NRL Supercoach Analysis: Round 3 team lists

2020 NRL Supercoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses the Ins and Outs for Round 3.


NRL Supercoach Round 3 is on our doorstep, perhaps the most important trade week of the season.

We’ve had two free looks at player performances, forward minutes, roles and plenty more across the opening rounds without any prices changing.

With the first set of price changes to come this week, more than anything it’s the vital opportunity to lock in players set to earn big cash.

Alternatively, it’s an opportunity to sell any underperformers that are set to leak lots of cash.

An interesting point to touch on around breakevens (the score a player needs to hit to make or lose money the following week) after two rounds.

I was surprised to see the breakevens of players such as Kalyn Ponga (159), Nicho Hynes (175), Nathan Cleary (151) and Harry Grant (103) not overly high.

When I say not overly high, they are priced at premium rates, and all underwhelmed significantly in their opening games, at least in comparison to their starting price.

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I knew that breakevens revolve around ‘The Magic Number’ and it can vary on how the competition is going, so with the generally poor scoring across the board it made some sense, but I was surprised at just how low they were.

I threw to the SC Playbook subscriber Whatsapp chat and received this response which should clarify things:

“The magic number (the number which all players derive their price from) is not stagnant. It moves based on the overall scoring of the competition.

Historically it drops over the first month, before climbing again. What this means is that it’s ‘easier’ to attain breakevens if the overall averages of players are lower, and ‘harder’ when they are higher.

It is why players tend to have much lower breakevens early in the season rather than later.”

Thanks to Grant McCartin for clarifying.

What this means to me is that players I’d tinkered with selling such as those aforementioned, don’t have as big a target to his as expected.

For example Ponga with his 159 breakeven, sure it’s unlikely he will hit that against the undefeated Storm, but I do think he can go around 100 and limit the cash fall.

If the breakeven was 200+ I’d be very nervous and nearly have to sell.

Anyway, just some food for thought that should make the game a little easier to comprehend. 

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So the Cooma Stallions had a better round 2 with 984 points, moving to 69k overall.

The rank seems grim, but I’m actually very happy with my side, and far more so than a week ago.

Terrell May was my only trade in, while Jason Taumalolo delivered a much more respectable score and minutes, so that FRF slot is far less of a problem which led to a better sleep on Sunday night.

My cheapies are performing, so largely I’m very happy with where things stand. Now for the scores to hopefully follow to see some major rank rises.

I’ve copped Brendan Piakura and Heilum Luki‘s injuries in the first two rounds, so hopefully, the trifecta can be avoided this week.

Let’s take a look at the Round 3 NRL Supercoach analysis, with squads courtesy of Fox Sports.

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Broncos v Panthers 

Thursday, 8pm, Bluebet Stadium, Penrith 

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Sunia Turuva 3. Izack Tago 4. Taylan May 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. Lindsay Smith 11. Scott Sorensen 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo

Bench: 14. Daine Laurie 15. Matt Eisenhuth 16. Liam Henry 17. Luke Garner

Reserves: 18. Soni Luke 19. Mavrik Geyer 20. Preston Riki 21. Paul Alamoti 22. Brad Schneider

Analysis: By his standards, Nathan Cleary has struggled early and with a breakeven of 151 some will be tempted to sell.

The opening round 36 will drop out of his three-round rolling average after this week, so I’m not concerned.

Brisbane has lost key troops and could lose more before game day, so there’s no reason why he can’t go 100+ in the grand final rematch.

Plus, who would you move to? I’ll touch on the potential replacements and why there aren’t really any below.

With games against Brisbane, Roosters, Manly and then a bye, it’s a tough draw, but Cleary is a star and can score well regardless.

Izack Tago went nuts with 145 points against the Eels, including six linebreaks!

He’s a solid buy with a breakeven of 20, and an outstanding 39 base across his first two games.

However, I’m not keen.

As good as he is, the reality is he did it all against Kelma Tuilagi after he was shifted to centre when Bailey Simonsson was injured.

With James Fisher-Harris out, Liam Henry becomes somewhat relevant for anyone wanting to move on a cheapie FRF that’s struggling.

He’s $238k with a breakeven of 0. He’s averaging 36 points in 32 minutes with 36 in base this season.

If we get word JFH is out for say three or more weeks he could earn some half-okay coin in the meantime, but there are probably more pressing trades to be made.

