SuperCoach NRL: 10 things we learned at the NRL Nines
Breakout rookies, veterans who've still got it and young guns with speed to burn. The NRL Nines had a bit of everything for fans, but more importantly we also gained some essential insights to help SuperCoaches plan ahead of Round One.
1) Tristan Sailor was a standout performer in the Dragons side, showing off how skilful he is with the ball in hand. While he had previously indicated he would probably start the season playing halves in reserve grade, with Jason Saab likely to start on a wing, coach Paul McGregor may need to reconsider.
2) Sticking with the Dragons, and Zac Lomax looks to be guaranteed the fullback jersey to start the season, with Matt Dufty being rushed from the field to hospital after suffering a broken cheekbone. While Lomax was already set to win the starting role, he seems an even safer pick now for SuperCoaches with enhanced job security.
3) The 'Hammer', Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow certainly left his mark on the NRL Nines, with some incredible try scoring runs throughout the tournament. While currently outside the Cowboys top 30 squad, they do still have a spot available so it is still a possibility we see him play in 2020. The 'fastest man in the NRL' was a standout for the Cowboys, outrunning opposition players seemingly without even running at full pelt at times. Just a player to watch for now, but a must-have cheapie if he plays.
4) Tipped to get a bench utility role at the Tigers, Billy Walters looked very impressive with limited opportunities, scoring a try with his first touch of the tournament and coming close again with his second touch. While his minutes may be limited for SuperCoach he could still be a potential cheapie option with his high upside and scoring potential.
5) One of the standout performers of the tournament, Viliame Kikau looks nearly unstoppable in this format, with three tries to his name. More importantly he looked a bit trimmer, fresh and unaffected by injury, one of the main reasons why he was a SuperCoach POD before this tournament. However he is a constant threat with his barnstorming runs and may be someone SuperCoaches should take another look at.
6) While Kurt Mann seems like the favourite to start the season at five-eighth for the Knights, Mason Lino has surely come back into contention, looking the more impressive of the two in the Nines. This would have big SuperCoach implications if he started, ruling Mann out as a cheapie option, as well as likely taking the goal kicking duties off Kalyn Ponga.
7) Apisai Koroisau looks to have settled perfectly back into Penrith, forming impressive combinations with his teammates, including Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai and Viliame Kikau. He scored two tries in their controversial quarterfinal loss to the Dragons and played a role in several others. He is currently a POD choice at hooker but at his low price he may come into more teams after this weekend. Still not guaranteed to play 80 minutes for the whole season, he comes with some risk, but could still be in-line to make a fair bit of cash.
8) Injuries to Ethan Lowe and Paul Momirovski may have huge SuperCoach ramifications, bringing some more clarity around the roles of Jaydn Su'a and Tommy Talau. Su'a now seems guaranteed a starting edge role at the Rabbitohs and seems like an absolute must for SuperCoaches at just over $303k. At the Tigers, Tommy Talou seemed like he would miss out on a starting spot after the arrival of Josey Leilua, but the Momirovski injury brings him back into cheapie contention.
9) Anthony Milford was a POD option with just eight per cent ownership, however those SuperCoaches will likely be going back to the drawing board after he picked up a hamstring injury. While it doesn't appear serious, he was immediately ruled out for the remainder of the tournament and could be in some doubt for round one.
10) While the Dragons probably shouldn't have made it to the Nines Grand Final after their controversial quarterfinals win, but you can't deny the talent of Cody Ramsey. Currently at the club on a train and trial deal, he has almost certainly earned himself an NRL contract with his breakout performance. Again, he isn't a locked and loaded cheapie yet, but if he makes the Dragons top 30 squad he'll be a good option at some stage.
Honorouble mention goes to the player of the tournament Scott Drinkwater, who has surely locked down the five-eighth jersey for the Cowboys with his outstanding performances. The kid had numerous try assists, and looked dangerous with every touch. However for SuperCoach he is awkwardly priced at $360,600 and is probably still a player to avoid for now.