Renegade Bane

Renegade Bane

Thursday, 27 July 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Panthers v Bulldogs

What we learnt:  Panthers v Bulldogs

Check out the action from Pepper Stadium.

1. Panthers grind out a victory over the Dogs

The Dogs have suffered all year from a lack of go-forward from their big men and a lack of creativity and game management from their little men, and tonight was no different in Penrith. With the scores tied 8-8 at halftime (courtesy of tries to Peter Wallace for the Panthers and Josh Reynolds for the Dogs), the Penrith side were able to go on with the job in second half, adding tries to Dallin Watene- Zelezniak and Tyrone Peachey, and grinding out a hard fought 16-8 victory over the Dogs. The win takes the Panthers to 24 points and they sit in 9th place, while the Dogs remain on 18 points and are in 13th place.

2. Tolman on fire

Aiden Tolman topped the fantasy scoring tonight with 68* points, including 55 tackles. Tolman has a three-game average of 59, and has usurped James Graham as the premier fantasy performer at the Dogs in 2017. He shapes as a solid POD selection for the run home, with only 3% of fantasy coaches owning him.

3. Graham returns

James Graham returned from injury tonight and laid on a solid performance, playing 59 minutes and scoring 48* points. Graham’s performance wasn’t flashy, but with 40 tackles and over 100 run metres, the 11% of coaches that have held him (whether through great insight or a lack of trades), will be pleased.

4. Average form continues for Penrith pair

The fantasy form slump continued for Josh Mansour and Dylan Edwards tonight, with the pair scoring 31* and 33* respectively. Mansour has been particularly disappointing, with a run of scores in the 20s and one score of 30 in his last five performances. 

5. Cartwright an option?

Bryce Cartwright returned from a long injury-enforced layoff tonight, and while he only played 33 mins, he scored 25* points and showed enough to suggest that he could be a cheap DPP POD for the run home if you’re one of the few coaches with trades to spare. With a BE even of 60, he should be very well priced at $260-265k once lockout is over.   


*Scores do not include updates

Sunday, 23 July 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Cowboys v Warriors

What we learnt:  Cowboys v Warriors

Check out the action from 1300Smiles Stadium.

1. Cowboys too good for Warriors

The Warriors season is as good as gone as the Cowboys prevailed in Townsville 24-12. While the Cowboys didn’t particularly ‘light it up’ against a struggling Warriors side, they did look the sharper, a reflection of the time they have had to adjust to playing without their injured playmaker Jonathan Thurston. In contrast, while Mason Lino did an adequate job replacing Shaun Johnson for the New Zealand side, he does not, this early in his career, have the match winning potential that was needed. For the Cowboys, Julian O’Neill and Ethan Lowe scored, while Javid Bowen crossed for a double. For the Warriors, Bunty Afoa and Simon Mannering both scored. The win takes the Cowboys to 28 points and they are in 5th place, while the Warriors remain on 18 points and drop to 12th.   

2. Mannering tops the scoring

Another stellar performance from fantasy gun Simon Mannering with 83 points (including 54 tackles and a try), taking his three-round average to 74. Mannering is the one consistent in the most inconsistent team in the NRL, and deserves better than to have to continually try and prop up the rest of the side – something that seems to be par for the course each week. If you’re one of the 82% of coaches that don’t have him, you could do worse than to spend one of your last trades on getting him in your side.  

3. Taumalolo disappoints

Well not really. He did score 59, though coaches that captained him would’ve expected more given the Warriors propensity for weakness up the middle. Truth is, Mannering was there or thereabouts whenever Jason Taumalolo touched the ball and was able to nullify a lot of the damage that he had the potential to cause.  

4. Lino has potential

I’ll say it now, neither Mason Lino or Ata Hingano are going to dominate the NRL (yes, I know .. I’m really putting it all on the line with that prediction!). In fact, it’s questionable whether either of them are even first grade standard. However, the race to nail down the vacant halves spot alongside Johnson for 2018, will be one point of interest for Warriors fans for the remainder of this season. On tonight’s performance, Lino has his nose in front.

