Squad Breakdown: Cronulla Sharks top 17 analysed

Last year's NRL SuperCoach runner-up Tim Williams picks his top 17 at the Sharks, including analysis and buy rating of every player.

Pre-season Squad Breakdown

Cronulla will be hoping they can maintain a fully fit roster throughout 2021 having had a tough run of injuries in recent years.

They boast a number of intriguing SuperCoach options to begin the season, but injuries are already an issue before the first ball has been kicked.

The absence of Shaun Johnson hurts the SuperCoach credentials of several players, but also opens up an opportunity for others.

Leading into the season we’ll take a look at every club’s predicted 17 to start the year, providing SuperCoach analysis on every single player as well as a rating for their round 1 buy credentials.

Here’s how we think the Sharks will line up and whether or not it’s worth investing in their squad to kick-off the season.

If there’s a player who may miss the opening round or two, we’ve added them to the 17 with analysis for SuperCoach purposes.

Obviously there’s plenty to play out during the pre-season that’ll alter starting sides and buy ratings, so we’ll update this as frequently as possible as it all unfolds.

The Sharks have the bye in Round 13 and play in Round 17.

Click on the player to reveal their analysis and Round 1 buy rating.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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BENCH

Connor Tracey $258,100 // HFB-5/8 // 2020 Ave: 29.1 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

Tracey is a smokey for the fullback role in Round 1 which would be huge for SuperCoach.

He’s listed as a dual HFB-5/8, meaning he could be that cheapie HFB we’re seeking.

He played 15 games last season, averaging 29.1PPG in 37MPG.

In four 80 minute games he averaged 48.25PPG with 26BPG.

His numbers at fullback would obviously be very different, but he does love a tackle break which would be benefitted in the number one jumper.

*Rating based on playing off the bench in Round 1.

Andrew Fifita $398,600 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 45.0 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Realistically, Fifita isn’t an option as it looks as though his body is slowing him up big time.

However, for the sake of a bit of fun, let’s say he excels as a starter in the All Stars clash, offloads, gets decent minutes, looks fit and agile, then is named to start in Round 1 for the Sharks.

He averaged 45PPG in 34MPG at a monster 1.33PPM last season.

In the four seasons prior he averaged 60, 68, 64 and 72PPG.

He’s a SuperCoach gun and was churning out big numbers not long ago.

*ALL STARS UPDATE:

Fifi was the big talking point out of the game from a SuperCoach perspective. He appeared more agile than last season where he was clearly hampered by injury.

He got through 55 minutes which was a terrific sign, scoring 60 SuperCoach points in the process. He had 12 runs, 29 tackles, four tackle breaks and three offloads.

That’s getting back to Fifita of old, so if he looks fit and healthy in the Sharks trial then starts in Round 1 he could be a huge play at $398,600.

*Rating based on playing off the bench in Round 1, would rise to a 6/10 if starting and impressing in another trial.

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Jack Williams $313,900 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 35.4 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Williams started at lock last season and underwhelmed with his SuperCoach output.

He averaged 41MPG last season with 0.88PPM and 34BPG.

He is capable in attack which can lead to some handy scoring, but realistically he needs to start and play 60+ minutes to warrant eyeing off as a mid-range cow.

*Rating to be reassessed if starting at lock.

Braden Hamlin-Uele $419,900 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 47.4 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Hamlin-Uele may well start, but I feel like Tolman will partner Woods, allowing him to add his punch from the bench.

Either way, I don’t think it’d impact his minutes too significantly either way.

Last season he averaged 42MPG at an output of 1.14PPM.

In 2019, he averaged 36MPG at an output of 1.28PPM.

He started in 14 games last season and his minutes ranged from 40-50 minutes.

He may figure at some stage this season, but you’d probably want him starting with 50+ minutes to consider buying.

OTHERS 

Siosifa Talakai $485,500 // 2RF-CTW // 2020 Ave: 54.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: /10

Talakai is fighting to be fit for Round 1, in which case he’d likely play off the bench.

If he does start in the back-row he’d be a big option as he’s listed as dual 2RF-CTW in SuperCoach.

Last season he averaged 59MPG, scoring at an output of 0.93PPM.

In five 80 minute games in the back-row last season he averaged 67.2PPG.

If he is named to start in Round 1 we’ll do a player profile piece on him as he’d be a huge play at CTW.

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

Will Kennedy

$403,600 // FLB // 2020 Ave: 45.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

Kennedy averaged just 45.6PPG in 80MPG last season, and in two games in 2019 averaged just 29PPG.

His 18BPG is very ordinary for a fullback and the absence of Shaun Johnson will minimise his impact enormously so I can’t make a case to invest.

Connor Tracey is a chance at starting at fullback in Round 1 which would be huge for SuperCoach purposes as a dual HFB-5/8.

Sione Katoa

$526,600 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 59.4 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Katoa will be one player impacted significantly with Shaun Johnson out of action.

If SJ was on deck he’d be a sneaky POD with the two striking up a stunning combination last season.

Katoa scored 15 tries in 20 games in 2019, while he scored one try in three games with SJ out of action.

His 24BPG is only okay, however he did average 4 tackle breaks per game which is impressive.

I can’t entertain at the price for Round 1 without SJ.

Jesse Ramien

$410,000 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 46.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Ramien is one who probably isn’t too negatively affected by SJ’s absence, although it would help if he was around.

SJ was so good at drawing in defenders, then lobbing the winger to hit an open Katoa to score in the corner.

This was helped by Ramien’s ability to attract defenders, but it meant he was cut out of all the scoring action.

Perhaps he’ll score better without his regular playmaker inside him?

