Friday, 28 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Warriors vs Sharks

Sharks win 26-12. That game was rather disappointing. As a Warriors fan, I'm not disappointed in their performance. I've come to expect it. But the way they rolled over in the last 20 minutes was pathetic. The more disappointing aspects of the match were the fantasy scores.

Bodene Thompson had a 33 point first half and scored a try to start the second stanza before suffering a shoulder injury. He still managed to top the scoring with 52* points from only 58 minutes. From reports, there was a 'crack'ing sound which could spell season over. All his owners will be severely disappointed as Thompson has been a strong POD over the last 6 weeks, averaging over 56.

Paul Gallen was the only other popular player to hit 50* points. Nothing special from the Sharks skipper, 30 tackles, 150+ metres and four offloads. Stock standard but still disappointing.

After that there was a run of very poor scores.

Simon Mannering's run of great scores came to a screeching halt with only 48*.

Andrew Fifita
continued his run of rather disappointing scores with 39*. That makes 6 games in a row since he's hit 60. Since the start of Oranges he's been a bum. The problem with Fifita is his potential to go out on any given week and score 100+. This is why you must hold and continue to play.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had a 9 point second half and finished on 38*. I suppose this could be considered a pass mark but it proves that he needs tries to really be considered a gun at WFB.

In fact the only surprising score was Fa'amanu Brown with 39*. He scored a first half try before going off in the 60th minute with a nasty head knock courtesy of Sam Lisone's knee. I would say 99.99% of Brown's owners would have had him riding the pine but if you were un(?)fortunate enough to have to play him **cough cough** Matthew Duggan **cough cough**, 39 points is a god send.

*All scores were correct at the time of writing and do not include updates.

Published in NRL Fantasy
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
Saturday, 01 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Roosters vs Sharks

Sneaky Sharks destroy Rascally Roosters 

1. Sharks win battle of the heavyweights. 

With today likely being a preview of a match you'll see deep into September, Cronulla have made a statement and given us something to look forward to. James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce putting in typical origin performances was a key factor in the Sharkies getting the points today. 

2. K5 grabs another beast.

Jake Friend has now scored 82, 70, 67 and 56, since the origin period started (if you leave out his HIA 0). Proving once again if K5 is blowing smoke, there is usually fire. Definitely one to watch with McInnes and McCullough not living up to earlier season hopes. Notching up 65 tackles today, with 50 of them coming in the first 50 minutes.

3. Ryan Matterson - Fluke or For Real?

Ryan Matterson could be pushing to secure an edge second row spot for 2018 when Aiden Guerra departs the club. With a few starts during the origin period he has shown he has fantasy pedigree and is keen to show us. Averaging 57 over the last 3 weeks; starting and scoring 79 today, albeit attacking stats assisted with his mid 30s average could see him as a well priced pick up next season. 

4. Fifita was a trade through origin. 

This has been discussed at lengths over the past couple months and it looks like the points are with the TRADE camp. With another lacklustre score of 45 today, pairing with his other scores of 45 and 43 since origin started, your 550k+ could've definitely been better invested in somebody that would've played more than 3 games in this 6 game period.

5. G-Train stops short.

Don't stress this one. Gal has carried this Sharks side through a tough Origin period where his team has been without up to 5 stars in some matches. Much to the dismay of many Gal owners he has earned this break and this won't happen every week, we hope. 

Suck it Grubby Roosters @Nick Gibbs.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Sea Eagles

The clinical Manly Sea Eagles held off the Cronulla Sharks winning 35-18 away from home to leapfrog their southern rivals into the top 4.

Cronulla are getting used to chasing down their opponents but couldn't muster a come back today with some costly errors and nasty injuries. Jayden Brailey reportedly left the stadium in an ambulance with concerns that he has a broken jaw. If so, it would be season over for the youngster who has been a handy pick at hooker.

As far as fantasy performances go, Wade Graham led the way with 75* points. He ran for 177 metres and tackled with his usual gusto, but also nabbed himself a try which boosted his score.

Curtis Sironen nabbed two tries in the opening quarter and finished on 59* points. Please don't tell me you still own him. OUTLIER.

Daly Cherry-Evans was back to his solid best with 58*. DCE made 21 tackles which is pretty high for a half. He also laid on two tries for his team mates but only kicked for 108m which is his lowest of the season.

Big Marty Taupau continued his streak of 200+ metre games with 210 on his way to 53* points. He stormed his way through the Cronulla defence, finishing with 4 tackle breaks and 5 off loads. Having finished their byes for the season, Taupau is looming as a must buy for the run home.

A lot of people would have the C on Paul Gallen and will be feeling rather embarrassed after he only mustered 47* points. He finished the first half on 33 but couldn't roll that productivity into the second spell before coming off with 15 minutes to go. The Sharks couldn't seem to get much front foot ball and Gallen was a big part of that, only running for 88 metres.