5. Barge-overs for days ..

Not fantasy related, but Solomon Kata continues to make Blake Ayshford look like a decent centre for the Warriors with his own ineptness and greed. Has there ever been a more telegraphed self-serving play than Kata’s 5th tackle barge over attempt from dummy-half late in the second half, when the clever play (not something synonymous with the Warriors), would’ve been a play aimed at getting a repeat set? Stupid, but typical. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Raiders v Storm

What we learnt:  Raiders v Storm

Check out the action from GIO Stadium.

1.  Storm too good for the Raiders

The competition leading Melbourne Storm managed to hold off the Canberra Raiders to win 20-14 despite losing two of their superstars – Cameron Smith and Billy Slater – to injury. Dale Finucane (with a double) and Will Chambers crossed for the Storm, while Aidan Sezer (double) and Nick Cotric crossed for the Raiders. The Storm remain in 1st place on the ladder on 32 points, while the Raiders are on 18 points in 10th place.  

2. CS9 owners sweating

There’ll be more than a few fantasy coaches sweating on Cameron Smith’s prognosis following the champion hooker’s departure from tonight’s game with a tit muscle injury. ‘God’ left the field in the 44th minute and didn’t return. And while Smith seemingly downplayed the seriousness of the injury in the after-match press conference, fears are that he could be spending 4-6 weeks on the sideline (if not longer). Ouch!

3. Sezer tops the scoring

Aidan Sezer has shown very little fantasy form since moving from the Titans to the Raiders a few years ago. However, tonight he scored 73* points courtesy of a try-scoring double, though his base stats weren’t anything to write home about (as per usual). Depsite tonight's showing, he's not really a factor in the fantasy world at this end of the season. 

4.   Will he play, won’t he play?

That was the question facing the 15% of fantasy coaches who own Curtis Scott throughout the week. In the end, those coaches who rushed him into their scoring 17 once the final teams were named an hour before kick-off, would’ve wished they hadn’t as he was absent for large portions of the game. The end result, a disappointing score of 16* points.

5. Fails everywhere

This game was noteworthy for the number of disappointing fantasy performances from popular players. The culprits included Jordan Rapana (20*), Joey Leilua (of course!) (11*), Cooper Cronk (17*), Felise Kaufusi (28*), along with CS9 (37*) and Curtis Scott. Needless to say, coaches owning these players will want their scores to improve next week. 

*Scores do not include updates

Sunday, 09 July 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Bulldogs v Knights

What we learnt:  Bulldogs v Knights

Check out the action from the Belmore Sports Ground.

1. Dogs edge the Knights at the death

For some teams losing is a habit, and so it is for the Newcastle Knights. Today they were the better team for the majority of the match and looked likely winners against the Bulldogs through most of the game up until the 78th minute. But true to form, they found a way to lose going down 20-18. For the Knights, the Mata’utia brothers were on form with Peter scoring a double and Chanel also crossing, while Kerrod Holland, Marcelo Montoya and Moses Mbye (with the runaway winner in the final minutes) crossed for the Dogs. The win takes the Dogs to 16 points and they sit in 13th place, while the Knights remain last on 8 points.

2. Tolman on fire

Aiden Tolman continued to benefit from James Graham’s absence topping the fantasy scoring today with 66* points, including 43 tackles and 155 run metres. Tolman again played the whole 80 minutes, an obvious consequence of Graham not being there. With a three-game average of 56, Tolman is now shaping as a solid option for the run home.

3. Mata’utia rips it up

Unfortunately for the 25% of fantasy coaches that own him, it wasn’t Sione that did the ‘ripping up’, it was Peter. With a try scoring double, he knocked out an impressive 61* points which will please the 5% of coaches that have him. For the record, Sione scored 29* points while Chanel (brother number three) scored 23*.

4. Mbye hits form

Moses Mbye has found some excellent fantasy form recently with scores of 60, 65 and 57 in his last three outings. Today he followed that up with a score of 63* including, as mentioned, the match equaling 70 metre runaway try in the last couple of minutes. He’s certainly a POD if you’re so inclined with only 0.91% of coaches owning him.

