Picking Your Round 2 Captain

Clementine Cassidy, the self-acclaimed 'connoisseur of dubious captaincy choices', reviews her captain options for Round 2.


Guess who’s back… back again

And friends. Hello! It is I! The mathematician, rapper, tangenter of our generation, connoisseur of excellent dubious Captaincy choices, owner of a big block of Cheese. 

Last time I wrote one of these I was sweltering in the back of a car being driven by a man named Putu, as we careened, sans aircon, swarmed by scooters, for approximately three hours down the dodgiest of back alleys in Bali, so my friend could get a photo with a fish. 

And for those who have spent the last 18 months fretting about the incomplete story arc: 

No, no the fish photo never saw the light of day – I am not, it seems, the Instagram influencer of our generation. But we did get a rather nice video of our fake proposal in front of a restaurant of lovers, caressed by the soulful sounds of a Balinese Ed Sheeran, after accidentally booking the local honeymoon resort (she hid the ring in my bread roll…such a romantic!). 

I also have quite a stunning photo of an Ubud forest monkey trying to bite my face off. 

And despite pulling off a 26-point Nicho Hynes captaincy in Round 1, and the owner of a sweet 22-point Reece Walsh captaincy last season – our overlord, the great Phoenix Cros… ahhh Zac Hos… ahhh the great Timmy Williams, has trusted me to run amuck with the captaincies again this season!

Now, I am a strategically strategic girl, so I have consulted the great Mariah and a bunch of my best crystals in preparation for this moment. I’m feeling well equipped to find us a hero who could possibly be a fantasy but also just as likely a heartbreaker… track records, etc. But we’ll have a great song to sing at the community hall over a glass of whiskey come Monday regardless, so without further ado:

Supercoach Vice Captains (who could also be Captains if they take your fancy)

Latrell Mitchell

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And let us start with the one who you will only be Vice Captaining (unless you’re feeling quite frisky and adventurous – love that for you) and will loop should he decide to carve up against Broncos this Thursday night much like he did against Manly in what seems like 10 years ago out there in Las Vegas.

110 points that game. A try, 2 try assists, a line break, 2-line break assists…the list goes on. And for those who went against the Captaincy crowds and took a Las Vegas-sized punt on the man, you were duly rewarded.

Now I’ve done the maths, and Latrell has a 102-point average over the last three games against the Broncs. So, I don’t even need to consult my crystals here to say, the man is a viable Vice Captaincy choice. It’s all in the stats.

Verdict – Vice Captain only, and only if you don’t have the next man in your team…

Prince Nicho Hynes

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Let me take you back to last week, when Homer, one of the Playbook subs with an affection for a Swysh or two, decided to collude with Brayden Trindall and craft a video in which I was warned against the gelling of Nicho’s luscious hair. 

Despite knowing it was going to be a dry game back home in NZ, and despite normally holding strong to my absolute duty as SC Playbook’s Support Group Coordinator to gel hair and perform rain dances should there be an inkling that Nicho is playing in dry conditions – I am ashamed to admit I took the warning seriously, cancelled my plans to hop across the ditch with my tub of VO5, and then watched with horror when our Prince scored a lowly 26. 


And honestly, my notes from that game read – ‘Clearly Homer does not have Nicho in his team that colluding, tactics-playing Super-Villain.”

Because I think we all know what went wrong here – I’m staring at the unused tub of gel and the cancelled flight notification right now…

But we won’t let that deter us! Because this week the Sharks are playing the Dogs. At Shark Park. And joy of joys – according to the weather forecast I just consulted, there is a 0-8mm chance of rain! We will take it.

And if not, well Shark Park is only a quick ferry ride and a few buses from my new home in Manly, and I will absolutely not be deterred by the Homer x Trindall collusion villain arc, and I will go to Shark Park myself, perform a beautiful rain dance AND sneak in the sheds pre-game and GEL HIS HAIR.

Nicho has a 107-point average against the Bulldogs. And we all watched the Bulldogs last weekend – so I think we can safely call a spade a spade and say Nicho is a viable Vice Captaincy choice for Round 2.

Verdict – Vice Captain, but absolutely have your loop options ready because our Prince is going large.

Your Rogue Vice Captain – Siosifa Talakai

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For former readers of this column, you may recall the time in 2022 that I travelled to the OutWorld to sell my soul to a nice man named Mr Tsung.

It was a desperate time full of support groups at the community hall, a lot of wailing and lamenting in the manifestation circle, and that infamous food fight which saw Mariah Carey cop a Kotoni snag right in the eye…

But I digress…

The reason I made that long sojourn to the Outworld was, of course, to sell my soul for Talakai. Why? 

