Friday, 21 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Rabbitohs

Sharks put the Rabbits back in their Sh*tty burrow.
By The Big Tree

Oh Crikey!

Sorry for ever doubting you oh Fantasy god Angus Crichton! Playing through his apparent foot fracture Crikey pumps out a beastly 86* to appease all his wary owners. A few sells this week, let's hope those coaches know what they're doing. 

No sign of Gal slowing down! 

Still powered by peptides? Gallen tops the metres gained column once again, not quite enough extras such as OLs and TBs to return another gun score. How does the old bull keep doing it?! 49* will have to do this week.

Sammy Boyle is running dry.

38* why oh why! Midweek Facebook group speculation that Sam Burgess was carrying a neck injury likened to that of his Pommy counterpart James Graham had a few worried. Whether this be true or absolutely horrifying scenes in the 74th minute as Surgess leaves the field with what looks like rib cartilage issues. Those Zero Traders won't sleep well. 

Fui/Scott Saga - Advantage Gamblers

Another storyline all week has been whether to run Fuimaono at CTR, or gamble on Scott being a late call up and risk an AE. A paltry 24* from Fuimaono tonight leaves the advantage with the gamblers as we saw CMat score 29 who a lot were saying could be their AE should Scott not make the 17. We wait. 

Flatline Fifita.

With a monstrous 36 in his first stint Fifita owners were salivating at the prospect of him coming back and ripping in. In the 2nd half we witness a classic case of what goes up must come down as he manages a gross 11 in his second. 47*. 

Oh, and, Reynolds played well for a guy with a broken thumb....

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 16 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Rabbitohs vs Cowboys

South Sydney sold out for the cash to host the Cowboys again at one of their "home away from homes" in Cairns. North Queensland won quite comfortably in the end, as a result of being able to hold onto the football which was something that came as quite a challenge to the men in Cardinal and Myrtle. 

Big Jase gets its done 

Owners of the Cowboys lock hit the #JasePot as the big Kiwi climbed to a score of 65* thanks to a pretty simple try to lead all scorers and post a decent captain score. With an average above 60, Taumololo does offer an alternative captain for coaches who have opted not to finish the season with Cameron Smith in the squad –albeit he is prone to the odd low score due to fluctuating minutes.

Risky Running Halves 

Michael Morgan showed the risk of punting for a running half as he finished on 24*, a stark contrast to some of the impressive totals he's amassed in previous games. Coaches looking to replace the injured SJ may look at the Origin hero but today's game is a warning that he will be rocks and diamonds. 

Sayonara Surgess? 

Owners of the Enigmatic Englishman would be scratching their heads as to what has happened to the only fantasy relevant Burgess brother Sam who has spent some lengthy stints defending out on the edge. He posted a subpar score of 41* and will see his value decrease to around $500k; although with most coaches running low on trades he's probably not worth selling. 

Consistent Crichton 

Everyone's favourite fantasy back-rower has been the source of conjecture of the past couple of weeks; having been spotted in a moonboot at a fan day last week. Angus cemented his status amongst fantasy fieds by responding to a plethora of Instagram DMs assuring the masses he was good to go; and he looked the part as he powered to 64* despite only being on 19 at HT. One point of interest is he did finish with his left foot heavily strapped over the boot – cause for concern? 

*All scores are pre-updates and were accurate at the time of publication

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 21 May 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Rabbitohs vs Storm

Now that was a game fantasy coaches can rejoice.

Sam Burgess and Angus Crichton both showed why they will be in a lot of teams come seasons end with 75 and 74 points respectively. I think the best thing from both of those scores is that neither of them had any attacking stats other than tackle breaks (5 a piece) ad offloads (3 for Burgess). With the Rabbitohs favourable bye schedule, you need both of these guys in your team asap!

Cameron Smith was good but not quite to the level of the two Bunnies back rowers. He finished on 61 points and added a polish to all those that didn't have the balls to switch to Fifita or Taumalolo. And also to all those that didn't have the misfortune of going with a McCullough or Graham type.

Just quietly, Robbie Farah has played 80 minutes for two weeks in a row and scored 49 in both those matches. He'll be priced just over $300,000 after this week and could be a good partner for Cameron Smith if you're willing to take the risk.

Felise Kaufusi was promoted to the starting line up but once again wasn't given the full 80 minutes. It definitely looks like this will be the norm for him and with a drop in price coming, I think the time to trade is now. Or next week, as the Storm don't play this week and he won't lose any more value.

Billy Slater did enough to hold value and will be a trade this week as he will miss 4 of the next 7 matches for the Storm. He's made a very handy $169,000 so far this season but is probably not quite a season long keeper.

Adam Reynolds had a stellar first half with 32 points but actually lost 1 point in his 23 minutes in the second stanza. He left the field for an HIA and did not return. He'll drop a bit of cash this week which is great for all those that were targetting to pick him up before the Oranges period.

Cody Walker was a slightly disappointing with only 31 points but he was up against the toughest defence in the NRL so I think he'll be fine.

