Matt's Match-ups 2018

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Matt
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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

Image

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).

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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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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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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Cranky Old Man » June 27, 2018, 6:47 pm

Great work as usual, Matt. Tapine is one of my favourite players, so I will be watching his clash with Pangai with interest. I am inclined to mark Pangai down a bit because I think he fades out a few times per game, which probably allows him to be the explosive player he usually is for the remainder of the game.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Raidersteve » June 27, 2018, 6:47 pm

Have to disagree with the Roberts over Croker. Yes Roberts played origin this year but Croker has shown that he is more than a match for Roberts for a number of years now. Every time he has come up against him both in rep. Footy and club footy he has come up on top or at the very least on par.

Therefore I would be calling it even at worst.

But that's just my opinion.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » June 28, 2018, 8:46 am

Raidersteve wrote:
June 27, 2018, 6:47 pm
Have to disagree with the Roberts over Croker. Yes Roberts played origin this year but Croker has shown that he is more than a match for Roberts for a number of years now. Every time he has come up against him both in rep. Footy and club footy he has come up on top or at the very least on par.

Therefore I would be calling it even at worst.

But that's just my opinion.
I hate Roberts.
I wouldn't have picked him for Origin, I see him as Michael Jennings 2.0. All speed and no substance.
However, he has made some very big plays out of no where this yr. Which is why Freddie picked him, and basically why I did.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » June 28, 2018, 11:19 am

I think Roberts has to be given some credit for defending well against GI. Croker usually outplays Roberts but these match-ups are about a player's individual form before this match (with some other caveats) and not how they'll do head to head.

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Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 4, 2018, 9:31 am

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 17: Raiders V Bulldogs

Image

Raiders fans, Origin III ‘The dead rubber’ coming soon to Nein…

Bulldogs V Raiders

Will Hopoate 1. Brad Abbey
Brett Morris 2. Nick Cotric
Kerrod Holland 3. Jarrod Croker Image
Marcelo Montoya 4. Joseph Leilua
Reimis Smith 5. Michael Oldfield
Lachlan Lewis 6. Sam Williams
Jeremy Marshall-King 7. Aidan Sezer
Aiden Tolman 8. Dunamis Lui
Michael Lichaa 9. Josh Hodgson
Danny Fualalo 10. Shannon Boyd
Josh Jackson Image 11. Joe Tapine
Rhyse Martin 12. Elliott Whitehead
Adam Elliott 13. Siliva Havili

Interchange
Fa’amanu Brown 14. Blake Austin
Clay Priest 15. Junior Paulo
Ofahiki Ogden 16. Liam Knight
Greg Eastwood 17. Sia Soliola

Extended Bench
Asipeli Fine 18. Jack Murchie
Matt Frawley 19. Charlie Gubb
Francis Tualau 20. Roycce Hunt
Josh Morris 21. Craig Garvey

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

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Brad Abbey’s Raiders debut was looking good at halftime, with a couple of telling carries, and directing traffic at the back; not afraid to physically pull teammates into position. However, like the rest of the side that turned in the second half. He faces Will Hopoate, who was a little quiet in the Dogs win over the weekend, but was Man of the Match in the Tonga versus Samoa Test. That showed what he is capable of.

Wingers:
If the Blues weren’t winning, Nick Cotric would be wearing a sky blue jumper next week. He is probably the form winger in the competition at the moment, bagging yet another try on the weekend. Brett Morris is no stranger to the Origin arena, and while he has been good for the Dogs, he has looked better this year playing alongside his twin brother, Josh, who is named on the extended bench.

Reimis Smith is the son of former Raider Tyran Smith. With only one recent game, I’ve got an easy skin Michael Oldfield’s way.

Centres:
Possibly a little tough on Jarrod Croker, but after a double last week, and being weirdly good off the bench for the Dogs this year, I’ve picked Kerrod Holland in this skin. I still can’t believe that John Olive got a run at centre before Holland.

