NRL Fantasy Finals recap: Week 1
A look back at the best performers from the first weekend of NRL Fantasy Finals, and a guide on who you should pick for the upcoming weekend's matches.
Roosters v Storm
Best team: Cameron Smith, Tim Glasby, Sio Siua Taukeiaho (c), Jackson Hastings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Cameron Munster (vc).
Last week I suggested taking a few gambles when selecting your selecting your Match Day teams for NRL Fantasy Finals, and this was a game where that tactic would have paid off handsomely. Apart from NRL Fantasy superstar Cameron Smith, the other five players who earned the best Fantasy scores in their respective positions on Friday night were all left-field options. Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Cameron Munster have both been Fantasy success stories this season (and kudos to those of you who took Chris Kennedy's advice and opted for Munster over Fantasy freak Roger Tuivasa-Sheck) but Glasby and Hastings would have been close to the last people you'd expect to top the scores at prop and half respectively. Neither of the Roosters' key attacking weapons James Maloney or Tuivasa-Sheck reached 40 points on Friday night, but expect them to lift if the Tricolours get the job done against the Bulldogs this week.
Bulldogs v Dragons
Best team: Damien Cook, James Graham/Aiden Tolman, Tyson Frizell (c), Josh Reynolds, Josh Dugan (vc), Brett Morris.
A low-scoring grind of a match that went into extra time resulted in a lot of points for the forwards here, with Tyson Frizell, James Graham, Aiden Tolman, Mike Cooper, Damien Cook, Frank Pritchard, Trent Merrin and Jack de Belin all scoring more than 50. Frizell was the best of the lot with 76 points, while Cook scored 67 in tackles (and lost 12 via six missed tackles). Rival fullbacks Josh Dugan (250 metres, five tackle breaks and a try save) and Brett Morris (five tackle breaks, a try save and a try) also impressed, with blond-haired Bulldogs props Graham and Tolman tying for the best front-rower in what was a fairly predictable "ideal" Fantasy line-up. Expect the busy Bulldogs defenders to score well again against the Roosters in week two of the finals.
Broncos v Cowboys
Best team: Andrew McCullough (c), James Tamou, Corey Parker, Ben Hunt (vc), Justin O'Neill, Anthony Milford.
The Broncos' big guns impressed in what was a high-quality contest, with McCullough (76), Hunt (69) and Parker (62) all living up to expectations. Thurston (63) predictably led the way for the Cowboys, with Tamou the only other North Queenslander to score more than 50. Lachlan Coote's quiet backend of the season continued with just 23, while Michael Morgan (28) was also contained and Jason Taumalolo (35) was no match for Parker in the back row. Expect those guys to improve though if the Cowboys put some points past the Sharks on Saturday night.
Sharks v Rabbitohs
Best team: Cameron McInnes, Paul Gallen, Anthony Tupou (vc), Adam Reynolds, Jack Bird (c), Bryson Goodwin
NRL Fantasy rookie of the year Jack Bird top-scored in this one, with Cronulla back-rowers Anthony Tupou, Paul Gallen and Wade Graham all scoring more than 55 Fantasy points in the Sharks' big win. Adam Reynolds remained a solid contributor for the Bunnies with 57, while Bryson Goodwin was the only winger/fullback in the game to score more than 30.