Matt's Match-ups 2019

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Finchy
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Finchy » April 26, 2019, 10:03 am

Matt wrote:
April 26, 2019, 8:54 am
As far as Dragz vs Manly, you are correct. Lafai's awful kicking cost them a game.
Cost them... by winning the game? :hmmm

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » April 26, 2019, 10:20 am

Matt wrote:
April 26, 2019, 8:54 am
RedRaider wrote:
April 24, 2019, 7:02 am
Can't agree that Havili lost the skin Matt. Defensively he is far better than Fainu imo. I think we will see the Raiders tactic of inside passes/angled running looking to isolate both their hookers again this week. Although there was some 'controversy' at the end of the Sea Eagles last match against the Dragons, really it was the poor goal kicking of Dragon Tim Lafai which kept the Eagles in the match imo.

I think this 2019 Raiders side will turn up with their heads on wanting to win and not be distracted by outside noise such as the condition of the field. I have been impressed with the improvement in BJ so far this season. He is not having the crazy 'rush of blood' which caused errors and positional problems for him in past seasons. The other hot head Tapine is injured. That leaves Jack to get his errors/penalties under control and I think, given an even share of possession, we can come away with the two competition points.
Its tough, coz Fainu is actually playing hooker, while Havili has been playing prop/ lock. I stand by my comments though. Fainu is electric out of dummy half. He can sniff out a try, so if we give them quick play the balls he will burn us.

As far as Dragz vs Manly, you are correct. Lafai's awful kicking cost them a game. Thats why Lomax played yesterday.

On paper im not a fan of this Manly side, however, that has been the same of the past couple of years and yet our record against them is poor. As is our record at Brooky. Add in that DCE is absolutely owning games makes us a tough tip this week. That said, Raiders 2019 have proved a different beast and history is meant to be broken, so who knows?!?
Fainu vs Havili is impossible to match up statistically. You have a substitute hooker comparing to a middle forward. Each of them is doing a solid job off the bench for their respective teams.
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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » April 26, 2019, 11:34 am

Finchy wrote:
April 26, 2019, 10:03 am
Matt wrote:
April 26, 2019, 8:54 am
As far as Dragz vs Manly, you are correct. Lafai's awful kicking cost them a game.
Cost them... by winning the game? :hmmm
There should be a nearly in there :lol:

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » April 30, 2019, 8:02 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 8: Raiders V Panthers

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The Raiders are taking this week’s home game to the bush, to Wagga.

The Raiders winning streak came to an end on the weekend, as I predicted unfortunately. I was also right in my call that it would hinge on Cherry-Evans, but there was a twist, it wasn’t by his hand. Because he was no longer there, Manly decided second phase was the way to go, and mostly via Fainu, the eventual ANZAC medalist from the game, they tore through the heart of the Raiders' defence.

This week, it isn’t the middle I’m worried about, but rather the edges, most specifically the right edge defensively. The reason being... this is Viliame Kikau’s side of the field, and last week he not only steam rolled Adam Reynolds at will, he made good defenders like Burgess and Murray look bad. Whoever wears the No. 7 this week is in for a world of hurt.

The Panthers are a team in a world of hurt. They have had off field dramas during the preseason, Phil Gould is leaving, and, of course, there's a 2-5 record. They are getting desperate.

I am worried about the “Bathurst factor” this week; let’s hope if the game is in the balance, the Raiders can win in the dying minutes.

Panthers V Raiders

Caleb Aekins 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Josh Mansour 2. Nick Cotric
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Waqa Blake 4. Joseph Leilua
Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 5. Bailey Simonsson
James Maloney 6. Jack Wighton
Nathan Cleary 7. Sam Williams
James Tamou © 8. Josh Papalii
Wayde Egan 9. Josh Hodgson ©
Tim Grant 10. Dunamis Lui
Viliame Kikau 11. John Bateman
Isaiah Yeo 12. Elliott Whitehead
James Fisher-Harris 13. Ryan Sutton

Interchange
Sione Katoa 14. Siliva Havili
Liam Martin 15. Hudson Young
Moses Leota 16. Sia Soliola
Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Corey Horsbough

Extended Bench
Jarome Luai 18. Aidan Sezer
Kaide Ellis 19. Michael Oldfield
Dylan Edwards 20. Emre Guler
Tyrell Fuimaono 21. Jack Murchie

(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad may have been on one leg, and didn’t look completely comfortable on it, but he still put in a great performance against the Sea Eagles, scoring the final try. Last week, Caleb Aekins got his first shot at fullback in 2019, after Dylan Edwards was dropped and Dean Whare was injured. Aekins was pretty solid, and does have a tackle bust in him, but this is only NRL game number two.

Wingers:
I’ll be honest. Neither Nick Cotric, nor Josh Mansour, have wowed me in 2019. They are very similar players. Power running, big bodied wingers. Cotric was good last week and made decent metres against the Sea Eagles, but once Rapana went down, more was required of him. And with a switch of sides after the break, he didn’t look as comfortable. Mansour had a small case of the droppsies last week. We also haven’t seen much of the tackle busting beast in 2019.

Jordan Rapana injured his ribs making a try saver on Jorge Taufua. He was forced from the field and couldn’t return. He will be out for two to three weeks. He is replaced by Bailey Simonsson, who debuted in week one. Simonsson has been on fire at Mounties, scoring eight tries in his first three games playing fullback. He deserves a spot this week. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, the lesser known of the WZ’s, got his chance a couple of weeks ago when Dylan Edwards was dropped. Malakai is a solid winger, but not a great one, but the injury/suspension/dropped rule is in force here.

