Matt's Match-ups 2018

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » May 11, 2018, 2:06 pm

Matt wrote:
May 11, 2018, 1:15 pm
Guys, Edrick has been playing left wing. Its Rapa he is up against.
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 12, 2018, 12:07 pm

zim wrote:
May 11, 2018, 2:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 11, 2018, 1:15 pm
Guys, Edrick has been playing left wing. Its Rapa he is up against.
Image
Ive seen him on the left too.
Must have switched sides when Holmes went to fullback. Coz Holmes was on the right.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » May 12, 2018, 2:25 pm

Matt wrote:
zim wrote:
May 11, 2018, 2:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 11, 2018, 1:15 pm
Guys, Edrick has been playing left wing. Its Rapa he is up against.
Image
Ive seen him on the left too.
Must have switched sides when Holmes went to fullback. Coz Holmes was on the right.
Yeah when Holmes moved and feki came in they switched him.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm

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

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Dragons V Raiders

Matt Dufty 1. Jack Wighton
Nene MacDonald 2. Nick Cotric
Euan Aitken 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Timoteo Lafai 4. Joseph Leilua
Jason Nightingale 5. Jordan Rapana
Gareth Widdop © 6. Blake Austin
Ben Hunt 7. Aidan Sezer
James Grahan 8. Sia Soliola
Cameron McInnes 9. Siliva Havili
Paul Vaughan 10. Shannon Boyd
Tyson Frizell 11. Joseph Tapine
Tariq Sims 12. Elliott Whitehead
Jack De Belin 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
Kurt Mann 15. vs 14. Ata Hingano
Jeremy Latimore 14. vs 15. Luke Bateman
Leeson Ah Mau 16. Charlie Gubb
Blake Lawrie 17. Dunamis Lui

Extended Bench
Reece Robson 18. Liam Knight
Zac Lomax 19. Michael Oldfield
Mitchell Allgood 20. Sam Williams
Hame Sele 21. Craig Garvey

I’ve manipulated the bench to compare like positions.

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

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Matt Dufty has electric speed and is therefore dynamic in space and broken play. He is also lucky enough to be behind the best forward pack and the best halves pairing in the NRL at the moment... and that shows with this try scoring. However, and while this will be unpopular, I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.

Wingers:
I like Nene MacDonald as a player. I think he is a little bit underrated as a winger, but he is strong, has a great leap and is fast enough. However, Nick Cotric is proving he can be the next generation's superstar outside back. I really think he can earn a Blues jumper this year.

Jason Nightingale might be ‘evergreen’, but Jordan Rapana he is not. Like so many long serving players, Nightingale is looking like a player who is probably at the end of his ability to play at this level. Jordan Rapana is the best winger in the NRL in my view, top three at worst.

Centres:
If Euan Aitkin isn’t Brad Fittler’s first choice centre, he is kidding himself. Aitken has split the points in his two meetings with Greg Inglis this year, and dominated most else. He is probably the best centre in the competition at present. Jarrod Croker is in pretty good form at the moment, but he’s not currently in Aitken’s class.

Tim Lafai, is having a good year at the Dragons. He already has four tries and a pair of try assists and he is averaging 110m a game. Lafai is just edging Joseph Leilua, with three tries, a pair of assists and 100m a game.

Halves:
Blake Austin has been named to play after he suffered what looked like an ugly ankle injury against the Sharks. Sam Williams has been named as cover, after returning for injury via Mounties last week. Aidan Sezer has been the Raiders' shining light over the last month, however, he bore the brunt of the fans' unhappiness, unfairly in my opinion, after his intercept lead to the match sealing try.

However, let’s not sugar coat it, Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop are the best halves pairing in the competition. I’m sure you have seen a Broncos game this year... if not, wow! Otherwise, I’m sure they will be on, on Friday night, so tune in to see what they are missing in Hunt. What Hunt brings to Widdop is time and space, which he is thriving on.

Prop:
James Graham isn’t required to be a halfback and prop at the Dragons, and so he doesn’t appear to be the same player. However, he is still averaging 109m and 27 tackles a game. That’s what you want out of a starting prop. Sia Soliola is more defensively minded, averaging 29 tackles a game, and a handy 89m a game.

Shannon Boyd has just signed for big money at the Titans, just one week after tearing them apart. However, this week he plays opposite one of his best mates, Paul Vaughan, and Vaughan is well and truly in Origin contention. I fact, if Vaughan doesn’t make the Blues side, Brad Fittler has a lot of explaining to do.

Leeson Ah Mau has been the best bench props in the competition for two years, and could easily start. I rate him very highly and hope our club made him a decent offer for next year and beyond. Charlie Gubb was solid on his return from injury, but only solid. Dunamis Lui gets an easy skin with Blake Lawie playing his first game of the year.

Hooker/utility:
I still think Siliva Havili should be in contention for ‘2018 Buy of the Year’. The guy just keeps impressing me. Cameron McInnes is a strong contender for Origin, and is having a pretty good year, but I thought he was more dynamic last year.

Ata Hingano got his first taste of five eighth at the Raiders last weekend. Pity it was at the expense of an ankle injury to Blake Austin. He was enthusiastic and energetic, but he didn’t really gel. Kurt Mann has been relegated to the bench role, and really plays are a running forward, but has been doing a reasonable job. He gets the edge here playing better minutes and more consistently in an unfamiliar position.

Back row:
The back row this week is pretty tough to call, because all six are playing good quality football. We will start at lock, because its probably the easiest skin of the starting three. While Jack De Belin is in contention for the Blues, and for good reason, in recent weeks he has been hampered by a hip pointer injury. On the other hand, Josh Papalii has been banging the door down to get back into a Maroons jumper. He has taken it to Taumalolo, Arrow and a young Sharks pack in recent weeks, and looked great in the middle third.

