Position Updates

The flexibility of TheBench platform and the removal of position restrictions means that we are able to change player positions mid-season.

The rules that we have set aside are that if a player starts three games in a row in a position they are not named as eligible for on NRLCEO then we will change them AFTER their third game.  This allows us to be responsive fairly quickly to changes, but also removes the need to change players if they are only filling in for a position temporarily due to injuries in their squad. Please note that players starting from the bench do not qualify for position updates as it’s hard to determine their position for sure.

We will also update their positions if they play five games non-concurrently throughout the season in another position. This is to reward those flexible utility players that fill in other positions throughout the year.

With all that in your melon, we now list all of the players who have had positional changes throughout the year so far:

 

Round 15 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Kurt Mann Five-eighth, Winger Centre

 

The following players still require more time in their new positions:

  • Blake Leary has started two games at hooker (Round 7 and 8). He needs another three games starting at hooker for an upgrade.
  • Clay Priest has started two games in the back row (Round 4 and 5). He needs another three games starting at back row for an upgrade.
  • Coen Hess has started one game in the front row (Round 5). He needs another three games in a row there for a position upgrade.
  • Dale Copley has started two games on the wing (Round 12 and 13). He needs another three games for a position upgrade.
  • Daniel Alvaro has started one game in the back row (Round 12). He needs another two games in a row for a position upgrade.
  • Dylan Edwards has started two games at fullback (Round 13 and 14) and if he starts there again in Round 16 he will get a position upgrade.
  • Elliott Whitehead has started two games at centre (Round 1 and 2). He needs another three games for a position upgrade.
  • Jamie Buhrer has started two games at hooker (Round 5 and 6) and will need another three games for a position upgrade.
  • John Asiata has started one game at half back (Round 7). He needs another three games in a row for a position upgrade.
  • Kurt Capewell has started two games on the wing (Round 7 and 8). He needs another three games for a position upgrade.
  • Kyle Turner has started four games in the front row (Round 6, 7, 9 and 10). If he starts there again he will get a position upgrade.
  • Malakai Watene-Zelezniak has started two games in the centres (Round 11 and 12). He needs another three more games for a position upgrade.
  • Matt Moylan has started two game at five-eighth (Round 13 and 14) and if he starts there again in Round 16 he will get a position upgrade.
  • Matt Wright has started two games at fullback (Round 12 and 13). He needs another three games starting there for a position upgrade.
  • Nathan Davis has started one game on the wing (Round 14). He needs another two games in a row for a position upgrade.
  • Paul Carter has started one game in hooker (Round 7).  He needs another three games in a row for a position upgrade.
  • Sione Mata’utia has started one game at halfback (Round 8). He needs another two games in a row for a position upgrade.
  • Waqa Blake has started two games on the wing (Round 7 and 8). He needs another three games for a position upgrade.
  • Young Tonumaipea has started two game at centre (Round 7 and 15) and will need another two games in a row for a position upgrade.

 

Round 14 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
John Asiata Back Row, Five-eighth Front Row
Morgan Boyle Front Row Back Row

 

Round 13 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Dane Gagai Centre Fullback
Mitch Moses Five-eighth Halfback

 

Round 12 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Aaron Gray Centre Winger
Cody Walker Five-eighth Fullback
John Sutton Back Row Five-eighth
Matt Frawley Halfback Five-eighth

 

Round 11 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad Five-eighth Winger
Jaelen Feeney Fullback Half back
Jarryd Hayne Fullback Centre
Kurt Mann Winger Five-eighth

 

 

Round 10 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Dan Sarginson Centre Winger
Josh Asiata Back row Five-eighth
Kevin Naiqama Centre Winger
Michael Morgan Five-eighth Halfback

 

 

Round 9 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Blake Ferguson Centre, Fullback Winger
Joseph Manu Winger Centre
Kerrod Holland Centre Winger
Kodi Nikorima Fullback, Hooker Half back

 

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Round 8 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Brad Takaraingi Centre Five-eighth
Clint Gutherson Five-eighth Fullback
Joe Tapine Front Row Back Row

 

 

Round 7 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Blake Ayshford Centre Winger
Braiden Burns Centre Winger
Brendan Elliot Winger Fullback
Jack Littlejohn Five-eighth Halfback
Joe Wardle Centre Back Rower
Nathan Brown Front Rower Back Rower

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Round 6 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Tyrone Roberts Five-eighth Fullback

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Round 5 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Ryan Simpkins Back Rower Hooker

 

 

Round 4 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Alex Johnston
Winger Fullback
Jack Bird
Centre Fullback

 

Round 3 Changes

Player Current Position(s) New Position
Brenko Lee Winger Centre
Bryson Goodwin Centre Winger
Dean Whare Centre Winger
Felise Kaufusi Front Row Back Row
Josh McGuire Front Row Back Row
Latrell Mitchell Fullback, Winger Centre
Michael Chee Kam Back Row Centre
Moses Suli Centre Winger

 

Round 15 Dream Teams

Round 15 Team of the Week

Wow. What a performance from Angus Crichton! As noted in the top individual NRLCEO performances blog, his 24 point return is the second highest indvidual NRLCEO score of the last four years and one of the best of all time. A hat-trick is not very rare, but a hat-trick for a workhorse sure is! His three tries, four line breaks, workhorse and 214m double metre eater is the second best score of the year.

