Lone Scout: Captaincy selection strategy revealed

Have you checked out our new Toyota Dream Team Panel Show? Enjoy our Round 19 episodes here.

How good is it to be past the rep season and know we don’t need to navigate any more byes in the run home to what we all hope will end in glory?! Now the nerves really start to kick in, as trades are depleted or low, and injuries could make or break your shot at a brand new Toyota, or top spot in your head-to-head league.

Coach Rochelle and her team ‘THE GAME’ are sitting pretty in top spot right now – but can she hold out during the final two months?

The ladies appear to putting the blokes to shame, with coach ‘Monique’ in second place with her side ‘hellsangels’.

Coach Aaron (‘Dark Knight’), coach Adam (‘bondzys bashers’) and coach Henry (‘The Mighty Lions’) give the boys some credibility in the final three places of the top five.

I’m prepared to say these five coaches, and many more, are spending hours of their days thinking about their strategy for this crucial last push.

When you don’t have the luxury of trades you need to get any edge you can; in this game that usually comes with your captaincy choice. Throughout the season I have given you advice here and there on who you might want to choose. The usual suspects come up… the likes of Nathan Hindmarsh and David Stagg are usually good for a solid score (Stagg is a worry with his reduced game time, however). Also Corey Parker is generally “the man” and is a nice safe choice, or you can look at others like Robbie Farah, Jamie Soward and Terry Campese.

But what if you had some extra information? What if your friendly Lone Scout had located some trends that could help you out? Okay, okay… you’ve twisted my arm!

(Disclaimer: Lone Scout will take no responsibility for poor captaincy scores from here on in… however, he will take full credit for impressive ones.)

There have been 53 individual scores of 60 or more this season – in other words, 53 chances to post 120-plus points if you picked your captain wisely. All 53 instances of the 60-plus club are listed below.

Now, we know there are players such as Parker, Stagg, Hindmarsh and Farah with multiple entries – but this is not the key component I have focused on when looking to find you an edge. Instead, let us look closely at the teams these tallies have been scored against.

On six separate occasions, both the Titans and the Bulldogs have been on the other end of a 60-plus score, making them the most likely to be the opposition for a high-scorer. The Bulldogs’ run home is the Roosters, Eels, Rabbitohs, Knights, Raiders, Cowboys, Panthers and Sea Eagles. The Titans face the Broncos, Dragons, Warriors, Eels, Cowboys, Roosters, Sharks and Wests Tigers.

So, perhaps you might wish to choose a Rooster or Bronco as your captain this week. If you have Parker, he is the logical choice. Maybe Todd Carney is going to pull out another 77, the year’s best mark, like he did two weeks ago against the Raiders?

The following week you might want to choose from the Eels or Dragons. Maybe Nathan Hindmarsh or Jamie Soward? (You get the drift…)

Now, if the side playing either the Bulldogs or Titans doesn’t sit well with you, perhaps you should look at the team playing the Raiders, Eels or Broncos. These three sides have been on the wrong end of a 60-plus performance five times each this year.

The Raiders play the Knights, Sharks, Storm, Panthers, Bulldogs, Dragons, Cowboys and Broncos.

The Eels play the Panthers, Bulldogs, Roosters, Titans, Broncos, Wests Tigers, Rabbitohs and Warriors.

The Broncos play the Titans, Roosters, Dragons, Cowboys, Eels, Knights, Warriors and Raiders.

So maybe you should look at Kurt Gidley this week, or perhaps Anthony Laffranchi (assuming he’s cleared of a calf injury) or Nathan Friend?

One thing you should definitely try to avoid is picking a captain who is playing the Knights or Roosters. Not once this season has a player scored 60 or more points against these two clubs.

The Knights play the Raiders, Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Bulldogs, Warriors, Broncos, Dragons and Storm.

The Roosters play the Bulldogs, Broncos, Eels, Dragons, Sharks, Titans, Sea Eagles and Cowboys.

With this in mind, perhaps Terry Campese isn’t the right choice as skipper this weekend? The same can be said for David Stagg. Two regular high-scorers playing in huge games. They sound like great captaincy options… but the numbers point away from it. If you have another sound option, consider it.

