NRL SuperCoach teams analysis: Round 1
Three somewhat unexpected cheapies have emerged in a crazy Round 1 teams day - Tom Opacic, Luke Garner and Mikaele Ravalawa.
Get the lowdown with NRL SuperCoach Editor Tom Sangster.
• Cowboys recruit and cheapie prospect Tom Opacic is the big winner from Round 1 team announcements. He is a shock inclusion at centre ahead of Ben Hampton. Opacic went into the day as the 195th most popular player at just two per cent. He'll be in the top 20 by game day. The only issue is the return of Kyle Feldt (groin) but expect him to replace Javid Bowen on the wing.
• Tigers back rower Luke Garner is also set to surge through the rankings after being named to start in the back row in place of Chris Lawrence (broken jaw, indefinite). He is currently the 109th most popular player but expect him to join the top 20.
• Mikaele Ravalawa will surge from 96th in the ownership rankings to the top 10. He has scored the Dragons' right wing spot over Zac Lomax, who was formerly the most popular player in the game.
• Popular cheapies Dylan Brown, Briton Nikora, Adam Keighran and Reuben Garrick were all named.
• Jordan Kahu has scored the starting fullback spot at the Cowboys and will kick goals, making him a serious money-maker.
• Storm cheapie Tui Kamikamica appears to have shaken off a knee injury and is a bargain prospect for Round 1. He should be much higher than 6.4 per cent ownership.
• Lachlan Burr has emerged as a left-field cheapie. He has scored a starting spot at the Warriors following news Isaiah Papali'i (stood down) will miss one match, but Burr likely switches to the bench next week.
• Maika Sivo is a shock inclusion on the Parramatta wing. But don't get too excited, George Jennings is due back from injury as early as next week.
• Canberra young gun Bailey Simonsson was named to debut. However, at this stage he appears a placeholder for Michael Oldfield (groin).
• Cheapie prospect Paul Momirovski has been named at centre for the Tigers. However, he is a SuperCoach risk with Moses Mbye (knee) and David Nofoaluma (shoulder) due back soon.
• Cronulla young gun Blayke Brailey and Knights recruit Kurt Mann have been named, but bench hookers lack the minutes required for any meaningful SuperCoach contribution.
• The following have been named, but their roles will reduced once players return - Jacob Host and Blake Lawrie (Korbin Sims returns from suspension in Round 3), Junior Tatola (George Burgess returns from suspension in Round 4) and Thomas Flegler (Payne Haas returns from suspension in Round 4).
• Corey Allan, the third most popular player in SuperCoach, is a sell after being named on the bench.
• Roosters recruit Angus Crichton will make his club debut from the bench following off-season shoulder surgery. Sell.
• Popular cheapies Zac Lomax, Bronson Xerri, Albert Hopoate, Taane Milne, Chanel Harris-Tavita (overlooked), Scott Drinkwater (injury), Payne Haas (suspension) missed selection.
• Tevita Pangai Jnr once sat in the top three most popular players, but has fallen to 33rd following news he will be eased back from a hamstring injury via the bench.
• Popular mid-ranger Joe Stimson is a sell. He will miss Storm's NRL season opener against Brisbane with a lower-back injury.
Broncos vs Storm
Thursday, March 14th, 7:50pm at AAMI Park
Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. James Roberts, 4. Jack Bird, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Kodi Nikorima, 8. Matt Lodge, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Joe Ofahengaue, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Jaydn Su'A, 13. Matt Gillett.
Interchange: 14. Kotoni Staggs, 15. David Fifita, 16. Thomas Flegler, 17. Tevita Pangai Junior, Reserves: 18. Shaun Fensom, 19. Patrick Carrigan, 20. Sean O'Sullivan, 21. Gehamat Shibasaki.
Team news: Matt Gillett (neck) returns from serious injury at lock. Utility Kotoni Staggs has secured the No.14 super sub role with Tevita Pangai Jr and David Fifita also on the bench. Thomas Flegler scores the interchange spot vacated by Payne Haas (disciplinary suspension).
SuperCoach: Anthony Milford is one of the best PODs in the game, owned by just 4.5 per cent and now coached by the man who turned the also-ran Rabbitohs' attack into the best in the competition (just look at what he did for Cody Walker). Jack Bird can't be ignored at $320,000. He averaged a keeper-like 58, 52, and 48 before last season's injury-induced aberration of 26. He has jets inside and outside in Milford and Corey Oates. And he's playing on same edge that Anthony Seibold set alight last season.