Marcelo Montoya is known for his speed, like most of his countrymen, and has played most of his NRL on the wing. However, after a start in the centres for the Fijians a fortnight ago, he did the same for Dogs last week. Joseph Leilua is easily the more dangerous of the two. He made 132m against the Broncos last week, including three tackle busts.

Halves:
Ironically Lachlan Lewis left the Raiders to join the Dogs, because his passage to first grade was blocked by the likes of Sam Williams. This week they are head to head. As this is Sam’s first game back since these two teams last met, the one gamer, ‘Prince Lachy’ gets the skin.

Aidan Sezer’s kicking game was on point last week against the Broncos, and he showed his willingness to run the ball again. However, when the game needed him to step up, again Sezer was found wanting. On the other hand, Jeremy Marshall-King was one of the Dogs best in their win on the weekend. He had a hand in a couple of the Dogs tries, and looked dangerous running the ball, now that the shackles have been taken off him.

Prop:
Danny Fualalo is only one game back from an injury lay off, so Shannon Boyd gets an easy skin.

I thought Dunimus Lui was very good in his opening stint against the Broncos last week, which backed up his good game for Samoa the week before. I thought Aiden Tolman was a little lack lustre in the Dogs win on the weekend.

Junior Paulo is head to head with former team mate Clay Priest. Paulo is only one game back from a long injury lay off, and while Priest did not play last week, he did play a string of games before that. Priest therefore has a form line, even if it isn’t a good one.

Sia Soliola made his new contract official on Tuesday, inking a new two year deal. He had great impact off the bench last week against the Broncos. However, late in the second half, his lack of lateral movement was shown up by Anthony Milford, who ghosted past him to score. He is easily better than the well past it, body failing him, Greg Eastwood.

Liam Knight may not have seen the field last week, however, after his best game the week before, I’m not about to give the skin to Ofahiki Ogden, who only debuted last week.

Hooker/utility:
Josh Hodgson has showed in his two games back from injury that he is the second best hooker in the world. He dictated terms in both games. I don’t care what Michael Lichaa has done since regaining his starting No. 9 jersey, it isn’t going to stop ‘Josh Godsgon’ from winning the skin.

Blake Austin is lucky to still have a green jumper this week. Yet again his awful defensive reads cost the Raiders a game, with the entire Broncos points tally being scored down the Raiders right edge. However, like Priest, he has a form line, beating Fa’amanu Brown by default.

Backrow:
Josh Papalii isn’t available this week, and so Siliva Havili is getting a start at lock. I love this move, and it’s a fantastic reward for a great season. Havili is quickly becoming one of my favorite players, and I wanted Craig Garvey to start the year. Adam Elliott is actually a really nice guy, but as the saying goes, ‘nice guys finish last’. He is a solid squad player, straight out of the Luke Bateman mould.

Raymond Faitala-Mariner has been ruled out for the year with injury, meaning PNG international Rhyse Martin gets a fulltime gig on the left edge. I believe that these two should have been the Dogs backrowers for most of the year, but with Josh Jackson as the captain, that was always going to be a tough call. He has taken over the goal kicking duties, with Moses Mbye’s mid-season move to the Tigers. I think he is a really solid option, and with some more NRL games could even become a good player. Elliott Whitehead is one of the best edge forwards in the game. I say it every week, but he is usually in our top performers. Do I need to say more?

Josh Jackson is a good defender. He is the old style ‘bodyguard’ backrower. However, with the way the game is moving these days, your edges need to do more than that. That means I believe Jackson should be moved to lock. Joe Tapine is one of the starting New Zealand international backrowers. He provides aggression and mongrel. He has been one of our best players in recent weeks, so watching him hobble off last week was sad.

Result
The tally is Bulldogs five and Raiders 12. This is the third time in about six weeks I’ve called a matchups white wash. We lost the other two. I have absolutely no confidence in this team, even if they should win, and win easily.

