Bolter emerges: Sangster’s SuperCoach teams analysis

Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle is the biggest KFC SuperCoach winner from the round one teams after seemingly scoring an 80-minute hooker role at the Tigers.

Liddle had been head-to-head with young gun Jake Simpkin all pre-season, with Simpkin even starting ahead of Liddle in a recent trial.

But Simpkin has missed the squad altogether, apparently guaranteeing Liddle a full game in the No.9 jersey, despite a horror run of injuries since his debut in 2016.

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Liddle will therefore surge from the 25th most popular in KFC SuperCoach well into the top 10.

However, KFC SuperCoaches should be aware that Adam Doueihi is back in round two meaning Moses Mbye may move from five-eighth to a bench utility/hooker role, which would limit Liddle's minutes.

Even if that eventuates, Liddle is still set for a huge increase on his average game time of 30 minutes last year.

 

WINNERS

* Connor Watson - Scores the lock spot at Newcastle, as expected. This means increased work and almost certainly increased game time after injury limited him to just 30 minutes a game last year.

* Daine Laurie - Currently the fifth most popular player after scoring the fullback spot at the Tigers - for the upcoming round at least. However, job security is an issue given Adam Doueihi (suspension) is due back next week and confirmed the five-eighth role, which could see Moses Mbye move from the halves and take Laurie's fullback spot.

 

Connor Watson and Daine Laurie are popular buys.
Connor Watson and Daine Laurie are popular buys.

 

 

* Ryan James - Named on the Canberra bench after winning huge praise from coach Ricky Stuart for his attitude and commitment during pre-season, therefore winning my "Training the House Down" award for 2021. Even so, while he looks as fit as ever, history has shown it's tough to come back from one ACL injury, let alone two, let alone off the bench. It will be a slow burn.

* Jake Averillo - The popular backline mid-ranger has recovered from an elbow injury and been named at five-eighth in Trent Barrett's first ever Canterbury line-up. The $330,000 price is awkward though given the top quality cheapies at CTW.

* Christian Welch - The injury to Dale Finucane (calf, round six) makes Welch a near-must. He has been named to start at prop and should see big minutes - on top of being priced at a 10-point discount on what we can expect this season due to easing back from an ACL injury last year.

* Charlie Staines - Most popular player in the game after scoring six tries in just 107 minutes last year. Named on the right wing for the Panthers following Josh Mansour's defection to Souths.

* Jordan Riki - Wins the Brisbane edge back row spot vacated by David Fifita and is rightly the fourth most popular player.

* Fantesi Niu - Wins the right centre spot vacated by Kotoni Staggs (ACL) and is essentially a must-have at the price.

* Bailey Simonsson (Canberra wing), Matt Moylan (Cronulla five-eighth), Jason Saab (Manly wing), David Fusitu'a (Warriors wing), Reimis Smith (Storm centre), Stefano Utoikamanu (Tigers bench prop) - These popular cash cows were all named exactly where we predicted. Lock them in.

 

LOSERS

* Joseph Suaalii, Sam Walker, Ben Trbojevic - As predicted, these popular cheapies (all in top 20 most popular players) missed their respective round one squads. With Daine Laurie's job security also questionable, the big conundrum is how many non-players to carry? For Sangster's Paradise, Suaalii and Trbojevic get the chop with Walker retaining his spot as back-up halfback. The decision is mainly based on the fact that halfback cash cows are outrageously thin. The next best is Chanel Harris-Tavita at comparatively enormous $425,000 (although I still think he's a great buy as starting five eighth, more later). There is far better back-up for Suaalii at CTW and Trbojevic at 2RF, so we'll stash them away for later in the year.

* Dean Ieremia - Was in the running for a Melbourne wing spot following the injury to Brenko Lee (hamstring). Ieremia won the spot for the final trial, but has been replaced by the more experienced George Jennings for round one.

* Valentine Holmes - In the top 10 most popular buys early in the pre-season, Valentine's stocks have plummeted after being named on the wing (not fullback) and losing the goal kicking duties to Jake Clifford.