5. Failing halves

A commiseratory shout out to the 6% of coaches that have Brock Lamb and the 5% that have Matt Frawley, who were rewarded for their loyalty with scores of 29* and 23* respectively. Frankly I’m surprised the ownership percentages are that high for these two players at this time of the season, but each to their own.

And finally, a special mention to Josh Reynolds who, in his last game at Belmore for the Dogs, delivered a crap score of 21* points. In true Reynolds fashion, in the final minute of the game following Mbye’s try and Holland’s conversion, he gave away a stupid penalty that could’ve cost the Dogs the win. However, luckily for Reynolds, Lamb’s penalty attempt to level the scores from 30 metres out was possibly the worse penalty kick attempt the NRL has seen in the last couple of seasons.  


*Scores do not include updates

Friday, 07 July 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Roosters v Rabbitohs

What we learnt:  Roosters v Rabbitohs

Check out the action from Allianz Stadium.

1. Roosters hold off the Rabbits

The Sydney City Roosters overcame the absence of their Origin stars to beat their arch rivals the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-12 at Allianz Stadium tonight. Leading 8-0 at the break courtesy of a try to Joseph Manu and a strong first half performance by Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Roosters managed to hold off the Rabbits who had the better of the second half with tries to Robbie Farah and Bryson Goodwin. For the Roosters, Aidan Guerra touched down in the second stanza. The win takes the Roosters to 2nd place on 26 points, while the Rabbits remain on 16 points in 11th place.    

2. Friend on fire  

Jake Friend was the top fantasy scorer in tonight’s game with 72* points (including a stunning 61 tackles), to take his three-game average to 65. Friend is finding form at the right end of the season for the 6% of fantasy coaches that have him in their sides, and is a relatively attractive proposition at $468k (for those with the coin and the trades available).

3. Crikey turns it on again

Angus Crichton shook off concerns regarding a potential leg injury during the week to lead the fantasy scoring for the Rabbits with 54* points. Crichton is the sole member of the 600k+ club, with his value sitting at a hefty $620k. Reliable sources inform me that never in the history of either Dream Team or NRL Fantasy has any player increased in value across one season more than Crichton’s increase of $391k. Interesting.

4. Surgess flops

Sam Burgess produced a score of 35* points in an underwhelming performance for the 35% of coaches that own him. It certainly doesn’t help that Surgess had 16 points in deductions with three missed tackles, two errors and three penalties. Fantasy coaches will  be hoping that he addresses these negatives aspects to his game soon and that he returns back to the sort of scoring that we all know he’s capable of.

5. Tyrell and Maub ‘average’ CTR options

Neither Tyrell Fuimaono or Mitchell Aubusson should be in your final scoring 17 this year. Fuimaono looks like a 40 point a game player if he plays a full 80 minutes, but it doesn’t look Madge has this in mind going forward. Tonight he played 52 minutes and scored 31* points. Similarly, Maub also produced an underwhelming score of 20* points, further enhancing his reputation as the ‘Black Widow’ of the fantasy league world with his ability to lure unsuspecting coaches into trading him into their sides, then dashing their dreams of domination with junk performances. Both Fuimaono and Maub (if you’re unfortunate enough to have him), have appeal as back up CTR options only.  

*Scores do not include updates

Friday, 30 June 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Broncos v Storm

What we learnt:  Broncos v Storm

Check out the action from Suncorp Stadium.

1.  Storm destroy the Broncos

The competition leading Melbourne Storm produced a 30-point hammering of the third-placed Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in the second game of Friday Night Footy, winning 42-12. Suliasi Vunivalu, Josh Ado-Carr and Curtis Scott all crossed for the Storm in the first 15 minutes, while Ben Hunt scored for the Broncos in the 21st minute. Vunivalu then added a second in the 30th minute for the Storm to lead 20 – 6 at the break. In the second half, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater scored, while Vunivalu and Scott also touched down for their doubles. For the Broncos, David Mead touched down for a final score of 42-12. The Storm remain in 1st place on the ladder and are on 26 points, while the Broncos remain in 3rd place on 22 points.

