Three upsets punctuated last Super Saturday, making it tough to select a solid team in Draftstars. But we’re back again this weekend, with a fun slate of games to get to, so let’s dive in.

Game one sees the Tommy Turbo-led Manly Sea Eagles hosting the Wests Tigers at 4 Pines Park. In what is supposed to be glorious conditions on the Peninsula, there could be plenty of points scored with the return of Tom Trbojevic. Whilst the Tigers defence has been stout the last few weeks, they may just be in for a reality check with the adoring Manly faithful excited to see their favourite son back on the paddock.

In game 2, the Sydney Roosters take a home game to South Mackay’s BB Print Stadium, where they play host to the Gold Coast Titans. Both sides will be desperate for victory, with the Roosters on the edge of the top 8 and the Titans rapidly losing pace with the top 8 race. Unless the Roosters can snap out of their attacking funk, I expect a tight contest here.

Finally, the unexpected rise of the North Queensland Cowboys will look to continue, when the last placed Newcastle Knights head north to take on the classy Cowboys. It will be hard to not have your team littered with Cowboys, given the way the Knights have leaked points in recent weeks, and I expect it to continue in this matchup.

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Team News

A massive inclusion for the Sea Eagles this week, as they welcome back reigning Dally M medal winner Tom Trbojevic, meaning Reuban Garrick slides back onto the wing. Jason Saab (turf toe) makes way for Garrick. Ben Trbojevic joins his two older brothers in the team, starting at centre for Brad Parker (knee). In the pack, Haumole Olakau’atu returns from suspension, replacing Karl Lawton (suspension). Josh Aloiai returns on the bench in the only other change.

The Tigers have also been forced into several changes, with David Nofoaluma (concussion) set to miss a week, replaced by Ken Maumalo on the wing. Luciano Leilua (hamstring) is also set to miss some time, with Alex Seyfarth taking his place on the edge. On the bench, Tyrone Peachey replaces Jock Madden as utility, and gun prop Stefano Utoikamanu returns from injury.

Only one change for the Roosters, with Adam Keighran out, with Paul Momirovski named as his replacement. There are rumours of Billy Smith making a return, which would see Momirovski again miss out.

The Titans have only the one change, with David Fifita (knee) out for a month. He is replaced on the bench by Sam McIntyre. There are reports Jayden Campbell and Phillip Sami may be late inclusions, which would likely see AJ Brimson return to five eighth and Will Smith taking Tannah Boyd’s place on the bench. Sami would be a straight swap for Corey Thompson.

The Cowboys, unsurprisingly, have named the same 17 as last week, after their strong showing against the Eels. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

The Knights, also unsurprisingly, have made substantial changes. Jake Clifford and Adam Clune, starting halves all season, are out for the knights, with Phoenix Crossland (7) and Tex Hoy (6) named to start. Dom Young is a welcome inclusion on the wing, which pushes Enari Tuala into the centres and Simi Sasagi out. Changes in the pack also, with Lachlan Fitzgibbon named to return from injury, replacing Brodie Jones. Leo Thompson has been promoted to starting lock, with Sauaso Sue (concussion) out. Mathew Croker and Pasami Saulo have been added to the bench. Crucially, there are whispers of Ponga playing five eighth in attack to get his hands on the ball more often, something to look for.


Sea Eagles $1.18 vs Tigers $5.00

Roosters $1.25 vs Titans $4.00

Cowboys $1.18 vs Knights $5.00


A quick look at a contest involving the Manly Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers, at Brookvale, with a returning Tom Trbojevic, on a beautiful sunny day, would have most believing a big score could be on the cards. And whilst this is a decent chance of happening, the Tigers defence has been quite solid this year. They have conceded the least number of points of any team in the bottom 8, and the most they have conceded in a game is 30. Whilst I can get behind a Manly player or two, I wouldn’t go into this slate loading up on Manly players predicting a beat down, despite the Tigers conceding 84 points in 2 games to the Sea Eagles last season. Different year, different teams.

Similarly, it would be easy to look at the Roosters vs Titans match in a macro sense and lean a big Roosters win. The Titans have struggled this year, and it’s the Roosters, they’re going to turn it around. But honestly, there has been nothing in the Roosters attack that has made me think they are on the verge of turning into an attacking freight train. But if you are looking at Roosters players with upside, look to the edges. Crichton and Tupouniua both always threaten to score big attacking stats, and both get through plenty of work. I’d lean Tupouniua for upside as he’s more likely to score on the left edge, but Crichton has the safer floor. The Titans will struggle to score points in this game and aren’t worth much of a look, in my opinion.

Game 3 is where I’ll be using up a good chunk of salary cap. The Knights have been horrible since losing Mitch Barnett to a send-off / suspension against the Panthers in round 3. Their for and against since Barnett was sent off is 194-40, averaging 5 points per game in attack, and conceding 31.6 points per game in defence. The Knights concede 51% of their tries on their right edge, so look for the Cowboys left side to get plenty of chances.

Love It – Haumole Olakau’atu - $19,940

After a suspension enforced week off, the big man will be well rested and primed for a big performance against the Tigers. Running off Daly Cherry Evans has proved profitable to Olakau’atu, and I can only imagine the inclusion of Tom Trbojevic to this backline will help him further. Scores tries for fun and should get on the board against a weak Tigers left edge defence.

Love It – Valentine Holmes - $13,100

Has been a little quiet the last two weeks, but Holmes could be primed for a massive game against the lowly Knights. Plays on a left edge that should get plenty of attacking opportunities against the poor Knights’ right-side defence. Should score a try or 2 and kick plenty of goals.

Love It – Sitili Tupouniua - $17,930

Four tries already this season and coming up against Kevin Proctor, Tupouniua should get plenty of ball inside the Titans red zone and is every chance of barrelling over for a try or two. A decent floor for a guy who is always a chance at a four pointer, Tupouniua is always one to consider in the bracket of guys just below top dollar.

Hate It – Victor Radley - $19,610

Is solid, but is still somewhat priced on his 2021 form, which saw him as a much more focal point of the attack. This year, he has struggled to get the big attacking stats, and as a result his scores have been below average. Better options elsewhere in the price range.

Hate It – Toby Sexton - $14,300

Whilst Sexton appears to have plenty of talent, he really has been struggling for some time. Seems to be a kid who could use some time in reserve grade to get his confidence levels up, he appears lost out there and is taking a back seat to the rest of the Titans spine. Even his goal kicking has deteriorated. Hasn’t scored above 50 since round 3 and looks worse by the week.

Who Knows – Tom Trbojevic - $21,660

It’s awesome to see the consensus best player in the league back on deck, but just what will his level be in his first game back? Knowing Tom, he will be chomping at the bit to get involved in this one, particularly at home on a Saturday afternoon. The price could be ridiculously cheap for what he can bring, however it’s still a lot of money to stump up for a complete unknown at this point.


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