Centres:
Jarrod Croker is on fire in 2019. His one flaw for the year was his goal kicking, but against the Sea Eagles he was flawless. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has played wing, fullback and now centre in successive weeks. It is hard to be settled when you’re constantly being moved around, but the Kiwi international still managed to get on the score sheet last week. He is currently the Panthers' back line Mr Fixit.

Joey Leiliua wasn’t good as he has been against the Sea Eagles. Losing his winger mate midway through the first half, and then having to deal with reshuffled combinations, didn’t help. Waqa Blake is a very similar player to Joseph Leilua. He loves a big play, be it via tackle busts, offloads, leaping try or a long weaving run. With the Panthers not going so well, we haven’t seen too much of it. On the other hand, we have seen plenty from Joey until last week.

Halves:
Jack Wighton had a blinder in the first half at Brookvale, bagging a first half double. He also made a try saving tackle, and didn’t miss a single tackle. Right now the crafty James Maloney just looks frustrated. There is talk that he might be on the way out and that he might not hold his Origin spot. He isn’t playing well, nor is his team.

Sammy Williams' highlight from last week was a second 2019 40/20 kick. That’s all I remember him doing unfortunately - though it’s hard to do much without the ball, and in poor field position. Nathan Cleary has been one of the few shining lights in an otherwise bad Penrith side in 2019. He is kicking well, organising well and is being creative. He is definitely putting his hand up to hold his Origin spot.

Prop:
Josh Papalii has put in some huge games in recent weeks, and his performance against the Sea Eagles was no different. However, Round 7 proved, yet again, that the Raiders are short a metre eating middle to get the Raiders on the front foot when they are struggling. Papalii seems to be the only one who can turn a bad set into a serviceable one at the moment. James Tamou got the nod for the for the captaincy armband in 2019. He hasn’t been as impactful as he was in 2018.

Tim Grant played his second game for 2019, and he got his first start last week. I barely remember seeing him play against the Bunnies. Dunamis Lui has been solid without being spectacular. That is still enough to win the skin.

Moses Leota lost his starting role in 2019, and is back to being an impact prop. He is putting out 67m a game and 22 tackles. That's not really impactful. Sia Soliola is pumping out 115m and 25 tackles and has Leota covered easily.

I thought in his short stint, Emre Guler was actually pretty good. I mean... 92m from seven carries is certainly bringing some impact off the bench. However, he has been replaced by Corey Horsburgh. The Big Red Fire Engine is back! The young fiery red head goes head to head with ‘Mr Angry Pool Cleaner Mo’.

Hooker/utility:
Josh Hodgson well and truly over played his hand last week. He had a Barry Croker. However, he is going up against Wayde Egan, who has done nothing in 2019.

Sione Katoa could easily be a Siliva Havili type, a hooker converted to a middle forward utility. He actually won the chance to have first shot at the Panthers No. 9, but has lost his spot though average performances. Siliva Havili is easily out playing him, and has been one of the Raiders' better forwards this year.

Backrow:
The battle of the No. 11s is probably the best match-up of the week. John Bateman is a massive front runner for the NRL "buy of the year" for 2019. He is also well and truly in the running for the Dally M Medal too. He is one of the main sources of points for the Raiders in 2019, and the Raiders must feed him more ball. I’d even go as far as to say, this week, he could be a real option at halfback. He can ball play and he finds ways to create chances. On Sunday, he proved he has a kicking game, laying on the last try for Nicholl-Klokstad. Plus, he is one of the few guys who I actually rate a chance of slowing his opponent. Viliame Kikau is a massive athletic human, and last week the Bunnies found him to be unstoppable. He swatted off defenders, posting 10 tackle busts, plus a try, when he carried four would be defenders over the line. Sam Williams better do some tackling practice on the new Canberra Tram, because I think that just might be an easier task. Right now Bateman is better, but this contest is mouthwatering.

Elliott Whitehead had a very good game in trying conditions last week. The ‘other’ English back rower is starting to hit his stride. Isaiah Yeo has struggled with HIA issues in 2019, and his form reflects the team as a whole. Clunky.

Ryan Sutton probably had his worst game at lock so far against the Sea Eagles. He made only 69m and 34 tackles with four misses. James Fisher-Harris has been fantastic for the Panthers in 2019. He is averaging 44 tackles, with only one miss, and 125m a game. That’s huge from the Panthers lock. He has easily been the Panthers' best in 2019.

Jack Murchie has been replaced by Hudson Young, after Young spent just one week at Mounties. Young has four games to Liam Martin's three in 2019. In my opinion both are at a similar stage in their careers, doing similar things for their sides, without really standing out. So I can’t split them.

Result
The tally is Panthers four and Raiders 11, plus two draws. Given its team No. 4 versus team No. 14, it is no surprise to see a lopsided skins result. The Raiders have looked tired the past two weeks, and I think this week the shield wall returns. If the Raiders can frustrate Maloney, contain Cleary, and reduce the damage from Kikau, I think this is a game the Raiders can walk away with.