2. Boom rookie delivers again

Curtis Scott looked sharp in scoring a double, and in the process topped the fantasy scoring with 79* points. Scott looks full of points and is starter quality if he can nail a starting spot in the Storm side. In fact, it will be interesting to see which way Craig Bellamy goes when Cheyse Blair returns from injury.

3. CS9 loves playing the Broncos

Cameron Smith has missed a few games over the last couple of months either through Origin unavailability or through injury. However, tonight he returned with a vengeance, and served up a timely reminder to fantasy coaches of who the king of fantasy scoring really is, with a score of 73* points (including his first try of the season which means he avoids the dreaded end of season 'nudie run'). CS9 will be a popular trade in following the Storm’s final bye in Round 19.

4. AM9 tops 50 again

While not quite at the lofty heights of Rounds 2 to 9 when he produced four scores over 70 and a further three over 60, Andrew McCullough delivered his third score in a row with 53* points against the Storm tonight. Not surprisingly, AM9 topped the tackle with 54 stops. If he can start to produce more attacking plays to compliment his delivery of base stats, he'll again come into the reckoning for a spot in fantasy coaches' final squads of 17 scorers.

5.   I hate Origin

Well I don’t really, except when it has an unexpected impact on my fantasy squad. Like others, I had drafted in Billy Slater and Cameron Munster with a view to having both of these players available in two of the three major bye rounds – Rounds 15 and 18 – when the Storm play. Unfortunately, both of these players will take their good form from tonight’s game (with scores of 52* and 50* respectively), into Origin 3 and not into the Storm’s Round 19 clash against the Eels.

6. Storm’s kiwi forwards are a bust, but hold

The Storm’s kiwi connection Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris produced disappointing performances tonight with scores of 18* and 17* respectively. 599 coaches traded Bromwich in this week, presumably off the back of his score of 53 points last week and were burnt in what was a classic case of point chasing karma. Somewhat puzzling was the fact that Bromwich only played 25 minutes, so he may have suffered an injury of some kind that wasn’t disclosed during coverage of the match.

Tohu Harris’ low score was also puzzling. He played 55 minutes, but didn’t really feature in anything of note all night .. aside from getting sinbinned. Both players are a hold for now as availability of scoring players in next week’s bye round is a concern.


*Scores do not include updates

Friday, 30 June 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Titans v Dragons

What we learnt:  Titans v Dragons

Check out the action from Cbus Stadium.

1. Titans too good for the Dragons

The Titans proved too strong for the Dragons in the first match on Friday night footy, prevailing 20-10. Leading 10-4 at the break (with two unconverted tries to Anthony Don), the Titans managed to hold off the Dragons in the second half and, in the process, Don crossed the line for his hattrick. For the St George side, Kurt Mann crossed in the 58th minute. With the win the Titans move to 14 points and are in 14th place, while the Dragons remain on 20 points in 6th place.

2. Dragons lesser lights lead the fantasy scoring

Joel Thompson and Leesam Ah Mau, a couple of the Dragons’ journeymen forwards, led the fantasy scoring in this game with 62* points and 61* points respectively. Thompson’s score included 6 Tackle Breaks, while Ah Mau had the second highest tackle count in the game with 45 stops. However, neither are particularly relevant for fantasy at this point of the season.

3. I had a dream ..

That fantasy would one day deliver a consistent option in the troublesome CTR position. And maybe, just maybe, Jarryd Hayne is one such option. Today he scored a pleasing 49* points (to add to his score of 58 last week), and is looking a lot more settled in his favoured fullback position. Hayne is popular among fantasy coaches with 38% having him in their squads.

4. Titans props disappoint

Neither Ryan James or Jarrod Wallace did anything today to nudge their way into ‘keeper’ status. Both players scored 42* points from around 60 minutes of game time. Maybe I’m being harsh, but while those scores are ‘ok’, they’re not going to win you your crucial head to head match ups, first prize in the Renegades ‘King of the Byes’ competition, or anything else worth bragging about.

5. Aitken watch

Keep an eye on Euan Aitken. The Dragons centre is one of the premier fantasy options in that position with a historical average of around 43 points per game (2015 and 2016). Aitken is priced at an affordable $355k, which will likely drop to around $322-323k after lockout. Don’t be put off by his lackluster score of 35* today. He’s quality and is capable of a lot more.