I love all the work Elliott Whitehead does, and his versatility. He's able to play on either edge or at five eighth, as he did on the weekend. However, Tariq Sims is just about the form back rower in the competition so far the year. He is playing with controlled aggression and stamping his claim as a Blues contender. The Dragons enforcer has been especially brutal in defence. Maybe, just maybe, 2018 is the year Tariq finally wears the sky Blue.

The No. 11s were a much tougher call. Tyson Frizell, like his back row partner, is also in career best form. He has found his way over the stripe four times this year and averages 111m and 27 tackles a game. However, I am loving the aggression and intent shown by Joseph Tapine over the past month. He also averages 27 tackles a game, but only 86m, despite passing 100m in the past two outings.

The last skin is Luke Bateman and Jeremy Latimore. Latimore has been deceptively good this year. His offload has returned, and is churning out decent numbers given he is getting minimal minutes, 17 tackles and 65m. Bateman made a try saving effort on Andrew Fifita last week, jolting the ball free, but has Latimore covered in the production department, averaging nearly 31 tackles a game and 69m.

Result
The tally is Dragons 9 and Raiders 8. I’m sure I’ve made a couple of unpopular choices this week, especially given that this is a No. 1 ranked Dragons side, but I don’t think the skin closeness will matter. The main reason is the halves, the two most important positions are filled by the best pairing in the competition.

Result: Dragons in an annihilation (by 16-20).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » May 17, 2018, 10:50 am

I've been surprised by Sims form this year. I thought for sure he was going to be their biggest weakness. Looks like the vote of confidence and increased fitness have done him the world of good.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Finchy » May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm

Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Woodgers » May 17, 2018, 1:30 pm

For me the only possible skins I could even consider giving the Raiders is Rapana over Nightingale (but even that is debatable) and Lui over Lawrie. Every other one is Dragons comfortably.
We continue to **** about with blokes that are part of some fraternity. It's infuriating.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 17, 2018, 1:35 pm

Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
1stly, u listen to Gus?!?

2nd, Dufty is a 1 trick pony. Speed. Its a good trick, u cant beat it, but its all he has.

Wightons errors. He has 7 in 10 games. Thats less than, Teddy, Turbo, RTS, Ponga, Slater, Boyd, Gordon, Thompson, Edwards, Holmes, Dufty.... oh wait, that means only Johnston and Mybe have less as a regular FB, and they both have 6.
HMMMMMM...

He is actually 77th overall in the league for Errors (272 players play any given wk). Thats about the cutoff for the top quarter. Not bad for a spine player though. As they dominate that top quartetof players.

Oh... Cook has been better than any other hooker in the comp this yr. McInnes is at least 4th behind Api and McCullough. U could argue Luke too, but he has been a bit fragile.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » May 17, 2018, 1:39 pm

Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
Well that's just blatantly false. He's averaging 0.8 per game this season down from 1.5 in 2017 and 1.5 in 2016.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Finchy » May 17, 2018, 1:50 pm

zim wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:39 pm
Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
Well that's just blatantly false. He's averaging 0.8 per game this season down from 1.5 in 2017 and 1.5 in 2016.
Blatantly false? First touch and he drops it? Blatantly false? I didn't realise reducing errors = correcting them. Still a big issue in his game though, and I'm sure everyone still gets nervous when he's under a high ball or trying to clean up a grubber on the goaline
Last edited by Finchy on May 17, 2018, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Finchy » May 17, 2018, 1:55 pm

Matt wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:35 pm
Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
1stly, u listen to Gus?!?

2nd, Dufty is a 1 trick pony. Speed. Its a good trick, u cant beat it, but its all he has.


Wightons errors. He has 7 in 10 games. Thats less than, Teddy, Turbo, RTS, Ponga, Slater, Boyd, Gordon, Thompson, Edwards, Holmes, Dufty.... oh wait, that means only Johnston and Mybe have less as a regular FB, and they both have 6.
HMMMMMM...

He is actually 77th overall in the league for Errors (272 players play any given wk). Thats about the cutoff for the top quarter. Not bad for a spine player though. As they dominate that top quartetof players.

Oh... Cook has been better than any other hooker in the comp this yr. McInnes is at least 4th behind Api and McCullough. U could argue Luke too, but he has been a bit fragile.

If Dufty's a one trick pony, what's Wighton's trick? Backflips? The likes of Teddy, Slater, and Roberts pretty much rely on their speed and agility. They're better than Wighton.

And for all of Gus's waffle, he's still a smart cookie when it comes to Rugby League, whether most people acknowledge it or not.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » May 17, 2018, 2:08 pm

Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:50 pm
zim wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:39 pm
Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
Well that's just blatantly false. He's averaging 0.8 per game this season down from 1.5 in 2017 and 1.5 in 2016.
Blatantly false? First touch and he drops it? Blatantly false? I didn't realise reducing errors = correcting them.
What's your definition of correcting errors? How would you measure it?
If it's having 0 errors every game your definition has no basis in reality, especially in the NRL.

Dropping 1 ball has no merit whatsoever when discussing someone's form. No spine player makes no errors. In previous years it would have been his first of a number of drops. In a few games he's had 0 errors.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Finchy » May 17, 2018, 3:40 pm

zim wrote:
May 17, 2018, 2:08 pm
Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:50 pm
zim wrote:
May 17, 2018, 1:39 pm
Finchy wrote:
May 17, 2018, 12:06 pm
Matt wrote:
May 16, 2018, 3:39 pm
I think Jack Wighton has been the most underrated fullback in the NRL in 2018. Other than Kayln Ponga, I don’t think there is a fullback playing the sweep play better than Wighton in 2018. He has corrected his errors and positioning in 2018 too. He is now the modern fullback we have been hoping he could be.
Wighton > Dufty? Really? Wighton is far from the "modern fullback we have hoped he could be." And he hasn't corrected is errors or positioning at all. First touch of the game last week and he drops it. Even Gus was saying pre-game that he isn't a fullback.

