Lone Scout: How the top 10 teams are shaping up

Okay… What is going on? Just when you need some big scores in your semi-finals, guys like Anthony Laffranchi score 19 and Todd Carney comes up with just 18. <br><br>I guess that is better than the duck egg Beau Scott posted, after the Dragons kept his omission from the team a secret all week. <br><br>Then, if you managed to survive, another Dream Team staple David Stagg goes and gets a shoulder reconstruction, leaving you with a forced trade, or a man short if you’re tapped out. Arrgghh!<br><br>But that’s why this is the business end, people! I know plenty of you are done and dusted in your head-to-head leagues and not in the running for the car, but others are and just what they might do or not do to get the keys remains to be seen. <br><br>How did these coaches beat us? How did they put themselves in contention? Well, let’s look at the top 10 going into the final two rounds and try to work out who looks likely to take the crown. The players in bold are those I believe they will be playing (remember, they might have a trade or two to use and can obviously select anyone in their squad they want).<br><br><b>10. Goaders 10 – Coach: Danny. Points: 17,106</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Gerard Beale, Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Ben Smith, Adam Mogg, Nick Emmett</b>, <b>Bodene Thompson</b>, Kyle Stanley, <b>Terry Campese, Trent Hodkinson, Kris Keating</b>, Ben Barba, <b>Russell Packer, Jason Ryles, Ryan Tandy</b>, Joel Edwards, <b>Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Paul Gallen, Corey Parker</b>, John Sutton, Simon Dwyer.<br><br>Judging by the presence of Lowe and Sutton, it appears like Danny has no trades left; this is going to make it very difficult for him to reel in the leaders. Barring some sort of miracle stretch from lesser lights like Emmett and Thompson, this side will struggle to make a forward move, but he can still field a competitive side. If he gets two massive weeks from Mogg, Packer, Tandy and Keating, he is an outside chance.<br><br><b>9. Gobsmakers – Coach: Scott. Points: 17,115</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney, Corey Norman,</b> Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Chris Lawrence, Ben Smith</b>, Matthew Duffie, Kyle Stanley, Joseph Tomane, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward</b>, Isaac John, Tom Humble, <b>Sam Burgess, Jason Ryles</b>, Aiden Tolman, <b>Andrew Fifita, Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi, Scott Bolton</b>, Micheal Luck. <br><br>Another team in more strife than they’d like. Lowe, Duffie, Stanley, Tomane, John, Humble, Tolman, Stagg, Luck… all out of action this week. They still look capable of a reasonable score but overtaking those above is probably too much to ask. I have highlighted 16 players; however they will start with 15 active guys due to a lack of depth in the wing/centre position. The good news though is there is likely to be only one extra reserve getting points and they’ll be the auto emergency. <br><br><b>8. 53x11 – Coach: Scott. Points: 17,137</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney, Corey Norman</b>, Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Ben Smith,</b> Dane Nielsen, <b>Nick Emmett, Junior Sa’u</b>, Joseph Tomane, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward</b>, Ben Barba, Tom Humble, <b>Sam Burgess, Russell Packer, Jason Ryles</b>, Aiden Tolman, <b>Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Paul Gallen, Corey Parker, Bronson Harrison</b>, Darcy Lussick<br><br>Here is a side that can comfortably field 17 players and is in this up to their eyeballs if they get some luck. For the side to make a big move however, they need some huge points from the likes of Corey Norman, Dane Nielsen, Junior Sa’u and Russell Packer. It’s a shame they appear out of trades, with Ben Lowe’s and David Stagg’s money being wasted.<br><br><b>7. EELS2010 – Coach: John. Points: 17,149</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Luke Burt, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Jarryd Hayne, Luke Lewis, Ben Smith</b>, Anthony Minichiello, Matthew Duffie, Gerard Beale, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward, Trent Hodkinson</b>, Johnathan Thurston, <b>Sam Burgess, Jason Ryles, Trent Merrin</b>, Mose Masoe, <b>Robbie Farah, Nathan Friend</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi</b>, Micheal Luck, <b>Liam Fulton</b>.<br><br>I’ll hazard a guess that coach John is also without trades, thanks to the presence of Johnathan Thurston – but I’d love it if he had even just one. This side looks strong but is weakened by the loss of Stagg and Luck this week. If he could straight-swap Stagg out for another back-rower, he would be better fuelled to make a move. His key players in advancing are probably the Trents – Merrin and Hodkinson. A couple of 60s by Hayne would also help!