Result: Raiders to win the battle in the bush (by 8-12).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by zim » April 30, 2019, 8:34 pm

Can't agree with the Cotric skin. Mansour has been bad most weeks and was terrible last week.
Should definitely be a target for some bombs.
I thought Emre was good too, in attack. I'd say he's getting a rest because of the difference in defense.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by gangrenous » April 30, 2019, 9:41 pm

I haven’t watched much of Kikau, but if he normally is half as dangerous as he was this weekend then he’s at least a push with Bateman.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by BadnMean » April 30, 2019, 10:01 pm

zim wrote:
April 30, 2019, 8:34 pm
Can't agree with the Cotric skin. Mansour has been bad most weeks and was terrible last week.
Should definitely be a target for some bombs.
I thought Emre was good too, in attack. I'd say he's getting a rest because of the difference in defense.
Yeah he's a smooth mover with the ball Emre, glides across the turf for a big dude but I can't remember a single hit he put on, whereas every other young forward I've noticed a couple of nice shots they managed to put on- Hors more than a few. Something he can work on.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » May 1, 2019, 7:14 pm

gangrenous wrote:
April 30, 2019, 9:41 pm
I haven’t watched much of Kikau, but if he normally is half as dangerous as he was this weekend then he’s at least a push with Bateman.
Last week was easily Kikau's best game this season. Been relatively subdued prior to that. By comparison Bateman has been on of the most consistent high performers in the NRL in 2019.
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 7, 2019, 7:58 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 9: Raiders V Roosters

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Alacazam.
Hey Presto.
Hocus Pocus.
Shazam.

Yep, welcome to Magic Round.

Roosters V Raiders

James Tedesco 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Daniel Tupou 2. Nick Cotric
Latrell Mitchell 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Joseph Manu 4. Michael Oldfield
Matt Ikuvalu 5. Jordan Rapana
Luke Keary 6. Jack Wighton
Cooper Cronk 7. Sam Williams
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 8. Josh Papalii
Victor Radley 9. Josh Hodgson ©
Sio Siua Taukeiaho 10. Dunamis Lui
Boyd Cordner 11. Hudson Young
Angus Crichton 12. Elliott Whitehead
Isaac Liu 13. Ryan Sutton

Interchange
Nat Butcher 14. Siliva Havili
Mitchell Aubusson 17. vs 15. Bailey Simonsson
Sitili Tupouniua 16. Sia Soliola
Zane Tetevano 15. vs 17. Corey Horsbough

Extended Bench
Lindsay Collins 18. Aidan Sezer
Joshua Curran 19. Emre Guler
Lachlan Lam 20. Royce Hunt
Sam Verrills 21. Jack Murchie

#- Bench skins altered to pair like skins.
(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
James Tedesco is the best fullback in the game. Having already scored five tries, produced one assist and six tackle break and averaging 178m, he is playing that way too. Believe it or not, Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad isn’t that far behind, with four tries and averaging 165m and five tackle busts a game.

Wingers:
Nick Cotric versus Daniel Tupou, is a lay down misère. Tupou is out running him 176m to 114m per game, has more tries, five to two, and has more try assists, three to one.

Both Jordan Rapana and Matt Ikuvalu return from one game injuries. Both wingers have two tries in 2019, however Ikuvalu has one less game. Rapana does have a try assist, however Ikuvalu is averaging 10 metres more a game. I'm going to leave this as a draw, even though I believe the talent to be one sided.

Centres:
Jarrod Croker is on fire in 2019, and this is one of the few skins I can see him losing this year. It is very hard to argue that Latrell Mitchell isn’t the best centre in football at the moment. His form is ridiculous. A winning 40m field goal plus a hat trick in recent weeks, tells you he is a match winner.

Joey Leilua has been ruled out indefinitely. So, Michael Oldfield retains his spot. Oldfield scored in his first game of NRL for 2019, putting down the pin point Sam Williams kick. Joseph Manu hasn’t been in the red hot form he delivered leading into last year Grand Final. But with a try, two assists and an average 95 metres a game, he has Oldfield’s measure this week.

Halves:
Jack Wighton is in very good form, and learning his new role very quickly. However, Luke Keary is in Origin quality form. He leads the Roosters' left edge and he has it on a string in 2019.

Sam Williams is playing reasonably solid footy in 2019, and doing enough to keep Aidan Sezer in reserve grade. However, Cooper Cronk is Cooper Cronk. He is being overshadowed by Keary this year, but that’s exactly why they bought him last year, to elevate Keary’s game.

Prop:
Josh Papalii again faces very tough competition in Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Papalii is averaging 127m and 28 tackles a game, to Waerea-Hargreaves 145m and 26 tackles. Both players are their team's main ‘Big Boppa’, but on output I have to give it to Waerea-Hargreaves.

Dunamus Lui’s statistics don’t even remotely stack up to those of Sio Siua Taukeiaho. Taukeiaho is averaging a whopping 178m and 24 tackles a game at prop. He really stepped up in the couple of games Weaerea-Hargreaves missed too.

Sitili Tupouniua's pass to setup a try on the weekend was amazing... but the young front rower is still raw, with a lot to learn. Sia Soliola has been in fantastic form and wins this easily.

Corey Horsburgh holds his spot. However, after playing limited minutes against the Panthers, his role has changed somewhat in his second stint in the top grade. Zane Tetevano has been switching between starting and playing off the bench this year. He is averaging over 100m a game and 22 tackles a game, and that is very good interchange impact.

This is the first time Siliva Havili hasn’t featured in the hooker/ utility part of this thread. He is playing well and has adapted to a running forward middle role extremely well. Nat Butcher has also had to adapt his game. Butcher is a back rower by trade, but like Ryan Matterson last year, he was asked to move in field and be a mobile running forward. Havili is averaging 10m more a game, while Butcher is averaging five more tackles. I’m calling this a draw.