Result: Raiders because they should (by 8-16).

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by greeneyed » July 4, 2018, 9:52 am

Priest over Paulo?!

Austin over Brown in hooker/utility?
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 4, 2018, 1:13 pm

greeneyed wrote:
July 4, 2018, 9:52 am
Priest over Paulo?!

Austin over Brown in hooker/utility?
Read why GE.


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Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 4, 2018, 6:13 pm

Did you factor in that Adam Elliott somehow discovers god mode against the Raiders?

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by RedRaider » July 5, 2018, 12:47 am

Austin gets the nod .. Matt, is this a typo??

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 5, 2018, 9:24 am

RedRaider wrote:
July 5, 2018, 12:47 am
Austin gets the nod .. Matt, is this a typo??
Refer to Homer RR

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 5, 2018, 9:24 am

gangrenous wrote:
July 4, 2018, 6:13 pm
Did you factor in that Adam Elliott somehow discovers god mode against the Raiders?
The old plodder factor. Yeah, it could bite me.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 11, 2018, 7:36 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 18: Raiders V Cowboys

Image

Origin III is minutes away, I want a whitewash!!!

Cowboys V Raiders

Lachlan Coote 1. Nick Cotric
Kyle Feldt 2. Michael Oldfield
Enari Tuala 3. Jarrod Croker ©
Kane Linnett 4. Joseph Leilua
Antonio Winterstein 5. Jordan Rapana
Te Maire Martin 6. Sam Williams
Johnathon Thurston © 7. Aidan Sezer
John Asiata 8. Dunamis Lui
Jake Granville 9. Josh Hodgson
Scott Bolton 10. Junior Paulo
Gavin Cooper 11. Joseph Tapine#
Coen Hess 12. Elliott Whitehead
Jason Taumalolo 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
Ben Hampton 14. Blake Austin
Shaun Fensom 15. Luke Bateman
Shane Wright 16. Siliva Havili
Corey Jensen 17. Sia Soliola

Extended Bench
Justin O’Neill 18. Liam Knight
Ethan Lowe 19. Jack Murchie
Mitchell Dunn 20. Royce Hunt
Francis Molo 21. Craig Garvey
Jake Clifford 23. Not Named

(Bolded players are the winners of the skin. The extended bench is excluded.)
# - Skin altered by the judiciary.

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Lachlan Coote is running out of lives at the NRL level in my opinion. Paul Green has already seen fit to drop him once. He gets ‘the yips’, and his favourite error is the dropped bomb. If the Raiders aren’t hoisting it his way all night long, they haven’t done their homework. Nick Cotric on the other hand is on an eight game try scoring streak. He is getting his second run at fullback too, which for many it’s great to see. I still believe his position will be centre, but I have no doubt that Cotric is a superstar in the making.

Wingers:
Kyle Feldt is easily the best player in the Cowboys back line. He is a first class finisher, a great leaper, and powerful ball runner. He also has some under utilised kicking skills. We all know about his swirling kickoffs, but his dropout can be just as effective, and when required he has a very long kick in general play. Michael Oldfield is a solid replacement, but he isn’t capable of the things Feldt can do.

This won’t happen often, if at all, but Antonio Winterstein wins the skin over Jordan Rapana. It’s via the injury rule, which is the only way this is likely to happen.

Centres:
I believe the Cowboys have found a good’un in Enari Tuala. At 6’2” and 96kgs, they have found a big, strong kid with loads of talent. He has two tries in his six games and a tackle efficiency rate of 89 per cent. That’s fantastic for a rookie, especially a centre, in what is the toughest position on the field to defend. He also averages 83m from nine carries a game with two tackle busts. However, I can’t ignore what the Raiders skipper has been doing the past few weeks. Against the Broncos he was the Raiders' best, and then on the weekend the captain stood up defensively, after setting up a try for Sam Williams. The Raiders need the skipper to fire again this week.