As far as cheapies go, popular centre grab Tyrell Fuimaono managed 19 in 23 minutes and once again passed the eye test. It's a shame that the Rabbitohs don't have any Oranges bound forwards as he'd be a great player with more minutes.

*All scores do not include updates*

Published in NRL Fantasy

Both teams will remain as named on Tuesday, 1-17.

1 Alex Johnston 
2 Hymel Hunt 
3 Robert Jennings 
4 Siosifa Talakai 
5 Bryson Goodwin 
6 Cody Walker 
7 Adam Reynolds 
8 Thomas Burgess 
9 Damien Cook 
10 Kyle Turner 
11 John Sutton 
12 Angus Crichton 
13 Sam Burgess (c) 
14 Robbie Farah 
15 Jason Clark 
16 Zane Musgrove 
17 Cameron Murray 

Sea Eagles
1 Tom Trbojevic 
2 Jorge Taufua 
3 Dylan Walker 
4 Brian Kelly 
5 Akuila Uata 
6 Blake Green 
7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 
8 Brenton Lawrence 
9 Apisai Koroisau 
10 Martin Taupau 
11 Frank Winterstein 
12 Curtis Sironen 
13 Jake Trbojevic 
14 Lewis Brown 
15 Jackson Hastings 
16 Nate Myles 
17 Addin Fonua-Blake 

Published in NRL News
Friday, 21 April 2017 00:00

Final Team Lists - Rabbitohs vs Broncos

For the Rabbitohs, back rower Cameron Murray makes his debut off the bench at the expense of Robbie Rochow.

For the Broncos, as with the last 2 weeks, Herman Ese'ese and Alex Glenn will start with Korbin Sims and Sam Thaiday moving back to the bench. Jordan Kahu is out with an injury which gives another start to David Mead while Jonus Pearson comes onto the bench in his place to make his debut.

1 Alex Johnston 

21 Hymel Hunt
3 Siosifa Talakai 
4 Robert Jennings 
5 Bryson Goodwin 
11 John Sutton 
6 Cody Walker 
8 Thomas Burgess 
9 Damien Cook 
17 George Burgess 
10 Kyle Turner 
12 Angus Crichton 
13 Sam Burgess (c) 
14 Robbie Farah 
15 Jason Clark 
16 Zane Musgrove 
19 Cameron Murray 


1. Darius Boyd ©
2. Corey Oates
3. James Roberts
4. Tautau Moga
17. David Mead
6. Anthony Milford
7. Kodi Nikorima
16. Herman Ese'ese
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Adam Blair
14. Alex Glenn
12. Matt Gillett
13. Josh McGuire

8. Korbin Sims

11. Sam Thaiday
15. Joe Ofahengaue
21. Jonus Pearson


Published in NRL News
Friday, 14 April 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Bulldogs v Rabbitohs

1. Frawley on the bench is good for...
...James Graham. He played all 40 minutes in the first half and only had a 8 minute break in the second. He was definitely less effective than normal with only 25 points in the first half but as always he finished the game strongly and ended with his 3rd straight 55+ score.

2. Michael Lichaa sucks
The same as Robbie Farah at the Tigers, Lichaa does nothing to help this team win. If Mbye can last 80 minutes at hooker, Des MUST leave Frawley at halfback.
3. Angus Crichton is good for fantasy
He outscored James Graham. If we didn't tell you enough last week, you need to get him before he costs more than 500k. This kid is that good.
4. Adam Reynolds is a must
Provided he doesn't play Oranges (and I'm being very hopeful on current form), Reynolds is an absolute must for your side. 2016 wasn't great for Adam but he's back to his best this year.
5. Keep an eye on...
Aiden Tolman. I told you last week and I'll tell you again... a great POD for the bye period.
Published in NRL Fantasy
Friday, 07 April 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Panthers vs Rabbitohs

1. Sam Burgess
See James Graham note from last game. Buy. Buy now!

2. Such a shame Pt 1...
That Corey Harawira-Naera's time in this team is limited. 47* points in 60 minutes and by my reckoning he's owed 2 tackle breaks from his first half try. He's actually a really good footballer. Here's hoping they can find a place for him on the bench when JFH and Cartwright return. He deserves it. Also, how nice is it to listen to someone that actually has a grasp of how to pronounce his name. Cheers Vossy!

3. Such a shame Pt 2...
That Damien Cook can't get an 80min gig. 29 points from 33 minutes in the first half and he showed he's a very capable number 9. If only Robbie Farah would bugger off.

4. Such a shame Pt 3...
That there aren't massive rulers on the sidelines. Some of those bombs from Nathan Cleary tonight were absolutely astonishing. I don't think anyone would have been confident under those. Massive.

5. Is Trent Merrin no longer a keeper?
Subbed off after 24 minutes and the old Merrin would normally have scored 24 or more points in that time. He only had 17. He came back on to finish with 32* and Merrin is quickly slipping into that 'undervalued keeper' territory, with no sign that he can actually be a keeper.

