Friday, 14 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Raiders vs Dragons

The injuries continued on a night that saw the Raiders and Dragons fighting out the result in extra time.

An Elliott Whitehead try in the 84th minute sealed the win for the Raiders who at times didn't seem to be in the match. Thanks to a 90m intercept try to Aidan Sezer, the Raiders had the opportunity to gain the two points which they duly obliged thanks to a Sezer 40/20 followed by a Dave Taylor offload for Whitehead to dive over.

Cameron McInnes led the fantasy scoring after a whopping 72 tackles and, well, not a lot of anything else, to finish on 72* points. Obviously not worth turning your nose up and anyone that had earmarked him as an upgrade option with Cameron Smith back to full duty next week may be holding off, especially with serious injuries to Shaun Johnson and Trent Merrin a higher priority.

Despite being pushed back onto the bench before the match, Jack de Belin had a strong game after coming on when Russell Packer departed in the 6th minute with a hip injury. JdB played out the remainder of the game and finished on 63* points. I know a few people were saying there were a number of missed tackles not added so don't be surprised if his score drops a little overnight.

Leeson Ah Mau continued his strong run of form with 62*. Another to benefit from the Packer injury, Ah Mau is unlikely to keep it up and probably not worth keeping an eye on but he does have a history of decent scores when given the opportunity. If Packer is out for an extended period, his minutes and scores will rise.

Elliott Whitehead nabbed the match winner that thankfully bumped his score up to 52*. I think it is definitely time to upgrade him if you can, his scoring is definitely down on last year.

Paul Vaughan returned from injury to start the game in place of Jack de Belin. He maintained his gun status with 51* in 57 minutes. Nothing exciting, just a standard game from one of the leading props of the year.

Josh Dugan left the field after a Josh Papali'i shoulder charge led to a failed HIA. He finished on 22* points which is rather disappointing for anyone that brought him in as a POD for the run home. The Dragons don't play until Sunday next week so all his owners will be hoping he recovers from the knock by then.

Papali'i himself was luck not to find himself on the sideline after the shot led to Dugan's departure but I also don't think he'll be receiving much scrutiny from the MRC or Judiciary. It was definitely a shoulder charge but from the footage I saw, his shoulder did not connect with Dugan's head (despite it being the largest in the NRL). Don't be surprised if he's suspended for less than 2 weeks.

*Scores do not include updates.

Published in NRL Fantasy
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