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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League - Round 5 Team To Beat

Join us as JT puts on his general manager cap and selects his dream team going into round 5 of the NRL! He'll have the entire player pool to choose from, which should make selecting 1 fullback, 2 winger, 2 centres, 2 halves, 2 edge forwards, 3 middle forwards,1 hooker and 5 bench spots weekly easy right? Please note that the round rank is based on where the player ranks within their position. The same applies for the overall rank except the rank is calculated on the players average not total points. Well, let us know who you agree with and who else you might have selected down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.


Rugby League

Fullback (FLB)


Latrell Mitchell

South Sydney Rabbitohs (Average 62, Round 4 Rank – 4th, Overall Rank – 3rd)

Verses Warriors at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Saturday at 3:00pm AEST

This season there hasn't been a fullback that has gone back-to-back games where they have featured in the squad of round. This makes this position difficult to navigate with many very good options every week. I like Latrell this week, purely because of his match up against the Warriors. Over the last three weeks the Warriors have allowed an average of 80 points to opposing fullbacks. I'm not going to say that they will continue allowing so many points to fullbacks but when we have so many good fullbacks to select from, I'm using this as the tie breaker this week. I have Latrell scoring 65+ points.


Wing (WNG)


Jamayne Isaako

Dolphins (Average 63, Round 4 Rank – 1st, Overall Rank – 1st)

Verses Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday at 7:35pm AEST

Last week against the Titans, Isaako showed us why he was the 2nd best winger in GDS for 2023. He scored 87 points against the Titans and 38 of these points came through attacking stats. He is also the Dolphins goal kicker and is averaging 13 points through the boot. On top of this, he has made the squad of the round in two of his three games. Up against the Wests Tigers this week, I'm expecting a close affair. Even though the Wests Tigers are the only team that haven't allowed a try to a right winger this season, I believe Isaako is still one of the safest options as he offers a high floor and has the potential to go boom at any stage. I have him scoring 50+ points.


Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

New Zealand Warriors (Average 45, Round 4 Rank – 15th, Overall Rank – 10th)

Verses Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Saturday at 3:00pm AEST

DWZ has been having a quiet season so far and has only scored two tries. This week he comes against the Rabbitohs who are allowing an average of 1.5 tries per game to opposing right wingers and an average of 61 points. With a season low of 30 points, DWZ offers a safe enough floor at the winger position. With the Rabbitohs left defensive edge really struggling to contain the oppositions right edge attack this season, we might see DWZ score a try or two and be one of the better scoring wingers in GDS this week. I have him scoring 50+ points.


Centres (CTR)


Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

New Zealand Warriors (Average 44, Round 4 Rank – 5th, Overall Rank – 8th)

Verses Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Saturday at 3:00pm AEST

RTS has made a successful transition back to the NRL and has ranked as one of the top 12 centres every round. He is yet to make the GDS squad of the round, but he has shown that he has the potential to at any stage. RTS has been very consistent with three of his scores being between 46-50 points. With centre being a very volatile scoring position, RTS offers coaches a high floor compared to many other centres. It's only a matter of time before he makes the GDS squad of the round and that might come this week as the Rabbitohs allow the second highest average of points (44 points) to opposing centres. I have RTS scoring 50+ points.


Valentine Holmes

North Queensland Cowboys (Average 62, Round 4 Rank – 7th, Overall Rank – 1st)

Verses Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Sunday at 4:05pm AEST

Holmes made the 2023 GDS All Star Squad and he has continued his form into the 2024 season. He has made the GDS squad of the round twice already this season and up against the Titans this week, I think he is a must start. Holmes doesn't offer coaches the best floor through base stats, and he is known for the occasional low score, but I don't think we will see a low score from him this week. I think the Cowboys will score plenty of points in this game and this is great for Holmes' fantasy output as he is the goal kicker. The Titans are allowing an average of 13 points through the boot to opposing goal kickers and I'll be surprised if Holmes doesn't score 15+ points through the boot. Holmes hasn't scored a try for a couple of weeks, and I think there is a great chance of him doing so this week. I have him scoring 55+ points.


Halves (HLF) 


Jamal Fogarty

Canberra Raiders (Average 64, Round 4– 3rd, Overall Rank – 1st)

Verses Eels at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Sunday at 6:15pm AEST

Who would have thought Fogarty would be the highest averaging half after the first four rounds, not I! With the likes of Cleary and Hynes not playing this week, Fogarty is a must start as most of the Raiders playmaking goes through him. I have him scoring 60+ points.