*Ben Murdoch-Masila - Named on the bench for the Warriors despite constant pre-season talk he'd score a starting edge back row spot. No longer an option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

STORM V RABBITOHS

Thursday 11 March, AAMI Park, Melbourne, 8.05pm (AEDT)

STORM

1 Ryan Papenhuyzen, 2 George Jennings, 3 Reimis Smith, 4 Justin Olam, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Jahrome Hughes, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Christian Welch, 11 Felise Kaufusi,12 Kenneath Bromwich, 13 Nelson Asofa-Solomona

Bench: 14. Chris Lewis 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Tom Eisenhuth 17. Nicho Hynes

Comment: KFC SuperCoaches have lost a cheapie in Dean Ieremia. He was in the running for a Melbourne wing spot following the injury to Brenko Lee (hamstring) after winning a slot for the final trial, but has been replaced by the more experienced George Jennings for round one. Reimis Smith scores Lee's centre spot and looms as a serious mid-range buy in the backline. Christian Welch starts at prop, while Nelson Asofa-Solomona is an intriguing choice at lock for the injured Dale Finucane (calf, round six). With Harry Grant sidelined by a medial ligament strain, Brandon Smith starts at hooker.

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: The injury to Tom Trbojevic (hamstring, round five) has seen Ryan Papenhuyzen surge from basically nowhere into the top 10 most popular players. The appeal is obvious. After a slow start, Papenhyuzen averaged 84 in the final 11 games last year. And while he's no sharpshooter, The Pap is also confirmed to kick goals this year in one of the best attacking teams in the competition, so add another 8-10 points per game.

Reimis Smith looms as one of the best - if not the best - CTW mid-rangers in KFC SuperCoach. Smith has obvious talent, as evidenced by his 52 average in 2018. Craig Bellamy has turned the likes of Marika Koroibete, Josh Addo-Carr and Suliasi Vunivalu into internationals and history shows he'll do the same with Reimis. Priced on an average of 36.6, surely the only way is up. But how much money do you spend in a cheapie-rich CTW?

Harry Grant's injury is a blessing in disguise. In a perfect world, he is eased back when he returns in round four and drops in price for an upgrade from the rising Connor Watson or Jacob Liddle in round eight or so.

Cameron Munster is a KFC SuperCoach great, but I still think he's over-owned as the 11th most popular player at 34 per cent ownership. For me it's a 50-50 call between Munster and Cody Walker for the gun five-eighth slot, yet Walker has less than half the ownership (15.9 per cent). Sangster's Paradise will take the POD any day. See above on Dean Ieremia and Christian Welch.

RABBITOHS

1 Latrell Mitchell, 2 Alex Johnston, 3 Dane Gagai, 4 Campbell Graham, 5 Josh Mansour, 6 Cody Walker, 7 Adam Reynolds, 8 Tom Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 10 Tevita Tatola, 11 Jacob Host, 12 Jaydn S'ua, 13 Cameron Murray

Bench: 14. Benji Marshall 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Keaon Koloamantangi 17. Jai Arrow

Comment: Back rower Jaydn Su'A is a key inclusion after he failed to play in the final trial due to injury. Even with Su'A back, Jacob Host scores a starting edge spot and comes into KFC SuperCoach calculations. Josh Mansour scores a wing spot ahead of Jaxson Paulo in a reversal from the final trial. Jai Arrow and Benji Marshall will make their club debuts.

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Elaborating on my Cody Walker musings above, the big question is whether he continues in a sweeping role. Walker scooted away to a five-game average of 112 to end the season, playing more as a traditional halfback on both sides of the field and essentially winning SC champion Joe Naddaf the $50,000. I don't expect Walker to roam as much with Latrell Mitchell back in the team, but the blueprint is proven and Wayne Bennett would be mad to switch it up too much.

The injury to Harry Grant and retirement of Cameron Smith mean Damien Cook is buy far the best gun purchase at hooker (although the Liddle news has me keen on a dual cheapie combo of Watson and Liddle). Cook was last year's top point scorer in the position and guaranteed 80 minutes every week. Incredibly, he has averaged 79.67 minutes over the last three years, by far the most of any hooker, even Smith.

Cameron Murray's move back to lock is tempting, but I can't quite justify him ahead of Ryan Matterson, Angus Crichton, Big Tino and even Jason Taumalolo (who is fast becoming a POD following revelations of his role change).

