SuperCoach Scout: Canterbury Bulldogs
DESPITE their strong finish, 2018 was a horror season for the Bulldogs. They finished 12th on the ladder after struggling all season to find some potency in their attack.
Regardless of their struggles, however, some SuperCoach gold emerged from the Bulldogs squad.
We were blessed with the second coming of a SuperCoach "God" in the form of Rhyse Martin, who announced himself as the Corey Parker replacement we have all so desperately yearned for.
Kerrod Holland gained dual-status at both CTW and HOK, making him a potential POD option for SuperCoaches who are brave enough to take a punt, and Raymond Faitala-Mariner emerged as a dominant cheapie and reliable back-row option.
However, as the 2019 season approaches, with it comes a myriad of questions surrounding the Bulldogs. Some active recruiting in the off-season means there is tense competition for places, especially in a congested forward pack.
SuperCoaches will have to wait until team lists as the current roster at Canterbury presents plenty of unknowns.
In: Jack Cogger (Newcastle Knights), Christian Crichton (Penrith Panthers), Corey Harawira-Naera (Penrith Panthers), Nick Meaney (Newcastle Knights), James Roumanos (Cronulla Sharks), Chris Smith (Sydney Roosters), Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers), Dylan Napa (Sydney Roosters).
Out: Greg Eastwood (released), Asipeli Fine (released), Matt Frawley (Huddersfield Giants), Moses Mbye (Wests Tigers), Brett Morris (Sydney Roosters), Josh Morris (Cronulla Sharks), Clay Priest (released), Aaron Woods (Cronulla Sharks), Zac Woolford (Newcastle Knights).
THE BYE: Round 16. Bulldogs will play the tricky Round 12 bye, and are therefore valuable commodities early on.
THE GUN: RHYSE MARTIN | 2RF | $634,300 | 2018 Avg. 67.8
There is enormous speculation around what role "God 2.0" will play for Canterbury this season as he battles for minutes in a congested forward pack.
If the 2018 star continues to play 80 minutes in the back row for the Bulldogs and keeps the kicking duties, he is one of the first names down on the team sheet for SuperCoaches.
However, the signing of Corey Harawira-Naera, and the lurking presence of Josh Jackson, Adam Elliott, and Raymond Faitala-Mariner mean that God 2.0 could become a mere mortal with reduced minutes.
THE VALUE PICK: AIDEN TOLMAN | FRF | $471,400 | 2018 Avg. 50.4
Tolman could easily be mentioned in the POD section of this article, but at $471,400 he is serious value this year, and here's why.
The hardworking prop should benefit from David Klemmer's move to Newcastle and a pending Dylan Napa suspension.
The Bulldogs' bench looks like it will be made up of a utility and two second-rowers, leaving room for only one obvious FRF option available. This means that Tolman's minutes should rise as the gutsy forward has the tank to play big minutes.
He's not the most exciting option getting around, but with the Bulldogs looking like they might be in for another season of relentless defending, he's a low-risk POD option with strong base stats who also plays the tricky round 12 bye.
Probably not a keeper until the end, but certainly a money-making option you can start with and move on later for a fallen gun.
THE POD: KERROD HOLLAND | CTW/HOK | $428,100 | 2018 Avg 45.8 Avg.
The SuperCoach gods have blessed us with yet another dual-position hooker this season in the form of Bulldogs centre Kerrod Holland.
He got off to a slow start in 2018, but finished the season strongly, averaging 81 SuperCoach points in his last seven games and proving he could certainly be SuperCoach relevant.
His mid-range price tag has SuperCoaches steering clear as his current ownership sits at a paltry 2 per cent, but it could be argued this makes him all the more tempting as he appears a tremendous POD option for SuperCoaches looking to go against the grain.
THE CHEAPIE: MORGAN HARPER | CTW | $168,100 | 2018 Avg. N/A
The departure of the Morris brothers has opened up the door for Morgan Harper to burst his way into the Bulldogs starting side this season.
The talented youngster has huge wraps on him in New Zealand and has impressed Dean Pay in the preseason.
If Harper is to break into the side it looks like it would be at the expense of Kerrod Holland, as Will Hopoate appears set to move back into the centres from fullback.
Harper may not the start from round one, but should get a taste of first-grade football at some stage in 2019 - one to watch.
THE TRAP: RAYMOND FAITALA-MARINER | $543,400 | 2018 Avg. 58.1
SuperCoaches will have romantic memories of "RFM" in SuperCoach. He emerged as a cheapie last season before developing into an out-and-out gun.
However, RFM looks like he could be the victim of a stacked Bulldogs second-row, and for that reason, he is a clear no-go.