Hooker/utility:
Victor Radley is an extremely talented player and has been showing his versatility by playing big minutes at hooker, with Jake Friend out. However, Josh Hodgson is in a different class. While he had a shocker against Manly, he was back to his crafty best against the Panthers.

Bailey Simonsson is the new Raider to the utility role. He did an admirable job deputising for Jordan Rapana again last week, posting 110m. However, a two gamer isn’t going to cut it against the ultimate utility, Mitchell Aubusson. Aubusson started at centre last week, but has played wing, back row and a little bit of hooker this season.

Backrow:
John Bateman is a huge loss for the Raiders, with a broken eye socket seeing him sidelined for the next six to eight weeks. Hudson Young has earned his first start as his replacement after a good showing when Bateman left the field last week. Boyd Cordner is in fantastic form, and a big part of the success of the Roosters' left edge. He is averaging 139m and 27 tackles a game - and has crossed for four tries.

Elliott Whitehead stepped up last week. When his English teammate went off, Whitehead upped his game, rising to the challenge of being the team's number one back rower. He took on the role of enforcer too, being part of the legal tackles which saw Yeo’s shoulder dislocated and which forced Kikau off with an injured ankle. Angus Crichton is a great player, but is suffering a little due to the success of the Roosters' left edge. They are simply going left more often. The Englishmen wins the skin.

Ryan Sutton has been very important the Raiders' success. His involvement in the middle has been very influential, produceing an average 98m and 26 tackles per game. Isaac Liu has been running as many metres as Sutton, but isn’t making the tackles. Sutton wins here.

Result
The tally is Roosters 12 and Raiders three plus two draws. First versus third... I’m a little surprised by this lopsided result. However, it is affected by the Raiders missing a few key personnel - Leilua, Bateman and Tapine. On the other hand, the Raiders are the Roosters' bogey side of late, winning the past three contests. I called it two weeks ago, and despite the depleted personnel, with a bit of "Magic", I’m sticking with it…

Result: Raiders to continue the mini hoodoo (by 8-12).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Begbie » May 7, 2019, 8:08 pm

Hard to argue with any of your selections - expect Papalli who I reckon deserves the skin. Yet I agree with your prediction of an easy Raiders victory.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » May 8, 2019, 3:21 pm

Poor old Jordy. Only missed 1 game and he's relegated to equal with Ikuvalu. :(
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 8, 2019, 3:26 pm

Begbie wrote:
May 7, 2019, 8:08 pm
Hard to argue with any of your selections - expect Papalli who I reckon deserves the skin. Yet I agree with your prediction of an easy Raiders victory.
Tough skin.
Both are the pack leaders.
Both are the teams 'big boppa'.
Both are middle enforcers.
Both are rep footballers.
Hence the call was made on their production. JWH is doing more.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 8, 2019, 3:28 pm

Northern Raider wrote:
May 8, 2019, 3:21 pm
Poor old Jordy. Only missed 1 game and he's relegated to equal with Ikuvalu. :(
"...I'm going to leave this as a draw, even though I believe the talent to be one sided."
Their 2019 numbers are very similar, and as you know, I don't call skins on reputation (bar Rd 1).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » May 8, 2019, 3:41 pm

Matt wrote:
May 8, 2019, 3:28 pm
Northern Raider wrote:
May 8, 2019, 3:21 pm
Poor old Jordy. Only missed 1 game and he's relegated to equal with Ikuvalu. :(
"...I'm going to leave this as a draw, even though I believe the talent to be one sided."
Their 2019 numbers are very similar, and as you know, I don't call skins on reputation (bar Rd 1).
I'm confused now. What happened to your 1 to 2 week form line? You're now looking at season totals? :?
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by The Rickman » May 8, 2019, 3:42 pm

Hahaha I love how Matty just changes the rules on a week to week basis to suit whatever narrative he's currently spinning.
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 8, 2019, 3:50 pm

Keep stirring chaps :D

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by zim » May 8, 2019, 4:20 pm

Northern Raider wrote:
May 8, 2019, 3:21 pm
Poor old Jordy. Only missed 1 game and he's relegated to equal with Ikuvalu. :(
Piggy will need to update that signature.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » May 8, 2019, 4:24 pm

Matt wrote:
May 8, 2019, 3:50 pm
Keep stirring chaps :D
To be fair Matt, your Matchups are pretty dull this week. Ikuvalu = Rapana is the only material we have.
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Sid » May 8, 2019, 4:32 pm

I'd rather have Cotric, Rapana and Papalii in my side for this game than Tupou, Ikuvalu and Papalii
Would have won Boogs - 2016, 2017, 2018

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by The Rickman » May 8, 2019, 4:39 pm

Sid wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:32 pm
I'd rather have Cotric, Rapana and Papalii in my side for this game than Tupou, Ikuvalu and Papalii
Wot
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Sid » May 8, 2019, 4:42 pm

The Rickman wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:39 pm
Sid wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:32 pm
I'd rather have Cotric, Rapana and Papalii in my side for this game than Tupou, Ikuvalu and Papalii
Wot
that last Papalii is meant to be JWH

so they're 3 skin losses I don't agree with
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Rick » May 8, 2019, 5:59 pm

ImageImageImage fair go Sid.