Kane Linnett has finally found his way back to the centres after a few weeks in the back row. It’s come at the expense of former Origin centre, Justin O’Neill. Linnett is a steadying influence, but, Paul Green should be looking to the future in his backs, and he isn’t doing it. Joseph Leilua produced plenty of rocks last week, but when the pressure was at its peak, BJ produced a whopper of a diamond. However, the post try celebration might need a rethink.

Halves:
Aidan Sezer was good against the Broncos, especially in the first half, and had his moments against the Bulldogs - but he isn’t doing nearly enough at the moment to dictate games. Nor did his halves partner, Sam Williams, who had a horrible first touch, kicking out on the full, but made up for it a little with a try.

Te Maire Martin has been on fire for the Cowboys in recent times. Like Michael Morgan did last year in Johnathon Thurston's absence last year, Martin is standing up in Morgan’s absence. His influence on games has certainly increased in recent weeks. His 156m against the Warriors a fortnight ago was a highlight. The aforementioned Thurston is certainly not himself in 2018. He seems to have lost his edge, however, he is still the Cowboys' main source of points, and his leadership and direction is still second to none.

Prop:
John Asiata is named to return from a torn pectoral suffered in Round 7; same injury and same time frame as Mitchell Pearce. However, due to the injury rule, Dunamis Lui wins an easy skin.

Scott Bolton is the mainstay of the Cowboys pack. He averages 103m a game and 26 tackles, with a tackle efficiency rate of 93 per cent. He's not as dynamic or powerful as Junior Paulo at his best, however, his reliability is worth more than his relative lack of impact. One game back from his foot injury, Paulo was unable to make a big impact.

Shaun Fensom gets an easy skin with Luke Bateman returning from injury.

Shane Wright is playing only his second NRL game, while Siliva Havili must be in the running for ‘2018 Buy of the Year’.

I have a big wrap on Corey Jensen; I think he is an under rated bench middle. He has had to start a few games this year in the absence of Asiata, Bolton and Scott and done really well. This year he averages 94m for nine carries and 21 tackles in 33 minutes a game. That is a fantastic work rate. Sia Soliola only makes 90m from 10 carries and 29 tackles in an average of 52 minutes a game. So, for value off the bench, Jensen gets the win.

Hooker/utility:
Josh Hodgson is proving that he is the second best hooker in the world. No player, outside of Cam Smith, has been more dominant in the past three weeks. Jake Granville has no hope of comparing.

Ben Hampton has been surprisingly good for the Cowboys this season. He has played hooker, fullback and centre in 2018. He was surprisingly good in the centres, and had a great try scoring rate, so I’m not sure why he was moved. Since returning to the utility role, his form has slid too. However, Blake Austin's recent form led to him being dropped to the bench, so despite his ‘15 minutes of fame’ last week, I can’t give him the skin.

Backrow:
Joseph Tapine has been found guilty at the judiciary, and will sit out for another two weeks. So, I’m gifting that skin to Origin representative Gavin Cooper.

The toughest skin of the week is Coen Hess versus Elliott Whitehead. Hess is having a ‘quiet’ year, with only four tries from his 15 games. He still averages 96m from 12 carries, with three tackle busts and 33 tackles a game. Whitehead has crossed eight times, with two assists. He averages 91m from 10 carries and 30 tackles. However, I feel as though the course of the Raiders' season is beginning to weigh on Whitehead. His discipline is suffering, and errors are creeping into his game. And that's why I've gone for Hess in this skin.

Jason Taumalolo is a one man forward pack and loses to no one, even someone as good as Josh Papalii. He averages 174m from 18 carries a game, five tackle busts, and 29 tackles. Papalii musters 127m from 14 carries, plus 2.4 tackle busts and 28 tackles a game.