 

 

KNIGHTS V BULLDOGS

Friday 12 March, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, 6pm (AEDT)

KNIGHTS

1 Tex Hoy, 2 Starford To'a, 3 Enari Tuala, 4 Bradman Best, 5 Gehamat Shibasaki, 6 Kurt Mann, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 David Klemmer, 9 Jayden Brailey, 10 Daniel Saifiti, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Mitch Barnett, 13 Connor Watson

Bench: 14. Sauaso Sue 15. Jacob Saifiti 16. Josh King 17. Brodie Jones

Comment: Newcastle start with a number of players on the injury list with Lachlan Fitzgibbon (shoulder), Blake Green (ACL), Edrick Lee (foot), Jirah Momoisea (Achilles) and Kalyn Ponga (shoulder) all unavailable. Kurt Mann and Mitch Barnett both missed the final trial due to personal reasons, but come into the squad with Mann partnering Mitchell Pearce in the halves and Barnett starting on the left edge. As expected, Connor Watson scores the lock spot and is therefore hot property for KFC SuperCoach. Tex Hoy wins the fullback and goal kicking roles from the injured Ponga.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Connor Watson is essentially a must-have after scoring the lock role. The only issue is where to play him for KFC SuperCoach - five-eighth or hooker. Tex Hoy has obvious appeal after winning the fullback spot and goal kicking duties. Of course, this is just a temporary arrangement until Kalyn Ponga returns in approx round 5-6, but there's still money to be made in this time. That said, the biggest turn off is awkward dual positioning of five-eighth and fullback. I'd be all over him if classed as a CTW, but alas.

With no bench hooker named and 80 minutes apparently on offer, Jayden Brailey could sneak under the radar to become the best money-maker of all at hooker. However, the risk is real given he's coming back from an ACL injury, while Watson could easily fill in at No.9. Too risky for mine, but I will shamelessly claim "I told you so" if it all pans.

 

BULLDOGS

1 Corey Allan, 2 Nick Meaney, 3 Will Hopoate, 4 Nick Cotric, 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6 Jake Averillo, 7 Kyle Flanagan, 8 Ofahiki Ogden, 9 Sione Katoa, 10 Jack Hetherington, 11 Adam Elliott, 12 Corey Waddell, 13 Josh Jackson

Bench: 14. Bradley Deitz 15. Renouf Atoni 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 17. Dylan Napa

Comment: Unknown hooker Bradley Deitz is a shock inclusion on the bench with Sione Katoa to start and Jeremy Marshall-King (foot) a week away. Dylan Napa (knee), Jake Averillo (elbow), Raymond Faitala-Mariner (ankle) and Nick Cotric (ankle) have all been named despite pre-season injury concerns. Star recruits Kyle Flanagan and Corey Allan make their club debuts.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Jake Averillo is the only player of appeal here after scoring the five-eighth spot. He spent huge chunks of 2020 on the bench for a season average of 37.38. However, a clearer indication of his KFC SuperCoach talent is the fact he averaged 65.4 in 80-minute games. Those figures are slightly skewed by goal kicking and he won't kick at the Bulldogs ahead of Kyle Flanagan. But KFC SuperCoaches are still looking at a significant price rise. He may even surge into borderline keeper territory. The $331,200 price is awkward though given the plethora of cheaper buys in the position.

Jack Hetherington has some backing in some parts. Both Fatima Kdouh and the reigning champion own him and he's currently the 12th most popular FRF. He's also top three on my list of favourite "NRL Lunatics" and the thought of both he and Dylan Napa on the field at the same time is equally scary and invigorating. However, Hetherington averaged 45 minutes last year so it's hard to see massive improvement.

 

 

 

BRONCOS V EELS

Friday 12 March, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 8.05pm (AEDT)

BRONCOS

1 Jamayne Isaako, 2 Xavier Coates, 3 Herbie Farnworth, 4 Tesi Niu, 5 David Mead, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Tevita Pangai Jnr, 9 Jake Turpin, 10 Matthew Lodge, 11 Alex Glenn, 12. Jordan Riki, 13 Pat Carrigan

Bench: 14. John Asiata, 15. Tom Flegler, 16. Ethan Bullemor, 17. Ben Te'o

Comment: Coach Kevin Walters has dropped the first selection bombshell of his career with Tom Dearden axed as halfback in favour of Brodie Croft. Brisbane also welcome back Herbie Farnworth (chest) and Anthony Milford (thumb), who both missed the final trial. Tom Flegler has been named despite suffering a shoulder injury in the trial and will have to prove his fitness. David Mead wins the left wing position ahead of Richie Kennar. With Corey Paix snubbed for a bench role, Jake Turpin could play 80 minutes at hooker. Corey Oates has been dropped altogether and will play Queensland Cup. Jordan Riki is a huge inclusion for KFC SuperCoaches after scoring the edge back row spot of David Fifita (Titans).