Cheapie option Thomas Flegler scores a bench spot. But minutes are a worry and Payne Haas (suspension) is due back in Round 5. It would take a brave SuperCoach to go there. On Haas, he's still a SuperCoach option for Round 1. The Brisbane young gun is all but certain to make the 17 on his return and with a lack of quality cheapies in the front row, just save the trade and get him in now. General consensus around the office has a trade worth $100,000, so there is definite benefit in running with Haas from the get-go. Even if your team suffers early injuries, he'll be easy to cover as long as you have dual 2RF/FRF flexibility.
Storm: 1 Jahrome Hughes, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft, 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Kenneath Bromwich, 13 Dale Finucane.
Interchange: 14 Brandon Smith, 15 Christian Welch, 16 Tui Kamikamica, 17 Patrick Kaufusi Reserves: 18 Ryan Papenhuyzen, 19 Tom Eisenhuth, 20 Billy Walters, 21 Marion Seve
Team news: Jahrome Hughes scores the fullback spot vacated by Billy Slater. Kenny Bromwich starts in place of the injured Joe Stimson (back). SuperCoach cheapie option Tui Kamikamica scores a bench spot despite a knee injury in the final trial.
SuperCoach: Jahrome Hughes has been named at fullback and he should be owned by far more than 2.2 per cent. He has an average of almost 60 at fullback over his career, but is priced on season average of 51 due to stints at halfback. In the worst case scenario, Hughes is an easy stepping stone to Tommy Turbo in a few weeks. In the best case scenario, he becomes your starting or bench halfback.
I'm not even close to convinced by Cameron Smith, but he's currently in my side … mainly due to the complete lack of buys at hooker (surely this is the worst batch of hookers in SuperCoach history). Smith showed serious signs of slowing down last season, averaging just 51 over the last two months. But with so much uncertainty at hooker I want to carry at least one expensive player. Smith will drop less value than Cook and also provides an extra $130,000 to spend elsewhere. Joe Stimson is a reluctant sell due to a back injury.
Knights vs Sharks
Friday, March 15th, 6:00pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: 1. Connor Watson 2. Edrick Lee 3. Hymel Hunt 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 6. Kalyn Ponga 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. David Klemmer 9. Danny Levi 10. James Gavet 11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 12. Sione Mata'utia 13. Tim Glasby
Interchange:14. Kurt Mann 15. Aidan Guerra 16. Mitchell Barnett 17. Daniel Saifiti
Reserves:18. Jamie Buhrer 19. Herman Ese'ese 20. Josh King 21. Brodie Jones
Team news: Kalyn Ponga's switch to five-eighth is confirmed. New faces Edrick Lee, Hymel Hunt, Jesse Ramien, David Klemmer, James Gavet, Tim Glasby and Kurt Mann all make the 17.
SuperCoach: SuperCoaches clearly aren't turned off by Kalyn Ponga's switch to the halves. He remains in the top 10 players at 33.6 per cent ownership despite some indifferent showings in the trials. Let's face it, watching Ponga carve up when he's not in your team is one of the worst things in SuperCoach, probably life. Save yourself the stress and get him from the start. Fingers crossed he moves back to fullback at some stage.
Sharks: 1. Matt Moylan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Shaun Johnson, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen (c)
Interchange:14. Blayke Brailey, 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Aaron Woods, 17. Jack Williams
Reserves: 18. Scott Sorenson, 19. Kyle Flanagan, 20. Bronson Xerri, 21. Braden Hamlin-Uele
Team news: In huge SuperCoach news, Briton Nikora and Kurt Capewell start in the back row in place of Wade Graham (ACL) and Luke Lewis (retired). Star recruit Shaun Johnson takes the five-eighth spot with Matt Moylan shifting to fullback. As predicted, Blayke Brailey will make his debut off the bench, with his brother wearing the No.9.
SuperCoach: Briton Nikora is a must-have cheapie. Kurt Capewell is the mid-range buy of the year, yet somehow sits 39th in the rankings. His price is based on a season average of 36.4, which is down due to playing seven of 17 games off the bench. However, he averages 49.95 as a starting player over his career. As a forward available in the SuperCoach backs, he looms as the Ryan Matterson, Tohu Harris or Simon Mannering of previous seasons.
Shaun Johnson is a wait-and-see. He is arguably the greatest SuperCoach playmaker of all-time, but SuperCoach history shows halves take time to gel at new clubs. Let's hope he drops to a juicy price for a pre-Origin pick-up. I previously mentioned Jahrome Hughes as a mid-range stepping stone to Tommy Turbo, but Matt Moylan also fits the bill. He has averaged low 60s at fullback over his career compared to 51 at five-eighth last year.