Result
The tally is Cowboys 11 and Raiders 6. A really strange set of skins this week; with so many injuries, suspensions and rookies, it’s not the best reflection of the two teams. The Raiders don’t have a good record against the Cowboys, winning only three of their last nine encounters. However, the Raiders did beat them in Townsville this season.

Result: Raiders by 12-18.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 11, 2018, 7:43 pm

It’s origin tonight?! Ha, a new level of not caring even for me

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 18, 2018, 3:49 pm

Matt’s Match-ups Rd 19: Raiders V Sharks

Image

The Raiders vs Sharks rivalry continues…

Sharks V Raiders

Valentine Holmes 1. Brad Abbey
Sione Katoa 2. Nick Cotric
Jesse Ramien 3. Michael Oldfield
Ricky Leutele 4. Joseph Leilua
Edrick Lee 5. Jordan Rapana
Matt Moylan 6. Sam Williams
Chad Townsend 7. Aidan Sezer
Andrew Fifita 8. Dunamis Lui
Jayden Brailey 9. Josh Hodgson ©
Matt Prior 10. Junior Paulo
Scott Sorensen 11. Sia Soliola
Wade Graham 12. Elliott Whitehead
Paul Gallen © 13. Josh Papalii

Interchange
# James Segeyaro 15. vs 14. Blake Austin
# Aaron Woods 16. vs 15. Luke Bateman
# Joseph Paulo 14. vs 16. Siliva Havili
Jayson Bukuya 17. Liam Knight

Extended Bench
Ava Seumanufagai 18. Craig Garvey
Sosaia Feki 19. Jack Murchie
Kurt Dillion 20. Royce Hunt
Kyle Flanagan 21. Emre Guler

# - I’ve manipulated the bench to compare like positions (both are a mess this week).

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

Match-ups:

Fullbacks:
Brad Abbey returns at fullback after suffering concussion against the Broncos a fortnight ago. Abbey has only played two games in 2018, and missed last week, so this gives Valentine Holmes an easy ‘injury/ suspension’ skin. To be fair, Holmes’ form is so good that he would have easily won anyway.

Wingers:
There were big wraps on Sione Katoa coming out of the junior grades, but from what I’ve seen so far, he looks a little over awed. He is certainly a strong ball carrier, and can finish. However, defensively, and under the high ball he is a little suspect. He should be a target for the Raiders this week. Nick Cotric on the other had has scored tries in eight of his last nine game. I’m sure he is a little dirty on team mate Michael Oldfield ‘stealing’ his tries last week, as it cost him the try scoring streak record of nine weeks.

Jordan Rapana showedon his early return from injury last week why he is rated one of, if not the best, winger in the NRL. An acrobatic putdown to score his first try, and bagged a double after an ‘air swing’ by Antonio Winterstein cleaning up a kick. He also did a little bit of attacking from fullback on set pieces too. He faces former team mate Edrick Lee this week. Lee has earned his place on the wing for the Sharks this season. He hasn’t been flashy, with no long range tries, which was his trademark in the capital, but he has cut the errors which plagued him. He does have nine tries in 13 games though. Rapana’s long layoff costs him the skin this week.

Centres:
Jesse Ramien has been one of the better finds in 2018. He played one game in 2017, but in 2018 he has cemented himself as the Sharks’ first choice centre. He has been in great try scoring form too and, like Lee, has nine tries in 13 games. He also has three try assists, averages 110m a game and over three tackle busts a game. Michael Oldfield is the man to step into Jarrod Croker’s centre role this week. What a week to do it too, as he had his best game in green on the weekend, grabbing a hat trick. I was also quite surprised at how fast he was, clocking over 36km/hr when scoring his third try.

Ricky Leutele is a poor man’s Joseph Leilua. He doesn’t have the same natural ability, nor as high a ceiling, but he does run the ball hard, look for work, and can set up his outside man. Leutele averages 124m a game from 14 carries, has two tries and five assists in his 17 games this season. Leilua is only averaging 99m from 10 carries, but he has nine tries and two assists in 2018. I can’t split the pair this week.