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Tesi Niu and Jordan Riki are as strong as they come for cheapies this year. LOCK. THEM. IN. Jamayne Isaako also pricks the ears as a mid-ranger. He never got going in 2020, losing the goal kicking at stages and switching between wing, fullback and bench. However, under new coach Kevin Walters, Isaako is confirmed a solid run at his favoured fullback position and is first-choice kicker. Isaako has averaged as high as 56 in the past, so there's definite room for improvement.

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't fiddled around with a few combinations involving Tevita Pangai Jnr as a dual position forward POD. The price is high, the risk is higher, but there's certainly appeal at just seven per cent ownership with minutes on offer following the suspension of Payne Haas. Corey Oates is still owned by 15 per cent despite being dropped. Trade immediately.

 

EELS

1 Clint Gutherson, 2 Maika Sivo, 3 Tom Opacic, 4 Waqa Blake, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Dylan Brown, 7 Mitchell Moses, 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 9 Reed Mahoney, 10 Junior Paulo, 11 Shaun Lane, 12 Ryan Matterson, 13 Nathan Brown

Bench: 14. Oregon Kaufusi, 15. Isiah Papali'i, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Will Smith

Comment: As predicted, with Marata Niukore missing due to suspension. However, expect to see a major switch up from 2020 with Mitchell Moses and Ryan Matterson changing over to the left edge, with Shaun Lane and Dylan Brown switching over to the right. Tom Opacic wins the vacant left centre position of Michael Jennings (provisional suspension).

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Ryan Matterson is close to a must-have as gun forwards continue to fall around him - eg: Cameron McInnes (ACL), Payne Haas (suspension) and Jason Taumalolo (new role). There is no player in the game with a higher floor than Matterson. Removing the match he got knocked out and left the field after 15 minutes, Matto's lowest score last year was 60. This puts far more popular keepers to shame including Nathan Cleary, Cameron Munster, James Tedesco and Jason Taumalolo.

 

 

 

 

 

WARRIORS V TITANS

Saturday 13 March, Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast, 3pm (AEDT)

WARRIORS

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. David Fusitu'a, 3. Euan Aitken, 4. Peta Hiku, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake, 9. Wade Egan, 10. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 11. Eliesa Katoa, 12. Bailey Sironen, 13. Tohu Harris

Bench: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Leeson Ah Mau, 17. Bunty Afoa, 18. Adam Pompey 20. Sean O'Sullivan, 21. Tom Ale 22, Josh Curran

Comment: Huge news for the Warriors with hooker Wayde Egan (elbow) and backrower Eliesa Katoa (cheekbone) cleared of injury and named to start. Unfortunately for KFC SuperCoaches, Bayley Sironen has scored the edge back row spot ahead of Ben Murdoch-Masila. David Fusitu'a returns on the wing after missing most of last year due to family reasons. Euan Aitken, Addin Fonua-Blake, Bayley Sironen and Murdoch-Masila make their club debuts.

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: A team stacked full of PODs. David Fusitu'a was one of the first cheapies picked for Sangster's Paradise, yet he sits strangely low in ownership rankings at 41st. He is coming off a tough year where he scored just one try in seven games before leaving the Warriors' bubble and returning to New Zealand for family reasons. He averaged a lowly 28 KFC SuperCoach points and therefore starts cheap, but expect significant improvement based on past output - he averaged 37, 48, 42 and 51 in the previous four seasons.

But the biggest POD of all at the Warriors is Chanel Harris-Tavita. CHT is somehow only owned by 5.6 per cent. After switching between halfback, five-eighth and bench for much of his career, he was handed the keys to the Warriors' side for his final seven games last year and promptly banged out a 65 average. Yet his price is based on a 48 season average. You do the math. Oh, and factor in handy dual positioning (rare for 2021), plus goal kicking. Definite option for those who can't find cash for Cameron Munster or Cody Walker at five-eighth, or as a second halfback ahead of Sam Walker, who won't play.