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Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Jock Madden 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan

Bench: 14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Martin Taupau

Reserves: 18. Xavier Willison 19. Tristan Sailor 20. Delouise Hoeter 21. Corey Oates 22. Jaiyden Hunt

Analysis: I’m not overly keen on any Brisbane players due to their upcoming draw, and the fact that Adam Reynolds is out, potentially along with Ezra Mam and Payne Haas who are both in doubt.

Reece Walsh is likely to kick goals and looms as a great buy, but the upcoming draw against the Panthers (A), Cowboys (H) and Storm (A) is pretty tough going.

Despite getting ripped by downdates both weeks, I’m a very happy Jesse Arthars owner at $376k with an average of 53.

That being said, with the upcoming draw there may be better buys. I’m just hoping he can jag 45+ scores to earn some decent cash before easier games follow.

Selwyn Cobbo is a big watch over those difficult fixtures after a strong start to his career at centre.

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Warriors v Raiders 

Friday, 6pm, Apollo Projects Stadium, Christchurch

Warriors: 1. Taine Tuaupiki 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Luke Metcalf 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Mitchell Barnett 11. Jackson Ford 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Tohu Harris

Bench: 14. Freddy Lussick 15. Tom Ale 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Dylan Walker

Reserves: 18. Adam Pompey 20. Jazz Tevaga 21. Te Maire Martin 22. Jacob Laban 23. Chanel Harris-Tavita

Analysis: Shaun Johnson struggled early and isn’t kicking goals at the moment, which is a major concern.

If confirmed not to kick again this week, with a 143 breakeven he’s a strong sell candidate.

If kicking, with some decent fixtures to come, I’d be happy enough to hold with no great replacements available.

Taine Tuaupiki is doing wonders for owners with a 50-point average at just $277k, with a breakeven of -19.

He’s likely a decent buy, but the looming return of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is a concern who will take his place when fit.

It does sound like CNK is still a few weeks away so hopefully that cash comes quick.

Tuaupiki is a decent play in CTWs this week.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is averaging 61 across the first two rounds, with an excellent 37 in base.

Across the first two games, he’s had 10 tackle breaks and three offloads, along with only one try assist and no tries.

I like him as a buy and can see him being upwards of $700k in a month’s time.

While heavily attack-reliant, Luke Metcalf has been a sneaky 5/8 hit with a 67-point average. 

He did pick up 20 in goal-kicking stats on the weekend though so he probably needs to keep that for longer to be relevant, but you’d imagine SJ takes over when good to go.

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Raiders: 1. Jordan Rapana 2. Nick Cotric 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Albert Hopoate 5. Xavier Savage 6. Ethan Strange 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Josh Papali’i 9. Danny Levi 10. Joseph Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Morgan Smithies

Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Zac Hosking 17. Pasami Saulo

Reserves: 18. James Schiller 19. Kaeo Weekes 20. Ata Mariota 21. Trey Mooney 22. Zac Woolford

Analysis: Zac Hosking is the most traded in player this week after a brilliant start to his career in Lime Green. I have my reservations…

Firstly, he’s been benched for Elliott Whitehead which makes him an avoid for now, but let’s say for argument’s sake he starts come game day as they ease Whitehead back.

At $511k with a breakeven of -56 he’s set to earn a tonne of cash regardless,

Add in QLD rep Corey Horsburgh alongside Whitehead and there’s a real log-jam for minutes among this stacked squad.

Realistically we may see Hosking get 50 if starting, and Whitehead 30. It’s only a guess, but if that eventuates it’s a huge worry for Hosking despite the obvious cash influx coming.

While his base of 47 per game so far is solid enough, he has had two tries and two try-assists this season to bolster his scoring.

Ethan Strange crossed for an impressive try against the Tigers for 61 points, at $238k with a breakeven of -18 get him in if you don’t already own.

His 25 in base isn’t great though so I’d avoid playing him in 17s until we see a bit more consistent scoring.

Xavier Savage looks decent for owners at $350k with an average of 57 points and breakeven of -10.

He’s a reasonable buy, but proceed with caution as he’s based just 22 and 16 across the first two rounds so there is likely to be some very low scores in coming.

My gut feeling actually says trap, but he is looking decent so hopefully, the attack continues to roll in.

People are selling Danny Levi to Joey Lussick due to the Eels hooker’s strong start to 2024, but I don’t rate it.

Levi is actually the fifth most traded out player despite a -13 breakeven!

Lussick is $75k cheaper and has benefitted from attacking stats, just like Levi.