And Havili > McInnes? Havili has been good, but better than the likely NSW hooker? In a team coming first? Come on!
Well that's just blatantly false. He's averaging 0.8 per game this season down from 1.5 in 2017 and 1.5 in 2016.
Blatantly false? First touch and he drops it? Blatantly false? I didn't realise reducing errors = correcting them.
What's your definition of correcting errors? How would you measure it?
If it's having 0 errors every game your definition has no basis in reality, especially in the NRL.

Dropping 1 ball has no merit whatsoever when discussing someone's form. No spine player makes no errors. In previous years it would have been his first of a number of drops. In a few games he's had 0 errors.
He needs to maintain it for longer than 10 games. And it's not just the number of errors, it's the kind of errors he makes.

Rapana probably makes more errors than Wighton, but they're not game changing clangers. Rapana might occasionally get bundled into touch attempting an acrobatic put-down, or throw a slightly forward pass running down the sideline, or accidentally knock the ball into an opposition player in the act of gathering a kick (like the Cowboys game).

Generally Rapana makes standard little errors that all players make, that aren't howlers that cause people to demand he get dropped. He used to be far worse, hence the old nickname of **** fingers. He's far better than that now, as has been for a few years. Plus he has huge upside, in that he scores and sets up plenty of tries and makes plenty of linebreaks. Wighton not so much.

Wighton drops simple bombs, spills regulation grubbers, loses the ball making hit ups, or drops it cold trying to play the ball. Just really stupid ill-timed stuff that costs us games, or gets us on the back foot, gifting the opposition really good field position.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » May 17, 2018, 6:03 pm

Wighton seemed to be dropping the ball over the line a lot last year. Think he had a reasonable try drought with a number of butchered tries.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 18, 2018, 9:26 am

@Finchy,

Wighton is 7th among FBs to TA's. (Ponga, Turbo, Johnston, Slater, Teddy, RTS)
He is 8th in Try Involvements (Mbye sneaks in)
Equal 1st in last pass assists. (Admittedly its only 1 with the same group)
He is 4th in line break assists (Ponga, Turbo, Johnston)

He is much better than people give him credit for.

You keep harping on Wighton's 1st error on the weekend. On another day, that's a penalty for lying in the play the ball. Id also say that halving your error rate is a damn good effort. Esp. when you argue Rapa's errors as ok, then ignore that all those other players have worse error rates and you ignore it. Turbo has cost his side plenty of points this yr dropping bombs. I've seen a few of Teddy's errors lead to points this yr too. So its not just Wighton making costly errors at FB, it comes with the job. Last line means when you screw up its usually costly.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by El_Capitano » May 18, 2018, 10:24 am

Matt wrote:@Finchy,

Wighton is 7th among FBs to TA's. (Ponga, Turbo, Johnston, Slater, Teddy, RTS)
He is 8th in Try Involvements (Mbye sneaks in)
Equal 1st in last pass assists. (Admittedly its only 1 with the same group)
He is 4th in line break assists (Ponga, Turbo, Johnston)

He is much better than people give him credit for.

You keep harping on Wighton's 1st error on the weekend. On another day, that's a penalty for lying in the play the ball. Id also say that halving your error rate is a damn good effort. Esp. when you argue Rapa's errors as ok, then ignore that all those other players have worse error rates and you ignore it. Turbo has cost his side plenty of points this yr dropping bombs. I've seen a few of Teddy's errors lead to points this yr too. So its not just Wighton making costly errors at FB, it comes with the job. Last line means when you screw up its usually costly.
Jacky for the win!


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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by RedRaider » May 18, 2018, 9:43 pm

Matt, I can't agree that Sims is better than EW. Sims has put on a few shots this year but EW is an 80 minute consistent player who showed a deft kicking skill last weekend. EW is the ideal forward for now and the future with reduced/reducing interchanges. I wouldn't swap EW for any other left second row forward in the game in 2018.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Sun Coast Raider » May 18, 2018, 10:31 pm

I usually wouldn't comment on Matt's Mashups as hey it's just an opinion piece, but usually good for a read.
This one is a bit of a mess though - being pretty bloody generous to some Raiders players there. Clear green bias.
Oh well I guess that this is only my opinion too.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 19, 2018, 8:05 am

Sun Coast Raider wrote:
May 18, 2018, 10:31 pm
I usually wouldn't comment on Matt's Mashups as hey it's just an opinion piece, but usually good for a read.
This one is a bit of a mess though - being pretty bloody generous to some Raiders players there. Clear green bias.
Oh well I guess that this is only my opinion too.
Thanks for commenting anyway CR

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 19, 2018, 8:06 am

RedRaider wrote:
May 18, 2018, 9:43 pm
Matt, I can't agree that Sims is better than EW. Sims has put on a few shots this year but EW is an 80 minute consistent player who showed a deft kicking skill last weekend. EW is the ideal forward for now and the future with reduced/reducing interchanges. I wouldn't swap EW for any other left second row forward in the game in 2018.
EW is a quality player. No doubt about it. I still think what Sims is bringing this yr is of the highest order.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Finchy » May 20, 2018, 5:18 pm

How about that one-trick pony Matt Dufty hey? Very inferior to Wighton...

