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Top 10 Rookie Graduates for Supercoach

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With the 2014 NRL trials now in full swing, we are starting to see the array of young talent bolstered in each NRL team. Therefore, I’ll be introducing some of the newer faces that you may see running around over the next few weekends in the upcoming trials!

The graduating class of ’13 is one that boasts a ton of potential and proves their might through their statistical prowess. that has the potential to turn into Supercoach gold. Without further ado I introduce the best of the class 2013. (In no particular order)

Mitch Cornish – $87, 500 (Raiders)

Mitch Cornish, Canberra Raiders and New South Wales State of Origin halfback, shapes as an awesome pickup to start the year. To say this kid has talent is an understatement. Cornish played a total 13 NYC games throughout the 2013 season, scoring a modest 4 tries and kicking 45 goals. One of the most impressive things about Cornish is his general defensive capability, completing an average of 14 tackles a game and only missing 1.6 a game. Spending half of the year in the cup will also have a positive effect on young Cornish, helping him deal with the size difference between the 20’s and the NRL. Cornish has a shot on the seemingly vacated 7 jersey, with Josh McCrone moving to Hooker and Tony Milford in a 2 horse race with Reece Robinson for the custodian position. Should the 7 vacate, based on current trial teams, it will be between Cornish and Jack Wighton.

Bryce Cartwright  - $94, 300. (Panthers)
Last years Holden Cup player of the year is a devastating second row forward, who can score and set up tries and offload at will. All of which make Cartwright an awesome future prospect for Supercoach. Cartwright’s impressive 2013 stat line is only further supplemented by the fact that he is a goal kicker. In 14 games Cartwright scored 10 tries and kicked 51 goals, but most impressively, he averaged 4.1 tackle breaks a game and an astounding 4.6 offloads a game. In 14 games Cartwright broke the NYC record for most offloads in a season by a single player, previously held by fellow Panther Vaipuna Tia-Kilifi. Cartwright not only has individual attacking power, but also has playmaking abilities, playing 2 of the 14 games at halfback; Cartwright had 13 try assists and 22 line break assists in his 14 games. Whether Cartwright sees considerate or even any play time this year is yet to be seen, he is sidelined until round 4 after a wrist surgery and remains behind a log-jam of second row forwards at Penrith.

Luke Brooks$225, 100 (Tigers)
Brooks, one of three players on this list to see NRL game time, is probably the most certain to see game time and has arguably the largest potential, however, he does come with a heftier price due to his single game score last year. Brooks stats aren’t as impressive in terms of Supercoach potential, but he has probably the largest opportunity. Brooks compiled 13 tries and 10 try assists in his 16 NYC games last year, averaging 1 linebreak every two games and one line break assist per game. Brooks also missed an average of 3 tackles a game at NYC level, raising questions about his defensive sturdiness and potential to have a large negative point tally. Regardless, Brooks is definitely one to keep an eye on, if not pick him up as a potential cash cow, based on opportunity and attacking stats.

Brenden Santi – $87, 500 (Former Tiger, Eels)
Brenden Santi, a lock turned second row forward throughout the 2013 NYC season with the West Tigers, recently signed by the Parramatta Eels, giving him a breadth of opportunity to make his mark in a club that is rebuilding. Santi, who is a defensive workhorse, averaging 35 tackles a game and a tick under 100m gained a game.  Santi is a promising backrower who captained the Australian Schoolboys in 2011. Last season he featured in the Rugby League World Cup, representing Italy. Similar to James Graham, Santi is a workhorse who possesses a handy offload. The highly sought after backrower has a great opportunity to make his mark out at Parramatta, especially with the recent departure of fringe first grader Matt Ryan, should he find his way to the squad, he should find his way to your supercoach squad.

Michael Lichaa – $87, 500 (Sharks)
There is no doubt that Michael Lichaa is a talent of the future, the NSW and Australian under 20’s hooker. Touted by many before this season to see some NRL gametime, Lichaa has spent time developing in the Cronulla NSW Cup team and has proved to a machine defensively and elusive from the play the ball area. Averaging 28 tackles a game and over 100 metres gained per game, Lichaa effectively protected and attacked through the ruck in the 15 games of Holden Cup he played in 2013. The problem remains with the personnel in front of Lichaa at the Sharks, both Isaac De Gois and John Morris, seasoned verterans, with rotate the ruck role throughout the year. However, it won’t be long before the Sharks look to Lichaa to gain experience and shape as their long term rake.