While I’d prefer to own Lussick of the two, I’m definitely not selling Levi to get him.

Morgan Smithies is averaging 54 points with 54 in base this season, and he played the entire 80 in the middle against the Tigers.

At $345k get him in despite the returns of Horsburgh and Whitehead that may see his minutes drop to 60-65.

With Seb Kris out due to a failed HIA last week, Nick Cotric gets a reprieve on the wing.

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Roosters v Rabbitohs

Friday, 8pm, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 4. Joseph Manu 5. Dominic Young 6. Sandon Smith 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Nat Butcher 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley

Bench: 14. Connor Watson 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Terrell May 17. Angus Crichton

Reserves: 18. Michael Jennings 19. Egan Butcher 20. Billy Smith 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Siua Wong

Analysis: James Tedesco is back to his Supercoach best with 103 against Manly.

For people selling Ponga or Drinky, he’s a genuine option.

I don’t love it, I’m not entirely convinced he has the ceiling of others in the position such as Turbo, Walsh, Latrell etc.

When I say the ceiling, he can definitely hit a 150 this season, but it’s more consistently.

The others mentioned when firing can do this week on week, at times it can feel effortless, I feel Teddy has to do a lot to go big at the moment.

With games against rivals South Sydney and into Penrith it’s a tough few weeks.

We asked all pre-season who the mid-range FRF player of choice would be.

We now know the answer was Terrell May.

He’s a must-have in my eyes in a terrible position, at $430k with an average of 67 points in 56 minutes per game.

He’s basing 52 per game, busts tackles, offloads and looks likely to be able to play bigger minutes if injuries fall mid-game. Gun.

He’s been named on the bench as per last week, but he was a game day starter for Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

Joey Manu couldn’t replicate his Vegas heroics with just 22 in Manly.

Brandon Smith has scores of 48 and 37 in just 54 and 46 minutes of game time.

He’s fine to hold, but a move to Joey Lussick is pretty enticing.

The Roosters will likely become very relevant in a few weeks once the draw softens up and their attack continues to improve.

Siua Wong has been dropped and is a sell, while Angus Crichton and Connor Watson are both watches on return to the NRL.

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Rabbitohs: 1. Latrell Mitchell 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jack Wighton 4. Isaiah Tass 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Dean Hawkins 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Davvy Moale 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jacob Host 13. Cameron Murray

Bench: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Tallis Duncan 16. Sean Keppie 17. Thomas Burgess

Reserves: 18. Michael Chee Kam 19. Lachlan Ilias 20. Shaquai Mitchell 21. Peter Mamouzelos 22. Richard Kennar

Analysis: It’s a little hard to invest in the Rabbitohs at the moment due to their poor form, injury list and tough draw.

They have games upcoming against the Roosters, Warriors, Sharks, bye, Storm and Panthers.

Despite the tough start, Latrell Mitchell has averaged 95 points per game.

We know Trell is fixture-proof, so if you’re keen on him I wouldn’t let the draw deter you too much.

Davvy Moale has attracted interest in the FRF cheapie slot at $268k with a breakeven of -13.

It looked like a trap following his try and linebreak against the Broncos, but now named to start it certainly helps his case.

He’s played just 32 and 28 minutes the opening two rounds.

Cam Murray played on the edge but could shift back to the middle at any point, while Jai Arrow will slot back in at some stage.

Lachlan Ilias has been dropped in favour of Dean Hawkins.

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Bulldogs v Titans 

Saturday, 3pm, Belmore Sports Ground, Sydney 

Bulldogs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jacob Kiraz 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Connor Tracey 6. Matt Burton 7. Drew Hutchison 8. Max King 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Jacob Preston 13. Jaeman Salmon

Bench: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Samuel Hughes 16. Josh Curran 17. Kurtis Morrin

Reserves: 19. Bronson Xerri 20. Toby Sexton 21. Jake Turpin 22. Kitione Kautoga 23. Chris Patolo

Analysis: Jaeman Salmon has played 80 and 54 minutes so far which is very encouraging for owners.

What’s less encouraging is an average of 33, with 36 in base.

Josh Curran or Kurt Mann could start at any point so I’d be tempted to sell at some stage, although with his decent minutes, there’s no harm in holding for another week or two in the hope some attacking stats can lead to some cash generation.

Ditto Drew Hutchinson who is averaging 33 per game with 28 in base.

You could move him on now, but with a game against the leaky Titans defence at Belmore, I’d be giving him one more week if in a position to do so.

