Team lists: Supercoach Round 27 squad analysis

2020 NRL Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the squads dropped for round 27 of the 2023 season.


It all comes down to this…

The final round of the NRL Supercoach season is upon us.

For the majority of leagues, grand finals have wrapped up, with bragging rights decided between mates.

Congratulations to anyone who bagged a league victory, savour the next 12 months.

Now the attention turns to the overall NRL Supercoach race, with a new champion to be crowned in less than a week’s time.

And geez it’s going to be a tough final week, with popular players absolutely dropping like flies.

Planning for depth is preached across this article week after week, and Round 26 and 27 are an example of why.

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To begin the week, popular Supercoach players to already be confirmed out or are rated unlikely to play include:

Kalyn Ponga, Tohu Harris, Corey Horsburgh, Harry Grant, Cam Munster, Payne Haas, Reece Walsh, Jahrome Hughes and Reuben Garrick to name a few.

Then you add in players in doubt headlined by Joey Manu and Nicho Hynes, plus the Parramatta Eels bye, and I suspect there will be very few squads running out a squad of 17 this week.

While the Stallions will hopefully have 17 on deck this week (it’ll be tight), we haven’t been able to capitalise on a fairly deep roster unfortunately.

The season was summed up on Saturday afternoon, I was ready to vice captain loop Scott Drinkwater’s 120+ against the Dolphins, but I had Brendan Piakura sitting on my pine as the auto-emergency nightmare.

I was backing a big one from Joey Manu against the Tigers, so I flicked him the captain’s armband.

He lasted all of about 20 minutes before going off with a hamstring strain, only for Joseph Suaalii to going bonkers in his place at fullback!

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Not to worry, fortunately I wasn’t at the pointy end of the overall rankings anyway so the impact was minimal.

You’ve just got to ride the highs and lows of Supercoach because it always turns back around!

I did trade in Drinky and Daly Cherry-Evans for big tonnes as a silver lining to a tough week.

Of course, the majority of teams are out of trades and there’s no real discussion around sit v start, so I’ll be fairly brief below.

There will be plenty of SC Playbook season wrap up content next week, but this is the final squad breakdown of 2023, so thanks to anyone who’s had a read this season.

Let’s get stuck into the Round 27 analysis, with squads courtesy of Fox Sports.

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Thursday, 7:50pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: 1. Tristan Sailor 2. Corey Oates 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Delouise Hoeter 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Joshua Rogers 7. Jock Madden 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Tyson Smoothy 10. Corey Jensen 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Keenan Palasia 14. Blake Mozer 15. Cory Paix 16. Xavier Willison 17. Martin Taupau 18. Benjamin Te Kura 19. Israel Leota 20. Kurt Capewell 21. Kobe Hetherington 22. Selwyn Cobbo

Analysis: The Round 1 fullback selections are going to be outrageous next season.

Reece Walsh has joined an elite category of fullbacks that next season will welcome back cut-priced options such as Tom Trbojevic and Ryan Papenhuyzen.

He went bonkers last week and was a level above his competition, unfortunately for owners he’s been rested this week along with Payne Haas and several other Broncos.

In true Kotoni Staggs fashion, he’s unavailable due to suspension in the one week owners desperately needed him on field.

Never has an NRL player had such utter disrespect for the great game of NRL Supercoach!

Brendan Piakura starts for his owners.

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Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Justin Olam 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Reimis Smith 6. Jayden Nikorima 7. Tyran Wishart 8. Tariq Sims 9. Bronson Garlick 10. Tepai Moeroa 11. Chris Lewis 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Josh King 14. Sualauvi Faalogo 15. Alec MacDonald 16. Aaron Pene 17. Jack Howarth 18. Grant Anderson 19. Joe Chan 20. Keagan Russell-Smith 21. Cole Geyer 22. Tristan Powell

Analysis: It looms as a very tough match-up for Melbourne against a Broncos outfit looking to secure the minor premiership.