Not far behind him, and a young forward of the future to watch is the Sharks Kurt Capewell. So far he has filled in on the wing and in the centres for the Sharks but his future lies in the forwards. In the meantime expect him to score a few more tries this year.

I watched Clint Gutherson closer than ever this week as he was the one player chasing me down in my league. It ended in a draw, thanks for asking. The thing about Gutherson is that he is always heavily involved in the game no matter what position he plays. His two tries, line break and 238m double metre eater gave him 13 points for the game.

Lastly, shout out to my old mate Edrick Lee. The former Prince of Belcompton must have lost a lot of confidence since getting the flick from Canberra but his good form in reggies has paid off in first grade. He had a try, try assist, two line breaks and metre eater gave him 12 points – his highest ever NRLCEO score.

 

here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Cody Walker (8)
  2. Edrick Lee (12)
  3. Curtis Scott (9)
  4. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (7)
  5. Alex Johnston (10)
  6. Clint Gutherson (13)
  7. Chad Townsend (5)
  8. Jesse Bromwich (11)
  9. Pat Politini (11)
  10. Scott Bolton (10)
  11. Angus Crichton (24)
  12. Kurt Capewell (19)
  13. Jayson Bukuya (12)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

Despite having the week off, Jordan Rapana is still the top of the pops in the MVP position with 111 points.

Tim Lafai has returned to the despite a very quiet week against the Eels. A line break, line break assist and metre eater was enough to jump above Dylan Walker and back into the centre position once again.

Another to return after a few weeks out is Cody Walker who took advantage of a quiet week for Gareth Widdop and jumped back into the five-eighth position. His 12 try assists for the season put him in third overall for try assists and his 12 line break assists puts him in fifth overall.

Mr Consistent Cam McInnes has found his way back into the Dream Team with a quiet workhorse performance. He is the seventh top workhorse for the year and the best hooker with 13 so far. His try scoring prowess has not been the same as last season, but there’s plenty of time as he fights for top spot with Cam Smith and Andrew McCullough.

Lastly, the man of the hour, Angus Crichton has blitzed his way into the Dream Team with the second highest NRLCEO score of the last four years! He now has seven tries for the season (second only behind Coen Hess for tries for fowards) and more incredibly ten workhorses. No one could have predicted his rise this season!

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 15 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75)
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (72)
  3. James Roberts (81)
  4. Tim Lafai (80) – NEW
  5. Jordan Rapana (111) – MVP
  6. Cody Walker (69) – NEW 
  7. Shaun Johnson (68)
  8. Paul Vaughan (89)
  9. Cameron McInnes (76) – NEW
  10. Felise Kaufusi (86)
  11. Sam Burgess (88)
  12. Angus Crichton (87) – NEW
  13. Paul Gallen (100)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

The best ever individual NRLCEO scores

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On the back of Angus Crichton’s magnificent individual effort against the Titans on the weekend I’ve decided to go back to the record books to look at the best individual NRLCEO scores of all time.

I’ve only gone back as far as 2014 which is when we brought in Double Workhorses and Metre Eaters so it’s not an exhaustive list but it makes for some fun analysis nonetheless.

So starting from the bottom of the top scoring lists, let’s take a look at each of the 12 individual performances who have returned 20 or more NRLCEO points based on our standard scoring.

 

Anthony Milford – 20

versus Titans – Round 18 2014

Remember when Anthony Milford player for the Raiders? As a Raiders fan I certainly do. But home sickness is suck a wicked thing that affects many young Raiders… I remember watching him rip up the Titans scoring two tries, setting up two try assists, one line break, a 184m metre eater and five line break assists including one of the best passes I’ve ever seen. I still love you Milf.

 

James Roberts – 20

versus Titans – Round 7 2017

Normally players find themselves on this list if their own team racks up a massive score, but James Roberts was able to rack up 20 NRLCEO points despite the Broncos only scoring 24 themselves. He was involved in all four tries – scoring three tries himself, setting up his outside man for the other, two line breaks and a 204m double metre eater. It’s the kind of performance you expect from him when you draft him.

 

Robbie Farah – 20

versus Cowboys – Round 6 2014

Sometimes a player can just dominate NRLCEO without their team putting on a massive score. In this game the Tigers won a low scoring game 16-4 but Farah had his hand in everything. He scored a try and put on tries for Blake Austin and Pat Richards. He also had a line break, line break assist, 55 involvement double workhorse and a metre eater (not that we had them available on NRLCEO back then mind you).