He’s a player I’ve always thought should be better in SuperCoach, and I think he can be, but he just can’t seem to put it all together.

He averaged a very decent 28BPG last season, had 2 tackle breaks per game and 29 offloads for the year. Despite all this he averaged just 46.3PPG!

Go back to 2018 and he averaged a more respectable 53PPG.

While I think he’s probably undervalued, I won’t be starting with him, but I can see him factoring at some stage of the season.

Josh Dugan

$377,400 // FLB-CTW // 2020 Ave: 42.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Dugan has been a SuperCoach weapon of the past, but those days look fairly well numbered.

His body seems to be slowing down on him which is costing him in the tackle break department which was his bread and butter throughout his career.

He should see a bit more ball on the left edge with SJ out, but with 24BPG and the constant lingering injury threat he’s hard to have.

Ronaldo Mulitalo

$408,100 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 46.1 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Mulitalo is very reliant on try-scoring due to his poor 19BPG.

I think he could benefit with more attacking opportunities on the left edge with SJ out, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to make him relevant.

He averaged 3 tackle breaks per game last season which was decent.

He had 11 tries in 15 games and still only averaged 46.1PPG, so he’d have to increase that or his workload significantly to become relevant.

I rate him highly as a player and he’s still young, so I wouldn’t rule it out, but not for Round 1.

Matt Moylan

$253,600 // 5/8-FLB // 2020 Ave: 28.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 8/10

Oh Moyza, please stay fit! At least until owners make our cash…

He played just eight games last season and 11 in 2019. The lack of footy means he’s dirt cheap at just over $250k.

Go back a few years when stringing a decent amount of games together and the numbers are good.

His SuperCoach averages from 2016-18 were 63, 59 and 52PPG.

One issue I see with his move into the halves is that the fullback (probably Kennedy), will run the sweep line out back of the attacking plays and therefore throw the final pass for the majority of try-assists.

This could hurt Moylan who would only get the 4 point try contribution.

If he can produce an average of 50PPG that’d net him $200k in profit.

I really like him for Round 1 at the price, but whether or not I start with him in my 17 is another question!

Chad Townsend

$353,500 // HFB // 2020 Ave: 39.9 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Townsend will take a little more responsibility with SJ out, but Moylan will likely be the go-to man in attacking raids.

He’s not exactly SuperCoach relevant, but he is likely to kick goals to begin the year which is a big boost, and we are struggling to find a second option at HFB.

He did average 51PPG back in 2019, so if he does kick and adds another 10PPG to his scoring he will make some decent coin.

His 21BPG isn’t great, but not uncommon for a halfback. In 11 games last season he had three scores under 20 (one was 53 minutes).

I can’t pick him despite the shortage of halfbacks, but it’ll be interesting if he and the Sharks come out firing in the first few rounds.

Aidan Tolman

$572,200 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 64.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Tolman continues to fly under the radar as a very consistent FRF option, albeit extremely boring to own.

In 17 games last season he had no scores under 50 or above 72, that sums him up to a tee!

He’s not locked into a starting role by any means, and there’s likely to be three big men on the bench, so it’s hard to see him increasing his 61MPG from last season.

He averaged 64.6PPG last season, and it was made up of 61BPG!

Serious numbers from the veteran, but he’s priced at his max so there’s no real upside to him even if he does start and play decent minutes.

Blayke Brailey

$432,700 // HOK // 2020 Ave: 48.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

Brailey is quickly evolving in the early stages of his NRL career.

He’s extremely promising and it began to reflect in his SuperCoach scoring last season.

He averaged 73MPG last season with 37BPG, which isn’t great for a hooker. He does have solid attacking upside that will continue to increase as he adjusts to the top grade.

In 19 games last season he had 10 scores under 50, which puts him well below what’s required from a hooker in SuperCoach.

Aaron Woods

$468,600 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 52.9 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Woods averaged 52MPG scoring at 1.02PPM in 2020.

With strong front-row stocks at the Sharks it’s hard to see him increasing his minutes this season.

He was a SuperCoach gun many years ago, and it was largely his offloads that was the staple of his game.

He had just 14 offloads in 20 games last season. 

His 47BPG was solid, but he either needs to rediscover his offload or play 60+ minutes to be considered.

Briton Nikora

$503,200 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 56.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Nikora should start in the back-row, but Talakai will put up a fight for the spot if fit.

He’s one I see as being significantly impacted by SJ’s absence as they have such a wonderful combination.

His output isn’t good enough for a back-rower at over $500k, scoring at just 0.72PPM and 0.75PPM across the past two seasons.

His 42BPG isn’t great considering he played max minutes the past two years, so I can’t really see him improving too significantly until SJ comes back and unlocks his attacking threat to a greater degree.

Wade Graham

$466,100 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 52.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Taking out 2018 where averaged just 66MPG due to injury, Graham has averaged 53-60PPG across the past four seasons.

I think the Sharks will send stacks more attack down his edge without SJ on deck, which will benefit him loads.

His durability was far better last season, playing 18 games at 77MPG, with a relatively ordinary 36BPG.

With his injury history and awkward price I won’t be buying, but he is a guy I can see as a big improver early on if his body holds up.

Toby Rudolf

$431,700 // FRF-2RF // 2020 Ave: 48.7 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Rudolf is vying for the starting lock role in Round 1, a position he had in the final few games of 2020.

In that season, he averaged 46MPG scoring at 1.05PPM with 46BPG.

I think there’s probably too much competition for game time in the middle to see him increasing his game time to 55+ to make him relevant.

Monitor though, if he does excel early on and wins the time he could be a sneaky mid-ranger.

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