NRL Supercoach Round 22 – It’s Go Time!

Published by The Cowboy on


The final five rounds are upon us so I’m going to change things up a little.

I think it’ll be more beneficial if we take a look at safety/risky captain choices along with who we can consider leaving out of our seventeen. I’ll also touch on POD trades as the usual suspects are sticking out like a dog’s genitals.

I scored an incredibly lousy 908 and dropped to my worst overall rank since round 12 (335th). Unfortunately my season could be in freefall. I decided to take McCullough’s eight rounds of scores over Smith’s seven back in round 19 which has now resulted in my team being without a hooker. My SuperCoach tactic isn’t built for the onslaught of injuries that has happened through the past three weeks so now I’m going to pay the price. Lesson learned? Unlikely! I plan to use the same tactic next season. Surely disaster of this magnitude can’t happen two seasons in a row….can it?

POD Trades (Under 10% Ownership)

Bevan French ($361.6k FLB/CTW) is a borderline POD that was owned by 9.5% of coaches as of round 21. Well done to the 0.9% of coaches that traded him in for round 18; he’s now scored a three round average of 70.7 PPG. The Eels have arguably the most favourable draw over the final five rounds (Bulldogs, Knights, Titans, Broncos, Rabbitohs) and we’d have to assume that French will continue his impressive output. Ignore his season average of 49.6 PPG; French struggled to perform throughout the bye period but he’s now firing on all cylinders at fullback. It’s simply majestic watching a player with his talent performing a kick return and there’s definitely no shortage of confidence with this young kid. Vive le français!

Matthew Dufty ($122.6k FLB) went ballistic against the Sea Eagles then produced a mediocre 41 points against the cellar dwellers last weekend. There’s no denying he’s an impressive talent but are we simply trading in an AE Nightmare? It’s important that we ignore most of the stats on his SuperCoach profile. His Break Even is a ridiculous -108 but this is irrelevant unless you’re going to trade him out in a handful of weeks. His projected scores are all currently at 83 PPG but we can’t count of this happening as we saw against the Knights last weekend. If you’re going to run with Dufty then you’ve effectively made an important decision. You’re prepared to cop a potential AE nightmare when he isn’t part of your seventeen. You’ll more than likely play him when the Dragons play their weaker opponents (Rd22 – Bunnies, Rd23 – Titans, Rd 26 – Bulldogs).

Will Hopoate ($348.6k FLB/CTW) may come with a Break Even of 88 but he has a fairly favourable run home (Eels, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Titans, Dragons).  Let’s not jump the gun though! Hoppa has an above average five round output of 52 PPG so like any POD in the CTW or FB position we must be prepared for a potential AE Nightmare. His appeal lies with his scoring potential over the final five rounds. He’s usually good for a 50 point game so don’t be surprised if he’s pumping out 60s and 70 until season’s end. If you want me to cut the crap and put this another way, he’s simply a solid player that could get you a crap load of points over the next five weeks.

Matt Gillett ($480.1k 2RF) may have played just five games since round 14 but he currently has the highest five round average of any player (90.2 PPG). Owned by just 5.5% of coaches, Gillett is one of the best PODs in recent weeks but somehow he hasn’t reached the echelon of ‘must have’ forwards. I guess we’re chasing a little more base reliability and Gillett isn’t competing with the likes of Gallen, Taumalolo or Brown. I think he’s worth the punt. You can’t argue with his impressive scores and he has a much higher ceiling than most of your top scoring second rowers.

Captain Choices

It’s fairly simple to spot the viable captain choices each week. There are usually a handful of safety choices in the forwards while high averaging halves and backs are usually considerations when playing the teams that leak points. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates for round 22.

Nathan Cleary and Gareth Widdop were huge disappointments last week but we need to consider them as viable captain choices once again. Luckily Widdop will play against the Bunnies on Friday night so we can easily give him the VC. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Cleary who’ll be playing the final game of round 22 against the Tigers. This creates an interesting scenario! Who’s game to throw the big C on Cleary? He currently has the highest five round average of any half/back and will be playing one of the worst defensive teams in the comp. Makes sense, right?

Cameron Smith, Nathan Brown and Simon Mannering are three of the eight players producing a five round average of 80+ PPG. I’d consider these guys the safety choices this week as most of the others are either relying on an attacking boost or aren’t showing as much reliability. Unfortunately Brown is playing on Thursday night so you won’t give yourself a chance to jag a huge VC performance for a half or back. Smith is playing on Friday so you could run with the VC Widdop/C Smith combo. Mannering has the first game on Saturday which means your VC will have to come from either the Eels, Dragons or Storm.

Mitchell Pearce is another captain choice I like, purely because the Sea Eagles have let through a tonne of points in recent weeks. The only problem here is that his three and five round averages aren’t exactly huge (43.0/61.6) but we’d have to expect a big performance if the Sea Eagles repeat their recent form. You could consider throwing the VC on Pearce if you’re willing to give someone like Cleary or Teddy the big C.

James Roberts has been on fire in recent times and he’ll be up against the Titans this weekend. I don’t think we should risk the throwing the captaincy on him although he’d be a solid VC option. He may be playing the second Saturday game but there are plenty of viable captain choices in Gallen, Jurbo, Teddy and Cleary playing after him. Give him some thought!