Roosters vs Rabbitohs
Friday, March 15th, 7:55pm at SCG
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Joseph Manu 5. Brett Morris 6. Luke Keary 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Sio Siua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Victor Radley
Interchange: 14. Isaac Liu 15. Zane Tetevano 16. Lindsay Collins 17. Angus Crichton
Reserves: 18. Nat Butcher 19. Matt Ikuvalu 20. Lachlan Lam 21. Poasa Faamausili
Team news: Angus Crichton is a SuperCoach no-no after being named on the bench as he eases back from a shoulder reconstruction, with Mitchell Aubusson preferred. Recruit Brett Morris takes the right wing spot of Blake Ferguson (Eels).
SuperCoach: James Tedesco was already a must-have, but even more so with Tom Trbojevic out of Round 1. Angus Crichton is a sell after being named on the bench. Find another back row POD (ie: Nathan Brown). Joey Manu is one of the better backline PODs, especially for SuperCoach Draft. He averaged 65.1 over the final seven games after finally gelling with Cooper Cronk, yet his price is based on a season average of 43.9.
Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston 2. Dane Gagai 3. Greg Inglis 4. Braidon Burns 5. Campbell Graham 6. Cody Walker 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. John Sutton 12. Sam Burgess 13. Cameron Murray
Interchange 14. Liam Knight 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Ethan Lowe 17. Corey Allen
Reserves: 18. Kyle Turner 19. Connor Tracey 20. Rhys Kennedy 21. Mawene Hiroti
Team news: Huge blow for SuperCoaches with popular cheapie Corey Allan named on the bench. Sell. Greg Inglis switches to the right, where he will mark Latrell Mitchell. Tevita Tatola starts at prop with George Burgess (suspension) due back in Round 4. Cameron Murray starts at lock with Sam Burgess shifting to an edge to replace Angus Crichton (Roosters).
SuperCoach: Corey Allan's benching is a huge blow and he must now be sold (unless something funky happens with the final teams). Damien Cook is well-overpriced following a career year. Throw in the Wayne Bennett factor and he's a clear no-go. Pick him up at a reduced price later on. Cameron Murray is one of the best buys in SuperCoach 2019. He averaged just 48 minutes last year and is priced accordingly. But going on Charity Shield form, he'll command at least 60 minutes this season following Big Sam's move to the edge.
Warriors vs Bulldogs
Saturday, March 16th, 3:00pm at Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c), 2 David Fusitu'a, 3 Peta Hiku, 4 Solomone Kata, 5 Ken Maumalo, 6 Adam Keighran, 7 Blake Green, 8 Agnatius Paasi, 9 Nathaniel Roache, 10 Bunty Afoa, 11 Adam Blair, 12 Tohu Harris, 13 Lachlan Burr.
Interchange: 14 Jazz Tevaga, 15 Sam Lisone, 16 Leeson Ah Mau, 17 Blake Ayshford
Reserves: 18 Gerard Beale, 20 Ligi Sao, 21 Karl Lawton, 22 Chanel Harris-Tavita.
Team news: Adam Keighran is a SuperCoach must after scoring the halves spot vacated by Shaun Johnson. Lachlan Burr has surged into cheapie contention after being named to start at lock, although his time in the No. 13 may be limited with Isaiah Papali'i (stood down) due back next week. Issac Luke (shoulder) misses out, with Nathaniel Roache to start at hooker.
SuperCoach: Adam Keighran is rightly the fifth most purchased player. Lachlan Burr is a trap with Isaiah Papali'i (stood down) to return next week and likely to push Burr to the bench, or even out of the side. Pre-season fancy Taane Milne is still owned by 12 per cent, but he's little chance of NRL this year. Sell.
Bulldogs: 1. Will Hopoate 2. Christian Crichton 3. Kerrod Holland 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Reimis Smith 6. Kieran Foran 7. Lachlan Lewis 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14. Jeremy Marshall-King 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Corey Harawira-Naera 17. Sauaso Sue
Reserves: 19. Jack Cogger 20. Nick Meaney 21. Chris Smith 22. Ofahiki Ogden
Team news: Will Hopoate has won the race for the fullback spot with Nick Meaney named in reserves. Dylan Napa replaces David Klemmer in the front row. In a blow for SuperCoaches, Rhyse Martin will play reserve grade.
SuperCoach: Aiden Tolman is far from the worst POD. He averaged 59.9 over the last 10 games of 2018 once Aaron Woods left, yet his priced is based on an injury-affected season average of 50.4. With a dearth of genuine buys at hooker, Kerrod Holland is worth serious consideration. He played most of last year off the bench and his price is therefore based on an average of 46. However, he averaged 71 in the 10 games played the full 80 minutes. And that was without goalkicking, which he is set to inherit this year from Rhyse Martin, who has missed the squad altogether. Holland's unique HOK/CTW flexibility also bodes well for future trades. With my current duals, I have the choice of nine players to cull for an upgrade to Cook later on.