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Sun Coast Raider » May 20, 2018, 6:03 pm

TBF it was said his one trick was speed. Definitely showed it today.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by RedRaider » May 20, 2018, 9:17 pm

And a good step in his own try and a good kick infield for the Widdop try which showed match awareness as well as some kicking skill. When combined with his speed and the game management of Widdop and Hunt it has the Dragons looking alright in attack.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 21, 2018, 3:55 pm

Sun Coast Raider wrote:
May 20, 2018, 6:03 pm
TBF it was said his one trick was speed. Definitely showed it today.
Cheers CR.
I did say his trick was speed and that its hard to beat. Also, those 2 plays were particularly good. But... that took 30secs of the game. What did he do elsewhere? Other than be put into the 1st row by Tarpz on halftime?

Wighton was far more involved for 80mins. Im pretty sure he was involved in a try or 2 as well.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » May 23, 2018, 9:06 am

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 12: Raiders V Sea Eagles

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Sea Eagles V Raiders

Tom Trbojevic 1. Jack Wighton
Jorge Taufau 2. Nick Cotric
Moses Suli 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Brian Kelly 4. Joseph Leilua
Akuila Uate 5. Jordan Rapana
Trent Hodkinson 6. Blake Austin
Daly Cherry-Evans © 7. Aidan Sezer
Addin Fonua-Blake 8. Dunamis Lui
Lewis Brown 9. Siliva Havili
Martin Taupau 10. Shannon Boyd
Joel Thompson 11. Josh Papalii
Shaun Lane 12. Elliott Whitehead
Jake Trbojevic 13. Sia Soliola

Interchange
Matthew Wright 14. Ata Hingano
Frank Winterstein 15. Luke Bateman
Lloyd Perrett 16. Charlie Gubb
Toafofoa Sipley 17. Liam Knight

Extended Bench
Tom Wright 18. Emre Guler
Brad Parker 19. Michael Oldfield
Jack Gosiewski 20. Sam Williams
Tevita Funa 21. Craig Garvey

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

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
I like what Jack Wighton has been doing this year for the Raiders, and I think he gets unfairly criticised a lot of the time. However, this week he is up against one of the contenders for the Blues' fullback role. Tom Trbojevic has had a few shaky games this year, but in the last couple of weeks he has really started to put some form on the board. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that it’s because his brother seems to have gone to a new level.

Wingers:
Jorge Taufua has been named to return from a long injury layoff, meaning Nick Cotric gets the easy skin. Akuila Uate has been in reasonable try scoring form in recent weeks, so I was tempted to pick against Jordan Rapana. However, the Kiwi international bagged one on the weekend with an opportunistic tap play. He also continues to pile up the run metres week in week out.

Centres:
Moses Suli is at his third club in less than nine months. He left a massive deal at the Tigers to join the Bulldogs, only to be cut. He landed a gig with Manly, given the Sea Eagles issues with the salary cap and injury. Since being elevated to the NRL side, following numerous injuries, he has excelled - and this is no surprise, as the kid is a massive talent. In the past three weeks he has run for 364m, while he bagged a try last week. Jarrod Croker is having a reasonable year, but not a great one. He has six tries in eleven games; averages nearly three tackle busts a game and 75m gained.

Joseph Leilua has four tries and two try assists in 2018. He averages a tick under 100m a game, nearly four tackle busts and just over two offloads a game as well. He has looked powerful and dangerous this season. While he hasn’t quite been as potent as we may have hoped, he is outdoing Brian ‘turnstile’ Kelly. Kelly averages 89m a game, only has two tries on the year, and has an awful 77% tackle success rate. The Raiders must run at him, and often.

Halves:
Trent Hodkinson has played five games this year, but four were for the Sharks. He made his 2018 debut for the club he made his NRL debut for way back in 2010. His form and statistics are nothing to write home about. He gets a start this week because Dylan Walker has a broken eye socket, after a flurry of punches from Curtis Scott. Blake Austin has been in pretty good form the past month or so and gets an easy skin.

Aidan Sezer’s form has been all over the place the past few weeks. He has been the hero and the villain. Daly Cherry-Evans on the other hand has been in great touch. Cherry-Evans, the Trbojevic brothers and Marty Taupau have made a side decimated by injury look great.

Prop:
If Andrew Fifita is the best prop in the game at the moment, then Marty Taupau is number 2. He has been at his absolute best for Manly this year. He is a one man forward pack, pounding out 165m, 27 tackles, 4.4 tackle busts and 3.3 offloads in 51 minutes a game. Shannon Boyd averages just 34 minutes, 102m, and 22 tackles (at an amazing tackle success rate of 98 per cent).

Addin Fonua-Blake has taken his game to the levels we hoped Shannon Boyd would. He has maintained his size, but has been able to push out more explosive minutes. He is averaging 48 minutes a game, punching out 130m and 22 tackles a game. Dunamis Lui might be a former teammate of Fonua-Blake, and has been good for the Raiders this year, but this is a no contest.

Trent Barrett has been using his bench very strangely in 2018. He has been regularly leaving players on the bench for the entire 80 minutes. Last week, even though their side was reduced to 11 players, Lloyd Perrett and Toafofoa Sipley only played the last 5 minutes of the game. It’s not the first time this year that Perrett has seen extremely limited action either. For that reason, Charlie Gubb gets what is basically an ‘injury/suspension rule’ skin. As Liam Knight hasn’t played for a few weeks, and Sipley has five minutes to his name, I’m calling it a draw.