*Scores do not include updates

Thursday, 29 June 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Eels v Bulldogs

What we learnt:  Eels v Bulldogs

Check out the action from ANZ Stadium.

1. Eels sneak it in extra time

In what was a reasonably interesting game despite pre-game predictions of a bore fest, the Eels backed up their win over the Dragons in Round 15 with a 13-12 victory over the Bulldogs in extra time.  Leading 12-2 after the first half courtesy of tries to Bevan French and Semi Radradra, the Eels almost bottled it in the second 40. A distinct lack of ‘go-forward’ by the Eels big men, resulted in the Dogs dominating possession and field possession after the break, which led to tries to Brett Morris and Matt Frawley. With the game squared up at 12-12 after 80 minutes, Mitchell Moses stepped up and slotted the winner in the first period of extra time. The win takes the Eels to 18 points on the table and they remain in 8th place, while the Dogs remain on 14 points in 13th place.

2. Tolman on fire

Aiden Tolman continues to benefit from James Graham’s lackluster mid-season performances (and occasional absences) scoring a game topping 66* fantasy points (including 53 tackles). Tolman turned in a superman-like performance tonight playing the whole game, an obvious consequence of Graham not being there. He averages 48 points per game, is cheap at $415k and plays in the last remaining bye round (Round 18), so has some appeal. However, he’s not likely to feature in the top 17 scoring players of many squads come the end of the season as he’s 5-10 points shy of top gun status in the front row. 

3. Nate takes it to the Dogs

Nathan Brown didn’t disappoint for the 8% of fantasy coaches that have him in their squads, playing the entire game and scoring 63* points. Brown has a three-game average of 55.7 which makes it somewhat puzzling that 654 coaches thought it a good idea to trade him out prior to this round starting. The Eels play in Round 18, but have their final bye in Round 19, so for those coaches that do have him but have plans to trade him, he’s a hold for the coming week at least.

4. Norman disappoints

Corey Norman’s recent fantasy performances have been crap. Maybe it’s the introduction of Mitchell Moses or maybe it’s just a random mid-season slump? Who knows? Whatever it is, it’s safe to say that most top fantasy coaches will be looking to other options for a spot in the halves in their final squads. Norman disappointed tonight with a muddling performance and a below par score of 42* points, taking his average over the past four games to 36 points. Definitely ‘un-gun’ like (unless we’re talking about pea-shooters).

5. Graham has to go

Time to punt James Graham to touch if you haven’t already done so. He has a five-round average of 36 and is out for the next four rounds. Better to use his $350k to bolster your squad in other areas.

*Scores do not include updates

Sunday, 18 June 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Eels v Dragons

What we learnt:  Eels v Dragons

Check out the action from ANZ Stadium.

1. Eels too strong for the Dragons

The Eels followed up their Round 2 victory over the Dragons with a dominant display today at ANZ Stadium winning 24-10.  Clint Gutherson scored a first half double which allowed the Eels to take a 12-4 lead into halftime. After the break, Michael Jennings and Bevan French touched down to seal victory for the Parramatta side. For the Dragons, Nene McDonald and Paul Vaughan scored tries. The Eels are on 16 points on the table and in 8th place, while the Dragons remain on 18 points in 5th place.

2. Vaughan turns in a blinder

Paul Vaughan’s scoring has been patchy of late, but he chose a great time to pump out a massive score for the 20% of coaches that have him in their sides. Today he produced 77* points (including a try) to top the fantasy scoring for this game. Vaughan is one of the top 3 FRFs in NRL Fantasy along with Andrew Fifita and Martin Taupau.

3. 69er with Gutho

Brad Arthur made a late positional change to his line up with Clint Gutherson moving to fullback despite wearing the no.4 jersey. Gutho responded with a first half try scoring double, the second of which was a fantastic 80 metre effort where he thrust out one of his pins to intercept a Kalifa Faifailoa kick, gathered the rebound and then outpaced the defence. His final score of 69* was a great effort, though coaches with him in their side would’ve expected more given he had racked up over 50 by halftime.