Tigers vs Sea Eagles
Saturday, March 16th, 5:30pm at Leichhardt Oval
Tigers: 1. Corey Thompson, 2. Mahe Fonua 3. Paul Momirovski 4. Esan Marsters 5. Robert Jennings 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Ben Matulino 9. Robbie Farah 10. Alex Twal 11. Ryan Matterson 12. Luke Garner 13. Elijah Taylor
Interchange: 14. Russell Packer 15. Thomas Mikaele 16. Josh Aloiai 17. Michael Chee-Kam
Reserves: 18. Josh Reynolds 19. Matthew Eisenhuth. 20. Jacob Liddle 21. Chris McQueen
Team news: Moses Mbye (knee) is replaced at fullback by Corey Thompson. David Nofoaluma (shoulder) is also out. Mahe Fonua and new signing Robert Jennings join the wings. Former Rooster Paul Momirovski has re-emerged as a cheapie prospect after being named to start at centre. Luke Garner is also a cheapie option after being named to replace Chris Lawrence (broken jaw) in the back row. Young prop Thomas Mikaele will debut off the bench.
SuperCoach: Luke Garner is set to surge from outside the top 100 into the top 20 most popular players, with Chris Lawrence (broken jaw) out long term. Paul Momirovski looms as an interesting cheapie. He was heavily backed all pre-season for a centre spot before being injured in the trials. He is back in the starting side for Round 1, but the looming returns of Moses Mbye (knee) and David Nofoaluma (shoulder) are worries. That said, Mahe Fonua would drop out for Nofoaluma, while Robert Jennings could be the casualty for Mbye (with Corey Thompson moving back to the wing). The more I look at it, the more I'm thinking I'll start with Momirovski, who is reportedly a coach favourite.
Sea Eagles: 1 Brendan Elliott, 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brad Parker, 5 Reuben Garrick, 6 Kane Elgey, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (C), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Api Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Jake Trbojevic.
Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Jack Gosiewski, 16 Kelepi Tanginoa, 17 Toafofoa Sipley
Reserves: 18 Tevita Funa, 19 Cade Cust, 20 Lloyd Perrett, 21 Lachlan Croker
Team news: Big news for SuperCoach with cheapie Reuben Garrick confirmed on the wing, although Albert Hopoate is nowhere to be seen as he eases back from an ACL injury. Brendan Elliot replaces Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) at fullback. Kane Elgey has won the race to partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves, with Trent Hodkinson named on the interchange.
SuperCoach: Reuben Garrick is a solid buy, although the looming return of Tom Trbojevic is a worry (which could see Brendan Elliott move to the wing and Garrick drop out). Jake Trbojevic is as safe as it gets in SuperCoach. I'm happy to lay Martin Taupau under new coach Des Hasler, who has a history of muzzling offloads.
Cowboys vs Dragons
Saturday, March 16th, 7:30pm at 1300SMILES Stadium
Cowboys: 1. Jordan Kahu 2. Javid Bowen 3. Justin O'Neill 4. Tom Opacic 5. Nene Macdonald 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Michael Morgan 8. Matt Scott 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Josh McGuire 16. Mitchell Dunn 17 Francis Molo
Reserves: 18 Ben Hampton, 19 Jake Clifford, 20 Gideon Gela-Mosby, 23 Enari Tuala
Team news: Tom Opacic has scored a centre spot ahead of Ben Hampton and he therefore surges into cheapie contention. Jason Taumalolo reverts to lock - not the edge where he played in the trial - with recruit Josh McGuire off the bench. New signing Jordan Kahu starts at fullback. Kyle Feldt (groin) is out.
SuperCoach: Michael Morgan is very tempting at a tick over $400,000. He is cheap after playing with a groin/hernia injury last year before eventually succumbing to a torn bicep. The last time he had an extended stint without Johnathan Thurston he led the Cowboys to the grand final. With a lack of genuine cheapies with job security, Jordan Kahu is basically a must-have. Especially after being upgraded to dual position status on Tuesday, plus he has the added bonus of kicking goals.
Dragons: 1. Gareth Widdop 2. Jordan Pereira 3. Euan Aitken 4. Tim Lafai 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jacob Host 12. Tariq Sims 13. Tyson Frizell
Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore, 15 Matt Dufty 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Luciano Leilua
Reserves: 18 Zac Lomax, 20 Josh Kerr, 21 Reece Robson, 22 Jonus Pearson
Team news: Mikaele Ravalawa is now the talk of SuperCoach after being named on the wing ahead of Zac Lomax, who was formerly the most popular player. Jacob Host starts in the back row with Tyson Frizell shifting to lock in place of Jack de Belin.