Hooker/utility:
Siliva Havili, like Gubb, wins what is basically an ‘injury/suspension rule’ skin, as Lewis Brown has barely played this year. He is only playing this week because Api Koroisau was suspended for punching. Matthew Wright has been playing on the wing the past couple of weeks, and bagged a ‘never give up’ try against the Storm. Ata Hingano continues to just play a very basic relief role for Havili... so Wright gets the skin.

Backrow:
Josh Papalii returns to the edge for the suspended Joseph Tapine. Papalii has arguably been the Raiders' best forward the past two weeks, and has really staked his claim for a Maroon jersey in the past month. While Joel Thompson has been in reasonable form and bagged a double against the Broncos a fortnight ago, this is an easy pick.

I really like Shaun Lane as a footballer. I think he is underrated, as both a hole runner and off loader. The fact that Barrett keeps playing him through the middle and that Sironen started the year ahead of him is a travesty. However, Elliott Whitehead is all class, averaging 90m and 30 tackles a game on the edge.

The last skin is an easy one, I love everything Sia Soliola does for us, but Jake Trbojevic is a top three lock forward, behind only Jason Taumalolo and Sam Burgess.

Like a few of his other teammates, Frank Winterstein has been on the receiving end of 80 minute bench stints. However, with the injury crisis as it is, he has been getting a few more minutes on the edge, after Shaun Lane pushes into the middle to relieve one of Taupau or Fonua-Blake. Last week he set up a try with a good offload. However, that isn’t enough to beat Luke Bateman. Bateman has more ‘runs on the board’ this season.

Result
The tally is Sea Eagles seven and Raiders nine with one draw. With all the ins and outs for both teams because of injury and suspension - and the strange use of the bench by Trent Barrett - the skins aren’t really a fair representation of how each team is going. Manly should absolutely be struggling, they have a massive injury toll, they have salary cap dramas and they have player in-fighting... yet they sit level with the Raiders on eight competition points, and have won their past two games. On the other hand, the Raiders have lost their past two, both from a winnable position. I tipped the Raiders to beat a heavily depleted Sharks side only to be embarrassed, so not this time.

Result: Sea Eagles come from behind (by 6-10).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 6, 2018, 9:59 am

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 14: Raiders V Panthers

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Its Origin time again, Game I at the MCG. Its an exciting week, but let’s look forward to Friday night footy...

Panthers V Raiders

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 1. Jack Wighton
Christian Crichton 2. Nick Cotric
Tyrone Peachey 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Dean Whare 4. Joseph Leilua
Tyrone Philllips 5. Jordan Rapana
James Maloney © 6. Blake Austin
Nathan Cleary 7. Aidan Sezer
Trent Merrin 8. Dunamis Lui
Sione Katoa 9. Siliva Havili
Regan Campbell-Gillard 10. Shannon Boyd
Corey Harawira-Naera 11. Sia Soliola
Isaah Yeo 12. Elliott Whitehead
James Fisher-Harris 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
Wayde Egan 14. Ata Hingano
Kaide Ellis 15. Luke Bateman
Viliame Kikau 16. Charlie Gubb
James Tamou 17. Liam Knight

Extended Bench
Jarome Luai 18. Emre Guler
Tyrone May 19. Michael Oldfield
Tom Eisenhuth 20. Jack Murchie
Nick Lui-Toso 21. Craig Garvey
Caleb Aekins 22. Not Named
Liam Martin 23. Not Named

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

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Jack Wighton has been one of the Raiders’ best players all year. Can’t fault his performance in 2018, it has been quality. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is certainly a better than handy replacement for Dylan Edwards at the back, however, like Valentine Holmes, I believe he is a better winger than he is fullback.

Wingers:
Both the Panthers wingers are replacement depth. With the likes of Josh Mansour, Waqa Blake and Dylan Edwards all injured long term, Christian Crichton and Tyrone Philllips have stepped into the fold. They are no match for Origin bolter Nick Cotric (19th man), and his MOTM performance against the Sea Eagles, nor Jordan Rapana, who I suspect will be booked on the plane to Denver when the New Zealand team is announced.

Centres:
Tyrone Peachey may have been selected to play Origin due to his versitillity, but it’s the quality performances he has displayed this year that put him in the frame. Jarrod Croker is having a quiet year by his standards.

Dean Whare is a superstar defensive centre. However, he can’t fight his way out of a wet paperbag with ball in hand. On the other hand, Joseph Leilua is probably the opposite, with suspect defence and scintillating attack.

Halves:
This is a no contest, the Blues pairing of Nathan Cleary and James Maloney, easily account for Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer.

Prop:
The starting props are a no contest, with Origin rookie Regan Campbell-Gillard and former Origin star Trent Merrin accounting for Dunamis Lui and the departing Shannon Boyd.

The bench isn’t much better for the Raiders, with the only forward skin going to Luke Bateman, who squares off against Kaide Ellis with only two NRL games to his name. James Tamou is probably the most underappreciated, or under recognized prop in the game at the moment, with his 2018 numbers rivaling the Blues Origin props, easily accounting for Liam Knight. While Viliame Kikau won’t play in the middle and Charlie Gubb will, Kikau wins this easily, having continued his World Cup form for Fiji into the current NRL season.

Hooker/utility:
This is one of the tougher skins to pick in this one. Sione Katoa is a very good young hooker, and really has a very similar playing style to that of Siliva Havili. Katoa is probably the better long term prospect, and has deputised very well for Peter Wallace, but at this stage I think Havili is still just edging him out.

Like Bateman, Ata Hingano wins a dubious skin against a four gamer in Wayde Egan. Egan is a real talent, and will be contesting with Katoa for the Panthers No. 9 jersey next season.

