Weekly wrap: Round 25 winners, losers, injuries

2021 6th overall Clem Cassidy and Nick Moon recaps every game from Round 25, eyeing the Supercoach studs and duds.


And is that your SuperCoach team or the Playboy Mansion please?

Because pre Round 25, we saw many coaches resembling that most famous Bunny-collector of all time, Mr Hugh Hefner, with a collection of Bunnies that would him make him very proud indeed.

And yes, for a few rounds there, there was a world-wide shortage of red velvet dressing gowns “smoking jackets”.

And with the Bunnies’ Round 26 bye coming up, and with so many tantalising fresh new options to catch the eye coming into Round 25, the biggest decision for Hugh Hefn…ahhhh coaches, was which Bunnies to give the flick to make way for the new.

And Round 25 was an important one to get it right, as teams pushed for the glory of a Round 26 H2H Grand Final, or a climb in the overall rankings. And with trades running low, strategies ran high, as debate rang out on the best trade-in targets for the week.

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And Spy. The man is a genius. Touting the Eli Katoa AND DWZ trades – by God the man has an absolute crystal ball. The best trade-ins for the week, E Katoa whacked out a casual 127 and DWZ’s glorious perm crossed the line three times to finish on a 126.

If only he’d done the DWZ trade himself, and if only my pretend note taking on the SC Playbook Poddy last week had been me actually hitting the trade button on his DWZ call…what could have been…

And now with Latrell charged and Teddy in doubt – Big Red potentially out too – I hope you hoarded a trade or two to get you through to the end…we haven’t even got to potential restings yet. What carnage will the next two Team List Tuesdays bring?

After listening carefully to Spy chat, the Friday Beers scored a respectable 1354, choosing to give Kolomatangi the flick for the Spy-touted, E Katoa.

And for those following Spy and my H2H battle, I claimed on the poddy last week that:

“I’ll serve your ass like John McEnroe

Four trades left, I’m coming for you bro.”

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And despite me holding a 1-point lead at the end of Round 25, updates were kind to the Spy and he’s now 8 points ahead…two rounds to go…who will claim the win?

And talking about the Spy, did you see him on the poddy last week – donning my Warriors jersey, he’s never looked better. Look out for the end of season poddy when I’ll get him in my black Warriors cropped jersey…without the jersey underneath…

“Ring, ring!”…Only Fans is calling…watch this space…

For my cowriter, Nick, The Philly Hamstrings scored exceptionally well with a 1376, with Teddy and Ponga and E Katoa and Tohu and Suaalii whacking out huge scores for him.

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And now, I know me and Moon are supposed to be sharing our favourite recipes in this recap column, but I thought I’d go a different angle today and create a special recipe for @tj0077 who told me to ‘stay in the kitchen’ on a reel of me saying my trade was E Katoa…

How to Cook a Roast in a SuperCoach Tracksuit

Step 1: Go into the kitchen.

Step 2: Put on your Top 11 SuperCoach tracksuit and…ohh wait what’s that…oh! You don’t have one? Oh well that’s okay! You can still stay in the kitchen…

P.S – I hope you traded in E Katoa bro – those 127 points were mighty delicious…on second thoughts, you’d probably best stay out of the kitchen, it’s far too hot for you in here…

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Cowboys v Sharks

By Clem Cassidy

It is confirmed.

Humid hair Nicho is a totally a thing and we are totally here for it!

108 points, an incredible solo try, a try assist, a try contribution, 24 points in goals…all the glorious things – and that is a huge HECKING YES sir!!!

And I managed 52 minutes of this game at Sydney airport, squeezing out every possible second before my delayed flight left, and I cannot even begin to explain how glad I was that my plane was delayed so I could watch as much of the beautiful man in action as possible – even though I missed his glorious try scoring moment – next time I’m holding the plane up for the full 80…

I’ll throw out a casual, “he’s not real…”

(And no, he’s not – he’s a wet-haried God sent from up above to bring wet-haired joy to the world…)

And while the game started more evenly, a masterclass from Nicho saw the Sharks deny Jason Taumalolo a win in front of home-fans in his 250th NRL match, the game finishing with a a 12 – 32 score-line.

