the extended bench though and may come into the halves.

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Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 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. Zac Hosking 21. Thomas Jenkins 22. Spencer Leniu

Analysis: On the flip side, it’s another nice match-up for Penrith’s Supercoach contingent.

As another reminder, just be cautious of potential restings in Round 27 to this squad.

Resting risks aside, Brian To’o remains a solid pick-up.

Nathan Cleary looks a quality captaincy play this week, coming off a down week by his lofty standards.

If the Titans stay as named with no Brimson and their current halves, Cleary becomes and even better play.

Still no Izack Tago, Tyrone Peachey returns from suspension at centre. If you still own him somehow, play him!

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Saturday, 7:35pm, WIN Stadium, Wollongong

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

Analysis: No interest here.

Zac Lomax returns at centre.

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Storm: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Reimis Smith 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. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Bronson Garlick 15. Tom Eisenhuth 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18. Alec MacDonald 19. William Warbrick 20. Jonah Pezet 21. Tariq Sims 22. Tyran Wishart

Analysis: Melbourne stamped their authority with a commanding victory over the Raiders last week.

Harry Grant and Cameron Munster remain great buys, while Nick Meaney is an option for H2H focused players this week coming off a tonne.

It’s one of the better match-ups of the round, and a goalkicking fullback in this side should do well.

A word of warning for any overall focused players looking to bring him in, Ryan Papenhuyzen is due back as soon as next week which would be dire for Meaney.

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They also face Brisbane at Suncorp in Round 27 which is less than ideal.

Eli Katoa has looked terrific since returning from injury and hopefully gets back to 80 minutes this week after scoring 95 in 69 minutes last round.

At a bargain rate of $511k he looks a cheap buy with great upside.

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Sunday, 2pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Dominic Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 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. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Dylan Lucas 19. Enari Tuala 20. Adam Clune 21. Brodie Jones 22. Jack Johns

Analysis: With another Sunday afternoon home game, against a less than convincing South Sydney defence, Kalyn Ponga is a great captaincy play again in a huge game for the Knights finals aspirations.

Greg Marzhew has a three round average of just 55, but remains a must play in 17s each week.

Dane Gagai continues to produce as a super POD and is a serious option once again.

Jackson Hastings has been named but remains in doubt with an ankle injury. Bradman Best returns at centre.

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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. Michael Chee Kam 16. Siliva Havili 17. Davvy Moale 18. Tyrone Munro 19. Hame Sele 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Tevita Tatola 22. Dean Hawkins

Analysis: The Bunnies haven’t dominated sides with their easier run as we’d antipicated, thankfully they’re just doing enough for the likes of Alex Johnston, Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and co to score reasonably well.

There’s no reason why they can’t score well this week, but with the bye coming up next round I wouldn’t be investing.

If you own a large contingent of Bunnies players, you may need a plan in place to offload at least one next week.

Tevita Tatola and Hame Sele have been named on the extended bench and would be a huge inclusion for the entire side if they play.

Tyrone Munro has again been named at 18th man.

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Sunday, 4:05pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Albert Hopoate 3. Jarrod Croker 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. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. James Schiller 17. Ata Mariota 18. Trey Mooney 19. Matt Frawley 20. Ethan Strange 21. Brad Morkos 22. Adrian Trevilyan

Analysis: Seemingly a great match-up for the Raiders, but I wouldn’t be looking to invest.

Jarrod Croker has been named at centre, get em son!

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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. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 13. Ryan Sutton 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Luke Thompson 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Tevita Pangai Junior 19. Harrison Edwards 20. Kurtis Morrin 21. Jayden Okunbor 22. Hayze Perham 23. Reece Hoffman

Analysis: No interest here either.

Jacob Preston has been suspended for two weeks.

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