 

Ryan James – 20

versus Rabbitohs – Round 13 2016

The NRLCEO double-double is a rate treat. It’s where a player scores two tries and a double workhorse in the same game. Ryan James managed the feat in Round 13 2016 when they pipped the Rabbitohs 29-28. In total he scored two tries, two line breaks, a 66 involvement double workhorse and a 186m metre eater.

 

Suliasi Vunivalu – 20

versus Sea Eagles – Round 24 2016

We’ve seen plenty of good wingers over the last ten years but not since Israel Folau has a winger made such an instant impact but then kept it up. The Storm have found a gem in Vunivalu and his 23 tries in 21 appearances in his debut year proved that. In Round 24 last year he took the Sea Eagles to the cleaners with four tries in the first half as well as two line breaks. He finished off with 170 running metres giving him a metre eater to cap off a great day out.

 

James Tedesco – 20

versus Sea Eagles – Round 2 2016

Those of you who drafted Teddy will remember how well he started the season last year and this was his best NRLCEO performance of all time. A hat-trick against the Sea Eagles as well as a try assist, three line breaks, line break assist and 170m metre eater helped him on his way to 50 NRLCEO points after just five rounds. He ended up as the fullback of the year but dropped out of the MVP race.

 

Cameron Munster – 21

versus Roosters – Round 14 2016

When the Storm put to the Roosters to the sword 46-0 you would normally expect the names Cronk, Slater and Smith to be the chief destroyers. On this day it was Cam Munster who did the damage. He only scored on try himself, but had three try assists, four line breaks, three line break assists and a massive 234m double metre eater!

 

Jordan Rapana – 21

versus Titans – Round 6 2017

Jordan Rapana may have made his debut for the Titans as a teenager, but he came back to bite them in Round 6 this year. He had spiders on him in this game scoring three tries in the first 24 minutes and almost scoring a fourth. He also had a try assist, three line breaks and 251m double metre eater. As someone who had him in my team I was crying out for more but 21 points ain’t bad!

 

Semi Radradra – 22

versus Dragons – Round 2 2017

There have been so many great Semi performances and this isn’t actually the one that comes to mind most, but whenever a winger scores four tries it’s pretty memorable. I just felt like he could of done more! Nevertheless four tries, four line breaks and a 159m metre eater is a great result!

 

Nathan Merritt (23)

versus Eels – Round 22 2011

You can see from the picture above how many tries he scored that day. In a 56-6 romp of the Eels, the Rabbitohs flyer crossed the stripe five times and managed three line breaks along the way for a scintillating 23 NRLCEO points. Unfortunately there were no metres recorded during that game to assess whether he could have added a metre eater to that tally, but it’s safe to say he was in space plenty of times that day!

 

Valentine Holmes – 23

versus Knights – Round 10 2016

This game was apparently so memorable that the Sharks made some specific memorabilia for it. That’s about all I can remember of this game from memory which ended up 62-0 to the Sharks. Holmes scored three of his four tries within the first 26 minutes of the game and would have had many scouring through the record books. He finished with four tries, three line breaks and a 204m double metre eater. Interestingly he only had to make three tackles that day.

 

Angus Crichton – 24

versus Titans – Round 15 2017

Crichton was the inspiration for this article and an inspiration for the whole season for the Rabbitohs. The former GPS rugby student has dominated with his open running this season and the Titans copped the full force of it. Three tries, four line breaks, a 42 involvement workhorse and 214m double metre eater gave him an incredible 24 NRLCEO points and the best ever performance by a forward.

 

Jordan Rapana – 27

versus Tigers – Round 8 2016

This is Rapana’s second entry on this list and no player has scored more points than Rapana since the start of last year. The guy is a point scoring machine. His 27 point haul came against the Tigers in a 60-6 drubbing in Canberra. He scored four tries that day, had a try assist for Joey Leilua, five line breaks and a 215m double metre eater. It’s hard to see this score ever getting beaten but I’ll never say never.

 

Terry Campese – 29 (49)

versus Panthers – Round 22 2008

As a Raiders fan this game was one of the weirdest of all time! We went to the stadium expecting a close game akin to the 20-16 victory over the Panthers at the start of the year. At the end of the game we were hoarse and in disbelief. The Raiders put on 74 points including the fourth highest individual point scoring haul of all time for Terry Campese (36) behind only the great Mal Meninga (38) and Dave Brown (38 and 40) back in 1935. Not only did he score four himself, but he had three try assists, three line breaks and three line break assists giving him the most ever NRLCEO points in one performance. Add to that the fact he had ten conversions as well as that gave him 49 points in just one week! It will never be broken.

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

Round 14 Dream Teams

Round 14 Team of the Week

A new name for our Player of the Week which I’m excited about. Connor Watson played majority of the game at hooker and while most comps do not allow backs to score workhorses, he completed the requirements in this game with 48 involvements. His 15 points in this game takes his season total to 16 so it’s easy to see that he has plenty of talent but just isn’t getting the game time. Bravo to our designer Scott on this caricature too. It’s outstanding!