Backrow:
This week it’s really tough for James Fisher-Harris, because I think he is playing outstanding footy at the moment. His aggression, especially defensively, has been a huge reason why the Panthers are going along so well at the moment. However, he faces Josh Papalii who has found a new home at lock for the Raiders. He has battled some of the best in the position, like Taumalolo, Trbojevic and Arrow in recent weeks and come out on top. No reason why he can’t add Fisher-Harris to that list, before telling him to come play in green in 2019.

Isaah Yeo is an underrated footballer. He is very much in a similar mould to that of Elliott Whitehead; a workhorse with more skill than he is given credit for. Yeo is also touted as a future captain of the club. While Elliott Whitehead is likely going to be playing for his country against his winger team mate in Rapana in the USA in a few weeks, I think Yeo edges him in a winning side. Yeo is making 11m and 26 tackles a game, to Whitehead’s 86m and 31 tackles, remembering that he is doing that with the likes of Fisher-Harris, Campbell-Gillard, Merrin, Kikau and Harawira-Naera all in the side too.

I’ve said it all season; I’m loving what Sia Soliola is bringing to the team in 2018. However, Corey Harawira-Naera is currently keeping Viliame Kikau on the bench, and forcing Isaah Yeo to play on the other edge, and then move to lock. He has a very bright future in the game.

Result
The tally is Panthers 8 and Raiders 7. The skins tell a different story to the way these sides match up. Make no mistake, the fact that nearly all the Panthers skins are ‘no contests’ is more important than the finally tally. This is going to be a seriously difficult task for the home side, as they take on the NRL leaders, packed with internationals and Origin stars.

Result: Panthers in a rout (by 16-20).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Rick » June 6, 2018, 11:03 am

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 13, 2018, 11:07 am

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 15: Raiders V Wests Tigers

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Sooooo… that close loss thing happened again. Let’s quickly look to this week.

Tigers V Raiders

Corey Thompson 1. Jack Wighton
Malakai Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Cotric
Esan Marsters 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Mahe Fonua 4. Joseph Leilua
Kevin Naiqama 5. Michael Oldfield
Josh Reynolds 6. Blake Austin
Luke Brooks 7. Aidan Sezer
Russell Packer ©8. Sia Soliola
Elijah Taylor 9. Josh Hodgson
Ben Matulino 10. Shannon Boyd
Chris Lawrence 11. Joseph Tapine
Robbie Rochow 12. Elliott Whitehead
Matthew Eisenhuth 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
Matt McIlwrick 15. vs 14. Siliva Havili
Alex Twal 14 vs 15. Luke Bateman
Josh Aloiai 16. Dunamis Lui
Tim Grant 17. Liam Knight

Extended Bench
Michael Chee-Kam 18. Emre Guler
Tyson Gamble 19. Brad Abbey
Sauaso Sue 20. Jack Murchie
Chris McQueen 21. Craig Garvey

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

I’ve altered the matchups to pair like positions.

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Jack Wighton was slaying the No. 1 side with the sweep play last week; he continues to be one of our best. Corey Thompson made a huge splash earlier in the year, but he hasn’t been as good since he was on the wing. With a return to fullback, I suspect his form will also change.

Wingers:
Malakai Watene-Zelezniak is the second Watene-Zelezniak the Raiders have faced in consective weeks. Let’s be fair, Malakai is the worse of the two players. He is facing Nick Cotric, who was very unlucky to miss out on Origin selection. Cotric bagged yet another try in 2018 against the Panthers, and it could have so easily been three, with two bombed efforts.

With Jordan Rapana out injured long term, Michael Oldfield looks set to have an extended run in the top team. Even though Kevin Naiqama hasn’t played much footy lately, it’s still more NRL footy than Oldfield.

Centres:
Esan Marsters and Mahe Fonua are probably the form centre pairing in the competition at the moment. Fonua is sporting a fantastic 80’s league hairstyle, but is certainly playing the modern tackle-busting, beast-mode, outside backs game. His partner, Marsters, isn’t too far behind either. The pair combined for a whooping 395m against the Sharks and produced a combined eight tackle busts and six offloads. The Raiders must stop these two.

Jarrod Croker has been playing better footy of late. His part in the left side attack is underrated, showing slick hands on a couple of occasions last week. Joseph Leilua probably didn’t remember too much of the Panthers game, having been knocked out in the second minute.

Halves:
Josh Reynolds is only a game and a bit back from injury, and that’s about the only thing that’s stopping him from beating Blake Austin, whose form is far from good. His job is on the line and he is coming up short week in week out.

I can’t believe this is even possible, but Luke Brooks, yes, speed bump Luke Brooks, is one of the form halves in the competition. He was very close to Origin selection, if you believe the hype. Aidan Sezer’s form has been all over the shop in 2018, and seriously needs to be better at controlling a game, because at this rate it’s going to cost him his job. Lets hope with Josh Hodgson back this week, he has less on his mind.

Prop:
The all Kiwi front row is out pointing both Raiders at the moment. Shannon Boyd needs to play bigger minutes, and get more out of his second stint. I think Sia Soliloa is better suited to prop these days, but yet again, we have seen his versatility in recent weeks.

Tim Grant has found some vintage form in recent weeks. He has also been named on the bench a few times in recent weeks, only to be elevated to the starting sides. Liam Knight is getting better with every game, but still needs to show me more to win a skin.

Josh Aloiai seems to be in some sort of weird player rotation with Michael Chee-Kam, Robbie Rochow and Sauaso Sue. He is getting the game time, but a couple of games aren’t enough to show a winning form line. Dunamis Lui’s form hasn’t been that great lately. His form was better off the bench, so hopefully a return to the bench is beneficial for Lui.