Top 5 Break Evens

(Must have played 2 games and are named in the starting side this week)

Matthew Dufty ($122.6k FB): -108

Mason Lino ($132k HFB/FE): -40

Victor Radley ($122.6k HOK): -35

Joe Stimson ($165.7k 2RF): -24

Kirisome Auva’a ($271.1k CTW): -23

Bottom 5 Break Evens

(Must have played 2 games and are named in the starting side this week)

Nathan Cleary ($569.9k HFB): 150

Daly Cherry-Evans ($423.3k HFB): 145

Tom Trbojevic ($507.2k CTW/FB): 128

Jordan Rapana ($402.9k CTW): 127

Michael Morgan ($369.7k FE): 109

Team List Tuesday

Sam Burgess named in his usual lock position

Billy Slater returns at fullback

Cameron Munster is out with an ankle injury

Bodene Thompson is out

Jarryd Hayne returns to fullback

Andrew McCullough is out for the season

Jordan Rapana and Josh Papalii have returned from suspension

Shaun Lane is back in the second row

Matthew Moylan is named in the reserves


Widdop and Cleary to redeem themselves with 80+ point performances

Martin Taupau to repay the faithful with 70+

James Roberts to continue his epic form with a 70+

That’s it for this week,  feel free to leave your comments below, or

Twitter : @CKings_Cowboy

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Have 3 trades left
Have Walker Burgess, Harris and Munster

Thinking C Walker to Dufty and using the cash to either go Burgess to anyone or Harris to anyone.

If I go Burgess to Vaughan I can go Harris to anyone but leaves me with no trades.

Worth the risk? Or save them for a future injury?

I just reckon it's time for Harris, and Burgess to go


Can you swing two of those trades my way Kane?

Is there any specific Gun you're looking to grab and can you field a strong seventeen without Surgess this week?
Surgess looks like a weekly risk while no one knows what the hell is going on with Tofu. If you need an extra gun this week doing the trades you've mentioned could be good while leaving 1 trade in the bank. I'm iffy on Dufty unless you don't care about the potential AE nightmare. I'd choose to trade out Surgess over Tofu because of the risk factor and surely we'll be seeing Harris in thr coming weeks considering the lack of news.
Good luck mate!


Happy to mate sounds like you need them!

Team is
Hookers: Smith C. King

FRF J Turbo Brown Gallen Nuff

Second Row: Mannering Burgess LoLo Taupau
Nuff nuff

Halves: Cleary Widdop

Five 8: Milford C Walker

CTRs T Turbo Rapana Crighton Harris
Nuff Nuff

WFB Munster T May

Can sub Turbo to cover Munster this week just stuck on what to do cheers


Also D Edwards in CTW


That's a very solid team mate and you've already got a potential AE nightmare in King so getting Dufty wouldn't be an issue. The only issue I can see is that you've pretty much got the bare minimum for a run home team and you need some depth. I would look at beefing up your backs somehow – maybe Walker > Dufty and Harris > Teddy via Munster? Who's your last CTW? You've only got 6 named.


Love your work cowboy. Didn't have a great week myself got something like 1050 and managed to have a 0 rank change at 918. Now deciding whether to hold trades for h2h or just go for overall glory. Regret not getting teddy last week as planned due to the whole idea of keeping trades. Considering a surgess to jurbo straight swap, thoughts? 2 trades left


Also want Rapana, but unsure how I can squeeze these two in for the run home. Any ideas with 80k 2 trades and the following team: (FYI can afford Scott-Rapana, Surgess-Fifi but I much prefer jurbo)

CS9 (McInnes)
Gallen, JDB (Surgess, Taulau)
Mannering, Lolo, N Brown (Taupau, Tohu, nuff)
Widdop (Pearce)
C Walker (D Walker)
Chricton, Turbo, Semi, Mansour (Dedwards, Scott, nuff)
Munster (RTS)


Depends how much you want the keyring mate haha. Surgess is a weekly risk at this stage but you seem to have solid depth. Saving the trades would be ideal but going Surgess to Jurbo would eliminate any risk in your 17. If you want Rapana you could always ignore the forward trade? I think it would be beneficial to leave 1 trade up your sleeve just in case mate.


Was possibly thinking Surgess to Jurbo this week and then RTS to Rapana next week? Think the warriors decline is well on its way. Can't resist the trade button I don't think.


Hey Coach,
Have really enjoyed your blogs and interaction this year. Do well in the last few weeks, man.

Current team 3 trades left 259K in bank
McCullough Brailey
Gallen Papalii, Kaufusi, Taupau
Taumalolo Crichton, S Burgess, Fuiamono, Lane, Saunders
Cleary, Lamb
Widdop, C Walker
Rapana, T Trbojevic, Edwards, D Walker, Munster, MWZ, Mansour
Slater, Dufty

Out – McCullough In Smith
Out – Edwards In Vaughan
1 trade & 17K left


Thanks Westy. I hope I'm keeping it fresh and interesting. Let me know if there's anything new you'd like me to add.
Mate those trades are gold. I don't think I can offer a better alternative to be honest. Macca to Smith is perfect while Edwards to Vaughan is solid. Panthers have a nice run so you could always try to upgrade MWZ or Fui if you can? Not sure you'd have enough coin to get someone solid though.