There were three players who finished just behind Watson with 14 points each. The first is Matt Moylan who tore apart the Raiders on Saturday night in Bathurst. He broke my heart and stole my cat too. It was too easy for him as he scored an easy try, two try assists, a line break, three line break assists and just snuck over the line for a metre eater.

The amazing try scoring streak of Felise Kaufusi continued against the Sharks. Scoring his second double for the year and sixth try in total for the year it looked a little too easy as he ran off Billy Slater to score the winning try. Along with a workhorse lite and two line breaks, he’s now on 78 points for the season and is well entrenched in the Dream Team. The fact he can play prop too has made him invaluable.

Queensland reject Aidan Guerra has left his run a little too late to get picked for Origin but it looks like he’s picked himself up a very tidy contract in Newcastle. It was Guerra’s first ever career double try scoring effort and his highest ever individual NRLCEO score. He propped that score up with his ninth workhorse of the year.

Lastly, just loving the resurgence of the Uate Party too!

 

Here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Matt Moylan (14)
  2. Akuila Uate (12)
  3. Blake Ayshford (10)
  4. Dylan Walker (8)
  5. Nick Cotric (10)
  6. Connor Watson (15)
  7. Johnathan Thurston (12)
  8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (10)
  9. Cameron Smith (11)
  10. Martin Taupau (8)
  11. Felise Kaufusi (14)
  12. Aidan Guerra (14)
  13. Matt Gillett (10)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

 

Jordan Rapana has been our NRLCEO MVP for six out of the 14 rounds so far this year and he is streaking ahead. Scoring his 50th career NRL try in just his 66th game over the weekend, his battle with Josh Mansour was a classic. He is now 18 points ahead of his closest rival in Paul Gallen.

Manly star Dylan Walker has nudged his way into the Dream Team ahead of Tim Lafai by putting Uate over for another couple of tries. His all round performance this year includes 7 tries, 8 try assists, 9 line breaks, 4 line break assists and 10 metre eaters.

Storm workhorses Cameron Smith and Felise Kaufusi both find themselves back in the Dream Team after a couple of weeks out.

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 14 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75)
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (72)
  3. James Roberts (81)
  4. Dylan Walker (77) – NEW
  5. Jordan Rapana (111) – MVP
  6. Gareth Widdop (67)
  7. Shaun Johnson (68)
  8. Paul Vaughan (79)
  9. Cameron Smith (71) – NEW
  10. Felise Kaufusi (78) – NEW
  11. Sam Burgess (88)
  12. Jake Trbojevic (77)
  13. Paul Gallen (93)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

Rookie of the Year XIII – Half way

We are half way through the season now and so we can start to see trends. At the beginning of the year I identified who I thought would be some of the top rookies to keep an eye out for this year. Only two of the players who I wrote about have kicked on to anything substantial

Those of you in keeper leagues will be keen to keep an eye on the names which appear in the Rookie XIII so far at the half way point of the season.

For this article, a rookie is defined as any player who played less than six games in the 2016 NRL season.

 

1. Kalyn Ponga

27 NRLCEO points

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It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this kid is going to be a superstar. You just need to listen to Ted wax lyrical about him on the Moneyball Podcast each week. The most disappointing thing is that we haven’t seen more of him in the top grade. The Cowboys have kept him out of the top grade for over half the games so far but in six games he has still managed to amass 27 NRLCEO points through three tries, a try assist, six line breaks, three line break assists and two metre eaters. An average of four points per games puts him in elite company.

 

2. Nick Cotric

33 NRLCEO points

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It’s so hard to believe that Cotric is still only 18 years old. At the beginning of the year we thought he was stuck behind Jordan Rapana, Edrick Lee, Kato Ottio and a host of other talent in the backs at the Raiders. Then we heard from the Raiders Media Manager and fellow CEO Ben Pollack that he drafted him in Round 8 of his draft. It was clear from those in the know that he was going to be great. He’s played every game of first grade this year and while his return is just six tries so far, it’s his tackle busting ability that has every raving about him. With the ability to play centre and fullback as well he is a lock in the Raiders for the next ten years.

 

3. Brian Kelly

49 NRLCEO points

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I picked this guy up just before Round 1 on a rumour that he was going to snaffle a starting spot and possibly kick for the Sea Eagles and am very glad I did. Sure, he’s not kicking goals but centres are hard to pick and he’s right up there with the best this year playing in every game for the Eagles and being just one point short of a half century at the half way mark. It’s been a real all round performance with five tries, four try assists, six line breaks, three line break assists and six metre eaters.

 

4. Moses Suli

35 NRLCEO points

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The Tigers centre didn’t escape the media attention early in the year no thanks to the $1,300,000 contract he signed over three years before he made his first grade debut. He scored a try on debut, scored for Samoa in the mid-season test and has a whopping nine metre eaters already. Great work for a young centre/winger making his mark on the NRL.