6. Speaking of under-valued keepers...
Adam Reynolds looks to be regaining his previous form. With 81* points, his average is now over 50. Definitely a POD for the bye rounds.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Friday, 31 March 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Cowboys vs Rabbitohs

After a couple of thrilling matches to start the round, things were not so exciting as the Rabbitohs hit Townsville.

1. Hess disappoints
Following a two try performance for 80 points last week, Coen Hess was less than brilliant tonight despite getting the nod to start. Named at prop, Hess played on the right edge and struggled to 19* points in 50 minutes before leaving the field for a HIA. He did not return to the field and there will be quite a few fantasy coaches left shaking their heads at his game tonight.

2. The Burgess train rolls on
After scoring 44 in 38 minutes last week before failing an HIA, Slammin' Sammy Burgess continued his good form tonight with 52* points from 76 minutes. He was shifted to prop in the final team lists but I don't think I've seen a prop play 75+ minutes since Gallen did it in Origin. If he keeps up those minutes for the rest of the season he will very soon become an absolute must buy, considering the Rabbitohs play all 3 of the major bye rounds.

3. Shaun Fensom returns to fantasy relevance?
I know he scored a try which boosted his score, and he would have received elevated minutes due to the Hess concussion but Fensom showed just how good he can be for fantasy by making 35 tackles and running for 101 metres in only 40 minutes of game time. It's such a shame he is no longer an 80 minute player and I definitely don't think you should be targeting him despite his impressive performance.

4. Cody Walker comes crashing back to earth.
After starting the season with an average of 54 in the opening month, Walker could only produce a sub-par score of 29* tonight. As a running half he will always be at risk of these low-ish scores but he won't have to face the cauldron of 1300 Smiles Stadium every week and should still be considered a selection leading up to the bye period.

5. Cheapies continue their slow burn
Despite so much promise in the opening week, all the cheap buys in the centre or wing/fullback position have slammed the brakes on in the last few weeks. Siosifa Talakai and Robert Jennings continued that trend tonight with 25* and 29* points respectively. While they'll continue to make money, it definitely would not be a terrible idea to start thinking about trading them out, either to an NPR (you can afford to grab ONE this early) or upgrading to a gun that is bottoming out (like Leilua).

6. Damien Cook shows his wares.
With Robbie Farah suffering a back injury after only 8 minutes on the field, Cook got to play the full 80 minutes and really impressed with 57* points. One can only hope that Farah's injury keeps him out of the side for a while and Maguire runs with Cook as a sole hooker for a while. He could be a great trade for Jayden Brailey who is nearing his peak.

7. P.S.
Taumalolo continued his impressive run with 56* points in only 52 minutes. Another 200+m game along with 6 tackle breaks. I was reluctant to recommend Taumalolo this season but he could possibly be a must buy.

*Points stated from tonight do not include updates.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Thursday, 23 March 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Rabbitohs vs Roosters

Just a few observations from the opening match of Round Three, 2017.

1. Rabbitohs should drop Farah.
Despite a fine past as one of NSW's best hookers, Robbie Farah has lost his edge. In the first half, every time Farah touched the ball something seemed to go wrong for the Bunnies. He took a couple of kicks off Reynolds and Walker which did absolutely nothing and the Rabbitohs had no spark. As soon as Damien Cook came onto the field they looked a different team with Cook's darts from dummy half causing the Roosters some problems. Cook is also not without his faults - he seemed to only pass to the left on every play - but he has the speed and elusiveness the Rabbitohs need. 

2. The Rabbitohs outside backs are dangerous
With Braidon Burns and Hymel Hunt suspended, tonight we saw the return of Siosifa Talakai and the debut of Sitiveni Moceidreke. Taking a head knock in the first half, it was surprising to see Talakai come back into the game and he provided Mocadrieke with a try but his poor defensive reads reared their ugly heads again and I wouldn't be surprised to see him dropped next week. Moceidreke performed admirably on debut but will probably drop out next week with the return of Burns. Add into the equation that Aaron Gray is set to return in four weeks and I'm worried for the job security of everyone at the back for the Bunnies.
3. Cody Walker is a dead set gun
I was lucky enough to own Walker for the entirety of last season. I think excluding him from my team in 2017 is my biggest regret. The kid is a gun and the fact he is more than happy to take the line on all the time means he has the opportunity to rack up big TB and RM numbers. Hos DPP status only makes him more valuable.
4. Sam Burgess is still good at fantasy
I've been very low on Burgess this year but in the first half he really showed his credentials. Scoring 36* in just under 40 minutes showed how good he can be. Unfortunately he didn't return to the game after suffering a head knock and failing his HIA. As a non-Burgess owner I don't feel bad at all but if you don't have him, he could be a worthy target.
5. Mitchell remind you of someone?
He's been drawing comparisons to Greg Inglis since before he made it into first grade and he really showed why tonight. The way he bumps off defenders, stays on his feet and offloads at will, he'll soon be the target of such comparisons. This kid could also become one of the games great centres.
Published in NRL Fantasy