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And let us talk about that cult hero, BIG Thomas Hazelton. 71 points including a try – the big man LOVES to find that line and looks likely to crash over in every game. I am obsessed.

Tracey finished on 79 points, Brailey on 62 points, and Mulitalo crossed the line but only managed a ho-hum 58, whilst Nikora finished on a 57.

Owners of Katoa (32), Ramien (31), and Talakai a (28) would have been disappointed with the Sharks racking up such a big score with little reward for them.

For the Cowboys, Scotty D kicked conversions and scored an 85 including a try and a couple of line breaks. Up against those decimated Dolphins this round, he looks a goer if you have a sneaky trade up your sleeve (plus he’s affordablish with a massive discount now available from his million-dollar price tag).

Velemei finished on a 73, but there wasn’t much to report on the other Cowboys with Cotter on a 53, Nanai on a 40, and Taulagi only managing a 36.

Injuries: Nil.

Judiciary: Semi Valemei (Careless High Tackle)

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Warriors v Manly

By Clem Cassidy

Up the Wahs!

And the Up the Wahs fever has taken over and everyone is a fan of the New Zealand team who have now won six games in a row – a first for them in TWENTY-ONE years!

And while it was a closer match than a Warrior’s fan would like, the Wahs eventually took out the win 29 – 22 in front of the home crowd.

And they are third on the live ladder, and by God, it’s going to be the Warriors in the grand final…I can feel it in the air!

Something else in the air is Dallin “the flying perm” Watene-Zelezniak, who has the best perm in the history of perms it has been confirmed today by the Hairdressing Council of the World.

126 points. THREE glorious tries. 3 line-breaks to go with his tries.

NINETEEN tries in TWELVE games if you will!

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And our favourite warhorse Tohu Harris. 92 points. No tries all season, and then three tries in as many weeks. Boom! Our other favourite big man, AFB, stayed consistent with his 65 points.

And in other news – for Nicho vs SJ watch this week – it was our favourite Prince who won out, with SJ scoring a more sedate 60 including a couple of try assists.

God Charnze was back to the elation of owners including me, but downgraded to a ho-hum 61. Here’s hoping he sends DWZ over a few more times in the next couple of weeks and whacks out back-to-back tons.

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For Manly, whatever DWZ could do, Saab could do too, playing the part of Massive Pod for his 1% of owners with a hat-trick to finish on 120 points – owners who may or may not be ghost ships lost and tossed in the great SuperCoach ocean.

Cherry-Evens scored a 71 setting up a few tries. Garrick on 68 managed a try assist and is now the 5th-highest points scorer in Sea Eagles history. Jakey T managed a thumbs-up worthy 65.

And Schuster. Off the bench and 4 points. Gosh I hope you’ve traded him out of your team.

Injuries: Reuben Garrick (back), Jazz Tevaga (pre-game – hamstring)

Judiciary: Bunty Afoa (Dangerous Contact)

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Eels v Roosters

By Clem Cassidy

The Roosters continued their late charge for the eight with a 12 – 34 win over the Eels.

And despite the Moses-less Eels scoring first, they were no match for the Roosters, who piled on the tries, and ultimately snuffed out the Eels hope of making the eight.

Teddy top-scored for 125 points including a couple of tries and an assist. And while owners rejoiced at the time (although what could have been if he’d played the full 80?), a head knock means he’s now on the ‘will he or will he not play’ watch and gosh that would be an anxious watch for those owners with a H2H GF, overall rankings to chase…and no trades left.

Suaalii – 108 points and OMG what a pod. A 3-round average of 89, he’s flying!

Luke Keary scored a whopping 92 including a hand in 4 tries, while Nat Butcher continues to be an absolute workhorse scoring an 86 including a try, and now boasts a 3-round average of 78 – at 3% ownership it’s pod, pod, city baby after the last couple of rounds…

Joey M scored a 70. And as an owner I must admit I’m hoping he plays fullback this week.