The other teams that have rarely had a big score put on them are the Panthers and Sharks; both have seen a 60-plus tally once each. The Dragons have conceded a 60-plus score twice.

This means perhaps Hindmarsh isn’t a go-to this weekend… nor is a Sea Eagle like Trent Hodkinson or Matt Ballin.

Well guys, hopefully this helps your decision when clicking on the capital ‘C’ this week and in the weeks to come. All thank-you notes can be directed to the Facebook page – and while I’m not afraid of any blow-ups… they will be ignored!

Good Luck!

Lone Scout

THE 60-PLUS CLUB

77: Todd Carney (Roosters) v Raiders, Rd 17
73: Cameron Smith (Storm) v Warriors, Rd 7
72: Corey Parker (Broncos) v Cowboys, Rd 1
71: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) v Cowboys, Rd 7
70: Terry Campese (Raiders) v Wests Tigers, Rd 4
70: Corey Parker (Broncos) v Rabbitohs, Rd 14
70: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Raiders, Rd 15
69: David Stagg (Bulldogs) v Eels, Rd 8
69: Ben Hannant (Bulldogs) v Rabbitohs, Rd 4
68: Terry Campese (Raiders) v Broncos, Rd 2
67: Corey Parker (Broncos) v Sea Eagles, Rd 13
67: Jamie Soward (Dragons) v Wests Tigers, Rd 16
66: David Stagg (Bulldogs) v Wests Tigers, Rd 13
66: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Raiders, Rd 4
65: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Cowboys, Rd 5
65: Terry Campese (Raiders) v Dragons, Rd 11
65: Paul Gallen (Sharks) v Eels, Rd 4
65: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) v Storm, Rd 13
64: Liam Fulton (Wests Tigers) v Titans, Rd 18
64: Jake Friend (Roosters) v Raiders, Rd 17
64: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) v Bulldogs, Rd 8
64: Cameron Smith (Storm) v Eels, Rd 13
64: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Titans, Rd 18
64: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Panthers, Rd 7
63: Nathan Friend (Titans) v Sea Eagles, Rd 7
63: David Stagg (Bulldogs) v Storm, Rd 12
62: Benji Marshall (Wests Tigers) v Broncos, Rd 17
62: Paul Gallen (Sharks) v Eels, Rd 11
62: Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers) v Bulldogs, Rd 13
62: Terry Campese (Raiders) v Titans, Rd 13
62: Scott Prince (Titans) v Raiders, Rd 13
62: Matt Ballin (Sea Eagles) v Storm, Rd 6
62: Matthew Scott (Cowboys) v Sharks, Rd 16
61: Jamie Soward (Dragons) v Bulldogs, Rd 10
61: Cooper Cronk (Storm) v Warriors, Rd 7
61: Nathan Friend (Titans) v Bulldogs, Rd 15
61: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) v Sea Eagles, Rd 10
61: Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels) v Broncos, Rd 16
61: James Maloney (Warriors) v Bulldogs, Rd 5
61: James Maloney (Warriors) v Broncos, Rd 3
61: Shaun Fensom (Raiders) v Broncos, Rd 2
61: Shaun Fensom (Raiders) v Eels, Rd 5
61: Jamie Lyon (Sea Eagles) v Wests Tigers, Rd 1
61: Scott Prince (Titans) v Rabbitohs, Rd 2
60: Nate Myles (Roosters) v Warriors, Rd 16
60: David Stagg (Bulldogs) v Dragons, Rd 10
60: Johnathan Thurston (Cowboys) v Titans, Rd 4
60: Anthony Laffranchi (Titans) v Sea Eagles, Rd 7
60: Glen Buttriss (Raiders) v Titans, Rd 13
60: Anthony Laffranchi (Titans) v Bulldogs, Rd 15
60: Trent Hodkinson (Sea Eagles) v Warriors, Rd 4
60: Corey Parker (Broncos) v Storm, Rd 9
60: Corey Parker (Broncos) v Titans, Rd 10