Harry Grant, Cameron Munster and Nick Meaney are key restings here, along with a stack of other Storm players.

Another poor score from Ryan Papenhuyzen would be delightful for his Round 1 starting price next season.

Missing so many other key players, I couldn’t go near Lil Papy this week despite the obvious temptation.

Jahrome Hughes is out due to injury.

Jack Howarth playing off the bench, we’ll take it!

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Friday, 6pm, 4 Pines Park, Sydney

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

Analysis: Daly Cherry-Evans delivered in spades for anyone who shifted Nicho Hynes to him late last week.

He belted out 146 against the Bulldogs and it could easily have been significantly more.

He’s a great trade in, but with people struggling for a 17 this week, you’re probably unlikely to move Nathan Cleary or Shaun Johnson to him.

Nicho Hynes remains in some doubt this week, but playing for a home final he’s every chance to play.

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Do you trade a proven gun in Nicho to get him on a week like this?

Probably not, unless of course Hynes is ruled out early in the week.

Tolutau Koula at fullback, wowee, what a Supercoach and NRL prospect!

We knew he was a gun, but more opportunity with ball in hand could turn him into a Supercoach star.

He scored 125 against the Bulldogs and could easily replicate this week with another great match-up against the Tigers.

Ben Trbojevic and and Sean Keppie both start, no Reuben Garrick.

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Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Triston Reilly 4. Josh Feledy 5. Junior Tupou 6. Daine Laurie 7. Apisai Koroisau 8. Alex Twal 9. Jake Simpkin 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Shawn Blore 13. Justin Matamua 14. Asu Kepaoa 15. Kit Laulilii 16. Fonua Pole 17. Alex Seyfarth 18. Tallyn Da Silva 19. Brandon Wakeham 20. Will Smith 21. Aitasi James 22. Tommy Talau

Analysis: Nothing to add here.

John Bateman is out, he’s owned by around 40% of top ranked coaches.

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Friday, 8pm, Accor Stadium, Sydney

Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Isaiah Tass 4. Campbell Graham 5. Izaac Tu’itupou Thompson 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Shaquai Mitchell 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Michael Chee Kam 13. Cameron Murray 14. Jai Arrow 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Hame Sele 17. Davvy Moale 18. Taane Milne 19. Jed Cartwright 20. Peter Mamouzelos 21. Daniel Suluka-Fifita 22. Dean Hawkins

Analysis: South Sydney come in needing a win to play finals footy, so they’ll be right up for this one fresh off the bye.

With Latrell out, perhaps this is the week Cody Walker bounces back to form.

He did break the Supercoach record with a 200+ score in the final round of 2020, even half of that would be handy for owners!

No Tyrone Munro at all.

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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. Sam Walker 8. Fletcher Baker 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Nat Butcher 13. Victor Radley 14. Sandon Smith 15. Egan Butcher 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton 18. Corey Allan 19. Naufahu Whyte 20. Drew Hutchison 21. Fetalaiga Pauga 22. Dylan Napa

Analysis: James Tedesco has been named to return, while Joey Manu has also been named but remains in significant doubt with a hamstring injury.

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Saturday, 3pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Dolphins: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Tesi Niu 4. Euan Aitken 5. Jack Bostock 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Harrison Graham 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Kenny Bromwich 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Isaiya Katoa 16. Max Plath 17. Herman Ese’ese 18. Valynce Te Whare 19. Mason Teague 20. Brayden McGrady 21. Trai Fuller 22. Kurt Donoghoe

Analysis: No interest here.

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Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Edward Kosi 3. Rocco Berry 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Ronald Volkman 8. Bunty Afoa 9. Freddy Lussick 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Josh Curran 12. Marata Niukore 13. Dylan Walker 14. Brayden Wiliame 15. Jackson Ford 16. Bayley Sironen 17. Tom Ale 18. Kalani Going 20. Jacob Laban 21. Ben Farr 22. Zyon Maiu’u 23. Paul Roache

Analysis: The Warriors are missing a few key players to injury, including the Supercoach relevant Tohu Harris.

