Matt Trodden,, NRL.com
It’s now time for Dream Team coaches to put pedal to the metal after the announcement of round one teams on Tuesday. There were plenty of surprises that will provide opportunity for coaches to snap up bargains and offload stars who missed out on a starting spot.
Each Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the teams named and give you the rundown on what this means for the wonderful world of Dream Team.
Roosters v Rabbitohs - Allianz Stadium 8:05pm 7/3/13
While there were no major surprises from a Dream Team perspective, there are some notable selections for this game.
At the Roosters, Sonny Bill Williams’ ($322,500) selection on the bench means he probably won’t be playing big minutes, while Boyd Cordner ($269,800) or Luke O’Donnell ($263,800) could miss out altogether. Daniel Tupou ($135,800) could be a great pick-up after being selected on the wing, while Sam Moa ($171,900) is another cheap option who has grabbed a starting spot.
At the Rabbitohs, Chris McQueen ($220,700) stands out as a good selection as a starter, although the selection of Michael Crocker ($308,800) on the bench could alter McQueen’s game time. Jeff Lima ($204,600) might not be an ideal pick after failing to gain a starting spot, but Ben Te’o ($290,700) is certainly one to look at with the ability to play in your centres.
Broncos v Sea Eagles - Suncorp Stadium 8:05pm 8/3/13
With the Broncos naming their side late last week, many coaches would have already analysed selections and made their changes accordingly. Corey Norman ($300,300) has grabbed the fullback spot and as such will retain his value despite losing out to Scott Prince ($323,300) for the five-eighth job. David Stagg ($279,900) won’t play enough from the bench to give value, but Josh McGuire’s ($333,200) selection to start at prop makes him a great acquisition. Lachlan Maranta ($133,700) will also start on the wing and should be a decent cash cow.
The Sea Eagles team presents some very good options on the cheaper end of the scale. Justin Horo ($169,100) is an almost must pick in the back row after being named to start with Glenn Stewart ($305,100) not due back for around six weeks, as is Brenton Lawrence ($252,600) starting in the front row, although Jason King is expected back in round two. David Gower ($137,700) and Jesse Sene-Lefao ($101,600) are two unknowns on the bench who could be great value if they perform well and don’t forget Jamie Buhrer ($235,700) who also starts in the back row.
Eels v Warriors - Parramatta Stadium 5:30pm 9/3/13
There were a couple of surprises at the Eels, most notably Jacob Loko ($127,700) gaining a starting spot in the centres while Mitchell Allgood ($234,600) and Matt Ryan ($290,600) should probably be avoided after being named on the bench.
At the Warriors, Elijah Taylor ($300,300) could be very good value after being named at hooker, while coaches should be careful, with Shaun Johnson ($335,800) who was a surprise selection after suffering an elbow injury. Ben Henry’s ($260,300) relegation to the bench probably means he is one to stay away from. Thomas Leuluai ($214,900) will also start at five-eighth, and being a dual position player (HOK/HLF) is also a great buy.
Bulldogs v Cowboys - Bluetonge Stadium 7:30pm 9/3/13
At the Bulldogs, Steve Turner ($205,900) has been named to make his return to the NRL following a knee injury at fullback, but the selection of Drury Low ($127,700) on the wing presents a big opportunity for those wanting a good cash cow. Martin Taupau ($136,400) starts at prop, but David Klemmer ($101,600) is probably the better cheap front-row option despite Des Hasler’s inclination to play his starting forwards for big minutes.
Up in Townsville at the Cowboys, plenty of people will jump off Rob Lui ($132,200) after he was named on an extended bench with Ray Thompson ($231,200) partnering Johnathan Thurston ($384,400) in the halves. English recruit Scott Moore ($171,900) is an unknown at hooker, but probably won’t play as many minutes as we’d like with Rory Kostjaysn ($224,500) on the bench. Tariq Sims ($161,800) was named on the bench as well, but is cheap enough to stay on for the time being.
Panthers v Raiders - Centrebet Stadium 2:00pm 10/3/13
For the Panthers, no major surprises at the foot of the mountains, with Dean Whare ($212,400) getting the first crack at fullback, and if his performances there for the Sea Eagles are anything to go by, he’ll be a good selection in your Dream Team. Lewis Brown ($197,300) is another who is great value after being named in the second row (being a dual 2RF/CTR player), while Nathan Smith ($130,600) will start at lock after the departure of Luke Lewis.
For Canberra, Jack Wighton ($215,400) starts in the centres and Reece Robinson ($272,900) at fullback after Josh Dugan ($365,000) and Jarrod Croker ($324,500) were ruled out with injury. Sam Williams ($258,400) could be a good contributor as he is likely to take over the goal-kicking duties in Croker and Dugan’s absence.
Storm v Dragons - AAMI Park 3:00pm 10/3/13
No real surprises for the Storm following the World Club Challenge, with Mahe Fonua ($127,700) and Tohu Harris ($116,100) both great value after gaining starting spots on the wing and in the back row respectively.
For St George Illawarra, Gerard Beale ($162,300) is the best cheap option at fullback, but Bronson Harrison ($259,600) and Matt Prior ($281,400) should probably be avoided after failing to crack the starting 13. Tyson Frizell ($258,800) might be one to look at for your centres after he was named to start in the back row.
Sharks v Titans - Sharks Stadium 6:30pm 10/3/13
Michael Gordon ($285,200) was confirmed as Sharks fullback, and will probably take over the goal-kicking as well making him very good value for money. Andrew Fifita ($379,500) could be a good selection early in the year after getting a starting spot, but Chris Heighington ($335,100) and Anthony Tupou ($266,100) should be avoided after finding themselves on the bench.
The Titans have some great value in Brad Takairangi ($173,600), Albert Kelly ($156,300) and Ben Ridge ($226,300) after they were all selected in the starting 13. Dave Taylor ($389,900) is on the bench with Luke Bailey ($279,500) and both should be avoided early on.
Knights v Tigers - Hunter Stadium 7:00pm 11/3/13
Travis Waddell ($194,800) gains a starting spot at hooker for the Knights, and should probably be jumped on before either Matt Hilder ($217,100) or Danny Buderus ($272,900) return from injury. Beau Scott ($250,100) should play fairly big minutes on an edge after gaining a starting spot. Captain Kurt Gidley ($231,300) is also back and determined to put an injury-riddled 2012 behind him. He’ll play at halfback and take on goal-kicking duties - very well worth the value.
The Tigers have named Jack Buchanan ($101,600) to start in the front row, and while they have other options on the bench, he is a worker and would be very good value even when Aaron Woods ($383,500) returns from a knee injury. Jacob Miller ($127,700) is also one of the season’s best cash-cows after winning the race for the vacant halfback spot. Braith Anasta ($265,300) could also be a value buy after being named in the back row, but available for selection in your halves.