 

5. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad

22 NRLCEO points

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A YouTube sensation from New Zealand. We’ve seen plenty of those before, but this kid looks to have class. From a rugby league perspective anyway – that hair is atrocious. Four tries in four games including two doubles is nothing to sneeze about though. Add in a couple of line breaks and two metre eaters and he’s already averaging more than four points per game.

 

6. Brock Lamb

30 NRLCEO points

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Brock Lamb played three games early on in the season last year but then wasn’t seen in the top grade again. I remember seeing a few U20’s games on Fox Sports though and Lamb was a cut above the rest. Two tries in 12 games so far is good but seven try assists is where he has really thrived. He looks a very solid option for the Knights into the future as they build a squad of youngsters.

 

7. Matt Frawley

15 NRLCEO points

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Rookies should not have beards as solid as Matt Frawley. I’m also not a fan of watching a player cut from the Raiders system and then kicking on to bigger and better things. My first impression of Frawley was that he was a solid organising half, but he’s also shown that he’s got a pretty good turn of pace and a good running game too.  With 16 NRLCEO points from nine games so far it’s an unspectacular fantasy return, but he looks like he could retain the halves spot for now.

 

8. Bunty Afoa

8 NRLCEO points

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I had a good look at Bunty Afoa last year. After scoring two workhorses in 2016 in just four games I felt like he would go on to even bigger and better things this year. Throw in a dual position status for him and he looks even better. Sadly he hasn’t been much better from an NRLCEO perspective with just two workhorses so far this year, but he’s still the best performing rookie prop.

 

9. Jayden Brailey

41 NRLCEO points

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Young Brailey was one rookie I had my eye on from the start. I knew he had the potential to be class but he’s certainly exceeded my expectations – particularly as a young workhorse. He has eight workhorse in 12 appearances for the Sharks so far. The biggest hurdle for him to kick on as an NRLCEO player is James Segeyaro. In the four games he has missed a workhorse, two were when Segeyaro started off the bench. Averaging 40 tackles a game is a fantastic start for a rookie and makes him the third highest scoring rookie this year.

 

10. Morgan Boyle

6 NRLCEO points

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Known as “The Big Cheese” due to his upbringing in dairy country, NSW, Boyle has made a smash impact on the NRL for the Titans. He hasn’t made a huge impact on NRLCEO scoring as yet with just one workhorse and a metre eater so far, but we know that props take a few years to make a real impact on NRLCEO, but he is one to watch for the future.

 

11. Coen Hess

50 NRLCEO points

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Coen Hess just sneaks into our rookie qualifications having played five games in first grade in 2016. He also snuck in a game in 2015, but he’s made his biggest break onto the scene this year. With nine tries in twelve games, seven line breaks and two workhorses, he has been the most exciting NRLCEO rookie to watch – hands down. He surely won’t be able to keep up this try scoring ratio but ten tries in your first full season in the top grade is a superb return.

 

12. Sam Stone

26 NRLCEO points

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Sam Stone has always wanted to be a Knight. Even after they sacked his old man and former Knights coach Rick. At just 19 and 194cm, he is tall timber but still looks too slender to be a force in defence. Despite that frame he has racked up four workhorses in ten games and is averaging 27 tackles per game. He’s also crossed for two handy tries showing that he knows how to run a good line too.

 

13. Corey Harawira-Naera

35 NRLCEO points

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I can honestly say I hadn’t heard any hype about CHN before he made his debut in Round 4. In just eight first grade games he has already shown that he is a super replacement for James Fisher-Harris. Four tries, two work horses, a try assist, line break assist and seven line breaks later and he has already locked up 35 NRLCEO points. They may come in inconsistent bursts, but if you picked him up from the spud pool then he has well and truly given your team value already.

 

Who has been your NRLCEO rookie of the year so far? Let me know in the comments below.

Round 13 Dream Teams

Round 13 Team of the Week

Jordan Rapana was one again the best player on the field in a beaten side. His 17 points was his third best score of the year and came through two tries, a try assist, three line breaks and a 255m double metre eater. It’s hard to keep writing superlatives about this bloke. His runaway try in the 69th minute was typical of him – something from nothing.

It was magical to watch Billy Slater back to his best – particularly when I had him as captain in my Supporters League! He was out to show the Maroons selectors that they were mad not to pick him and he’s spot on. His 17 points was his highest score since Round 15 2014 and came through two tries, two try assists, a line break, two line break assists and a metre eater.

Blues captain Boyd Cordner followed up his 54 involvement workhorse for NSW on Wednesday night with his second highest NRLCEO score ever on Saturday. His 42 involvement workhorse was topped with two tries, a line break and a metre eater. Let’s hope he keeps this up through Origin!

Martin Taupau eats forward packs when he is fired up and he made the massive Raiders pack look like Under 8’s. He dominated the Raiders in Round 8 with 157 metres but was even better this time around with a try, line break, workhorse and 217m double metre eater.

