Lone Scout's Test Match DT guide
It's rep round, with the NRL taking a break for a week and Dream Team coaches getting a week off from the stresses of injuries, late team changes, low scores and break evens.
Instead, the weekend kicks off with Australia taking on New Zealand at Canberra Stadium, and with it will be the first Test Match Dream Team – with $5000 up for grabs for one lucky Dream Teamer.
It couldn't be easier to play. Pick six players from either the Kangaroos or Kiwis (one in each of the six positions), pick a captain and a vice captain, and you could win it.
Play Test Match Dream Team for your chance to win $5000. Click here to play now!
If you're already playing Dream Team then you're already signed up – just click the 'Test Match Dream Team' link at the top of the page (or log in then click here).
Remember, like All Stars Dream Team, your captain gets triple points and your vice captain gets double, so make those decisions wisely.
But how much planning should you really put into your Test Match team? If you want to get clinical with your team, I'll help you out.
Statistically, of the Kangaroos and Kiwis players, the highest scorers in each position this season are:
- Fullback: Greg Inglis (49.8 points a game)
- Centre: Simon Mannering (39.2)
- Half: Johnathan Thurston (50.2)
- Second row: Sam Thaiday (49.6)
- Front row: Paul Gallen (50.7)
- Hooker: Cameron Smith (68.5)
So, that's the team to pick, right? Not so fast.
One-off matches like this always throw up a surprise high-scorer or two. A winger or centre will score a couple of tries and rack up 60 points. A front-rower will make half a dozen tackle busts and hit 70. A playmaker will have a hand in everything and make 80.
So make some room for the unpredictable in your team. Back Issac Luke to fire up and match it with Cameron Smith (who won't be goalkicking as he usually does for the Storm). Back Justin Hodges to cause havoc for the Kiwis' wide defenders. Or back Shaun Johnson to notch a ton of kick metres while Thurston and Cooper Cronk share the workload for the Aussies.
What I'm saying is, go with your gut. So far in these one-off Dream Team games, there hasn't been a tie for first – meaning every winning team has been unique. Even just picking your six favourite players from the match could end up being the winning combination.
With $5000 at stake, the one smart thing you can do is get as many of your mates and family to play as possible... and get them to promise you a slice of the winnings if their team takes out the prize.