Lone Scout: Dream Team season review

Anyone have that empty feeling? Of course you’re no doubt pumped for the NRL finals to start…&nbsp;&nbsp; but there is still a small hole now that the Dream Team season has run its course. But don’t fret – it’s only about six months until we get to do it all again!<br>&nbsp;<br>Season 2010 was our biggest yet, with nearly 100,000 teams and plenty of contenders. A huge congratulations to <b>‘The Mighty Lions’</b> and coach Henry who finished the year as our champion on 18,685 points – just 15 points ahead of <b>‘THE G@ME’</b> and coach Rochelle. <br><br>Henry’s team of Todd Carney, Daniel Fitzhenry, Mitchell Aubusson, Ben Smith, Luke Lewis, Beau Scott, Jason Nightingale, Adam Mogg, Gerard Beale, Terry Campese, Jamie Soward, Arana Taumata, Tom Humble, Jason Ryles, Aiden Tolman, Trent Merrin, Sam Mataora, Robbie Farah, Cameron Smith, Paul Gallen, Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker, David Stagg, Micheal Luck and Liam Fulton just held on over the finals rounds to see him take home a brand-spanking new Toyota!<br><br>Rochelle must have near had a coronary when Jake Friend was a late pull-out against the Cowboys in the last round… surely he would have covered the 15 points she needed to be stealing the keys off Henry… but hey, that is classic Dream Team.<br><br>So looking back on the sides that did well we can come to some basic conclusions. To be successful in this competition you really needed at least five gun second-rowers, two very good hookers, some high-scoring halves – and your centres and wingers needed to be forwards! <br><br>This happens every year, as a handful of centres from the previous season invariably play a lot of second row but the powers that be are going to be very careful when setting up the system next season. You might not find as many options out wide of a similar ilk in 2011!<br><br>The other thing you absolutely had to do was pick up some bargain buys and make some spending money. Players like Todd Carney and Shaun Fensom started out very cheap but most didn’t sell them off so it was almost irrelevant. But others, like Trent Hodkinson, Jason Ryles, Matt Gillett, Adam Mogg, James Maloney, Andrew Fifita, Kyle Stanley… the list goes on… they really helped people stack their side towards the back half of the season. <br><br>And getting stronger over the year was most definitely important. After six weeks we profiled the top sides – teams that had stacked their team in the early weeks, presumably going for some weekly cash and trying to get a jump-start on the competition. In the top three there was ‘killa’, ‘John Stamos’ and ‘Hano’s Broncs’.<br><br>Mike’s team ‘killa’ couldn’t hold on for the year but still finished a respectable 179th. Kerry’s team ‘John Stamos’ was another who couldn’t keep up the early pace; dropping to 190th while Shane’s team ‘Hano’s Broncs’ hit the wall, just like the actual Broncos, and dived to 922nd. So while you do need to start strongly, you have to have some trades and cash in the tank to handle late-season form and injury changes. <br><br>For the record, Robbie Farah scored more Dream Team points than any other player, followed by Paul Gallen, Nathan Hindmarsh, Corey Parker and David Stagg. <br><br><b>Breaking down positional winners we have:</b><br>Hooker: Robbie Farah<br>Front Row: Luke Douglas<br>Second Row: Paul Gallen<br>Halves: Terry Campese<br>Centre/Wings: Mitchell Aubusson<br>Fullback: Todd Carney<br><br><b>Breaking down top scorers in each scoring category we had the following winners:</b><br>Tries: Akuila Uate<br>Goals: Michael Gordon<br>Field Goals: Jamie Soward<br>Try Assists: Luke Walsh<br>Metres Gained: Paul Gallen<br>Line-breaks: Akuila Uate<br>Line-break Assists: Johnathan Thurston<br>Tackles: Nathan Hindmarsh<br>Offloads: Feleti Mateo<br>Kick Metres: Jamie Soward<br>The ‘top’ scorers in the negative categories were (those who lost the most points):<br>Missed Tackles: Chris Sandow<br>Errors: Akuila Uate (quite the contradiction)<br>Penalties Conceded: James Maloney<br><br>And a final word on team strategy; overall or head to head. As you know, my Lone Scout XXV squad was in it for the top spot. I went hard during the bye rounds and hoped to hang on in the end with limited trades. Head to head wasn't my long term goal.<br><br>I managed to climb as high as 116th by Round 12 - but a plethora of injuries knocked me down to 336th by seasons' end (I'm sure I wasn't the only one with injury nightmares!)<br><br>On the other hand, my 'private' team was in it for league glory and, well... it had a little more luck. <br><br>With bye rounds not counting towards the league ladder, I held onto my trades as long as possible.<br><br>The sparing use of trades during bye rounds hurt in the short term, but long term actually allowed me to charge past my own Lone Scout's XXV team and finish in the 100's!<br><br>It just goes to show how the best laid plans can come undone - you just never know which injury or selection drama is right around the corner.<br><br>So, for those who kept asking...here's the starting line up of my 'private (head to head) team' as it stood for the final.<br><br>Todd Carney, Mitchell Aubusson, Ben Smith, Jarryd Hayne, Beau Scott, Jamie Soward, Terry Campese, Luke Douglas, Cam Smith, Jason Ryles, Corey Parker, Nathan Hindmarsh, Paul Gallen. Interchange bench: Anthony Laffranchi, Shaun Fensom, Robbie Farah, Sam Burgess.<br><br>Those of you who joined in on Facebook this season – it was a serious blast and hopefully moving forward into next season we will have even more interaction. <br><br>The competition committee will have a look over the off-season to see if anything needs tweaking, categories need adding etc so if you haven’t already, stop by online and put in your two cents’ worth. <br><br>Thanks again for being part of a massive year. Those of you who won your head-to-head leagues, congratulations! <br><br>I want to give a special mention to my friend Brooke ‘T’ who came from seventh spot in a private league I was in with a private team to win it all. Brooke likes her footy, but I wouldn’t call her a footy guru by any stretch. In a real turn-up, her and her husband Mitchell (finished 6th) stormed through the finals series knocking out everyone above them (including me as minor premier) before Brooke knocked her man off by a solitary point in the grand final! <br><br>Just goes to show you, anyone can play – and win – in this competition. That’s why it is so much fun! <br><br>And then - in another of my private leagues - I'd like to give a shoutout to Scott. The poor bloke was undefeated all season until I pipped him by five points in the final. Them's the breaks, Scotty! (Scott is still cursing Luke Lewis hourly).<br><br>Please spend the off-season telling all of your friends how awesome it is, so next year we can smash all sorts or records – and perhaps bring in even more cash and prizes!<br><br>I hope you enjoyed the year as much as I did! Bring on Dream Team 2011!<br><br>For now, over and out, Scout’s honour etc blah, blah, blah.<br><br>Lone Scout