<br><br><b>6. hellsangels – Coach: Monique. Points: 17,182</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Tom Humble, Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Luke Lewis, Ben Smith, Israel Folau</b>, Bill Tupou, Reece Robinson, <b>Jamie Soward, Trent Hodkinson, Scott Prince</b>, Michael Morgan, <b>Jason Ryles, Shane Tronc, Trent Merrin</b>, Mose Masoe, <b>Robbie Farah</b>, Beau Falloon, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi, Chris Heighington, Andrew Ryan</b>.<br><br>Here is a team with a big chance to score high. If the centre/wingers and halves have big weeks and the props come good, they could potentially make a move. Once again, it is a shame trades appear exhausted, as the wasted cash from Lowe and Stagg would come in very handy indeed.<br><br><b>5. imissyoubeaver – Coach: mic. Points: 17,216</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Gerard Beale, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Jarryd Hayne, Luke Lewis, Beau Scott</b>, Joseph Tomane, Denan Kemp, Cheyse Blair, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward, Trent Hodkinson, Tim Smith, Jason Ryles, Ben Hannant, Trent Merrin</b>, Sam Mataora, <b>Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi</b>, Micheal Luck, Cory Paterson.<br><br>No Stagg, no Luck… “ouch” at a critical time! But maybe, just maybe, there is a trade up the sleeve of coach mic; if so, it could be time for a big assault on the top four. Back-up halves Hodkinson and Smith need big games, while Hannant and Merrin need to score big from the bench. <br><br><b>4. bondzys bashers – Coach: adam. Points: 17,272</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney, Corey Norman</b>, Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Jarryd Hayne, Beau Scott</b>, Matthew Duffie, Gerard Beale, Joe Vickery, <b>Terry Campese, Scott Prince</b>, Ben Barba, Arana Taumata, <b>Luke Douglas, Sam Burgess, Jason Ryles</b>, Mitchell Dodds, <b>Robbie Farah, Matt Ballin</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi</b>, Micheal Luck, <b>Shaun Fensom</b>.<br><br>The “bashers” have been struck down by the loss of Stagg and Luck also – and look out of trades, considering Lowe still sits on the books. This will force them into just 16 active players due to a lack of depth in the centre/wing position. They have the option of using Dodds, should they wish, but I think Corey Norman or Fensom seem a better reserve option. Auto reserve then comes from Barba, Taumata or Dodds. Huge games are needed from Norman, Hayne, Douglas and Ballin. <br><br><b>3. THEG@ME – Coach: Rochelle. Points: 17,316</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney,</b> Shannon McDonnell, Ben Lowe, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Ben Smith, Beau Scott, Alex Glenn, Dane Nielsen</b>, Jason Nightingale, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward, Trent Hodkinson</b>, Tom Humble, <b>Sam Burgess</b>, Aiden Tolman, <b>Ryan Tandy</b>, Mose Masoe, <b>Robbie Farah, Jake Friend</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi</b>, Micheal Luck, <b>Simon Mannering.</b><br><br>Rochelle has been a leader of the competition for many weeks but has begun to slip recently. With seemingly no trades left, the Stagg/Luck problem is rearing its ugly head, meaning the side needs huge efforts from players like Glenn, Nielsen, Hodkinson, Burgess and Mannering.<br><br><b>2. Dalby Desperados – Coach: Danny. Points: 17,334</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Corey Norman, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Jarryd Hayne, Luke Lewis, Ben Smith, Beau Scott</b>, Sam Tagataese, Gerard Beale, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward, Scott Prince</b>, Isaac John, <b>Luke Bailey</b>, Trevor Thurling, <b>Shane Tronc</b>, Mose Masoe, <b>Robbie Farah, Anthony Watts</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Paul Gallen, Corey Parker, Anthony Laffranchi</b>, Micheal Luck.<br><br>Coach Danny has a real chance to reel in the number one spot. Just 68 points behind, the Desperados have the cattle to make a charge. It will take big games from Hayne, Prince, Tronc (although Danny could decide to go with Thurling) and Watts (who is starting at hooker this week). He also has the option of using Norman or Masoe. Only the presence of John suggests trades are exhausted, but if there is one in the bank, Stagg could come out and then Luck might just play next week.<br><br><b>1. The Mighty Lions – Coach: Henry. Points 17,402</b><br><br><b>Todd Carney</b>, Daniel Fitzhenry, <b>Mitchell Aubusson, Luke Lewis, Ben Smith, Beau Scott, Jason Nightingale, Adam Mogg</b>, Gerard Beale, <b>Terry Campese, Jamie Soward</b>, Arana Taumata, Tom Humble, <b>Jason Ryles</b>, Aiden Tolman, <b>Trent Merrin</b>, Sam Mataora, <b>Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith</b>, David Stagg, <b>Nathan Hindmarsh, Paul Gallen, Corey Parker</b>, Micheal Luck, <b>Liam Fulton</b>.<br><br>Okay Henry… how are the nerves? Can you hold on without Luck and Stagg? Do you have a trade left? Or are you hoping Mogg and Nightingale score hat-tricks this week and next? It’s going to take a little bit of luck (no pun intended) to get the keys to the Toyota – but you are the one the others have to catch! <br><br>Good luck to one and all in the charge home! <br>