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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Ruben Daley » May 9, 2019, 11:05 pm

Sid wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:42 pm
The Rickman wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:39 pm
Sid wrote:
May 8, 2019, 4:32 pm
I'd rather have Cotric, Rapana and Papalii in my side for this game than Tupou, Ikuvalu and Papalii
Wot
that last Papalii is meant to be JWH

so they're 3 skin losses I don't agree with
I understand how the Roosters won those match-ups in this format but I agree. Wouldn’t consider swapping any of those players.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 14, 2019, 8:12 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 10: Raiders V Rabbitohs

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Rabbitohs V Raiders

Corey Allan 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Mawene Hiroti 2. Bailey Simonsson
Kyle Turner 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Dane Gagai 4. Nick Cotric
Campbell Graham 5. Michael Oldfield
Cody Walker 6. Jack Wighton
Adam Reynolds 7. Sam Williams
Junior Tatola 14. vs 8. Josh Papalii
Damien Cook 9. Josh Hodgson ©
Thomas Burgess 10. Dunamis Lui
John Sutton 11. Hudson Young
Sam Burgess 12. Elliott Whitehead
Cameron Murray 13. Ryan Sutton

Interchange
George Burgess 8. vs 14. Siliva Havili
Mark Nicholls 15. Sebastian Kris
Ethan Lowe 16. Sia Soliola
Liam Knight 17.Corey Horsbough

Extended Bench
Jacob Gagan 18. Aidan Sezer
Bayley Sironen 19. Emre Guler
Dean Britt 20. Royce Hunt
Tom Amone 21. Jack Murchie

#- Skins altered to pair like skins.
(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad keeps on surprising people with his performances. We have been so very lucky to have picked him up as a last minute signing. He must be firming as a buy of the year contender, especially with John Bateman out injured. With Alex Johnston out injured for a month with a knee injury, Corey Allan gets a chance to play at fullback. He is averaging only 70m a game playing on the wing, but has two tries.

Wingers:
Campbell Graham is a try scoring machine. The Bunnies youngster scored in all of the opening four rounds of the season, however, he hasn’t crossed in three games. Michael Oldfield looked to have the centre role locked down for at least three months, if not indefinitely. However, Ricky Stuart has shuffled the backs this week, moving Oldfield to the Jordan Rapana's wing and Nick Cotric to the centres. Rapana suffered yet another injury on the weekend, a knee injury, and the Raiders were very lucky to have Bailey Simonsson on the bench.

Speaking of Simonsson, he gets his third start of the season, all due to Rapana’s health status. He is up against Mawene Hiroti, who is playing his first game of the year. So the debutant rule is in effect, even against the three gamer.

Centres:
Jarrod Croker is in fantastic form. I can’t speak highly enough of what the co-captain is bringing to the table in 2019. Kyle Turner is a very strange choice to fill the un-fillable shoes of Greg Inglis. He is Dallas Johnson 2.0, a tackle machine with neck issues. However, master coach Wayne Bennett has given Turner the ‘Corey Oates treatment’. Now he is in rare try scoring form, crossing three times in three weeks, having not crossed for 18 months prior to that.

Nick Cotric. We have all talked about it, but I’m sure he would like to have the 80th minute against the Roosters all over again. If only he had passed the ball to his co-captain somewhere between the 20 and 15 meter line. Joey Leilua has had surgery to repair the bulging disc in his neck during the week and I wish him a speedy recovery. Ricky Stuart has taken the opportunity to give Cotric a run in his place. Dane Gagai will probably hold his Origin spot, but I don’t think his form has been even remotely close to his best. Cotric has spent the year on the wing, and has as many tries and assists as Gagai. Gagai also has a marginally worse tackle success rate, 79 per cent versus 82 per cent. Gagai has been moved to the centres as an experienced head, to cover for the retired Greg Inlis. But I don’t think he has done that, and he is lucky he is in a good team.

Halves:
Jack Wighton is very, very unlucky to have come up against Luke Keary and Cody Walker in successive weeks. I think Keary and Walker are five-eighth No. 2 and No. 3 in 2019, with only Cameron Munster ahead of them. Right now I’d have Wighton at five, behind Raiders junior, Anthony Milford.

Sam Williams has been Sam Williams in 2019. He has his good games and his bad games. We are getting what he gives. Adam Reynolds struggled with his goal kicking, much like Croker did, earlier in the year, but like his goal kicking, he has returned to form. He is now even in Origin contention.

Prop:
Josh Papalii is one of the form props in the competition. Queensland will be very lucky to have him. Junior Tatola has developed quite a lot since last year, and is proving to be a very solid NRL prop.

Dunamis Lui didn’t have his best game on the weekend, but he is certainly playing better than people give him credit for. Thomas Burgess has been in great form averaging 123m and 19 tackles a game.

Sia Soliola, solid as ever. Ethan Lowe must have found a lucky rabbits foot, getting a late lifeline from the Bunnies in 2019. He made the move from North Queensland just before the season began, and while I was convinced he would start on the edge, shifting Sam Burgess back to the middle... well that hasn't happened. Lowe is averaging 84m and 23 tackles off the bench, which is good going for an edge back rower, cum mobile lock.

Liam Knight, a former Raider, is proving why Ricky Stuart should have given him a decent run in first grade last year. He is averaging just shy of 100m and 19 tackles a game, off the bench. Corey Horsburgh was pretty good against the Roosters last week, compiling 91m and 24 tackles, however, he still has a penalty in his game. He has to get the discipline right.