Hooker/utility:
Elijah Taylor has been playing the unfamiliar role of hooker. This screams of Alan Tongue in my opinion; making a workhorse lock play hooker, to find a position for him, because there is another better lock at the club. Playing is enough to beat Josh ‘Miracle Man’ Hodgson on his return from injury... it is simply the injury rule at work here.

Matt McIllwrick has made a return to NRL footy this week. But Siliva Havili, with the return of Hodgson, is now the best bench hooker in the NRL.

Backrow:
Joseph Tapine is a victim of the suspension rule, so Chris Lawrence actually wins a skin in Matt’s Matchups.

Robbie Rochow is another Tiger that returns to the NRL side this week. He is nowhere near Elliott Whitehead. Even out of position Whitehead was one of the best players on the ground last week. Kudos on being picked for England too.

Lock is actually the toughest skin of the entire game. I am a huge fan of the massive young man that is Matthew Eisenhuth. He is the modern prototype middle forward, a big, athletic, metre eater, who is capable of long minutes. He is averaging 91m and 38 tackles a game. Josh Papalii is proving every bit an Origin player, and is certainly leading the Raiders’ pack at the moment. Papalii pumped out 115m and 36 tackles against the Panthers, which is eerily similar to the 120m and 36 tackles he made a fortnight ago against Manly.

Like Matthew Eisenhuth, Alex Twal is also a modern, prototype middle forward. He is averaging 111m and 28 tackles as a bench prop, which is really good going. Luke Bateman was very good against the Panthers, having to play bigger minutes after the reshuffle due to injury. He was even in the wars himself, getting a massive gash to his head. He still managed to make 80m and top the tackle count with an even 50.

Result
The tally is Tigers 10 and Raiders 7. Given their respective ladder positions this makes perfect sense. The Tigers have a few really good young players, a star coach in Ivan Cleary, and he has their defence locked up tighter than the secret surrounding Peter Wallace’s lack of ACL. This will be an interesting week, one of the best defences in the competition versus one of the best attacks. Who comes out on top?

Result: Tigers is a tight one (by 2-6).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » June 13, 2018, 11:42 am

Pretty spot on this week matty.
Luke Brooks has improved his defence a lot this year. It seemed odd though that he was so close to origin given how badly the tigers attack is going. I guess it comes down to a lack of depth for the blues. Their centres are going to destroy us if we aren't on our game.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by SeeBee101 » June 14, 2018, 2:40 pm

Is Croker on Fonua's side? If so, it's going to be a bloodbath....

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 15, 2018, 2:11 pm

SeeBee101 wrote:
June 14, 2018, 2:40 pm
Is Croker on Fonua's side? If so, it's going to be a bloodbath....
No. Croker will mark up against Marsters. BJ has to deal with Fonua.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 15, 2018, 2:11 pm

zim wrote:
June 13, 2018, 11:42 am
Pretty spot on this week matty.
Luke Brooks has improved his defence a lot this year. It seemed odd though that he was so close to origin given how badly the tigers attack is going. I guess it comes down to a lack of depth for the blues. Their centres are going to destroy us if we aren't on our game.
Brooks running game was very good in the first 2 months. Tigz just couldn't convert their line breaks.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 27, 2018, 2:33 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 16: Raiders V Broncos

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The Blues have finally won a series! Now, let’s continue the Queensland misery this week…

Broncos V Raiders

Darius Boyd © 1. Jack Wighton
Corey Oates 2. Nick Cotric
James Roberts 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Jordan Kahu 4. Joseph Leilua
Jamayne Isaako 5. Michael Oldfield
Anthony Milford 6. Blake Austin
Kodi Nikorima 7. Aidan Sezer
Matthew Lodge 8. Sia Soliola
Andrew McCullough 9. Josh Hodgson
Sam Thaiday 10. Shannon Boyd
Tevita Pangai Junior 11. Joseph Tapine
Jaydn Su’A 12. Elliott Whitehead
Josh McGuire 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
Tom Opacic 16. vs 14. Siliva Havili
Joe Ofahengaue 15. Junior Paulo
Patrick Mago 14 vs 16. Dunamis Lui
Alex Glenn 17. Liam Knight

Extended Bench
Korbin Sims 18. Jack Murchie
Troy Dargan 19. Charlie Gubb
Sam Tagataese 20. Craig Garvey
David Fifita 21. Brad Abbey
Kotoni Staggs 22. Not Named
Gehamat Shibasaki 23. Not Named

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

*I’ve rearranged the skins to match like players.

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Darius Boyd has been injured most of the year, with a dodgy groin and tight hamstrings. His performance and ability seems to have gone with it. Jack Wighton has been one of the best fullbacks this year.

Wingers:
Corey Oates might be a big strong, wannabe backrower, but he has confidence and bomb catching issues at times. Nick Cotric on the other hand is unlucky not to be in the NSW Origin side, and proving every bit the star player people hoped he was.

Jamayne Isaako is now an International winger. He was a little lucky with a few outside back injuries for the Kiwis, but none the less, he has been a standout as a rookie this year. He has proved he is cool under pressure too, having won a couple of close games for the Broncos this year; one with a field goal and another with a solo try. The kid is talented, and must be watched. Michael Oldfield is proving to be a real NRL try sneak, bagging his 20th NRL try in just his 32nd game. It is also his fifth try in seven games since returning to the NRL from ESL in 2016.

Centres:
Joseph Leilua has returned to form in the past couple of weeks. He has found his barnstorming running game of 2016 again. He was also the catalyst for the Samoan resurgence against the Tongans over the weekend, providing a great ‘captain’s knock’. Jordan Kahu again pulled on a Kiwi jersey over the weekend, but as they got towelled up, less said about that, the better.

