Lone Scout: We want YOUR suggestions!
First things first. Have you seen the latest entry in my Handsome Hammy Video Challenge?<br><br>This one just knocked my socks off. It's the brain-child of Karan Rao & Ryan Sutton and it seems to be a hit with the fans - if you haven't seen it, <a href="http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150183898955360&oid=278813953019" target="_blank">click here now!</a><br><br>So... I was sitting back on the couch the other day, scrawling through some of the old Facebook posts, when one thing became pretty clear… there are hundreds of armchair critics out there with bright ideas and ways they think NRL Dream Team could be scored or run better. <br><br>I am of the opinion we have a pretty darn good system. A competition pretty close to the real deal and one that gives our workhorse players some credit when every other aspect of the rugby league landscape rewards players who swoop in and produce one big play in a match. <br><br>Of course these players are important in rugby league, and they are the reason a lot of us love the sport as the big plays get the heart pumping, but it is somewhat rewarding to have the unheralded guys feature among the focal points. To me, it makes sense that the guys who are most involved make the most points.<br><br>Anyway… some of the ideas are great… others deserve a few uppercuts… but free speech allows us all the chance to be heard – and some of the dumbest sounding ideas in the world are now commonplace in society.<br> <br>Think about it: the first person to milk a cow then drink its milk… what was going on in their mind? I mean, someone in the Titans’ administration thought it was a smart move to sign Steve Michaels last week. Blues selectors thought Paul Gallen wasn’t Origin material and that Jarryd Hayne was best suited to the wing… ideas are funny things and can often become reality, no matter how crazy they sound.<br><br>Anyway, without further ado I wanted to share some of the ideas floating out there and call for further input.<br><b><br>Emergency Reserves:</b> Earlier in the year we threw up a little discussion about emergency reserves and got some diverse ideas. A sample of them include:<br><br>- being able to nominate an 18th man<br>- being able to nominate an 18th man but only use them a select few times before reverting back to lowest scorer<br>- having no lockout until individual game time<br>- using your highest non-playing scorer<br>- using half your highest non-scorers score<br>- averaging all of your non-playing players<br>- not having an emergency reserve at all<br>- having all 25 players selected and just the best 17 scores count<br>- having your top 13 players count and your worst four count, forcing you to choose depth. <br><br>Personally, I'm very wary of allowing coaches to select their own emergency. It's a system that can be rigged by clever coaches. Do you have more to add? <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">Click here to enter the debate on Facebook.</a><br><br><b>Point Scoring: </b>It appears plenty of Dream Team followers love the point-scoring system of the competition for its simplicity and the fact it closely mirrors the actual game of rugby league. But others have differing opinions. Should attacking players be better rewarded? Should there be more categories to gain points? Should points be deducted for more reasons? Let’s take a look at some of the myriad of suggestions: <br><br>- more points for existing attacking categories like tries, line-breaks and try assists<br>- adding categories like try-saving tackles, defusing in-goal kicks, man-of-the-match bonus, Dally M point bonus, multiple tries bonus, minutes played, dominant tackles, 40/20s and tackle-breaks<br>- deducting points for more reasons like missed goals, sin bins and send-offs. <br><br>I guess it’s about finding a balance; you don’t want to give too many points for certain categories as it makes this a real ‘fantasy’ competition rather than one closer to the reality of the game. I'm also very wary of incorporating subjectivity with categories like man-of-the-match and 'try-saving tackle'. Who decides which plays qualify? To me, it has to be 100% statistically based. One stat I would like to see included is 'tackle busts'. This would reward the strong ball-runners like Anthony Watmough and Greg Inglis.<br><br>So do you agree with these potential changes? Do you have better suggestions? <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">Click here to enter the debate on Facebook.</a><br><br><b>Trades: </b>Managing trades is one of the toughest yet most important parts of being a Dream Team coach. Trying to win this competition without making a trade is like trying to beat Brett Morris over 100 metres while piggybacking Petero Civoniceva… impossible! The most basic request is for more trades. But other suggestions include:<br><br>- free trades through the representative season<br>- free trades if a player is injured for the season or long period<br>- and unlimited per-week trades, while keeping a maximum of 30 overall.<br><br>Personally, I'm happy with the current scenario. Enough trades to stay comepetitive regardless of injuries, but not enough to make week-to-week trading viable. Can you add value to this discussion? <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">Click here to enter the debate on Facebook.</a><br><b><br>NRL Finals:</b> With NRL Dream Team finishing up after Round 26, some have suggested a finals series Dream Team competition where you can re-select a new team from just the teams left. No trades, no changes, just trying to pick who might go through to the grand final and riding the wave to victory. <br><br>These are just a few suggestions out there in cyberspace. I’m sure there are plenty more floating around and I want to hear them. <br><br>Just remember that this competition isn’t meant to be super easy. It is meant to have you thinking hard and balancing a lot of variables, just like a regular NRL coach.<br><br> Sometimes things happen and you are forced to survive as best you can. Wayne Bennett was forced to pull in a kid who had played a full game of Toyota Cup when Dan Hunt went down in the warm-up recently; all due respect to the kid, but he probably wouldn’t have been first choice if Bennett had a full list to choose from. <br><br>There are a few different point-scoring systems out there, but what would be the best balance? Are trades doing your head in? <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nrllonescout" target="_blank">Get your tongues wagging on Facebook…</a><br><br>By the way… if you’re a head-to-head player you should be starting to think about how you will go about stacking your side for the back-end of the year; it might mean making some tough trades in the coming weeks… but you’ve got to be ruthless! Keep an eye out for the last few moneymakers… someone like Kyle Stanley (Dragons) needs only one more appearance to get you some cash… but will he get the game in time with Matt Cooper returning? And what about young Michael Morgan (Cowboys)? Is he a long term option or a flash in the pan?<br><br>If you're low on trades, it may be time to ignore the cash cows and start focussing on stacking your team with quality and depth. Just something to think about!<br><br>Enjoy the weekend!<br>Lone Scout