SuperCoach NRL study guide: Sharks
CRONULLA won their first 0remiership in 2016 and seemed to have gone from one drama to the next in the corresponding seasons.
Premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan is no longer at the club, and neither is the club's leading try-scorer from last season Valentine Holmes.
The Sharks have fielded two of the big names of SuperCoach of not just the last few years, but in the history of the game.
Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita have been set-and-forget stars for a lot of us SuperCoach's over that time.
Last year, the Sharks as a club finished with a total of 18,896 SuperCoach points which was second best in the NRL and Fifita was the team's SuperCoach Player of the Year.
At this stage of the pre-season SuperCoach legend Gallen has only 1 per cent ownership.
PREDICTED ROUND ONE TEAM
1.Matt Moylan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Sione Katoa, 6. Chad Townsend, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10.Matt Prior, 11. Kurt Capewell, 12. Scott Sorensen, 13. Paul Gallen, 14. Kyle Flanagan, 15. Aaron Woods, 16. Jayson Bukuya, 17. Jack Williams
Who's Left: Wade Graham, Aaron Gray, Billy Magoulias, Briton Nikora, Blayke Brailey, Ava Seumanufagai, Bronson Xerri, Braden Uele, Cru Topai-Aveai, Isaac Lumelume.
Ins: Shaun Johnston (Warriors), Josh Morris (Bulldogs)
Outs: Valentine Holmes (NFL), Jesse Ramien (Newcastle), Edrick Lee (Newcastle), Joseph Paulo (St Helens), Ricky Leutele (Toronto), Trent Hodhinson (Manly), Luke Lewis (Retired), Kurt Dillon (Souths)
Andrew Fifita (634,300 FRF)
2018 average 67.8
No matter what you think of Andrew Fifita's big personality, he is quite simply the best prop in the game. The Sharks firebrand has shown incredible consistency over the last three years. Finishing last season with a tally of 1559 points, Fifita edged out Manly powerhouse Martin Taupau by seven points to finish as the number one prop in SuperCoach. That total was good enough to see the Tongan International finish with the seventh best overall score, which is the second time in the last three years he has finished in the top 10 for overall points scorers.
Fifita has had three consecutive seasons where he has played 22 premiership matches or more and over that time he has a 68PPG average. He's PPM hasn't dipped under 1.15 for the last five years and his MPG seem to have settled on the 55-57 mark. Fifita not only has three of the top six scores by a Cronulla player, but has also been the Sharks leading SuperCoach player on three occasions over the last six years. SuperCoach Stud.
Shaun Johnson ($603,000 HFB, 5/8)
2018 average 64.4
After making his debut in 2011 for the Warriors and playing eight seasons for the club, Johnson has been picked up in the off-season by the Cronulla Sharks. If you have played Shaun Johnson before in your SuperCoach team, you have probably uttered the phrase " I'll ride the Johnson rollercoaster". I've been guilty of it, but with season averages over the last five years of 69PPG, 71PPG, 69PPG, 72PPG and last season's 64PPG, he has been anything but inconsistent. When Johnson is firing, he can rattle up big scores, as evidenced with four of the top nine scores from a Warriors player in SuperCoach. He has also finished as the top SuperCoach player at his old club three times. At a new club that will have a new coach for the season, it will be interesting to see if Johnson can maintain his status as the number one halfback in SuperCoach.
Matt Moylan ($483,500 FLB, 5/8)
2018 average 51.7
Moylan is the tip to replace Valentine Holmes as Cronulla's fullback for the 2019 season. Last year the former Panther, played 19 of 21 games in the 5/8 position at the Sharks and he finished with a SuperCoach stat line of 1085 points at a PPG average of 51. Moylan filled in at fullback for a two game cameo last year for scores of 83 and 22. If we look back at his 2017 stats, Matt played fullback in 10 games and had a PPG average of 62 over that run of games. That is in-line with the numbers Moylan was producing when he was the permanent fullback for Penrith in 2015 (61PPG) and 2016 (63PPG). With the fullback position loaded with a number of SuperCoach guns, I would look to be playing Moylan from the 5/8 position. He is a risky play to start the year, but if he bounces back to his previous fullback numbers, there is good money to be made.
Scott Sorensen ($347,2800 2RF)
2018 season average 37.2
Sorensen is a Cronulla junior who made his debut late in 2014 as the Cronulla club had the dark cloud of the ASADA investigation hanging over its head. Scott spent two years at South Sydney and one season at Canberra before moving back to the Sharks in 2018. Last year he had an average of 56MPG and had a PPG average of 37. This year he has a chance to lock up one of the back row positions in the Sharks forward pack due to the retirement of Luke Lewis and the injury to Wade Graham. In the six games that he played 80 minutes last season, Sorensen averaged 53PPG. With a PPM of 0.66, he would need to be playing the 80 minutes each week before hopefully being upgraded to a season keeper for the run home.
Blayke Brailey ($168,100 HOK)
Yet To Debut
Brailey is currently behind older brother Jayden for the first choice hooking spot at the Sharks, but has a chance to unseat his older sibling with some strong performances during the trials. The former Australian schoolboy was named in the 2017 NYC team of the year along with Cronulla teammates Kyle Flanagan, Briton Nikora, Billy Magoulias and former teammate Jessie Ramien. Brailey has come through the Sharks junior nursery and last season played for the Newtown Jets in the Intrust Super Premiership where he was awarded the Best and Fairest for the Jets.
Kyle Flanagan ($213,300 HFB, 5/8)
2018 average 38 (1 game)
The former coaches son, has had a boom on him as he has navigated his way through the juniors program down in the Shire. The young gun had a phenomenal 2017 NYC season where he set the single season points scoring record of 360 points (20 tries, 140 goals). Like Blayke Brailey, Flanagan spent the 2018 season in the Intrust Super Premiership for the Jets, where he finished as the second top scorer with a tally of 169 points. Kyle starts just above bottom dollar after making his debut at 5/8 in round 24 last season. Flanagan will start behind new recruit Shaun Johnston and Chad Townsend.
Josh Dugan ($497,400 FLB, CTW)
2018 average 53.1
Josh Dugan is one of the most maligned players in SuperCoach for the fact that he just can't seem to stay on the field. Dugan has only appeared in more than 20 premiership matches in a season twice, since his debut for the Raiders back in 2009. His highest SuperCoach score (133 points) dates back to round 21 of the 2013 season, when he was playing fullback in his first season at St George. His highest score when playing as a centre so far, was from the 2014 season with a score of 121 points. With Matt Moylan tipped to be the fullback at the Sharks, Dugan will spend the year in the centres and if that is the case, he is definitely my pick as the No Go-Zone player from this roster.