Community, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you a new member of our inner sanctum – The Cowboy.
Yes my beloved community – we are extending the arms of our wisdom to Fantasy NRL. It goes without saying, I’m bloody aroused to the shitter about this …. maybe not enough to grab a poodle but its getting there.
Over to you Cowboy!
Howdy SuperCoachers! I’m STOKED that the great Jock Reynolds has got me on board for The Community to get the NRL discussions firing …. let’s get cracking!
NRL Supercoach also opened today and as we move closer to Waitangi Weekend (February 6 – 7), fans are bracing themselves for the extraordinary spectacle that is the NRL Auckland Nines. Not only will we witness the fast-paced version of the classic thirteen-a-side game, but we will also be privy to the current form of many potential and established NRL Supercoach candidates.
2016 NRL Auckland Nines pools:
- Waiheke Pool – Roosters, Rabbitohs, Eels, Storm
- Rangitoto Pool – Knights, Cowboys, Panthers, Tigers
- Hunua Pool – Warriors, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles, Broncos
- Piha Pool – Dragons, Raiders, Sharks, Titans
Although the official team lists haven’t been released, a handful of players (past and present) have confirmed their participation. Each club is allowed one former player to take part in the Nines Tournament. The Sydney Roosters have confirmed that retired Australian International and New South Wales State of Origin five-eighth Braith Anasta will likely be representing their club at the Nines tournament this season. Other past stars that have shown interest in participating include North Queensland Cowboys star Matty Bowen and former All Black Carlos Spencer.
We can also confirm that a range of notable players will be participating in the Nines tournament. These players include Darius Boyd, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Issac Luke, Josh Dugan, Josh Mansour and Kurt Mann.
There are currently two teams that have named their Auckland Nines squads:
- Elijah Taylor, Te Maire Martin, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Jeremy Latimore, Bryce Cartwright, Zach Dockar-Clay, Robert Jennings, Ben Garcia, Josh Mansour, Isaah Yeo, Corey Harawira, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Sione Katoa.
- Jaelen Feeney, Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Brock Lamb, Danny Levi, Jake Mamo, Chanel Mata’utia, Pat Mata’utia, Sione Mata’utia, William Pearsall, Tyler Randell, Robbie Rochow, Nathan Ross, Korbin Sims, Tariq Sims, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Joseph Tapine, Akuila Uate.
Typically the Auckland Nines isn’t known for showcasing up and coming talent, although we may get a chance to see some promising NRL Supercoach rookies and/or “cheapies” (as they are known) showing their faces during the tournament. Due to injuries to both Lachlan Maranta and Jack Reed, talented Ipswich Jets youngster Carlin Anderson has a great chance to start for the Broncos in Round 1, and even appear in the Nines format.
Other rookies and cheapies to look out for are:
- Ashley Taylor (Gold Coast Titans – $133,300). Ashley is currently battling for a starting spot in the halves for 2016.
- Jackson Hastings (Sydney Roosters – $133,300). With James Maloney’s move to the Cronulla Sharks, we’re expecting Hastings to play in the halves alongside Mitchell Pearce.
- Dale Copley (Sydney Roosters – $178,400). Copley should be playing as starting centre following Jennings’ move to the Parramatta Eels.
One of the hottest topics entering the tournament is the fitness of the New Zealand Warriors star, Shaun Johnson. Johnson, an absolute “Gun” in the Nines format, suffered a season ending ankle injury in Round 20 of the 2015 season. Shaun has reported that his recovery is going well, although NRL fans and NRL Supercoaches alike need one question answered: Will he be able to return to his unbelievable pre-injury form? A question that’ll be answered either at the Nines tournament, trial games, or at latest the NRL regular season.