Adam Reynolds

Brisbane Broncos (Average 64, Round 4 – 2nd, Overall Rank – 2nd)

Verses Storm at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Thursday at 8:00pm AEST

With Walsh and Haas unable to play this week, the Broncos will rely heavily on Reynolds if they are to get the win against the Storm in Melbourne. Being the dominant half, most of the playmaking runs through Reynolds. He offers coaches a high floor as he scores well through base stats and he's the Broncos goal kicker. With SJ and DCE struggling to put together consistent performances, I believe Reynolds is a better option than them this week. He has been dealing with an ongoing knee issue, but he didn't show any signs of it slowing him down against the Cowboys. It's just something to monitor. I have him scoring 60+ points.


Edge Forwards (EDG)


Haumole Olakau’atu

Manly Sea Eagles (Average 56, Round 4 Rank – 3rd, Overall Rank – 2nd)

Verses Panthers at 4 Pines Park, Sydney

Saturday at 5:30pm AEST

Olakau'atu has been having a good season and has already featured in the GDS squad of the round twice. The Panthers will be a tough opposition, but I believe Olakau'atu has the match up advantage over Garner. The edge position has been difficult to navigate this season and Olakau'atu gets the start in the GDS team to beat this week because of his consistency. Over the first four rounds this season, Olakau'atu is the only edge that has ranked as a top five edge three times. I have him scoring 50+ points this week.


David Fifita

Gold Coast Titans (Average 53, Round 4 Rank – 7th, Overall Rank – 4th)

Verses Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Sunday at 4:05pm AEST


Coaches beware! Fifita is back but only starting off the pine and this makes him a risky option. At this stage, I'm starting him as he scored 53 points in 55 minutes after starting from the pine last week. Last season we saw Fifita's output in GDS improve in points scored through base stats. Last week he scored 35 of his points through base stats and this gives me the faith that he will continue to offer coaches a high floor. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Fifita come into the starting side at the last minute. He is a still a very risky option as he has just returned from injury and is playing under a new coach. Who knows how Des will use him this season, but I believe Fifita needs to be on the field as much as possible if the Titans are to score points. Fifita is the sort of edge forward that commands a lot of attention from opposing defences and this provides the Titans outside backs with more space and a higher chance of scoring tries. When he has the ball in hand, he can tear away for a 30m run, breaking half a dozen tackles and score, or set up a try. I think Fifita is considered as a POD at the moment, and he could be a difference maker for those coaches that decide to run the risk and start him. I have him scoring 50+ points.



Middle Forwards (MID) 


Isaah Yeo

Penrith Panthers (Average 62, Round 4 Rank – 10th, Overall – 2nd)

Verses Sea Eagles at 4 Pines Park, Sydney

Saturday at 5:30pm AEST

Yeo has been one of the elite MIDs for several seasons and has started 2024 ranked as a top ten MID every round. He has already featured in the GDS squad of the round twice and I think he has a very good chance to feature for a third time this week. Most coaches like to start Yeo due to his consistency and he is one player that is probably not worth anti podding. I have him scoring 60+ points this week.


Patrick Carrigan

Brisbane Broncos (Average 52, Round 4 – 5th, Overall Rank – 9th)

Verses Storm at AAMI Park, Melbourne

Thursday at 8:00pm AEST

With Haas being out injured, Carrigan has taken on a heavier workload and this in turn improves his fantasy production. With Haas not in the side this season, Carrigan is averaging 60 points. This is an 18-point increase compared to when Haas is playing. Over the last two rounds, Carrigan is the only MID that has scored 60+ points in both rounds and with Haas still out the side, Carrigan is a must start. I have him scoring 60+ points his week.


J'Maine Hopgood

Parramatta Eels (Average 57, Round 4– 2nd, Overall Rank – 4th)

Verses Raiders at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Sunday at 6:15pm AEST

Hopgood is having a boom or bust season so far. He has had two scores of around 40 points and two of 65+ points. He averages 60 minutes per game and is a risky option because of the minutes he plays. Last week the Eels coach may have scared some GDS coaches by starting Hopgood off the interchange, but he still notched up an impressive 68 points in 55 minutes. With the likes of Yeo and Carrigan being the safe options in the GDS team to beat this week, Hopgood is a risky boom starting MID. Starting consistent players at the MID position is a great way to approach your squad selection but if you are after a possible POD, Hopgood might just be that player. I have him scoring 55+ points his week.


