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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 9 Review

Can Moses be more than a flat track bully? With the injuries to the Eels, can we start Hopgood again? Can Ponga be fantasy relevant when playing in the halves? There were so many questions coming out of round 8 and some of them were answered in round 9. But let's turn our attention back to fantasy footy for a second and identify some risers in form and others who should be falling out of favour with all fantasy coaches. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter,facebook,instagram,discord.


NRL Fantasy round 9 review


RISERS


Mitchell Moses' gold GameDay Squad player card


Mitchell Moses – HLF, Parramatta Eels (109 points)


Moses was dominant as the Eels turned it on against the Knights. He has been having a great season averaging 59 points and has four scores of 65+. Moses has been known as a flat track bully for a few seasons now and his scores reflect this in a way this season. However, he has managed to have decent outings against a number of tough opposition. In his performance against the Knights, he came away with 1 try, 7 goals, 1 field goal, 1 try assist, 3 line breaks, 10 tackle breaks and 2 offloads on attack, this all comes to 87 points. In base stats like tackles, kick metres and metres gained, he accumulated 47 points which is decent. He did however lose 28 points through demerits and this isn’t that great. All in all, this was Moses’s best performance of the season and if GDS coaches had him in their lineups, they would probably be moving up the ranks. With games against the Titans and Raiders coming up, Moses may be a starting option for coaches.

J'Maine Hopgood's bronze GameDay Squad player card


J'Maine Hopgood – EDG, Parramatta Eels (82 points)


After starting the season with a hiss and a roar, Hopgood has been falling out of favor with coaches in recent weeks. For those coaches that have stayed loyal, Hopgood rewarded them with his best performance of the year. In a 74-minute performance, Hopgood churned out 62 points in base and 26 points in attack. With RCG and Matterson not suiting up, this was an ideal time to have Hopgood in your starting team. I was really interested to see what minutes he was going to get without RCG starting but with Matterson out as well, I’m not going to rely on 70+ minutes every week. Moving forward, I believe Hopgood could be a candidate for a starting role in your side but personally, I’m probably going to wait one more week until I see his fantasy output with Matterson starting.

Connelly Lemuelu's legend GameDay Squad player card


Connelly Lemuelu – MID, Dolphins (81 points)


Lemuelu had a fantastic game against the Raiders and managed to dot down for two tries. I don’t think many coaches would have started him and I wasn’t one of them. He has been a consideration at times to start this season as he is a centre in GDS but plays on the edge. When you come across players like this, they provide some great upside especially in the centre position. Other than scoring two tries, Lemuelu made 41 tackles, 6 tackle breaks and ran for a season high 147 metres gained. We all know he won’t be scoring a double every week but if he continues to offer 45+ points in base, Lemuelu may be appearing in more coaches' starting sides moving forward.



FALLERS

Kalyn Ponga's diamond GameDay Squad player card


Kalyn Ponga – WFB, Newcastle Knights (-7 points)


I’m not too sure who would have been more disappointed after the Eels vs Knights clash. Was it the Knights or was it those GDS coaches that decided to start Ponga in their teams? Ponga is one of the more talented players in the NRL and has been a gun in the past for fantasy. This season playing in the halves, I thought we may see some decent scores out of him but that hasn’t been the case so far. Ponga is one of those players in GDS that offers the upside by playing in a higher scoring position compared to what his position is in GDS. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be fantasy relevant while playing in the halves. Especially while he is getting used to the position and playing beside a dominant half like Hastings. The Eels targeted him while they were on attack and Ponga came away with ten missed tackles, that’s negative 30 points. I really hope Ponga will be able to become relevant in GDS again this season, but I just can’t see it at the moment.


Josh Hodgson's platinum GameDay Squad player card


Josh Hodgson – HOK, Parramatta Eels (21 points)


I can’t believe I’m saying this but this week’s score of 21 was his third highest of the season. For fantasy coaches this just isn’t acceptable, and it looks like Hodgson won’t be relevant at all this season. What has really surprised me is his lack of minutes. After starting the season with three 80-minute games averaging 30 points. Hodgson has only managed 45 minutes a game, averaging 9 points over the last five games. I believe the Eels signed him up to be an 80-minute hooker and maybe he’s not quite up to it after sitting out last season through injury. While the Eels continue to share minutes between Hodgson and Hands, Hodgson is a no go for me. Even if he becomes an 80-minute hooker again, I don’t think he will make it into my starting side.

Jeremiah Nanai's silver GameDay Squad player card


Jeremiah Nanai – EDG, North Queensland Cowboys (1 point)


Nanai burst onto the scene in 2022 in a big way and averaged 37 points per game. This season, he hasn’t even shown us a glimpse of his 2022 form and he is a hard avoid for me. In the hiding that the Sharks gave the Cowboys, Nanai managed 27 tackles, 81 metres gained and 2 offloads. In fairness, this isn’t too bad for an edge forward but what is really letting him down is his demerits. Against the Sharks he lost 38 points through missed tackles, penalties and a sin-bin. Compared to last season, his averages are up in most of the demerit categories. Missed tackles have gone from 3.4 to 5.1, penalties 0.5 to 0.7 and sin-bins 0 to 0.3. This averages out to over 7 points more in demerits per game compared to last season. On top of this, his try scoring average has also dropped from 0.7 to 0.4. Don’t get me wrong, Nanai is a very talented footballer but with numbers like this, he is nowhere near my starting lineup.


 





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