Andrew Fifita was another who disappointed, finishing on 41* points. Fifita went off after about 33 minutes in the first half on a whopping 12 points. Yep, 12! He made a few tackles but also missed a whole bunch which really hurt his score. His second stint saw him amass 17 points in the first 7 minutes and he did reasonably well to finish on 41. This is the second sub 50 score in a row for Fifita but with his capability of hitting 60+ on a regular basis, you take the good with the bad and hope he sorts himself out sooner rather than later.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Tigers

How do we go from the thrill of the previous match to the mostly dour crawl of this one? Who knows. At one point I even changed channels to watch the Wallabies lose to Scotland, admittedly it was half-time but that's not the point. Cronulla twice came from two tries down to send it to the wire but everything seemed to be in slo-mo compared to the earlier game. At the end of it all, Jayson Bukuya scored a try for the Sharks to take the lead with two minutes to go.

There was one great fantasy note: Kurt Capewell score the rounds second 100+ score. With 2 tries, 8 tackle busts and 250+ running metres to finish on 107* points.

Anyone that still owns Elijah Taylor will be quietly frothing. 76* points that included a try, 52 tackles made and only one missed. One can only assume that he was being held for this round and you can definitely sell on a high now.

Paul Gallen did what Paul Gallen does on his way to 59* points. Coaches like me that neglected to vice-captain Angus Crichton and don't own Jason Taumalolo would have been hoping for more. FYI, if you own all 3 and captained Gallen, you end up 63 points behind those that captained Crichton. Yup, that hurts. 

There were a number of impressive scores from guys that just don't matter in fantasy terms. Jayson Bukuya scored a try and ran hard for 64* points. Chad Townsend took control in the absence of James Maloney with 435 kicking metres on his way to 59* points.

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak once again proved that cheapies can provide points with 40* points from the wing (including one try).

Jayden Brailey was only on the field for 48 minutes but made 40 tackles to end on 40* points. I assume that 99.9% of Brailey owners will be ready to trade right about now.

You could say the same for Moses Suli who spudded his wat to 20*. Gross. Get out of my team! NOW!

*Scores do not include updates.
Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 22 April 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Titans

An exciting game at Shark Park, no, Remondis, no, Southern Cross Group Stadium was not so the same for NRL Fantasy coaches.

While the game see-sawed back and forth, neither team grabbed any real ascendancy and this led to some rather disappointing fantasy scores.

Andrew Fifita (38*) was kept in check for the majority of the game and the Titans seemed to spread it just wide enough to avoid the Fifita Flop regularly.

Jayden Brailey (29*) was another who failed to impress. While he made 37 tackles (plus 4 missed), that was the sole source of his scores with no points for run metres, kick metres or any attacking stats whatsoever. After last weeks effort, I for one was definitely expecting another positive outing and was left wanting a lot more.

I'd like to know if its standard for hookers and middle forwards to score lower than usual against the Titans. This is definitely something I could find out but I'm far too lazy for that.

Let's look at some positives though.

Paul Gallen (58*) continues to impress and will increase in price to just under $540k after this week. He'll play two of the three major bye rounds (12 & 15) and is a definite buy (provided he doesn't play Oranges... the rumour mill is turning).

Jarrod Wallace was, once again, the main benificiary of injuries to the Titans forward pack with Grevsmuhl and McQueen both succumbing. This seems to be the norm in the Titans pack and I'd hazard a guess that it will continue for the remainder of the season, meaning Wallace is basically a keeper that you picked up for less than $300,000 (just like CHN or #KaufusiTackle).

Another benificiary of the Titans injuries was Ryan Simpkins who scored 51* points in 72 minutes. If he can secure the lock role and an increase in minutes, he could be a handy cash maker through the bye period.

Jarryd Hayne returned to form with 38* points and is definitely a cheap option at WFB. He spent part of the game playing in the halves with Tyrone Roberts shifting to fullback and I can see that change continuing as it was only once Hayne was in the halves that the Titans scored a couple of tries. Unfortunately the Titans have the worst possible bye schedule, missing rounds 12 and 18 meaning he's not a great option unless you're willing to sit on him. At $200,000(ish) it wouldn't be the worst thing though.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 22 April 2017 00:00

Final Team Lists - Sharks vs Titans

Big outs for both sides (not so much for your fantasy teams) with Kane Elgey and Luke Lewis ruled out.

