Round 14 in the NRL starts on Friday this week, giving a days clear air after a big Game 1 of Origin. It’s a standalone game kicking of at 7:55pm, with the North Queensland Cowboys (3rd) welcoming the St George Illawarra Dragons (9th) to Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Both teams have some Origin players backing up just 48 hours after the game, so it will be interesting to see who plays, and if they get a reduced role.

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Team News

The Cowboys have named the same 17 as last week, with all the Origin guys listed in the reserves. Any of Valentine Holmes, Jeremiah Nanai, Reuben Cotter and Tom Dearden could come back into the team. Dearden is the most likely given he didn’t play, while Nanai is very unlikely given he picked up an ankle injury.

The Dragons only have one listed change, after they had the bye last week when their Origin guys were unavailable. Jayden Sullivan comes onto the bench for Tyrell Fuimaono. Ben Hunt and Tariq Sims are the Origin players who could back up. Josh McGuire is in the reserves and would have to be a decent chance of coming into the 17, with the bench currently looking very weak.


Cowboys $1.20 v Dragons $4.50


If most of the Origin players back up, the odds are very understandable. However, if the Cowboys decided to rest their Queensland stars then the Dragons will be great value, and I’d call potentially a 50/50 game. 


Love It- Cody Ramsey $10,990

It’s still a small sample at fullback for the young Dragon, but it looks like he can handle himself pretty well. In 4 games he has a per-80 minutes average of 42. His running game has been strong, and I think an average around the 40 mark seems reasonable. The matchup seems fine to me, and the price is clearly way too low. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is at a similar price, and as long as he starts at centre he is also too cheap. It’s not as strong as Ramsey, but it’s close. Valentine Holmes playing might see a positional reshuffle, so monitor that.


Love It- Jason Taumololo $17,680

Taumololo had some injury affected games recently, but returned last week with 66 points. With the Origin stars out he saw some extra opportunity, and it would help if Reuben Cotter does take a rest for this one. The injury games have the price just a little too low, as he’s clearly a stronger scorer than the likes of De Belin and Gilbert at the same price.


Love It- Ben Hunt $21,740

Of all the Origin players, I think Hunt is the most likely to backup and play his normal role. That’s because he only played a half of football during Origin, and also because he’s the teams most important player and spiritual leader. The price is actually not that great, but the HH position is a bit thin and I want to spend up for what I think will be the highest scorer at the position. Chad Townsend is a bit too pricey in the middle, and Dearden might be the pick of the cheaper options if he plays, but does rely on attacking stats for his scores.


Hate It- Tariq Sims $13,810

Sims has not been very good this season, with no 50+ scores at all. He played 57 minutes in Origin and although I expect he plays, I doubt he goes anywhere near 80 minutes. The presence of Jaydn Su’a in the reserves is also a concern for his chances of playing a full role. With the likes of Bird, Lawrie, Molo (x2), and Hess are all cheaper and likely to score better.


Hate It- Reece Robson $22,340

Robson is the form player across these teams, having strung together 6 straight 50+ scores. That has his price way up, and as I said last week I’m worried about Jake Granville being on the bench and giving him a decent rest at some point. Last week was his biggest score of the season and relied on a try. Other than that anything 60 or below won’t kill us at this price, particularly if Hunt can outscore him.


Who Knows - Talatau Amone $10,990

Amone was having a quiet season until the last two weeks, when he put up scores of 40 & 62. Having only recently turned 20, he’s clearly a super talent who is still a couple of years away from consistently impacting NRL games and becoming a fantasy force. The price is still down, and with a potentially depleted opposition it’s not impossible that he continues his mini-streak. Ben Hampton might be a similar option if he plays in the halves, but I suspect he loses his place to Dearden.


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