NRL Round 2 SuperCoach Wrap: 10 Things We Learnt

Another week of dud captains and guns failing to fire, Nick Moon recaps Supercoach Round 2.


The Northern Irish musical group D:Ream was probably thinking of NRL Supercoach when they penned the 1993 hit “Things Can Only Ge Better”.. because that’s what I am hoping for!

It was another week in the doldrums for us keen observers, with some dud captains, guns failing to fire again, and some week one stars looking more like a dull streetlight.

Injuries again played a part and some popular targets for us – Heilum Luki and Tommy Talau all failed to finish the match and look set for a stint in the rehab room

Turbo’s Hamstrings recorded a couple of close head-to-head wins, but failed to reach 1000 points, finishing the round with 979 after Hammer and Luke Brooks came good for me on Sunday.

That leaves Turbo’s Hamstrings ranked 28,172nd, not to be confused with Turbos Hammy, who is currently ranked 1st.

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10 things we learnt from Round 2

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Nicho passes the eye test… Well duh

Not much of a groundbreaking headline, but after a quiet Round 1, Nicho Hynes bounced back solidly with 75 and looked very good doing it. He was busy, defended really well, and was in everything yet only racked up a try contribution on the scoring sheet.

Many who captained him might have felt underwhelmed, given the chances the Sharks had but true to Nicho form he kept popping up and if he can pull some attacking stats together, any score is possible.

He has a very enticing matchup this weekend against the Tigers on Saturday night. The only question you have to ask yourself is, how close can he get to his BE?

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The Lane-Brown duo lights up

Dylan Brown has also hit the ground running, not exactly scoring well from a Supercoach point of view but he is a class player and will feature in most teams for the year. His scores of 54 and 64 have not been to many owners liking, but he is running the ball and looking dangerous. A big 100+ score is not far away.

I had both of these two players right up until the first whistle, then decided against it. I had my reasons.

In round one, I was quite pleased when neither scored all that well, but on Friday night all that changed with a little double pump from Brown, a brilliant under’s line from Lane, and a stroll to the try line.

Coupled with the fact that Lane has banged out 80 minutes in back-to-back weeks, makes it a very tough watch. His work rate is great, and Parramatta look somewhat threatening down either edge, but the combo of these 2 is a Supercoach gold mine.

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Losing cash

If the Reserve Bank saw what was happening to our “Portfolio (Teams)” then we would likely be summoned in front of a jury or something – “Why do you have so much money tied up in X, when they look to lose over 500k next week?”

They would be saying “sell, sell, sell”, and that’s the reality for most of us!

Our guns have not been nearly good enough to hold their own cash-wise, and with limited cheapies making some good coin, it’s a real test of how we go about the next month or so.

If you propose to hold some of the Clearys, Hynes, Grants and Pongas etc, then know you must hold them for the long haul. There is a reason they are $800k+ and a BE of those numbers is achievable.

But in saying all that, I don’t think you can hold them all! 

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Reece Walsh

This might just be a re-occurring headline but my word what this man has done on a football field in a short space of time is nothing short of phenomenal! His footwork, speed, and football nous are unmatched for a 21-year-old. 

Having him in your side must be the most exhilarating 80 minutes of the weekend! What he possesses, no other footballer does and if the Broncos keep firing there are going to be some massive numbers put out. And don’t forget too now Adam Reynolds is out, he will likely take the kicking tee. 

He takes on a Panthers side this week without Reynolds and possibly Payne Haas, so we might get a good gauge on what his floor is. Ryan Papenhuyzen and Clint Gutherson have played the Panthers so far, and neither scored over 35.

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Cutting your losses

This is where we will need to make some tough calls this coming week! Some of the breakeven numbers for the coming round are astronomical!

Turbo 102, Grant 103, Ponga 159, Drinky 132, Cleary 151 and Hynes 175!

That is some serious cash to be lost, should these players (and there are more with triple-figure BEs) not reach the lofty heights set for them.

If you own 2 or 3 or more of these players, holding for the coming weeks and hoping for a bounce back is fine and likely a smart choice. However, if they continue to slide then you are in a world of hurt! And that means those who didn’t own/sell can pick them up at bottom dollar. Imagine buying back a Ponga or Grant at $600k

There are going to be people saying “don’t trade a gun” and others saying “get rid of them now and buy them back at a cheaper price” 

Either way, I’m sure we will get it wrong!

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Week 1 stars, week 2 duds

A week is a long time in rugby league, especially for those who didn’t own Zac Laybutt last week, but do now!

