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Trials and Tribulations: Analysing the Preseason Week 0 lineups

After a long offseason, the footy is finally back. This Saturday fans will get to see the Dolphins in their first ever match against the CQ Capras and the Brisbane Broncos take on the Wynnum- Manly Seagulls. Both NRL teams have named notably weaker squads, but the presence of fringe top 30 players, development players and train-and-trial players will give fantasy coaches plenty of food for thought both in Round 1 and as the season progresses.

Seagulls v Broncos, Saturday 4.00pm (AEST) at BMD Kougari Oval

● After two games in 2022, Deine Mariner appears to be first in line for a starting spot if

injuries were to affect the Broncos back line. Though not a prominent fantasy scorer in

the NRL, Mariner showed attacking potential in the QLD Cup crossing for 8 tries in 8


● Logan Bayliss has been named in the front row and is a big body who appears to be

maturing into a quality front rower. Already in the Broncos top 30, strong trial

performances may see him push for a bench spot come Round 1 but it should be

expected to see Bayliss at some point in 2023.

● Fantasy Coaches should expect to see Brendan Piakura in the Broncos 17 come round

1, and a strong performance in the trials may see him push Jordan Riki for a starting

spot against the Panthers. Averaging just 31.9 in QLD Cup in 2022, Piakura should

provide slight value to coaches if given a starting opportunity in 2023.

● Seemingly fourth in line for the hooking spot, Tyson Smoothy should see his stock rise

with strong performances in the trials. After averaging 60 points and being named

hooker of the year in the QLD cup, Smoothy would be hoping his form carries over and

pushes for a spot in the top 30 squad and number nine jersey as the season progresses.

Capras v Dolphins, Saturday 7.00pm (AEST) at Marley Brown Oval

● Fantasy coaches will get their first taste of Valynce Te Whare in a Dolphins jersey.

Already in 28.79% of teams, Te Whare has high raps with his strong ball carries and

tackle breaking ability. Yet to make his NRL debut, Te Whare averaged 45.6 points in

the QLD Cup in 2022, and with a strong pre season will be looking to push for a starting

spot against the Roosters.

● After strong performances in the World Cup, Isaiya Katoa seems poised as a contender

for a starting halves position in 2022. After 62 points in his sole NSW Cup game and 43

point average in the World Cup Katoa could provide value to coaches if given a chance

in 2023.

● Likened to Harry Grant, Harrison Graham has high wraps on him and being the Dolphins

first signing means he should feature eventually in the Dolphins plans. Monitoring his

play in the trials should give fans a good sense of what he can offer as an NRL player

when given the chance

● Starting at lock, Mason Teague comes over from the Panthers and has huge raps on his

ability. Teague should see early gametime in the QLD Cup, as he is yet to play any adult

football, but early first-grade success should see him play NRL in 2023.

● In the reserves sits Taniela Otukolo. After playing 6 games for the Warriors in 2022,

Otukolo has signed on a development deal and should see time during the season either

as their number 14 or starting hooker.

● Starting on the edge is Jeremiah Simbiken. A damaging ball carrier and line runner,

Simbiken averaged 45.9 points in the QLD Cup in 2022, and had strong attacking output

with 13 tries and 10 line breaks in 16 games. If injuries were to befall Bromwich or

Kaufusi on the edge, Simbiken would be a more than capable replacement.


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