Halves:
Both Aidan Sezer and Sam Williams had the ball on a string last week against the Cowboys. Both produced great kicking games, and delivered the game management we have been longing for. Sezer had to step up with the goal kicking role too, with Jarrod Croker suffering a season ending knee injury. Unfortunately for Sezer, he suffered a hamstring injury at training on Tuesday as the team was being announced. Chad Townsend has been in good form for the Sharks, but he gets an easy skin with Sezer ruled out.

Matt Moylan has really built into the five-eighth role in 2018. He has developed more touch and precision in his kicking game, and has 14 try assists in 15 games. However, he did get about half of those in one game.

Prop:
Like him or hate him, Andrew Fifita is one of the best props in the game. His form hasn’t been as good as it was the last time the two sides met, but only because he now has most of his ‘partners in crime’ back. When we faced them in Round 10, Fifita had to be a one man forward pack. Dunamis Lui is playing reasonably well, and is taking to the starting role, but he isn’t in Fifita’s league.

Matt Prior debuted for NSW in Origin in Game II. He is the under rated, and unnoticed member of the Sharks’ pack. He averages a tick over 100m and 32 tackles a game. Junior Paulo also averages a tick over 100m a game, but only makes 18 tackles a game. Paulo hasn’t been the wrecking ball we have seen in previous seasons.

Aaron Woods made the mid-season switch to the Sharks, due to cap issues at the Bulldogs. He has only played a couple of games for his new club, but last week he really turned back the clock, pumping out 168m and 23 tackles against a depleted Panthers. Woods averages 138m and 27 tackles a game. Luke Bateman is an honest toiler, who steadies up our middle third during the middle period of the game. He averages 72m a game and 31 tackles a game. The difference is the output Woods can make with ball in hand.

Jason Bukuya is the Sia Soliola of the Sharks. He mostly plays middle third these days, but when injuries occur, he is usually the first man shifted to the edge to cover them. However, with the emergence of Scott Sorenson, in his second stint on the Shire, he has been returned to the bench role. Liam Knight is learning a lot this year and is starting to look like a more than handy prop option in the NRL. I’d like to see what he can do as a starting option, but not sure we will see this in 2018.

Hooker/utility:
Josh Hodgson is making every post a winner in 2018. His form is irresistible, and a big reason why the Raiders’ form has also changed. Bar a shanked kick last week, he dictated terms to the Cowboys. Jayden Brailey is a very capable young hooker, however, he is limited in what he offers. He is a pass/run hooker, who plays structure.

James Segeyaro hasn’t been the same since returning to the NRL after a short stint in the ESL. He isn’t as electric out of dummy half, which was his strength. He has also been a little injury prone in recent seasons. He has been managing to play a few more minutes in recent weeks, taking the lion’s share off Brailey. Despite what is otherwise a pretty poor season, Blake Austin has played two great games in recent weeks. He managed to lift the Raiders out of the grave against the Bulldogs a fortnight ago, and filled in beautifully for Croker against the Cowboys. He was able to keep his game simple, run hard, and tackle everything that moves; it helped that the Cowboys didn’t really run much traffic at him either.

Backrow:
Josh Papalii has received plenty of plaudits for his efforts backing up from Origin last week. He yet again ‘out pointed’ his opposite number. Jowever, this past week wasn’t against just any quality lock forward, he was the best in the business in Jason Taumalolo. I think that alone means he is worth the skin against Paul Gallen this week.

Wade Graham returned from injury last week against the Panthers and made it through unscathed. However, he has had a disrupted season with injury, and as such, Elliott Whitehead gets an easy skin.

Scott Sorensen will lineup against his former club for the first time this week. He has only played five games this year, having broken his hand earlier this year. Sia Soliola again fills in for Joseph Tapine on the edge. His lack of lateral movement was exploited by the Cowboys on the weekend, resulting in the Coote try. However, outside of that, he did a good job, especially defensively.