Cronulla Sharks 

1. Valentine Holmes

2. Sosaia Feki
3. Jack Bird
4. Ricky Leutele
5. Kurt Capewell  
6. James Maloney
7. Chad Townsend
8. Andrew Fifita
9. Jayden Brailey
10. Matt Prior
14. Jayson Bukuya 
12. Wade Graham
13. Paul Gallen

15.Chris Heighington  
16.Jeremy Latimore  
17.Joseph Paulo
19. Sam Tagataese  

Gold Coast Titans

18. Jarryd Hayne
2. Anthony Don
3. Dale Copley
20. Konrad Hurrell
4. Dan Sarginson
1. Tyrone Roberts 
7. Ash Taylor
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Nathan Peats
10. Ryan James (c)
11. Chris McQueen
19. Kevin Proctor (c)

13. Ryan Simpkins

12. Chris Grevsmuhl
14. Karl Lawton
15. Joe Greenwood
17. Leivaha Pulu


Published in NRL News
Sunday, 16 April 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Panthers vs Sharks

1. Cronulla can go back to back
They're definitely the only team that can achieve this elusive feat in 2017 and currently they're playing well enough aswell. Having held two strong teams try-less in the last 2 weeks, their defense stood up strong today. Penrith had all the early running but couldn't breach the Sharks line. The lack of a decent short kicking game definitely hindered the Panthers aswell.

2. Everyone makes at least one terrible trade per year.
So many people would have traded Jayden Brailey out following James Segeyaro's strong showings despite his limited minutes. With a low break even, he was still a valid hold and that faith paid off when Segeyaro broke his arm last week against the Storm, giving Brailey a run of big minute games at hooker which led to his best score of the year (54*).

3. CHN could get another shot.
Surely. Following tonight's poor showing combined with James Fisher-Harris' injury, you would hope he can find his way onto the bench at least and take advantage of that low BE.

4. Fifita finally gets on the score sheet.
Despite not dragging some defenders over with him, it was good to see Fifita score a try. It's been a long time coming this season. He's also cleaned up his act when it comes to needless penalties and went 54 minutes penalty free today. A round of applause is due.

5. Time to buy...
Paul Gallen. I've bagged him enough. He's going to be a fantastic option, especially over Oranges. He'll cost you around $540,000 next week but he's in the top echelon of second rowers this year. Let us pray he can stay injury free.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 09 April 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Storm vs Sharks

1. Andrew Fifita finally shows up
62* in 51 minutes is Fifita's highest score of the year and it couldn't come at a better time. Many were becoming disillusioned with his scoring this season but Fifita showed why he cost 601k to start the season. He''ll need to do it a few more times to get his average up but if anyone can, Fifita can.

2. Wet weather footy is good fun to watch
Maybe it was the fact that it wasn't my players dropping the ball but I love a wet game. More tackles, more tackle breaks, more missed tackles (if you're James Maloney). Big points from Cam Smith!

3. Time to buy...
Paul Gallen? He's averaging over 55* and plays 2 of the 3 major bye rounds. I hate him more than anyone but he could be the perfect replacement for Fifita (if he plays Oranges)

4. Time to sell Pt 1...
Jayden Brailey? Tonights 34 will give him a nice bump in price and should lower his BE. He looks set to continue around the 50-55 minute mark but showed tonight he can score reasonably with those minutes. Obviously he isn't a keeper but he could have one or two more weeks in him.

5. Time to sell Pt 2...
Ryley Jacks. With Munster back in the next 2 or so weeks, Jacks time is coming to an end anyway, but he also sat on a sub 30 score until the last 5 minutes tonight. That 36 was very handy for his value but I'll be looking at offloading Jacks to the likes of Hampton or Frawley.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 09 April 2017 00:00

Final Team Lists - Storm vs Sharks

Following the withdrawal of Jesse Bromwich and Cheyse Blair, Young Onomatopoeia comes into the starting side and Jordan McLean will join the bench along with Christian Welch for the Storm. Tim Glasby will start at prop while Tui Kamikamica misses out.

The Sharks will run out 1-17 as named on Tuesday.

1. Billy Slater

2. Suliasi Vunivalu
3. William Chambers
18. Young Tonumaipea
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Ryley Jacks
7. Cooper Cronk
15. Tim Glasby 
9. Cameron Smith ©
10. Nelson Asofa Solomona
11. Felise Kaufusi
12. Kenny Bromwich
13. Dale Finucane

14. Joe Stimson 
16. Mark Nicholls 
20. Christian Welch
21. Jordan McLean


1- Valentine Holmes

2- Sosaia Feki
3- Jack Bird
4- Ricky Leutele
5- Gerard Beale
6- James Maloney
7- Chad Townsend
8- Andrew Fifita
9- Jayden Brailey
10- Matt Prior
11- Luke Lewis
12- Wade Graham
13- Paul Gallen 

14- Jayson Bukuya  
15- Chris Heighington  
16- Jeremy Latimore  
17- James Segeyaro


Published in NRL News