Super Saturday in Round 8 features plenty of good teams, but maybe not many good matches. Can the revitalised Eagles put up a fight when they travel to play the unbeaten Panthers? The Bulldogs finally got a win last week, but the Eels are going to be much stiffer opposition than the Sharks were. And the Knights are a solid team, but do they have the quality to deal with a dynamic Roosters outfit coming into town? It’s going to be worth watching to find out!


Draftstars has a $3,000 contest with $411 to first place. The single game contests are set at $6,000, $8,000 and $8,000.


Team News


Just one change for the Panthers, with hooker Api Koroisau fit to return from his broken wrist, with Mitch Kenny out of the 17. Manly has no changes, with a decent chance they reshuffle their forward pack before kick-off for the third straight week.


The Bulldogs are also unchanged after finally getting a win. The only changes for the Eels are Ryan Matterson and Haze Dunster coming onto the bench, and Will Smith and Wiremu Greig out. Keep an eye out for any reshuffle involving Matterson, and to see how the minutes play out if he does start from the bench.


The Knights are unchanged, with Lachlan Fitzgibbon in the reserves as a potential late inclusion. The Roosters have Siosiua Taukeiaho named on the bench to return from a rib injury, and there is also doubt about James Tedesco after his failed HIA, which would cause a reshuffle if he’s ruled out. Similar to the Matterson situation, trying to predict the role/minutes of Taukeiaho is not easy.




Panthers $1.18 v Sea Eagles $5.00

Bulldogs $7.00 v Eels $1.10

Knights $2.70 v Roosters $1.47





The odds say that we’ll need to wait until the 7:30pm time slot for a competitive game, and I think that will likely be the case. Penrith beat Manly 46-6 just 4 weeks ago, I doubt that Tommy Turbo makes enough difference to prevent another decent loss. The Bulldogs beat another bad team last week, but they’re no chance against the Eels at close to full-strength. You can go to town on Panthers and Eels backs, and then hope for a tight tussle in the last game which could bring some forwards into play for big games.


Love It - Sitili Tupouniua $9,710


In the absence of Boyd Cordner, Tupouniua got the season off to an absolute flier averaging 55+ in the opening 3 weeks. He then copped an early HIA in Round 4 and saw a lesser role in Round 5 as a result. The Roosters have shown that they’ll still be a force to be reckoned with without Keary and Friend, and Tupouniua should get a good run at 80 mins at 2RF until Cordner returns. The matchup with Newcastle isn’t particularly elite, but he’s cheap enough that it doesn’t really matter.


Love It - Connor Watson $12,180


I initially wrote up Nathan Cleary in this spot, but that is just far too obvious. For the record Cleary is so elite this season that his worst score is better than most players ceiling, and he is still value as the most expensive player on the slate. There are about 10 good plays at HLF today, but Watson stands out as one that might fall through the gaps. Even including his one game in the halves this season, Watson is consistently pumping out 50s and is cheap enough to challenge another backrower in Josh Schuster for value. The standout narrative is a revenge game against the Sydney Roosters, which I expect both Connor and the Knights to be fired up for. The good news is you can play Cleary & Watson in the same lineup, but I do think Watson at HLF is an interesting way to be different.


Love It - Clint Gutherson $11,600


Gutho continues to go from strength to strength at the Eels, and I’m finally ready to hop on board the train. He’s scored 42+ in 6/7 games this season, and I’ll be surprised if the lowly Bulldogs can put an end to that. I like the Dogs chances to be competitive in 2022, but they’re getting done by 30 this week. The entire Eels backline is very much in play, but Gutherson is the safest play of the lot.


Hate It - Martin Taupau $14,180


There are a number of factors baked into my disinterest in Marty Kapow, foremost the matchup in the Panthers making it hard to love anyone from Manly. Next is that fact that I fully expect him to go back to the bench before the game starts as he has the last couple of weeks, and he’s just generally looking like age has caught up with him to some degree. A nice 70 last week was boosted by a soft try, and I don’t see the kind of 60+ ceiling he’d need to pay off this price.


Hate It - Ryan Matterson & Sio Taukeiaho $13,380 & $11,240


This is pretty straight forward. Here we have two-star forwards named to return on the bench, a position they haven’t played for 2-3 seasons. Matterson still has the ongoing concussion uncertainty, and Taukeiaho is likely to be hampered to some degree by his rib issue. I’m really struggling to work out just how many minutes either of them are likely to get if they truly do start from the bench, but thankfully both are priced high enough to be an easy fade with anything less than 50-60 minutes.


Who Knows - Tom Trbojevic $13,010


His first two weeks back have been astounding, to the point where it looked like he was playing u12s and anytime he touched the ball Manly scored. The price has now come up to normal levels, and now he gets the stiffest test in the competition in the form of Penrith. Throw in the fact that he’s been given an early shower the last two weeks, and it’s a lot harder to play him now than it has been. Of course, his sheer talent could be enough to pay off any price tag and against any opponent.


Suggested Draftstars Team

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