Josh Curran looks a strong buy at $421k with a breakeven of -3.

He’s averaging 61 minutes per game off the bench with 52 in base.

The issue is that both have been bolstered by injuries in games, including Poasa Faamausili who left the field in the first minute against the Sharks to which Curran was the direct replacement.

I think Curran is a good buy, I’m not convinced he’s a great buy.

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The Jacob Kiraz gamble hasn’t quite paid off for those who paid up the $605k for him, but the signs remain okay.

He’s averaging 48 points almost entirely in base and power.

He’s basing 38 per game and has had nine tackle breaks and two offloads.

He has no tries, no assists, no linebreaks or line-assists so far.

If I owned him, I’d be very tempted to hold for one more week for this match-up, if he goes low move him on next week.

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Titans: 1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. AJ Brimson 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Chris Randall 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 11. Klese Haas 12. Beau Fermor 13. Jaimin Jolliffe

Bench: 14. Sam Verrills 15. Isaac Liu 16. Erin Clark 17. Keenan Palasia

Reserves: 18. Joe Stimson 19. Harley Smith-Shields 20. Jacob Alick 21. Thomas Weaver 22. Josiah Pahulu

Analysis: The Titans had the bye last week, so we get one more free look at them before any price changes occur.

As such, I wouldn’t be looking to buy any players or sell aside from Keenan Palasia who should be shifted to Terrell May in the front-row.

Still no Jayden Campbell or David Fifita who are nearing returns from injury.

Kieran Foran returns which will aid Beau Fermor on the left edge.

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Dragons v Cowboys

Saturday, 5:35pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Zac Lomax 3. Moses Suli 4. Jack Bird 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kyle Flanagan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Jack de Belin 9. Jesse Marschke 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Tom Eisenhuth

Bench: 14. Connor Muhleisen 15. Michael Molo 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Viliami Fifita

Reserves: 18. Christian Tuipulotu 19. Ben Murdoch-Masila 20. Mathew Feagai 21. Ryan Couchman 22. Alec Tuitavake

Analysis: Ah dear, the Dragons were a great example of why a one-game sample size is very rarely sufficient when considering Supercoach options.

Hopefully for Dragons fans, and owners of their Supercoach players, it was a blip on the radar that’ll be rectified this week.

Tom Eisenhuth played 38 minutes. Pass.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner played 51 and scored 34. Despite the -12 breakeven, pass.

Kyle Flanagan scored 21 in 80 minutes. Pass.

The only Supercoach-relevant tick was Zac Lomax who, despite the Dragons going scoreless, still managed 44 points with an excellent 36 in base. Big tick!

Although the lack of attacking output from the Dragons in general was a major concern for him, so with a breakeven of 35 I wouldn’t be rushing to buy this week.

RFM has been benched, Luciano Leilua starts, while Eisenhuth starts at lock.

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Cowboys: 1. Scott Drinkwater 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Zac Laybutt 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jordan McLean 9. Reece Robson 10. Jason Taumalolo 11. Kulikefu Finefeuiaki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Reuben Cotter

Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Griffin Neame 16. Sam McIntyre 17. Jack Gosiewski

Reserves: 18. Tomas Chester 19. Thomas Mikaele 20. Semi Valemei 21. Marly Bitungane 22. Jake Clifford

Analysis: Heilum Luki is out for an extended period due to injury in a blow for the rookie star, and to Supercoach owners, including myself.

I was surprised to see he was only owned by 21% of teams overall.

Jason Taumalolo scored 44 points in 48 minutes with 44 in base in a much more pleasing performance for owners.

Despite that, news came through after round one (extremely untimely) that he’s to be managed all season due to a fairly concerning knee issue.

Any games the Cowboys find themselves with a decent lead he’ll be heading straight to the showers by the sounds of it.

Not an urgent sell, but one I’ll personally be looking to move on once I find a decent replacement. Maybe Josh Kerr next week?

Teammate and skipper Rueben Cotter may be the man, playing 65 minutes in Townsville (aided a touch by golden point), scoring 70 points with 65 in base!

With a breakeven of 45, there’s no harm in waiting a week to watch his minutes again, but he looks a fairly safe investment.

Tom Dearden and Reece Robson have impressed early and would have a number of very content owners.

Kulikefu Finefeuiaki starts on the edge in place of Heilum Luki and is a serious Supercoach prospect.

