Reign ends for Dream Team champ

As we approach the final four rounds of the 2012 Toyota NRL Dream Team season, we caught up with Parramatta Eels fan Matt Orrock – who won the overall 2011 prize by a nose last season – to see how he was feeling about his win last year and his chances in this year’s competition.

First up, a big thanks to Toyota, Telstra and the NRL.com team. It was and still is the thrill of a lifetime to win it.

As for how I am going this year: well, I didn't get to put too much time into organising my team at the start of the year as I was renovating my man cave for the NRL season launch party that I held at my home. Rest assured, the party was amazing! 

Unfortunately, my first 25 were average at best. I started the year after week 1 in position 7142. After week 2 I was 7185th. Great start.

I pretty much decided then that I was only going for head-to-head and gave up on any dreams of going back-to-back. 

The truth of the matter is it has turned out to be a bit of a blessing because I could not have possibly put the same time and commitment into it two years running. I was literally mind-screwed after last year. I needed the break. 

The fact that my beloved Eels were being dragged along at the tail of the field helped because I was able to really step back from following it so intensely. My nerves probably wouldn't have handled it anyway!

I was able to make some goods trades and by round 10 I was back up to 208th. But because I had not given myself much chance at the start, I had no trade strategy for the rep/bye period and I had left the old spreadsheets that helped me the year before locked up and unused in the hard drive. 

Subsequently I was not making too many trades during the bye/rep period and am now sitting at 968th. I am hoping my team consolidates now leading into the head-to-head finals because the competition in my private league is as fierce as ever. I'm guessing I'll probably end up somewhere in the top 500 by year's end but more importantly, hopefully with bragging rights over my mates.

I'll be honest with you it would have been amazing if I had have jagged that first 25 to give me a good chance, but it wasn't to be. I am feeling revived and enthused about giving it a good nudge next year though. I have noticed over the last few weeks the freshen-up has made me hungry to really get stuck into it in 2013.

Outside of that, I think the scoring changes have been an absolute success; the game has changed so much but yet is still easily the best fantasy rugby league competition around. It is definitely something I have loved over the past 12 months trying to get the knack of it. 

I also love what you guys have done in regards to the prizes this year and also the way the grand prize will be presented – great improvements. 

Bring on 2013. I cannot wait!

Remember you can manage your Toyota NRL Dream Team and get live scores on your mobile, via NRL.com's FREE mobile site, or by downloading the FREE iPhone app or Android app.