No room for the top three in Freddy’s New South Wales team Roar Guru

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    The top three New South Wales players in the NRL didn’t make Brad Fittler’s Blues team published in May.

    These are players who will influence the result of a game, based on a presumptive analysis from my system.

    Rank 2018 Influential Players Position
    1 Johnathan Thurston 6 or 7
    2 Cameron Smith 9
    3 Michael Morgan 6 or 7
    4 Jason Taumalolo 13
    5 Tom Trbojevic 1
    6 James Tedesco 1
    7 Anthony Milford 6
    8 Daly Cherry-Evans 7
    9 Matt Moylan 6
    10 Sam Burgess 13

    The output only reveals three players from the state of New South Wales in the top ten – Tom Trbojevic, James Tedesco and Matt Moylan – and they were all absent from Freddy’s team published by the Daily Telegraph in May.

    For reference, here is that team.

    Brad Fitler’s NSW team
    1. Josh Dugan, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Jack Bird, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Latrell Mitchell, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. James Tamou, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Boyd Cordner, 13. Jake Trbojevic

    Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Paul Vaughan, 17. David Klemmer

    The biggest surprise is Josh Dugan at the back in place of Tedesco, who is the incumbent Blues fullback and was arguably Laurie Daley’s most effective player in this year’s Origin series.

    Tom Trbojevic missed Game 1 this year through injury, but he has a similar rating to Tedesco and has the added versatility of being able to play fullback, wing or centre.

    Matt Moylan also had setbacks and his form for new club Cronulla will determine selection, but like Tedesco and Trbojevic, he is a match winner who creates points.

    The thinking behind Fittler’s selection of Dugan was interesting, citing a strong kick return as the primary reason.

    One of the key reasons St George Illawarra have disappointed fans in recent years was because they have been unable to create scoreboard pressure and the highly paid Dugan was at fault with below-par try assists, tries and linebreak assists while playing fullback.

    There is no denying Dugan’s ability, but to play a key spine position, a passing game is essential, and the Dragons opted not to get into a bidding war when the Sharks wanted him.

    There is no comparison when discussing Tom Trbojevic and James Tedesco against Dugan as a fullback. They are both prolific in creating opportunities that lead to points.

    Dugan was outstanding in the Rugby League World Cup when coach Meninga shifted him from his Origin and sometimes club position of right centre to play left centre inside Valentine Holmes. He showed he has a passing game with five try assists, but that form is diluted somewhat against weak opposition.

    (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

    Veteran prop James Tamou was another surprise in the Fittler 17 with recent Kangaroos Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jordan McLean and starter Aaron Woods overlooked.

    Also, the exciting Latrell Mitchell comes in for Brett Morris, who has since retired from representative rugby league. Mitchell has struggled in defence for the Roosters when playing on the wing and is expected to have opposition from Kangaroo Josh Mansour and Josh Addo-Carr, who posted 23 tries this year for the Storm.

    As usual, the halves pairing will attract most interest and Fittler agreed with Daley and Peter Sterling in selecting Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney.

    New members of the Fittler inner circle are Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus and Greg Alexander. This is good for Pearce as Johns was a specialist coach at the Roosters and, like Buderus, was a key influencer in him moving to the Knights.

    Also, Alexander has replaced Peter Sterling as selection advisor to the coach and if we are to believe what the Panthers are saying, young halfback sensation Nathan Cleary is not ready for the cauldron of Origin.

    Many considered Dragon Paul Vaughan unlucky to miss out on selection this year and he makes Fittler’s bench along with Panther utility Tyrone Peachey. Also, the controversial Robbie Farah is the hooker in place of Nathan Peats.

    Farah was one of the form players in the RLWC when he moved to halfback for Lebanon and was brilliant in leading them around with young half Mitch Moses, who also will come under Blues consideration.

    Obviously, form in the early rounds will have a major impact on the team for Game 1 at the MCG on June 6, and we can expect a fundamentally different line up to the one selected by Freddy last May after a couple of cuppas with Brandy and the boys.

    Maroon coach Kevin Walter would hope that he doesn’t make too many changes.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (55)

    • December 6th 2017 @ 5:22am
      Terry Tavita said | December 6th 2017 @ 5:22am | ! Report

      after watching the island teams in the RLWC the last few weeks and the fanfare that came with it..state of origin is such a steep boring step down..

      • December 6th 2017 @ 8:25am
        not so super said | December 6th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        once again, incorrect

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 10:33am said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        I was at Suncorp for the Final of the RLWC and while I enjoyed the match, it was a step down from Origin in every sense, but especially crowd noise.

        • Roar Guru

          December 6th 2017 @ 11:04am
          Nat said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          I was there too and they’re not comparable. I’ve been an origin match every year for 15+yrs and there is a lot more passion for the State game. Maybe because Aust are expected to win well or absolute dislike for the NSW team. No one wants to watch a dog get kicked but happy to see a snake wear a shovel.

          • Roar Guru

            December 6th 2017 @ 11:22am
   said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            Yeah Morgan is a very special player now, evident by his #3 rating behind 2 future immortals.
            I am ok with Duges Defence, I just would have liked someone to come on who can create points, thats not him.

            • Roar Guru

              December 6th 2017 @ 11:50am
              Nat said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

              I agree. Munster should’ve been on the bench, even on at lock for pace around the ruck. An all forward bench meant it was going to be a battle through the middle. Take nothing away from Eng, big and strong across the park. Good old school game but how often is that spark that changes the game.

              • Roar Guru

                December 6th 2017 @ 12:10pm
       said | December 6th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                It was a defence 17 from Mal and he played that way – only 6 points.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 5:51am
      Rod said | December 6th 2017 @ 5:51am | ! Report

      I agree Origin’s more about hype than reality. The game has been dumbed down by coaches who want to have so much control on what unfolds on the field .

