The NRL action keeps coming thick and fast as we roll into Round 8 with an interesting Thursday night matchup. The Brisbane Broncos (3-4) welcome the high-flying Cronulla Sharks (5-2) to Suncorp Stadium for a 7:50pm kick-off. Both teams had comfortable wins last week, but the home team will have their work cut out against probably the most improved outfit of 2022.

Draftstars has a $20,000 contest with $2184 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller.  


Team News

The Broncos come in unchanged after a comfortable win. I wouldn’t call this 17 their full-strength line-up, but all the key players are there. They may have found something last week when the returning Te Maire Martin showed all of his old evasiveness in a strong display at fullback. They still need to nail the five-eight and hooker positions if this is going to become a consistent match-winning spine.

The Sharks have one change, with Dale Finucane back in at lock, pushing Cam McInness to the bench and Braydon Trindall out of the side. That spells good news for Blayke Brailey getting 80 minutes, but means there is a squeeze on forward minutes which will impact all of the middle forwards. Wade Graham is in the reserves and could push out Teig Wilton if there is a late change.


Broncos $3.75 v Sharks $1.28


We’ll all have the image of the Sharks left edge tearing teams apart fresh in our mind from the last few weeks, and it’s very possible that we see the same again in this one. Moylan, Wilton, Talakai and Mulitalo have been extremely potent, and the Broncos right edge isn’t exactly watertight. That doesn’t mean the Sharks can’t get it done all over the field, so stacking almost anyone from the Sharks feels like the prudent play.


Love It- Blayke Brailey $14,850

Bradley’s minutes haven’t been too badly impacted by having Braydon Trindall as a utility in four of the last 5 games…but it certainly helps his chances of a ceiling score now that he is virtually guaranteed 80 minutes. The more important factor in this one is that his price has dropped back down to a reasonable level where a projected ~50 points would be enough to make him a strong value. The Broncos hooker situation is very difficult to predict with Walters/Paix splitting the role somewhere near 50/50.


Love It- Sione Katoa $12,640

We can feel good about playing literally everyone in the Sharks backline, but Katoa is particularly interesting to me. Historically a similar fantasy scorer to Mulitalo and not far behind Ramien and Talakai, Katoa is relatively underpriced. He saw very little action on the right wing last week, but was scoring well in the month before that. It’s possible that the play all goes to the left again, but it seems wise to expect things to balance out and Katoa to be back scoring 40+ on the right side.


Love It- Dale Finucane $12,140

Finucane came out in 2022 scoring in the 45-50 range for his new team, before injury struck in Round 6. After a week off he should be ready to go again for this one, and is looking cheap for someone who can be projected for around 45 points. With a 4 forward bench he might lost some minutes coming off an injury, but I still think he looks like the best value play at the FWD position.


Hate It- Tyson Gamble $16,740

Gamble was even worse than expected last week, barely having any involvement in a convincing win while scoring a measly 9 points. He’ll be better than that most weeks, but playing next to Adam Reynolds is robbing him of most of the absence stats he accumulated in 2021. The salary is still prohibitive, so give him a miss in a tough matchup and reconsider once he gets closer to minimum price.


Hate It- Aiden Tolman $16,330

If there is one Shark I’m definitely out on, it’s Tolman. Whether he starts or reverts back to the bench again, he’s too expensive for what we can expect. The four forward bench means he’s looking at about 45 minutes and 40 points at best, with his age (33) a good clue as to why his scoring is dropping off from last season. I’m much more interested in the cheaper McInness who has a similar projection with a lot more upside.


Who Knows- Te Maire Martin $10,000

As above, TMM was excellent last week for a guy who hasn’t played for 3 years. His 43 points was the best he’d ever done at fullback, but the 6 tackle breaks it included won’t be sustainable. I’d expect his scoring to settle in the low 30s, which in a tough matchup might make him one to avoid in this one. Having said that, the price is low, and if he does manage to repeat last weeks performance then he’ll potentially be a good pivot from the Sharks OBs. One to consider for sure.

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