The Warriors have rested everyone!!!

No Johnson, Watene-Zelezniak, Fonua-Blake, Harris, Nicoll-Klokstad and co…

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Saturday, 5:30pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jack Cogger 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Luke Sommerton 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 14. Soni Luke 15. Lindsay Smith 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Zac Hosking 18. Jaeman Salmon 19. Izack Tago 20. Thomas Jenkins 21. Luke Garner 22. Matt Eisenhuth

Analysis: Penrith welcome back a host of stars and will be fired up following a shock loss to the Eels.

If Brisbane do get done by the Storm it’ll open up the minor premiership too which would have this outfit particularly revved up.

Nathan Cleary looks a great captaincy play.

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

Analysis: Despite a huge score last weekend, I wouldn’t look at buying Scott Drinkwater with this week’s match-up unless Penrith end up producing mass late restings.

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Saturday, 7:35pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

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. Connor Muhleisen 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Billy Burns 12. Dan Russell 13. Jack de Belin 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Michael Molo 16. Ben Murdoch-Masila 17. Ryan Couchman 18. Toby Couchman 19. Jayden Sullivan 20. Alexander Lobb 21. Jaiyden Hunt 22. Viliami Fifita

Analysis: No interest here.

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Knights: 1. Lachlan Miller 2. Dominic Young 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Greg Marzhew 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Clune 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Fa’amanu Brown 10. Leo Thompson 11. Dylan Lucas 12. Brodie Jones 13. Adam Elliott 14. Riley Jones 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Mathew Croker 18. Jack Johns 19. Oryn Keeley 20. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 21. Jackson Hastings 22. David Armstrong

Analysis: Kalyn Ponga is out and is replaced by Lachie Miller who comes in for a great match-up with the Dragons and is likely to goal-kick, although Adam Clune is also an option.

Miller is a sneaky trade in option at centre, although Koula looks better at CTW.

With Ponga out, I’d avoid any left-field captaincy plays on Greg Marzhew.

Dane Gagai has been rested.

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Sunday, 2pm, Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast

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

Analysis: David Fifita is a sneaky captaincy play this weekend and of course a buy option for anyone with a trade in hand, as is Tino Fa’asuamaleaui for anyone needing to replace Corey Horsburgh or Tohu Harris.

AJ Brimson is a POD option with a great home match-up with the leaky Bulldogs side.

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Bulldogs: 1. Hayze Perham 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Luke Thompson 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 13. Max King 14. Kyle Flanagan 15. Samuel Hughes 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Jayden Okunbor 19. Jeral Skelton 20. Bailey Biondi-odo 21. Jayden Tanner 22. Ryan Sutton 23. Raymond Faitala-Mariner

Analysis: Jacob Preston returns from suspension just in time for anyone who held.

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Sunday, 4:05pm, 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. 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. Kayal Iro 19. Mawene Hiroti 20. Oregon Kaufusi 21. Jesse Colquhoun 22. Daniel Atkinson

Analysis: The winner of this clash will decide who gets a home final.

For that reason, Nicho Hynes will be doing absolutely everything he can to take part in this game.

If it was a game that meant little, he may have sat it out. Monitor news around the star halfback throughout the week.

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Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Sebastian Kris 3. Jack Wighton 4. Matthew Timoko 5. Nick Cotric 6. Matt Frawley 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Emre Guler 9. Zac Woolford 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh 14. Tom Starling 15. Ata Mariota 16. Jarrod Croker 17. Hohepa Puru 18. Pasami Saulo 19. Albert Hopoate 20. Trey Mooney 21. Danny Levi 22. James Schiller

Analysis: Nothing overly Supercoach relevant here outside of Corey Horsburgh’s three match suspension that he’s fighting at the judiciary on Tuesday night.

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