The same goes for Val Holmes, who had an off night with both hands and feet.

Joey Manu, who thrived in the bright lights of Vegas but couldn’t get up for the plastic seats and gazebos of Brookvale Oval.

Zac Lomax, who had a mountain of runs but couldn’t repeat last week’s efforts with the tries, goals and line breaks.

What does this tell us? Izack Tago, Papi and Ronaldo Mulitalo are all set for shockers next week.

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Captains come good at anytime

Who here has landed a good captaincy choice? Kalyn Ponga hasn’t broken 60 in 2 games, Tom Trbojevic backed up last week’s 80 with only 52, Nathan Cleary has 73 to go with his 30, and Nicho Hynes produced all but the same.

Latrell Mitchell has been the only real outlier and if you were picking 2 fullbacks to start again, he probably isn’t one of them!

What it has done though is kept most of us in the hunt. If just one of those players above goes nuclear then those who missed out are well behind. 

There are some good candidates in the coming weeks, Nicho Hynes for one if you own and don’t sell is all but a lock, Nathan Cleary against an understrength Broncos, remembering what he did to them last time out and Tom Trbojevic against the Eels.

But I’ll leave the captaincy chat up to Clem. She has her weird and wonderful ways to get you thinking of other options before you inevitably pick Nicho.

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Trades are going to be fun this week

With all that has been spoken about, when Supercoach opens for Round 3, there are going to be some hot fingers! And a record amount of boosts used too I might add.

2024 seems like a tricky year – limited cheapies, some cheapies not making much cash, and fallen guns. It makes for an interesting 6 weeks while we all try and figure out a path to go down.

Do we get rid of some underperforming guns only to buy them back at a cut price? Do we look to pick up a few cheapies that might make some cash? How many injured players like Heilum Luki do you need to get rid of? Can I use all 5 boosts at once?

Whatever happens, remain patient.

As I said earlier, a week is a long time in Rugby League and until we have at least 5 weeks of footy under our belt, there is always going to be someone that comes from the clouds and demands a trade. We just need to be ready for it.

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Lord Papi

He’s back! Places people!

His performance on Saturday night was largely overshadowed by Xavier Coates and his “Air Coates” effort but 2 tries, 8 Offloads, 8 tackle busts, and a couple of forced dropouts to boot, he was everywhere. He’s shaken off the past injuries by the looks of it.

His round one score was questioned, by me, but in a huge defensive game, it’s what you can expect from Penrith. He takes on the Knights this week then has the bye – a dagger for those wanting him in their sides. 

If he gets the goalkicking back it’s a no-brainer.

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Back-row Kings

I touched on it last week, but haven’t we seen some scores in the back row!

Zac Hosking from nowhere is the second leading scorer for the year so far. J’maine Hopgood had a blinder on Friday for his 104, Teig Wilton banged out a career-high 110 and the player of the first 2 rounds, in my maroon and white eyes, was Haumole Olakau’atu!

Hosking can make you a quick buck, but with Elliott Whitehead in the shadows, it’s not as straightforward a trade as you might think. 

But enough about the mule, what about Ola – what a beast he is! Luke Keary might very well be sitting in a therapist’s chair, as you read this article, having nightmares about the amount of times Big Ola came at him. With the tattoos Haumole has on his legs, I wouldn’t be surprised if Keary’s head has some sort of tribal imprint on it.

Ola finished the afternoon with only 54 (I genuinely thought it was about 80) but did have a try disallowed by what I can only imagine was a non-owner in the bunker.

Round 2 Minute Watch:

Broncos v Rabbitohs
Haas 56, Piakura 80, Duncan 29, Murray 80, Keppie 40, Tatola 51

Sharks v Bulldogs
McInnes 48, Wilton 80, Faamausili 1, Kikau 78, Salmon 54, Curran 60, Hughes 24

Panthers v Eels
Henry 32, Hopgood 70, Lussick 77(!), Lane 80, Carty 80

Raiders v Tigers
Hosking 78, Smithies 80, Levi 58, Api 80, 

Cowboys v Knights
Luki 27, Finefeuiaki 55, Lolo 49, Cotter 66, KPP 82, Elliot 70

Storm v Warriors
Chan 80, Grant 80, Katoa 66, AFB 51, Tohu 66

Sea Eagles v Roosters
Ola 76, Burbo 80, Wong 40, May 57, Sitili 62, B Smith 45

Dolphins v Dragons
JMK 62, Flegler 51, Kerr 45, RFM 50

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