Hooker (HOK)


Damien Cook

South Sydney Rabbitohs (Average 55, Round 4 Rank – 1st, Overall Rank – 2nd)

Verses Warriors at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Saturday at 3:00pm AEST

Cook is coming off his most impressive performance of the season after scoring 86 points in the win over the Bulldogs. He made a season high of 48 tackles and running metres of 90m. We also saw an increase in his attacking output, and he scored 20 points through attacking stats. Even though Cook is one of the older starting hookers, he still is an 80-minute player. He did only have 61 minutes against the Broncos and 63 minutes against the Roosters but that was with Siliva Havili in the match day squad. Havili wasn't in the squad last week and nor is he this week. With the players that the Rabbitohs have named on the interchange, I would be surprised if Cook doesn't play the 80 minutes. Cook has also had very good performances in the Warriors in the past. I'm aware that this is a completely different Warriors team compared to past years, but Cook should still be able to tick up the points through base stats and a few through attacking stats. I have him scoring 60+ points.  


Bench


Tohu Harris (MID)

New Zealand Warriors (Average 54, Round 4 Rank – 9th, Overall Rank – 7th)

Verses Rabbitohs at Accor Stadium, Sydney

Saturday at 3:00pm AEST

Harris has been having a good season and if it wasn't for the HIA he had against the Storm, I think he would be averaging 55+ and be one of the top five MIDs in GDS. He is very consistent as he provides coaches with a safe floor though base stats like tackles and running metres. He averages 56 points just through these two stats. I'm starting Harris this week as I believe he is a safe option and because I'm also starting Hopgood who is a riskier starting option. Hopgood has more boom potential, just like AFB. Starting two inconsistent MIDs comes with massive upside but can also hurt coaches if they both flop. Harris nabs the bench spot ahead of the likes of Murray, May, and AFB due to his consistency. I have him scoring 55+ points his week.


Apisai Koroisau (HOK)

Wests Tigers (Average 58, Round 4 Rank – 13th, Overall Rank – 1st)

Verses Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday at 7:35pm AEST

Koroisau has turned back the clock this season and was the highest scoring hooker in round two and three. Coaches would have been slightly disappointed with his 36 points against the Eels, but I still believe he deserves a bench spot this week. At times this season the Dolphins have had the odd hole in their defence through the middle and Koroisau is the sort of player that can exploit this. I'm expecting this game to go down to the wire and Koroisau should see the full 80 minutes. He is also the team's goal kicker and is averaging 8 points per game through this boot. This gives him more upside compared to all the other relevant hookers in GDS. With Grant underperforming so far this season and the edge position being rather inconsistent, Koroisau wins the second forward bench spot for the GDS team to beat. I have him scoring 50+ points his week.


Dylan Brown (HLF)

Parramatta Eels (Average 46, Round 4– 4th, Overall Rank – 13th)

Verses Raiders at GIO Stadium, Canberra

Sunday at 6:15pm AEST

With Moses being out injured, Brown is now a very relevant option in GDS. When applying GDS scoring to all the games that Brown played without Moses in the side, his average would 65+ points. With the likes of DCE and SJ struggling to replicate their 2023 form, Brown gets the nod ahead of these two halves this week. I have him scoring 65+ points.


Scott Drinkwater (FLB)

North Queensland Cowboys (Average 54, Round 4 Rank – 6th, Overall Rank – 7th)

Verses Titans at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Sunday at 4:05pm AEST

With many of the more relevant fullbacks having good matchups this week, picking Drinky might be considered as a POD. He has been selected based on the Cowboys' opposition this week, the Titans. The Titans are the only winless team in the NRL and are allowing an average of 30 points to a game. The Cowboys are a team that can have a lot of points in them, and they have already scored 40+ points twice this season. With Drinkwater being a key playmaker, I think he will be a real handful for the Titans defence. He's had back-to-back scores of 60+ points (both included a try) and I don't see any reason why he can't continue his good form. I have him scoring 60+ points his week.


Dane Gagai (CTR)

Newcastle Knights (Average 62, Round 4 Rank – DNP, Overall Rank – 2nd)

Verses Dragons at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Friday at 8:00pm AEST

In 2023, Gagai was one of the best centres in GDS and so far this season, he is showing no signs of slowing down. He has had three scores of 50+ and only one of them include a try. He chalks up most of his points through tackles, run metres, tackle breaks, and doesn't rely heavily on the other attacking stats like some centres might. My only concern is the Dragons have been very good defensively against right centres and allow an average of 39 points to this position. In saying this, I still back Gagai to put in a strong performance. We might see the ball in his hands more than usual as the Knights only have the one win so far this season. I have him scoring 50+ points his week.


Fringe players that just missed out on the squad of 18:

Kalyn Ponga FLB – Knights

Brian To'o WNG – Panthers

Euan Aitken CTR – Dolphins

Shaun Johnson HLF – Warriors

Josh Curran EDG – Bulldogs

Cameron Murray MID – Rabbitohs

Terrell May MID – Roosters

Harry Grant HOK – Storm


 


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