Special mention to Mitch Rein who made his first appearance in Panthers colours on the weekend and scored a double for good measure. He was just three involvements off topping it off with a workhorse.

 

Here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Billy Slater (17)
  2. Josh Mansour (11)
  3. Tautau Moga (10)
  4. Benji Marshall (8)
  5. Jordan Rapana (17)
  6. Gareth Widdop (11)
  7. Cooper Cronk (10)
  8. Martin Taupau (13)
  9. Mitch Rein (9)
  10. Felise Kaufusi (8)
  11. Boyd Cordner (15)
  12. Corey Harawira-Naera (9)
  13. Jason Taumalolo (9)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

We have our first centurion for the year! Congratulations to current MVP Jordan Rapana for achieving the mark at the exact halfway point of the season. With 13 tries he leads the try scorers, has the most line breaks, sits second on the most metres gained and sixth on the list of metre eaters.

After a short three week injury lay off Gareth Widdop is back in the Dream Team once again. He has an incredible strike rate of eight tries in just nine games which puts him in the top six try scorers this year. An amazing record for a half that isn’t named Anthony. He needs just two more tries to eclipse his best ever season of 9 tries in 2015. I’m backing him in with interest!

Fresh off being named the top workhorse at the halfway point of the season, Josh McGuire is back in the team again too. With 14 workhorses he is equal top with Aiden Tolman but has played one less game. He hasn’t missed a workhorse all year and is averaging 53 involvements per game. An easy workhorse that you can bank on each week.

There are no other new entries to the Dream Team and we wait to see if Paul Gallen will be the next centurion which looks more than likely.

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 13 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75)
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (72)
  3. James Roberts (79)
  4. Tim Lafai (74)
  5. Jordan Rapana (102) – MVP
  6. Gareth Widdop (67) – NEW
  7. Shaun Johnson (59)
  8. Paul Vaughan (75)
  9. Cameron McInnes (68)
  10. Josh McGuire (68) – NEW
  11. Sam Burgess (79)
  12. Jake Trbojevic (73)
  13. Paul Gallen (89)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

By way of comparison, here is the predicted Dream Team that over 100 CEOs voted on at the end of last year.

Round 12 Dream Teams

Round 12 Team of the Week

The bye rounds are always tough and you can often get away with a good captaincy choice or just an outstanding choice from one player. If you had any of the player below then you likely went part way to winning.

The Player of the Week this round was Alex Johnston with 12 points. Although I didn’t watch this game and his second try was somewhat controversial. Watching the replay it shouldn’t have been paid, but that’s footy. Johnston is quietly working his way back up the try scoring ladder and this was his third double for 2017.

The next best NRLCEO scorer was Jordan Rapana who racked up a 23 minute double and looked likely to go over for a third on a number of other occasions. That means with one more round to go until the half way point he has just over half the number of tries he scored in 2016 (20).

 

Here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (8)
  2. Alex Johnston (12)
  3. James Roberts (10)
  4. Josh Hoffman (8)
  5. Jordan Rapana (11)
  6. Clint Gutherson (5)
  7. Shaun Johnson (10)
  8. Aiden Tolman (8)
  9. Jake Friend (9)
  10. Junior Paulo (6)
  11. Angus Crichton (9)
  12. Tepai Moeroa (9)
  13. Paul Gallen (9)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

 

As we hit the Origin period many of the best and brightest players start to fade from the Dream Team as they miss three games. For the first time in ten years Paul Gallen will not be joining them and this gives him an even greater opportunity to remain as MVP. He was barely on 20 involvements at half time this week until he went into overdrive and ended up with a workhorse and a massive 237m effort for a double metre eater.

In second place, Jordan Rapana was back to his menacing best against the Roosters with two tries, a line break and a metre eater. He had 14 tackle breaks in this game and has 96 total for this year. He literally looks like he has spiders on him at times.

The only new new entry this week is the re-entry of Shaun Johnson. In his best performance of the year he reminded us of why the term Shaun Johnson Roller Coaster was invented. He was back on the way up with a try, two try assists, line break and line break assist.

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 12 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75)
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (64)
  3. James Roberts (75)
  4. Tim Lafai (72)
  5. Jordan Rapana (85)
  6. Cody Walker (59)
  7. Shaun Johnson (55) – NEW
  8. Paul Vaughan (71)
  9. Cameron McInnes (64)
  10. Ryan James (63)
  11. Sam Burgess (79)
  12. Jake Trbojevic (69)
  13. Paul Gallen (89) – MVP

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

Round 11 Dream Teams

Round 11 Team of the Week

Tim Lafai… Tim Lafai. Yep. Rings a bell. Had a pretty unspectacular first season at the Dragons last year but more memorably scored 91 NRLCEO points including 11 tries for the Dogs in 2014. Well he’s back in a big way and was the top scoring player for the week with 14 points.