Because the man went on an unexpected rampage racking up ton after ton, and after spending all my salary cap chasing wet-haired Princes, the only thing left for me to do was sell my soul.

And I’m not saying I broke him because of the state my soul was in, but history has it, that the very week after I sold my soul and brought him into my team, he magically stopped scoring. Just like that.

Now clearly whatever spell my soul put on him has worn off, because Talakai had a bit of the old get up and go last Friday against my Warriors. The man looked fit, on fire, and at his rampaging best.

It may have only been 75 points, but a try and a try assist and about a thousand hit-ups lead me to believe that we may have a sneaky rogue on our hands against the Dogs this Friday night…

Verdict – I’ve already sold my soul this season chasing underperforming halfbacks, so absolutely you are perfectly safe to bring the man in and Vice-Captain him should the risky whim take you.

Supercoach Captains

Kalyn “Rage Trade” Ponga

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Did everybody hear the Benny Hill music playing when the Knights had 57 halves on the field, repeat sets at the line, and Kalyn didn’t touch the ball once…or did I imagine that whole scenario being too busy admiring my stable of Canberra cheapies all hitting their BE’s like good cheapies should (absolute lies – Cotric I’m looking at you).

And did everybody hear the shock of the Kalyn Ponga Captainers when he only scored a 50? The noise of that shock was drowned out the next night by the noise of the smug Nicho Hynes Captainers (led by yours truly) as we watched our dry-hair Prince do dry-hair things.

But if the Saturday arvo game in Townsville is dry, you may absolutely pop that Captaincy on Ponga and hope the Cowboys’ defence lets the great man score about 152.

Keep trading the great man out you naughty rage traders – more Kalyn points for the rest of us. The man has pedigree, the Knights are not a terrible team when they calm their halves farm, and whilst a 54-point average vs the Cowboys over the last couple of years might dissuade some, I say, give the bloke another chance.

Verdict – Go here if the sun is shining up in Townsville and you don’t own Tommy T.

The Battle of the Fullbacks – James Tedesco vs Tom Trbojevic

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A day game at Brooky. How good!!! Let the rain stay away. And let the attacking begin!!

Teddy vs Tommy, the Roosters’ defence vs the Manly attack, Joey M and Reuben Garrick competing for the hottest 100 on the field…

And is 2024 the return of the Tommy/Teddy fullback glory? I’m calling it now – that’s a great big YES!

Who will reign supreme? Who will take out the battle of the fullbacks? 

Will it be Teddy coming off a strong Vegas performance which may have only netted him 70 points but absolutely had punters looking twice?

Or will it be Tommy T, who, like a beautiful soaring Sea Eagle, will spread his wings and take flight up the field, rewarding Captainers with a casually stunning ton or two, and a vintage Tommy performance from the days of yore?

Verdict – Tommy “Turbo” T. And for his added protection, I will be prowling the Corso Saturday evening ready to jump in to stop any potential races with men named Harry.  

Your Rogue – Zac Lomax

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He’s back baby! Or is he? The jury is seemingly out, the punters torn. But I would like to point out that how can you not consider taking a punt on the great Lomax out there on the wing with the goal kicking to his name too? Especially as only 5 people own him, so if you’re one of the lucky owners – you may absolutely take a risk here.

Because the Dolphins didn’t exactly inspire confidence last Sunday allowing the Cowboys to rack up a score higher than all those people who went out hunting the mysterious packages of white powder that washed up all over Sydney beaches in what was indeed, a white Christmas.

108 points in the decimation of the Titans last Saturday at CBUS. A try, 16 points in goals, 2-line breaks, and 2 tackles (none missed), all lead me to believe that young Zac Lomax might just be the CTW we’ll all be wanting come the end of Round 2…

Verdict – Captain if you like to take a risk and you want to feel an acute sense of heart-pounding anxiety watching the game at Brooky beforehand.

Final Verdict

I’m performing a rain dance Friday AND going to Shark Park with my tub of VO5, so clearly the answer is to Vice Captain Prince Nicho into a Captain Tommy T, then loop Nicho when he absolutely carves up against the Dogs.

That is the solution.

Or honestly, go absolutely rogue friend. I’m here for it! If you’d consulted a crystal ball and captained Laybutt or Taulagi on the weekend your Sunday Sesh would have been very sweet indeed.

Until next time, may your Captains ton up and may your weekend be as glorious as Jakey T’s most glorious thumb.

Clementine xx

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