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And Billy Smith couldn’t reach the lofty heights of the last few weeks, only managing a 21.

For the Eels, Dylan Brown top scored with 88 points. He’s a pod heading into the H2H Grand Final but not for Overall with the bye in Round 27. Hopgood tackled and offloaded his way to a very respectable 74, sad for those who traded him out.

And Bryce Cartwright. Everybody’s favourite party boy is determined to keep that party going with a try and 71 points, and I have literally never seen so much stamina. You are a true icon sir!

And lastly, for those following along on Victor Radley watch – another week goes by without him being on report and I am feeling v. confused. It’s like we’re living a real-life Simpson’s episode of The Good, the Bad, and the Drugly, and I feel like Milhouse and I just want the real Victor Radley back please…

Honestly, if we can please just get one more “Say the line, Ref!” before the seasons end…

Injuries: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (pre-game, neck), James Tedesco (head knock)

Judiciary: Nil.

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West Tigers v Dolphins

By Clem Cassidy

Imagine the pressure of being Api lining up to kick that penalty goal 30 metres out on the sideline…and imagine that split second when it hit the crossbar…and then it goes over, and you’ve bloody done it! You’ve ended the Tigers 10-game losing streak and you are sir, are also a true cult icon and a hero!

Because those Tigers, they took out those Dolphins 24 – 23 in a back-and-forth contest, and when Isaako hit a field goal with 4 minutes left, it looked like they might have won their first match-up against the Tigers for the 2023 season.

But a quick google on who would win in a fight between a Tiger and a Dolphin, shows us that whilst Dolphins are very good in the water and this could have possibly been a win if it had been raining, they are not so good vs a Tiger on dry land (and actually Tigers can swim too… so…).

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And switching to the halves saw Api score a 79 with a hand in a couple of tries and 16 points in goals. Bateman looked like a play this week, but only finished on a 54.

And though Laurie scored a 77 and Ipap a 66, up against the Roosters next round, I wouldn’t bring in any other Tigers apart from maybe Api right now.

For the Dolphins, Isaako scored 70 points including a try and he has a nice 3-round average of 87.

And apart from Isaako (who made that his 21st try of the season), I don’t think you’d look at any of the Dolphins to bring in now with the Cowboys and our mighty Warriors to come.

Injuries: Luke Brooks (pre-game – calf), Jake Simpkin (head knock)

Judiciary: Sean O’Sullivan (Dangerous Contact)

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Titans v Panthers

By Nick Moon

Kinda sick of putting my faith in Nath! Was planning on a big score here to really roll into the weekend but a very sub-par performance from his lofty standards despite the Panthers running riot for the most part.

He was credited with two try assists and only the one line-break assist, he garnered most of his points off his boot, scoring 24 from goals. He finished with 81 on Saturday, but the updaters were kind to him and finished with 93. Has three scores over 90 in the last four outings, he just hasn’t hit those 130+ scores we all need form him at this time of year.

Sneaky POD Dylan Edwards came in for his standout game just to remind us all what a player he is. He seems to have a habit of scoring a big score then going quiet in Supercoach terms. But it was Mr He who cannot be killed Tyrone Peachy just doing Peach things! Those who still have the Penrith centre running around would have been overjoyed with his inclusion and starring performance with 94 points. He just won’t go away!

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Big Tino didn’t quite break Penrith as new owners who flocked to the superstar would have liked. It was always a risky play bringing in anyone against Penrith and it didn’t quite pay off with his 63. Still, you do own Tino for games against the Storm and Bulldogs.

Fifita on the other hand did find the line and just fell short of 80. He has been far and away the best forward of 2023 in Supercoach terms and Round 27 v the Dogs can’t come quick enough

Injuries: Jayden Campbell (knee), Phil Sami (foot)

Judiciary: James Fisher-Harris (Dangerous Contact)

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Dragons v Storm

By Nick Moon

Plucky! That’s how I can describe the Dragons because whilst they haven’t had the wins they would have liked, invariably they haven’t been too far off. Also, a great matchup for Supercoach players because they can leak a try or two.

