NRL: Jacob Saifiti and Josh Jackson have avoided suspensions by taking the early guilty plea.
AS we head towards Round 17 Dave ‘VK’ Von Kotze takes a look at the men pulling big numbers but low ownership.
1. Brett Morris (1.1 per cent ownership/$372,600)
Brett Morris certainly made up for lost time when he played his first game in nine months and crossed for a hat-trick against the Broncos. He will play in round 18 with Origin selection unlikely and with only one per cent ownership, considering his pedigree, he could be an expensive but effective POD for the run home.
2. Ben Matulino (7.2 per cent ownership/$279,800)
Ben Matulino is starting to return to his early season form. He averaged 64 minutes for the first six rounds but then saw a significant decrease during rounds seven to 14 where he only played 47 minutes a game. Over the past fortnight he has played 57 minutes during both games for scores of 61 and 55. If he can maintain these minutes and his season PPM of 1, then he could be a solid POD going forward. He will miss round eighteen but is available for 19.
3. Bodene Thompson (3 per cent ownership/$399,400)
Thompson has continued to be a super POD for the 3 per cent of SuperCoaches who own the exciting Warriors right-edge forward. He continues to churn out decent scores and has averaged 76 in his past five games. His price tag will sit somewhere around $415,000 next week but if the Warriors continue with this run of form, Thompson’s impressive run could continue.
4. Joey Leilua (9.5 per cent ownership/$467,800)
Leilua’s price has come within reach for the first time since round 10 and he’s available to potential owners for around $430,000 prior to round 17. With less than 10 per cent ownership, BJ could serve as a terrific POD considering the Raiders play their next three at home against the Knights, Cowboys and Warriors. Leilua and the remainder of the Raiders will sit out round 19 when they have their second and final bye of the year.
5. Jason Taumalolo (15.2 per cent ownership/$355,200)
Taumalolo (118) was used as less of a battering ram against the Sea Eagles and utilised more as an exciting hole runner receiving an inside ball off Johnathan Thurston to score his first of two tries as he posted his highest score of the year. He has maintained an impressive six-game average of 73 but is getting on the expensive side coming in at somewhere near $380,000 when SuperCoach opens for business this week. He will play round 18 but will not be available when the Cowboys have their final by in round 19.
6. Jake Friend (13.3 per cent ownership/$377,200)
Jake Friend’s season average of 66 saw him sit as the ninth highest scorer in SuperCoach leading into last round. He sits just within POD range and will offer strong cover during both rounds 18 and 19 with the Roosters having completed both their byes for the year. Connor Watson’s presence on the bench may deter some potential owners but Friend is a reliable option that could do the job for anyone looking to run with two strong hookers for the run home.
7. Jack Bird (3.7 per cent ownership/$337,900)
If not selected for the third Origin encounter Bird has the potential to do some serious damage as a POD. Bird offers plenty of consistency with his three-game, five-game and season average all sitting between 53-56 points and the Sharks have the Dragons, Knights once and the Roosters twice in their run home.
8. Boyd Cordner (0.9 per cent ownership/$383,800)
Cordner is currently only a POD option for head-to-head players but could spark the interest of overall players when the representative period comes to a close due to the fact that he has averaged 70 during his four games this season. He does come with some risk as he is quite prone to injury.
9. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (2.5 per cent ownership/$318,700)
JWH sat out his final bye for the season during round 16 and has provided the stats recently to warrant mention as a possible POD option to see owners through until the end of the bye period. He has averaged 61 in his past three games and has scored with a season PPM of 1.1 but the inconsistency of his minutes (66, 80 and 49) in his past three games and his ability to be a loose cannon causes some concern and needs to be taken into account before making a move on him.
10. Ryan James (12 per cent ownership/$501,500)
Jumped to 12 per cent ownership this week and may slip out of POD territory over the next month if he can continue this purple patch that has seen him average 103.8 in his last five games. His price will remain above $500,000 this week and potential owners will be waiting for their opportunity to get him in their teams for the business end of the SuperCoach season.