This is a strange alteration to the skins. Usually I only rearrange the bench. However, Wayne Bennett has named George Burgess to start in all of the last six weeks, and has switched him with Tatola on game day, so I’ve done the same here. Siliva Havili, at 178cms and 104kgs, is giving away 16cms and 16kgs to George Burgess. However, Havili, a converted hooker, is playing longer minutes and more productive minutes than the behemoth opposite him. By all accounts George is playing through injuries, and has even considered retiring and taking up acting.

Hooker/utility:
Josh Hodgson won’t lose too many skins this season, but Damien Cook is the in outrageous form, with a try, 11 try assists and an average 93m a game. Simply amazing!

Backrow:
Hudson Young gets his second start of the year. He did a reasonable job against the Roosters. He has certainly earned his stripes, but he is still learning. John Sutton, the 342 gamer, is his opponent. Opposite ends of their careers, but interesting match-up. Sutton is averaging a sneaky 99m and 17 tackles a game.

Elliott Whitehead has been fantastic in recent weeks. He has really stepped up in the absence of Joe Tapine and John Bateman. However, his English teammate, Sam ‘slammin’ Burgess has been in great touch himself. He has six tries, one assist and averages 152m and 26 tackles a game. That is massive work rate and strike rate for a back rower.

Ryan Sutton. Would you describe his performance last week as laying an egg? Can you forgive his cock ups? Or maybe just my quality chicken dad Yolks? He has been very good in recent times, but last week was one to forget. Cam Murray is banging down the door to be picked for Origin. His form in 2019 has been phenomenal. He has three tries, averages 134m and 33 tackles a game.

Mark Nicholls, the Raiders 2012 rookie of the year, is lining up against his old club again. This time against Raider #361, Sebastian Kris. The debutant rule is in effect again.

Result
The tally is Rabbitohs 10 and Raiders seven. The skins are nice and close, however, the Raiders only win one of the key ones, fullback. I have a really bad feeling about the game this week, Cook, Walker, Murray, and Sam Burgess are in such good form, and the Raiders are down some very very important troops, their entire staring 2019 right edge in fact.

Result: Rabbitohs by too many (by 12-18).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 21, 2019, 7:08 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 11: Raiders V Cowboys

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Cowboys V Raiders

Jordan Kahu 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Kyle Feldt 2. Bailey Simonsson
Justin O’Neill 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Tom Opacic 4. Nick Cotric
Gideon Gela-Mosby 5. Michael Oldfield
John Asiata 6. Jack Wighton
Michael Morgan 7. Sam Williams
Matt Scott 8. Josh Papalii
Jake Granville 9. Josh Hodgson ©
Jordan McLean 10. Dunamis Lui
Gavin Cooper 11. Hudson Young
Coen Hess 12. Elliott Whitehead
Jason Taumalolo 13. Ryan Sutton

Interchange
Kurt Baptiste 14. Siliva Havili
Mitchell Dunn 15. Joseph Tapine
Scott Bolton 16. Sia Soliola
Francis Molo 17. Corey Horsbough

Extended Bench
Corey Jensen 18. Aidan Sezer
Shane Wright 19. Emre Guler
Josh McGuire 20. Sebastian Kris
Jake Clifford 21. Royce Hunt

#- Skins altered to pair like skins.
(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Jordan Kahu made the move north from the Broncos to the Cowboys because of Ben Barba’s deregistration. He has been underwhelming at fullback, on the wing and in the centres. His goal kicking hasn’t exactly set the world on fire either. Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad, do I need to say anything?!

Wingers:
Kyle Feldt has been named to play his third game back from injury. He scored a try last week and is averaging 135m a game. Bailey Simonsson has been named for NRL appearance five; he has a try and averages 112m a game. I have been very impressed with him, and his willingness to make the tough carries. However, last week in a bad side, Feldt proved his class with the go ahead try. Michael Oldfield wins a debutant rule skin against the speedster, Gideon Gela-Mosby.

Centres:
Can’t feel sorrier for the way the last two games have ended for Jarrod Croker. Winning try on a platter both times, and both times he was involved. In the clash with the Roosters, the pass to him was not given. Last week against the Rabbitohs, the ball was lost from his grasp with a try beckoning. But he has been one of the Raiders' best in 2019. Despite his try scoring run, Justin O’Neill has looked awful in 2019. I’m not sure why Cowboys coach Paul Green hasn’t turned to his younger backs.

Nick Cotric’s move to the centres couldn’t have gone much better. He has rock solid in defence, and his attack broke the game open late, setting up the Sam Williams try. I’ve said it before, but I think this is likely to be his best position. However, you could see that the extra running took it out of him last week, and he will need to improve his fitness. Tom Opacic has been in and out of the side this year, playing half the games. I think he has looked good, and he doubled his try tally last week. I’ll take the game breaker over the solid player.

Halves:
John Asiata is a talented player. How many players can play prop and five-eight? That said, Jack Wighton has been one of the form players of the year. Easy skin.

Sam Williams versus Michael Morgan is a lot closer than it should be. Morgan hasn’t been the dominant force we all expected him to be this year. With the game on the line last week, Williams certainly got more involved, and his try got the Raiders back into the lead. However, it was Morgan that dragged his team kicking and screaming across the line last week. He has been more influential across the season as a whole too.

Prop:
There is a very good chance that Josh Papalii takes Matt Scott’s starting Queensland jumper this year. The old dog might still have a few tricks, but Papalii is playing lights out at prop. He turned back the clock with his run to the try line late in the first half too... only to be denied by the goal post.