Result
The tally is Sharks nine and Raiders seven and a draw. Given the Sharks are entrenched in the top eight and are making a push for the top four, this skin spread isn’t really a surprise. These teams have been trading away victories in recent seasons, with the Sharks getting a win at Canberra Stadium this season. With everything to play for, I can’t see the Sharks losing this week.

Result: Sharks in a statement game (by 14-18).

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greeneyed
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by greeneyed » July 18, 2018, 4:10 pm

Wait... did Matt just give Edrick Lee the skin over Jordan Rapana?!
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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 18, 2018, 5:21 pm

greeneyed wrote:
July 18, 2018, 4:10 pm
Wait... did Matt just give Edrick Lee the skin over Jordan Rapana?!
I did and explained why.
I dont want to have the form vs ability arguement with u GE :P

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zim
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by zim » July 18, 2018, 5:48 pm

greeneyed wrote:
July 18, 2018, 4:10 pm
Wait... did Matt just give Edrick Lee the skin over Jordan Rapana?!
GE the judges have awarded Edrick Lee with the skin. You can't argue with that. Because they awarded it.

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greeneyed
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by greeneyed » July 18, 2018, 5:50 pm

zim wrote:
July 18, 2018, 5:48 pm
greeneyed wrote:
July 18, 2018, 4:10 pm
Wait... did Matt just give Edrick Lee the skin over Jordan Rapana?!
GE the judges have awarded Edrick Lee with the skin. You can't argue with that. Because they awarded it.
:roflmao

I’m more than qualified to argue with Matt over this one!
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gangrenous
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 18, 2018, 5:58 pm

A Rapana form line of one week craps on Edrick Lee from a great height.

That’s a ridiculous skin Matt!

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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 18, 2018, 7:37 pm

gangrenous wrote:
July 18, 2018, 5:58 pm
A Rapana form line of one week craps on Edrick Lee from a great height.

That’s a ridiculous skin Matt!
Im sure u r just riling me up but...
Rapa has had a month off.
Its 9 tries to 7 Eddy.

Give it a wk or 2, and it may well change.

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by RedRaider » July 18, 2018, 7:43 pm

gangrenous wrote:
July 18, 2018, 5:58 pm
A Rapana form line of one week craps on Edrick Lee from a great height.

That’s a ridiculous skin Matt!
Agree gangrenous. Matteeeeeeeeeeeeee, this is what happens when bureaucratic rules outweigh commonsense and evidence. Please say you have a mechanism to review a clanger decision.

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gangrenous
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 18, 2018, 7:45 pm

Isn’t there a Milford rule or some such that says a bloody outstanding player gets the skin over a numpty like E Lee even if he’s spent the last 4 years watching Netflix?

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greeneyed
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by greeneyed » July 18, 2018, 9:01 pm

gangrenous wrote:
July 18, 2018, 7:45 pm
Isn’t there a Milford rule or some such that says a bloody outstanding player gets the skin over a numpty like E Lee even if he’s spent the last 4 years watching Netflix?
It’s a new rule, the Rapana Rule.
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gangrenous
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 18, 2018, 9:38 pm

Matt, can we confirm the addition of the Rapana Rule to your methodology?

I’m not sure I can stand by and watch a player who is awesome to watch and has destroyed the competition across 3 years lose a skin to a guy who turned in dross for years and then ruined our best chance at a grand final in 15 years.

I... I.. I just can’t handle that Matt, and I’m not sure what I’m gonna do...

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by El_Capitano » July 18, 2018, 9:51 pm

gangrenous wrote:Matt, can we confirm the addition of the Rapana Rule to your methodology?

I’m not sure I can stand by and watch a player who is awesome to watch and has destroyed the competition across 3 years lose a skin to a guy who turned in dross for years and then ruined our best chance at a grand final in 15 years.