I’d expect him to play anywhere from 50-65 minutes, and at $292k he’s serious value at 2RF.

He’ll bust plenty of tackles and hopefully offload a bit, so he’s high on my radar but ideally you’d want to watch for a week.

Another lesson in why we wait a week after round 1, is Zac Laybutt (26) and Sam McIntyre (10).

Laybutt still might be a good buy so no need to panic if you own, but if he scores poorly this week he could be losing cash by round 4.

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Tigers v Sharks 

Saturday, 7:35pm, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

Tigers: 1. Jahream Bula 2. Charlie Staines 3. Solomona Faataape 4. Justin Olam 5. Junior Tupou 6. Lachlan Galvin 7. Aidan Sezer 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole

Bench: 14. Jayden Sullivan 15. Alex Seyfarth 16. Alex Twal 17. Samuela Fainu

Reserves: 18. Asu Kepaoa 19. Jake Simpkin 20. Justin Matamua 21. Alexander Lobb 22. Brent Naden

Analysis: Those who were patient with Api Koroisau with the Tigers round 1 bye were rewarded, with the hooker scoring 82 points in the full 80 minutes and he kicked goals as expected. Terrific start.

18-year-old playmaker Lachlan Galvin was the best-looking of the three Tigers playmakers against the Raiders.

He’s bottom dollar at $204k and scored 49 on debut, with 35 in base!

You could go early on him, but I’m happy to wait a week and invest next week after another look.

With Starford To’a injured, this strengthens the job security of CTW cheapie Solomona Faataape.

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Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 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. Oregon Kaufusi 11. Jack Williams 12. Teig Wilton 13. Cameron McInnes

Bench: 14. Dale Finucane 15. Royce Hunt 16. Billy Burns 17. Thomas Hazelton

Reserves: 18. Kayal Iro 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Daniel Atkinson 21. Samuel Stonestreet 22. Jayden Berrell

Analysis: It’s round 3 and we’re already talking about Ronaldo Mulitalo

The mention sends shutters down the spines of experienced Supercoaches who have likely been burnt by him in the past.

He’s always a great Supercoach prospect and has big scores in him, as evidenced by openings of 87 and 116 this season, but we also know he has some very low scores in him on a bad day.

His base of 31 has been great so far this season to his credit.

With a breakeven of -17 he’s a popular buy at $627k with match-ups to come against the Tigers and Raiders.

I don’t want to give a hard opinion on this, because he could score 150 this week and earn an absolute bank of cash, or he could score 7. 

Not for me as I’m very happy with my CTW, but good luck to those jumping on.

Nicho Hynes’ 26 will drop out of his three-round rolling average next week which should see that breakeven of 175 drop provided he can score well enough against the Tigers.

I see some merit in the sell, but I just don’t really know who you’d move to?

Luke Brooks is better utilised in the tough 5/8 position and Jahrome Hughes is suspended and has the bye next week, I’ll be holding.

Braydon Trindall has disappointed a lot with scores of 18 and 27, with a breakeven of 80 you can sell this week or next.

The Tigers match-up is enticing so I don’t mind the hold for one more week, but it’s been a tough watch.

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Eels v Sea Eagles

Sunday, 4:05pm, Commbank Stadium, Sydney

Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Morgan Harper 3. Will Penisini 4. Blaize Talagi 5. Sean Russell 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Joey Lussick 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. J’maine Hopgood

Bench: 14. Luca Moretti 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Joe Ofahengaue 17. Kelma Tuilagi

Reserves: 18. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Wiremu Greig 20. Brendan Hands 21. Makahesi Makatoa 22. Daejarn Asi

Analysis: Brad Arthur stuck to his word and played his hooker for big minutes, if only he’d done it from round 1 and didn’t pick Brendan Hands on the bench!

Joey Lussick played 77 minutes for 82 points against Penrith, including the opening try of the game.

He has the lowest breakeven in Supercoach with -54 and is likely to earn plenty of cash. 

With 37 in base across the first two games, he does need attacking stats to score well, so hopefully they keep coming.

He looks a great buy this week if you need a hooker.

I have Robson and Levi and won’t be selling either.

With Hands dropped, Luca Moretti joins the bench, meaning Lussick likely plays the full 80.

Shaun Lane bounced back with a strong 65 against Penrith, while Dylan Brown was okay with 65.

I was very surprised to see him not score higher despite having two try-assists and two line-assists.

He had just six runs in that game, down from 10 the week prior. 

