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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Around The Grounds!

In this blog we will have a brief look at the previous and upcoming rounds of the NRL. In round 17, who's performances stood out for the right or wrong reasons and which players made the GDS Squad of the round. With round 18 of GameDay Squad Rugby League not too far away, who should coaches consider starting and which players have positive matchups. Have a read below and gain an edge over your competition. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.


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GDS Squad of the week for round 17


HOK - Reed Mahoney (Bulldogs) 79 points

MID - Cameron McInnes (Sharks) 93 points

MID - James Fisher-Harris (Panthers) 71 points

MID - Victor Radley (Roosters) 67 points

EDG - Mitchell Barnett (Warriors) 83 points

EDG - Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Dragons) 74 points

HLF - Mitchell Moses (Eels) 88 points

HLF - Jahrome Hughes (Storm) 73 points

CTR - Bradman Best (Knights) 125 points

CTR - Dane Gagai (Knights) 51 points

WNG - Greg Marzhew (Knights) 79 points

WNG - Dominic Young (Roosters) 71 points

FB - James Tedesco (Roosters) 91 points

BENCH FWD - Jaydn Su'A (Dragons) 71 points

BENCH FWD - Jacob Liddle (Dragons) 67 points

BENCH HLF - Matt Burton (Bulldogs) 70 points

BENCH BACK - Daniel Tupou (Roosters) 69 points

BENCH BACK - Braidon Burns (Cowboys) 54 points


Squad Total 1376 points

How many of these players did you start?


The performance of the week

This award goes to Bradman Best. Best put in an amazing performance as he helped the Knights to a 34-26 win over the Eels. The two tries he scored were both long range as the ball went to ground near the Knights try line and Best swooped on the loose ball before going the length of the field to cross over. On attack he had 2 tries, 2 try assists, 2 line breaks, 2 line break assists, 10 tackle breaks and 1 offload for 74 points. Best is now ranked 6th in the GDS centre rankings with an average of 50 points. He has made the squad of the round on four occasions and is the only player to have two scores of 100+ points in GDS. Well done to all those coaches that started him this week. With centre being such a volatile scoring position, Best has now proven that he can offer coaches a very high ceiling as well as some consistency since round six. I don't see any reason why he can't continue averaging 50+ points a game and becoming a reliable starting centre for GDS coaches.


Riser

This award goes to Mitchell Barnett. Barnett has been in great form over the last month and hasn't had a score of less than 50 points. His average since round 10 is 66 points and this makes him the top performing edge forward in GDS over this time. Barnett was averaging 59 minutes a game from round 1-8 but since then he is averaging 72 minutes per game. He now seems to be the leader of the Warriors pack and he has the ability to play on the edge or the middle. Who knows if Barnett will continue to play 70+ minutes a game but while he does, he should be considered as a decent starting option for GDS coaches.


Faller

This award goes to Tohu Harris. Harris was once one of the elite MIDs in GDS, but it finally looks like time has caught up with the veteran. Harris's fall in GDS coincides with the rise of Barnett. The start of Harris's decrease in GDS scoring production started in round 10 against the Roosters where he picked up a hand injury. This then side-lined him for a couple of games. It might not seem like a big injury but prior to this Harris was averaging 74 minutes for an average of 52 points. Since returning from injury in round 14 he is averaging 44 minutes for an average of 41 points. I don't think the decrease in the minutes is all down to a hand injury, it may be because he is carrying other injuries, or the Warriors might have just decided that an interchange role for Harris better suits the team. If it's the latter, it's not the worst thing for the Warriors as Barnett has been playing extremely well and doing a superb job at leading the team. It's just not great for us GDS coaches that own a Harris card. Harris may once again regain his starting role and play 70+ minutes per game but until he does, he is an avoid in my opinion.


GDS Team to Beat - Round 18


HOK - Damien Cook (Rabbitohs) - GDS average of 55 points & positional rank of 1st

MID - Patrick Carrigan (Broncos) - GDS average of 56 points & positional rank of 4th

MID - Payne Haas (Broncos) - GDS average of 65 points & positional rank of 1st

MID - Isaah Yeo (Panthers) - GDS average of 62 points & positional rank of 2nd

EDG - Eliesa Katoa (Storm) - GDS average of 50 points & positional rank of 5th

EDG - David Fifita (Titans) - GDS average of 66 points & positional rank of 1st

HLF - Nicho Hynes (Sharks) - GDS average of 67 points & positional rank of 1st

HLF - Jahrome Hughes (Storm) - GDS average of 62 points & positional rank of 2nd

CTR - Bradman Best (Knights) - GDS average of 50 points & positional rank of 6th

CTR - Tolutau Koula (Sea Eagles) - GDS average of 30 points & positional rank of 31st

WNG - Reuben Garrick (Sea Eagles) - GDS average of 45 points & positional rank of 9th

WNG - Brian To'o (Panthers) - GDS average of 57 points & positional rank of 1st

FB - Latrell Mitchell (Rabbitohs) - GDS average of 67 points & positional rank of 2nd

BENCH FWD - Connor Watson (Roosters) - GDS average of 53 points & positional rank of 5th

BENCH FWD - Mitchell Barnett (Warriors) - GDS average of 50 points & positional rank of 8th

BENCH HLF - Mitchell Moses (Eels) - GDS average of 54 points & positional rank of 6th

BENCH BACK - Dylan Edwards (Panthers) - GDS average of 69 points & positional rank of 1st

BENCH BACK - Scott Drinkwater (Cowboys) - GDS average of 52 points & positional rank of 8th


Players with positive matchups


Tolutau Koula

Koula is a speedster that has utility value as he can either play at centre, wing, or fullback. Last season while playing at fullback, he scored 130 points against the Wests Tigers in round 27 and this was the highest score by any player last season. This week against the Cowboys he is listed to start at fullback and it's wheels up for him in my opinion. I'm aware we only have a very small sample size of him playing at fullback, but he is the centre that offers the most upside this week. The Cowboys are allowing an average of 55 points to opposing fullbacks this season and over the last three weeks, they have been allowing an average of 65 points to fullbacks. Even though the Cowboys defence has improved over the last month, I think the inclusion of Tom Trbojevic for the Sea Eagles can only benefit Koula's GDS Fantasy game. The combination of these two players is bound to be a handful for the Cowboys defence.


Nicho Hynes

This selection might seem very chalky, but Hynes has been struggling for form lately. He has failed to make the squad of the round in his last three starts and averages 42 points over these matches. This week the Sharks are up against the Titans in Coffs Harbour and there is a high chance of rain predicted for this game. Even though the Sharks have only won one of their last five games, I think this is a great chance for them to bounce back into form and show the NRL that they should still be considered as a contender this season. For this to happen, Hynes will be at the top of his game, and I think he can be. I'm not expecting him to score any less than 50 points and if everything clicks for the Sharks, we may see a score of 100+ points this week.


Scott Drinkwater

This might be one of my boldest calls this season, but I believe this a great week to start Drinky. He may be the most frustrating fullback for GDS coaches this season as he has been very inconsistent. This week the Cowboys are up against the Sea Eagles at home and I'm expecting a high scoring contest. The Sea Eagles are one of the best matchups for opposing fullbacks as they allow an average of 58 points to this position. Drinky is averaging 52 points for the season and back in round 13 he had his season high of 95 points against the Roosters. If you are looking for a boom play at fullback this week, Drink might just be your man. I think we will see a minimum of 50+ points from him and believe he has every chance to have a score of 80+ points in a favourable matchup.


 

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