I... I.. I just can’t handle that Matt, and I’m not sure what I’m gonna do...
If Rapana was still out injured, not even playing he would still get the skin over Edrick!


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BadnMean
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by BadnMean » July 18, 2018, 11:48 pm

The rule would make sense- but Rapana kicked ass and scored double last week- he has not only a ceiling, pedigree and literally even a formline over the season or the fortnight that is better than Edric...

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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 19, 2018, 8:55 am

Nope, no rule change. I'm happy with the decision I made. You miss a month of footy the injury/ suspension rule applies, as you have no form line. I routinely tip this way and very rarely tip players after 1 good game; I didn't with Hodgo a few weeks ago either, no one said anything.
That's not how Matt's Matchups works.

The fact you are all still bitter about Eddy in Canberra is why you are unimpressed, and that's exactly how all your comments read. Eddy has been a perfectly acceptable NRL level winger this season.

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gangrenous
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by gangrenous » July 19, 2018, 5:52 pm

Matt wrote:Nope, no rule change. I'm happy with the decision I made. You miss a month of footy the injury/ suspension rule applies, as you have no form line. I routinely tip this way and very rarely tip players after 1 good game; I didn't with Hodgo a few weeks ago either, no one said anything.
That's not how Matt's Matchups works.

The fact you are all still bitter about Eddy in Canberra is why you are unimpressed, and that's exactly how all your comments read. Eddy has been a perfectly acceptable NRL level winger this season.
You’re right. I am still very bitter.

I haven’t seen too many Sharks games this year so I don’t know much about how he’s been going this year. I find it hard to believe the guy I’ve seen be poor across years has pulled it together enough to ever justify a skin over Rapana.

Hodgson was coming off a much longer layoff, from an injury some are never the same after. He also had been in fairly average form last year to be honest. That combined with his skin opponents were not so burned into fans minds as sub-par. Those are some reasons why I object to this skin and not Hodgson’s Image

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by -TW- » July 20, 2018, 12:10 am

Matt wrote:
greeneyed wrote:
July 18, 2018, 4:10 pm
Wait... did Matt just give Edrick Lee the skin over Jordan Rapana?!
I did and explained why.
I dont want to have the form vs ability arguement with u GE :P
Rapanas one week form **** on edrick lees career from a great height

This isnt even a contest, it's just wrong

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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by RedRaider » July 20, 2018, 5:48 am

Matt wrote:
July 19, 2018, 8:55 am
Nope, no rule change. I'm happy with the decision I made. You miss a month of footy the injury/ suspension rule applies, as you have no form line. I routinely tip this way and very rarely tip players after 1 good game; I didn't with Hodgo a few weeks ago either, no one said anything.
That's not how Matt's Matchups works.

The fact you are all still bitter about Eddy in Canberra is why you are unimpressed, and that's exactly how all your comments read. Eddy has been a perfectly acceptable NRL level winger this season.
No bitterness on my part Matt. It is just so painfully obvious that E.Lee is crappa than Rapa.

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Matt
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Re: Matt's Match-ups 2018

Post by Matt » July 20, 2018, 7:15 am

RedRaider wrote:
July 20, 2018, 5:48 am
Matt wrote:
July 19, 2018, 8:55 am
Nope, no rule change. I'm happy with the decision I made. You miss a month of footy the injury/ suspension rule applies, as you have no form line. I routinely tip this way and very rarely tip players after 1 good game; I didn't with Hodgo a few weeks ago either, no one said anything.
That's not how Matt's Matchups works.

The fact you are all still bitter about Eddy in Canberra is why you are unimpressed, and that's exactly how all your comments read. Eddy has been a perfectly acceptable NRL level winger this season.
No bitterness on my part Matt. It is just so painfully obvious that E.Lee is crappa than Rapa.
Form not ability.

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