Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen hit the first ton of the 2022 season as a few big guns hit big scores in round four – but it continued to be a struggle for coaches at the cash cow level.
Papenhuyzen (102) mirrored his efforts from round four last year in crossing for four tries as the Storm ran riot against the Bulldogs.
Eels halves duo Dylan Brown (85) and Mitch Moses (82) were the second and third top scorers of the weekend with the two enjoying arguably their best ever combined performance in an NRL match to completely dismantle the Dragons. Brown in particular is looking like a wonderful point-of-difference option for the 2.6% of coaches savvy enough to have snapped him up.
Tevita Pangai jnr (80) quadrupled his round three offering on the back of seven offloads with his minutes climbing to 70 – something he told NRL.com last week was something he wanted to work on.
Victor Radley (79) had a big game with a try, Payne Haas (78) was the best of the likely captaincy options, just ahead of Damien Cook (77), Cam Murray (73) and Daly Cherry-Evans (67). Sifa Talakai's shift to the centres brought with it a whopping 16 tackle busts and 75 Fantasy points but it may not be a permanent move with Connor Tracey and Matt Ikuvalu set to return soon.
Try of the Week: Round 4
Taylan May (62) has five tries in two games, his teammates Izack Tago (55) and Stephen Crichton (51) are getting 50s on a weekly basis, Jason Taumalolo (61) showed signs of life and Chris Randall (60) is still making great coin.
Will Penisini (56) finally got some clean ball to get his price moving and Xavier Coates (48) got in on the action against the Bulldogs and Max King's (47) minutes bounced back along with his score.
It's probably not quite what his owners were hoping for but Tom Trbojevic (51) had his best game of the year so far with another try and close to 300 metres as his price drops start to slow down.
Hopefully Talatau Amone (-2) owners were checking the late mail because he became an urgent sell once demoted to the Dragons bench, from where he got just 14 minutes against the Eels – for a return of one missed tackle and nothing else in the stats column.
Billy Smith was another victim of game-day team changes, dropped altogether for Kevin Naiqama.
Kalyn Ponga (6) had an anonymous outing in the Knights' dour loss to the Sharks, Billy Walters (14) is a hold following news of Albert Kelly's injury while Kelma Tuilagi (25) was on track for a good score until a shoulder injury ended his game at half time.
A move to the run-on side did nothing for Leo Thompson's (25) output while his teammate and fellow possible cash cow Brodie Jones (29) was strangely subbed off for half an hour in a worrying sign for his potential.
The first game of the year in which Harry Grant (47 points in 80 minutes), Brandon Smith (29 points in 50 minutes) and Josh King (41 points in 49 minutes with a try) suggests the latter two may not be viable longer term while all three are fit.
Nathan Cleary (44) got through his injury return unscathed and played well but his score wasn't what you were hoping for if you brought him in and made him captain. But the upcoming price drops will be welcome news for everyone else.
Papenhuyzen puts on a clinic
Round 4 Team of the Week
- Ryan Papenhuyzen (102)
- Ronaldo Mulitalo (65)
- Waqa Blake (64)
- Taylan May (62)
- Joseph Manu (58)
- Dylan Brown (85)
- Mitch Moses (82)
- Payne Haas (78)
- Damien Cook (77)
- Victor Radley (79)
- Tevita Pangai jnr (80)
- Siosifa Talakai (75)
- Cameron Murray (73)
- Daly Cherry-Evans (67)
- Jack Wighton (66)
- Jason Taumalolo (61)
- Chris Randall (60)