The next highest scorer was Jason Taumalolo with 13 points. The most significant thing about this return is not so much the number of points he scored (he’s scored 13 or more on three other occasions) but the number of involvements! 67 tackles and runs combined is ten more than his previous highest of 57 in Round 2 this year. It gave him his first ever double workhorse and added to his pretty regular double metre eater too.

Three players scored 12 points but the most significant was Kalifa Faifai-Loa. In his first game back in first grade since Round 19 last year he scored two tries, two line breaks and be a metre Eater for a 12 point return. It was his fourth ever double and second highest ever NRLCEO score.

 

Here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Jack Wighton (9)
  2. Kalifa Faifai-Loa (12)
  3. Tim Lafai (14)
  4. Dylan Walker (11)
  5. Akuila Uate (10)
  6. Anthony Milford (12)
  7. Ash Taylor (9)
  8. Andrew Fifita (9)
  9. Api Koroisau (9)
  10. Ben Matulino (9)
  11. Jake Trbojevic (12)
  12. Trent Merrin (11)
  13. Jason Taumalolo (13)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

We have a new Most Valuable Player! Hands up if you thought Paul Gallen was still up to it? Now keep your hand up if you thought he’d be the top scoring player after 11 rounds. With no Origin duties this year it gives Gallen a great opportunity to go even further ahead at the top of the leaderboard too. Gal has only missed a workhorse once so far when he had 37 involvements but it’s his metre eater tally that’s really valuable. 11 metre eaters including three doubles so far with only three games where he missed out of 150 metres or more.

There are just two new entries to the Dream Team this week. Firstly, let’s start with Cameron McInnes. Plenty of people talked up his chances of going big in NRLCEO this year down to the fact the Dragons were only likely to carry one hooker, but even after having him in my team last year I talked down his chances. Silly me. With McCullough going down injured this round he’s taken the opportunity to go ahead. His workhorse total sits at 10 from 11 rounds with just one miss (38 involvements) but it’s his work around the ruck where he’s kicking ahead. Two tries, five try assists, two line breaks and four line break assists add 24 points to take his total this year to a very handy 64.

The next entry has been in and out, but it’s worth recognising Jake Trbojevic’s try scoring prowess this year. He scored four tries in total in 2016 and three in 2015 so to see his total at four tries already is very promising. His metres gained have also improved and if he misses out on Origin selection that will be very handy for Jurbo owners.

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 11 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75)
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (64)
  3. James Roberts (65)
  4. Tim Lafai (72)
  5. Jordan Rapana (74)
  6. Cody Walker (58)
  7. Mitch Pearce (49)
  8. Paul Vaughan (71)
  9. Cameron McInnes (64) – NEW
  10. Ryan James (63)
  11. Sam Burgess (75)
  12. Jake Trbojevic (69) – NEW
  13. Paul Gallen (80) – MVP

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

Captains Call: Round 11

Hello all, welcome to the 11th edition of Captains Call.

Who had Blake Ferguson and named him Captain?

Anyone?

I didn’t think so.

That was Ferguson’s biggest individual score for over two and a half years. If you had big Sam Burgess as your Captain, you would have been pretty happy with his output as well.

Looking back at last round and what an abysmal five I picked apart from Croker.

Josh Jackson joined the Close But No Cigar Club after racking up 39 involvements. What didn’t help Jackson’s cause was all the stops in play due to tries or errors. Those contribute massively to a player’s involvements and make even the most reliable or workhorse miss out as we saw in the Titans and Storm game.

Boyd Cordner didn’t fair any better, only having 37 involvements but you have a look at the game, 58 points scored which means many stoppages, less chance for Cordner to get the involvements needed.

Suliasi Vunivalu – who would have thought in a game where a massive 74 points were score that he could only manage one try assist, two points, that’s it.

Nathan Cleary didn’t fair much better with only his goal kicking making him look good. Six from six with the boot I would easily take after the Panthers first half. I did see what appeared to be a try assist to Cleary for one of Isaah Yeo’s tries but wasn’t given by Champion Data. Can’t win them all.

Jarrod Croker was the pick of them this week notching up two try assist, one line break and two line break assists on top of his three goals. Very good return for a Raiders team that looked very flat and out enthused by their bogey team in the Knights.

Last round before the byes start to take effect. Be sure to pick wisely because if you are one of those lucky unlucky ones who have a fair few Origin players you will be desperate to win this week as your wins might be very rare for a little while.

 

Have a look at the five I’ve reviewed this week and don’t forget to vote or leave a message. There might be someone you think I’ve missed in the first 11 rounds.

 

Paul Vaughan (safe bet)

I can’t deny this bloke anymore. He is now on the Dream Team for a reason. Vaughan has only missed two workhorse tries this year, first round where many players missed and still managed 39 involvements and round nine where he only played 32 minutes. Expect another work horse this week and against a flimsy Warriors second half defence he could cross the line again.

