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.
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.
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
An exhilarating match at AAMI Park made it to golden point with a penalty goal after the full-time siren for Kyle Feldt and the Cowboys.
After taking a 10-6 lead into the half, the Storm's young guns first brought them back into the game before grabbing the lead, only to concede a late try to the repositioned Kane Linnett. Referee Ben Cummins made a brave and correct decision just before the 80 minutes were up as Nelson Asofa-Solomona took out the legs of Jake Granville after a chip kick. Some Brodie Croft magic sealed it for the Storm in extra time first with an amazing chip kick which pulled up like a Sergio Garcia lob wedge and then with an arrow straight field goal.
Jason Taumalolo had a brilliant game as many expected. Once again he ran for a massive 300 metres and included a few off loads to finish on a very captain worthy score of 80*. All those that had the misfortune not to put the VC on Crichton will be jumping all over the loophole here.
There were some big scores all across the board with Tohu Harris (64*), Jesse Bromwich (63*), Cameron Munster (60*), Brandon Smith (60*) and Curtis Scott (54*) all impressing immensely.
Harris will struggle to find his way into teams this season due to the high volume of big scorers in the 2RF position.
Bromwich was always expected to have a bigger input this week with Glasby on Origin duty. The big Kiwi prop ended up playing 78 of the 85 minutes on offer and was in everything. If he played like that every week he'd be a keeper but I expect him to go back to mediocrity next week.
Munster was shaping as a POD for the run home but his current form (3 round average of 54.67) may mean he is more of a 'must-have'. He was out of his normal position this week with Billy Slater in Queensland camp but he has also impressed in the halves this season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him continue that form.
Brandon Smith had a magical game for all those that were thinking of running a single hooker for the rest of the season. He scored his second try in as many games and seemed to provide the spark that the Storm needed to get back into the contest. Hopefully Bellamy notices that in both games that Griffin and Smith have shared the hooking duties, they have conceded a lot more and scored a lot less with Griffin on the field. Hey, I just want that cash!
This weeks most popular cash out Curtis Scott nabbed himself a double (and probably should have had a hat-trick if not for a selfish Kaufusi) and managed an extremely handy 54 points.
* Scores do not include updates.
** Hate all y'all with Crichton VC or Lolo VC
*** Also hate all y'all with Crichton C or Lolo C
1. Baaaaa-bye Lamb.
Three weeks in a row and now, I have definitely had enough. He might go okay behind a decent pack but Lamb just doesn't get enough time or space. If, like me, you've held him, hoping, for this long. Please, give up. Trade that spud. I hear some guy called Corey from the Eels goes okay.
2. Team list confusion
How strange were the team lists tonight? Hampton was dropped in favour of the returning Ray Thompson (which sucks for idiots like me who brought Hampton in last week). Mata'utia played the majority of the game in the halves, and his score suffered accordingly (27*). Luke Yates got another start in the back row and flourished accordingly (44* in 59 minutes) - he'll make some nice cash.
3. Coen Hess really isn't that good for fantasy...
...unless he is carrying 5 guys over the try line with him. Credit where credit is due, he's good at that but he reminds me very much of Ethan Lowe in that he'll score around 35 to 40 in base stats but wont crack 50 unless he gets some attacking stats. I think it's probably time to look at bye friendly guns as trade options (think Crichton, Burgess or Brown)
4. The Knights have heart.
Undisputidely. Unfortunately they are lacking in the skill column and without a bit of help they will continue to struggle. With Kalyn Ponga arriving and the bank account full, I would expect some decent signings that will lead to them being rather competitive... next year.
5. Kalyn Ponga is good
I think tonight was the first time I have had the pleasure of watching Ponga play and my goodness he certainly impressed. He is definitely a bit on the small side but he is going to be a bloody good fullback for the next 10 plus years.
6. Keep an eye on...
Jaelen Feeney. If Hodgkinsonalea'asina is left out of the side for an extended he could be a legitimate option as a cash out in the halves. 14* in 20 minutes tonight showed a part of what he is capable of when he is played in his proper position. Don't go diving in too soon but definitely keep an eye on him.
As has been speculated all week, Lachlan Coote is out with Kalyn Ponga coming into the side at fullback and Blake Leary coming onto the bench.
The Tigers are 1-17.
14 Kalyn Ponga
2 Kyle Feldt
3 Javid Bowen
4 Kane Linnett
5 Gideon Gela-Mosby
6 Michael Morgan
7 Johnathan Thurston
8 Patrick Kaufusi
9 Ben Hampton
10 Scott Bolton
11 Gavin Cooper
12 Ethan Lowe
13 Jason Taumalolo
15 John Asiata
16 Coen Hess
17 Shaun Fensom
21 Blake Leary
1 James Tedesco
2 David Nofoaluma
3 Jamal Idris
4 Kevin Naiqama
5 Moses Suli
6 Mitchell Moses
7 Jack Littlejohn
8 Aaron Woods (C)
9 Matt Mcilwrick
10 Ava Seumanufagai
11 Josh Aloiai
12 Chris Lawrence
13 Elijah Taylor
14 Tim Grant
15 Sauaso Sue
16 Michael Chee Kam
17 Jacob Liddle
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.
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.