Or three as was the case for Warbrick! Massive first half performance and one that I watched on with glee as I traded him in with mere minutes remaining in a Draft matchup verses the Spy in what turned out to be a masterstroke. The Spy was vanquished and into the GF I go!

And in more masterstrokery, E.Katoa also found himself into my Classic team and I hope a few others out there too! An absolute handful on the right edge, he scored a double and was credited with a try assist after flattening Ben Hunt to send Hughes away. His 127 really kicked off Saturday night and sets up a tantalising two-week play.

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It wasn’t all good news for popular Storm players, as Grant went down with a HIA and missed part of the match, he did return but couldn’t repeat last week’s herculean effort, scoring only 59 whilst the Enigma Munster should have stayed home with his partner awaiting their second child. He might have scored more points that way. His 28 was his lowest score for 2023 and a dagger for owners who had this match in their sights.

Russell has shown he is a solid nuff so to speak, with 45 points as a DPP. Gold at this time of year.

Injuries: Nil

Judiciary: Nil

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Knights v Rabbitohs

By Nick Moon

I mean, there is just so much to unpack after this one! Marzhew crashes over for three tries in a half, Ponga just goes to another level, and the Souths contingent were for the most part nowhere to be seen!

It shaped as the Mitchell v Ponga battle, and at a packed Newcastle with the sun shining, there could only be one victor. And how the mighty have fallen!

It was all KP on Sunday as Latrell took a back seat and let his frustrations boil over which have proved very costly not only for Souths, but for the rest of us reading this article!! KP finished with 91, Mitchell 57

Are we seeing a 2009 Hayne/2021 Turbo effort from Ponga? Can he carry this Knights side deep into the finals? A top 4 spot is still not out of the question and when they have played Penrith, they lost by one point and four points respectively. Wonder what KP is paying for the Clive Churchill?

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I’ve banged on about Mitchell for the past few weeks now but the numbers are pretty stark. Averaged 70 since Round 9 with not a single triple figure score. We are all wooed over by what he could potentially do and instead we’ve been witness to his downfall. Now misses the final two weeks, he is a trade out for those lucky enough with trades up their sleeves!

AJ not finding the line was due and cost plenty with the winger only managing 25. Needs a big game v the Chooks (Latrell-less I might add) to finish the year on a high.

Cody too couldn’t fire and he has had a VERY lean seven weeks. Since his 100 v the Titans, he has averaged 57. Even a 200 in the final round might not be enough.

But thankfully D Cook bucked the Rabbits downfall with a huge 117. Reminiscent of 2019 Cook ,he made 48 tackles and scored a classy try. Think it’s about even for the Grant v Cook final battle.

Injuries: Nil.

On report: Latrell Mitchell, Taane Milne, Kurt Mann

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Raiders v Bulldogs

By Nick Moon

You could have written your own price for a front row pairing of Tapine and Harris scoring near 190 Supercoach points but that’s what they delivered! Huge performance from the pair and Tapine just put the icing on the cake of a very good week for owners. There would have been a few that benched Taps and that would have hurt as he finished with 12 points in offloads. Watching it live, that seems a little low…

Four Raiders boys scored more than 90 points as they put the Dogs to the sword in the second half. Off the back of Tapine and Papalii, they are still a side that can do some damage in September. If they decide they want to…

And if anyone found Jordy Rapana this late in the year you deserve a gold star!! His 22 last week was forgiven as he absolutely caned the Dogs, putting together the performance of the week scoring a huge 160!! That was 32 points more than the nearest player this weekend.

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If Timoko can bring his floor up, look out 2024… Has shown enough this year to be a POD for next year, work rate is high, and he can sniff a try or two out.

Speaking of 2024, the Bulldogs… Reckon they can show us something next year? Were good for 55 minutes and the combo of Burton and Kiks will only get better. Add Xerri, Crichton, and whoever else was off contract for three days before Gus jumped in and signed them up, you might have a football side!

Injuries: Corey Horsburgh (head knock), Albert Hopoate (ribs)

On report: Reed Mahoney, Matt Burton, Jordan Rapana

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