One of the best .... Daly Cherry-Evans
One of the best .... Daly Cherry-Evans

SuperCoach NRL: Halves who will make the difference

SUPERCOACH great Johnathan Thurston has driven off into the sunset in his $400,000 Mustang, but just like the Maroons, there is a bevy of Queensland halves ready to take up the mantle.

What this group of five-eighths and halfbacks lack in cheapies they make up for in guns, PODs and keepers hiding in mid-range clothing.

In a season where you'll likely be starting the season with two Eels/Warriors cheapies, these Queenslanders will help keep your early season points ticking over.

 

Guns

Anthony Milford (Broncos) 5/8 - $511,900

Things never really clicked for Milf in 2018 and he had his worst-ever SuperCoach season - but he still averaged 54.7PPG. The Broncos have a tough opening schedule and he's coming off another shoulder reconstruction but I'm backing Anthony Seibold to return him to the keeper of old when he regularly averaged more than 65PPG. Currently at 11 per cent ownership, he's also in POD territory. Bargain.

 

Heavy shoulder strapping? Nothing to see here. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Heavy shoulder strapping? Nothing to see here. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles) HFB - $577,400

After his Origin performance last year, Queenslanders are reconnecting with DCE. And with an average of 61.7PPG, goalkicking and ownership of just 6 per cent, there's so much to love. With Moloney still nicking points off Nathan Cleary and Shaun Johnson at a new club, he looks a great bet again this season. The big question for me is Des Hasler: will the dour coach bring his SuperCoach-killing ways back to Brookvale?

Kalyn Ponga (Knights) FLB|5/8 - $614,300; Cameron Munster (Storm) FLB|5/8 -$548,500

 

Mid-rangers

Michael Morgan (Cowboys) 5/8|HFB - $409,200

The SuperCoach gods have presented Morgan to us at this very juicy price. Before his 2018 injury shocker, the Cowboy averaged 58PPG across three seasons, which is equals a $543k player. With JT out of the picture, Morgan is the main man in Townsville and he could deliver keeper-like scores if his grand final run in 2017 is anything to go by. Get him in.

Welcome back, Michael Morgan. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Welcome back, Michael Morgan. Picture: Zak Simmonds

 

Ashley Taylor (Titans) HFB - $419,000

The ultimate risk/reward at halfback. He regressed in 2018 (44.8PPG) after two seasons averaging 52PPG. On his day he looks like a future Maroons halfback, and with his goalkicking can get big SuperCoach scores. On others he looks like he'll be playing with Castleford in 3 years' time. The Titans' backline looks the strongest it's been in years, so it will be interesting to see if Taylor can get it firing. Maybe get your heart tested before you slot him in.

 

 

Cheapies

Jake Clifford (Cowboys) 5/8|HFB - $348,100

Clifford's technically not a cheapie but he's just about the closest thing Queensland's got. Ben Barba doing Ben Barba things means the young half has an even better chance of starting in Round 1. He's still got to beat out Te Maire Martin but he'll likely bring the added bonus of goalkicking if he can grab a start. Worth keeping on your watch list.

Jake Clifford could find himself starting at the Cowboys after a certain fullback’s departure. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Jake Clifford could find himself starting at the Cowboys after a certain fullback’s departure. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Tyson Gamble (Tigers) 5/8|HFB - $196,900; Billy Walters (Storm) FLB|5/8 - 168,100; Thomas Dearden (Broncos) HFB - 168,100

Don't take the gamble (sorry), even if I want to put Billy in to honour Kevvie. These three seem down the pecking order at their respective clubs and are more likely to be playing in the state leagues to start the season.

 

Avoid

Cooper Cronk (Roosters) HFB - $351,900

Still the NRL's premier halfback, Cronk's game just isn't suited to racking up SuperCoach points. He's currently owned by 3 per cent of SuperCoaches, which is still too high. Stay away.

Cooper Cronk: great at rugby league, bad at SuperCoach. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Cooper Cronk: great at rugby league, bad at SuperCoach. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Ryley Jacks (Titans) 5/8|HFB - $413,200

A very handy cheapie during his time in Melbourne, Jacks will now ride the pine on the Gold Coast at an eye-watering high price. Michael Morgan is cheaper - go pick him instead.

Kane Elgey (Sea Eagles) 5/8|HFB - $325,000

After a knee reconstruction in 2016, Elgey has struggled to rediscover his NRL and SuperCoach mojos from his debut season, when he averaged 48.4PPG. Maybe a change of scenery can bring a change of fortunes for the former Titan, but Hasler typically isn't the man to coax those types of scores.

 

The Rest

Brodie Croft (Storm) HFB - $424,200; Lachlan Lewis (Bulldogs) 5/8|HFB - $440,800; AJ Brimson (Titans) FLB|5/8 - $462,400

Three promising players whose prices are too high after some good late season form in 2018. They also have a bit of X-factor, but can they push their averages higher? Keep an eye to see how they are scoring through the season.

You’ll be feeling like this too if your SuperCoach strategy revolves around Ben Hunt. Picture: AAP Image/Craig Golding
You’ll be feeling like this too if your SuperCoach strategy revolves around Ben Hunt. Picture: AAP Image/Craig Golding

Moses Mbye (Tigers) FLB|HFB - $461,400; Ben Hunt (Dragons) HFB - $481,300; Corey Norman (Dragons) FLB|5/8 - $448,700

These three are almost the opposite of Croft, Lewis and Brimson. You know what you are getting for the price, but it's just not quite good enough.