 

Sam Burgess (safe bet)

I know I’ve reviewed him before but coming into the last round before Origin you must start picking the best and this bloke is right up there. Burgess is starting to look very good. The advantage with Burgess is he won’t be playing Origin so he can easily be your Captain every week the Rabbitohs play.

 

Bevan French (risk and reward)

He has been out for five weeks so expect French to come out firing. Playing against a deflated Raiders team he could be in for a field day and could be the attacking boost the Eels have been looking for.

 

Anthony Milford (risk and reward)

Milford has been a consistent scorer for the last six rounds and comes up against a poor Tigers team who have a few players already looking to next season and one who seems like he would go sulk in a corner if her could. On the flip side the Broncos are looking good and with Origin impending there are a few players who want to push their claim for an Origin berth including Milford. This game could get very ugly if the Tigers aren’t careful.

 

Jordan Rapana (risk and reward)

Has been quiet of late but I can’t see him being down for long. Much soul searching will be happening in the nation’s capital and I can see the Raiders come out firing against the Eels. Rapana was instrumental in the Raiders win against the Eels earlier in the year and I expect the same to happen this weekend.

Who are you picking as captain for Round 11?

Round 10 Dream Teams

Round 10 Team of the Week

Forgive me while I am self-indulgent for a moment. The player of the week hurt me badly this week. With 19 points Blake Ferguson ran me down like a freight train and I lost after having a 24 point lead heading into the last game so I’m not exactly stoked about this entry. Nevertheless the balding brute on the Roosters sting is on fire.

The next best player was Rabbitohs lock Sam Burgess. Bursting into the Dream Team with an 18 point return, big Sammy B scored two tries and was just six involvements off a double-double (two tries and double workhorse). Many claimed early that he had made the big achievement but sadly for those who had him he fell short but it’s still an outstanding return.

The in-form Paul Vaughan is not only getting the attention of the Origin selectors but he’s also setting the NRLCEO world on fire too. With an all round performance of a try, try assist, line break, line break assist, workhorse and metre eater it was his highest NRLCEO total ever.

There were four more players who scored 13 points this week in what was a high scoring round all round. But full credit to Sione Mata’utia who was outstanding against the Raiders.

 

Here is the rest of the Team of the Week:

  1. Billy Slater (11)
  2. Blake Ferguson (19)
  3. Kerrod Holland (11)
  4. Konrad Hurrell (10)
  5. Daniel Tupou (12)
  6. Michael Morgan (13)
  7. Brock Lamb (9)
  8. Paul Vaughan (14)
  9. Api Koroisau (13)
  10. Ryan James (9)
  11. Sione Mata’utia (13)
  12. Isaah Yeo (13)
  13. Sam Burgess (18)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).

 

Overall Dream Team

We have a new Most Valuable Player but sadly it will be short lived for Tom Trbojevic. The lanky fullback from the Northern Beaches was involved in the most awful injury over the weekend and I am gutted for him. The king of the Metre Eater with 11 so far this season he was even ahead of RTS at this point. He was also the top of the line breaks with 10. We all wait with baited breath to see how long he will be out for.

The next new entry to the team is Cody Walker who has been in the team but returns after nine points on the weekend. He now has 11 try assists for the year and leads the overall league and is second for line break assists.

The next entry is Dragons big man Paul Vaughan. He’s not the usual workhorse type that has lead the scoring in NRLCEO but with eight workhorses, three tries and six metre eaters he has been a revelation this year. His highest ever total was 67 in 2015 when he played a total of 24 games. He is going to smash that this year and higher rep honours await.

Last year’s second highest scorer Ryan James is in the Dream Team for the second time this year since Round 1. He’s only missed a workhorse once this season and has found his try scoring form again recently with three tries in four weeks. Onwards an upwards for James as he targets his face on next year’s NRLCEO Season Guide.

Two other back row stalwarts return to the team again in Sam Burgess and Josh McGuire. McGuire is the top workhorse of the year so far and is the only player with 12. There are four more on 11 and four more on 10 including Burgess.

 

Here is the Dream Team at the conclusion of Round 10 (with total points in brackets):

  1. Tom Trbojevic (75) – MVP
  2. Suliasi Vunivalu (57)
  3. James Roberts (60)
  4. Tim Lafai (58)
  5. Jordan Rapana (67)
  6. Cody Walker (56) – NEW
  7. Shaun Johnson (43)
  8. Paul Vaughan (63) – NEW
  9. Andrew McCullough (62)
  10. Ryan James (59) – NEW
  11. Sam Burgess (65) – NEW
  12. Josh McGuire (58) – NEW
  13. Paul Gallen (72)

 

Points based on: Tries (4), Workhorses (4), Double Workhorses (8), Metre Eaters (2), Double Metre Eaters (4), Try Assists (2), Line Breaks (1), Line Break Assists (1), 40/20s (1), Field Goals (1), Sin Bins (-2) and Send Offs (-4).