SuperCoach: Mikaele Ravalawa is a must-have for now, but surely Zac Lomax won't stay in reggies for long. Popular cheapies Jacob Host and Blake Lawrie are both traps, with Korbin Sims to return in Round 3.
Panthers vs Eels
Sunday, March 17th, 4:05pm at Panthers Stadium
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Sione Katoa, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Jack Hetherington, 12. Isaah Yeo, 13. James Fisher-Harris Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan, 15. Tyrell Fuimaono, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Hame Sele
Reserves: 18. Jarome Luai, 19. Tim Grant, 20. Liam Martin, 21. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak.
Team news: Jack Hetherington scores the edge back row spot of Viliame Kikau (knee). Dylan Edwards has won the race for the fullback spot with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to play on the wing. Wayde Egan scores a bench spot ahead of Jarome Luai.
SuperCoach: Every time I make a side without Nathan Cleary, it looks wrong. You can't underestimate consistency in an inconsistent position.
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson (c), 2. Maika Sivo, 3. Michael Jennings, 4. Brad Takairangi, 5. Blake Ferguson, 6. Dylan Brown, 7. Mitch Moses, 8. Daniel Alvaro, 9. Reed Mahoney, 10. Tepai Moeroa, 11. Shaun Lane, 12. Marata Niukore, 13. Nathan Brown
Interchange: 14. Will Smith, 15. Tim Mannah (c), 16. Kane Evans, 17. David Gower
Reserves: 18. Josh Hoffman, 19. Oregon Kaufusi, 20. Bevan French, 21. Junior Paulo
Team news: Cheapie Maika Sivo gets a start on the wing but the impending returns of Jaeman Salmon and George Jennings make him a risk.
SuperCoach: Dylan Brown is an obvious must. Namesake Nathan Brown is somehow only owned by 5.2 per cent despite averaging mid 60s for points and high 60s for minutes over the last two seasons. He is one of the best PODs going around. Popular hooking option Reed Mahoney averaged 57 minutes last year, so there's little room for improvement with Will Smith lurking on the bench.
Titans vs Raiders
Sunday, March 17th, 6:00pm at Cbus Super Stadium
Titans: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Brenko Lee 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan James 13. Jai Arrow.
Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Max King Bryce Cartwright 17. Bryce Cartwright
Reserves: 18. Mitch Rein 19. Dale Copley 20. Anthony Don 21: Keegan Hipgrave
Team news: Bryce Cartwright has been benched by Garth Brennan meaning and SuperCoaches entertaining thoughts of the ex-Panther as a cheapie should reconsider now. Moeaki Fotuaika just needs his minutes to go up to become a SuperCoach relevant player but will start in the No. 15 jersey. Jai Arrow at lock is great news for owners of the gun.
SuperCoach: Jai Arrow comes into the season underpriced following a succession of injury-affected games last year. He is essentially a must have given question marks over Martin Taupau (conservative coaching of Des Hasler), Jason Taumalolo (potential for edge game time), Angus Crichton (bench), Sam Burgess (move to edge), Ryan James (pre-season injury and move to edge). Bryce Cartwright drops to the bench with the return of James and he's therefore a NO GO. Don't even think about it.
Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. Jarrod Croker (c) 4. Joey Leilua 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Jack Wighton 7. Aiden Sezer 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Sia Soliola 11. Joseph Tapine 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. John Bateman
Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Ryan Sutton 16. Dunamis Lui 17. Corey Horsburgh
Reserves: 18. Sam Williams 19. Jack Murchie 20. Luke Bateman 21. JJ Collins
Team news: We didn't see English import John Bateman during the trials but Ricky Stuart has started him at lock as hoped. At $400k and dual CTW/2RF he is the ultimate mid-ranger. Borderline cheapie Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has retained the fullback spot he played during trials, with Jack Wighton partnering Aidan Sezer in the halves. Youngster Bailey Simonsson scores a wing spot, but appears a place holder at this stage for Michael Oldfield (groin).
SuperCoach: At $265,500, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad is not quite a genuine cheapie but still has huge room for improvement. As a guide to his potential output, CNK averaged 47 in five games as a winger in 2017, which equates to a price of approximately $450,000 and rise of almost $200,000. Josh Palpalii flies under the radar every year. Papalii has averaged above 63 points for three consecutive seasons, yet always sits in POD range. He is set to take up a permanent middle role this season and has therefore scored dual-position status.