Up Up Cronulla! How good was the 2016 NRL Grand Final?!
We all shared the joy and elation that the club and its fans felt after winning their first ever Premiership since joining the NSW Rugby League Comp in 1967.
The blue and white army where out in force last weekend and their seventeen warriors dominated a large portion of the game. I couldn’t help feeling the high emotions radiating from my tele as the Sharks gave their controversial hooker (Michael Ennis) the fairy-tale retirement he deserves.
Well done Cronulla Sharks! We are all looking forward to watching you defend your title in the 2017 NRL season.
2017 Player Transfers
There were a number of players that announced signings with another club throughout the season. Some we may have forgotten! Here are the key player transfers that could directly or indirectly affect your 2017 SuperCoach decisions.
Jarrod Wallace (Broncos to Titans), Manaia Cherrington (Tigers to Sharks), Liam Knight (Sea Eagles to Roosters), Josh Addo-Carr (Tigers to Storm), Robbie Rochow (Knights to Rabbitohs), James Tamou (Cowboys to Panthers), Michael Gordon (Eels to Roosters), Siosia Vave (Sea Eagles to Eels), Nathan Brown (Rabbitohs to Eels), Luke Keary (Rabbitohs to Roosters), Cameron McInnes (Rabbitohs to Dragons), Jamie Buhrer (Sea Eagles to Knights), Akuila Uate (Knights to Sea Eagles)
2017 NRL SuperCoach Options
The last two weeks we took a look at a wide range of fullback options and some of them were also available in the centre/wing position. This week we’ll dive into other high performing (those who averaged over 60 PPG) CTWs of 2016 and what we could expect from them in NRL Supercoach 2017. The prices mentioned are just estimates based on their 2016 average.
- Joseph Leilua (CTW, $470k). BJ was the highest averaging centre/wing for 2016 with an impressive 72.3 PPG. He consistently produced offloads, tackle busts and attacking stats which saw him score over 60 points around 50% of the time. Astonishingly, he pumped out nine scores over 90 points of which five of those were in the triple digits! On the other end of the scale, Leilua scored just three games below 40 points which is a nice change from the other centre/wing candidates with much lower floors. If you’re after some consistency in the CTW position the Raiders’ right centre should be one to consider for your 2017 starting side, despite his expensive price tag.
- Jarrod Croker (CTW, $465k). Croker was the only high averaging centre/wing I started with for the 2016 SuperCoach season. I have to admit there were times I came close to giving him the punt from my team, especially right before his round 15 bye where he produced three consecutive scores below 50. In fact, around 2.5% of coaches gave him the flick at that point and Croker pumped out a 106 point average in the following five rounds. Ouch! Like Leilua, Croker can be relied on the keep the respectable scores flowing so there’s no harm whatsoever in choosing both for your starting side if you’re looking at running with the ‘CTW-heavy’ tactic.
- Tohu Harris (CTW/2RF, $435k). Let’s all give a big thanks to Craig Bellamy for constantly using Tohu Harris in the centres. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a second-rower available for CTW selection and he’s usually a good option to start with if you’re looking for consistency. He produced just two scores below 40 points in his 2016 season but one of those was due to playing just 50 minutes of footy. Harris dropped below $400k on a few occasions throughout the season so it could be worth holding off for a string of average games before bringing him into your side. He doesn’t produce the regular extras that Leilua does or have the goal kicking duties like Croker.
- Jordan Rapana (CTW, $425k). Rapana was a surprise performer in 2016 and he has Leilua to thank for a large portion of his attacking stats. His highlights for the season included his 163 point game against the Tigers in round 8, followed by a 134 point performance against the Rabbitohs is round 21. There’s no denying the Raiders’ right wing craves involvement and is capable of providing the punch that every SuperCoach team needs, although it’s hard to ignore the scattered scores below 30 points. He’ll be too expensive for my liking but could emerge as a candidate with a couple of price drops.
- Josh Mansour (CTW, $410k). The Sauce has been a SuperCoach favourite for a number of years now and we shouldn’t expect any different for the 2017 season. He now has State of Origin experience under his belt which clearly boosted his confidence and we all remember his five round average of 95 PPG after round 15. Unfortunately, he won’t have the luxury of coming with a fairly cheap price tag as he did at the beginning of the 2016 season. His 63 point season average should see him starting a little over $400k mark. The stat that scares me the most is his four round average of 30 PPG prior to bye period. We can look at this as a positive though – the likelihood of The Sauce having a significant price drop at some point is very good. Let’s not forget that he’s likely to be selected for Origin once again so he could be more suited as a run-home CTW if your other selections are performing well.
- Semi Radradra (CTW, $398k). The appropriately named ‘Semi’ has given us all trouser arousal at some point with his capability of producing a 30 to 40 point play at any given moment. Thankfully he won’t be starting the season over $500k like he did in 2016 so he’s more of a reasonable option for your starting side. There’s no denying that Semi was inconsistent at times but it’s not as if we’re going to be paying a fortune if we want his services at the start of the 2017 season. He may actually start much cheaper than the $398k mentioned above due to the five games he missed in the later part of the season. This would make the Fijian Flyer a very attractive option for your starting side, assuming of course he doesn’t leave the NRL for another venture.