Put it down to the Penrith effect… 

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Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Raymond Tuiamalo Vaega 3. Tolutau Koula 4. Reuben Garrick 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Luke Brooks 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Josh Aloiai 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ben Trbojevic 13. Jake Trbojevic

Bench: 14. Karl Lawton 15. Corey Waddell 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Nathan Brown

Reserves: 18. Jakob Arthur 19. Tommy Talau 20. Aaron Woods 21. Brad Parker 22. Gordon Chan Kum Tong

Analysis: Tom Trbojevic disappointed for those who skippered with just 54 points, remarkably he had no major attacking stats!

Heartbreaking, but also a sign of why you should not sell…

He had 20 runs, six tackle breaks and four offloads to his name. HOLD!

Luke Brooks could just be the man at five-eighth.

He’s $560k with a breakeven of 27, and has looked lethal in the first two rounds at his new club.

He’s also been a whisker from having a couple of extra tries and linebreaks to his name.

He’s averaging 70 per game and has reasonable match-ups to come against the Eels and Dragons.

With a base of just 22 per game, he definitely needs attacking stats, but in a red-hot Manly outfit, there’s no reason why they won’t come.

Those who went early on Tommy Talau were very unlucky as he left the field injured after scoring 57 points in 56 minutes, fingers are crossed it’s not too serious and he can be held.

He’s been named on the extended bench and could play this week which is a huge win for owners.

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Knights v Storm

Sunday, 6:15pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle 

Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Thomas Jenkins 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Jack Cogger 8. Jacob Saifiti 9. Phoenix Crossland 10. Leo Thompson 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Kai Pearce-Paul 13. Adam Elliott

Bench: 14. Jayden Brailey 15. Daniel Saifiti 16. Jack Hetherington 17. Jed Cartwright

Reserves: 18. Brodie Jones 19. Will Pryce 20. Mathew Croker 21. Dylan Lucas 22. Jackson Hastings

Analysis: To sell Kalyn Ponga or not to sell?

Well, as the most traded out player this week, it would seem people are flocking to cutting ties with the star fullback.

With a breakeven of 159 and a match-up against Melbourne this week and the Warriors next week I don’t mind it, but I’m leaning towards holding.

The Storm are missing Hughes, Munster and Asofa-Solomona so they’re heavily weakened.

The Knights are 0-2 and will be desperate for a win at home, so I think they bounce back and win.

But I also know how devastating he was last year, and that most guns have started slow this year.

Attacks will start to click with every game played, so I’m backing KP for a big score to come very soon.

Kai Pearce-Paul has retained hi starting spot, kind of…

Dylan Lucas has been named on the extended bench to return from a concussion and may come into the starting side. Watch this space.

Greg Marzhew is reportedly out for a month which if confirmed makes him a sell.

At $789k with a breakeven of 119, he’s probably a sell to a firing CTW anyway.

Jackson Hastings has been dropped in favour of Jack Cogger, while Jayden Brailey returns on the bench.

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Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. William Warbrick 3. Reimis Smith 4. Nick Meaney 5. Xavier Coates 6. Jonah Pezet 7. Tyran Wishart 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Harry Grant 10. Josh King 11. Joe Chan 12. Eliesa Katoa 13. Trent Loiero

Bench: 14. Kane Bradley 15. Tepai Moeroa 16. Chris Lewis 17. Alec MacDonald

Reserves: 18. Grant Anderson 19. Aaron Pene 20. Jack Howarth 21. Marion Seve 22. Shawn Blore

Analysis: I don’t have a lot of interest in Melbourne due to their bye next week and the fact they’re weakened for the trip to the Hunter.

There are a few exceptions though.

Joe Chan impressed with a nice try-assist against the Warriors with 59 points in the full 80 minutes, with a significantly improved 39 in base from the week prior.

At $238k with a -12 breakeven he should be owned by the masses.

The other eye-catcher is the one and only Ryan Papenhuyzen, boy was it a joy to watch him back to his best and full of confidence.

At $645k with a breakeven of 21 and people selling off KP, Ryan Papenhuyzen is a quality replacement.

The bye next week is irritating, as is the lack of goal-kicking, and Brisbane in round 5, but at his price he appeals.

He scored 132 against the Warriors, and the 30 against Penrith will drop out of his three-round average after this game, so there’s money to come and the potential to have a season keeper.

I’ll be sticking with the KP-Turbo fullback combo, but there’s obvious appeal in Papi.

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