Hey Coach,
You're right. I'm all out of cash. There's enough stored in existing players that if one goes down, I can get a reasonable replacement. If multiple keepers fail though, it's "good night nurse!"


1 trade left with $391,900 available in salary cap. This is my team:
Smith (McInnes)
Gallen J Turbo (Burgess,Fifita)
Taumalolo Taupau Mannering (Brown, CHN, Lane)
Cleary (Reynolds)
Widdop (Watson)
Crichton Croker Holmes Edwards (Peachy, MWZ, Scott)
Turbo (Munster)


Nice Jay, you can bring in another keeper as an upgrade in a future round or keep that trade for protection.


I'm doing afl supercoach.. and its finals for them i think i'll have to wait and see when it gets closer for our NRL finals 🙂


i was thinking gillett for lane but yeh not 100% sure what keeper to get as well


Epic team Jay. I like the idea of holding the trade because you've got some fairly good depth and your seventeen this week is strong.


Tossing up myself this week if I ditch SBurgess for Vaughan or Papalii soon.

I think I will hold a week cause my team is listed as :

Fifita, Gallen, James (R1)
Taumalolo, Mannering, J Trbo, De Belin (R2), SBurgess (R3)
Moylan (D Walker benched and wont play this week for me unless Moylan is out)
Rapana, Cricton, T Trbo, Leuila (Tohu, Scott on the bench)
Tedesco, RTS (R4)


Good call on holding Featherbeard because your team is strong. It sucks that Moylan is the last game this week, you could do a sneaky Moylan > Cleary trade?


G'day Coach

Season-long listener, first time caller!

I'd like to begin by saying i only came across your blog this year and you quickly became my favourite supercoach pundit. Quality analysis, very well written, offered with a wonderfully generosity of spirit.

Congrats to you on your season's performance so far. You might find it disappointing to be slipping in the rankings, but i can only dream of being at 335 or having been knocking on the top-100. Good onya.

I'm looking to nuff one of my CTWs to free up cash to make a couple of upgrades. Who would you choose to slaughter out of: Scott, Edwards, Leilua, Rapana or RTS?

Team at the moment:

CS9 (nuff)
Gallen, Brown (Surgess, JBrom)
Crichton, Gillett, Manners (Jurbo, Lolo, nuff)
Cleary (DCE)
Widdop (Morgan)
Turbo, Rapana, Roberts, Edwards (Munster, Leilua, Scott)
Teddy (RTS)

5 trades left, only 50k in the bank
JBrom is my first upgrade target
Will wait and see re. Surgess
Sitting just inside the top 2000, have given up on overall and really just looking at h2h

Any thoughts would be appreciated!


Hey Hopoate glad you're enjoying the read mate! Thanks heaps for the kind words too and let me know if I can add anything into it to make it more enjoyable.

Haha cheers! It's going to be a little heart-breaking watching my weekly rank slide unless of course my AEs perform well and I can hold the top 1000.

I would Leilua to punt although Scott would be a close second. I really like the Storm's draw and I think Scott should be able to hold his own.

5 trades, WOW!! Swing one or two my way mate. Love how you own Gillett, he's been a great POD for ya and the Broncs draw on the run home is looking solid. I reckon you can creep into the top 1000 before season's end. With 5 trades I'd consider trading out Morgan due to his incredibly tough draw but I'm assuming you may have picked him up in recent times? Could feel like a waste but I think it'll be beneficial. Upgrading JBrom looks to be the next move but you've already got all the guns in the forwards (unless you want to take a gamble on Fifi). You've pretty much got the perfect team because your AE nightmares at the moment seem to be BJ and JBrom (I don't think Scott will be too much of a nightmare with his favourable draw).

If you're looking at H2H you could always nuff out JBrom and take a gamble on a CTW with a a favourable draw like Radradra or French? French has been solid lately and I reckon he'll power home.

Good luck mate and thanks agian for the kind words. Let me know how you go.


Thanks for the reply, Coach! Some great advice…

Yeah, am absolutely KICKING myself for taking a gamble and bringing Morgan in very recently. Was chasing a h2h win (didn't work) and, what's worse, i kicked Keary to the curb and had to watch Keary outscore Morgan massively since the trade. Typical, ay?! So maybe you're right … maybe i should stop throwing good money after bad and punt him instead … will always feel like a wasted trade but i can see why you might think it'd be worth it!!

Would you nuff him out or is there a 5/8 you like the look of? Are you gonna say Milf? 🙂


Haha the least I can do is reply to you mate.

TYPICAL BLOODY SC mate!!! It's annoying as hell isn't it.

The only halves I like for the run home are Widdop and Cleary. Milf should be good too but I guess there's that risk with his 'niggling' injury. If you have those three halves then you don't need anyone else imo mate.


Can't blame yourself for picking Morgan though. He was going great guns without JT there but it's the draw that's the concern.