Dunamis Lui is a solid player, but Jordan McLean is a borderline representative footballer. His form this year has been exceptional. He averages 141m and just shy of 30 tackles a game with a 98 per cent tackle success rate. That is very good for a prop.

Sia Soliola, solid as ever. Scott Bolton is also solid, but not nearly as influential on the game, so Soliola takes the skin.

Corey Horsbough, along with fellow rookie, Hudson Young, really took it to Sam Burgess last week. They certainly got the wood on him and managed to hold their cool too. I was very impressed with that. Francis Molo has been playing low minutes at prop. With Josh McGuire on the extended bench and Origin around the corner, I can see this being the switch.

Hooker/utility:
Jake Granville put in an Origin contending performance last week. However, to be honest, it’s about the only good game he has played this year. This is why former Raider, Kurt Baptiste, is in the side. Kurt has been lively at times, and looked really good in the game he started a fortnight ago.

Josh Hodgson and Siliva Havili are playing much much better than the Cowboys pair. Oh, and welcome back to the hooker/utility section Mr Havili.

Backrow:
Hudson Young. Wow! That was one impressive performance against Sam Burgess. A one on one hit on Liam Knight on the goal line saved a try too. Young has earned the right to keep the returning Joseph Tapine on the bench. I think Gavin Cooper will be lucky to keep his Queensland jersey this year. Like the rest of the team he has been ordinary.

Elliott Whitehead has been in fantastic form in recent weeks. Last week he was probably overshadowed by the Raiders' rookies, but don’t underestimate this tenacious Pom. Coen ‘the Barbarian’ Hess, is no more. He hasn’t been the unstoppable barnstorming force he was in previous years. He too will be lucky to see a Maroon jumper this year.

Ryan Sutton got stuck in last week against his countrymen, posting 42 tackles and over 100m. I thought his efforts through the middle last week were very underappreciated. He has been in good form for the last two months as well. I really wanted this to be the controversial skin this week, but even I can’t ignore 186m a game from the best lock in the business, so Jason Taumalolo wins.

Joseph Tapine is back five to seven weeks early from his ankle injury. Mitchell Dunn has played as the relief hooker off the bench and last week ended up playing centre, after Ben Hampton ruptured his bicep. The injury rule applies here.

Result
The tally is Cowboys five and Raiders 12. These two team met in Round 4, and the skins are still very similar. The result was 30-12 in Townsville. Can the skins reflect the score again this week?

Result: Raiders by plenty (by 16-20).

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greeneyed
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 21, 2019, 7:28 pm

I reckon it is going to be a lot closer than that!
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Northern Raider » May 21, 2019, 8:03 pm

greeneyed wrote:
May 21, 2019, 7:28 pm
I reckon it is going to be a lot closer than that!
Yep. Morgan often tears us a new one and Lolo tears everybody a new one. We need to keep those 2 in check.
* The author assumes no responsibility for the topicality, correctness, completeness or quality of information provided.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Lucky » May 21, 2019, 8:08 pm

to be honest i doubt we are even gonna win 13+
i think there will be 1-4 points in it either way, depending on how much of a mood taulmololo is in

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by BadnMean » May 21, 2019, 8:59 pm

Lucky wrote:
May 21, 2019, 8:08 pm
to be honest i doubt we are even gonna win 13+
i think there will be 1-4 points in it either way, depending on how much of a mood taulmololo is in
Hors and Young will have a go at him but he'll love it and not lose his cool like Surgess. Papa and Whitehead will need to do the business. I don't think Lui and Sia will be stopping Lolo, hard to say about Sutton but I think he's in for a tough day too.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 22, 2019, 8:47 am

BadnMean wrote:
May 21, 2019, 8:59 pm
Lucky wrote:
May 21, 2019, 8:08 pm
to be honest i doubt we are even gonna win 13+
i think there will be 1-4 points in it either way, depending on how much of a mood taulmololo is in
Hors and Young will have a go at him but he'll love it and not lose his cool like Surgess. Papa and Whitehead will need to do the business. I don't think Lui and Sia will be stopping Lolo, hard to say about Sutton but I think he's in for a tough day too.
TBF, ALL middles are in for a tough day when Lolo is in the opposition.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 28, 2019, 8:17 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 12: Raiders V Bulldogs

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Origin is coming, and three of the Raiders' boys will be in it. Congratulations to Josh Papalii and the two Blues debutants, Nick Cotric and Jack Wighton.

Bulldogs V Raiders

Nick Meaney 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Christian Crichton 2. Bailey Simonsson
Marcelo Montoya 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Will Hopoate 4. Sebastian Kris
Reimis Smith 5. Michael Oldfield
Kieran Foran 6. Aidan Sezer
Jack Cogger 7. Sam Williams
Aiden Tolman 8. Corey Horsbough
Jeremy Marshall-King 9. Siliva Havili
Ofahiki Ogden 10. Dunamis Lui
Josh Jackson © 11. Joseph Tapine
Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Elliott Whitehead
Chris Smith 13. Hudson Young

Interchange
Rhyse Martin 14. Tom Starling
Raymond Faitala-Mariner 15. Emre Guler
Danny Fualalo 16. Sia Soliola
Sauaso Sue 17. Ryan Sutton

Extended Bench
Michael Lichaa 18. Ata Hingano
Lachlan Lewis 19. Royce Hunt
Kerrod Holland 20. Andre Niko
Adam Elliott 21. John Bateman

#- Skins altered to pair like skins.
(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad continues to show his class and enthusiasm despite what’s going on around him. He averages more metres per game, more metres per kick return, more tackle breaks per game, more carries, more offloads and more line breaks than his opponent Nick Meaney.