4. Norman disappoints

In major bye rounds you want your guns to deliver in order to justify the price you paid and the trades and other manoeuvring you undertook to get them into your team. With that in mind, those who invested in Corey Norman will be disappointed with his somewhat circumspect performance today. Norman is one of the top 3 halves in NRL Fantasy (alongside Shaun Johnson and Mitchell Pearce) and averages 50 points a game. However, today his score of 39* points was average (a borderline fail). If you’re one of the 9% of coaches that have him, you’ll be expecting this viral vid superstar to tongue punch his way to better scores on the regular.

5. Kaysa needs to go

If you still own early season cash cow Kaysa Pritchard, you’d be kicking yourself for not cashing him in prior to this round. Pritchard peaked at $392k after the Eels Round 11 clash with the Raiders, but has been steadily leaking cash ever since. Priced at $339k before this round, expect his price to fall around $30k after he left the field early with a serious leg injury with his score at 14*. It was reported during the match that an ambulance had been called and that he was being shipped off to hospital. If you’re one of the unlucky one’s to be still holding him, the hospital is probably where your team is headed shortly as well.


*Scores do not include updates

Friday, 16 June 2017 00:00

What we learnt: Rabbitohs v Titans

What we learnt:  Rabbitohs v Titans

Check out the action from ANZ Stadium.

1. Souths too good for Titans

A second half masterclass from the South Sydney Rabbitohs proved too much for the Gold Coast Titans in tonight’s game at ANZ Stadium. The Titans started the game the hungrier of the two sides, taking a 20-10 lead into the break with tries to Pat Politini, Kevin Proctor and Joe Greenwood vs tries to Angus Crichton and Alex Johnson for the Rabbitohs. However, the second half was a different story with Sydney side adding a further five tries – two more to Crichton (for his hattrick), another to Johnson (for his double), and one to Bryce Goodwin – to run away with the win 36-20. The win takes Souths to 13th place on 12 points, while the Titans remain on 10 points in 14th place.     

2. Angus the Great

You’d be kicking yourself if you’re not one of the 14% of fantasy coaches that have Angus Crichton in their team, after the young Souths second rower destroyed the Titans tonight scoring a hattrick of tries and making four line breaks, 12 tackle breaks and running for 172 metres. The result? A mind boggling 118* fantasy points for the season’s top fantasy score. Crichton has well and truly made the transition from 'cow' to 'keeper'.

3. Surgess 'no show'

Rumours started circulating earlier today that Sam Burgess would miss tonight’s game with a leg complaint, and when the final team lists were released an hour before kick-off, those rumours were proven correct. However, with most coaches’ trade count low and with Surgess 100% being a keeper, most coaches wouldn’t have reacted and would’ve simply copped the withdrawal. Initial indications are that Surgess’ injury has a 1-3 week recuperation period so whether he’s is back in Round 17 (Round 16 Souths have their second bye) is anyone’s guess at this stage.   

4. Prop flops

This match was designed for Ryan James to shine fantasy-wise, with the Titans other main prop Jarrod Wallace out on Origin duty, and the Titan’s young guns desperate looking to him to lead the team.  RJ responded by dishing up a crap score of 19* with five missed tackles and only 44 run metres. He did leave the field twice, once with a leg injury and the second time for a HIA. However, he still played 59 minutes, so his score was junk nevertheless.

George Burgess??? Hmm .. the good news is that the former front-line fantasy prop had a more than acceptable points per minute rate of 0.84. The bad news is that he only played 19 minutes, scoring 16* points. Enough said about this sad sack.

5. Tyrell a lock for CTR?

As Tyrell Fuimaono’s confidence grows, so does the quality of his on-field performances. Tonight, he was the second highest fantasy scorer with 52* points.  His appeal as a keeper in the troublesome CTR position increases weekly, though coaches would be wise to consider the impact of Surgess’ withdrawal on Fuimaono's game time tonight and, more importantly, going forward whether his return will mean that Fuimaono spends time on the bench.


*Scores do not include updates

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