 

TITANS

1 AJ Brimson, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Brian Kelly, 4 Patrick Herbert, 5 Corey Thompson, 6 Ash Taylor, 7 Jamal Fogarty, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Mitch Rein, 10 Mo Fotuaika, 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 David Fifita, 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleui

Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Erin-Wayne Clark

Comment: Fully fit squad. Star recruits David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui make their club debuts. Corey Thompson wins a wing spot ahead of Queensland Origin player Philip Sami. AJ Brimson has been named in the No. 1 after returning in the final trial to play 40 minutes at fullback, having recovered from a foot injury suffered in Origin.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Another side featuring juicy PODs with AJ Brimson (6.1 per cent) and Brian Kelly (3.7 per cent) very low in ownership despite coming off brilliant seasons. Brimson in particular is a great POD play in a position now missing Tom Trbojevic. Moving on from PODs we go straight to Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, who is the third most popular player at almost 50 per cent ownership. It all makes sense to me and he's one of the first picked for Sangster's Paradise. He's essentially confirmed increased minutes from 46 at the Storm last year, has dual position flexibility and is a huge chance of becoming a keeper from a mid-range price.

However, I'm much less keen on David Fifita who relies too much on attacking stats. I'd prefer to pay the premium for Angus Crichton, Ryan Matterson, or just go with his teammate Big Tino.

 

 

 

 

ROOSTERS V SEA EAGLES

Saturday 13 March, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, 5.30pm (AEDT)

ROOSTERS

1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Joey Manu, 5 Brett Morris, 6 Lachlan Lam, 7 Luke Keary, 8 Lindsay Collins, 9 Jake Friend, 10 Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11 Angus Crichton, 12 Sitili Tupouniua, 13 Isaac Liu

Bench: 14. Adam Keighran, 15. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 16. Nat Butcher 17. Daniel Suluka-Fifita

Comment: Lachlan Lam has won the halfback role as expected but there's some surprises for the Roosters too. Lindsay Collins has ousted Jared Waerea-Hargreaves from the starting side with JWH joined on the bench by the promising bullock Daniel Suluka-Fifita. New recruit Adam Keighran wins the utility 14 jersey and you would expect he'll take the kicks at goal when on the field.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Angus Crichton was already a good buy before Cameron McInnes, Payne Haas and Jason Taumalolo copped the wrath of the KFC SuperCoach gods, but now he's a near must-have. Confirmed to fill the left edge back row role of Boyd Cordner (concussion, round 12), Crichton is actually under-priced after easing back from injury last season and only averaging 70 minutes for the year. James Tedesco is the first player picked for Sangster's Paradise. He scored the most points of any player last year despite missing three games. I'm more than willing to pay the premium, especially with Tom Trbojevic out.

Borderline cheapie Lachlan Lam has snuck under the radar at 11.9 per cent ownership, with the likes of Connor Watson, Jacob Liddle and Matt Moylan far more popular. Certainly, Lam has huge room for improvement after averaging just 44 minutes last year. See above on Sam Walker and Joseph Suaalii

 

SEA EAGLES

1 Dylan Walker, 2 Jason Saab, 3 Brad Parker, 4 Moses Suli, 5 Reuben Garrick, 6 Kieran Foran, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans, 8 Josh Aloiai, 9 Lachlan Croker, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Jack Gosiewski, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Jake Trbojevic

Bench: 14. Tevita Funa, 15. Andrew Davey, 16.Morgan Boyle, 17. Taniela Paseka

Comment: Dylan Walker is the man to fill Tommy Trbojevic's large boots at fullback and at just $300K he must be an option now. Andrew Davey has not won a starting role but is to come off the bench, you can put a line through him and Jack Gosiewski. Cheapie winger Jason Saab is named to start while Reuben Garrick held on to his spot and would, I imagine take the shots at goal which is a blow to Daly Cherry-Evans owners.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Jason Saab scores the wing spot as expected and is therefore one of the more obvious cheapies in KFC SuperCoach 2021. Unfortunately my new man crush Andrew Davey misses out on the back row spot vacated by Joel Thompson, so he's relegated to the watch list for now.

Josh Schuster is also one to keep an eye on after scoring a bench role. His price shouldn't change too much as a bit-part bench player, but slot him in straight away if a halves spot opens up (Kieran Foran injury).

