Cameron Munster can go as large as anyone.
Cameron Munster can go as large as anyone.

SuperCoach NRL: 10 things we learned Round 9

THE Magic Round was truly magical, and I was lucky enough to watch all games on Friday and Saturday live and there were some great displays of attacking footy which generally is great for SuperCoach as well! Let's just get into it.

1. I spoke too soon about Paul Gallen

To be honest I wasn't surprised at all that Gallen decided to show me up straight after I had written him off for the year, with an improved, almost "Gallen-esque" performance (just missing his old offloads!) in his 64 minutes on the field on Thursday. Of course, the minutes were only there because of Fifita's and Prior's nights coming to an early end, but 65 minutes in pure base stats, plus three tackle busts and of course - his late game match-winning try AND conversion in his final game at Suncorp Stadium. He could be a potential Round 16 bye coverage option… keep an eye on ol' Gal!

2. Jai Arrow likes playing the Sharks

He played 67 minutes and scored an impressive 70 points without any major attacking stats, but who could forget his 110 earlier this season where he ran for almost 300 metres!? And then his game last year against the Sharks? He scored 86. That's a three-game average against the Sharks of 88.67 points per game! Who knows what it is, but Jai just churns through the work - maybe it's the Sharks also liking to tough it out up the middle (lead by Gallen!). But either way, Arrow has to be a captaincy option next time he plays the Sharks.

Jai Arrow of the Titans.
Jai Arrow of the Titans.

3. Ryan Matterson could be a must-have for Round 16

Matto 'overcame' his shift to five-eighth last week to score 74 points, and he had a day out at Magic Round as he raised the bat for the first time as a Tiger. It's not just the two try assists, linebreak and linebreak assist - it's the 63 points in pure base that props up his score. Stints in the middle during his 80 minutes obviously does help improve the base stats, but that just makes him all the more tempting as a weekly top 17 option.

4. Anthony Milford could be a real POD option for Round 16 as well

2015 and 2016 seem so long ago now but Milford still has the ability. Two games with Dearden and he looks more comfortable and more than happy to let the young halfback take charge of the organisation of the team - keeping his mind clear to play what's in front of him and trust his instincts. All great news for Broncos and SuperCoach fans alike, as his first 10 games of 2016 yielded an average of 88.7 points per game (almost unmatched for such a prolonged period of time for a non-goalkicking half). With no Round 12 coverage, it's tough to grab him this week but it's almost a perfectly convenient opportunity to watch and see for another two weeks before deciding if he's a must-have from Round 13 onwards.

Anthony Milford had a blinder against Manly.
Anthony Milford had a blinder against Manly.

5. Kalyn Ponga is one of the safest captaincy options now

Since moving to fullback in Round 4, Ponga has averaged 82.67 points per game with a low score of just 64. That's remarkable consistency and his involvement in attack is so much better than the first three rounds at five-eighth. However, it's not just the attacking stats, but his average of 44.5 points per game in pure base stats, base attack stats and goalkicking. That's a strong average for someone with as high a ceiling as Ponga, and it'll be only a matter of time before he breaks out and has a 150+ score - it could easily be this season!

6. Zac Lomax (or maybe Mary McGregor) cannot be trusted

He's in 22% of SuperCoach teams but Lomax is a risky proposition for your CTW position each week. In theory he should be a safe play - goalkicking centre in a highscoring team. But as evidenced by him being taken off after around 50 minutes this week, and replaced with Euan Aitken for the final 30 minutes, nothing is safe while Mary McGregor is at the helm at the Dragons. His score wasn't horrible at all but considering his 45 included a try and several goalkicks, he was on the way to a decent 60+ score.

7. Cameron Munster has one of the highest ceilings in SuperCoach


Many players go through entire careers without scoring 100+ points in SuperCoach. The 140+ club is elite already but Munster is one of the few players who has gone 140+ against multiple teams - four different teams in fact after his last-start 159 this week. He scores tries, sets them up, busts tackles for fun and isn't afraid to throw his body into the defence - and now he's shown his ability to go large at five-eighth as well as fullback! Looking at the Storm's run-home, he's a great option for the second half of the season. Owners will have to decide if he's a sell over Origin though…

8. Ryan Papenhuyzen is possibly the greatest PPM gun of all time

Papenhuyzen scored 51 in 12 minutes last week at a ridiculous PPM of 4.3. He backed that up this week with a 31 minute cameo (at fullback after Hughes was knocked out) that netted 119 SuperCoach points at a PPM of 3.8! Two tries, three try assists, four linebreaks and two linebreak assists in just 43 minutes of game time is one heck of a stat line! Now, despite the -79 breakeven he is a really hard trade-in if he's still on the bench, because he could easily play 12 minutes for eight points, one minute for two points or six minutes for 10 points and make very little cash relative to the cost of your trade to get him; however, with Hughes likely out for this week, a starting fullback spot beckons and the cash grab could well and truly be on as a result. Unfortunately he is available at fullback only so not everyone will be able to afford him, but for the lucky ones…

Ryan Papenhuyzen of the Storm dives to score.
Ryan Papenhuyzen of the Storm dives to score.

9. Josh Papalii has stepped up his game

Big Papa has played 60, 66 and 62 minutes in his last three games and this solid game time looks set to continue with Tapine and Bateman still out of the starting backrow for the immediate future. This week he scored a mammoth 64 points in pure base stats in those 62 minutes, with another 10 points in base attack stats for a total of 74 points in base and base attack stats - impressive stuff indeed. We've missed the boat unfortunately, with State of Origin looming and his price already starting to move back upwards after a season low at $511,700…

10. It's 2018 all over again at the HOK position… but worse

We suspected this might be the case but Damien Cook - WOW! He has already stretched a lead of 145 points over the next best hooker in Robbie Farah, with Cameron Smith a further three points behind. For context, Cook finished 246 and 266 points ahead of his next closest 'competition' at hooker last year - despite Smith playing one extra game and McInnes with the extra two games. Cook may have played more than a third of his expected games in 2019 but if you don't own him, you can't be without him much longer - he's a must-have sooner rather than later and you'll find yourself falling further behind the Cook-led pack ahead!

Bring on Round 10

With injury comes opportunity and the last week saw some havoc arise - TLT this week is going to be massive so make sure you keep an eye out for the Teams Analysis and Podcast that follow shortly after the team lists drop.