Patrick Templeman$87, 500 (Bulldogs)
Having lost Ben Barba to Brisbane, Templeman is firmly in the running to wear the coveted No. 1 jersey. Templeman appears to be locked in a 4 way competition for the jersey, against Josh Morris, Sam Perrett and Tyrone Phillips. Templeman, a Sunshine Coast product was the Holden Cup’s top pointscorer last year with 307 points. Despite his slender frame, he is tall and has speed to burn, coupled with an ability to find a gap finishing last season with 17 tries Templeman also kicked 110 goals throughout the year and set up an incredible 29 tries. The custodian’s ability to play make is erringly similar to Billy Slater in the nature in which he chimes into the backline almost seamlessly.

John Sila – $94, 300(Bulldogs)
This hulking 180cm, 107 kg monster of a winger made his presence felt in the games he played throughout the Junior Bulldogs campaign, the Griffith junior is reminiscent of Tony ‘T-rex’ Williams during his days as a winger, which suggests Sila may also make the move into the pack. Sila scored an incredible 22 tries in just 9 games throughout the year, including 5 in one game in round 9. The huge winger was simply unstoppable for his size compared to those who opposed him, whether his size advantage can translate into success in the NRL is yet to be seen. Should he continue his habit of finding the try line and at the rate he breaks tackles, 5.5 per game, should Sila secure a wing spot in a Bulldogs backline in disarray at the moment, he could become a great cheapie.

Jake Trbojevic – $102, 500 (Manly)
After getting a taste of NRL in round 26 last year, Trbojevic, the junior Kangaroos star, who is off contract at the end of the year, has attracted the interest of a number of clubs. With Brent Kite (Panthers), George Rose (Storm), David Gower (Eels), Joe Galuvao (retired) and Richie Faaoso (retired) having left the club, Trbojevic is expected to get a crack at first-grade this season. Toovey has come out recently and stated that both Trbojevic and other young talent, Clint Gutherson, will start the year in the NSW cup and possibly get a crack at first grade based on performances against older bodies.  (Article here: http://mobile.news.com.au/sport/nrl/clint-gutherson-and-jake-trbojevic-are-part-of-geoff-tooveys-long-term-plan/story-fndv31ch-1226821374031.) Averaging 26 tackles a game and an astonishing 164 metres a game, Trbojevic is comparable to the bull, Matt Scott. His defence is also astute missing only 1.4 tackles per game over the course of his 22 games in the NYC in 2013.

Hymel Hunt – $110, 200 (Former Titan, Melbourne)
A former Gold Coast Titan, Hunt made his NRL debut in round 17 last season. Having represented the Junior Kangaroos and named in the Holden Cup team of the year, the massive centre is sure to get a run at some stage this season. With the departure of Maurice Blair, Will Chambers is in need of a centre partner and Hunt has a shot to fill that spot. In a languishing under 20’s Titans outfit, Hymel was a standout, as a centre Hunt averaged 15 tackles and recorded 4.5 tackle breaks per game whilst running for 135 metres per game. Should he impress during the off season and he falls into the oh so prominent Bellamy regime, bring him from the Watch list to the top 25.

Adam Clydesdale – $110, 200 (Knights)
There is a reason Manly recently threw big money at the youngster in a bid to lure him away from the Knights. Cut from the same mould as Newcastle’s greatest ever hooker Danny Buderus and touted as the next Cameron Smith, Clydesdale has high expectations. Kurt Gidley will start the year as the Newcastle rake, but when Glasshouse Gidley goes down for half the year in the first 10 minutes of the first game, an opportunity may arise for Clydesdale to make his NRL debut. And if you’re wondering what Supercoach thinks of his rising protégé?  Wayne Bennett describes the Holden Cup skipper as “probably one of the best under 20s kids in the competition”.



Written by Luke Murphy

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