I think Jarrod Corker has been coming into some good form of late too. He showed really slick hands on a couple of occasions against the Panthers and the Tigers in recent weeks. He provided a great bat down for the no try late in the game against the Tigers too. He faces off against James Roberts this week. Jimmy the Jet might have had his flight plan revoked on Sunday night, but make no mistake, he can make something out of nothing. He was getting an absolute bath from NSW team mate Latrell Mitchell a few weeks ago, before he decided to throw the after burners on and run right around the Roosters’ defensive line.

Halves:
Blake Austin continues to be a defensive liability. The fact that the Raiders defended better with 12 men against the Tigers is testament to that. Anthony Milford has been one of the form halves of the competition leading into and during this Origin period. Milford didn’t get too involved for Samoa, which was very strange, especially as a co-captain. We know what he can do, and while it doesn’t apply here, there isn’t a ‘Milford rule’ for no reason.

Aidan Sezer’s game went a little under the radar against the Tigers, especially with the dominance showed by Josh Hodgson on his return. But he was the one who put Shannon Boyd through the hole before his no try, he put Knight away for his, and he was the one who produced the pinpoint kick that Croker couldn’t quite gather in. He was also the one who picked the hole left by Mahe Fonau (who had just broken his arm trying to tackle Oldfield) for Austin to run through for his try. Like Kahu, Kodi Nikorima may have pulled on a Kiwi jersey on the weekend, but it was only because Shaun Johnson was unavailable. His form for the Broncos hasn’t been good, especially as he was dropped for Jack Bird for a time, and he is fighting for the NRL’s ‘worst buy of the year’ award.

Prop:
Matthew Lodge has finally put his off field drama behind him, having settled his legal case in the USA. However, it hasn’t affected his footy, as he is averaging a tick under 130m and 22 tackles a game. He can offload and break a tackle too. Sia Soliola is a quite achiever, with 85m and 30 tackles a game. The Raiders are a better side with him in it though.

Sam Thaiday is well past his prime. He will be a great NRL TV personality post footy, but this year will likely be his last. Averaging a paltry 59m and 21 tackles a game just isn’t good enough for a starting forward, especially one of his experience. Shannon Boyd hasn’t set the world on fire this year, but his 101m and 23 tackles a game easily wins this skin.

Joe Ofahengaue has been very good this year for the Broncos, and wins an easy ‘injury rule’ skin against the returning Junior Paulo.

Patrick Mago, a Raiders under 20s captain, has earned his fifth game this year. While he played on the edge in the junior grades he has moved into the middle in the NRL. He joins Raiders under 20s team mate Tevita Pangai Junior in the Broncos squad too. Playing limited minutes, he is no match for Dunamis Lui, who I thought was very good for the Samoans on the weekend. In his 50 minutes, he made 101m from nine carries and 44 tackles.

Liam Knight easily had his best game of his NRL career last week, capping it off with a try. However, the opposition wasn’t exactly up to scratch. Alex Glenn has been a consistent presence in the Broncos side all year. He averages 90m and 32 tackles a game, and while it looks like he might play in the middle this week, he has played most of his games on the edge in 2018.

Hooker/utility:
The script couldn’t have gone any better for the returning Josh Hodgson last week. With his first touch he drew a penalty, then a minute later he had Josh Papalii crashing over from close range. From that point onwards, the game was being dictated by the Pommy rake. However, one game, even one phenomenal game, is just that, one game. That isn’t a good enough form line to outdo the ever reliable, Queensland Origin hooker, Andrew McCullough.

Tom Opacic is another example of the new trend for coaches to pick a back as injury cover on the bench. Meanwhile, Siliva Havili just continues to impress at hooker. He scored a try for Tonga on the weekend too, a scything run from dummy half.

Backrow:
The Queensland Origin team mates Josh Papalii and Josh McGuire ate going head to head at lock this week. Over the season McGuire has averaged 123m and 31 tackles a game, while Papalii has averaged 128 and 27 tackles a game. In Origin I, it was 118m and 37 tackles versus 99m and 30 tackles, but Papalii did it in 15 less minutes. In Origin II, it was 69m and 29 tackles vs 31m and 19 tackles, this time in 20 less minutes. Papalii wins the skin on count back.

Elliott Whitehead won man of the match playing for England last weekend. He is also one of the most consistent performers in the Raiders, so it’s easy to see why he beats an admirable second year-er in Jayden Su’a.

Possibly the toughest skin of the entire contest is between ‘the man who left’ and ‘the man to fill his shoes’. When Tevita Pangai Junior left the Raiders, it was because the Raiders had secured the services of young and talented Joseph Tapine to fill his role. While Tapine has been the more successful of the two since that date, Tevita Pangai Junior has really shown what he can do in 2018. His coach has had to ‘manage him’ this year, but he is proving that he could well be one of the best forwards in the NRL. He has a big motor, speed, agility, a phenomenal offload, an ability to break tackles and can hit like a bus when he wants. Tapine was again selected for the Kiwis and has been in fantastic form for the Raiders this year. I don’t think he has been as good as the man he replaced this year though.

Result
The tally is Broncos eight and Raiders nine. An even contest for the teams coming eighth and ninth seems a fair result. The Raiders side has got two of its best players back in the last fortnight, and had a great win against the Tigers to build some confidence. Can they break the Lang Park hoodoo?

Result: Raiders in a surprise attack (by 14-16).

Image

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zim
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » June 27, 2018, 2:58 pm

That was a really surprising prediction at the end :lol:. Lets hope it holds up.

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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 27, 2018, 5:51 pm

zim wrote:
June 27, 2018, 2:58 pm
That was a really surprising prediction at the end :lol:. Lets hope it holds up.
Just got a feeling mate.

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