Wingers:
Bailey Simonsson has been impressive in he five games this year. He looks very willing carrying the ball and scored a try on the weekend. That try is the clincher for this skin, even if Christian Crichton is averaging 30 metres more a game for the Bulldogs, at a tick under 150 a game.

Michael Oldfield has three tries in four games and averages 99 metres a game. Remis Smith has seven tries in eleven games and averages 108 metres a game. Very tight, but I'll stick with Smith. He has a big play in him, and seven tries in a bad side is good going.

Centres:
Jarrod Croker is having a good year, despite some seriously unfortunate events along the way. His kicking, however, hasn’t been as on point as previous years. Marcelo Montoya has been poor, despite his 110 metres a game and only two try causes. He was dropped earlier in the year due to poor form, and brought back in due to his replacement's poor form.

Nick Cotric’s selection for the Blues means Sebastian Kris gets his second cap, having debuted late against the Rabbitohs a fortnight ago. Easy debutant skin for Will Hopoate.

Halves:
With Jack Wighton being selected for an Origin debut, Aidan Sezer gets a return to the top grade. This gives Kieran Foran an easy skin via the "not playing" rule.

Sam Williams is probably the biggest beneficiary of Wighton’s Origin selection. His form in the last couple of weeks has been questionable… well, Sam Williams like really... dropping in an out of games. Jack Cogger has been in surprisingly good form, despite the Dogs poor record, and deserves the skin.

Prop:
With Josh Papalii on Origin duty, Corey Horsburgh gets his first start. He has earned this spot, having taken it to three of the packs with the biggest names and reputations in the competition in successive weeks. You could easily argue this skin in Aidan Tolman’s favor. He is a big minute, big output prop forward. However, what he brings is what you expect, while the rookie has been impactful and imposing.

With Dylan Napa on Origin duty, Ofahiki Ogden gets another start. Dunamis Lui and Ogden have very similar statistics in 2019. They both average 21 tackles a game - and they average 75 and 79 metres a game respectively. Ogden has more impact potential, but Lui is the most steady and reliable. I often punt on the impact player in this situation, but I don’t think Ogden gives enough to take that this time, so I'll call it a draw.

Sia Soliola is making 10 more metres and four more tackles a game than Danny Fualolo, in an output-based position. Then there is the energy and stability Soliola brings. Soliola gets the skin.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner has played two games this year, and Emre Guler has played one. Neither has played in over a month. I’m calling this skin a draw under the "not playing" rule.

Hooker/utility:
Siliva Havili may not have played a lot of hooker in recent times, but Jeremy Marshall-King has been very average for the Dogs.

Tom Starling will be Raiders number 362 if he gets onto the field. Rhyse Martin wins the skin with the debutant rule.

Backrow:
Hudson Young gets a start at lock. Like Horsburgh, he has earned his starting role, and is proving his versatility, after previously playing in the second row. Chris Smith has played eight games this year, but his numbers are awful. Young takes the skin.

The numbers for Corey Harawira-Naera and Elliott Whitehead are very similar. Both players have 30 missed tackles and both have produced three try causes. The difference between the two in running metres gained is just six. Harawire-Naera has conceded fewer penalties (4-7) and errors (3-9). Whitehead has made more tackles (355-293) and a better tackle efficiency rate (89-87 per cent). Whitehead has had been trying to cover a lot of talent sitting on the sideline, but I can’t split them.

Joe Tapine managed about 35 minutes on the edge last week, returning from injury, and looked short of a gallop. I haven’t been that impressed with Josh Jackson this year, but with Tapine only 50 minutes back from injury, Jackson gets the skin via the injury rule.

Ryan Sutton continues to be a rock in the middle of the field for the Raiders, averaging over 30 tackles a game at a 94 per cent tackle efficiency rate and 96 metres a game. These statistics are nearly double those of Sauaso Sue.

Result
The tally is Bulldogs six and Raiders eight, with three draws. An injury riddled, and Origin affected Raiders take on a nearly full strength Bulldogs. This is a leveler this week. However, despite this, the bookies still believe in the Raiders.

Result: Raiders against the odds (by 4-10).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by zim » May 28, 2019, 8:45 pm

I think Taps only manage 35mins Matt. Except for the Whitehead draw good job on the skins :D

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by Matt » May 29, 2019, 9:59 am

zim wrote:
May 28, 2019, 8:45 pm
I think Taps only manage 35mins Matt. Except for the Whitehead draw good job on the skins :D
I swear he came on in the 1st half and didnt go off. Weird?!?

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by greeneyed » May 29, 2019, 11:12 am

I'm pleased I've tipped a loss... and Matt is tipping a win. Guaranteed Raiders victory!
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2019

Post by zim » May 29, 2019, 11:24 am

Matt wrote:
May 29, 2019, 9:59 am
zim wrote:
May 28, 2019, 8:45 pm
I think Taps only manage 35mins Matt. Except for the Whitehead draw good job on the skins :D
I swear he came on in the 1st half and didnt go off. Weird?!?
He came off after grabbing a shoulder. I thought it was another injury but must have just been a burner.

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