 

 

Jason Saab has scored a wing spot at Manly. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Jason Saab has scored a wing spot at Manly. Picture: Jonathan Ng

 

 

PANTHERS V COWBOYS

Saturday 13 March, Panthers Stadium, Penrith, 7.35pm (AEDT)

PANTHERS

1 Dylan Edwards, 2 Charlie Staines, 3 Paul Momirovski, 4 Stephen Crichton, 5 Brian To'o, 6 Jarome Luai, 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 Moses Leota, 9 Api Koroisau, 10 James Fisher-Harris, 11 Viliame Kikau, 12 Kurt Capewell, 13 Isaah Yeo

Bench: 14. Tyrone May, 15. Spencer Leniu, 16. Matt Eisenhuth, 17 Liam Martin

Comment: No shocks in the backline with Paul Momirovski at centre and the most popular player in the game, Charlie Staines, on a wing. Liam Martin was superb on the right edge last year but he has lost his spot to Kurt Capewell with Martin moving to the bench where he is expected to play through the middle. Cheapie FRF Spencer Leniu will compete for bench minutes with Martin and Eisenhuth. It doesn't put a line through him but does hurt his capacity to make money fast.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: The Panthers feature two very obvious buys in Nathan Cleary and Charlie Staines, who are both in over 50 per cent of teams. Cleary averaged almost 15 points per game better than the next best halfback in KFC SuperCoach last year and is worth every cent of his premium price. Don't overthink it. See Staines analysis above. Also, don't overthink it.

The Panthers have prop game time to fill following the exits of James Tamou (average 43 minutes last year) and Zane Tetevano (32 minutes), with young gun Spencer Leniu set to step up after averaging just 20 minutes last year. His PPM is insane at 1.21 so any small increase in minutes should lead to a big rise in KFC SuperCoach production.

 

COWBOYS

1 Scott Drinkwater, 2 Kyle Feldt, 3 Esan Marsters,, 4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 5 Valentine Holmes, 6 Michael Morgan, 7 Jake Clifford, 8 Francis Molo, 9 Reece Robson, 10 Jordan McLean, 11 Mitchell Dunn, 12 Coen Hess,, 13 Jason Taumalolo

Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Josh McGuire 16. Corey Jensen 17. Reuben Cotter

Comment: As predicted, Val Holmes has lost the battle to wear the No. 1 jersey and will start on the wing with Josh Drinkwater at fullback. Francis Molo starts at prop relegating Josh McGuire to the bench while Mitch Dunn partners Coen Hess in the second row. The bench is...interesting...with Jake Granville there as reserve hooker and Reuben Cotter, a hooker, named as a back up to lock Jason Taumalolo.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Once the third most popular player in KFC SuperCoach early in the pre-season, Taumalolo has drifted outside the top 20, despite not averaging under 70 in four years. Why? Because new coach Todd Payten has confirmed Lolo will play less minutes, ball-play more and spend stints on the edge. This is all concerning for KFC SuperCoach, but Lolo is Lolo and he's essentially a POD (for him) as it currently stands. It would take a brave KFC SuperCoach to predict he finish outside the top five in the back row, so lock him in now and save the trade - and enjoy the POD(ish) ride. See Valentine Holmes analysis above

 

 

 

 

 

RAIDERS V TIGERS

Sunday 14 March, GIO Stadium, Canberra, 4.05pm (AEDT)

RAIDERS

1 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2 Bailey Simonsson, 3 Sebastian Kris, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Jordan Rapana, 6 Jack Wighton, 7 George Williams, 8 Josh Papalii,, 9 Josh Hodgson, 10 Dunamis Lui, 11 Hudson Young, 12 Elliott Whitehead, 13 Joseph Tapine

Bench: 14. Saliva Havili 15. Ryan Sutton, 16. Sia Soliola, 17. Ryan James, 18. Sam Williams, 19. Tom Starling, 20. Emre Guler 21. Harley Smith-Shields

Comment: Bailey Simonsson will be pitchforked into plenty of teams after the cheapie was named on the wing. Sebastian Kris is starting at centre but don't be sucked in as Croker is not too far away. Ryan James has been named on the bench but will struggle to make much money.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Bailey Simonsson has rare job security for a cheapie and is an absolute lock. Hopefully he can cross the stripe early, which seems more likely since being confirmed the right wing spot, as opposed to the left where wingers tend to catch a cold outside Jack Wighton. See Ryan James analysis above.