      It will take a brave coach to unleash the shackles at NRL levels. I’m surprised no one looks at what the All Blacks are doing in Rugby where players have been up skilled and encouraged to throw many questions to the opposition

      The penny will drop eventually.

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 10:36am said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        The ball movement in this years Origin was excellent and the first 2 Origins were as good as I have seen, not only with the ball, but low errors under extreme pressure.
        The ABs may not be the team they once were.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 8:49am
      BA Sports said | December 6th 2017 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      An Origin article in December! Really?!

      And I don’t understand what Fittler’s team he picked in May (with no pressure of consequence) has to do with how players ultimately performed through until October?

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 10:40am said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        Footy has finished for the year and we now have a new coach and assistants. This is a rugby league sector on the Roar talking about our biggest event of the season.
        You prefer I talk about water melons; it’s easy, dont read it if you are not interested, but if you wanna make a positive contribution I would welcome it.

        • December 6th 2017 @ 3:54pm
          Big Willy TBU said | December 6th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          I applaud your article – NSW has a new brains trust (laugh if you must) and us frustrated Blues supporters hope like hell it will be the final wooden stake in the heart of the vampirish Maroons. As a result of your article I’m now looking forward to Origin 1.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 9:32am
      Kelvin Johnson said | December 6th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

      Tedesco should be the first person picked. When Queensland scored the try to win Game 2 last year Tedesco was off the field with concussion and Duggan was at fullback. Yes Duggan runs the ball back hard but when Queensland scored that try Duggan was no where to be seen. He was spent after 10 minutes of playing fullback and couldn’t come across in cover.

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 10:42am said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        Agree mate, I would have preferred a fresh Jack Bird to play fullback; ideally, it would have been best to have Matt Moylan available. His speed and beautiful passing game is just what was required against tired legs.

        • Roar Guru

          December 6th 2017 @ 11:13am
          Nat said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Not sure any FB would’ve stopped that try. Mogan, fast and strong, heads for the wing and both NSW winger and FB go for him – then flick – Gagai untouched. Hayne was the one who slipped over leaving the hole.

    • December 6th 2017 @ 9:48am
      paul said | December 6th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      You’ve created an alleged “analytical” tool, but haven’t told us what measures make up this tool. Then you compared results from December after a year of football with a team made up by a commentator after a few rounds in May? No idea how any meaningful comparison can be made, but you obviously think otherwise.At least other writers tell us how they came to a conclusion other than by using “a presumptive analysis of my system”.

      As it stands, this comparison is meaningless as is this article because you have no idea what basis Freddie had for choosing his side in May and we have no idea what system you used for choosing your “players of influence” in December.

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 11:45am said | December 6th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        Fair comments mate, let me try and explain the best I can in a public forum.
        Firstly when Freddy picked this side he was just a ch 9 commentator and now he is the NSW Origin coach, so the thinking behind some of his selections are very relevant to his views.
        There is no doubt his game 1 team will be fundamentally different but his 17 tells us a bit about what was in his head eg, he clearly does not like Woods.
        That is a discussion point and that is what the Roar is about.
        As for my system, it has put food on my plate since 2000 and i have modified it to value teams to 100%, also the players and coaches and importantly young talent identification. There are over 50k variables to any output so it is impossible to describe here, it is refined ongoing and it has served me well; it is my bible.
        Paul, do you disagree with my 2018 Influential Players?
        They are the player who rate the highest when I analyse a game, they have the biggest bearing on the result. Their rating is derived from a combination of analytics and extensive video analysis.

        • December 6th 2017 @ 6:59pm
          terrence said | December 6th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

          This system has put “food on (your) plate since 2000”? Which brand is your favourite, Chum or Pal?

    • Columnist

      December 6th 2017 @ 10:22am
      Jimmy Smith said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

      I think the overall key to NSW next year – which will help with so many selection dilemmas – is where and how Matt Moylan plays for the Sharks to start 2018.

      Personally he would be my left side half, directly replacing Maloney. Dugan could play centre (left or right) and Holmes to stay at fullback. Holmes does need to show he can deliver try assists otherwise he falls into the same category as Dugan with limited creativity from the back.

      If Moylan plays well he can be NSW 6, Tedesco 1, Tommy T a centre with Dugan at the other centre position. As for halfback – a shootout between Pearce and Cleary!!

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 10:50am said | December 6th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        The Sharks have a potentially powerful right side if they go with Moylan and Dugan together and ditto for NSW added with either Addo-Carr or Mansour of the wing.
        Only problem for Moylan is the Panther connection is very strong with the NSW selections and Brandy and Gus may struggle to favour Moylan over Maloney.
        Maloney has the highest negatives of any NRL player in my system and he was a major contributor to the Blues losing the crucial game 2 this year. I rate Moylan a much better player with higher upside.
        Hope he does not miss out due to Panther politics.

        • December 6th 2017 @ 7:08pm
          Jacob said | December 6th 2017 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

          Moylan and Maloney played in the halves G3 2016, why not another crack like that?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:04am
          Albo said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

          I think that the NSW brains trust have Cleary & Moylan earmarked as the key halves combination in their hopes of a Blues dynasty coming up . Whether they use them in 2018 or give them another year to further develop we will see in 6 months time. I think Cleary is ready now, and if Moylan can avoid the Cronulla distractions, I think he should go in as well. Whilst Moylan would have put Gus’ nose out of joint leaving the Panthers, Fittler, Brandy & Gus all know how good a player he is, if he is fit and happy. I think it would be a backwards step reverting back to Pearce & Maloney again when you a trying to build a new Blues dynasty that Fittler keeps talking about.

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