NRL Round 14

The Round 14 Sunday Slate is a rare triple-treat, with the Origin quirks in the scheduling giving us an extra Sunday game to enjoy. It starts at 2pm with the Wests Tigers (13th) hosting the Manly Sea Eagles (10th) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium. Then at 4:05pm the Newcastle Knights (12th) get a shot at the Penrith Panthers (1st) at McDonald Jones Stadium. Finally at 6:15pm the New Zealand Warriors (14th) welcome the Cronulla Sharks (6th) to Moreton Daily Stadium on the Sunshine Coast. The middle game is the only one impacted heavily by Origin, with the Knights having two players backing up and the Panthers having 6.

Draftstars has a $3,000 contest with $410 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller on offer, as well as single-game contests for up to $8,000.

Team News

The Tigers have four changes, with a couple of their bigger names returning. David Nofoaluma is back after a bad concussion and a game in reserve grade, replacing Asu Kepoa on the wing. Jacob Liddle unseats Jake Simpkin at the hooker position, and Alex Twal returns not he bench for Stefano Utoikamanu who has an ongoing foot issue. Finally, Jock Madden replaces Nu Brown as the bench utility. With their coach sacked this week, it’ll be interesting to see how the team responds to caretaker coach Brett Kimmorley.

There are no changes for the Eagles, with Daly Cherry-Evans missing another game to rest after Origin. That means Kieran Foran stays at halfback with Josh Schuster at five eight.There actually is a change because Karl Lawton tore his ACL last week and is replaced by Ben Trbojevic.

The Knights had the bye last week, and the two changes are both just bench swaps with Daniel Saifiti and Phoenix Crossland replaced by Kurt Mann and Leo Thompson. Jacob Saifiti starts at prop with his brother injured. Kalyn Ponga and Dane Gagai should back up from Origin. The pairing of Milford and Clifford in the halves is the most interesting dynamic to watch, having only played together once so far.

All 6 of the Panthers Origin stars are named to return, which accounts for all 6 changes. Crichton, To’o, Luai, Cleary, Martin and Yeo are all named in their usual positions. Making way are Leniu, Smith, Jennings, Falls, O’Sullivan and Staines. Update: Yeo is going to be rested with Matt Eisenhuth remains at lock and Spencer Lenir coming back onto the bench.

The Warriors have no Origin players, and have two changes on the bench. Josh Curran returns from injury and Dunamis Lui gets his second game at his new team, with Taniela Otukolo and Aaron Pene making way. It’ll be interesting to see how Curran impacts the minutes of the starting forward pack. Other than Reece Walsh and an ageing Shaun Johnson the backline has not showed much strike power, with Roco Berry the one that could have some untapped upside.

Finally the Sharks, who also had the bye last week and have just one change from Round 12. Jess Ramien returns from suspension, forcing Connor Tracey out of the team. Surprisingly there are no origin players in this team either, so they should be fresh and ready to put their best form on the park after an indifferent period leading up to the bye.


Tigers $2.75 v Eagles $1.45
Knights $5.50 v Panthers $1.15
Warriors $4.50 v Sharks $1.20


Origin impacts this round so heavily that it’s very hard to interpret these games. The Eagles are missing a couple of players, the Panthers only lose one but still have extra fatigue in a lot of their star players, and the Sharks aren’t impacted at all and seem like the safest of the favourites. That has me leaning towards a more even spread of players across the first two games before brining it home with a few high upside Sharks players.

Love It - Teig Wilton $13,760

The dynamic young backrower has been good all season, but has a couple of low scores the last two games as Wade graham impacted his minutes and role off the bench. Graham is out for this one, and it feels like a good spot for Wilton to bounce back at a cheap price and in a good matchup.

Love It - Kieran Foran $12,410

I liked Foran last week and he did the job with 43 points at a cheap price. The price tag has risen this week, but he again gets the benefit of the extra kicking duties with DCE out. Last week that translated to 320km, and no attacking stats were required to score his points. He’s still too cheap and the Tigers get a new coach this week which makes them a potentially easy target. Schuster is also interesting at the same price but is available as a FWD and doesn’t have the same benefit of extra base stats.

Love It - Jesse Ramien $14,770

I’d have considered naming centre partner Talakai in this spot at the same price with the great year he’s having, but there are rumours today that he’s in some legal trouble and may not be available. I like Ramien just as much in his return game, with a 45-50 average depending on how far you go back over the last couple of season. With a new coach this week the Warriors present as a pretty soft target for a Sharks team that desperately needs to get the season back on track. Whether he’s running at Pompey or Berry, he should have a matchup advantage with his opposing centre.

Hate It - Jack Murchie $12,040

Murchie has been a solid play a few times this season, and was great last week with 48 points. His price has gone up a bit as result, but he retains the starting 2RF role so still has some potential value. The reason Iw ant to avoid him is the return of Josh Curran on the bench. Curran usually plays the role Murchie is in, and is likely to either limit his minutes or replace him in the starting team at late notice. As the last game of the day I think it’s prudent to avoid on the multi-game slate at the very least.

Who Knows - Jackson Hastings $19,600

I know I spoke down about the Tigers already, but I’ll be curious to see how Hastings goes this week. He’s been noticeably hobbled a couple of times this season, so the bye week could help him a little. He also could either respond to the sacking of his coach by taking control of the team and scoring the 55+ level we saw for 5 straight weeks not long ago, or by being asked to share the planking role more evenly with Luke Brooks. The price is about right for his 50+ potential, but there is a 60+ scorer in him if he becomes the guy. Manly are missing their two best players so maybe Hastings can inspire an upset and become a unique DFS play.

Draftstars Suggested Team


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