 

TIGERS

1 Daine Laurie, 2 David Nofoaluma, 3 James Roberts, 4 Joey Leilua, 5 Asu Kepaoa, 6 Moses Mbye, 7 Luke Brooks, 8 James Tamou, 9 Jacob Liddle, 10 Joe Ofahengaue, 11 Luke Garner, 12 Luciano Leilua, 13 Alex Twal

Bench: 14. Tommy Talau 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Stefano Utoikamanu 17. Russell Packer

Comment: We knew it was coming but it's nice to see Daine Laurie named to start at fullback. He and teammate James Roberts will be CTW cheapies in a majority of teams. Jacob Liddle's stocks have soared with no utility named, but beware as the return of Adam Douehi (suspended till Rd 2) could well see Moses Mbye take that role in Round 2. Three props on the bench which does not bode well for the minutes of rookie darling Stefano Utoikamanu.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: David Nofoaluma starts in POD territory once again despite scoring the third most points of any player last year. With so many great cheapies at CTW, it's hard to justify spending so much on one player, although he'll no doubt be a factor down the track.

James Roberts has had an up-and-down career. Some amazing highs (like his 60 average in 2017) and also some rather large lows including on-and-off-field issues. Last year was one of those down years meaning KFC SuperCoaches are presented with Jimmy The Jet at a bargain price, at a new club, with Nofo outside him and with potential to burn. His price can't get any lower, surely. Popular pre-season cheapie Shawn Blore is still owned by 11 per cent despite being ruled out with a wrist injury. Sell. See Daine Laurie analysis above

 

DRAGONS V SHARKS

Sunday 14 March, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney, 6.15pm (AEDT)

DRAGONS

1 Matt Dufty, 2 Cody Ramsey, 3 Jack Bird, 4 Zac Lomax, 5 Mikaele Ravalawa, 6 Adam Clune, 7 Ben Hunt, 8 Blake Lawrie, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Paul Vaughan, 11 Josh Kerr, 12 Tariq Sims, 13 Tyrell Fuimaono

Bench: 14. Poasa Faamausili 15. Trent Merrin 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Brayden Wiliame Comment: New recruits Jack Bird (centre) and Andrew McCullough (hooker) are named to start but neither are SC relevant. Josh Kerr has moved to an edge but his $370K price is awkward. KFC SuperCoaches will be interested in Tyrell Fuimaono at lock though - he could be a genuine cheapie if he holds that spot. Whispers that Poasa Faamausili would start have proved wrong and the former Rooster is instead on the bench.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Josh Kerr has come from nowhere to claim the edge back row spot vacated by Tyson Frizell, at a handy mid-range price of $377,900 and an amazing career PPM of 1.22. That said, it's hard to get a read on this PPM given most of his games have been as a middle forward, not an edge. And the FRF only positioning is a blow (surely it's not too late to pull some strings right?).

Jack Bird has some admires at 15 per cent ownership. But he's coming back from two ACL injuries and could change position at any time. In terms of mid-range CTWs, I'd much prefer Reimis Smith, Jake Averillo, Jamayne Isaako or even Bird's teammate Cody Ramsey.

 

SHARKS

1 Will Kennedy, 2 Sione Katoa, 3 Josh Dugan, 4 Jesse Ramien, 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo, 6 Matt Moylan, 7 Chad Townsend, 8 Braden Hamlin-Uele, 9 Blayke Brailey, 10 Aaron Woods, 11 Briton Nikora, 12 Wade Graham, 13 Toby Rudolf

Bench: 14. Connor Tracey 15. Aiden Tolman 16. Jack Williams 17. Billy Magoulias

Comment: We all expected it but it's nice to see Matt Moylan has made it this far, named to start at five-eighth. Connor Tracey was going to be the cheapie HFB we all needed if named at fullback but that's come to naught with Tracey instead filling the utility role. Andrew Fifita has fallen far with the one-time Origin star failing to even hold a spot on the bench and instead named in the reserves.

 

KFC SuperCoach deep dive: Matt Moylan starts in the borderline cheapie range after a horror, injury-affected season. Obviously there is huge risk with this buy, but he's averaged 60s in KFC SuperCoach in the past and is hard to ignore at the price and named to start at five-eighth.

 

 

Originally published as Bolter emerges: Sangster's SuperCoach teams analysis



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