KFC SuperCoach is back for 2023, and with several new rule changes, guru Tom Sangster’s team has focused on the all-out attack.
Gone are the days of being supercharged to forward bankers in KFC SuperCoach.
Changes to NRL rules and the KFC SuperCoach scoring system mean our game has become an all-out attack.
In fact, last season seven of the top 10 players were available either at full-back or at half-time, so I loaded those positions and made sacrifices in forward and centre/wing.
Here is version one of many for the mighty Sangster’s Paradise.
Harry Grant ($816,500)
You have to pay a lot for a hooker and Harry Grant and Damien Cook are so ahead of the pack that it’s not even worth considering others. How do we split these two? Well, it’s a fine line, but Grant averaged 2.4 more points per game than Cook last year. He also played one game off the bench and had to switch to halfback in a number of games last year, reducing his baseline stats. Take those games out and Grant is a clear leader in the position, while the departure of Brandon Smith only gives the Queensland Origin star more responsibility – and minutes.
Mitch Kenny ($310,200)
Apisai Koroisau’s exit leaves a 70-minute hole for the Panthers and Kenny will fill most of it. While he shares the hook role with Soni Luke, we can count on a huge improvement in Kenny’s playing time after he averaged just 35 minutes last year.
Payne Haas ($662,400)
The prop position is very different in 2023 as last year’s top player Isaiah Papali’i changes clubs and loses FRF status. So now we’re left with a relatively even spread across three guys for the weapon prop spot – Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Joe Tapine, and Haas. Tapine is by far the most popular at 27 percent ownership, but Haas is $40,000 cheaper, so he gets the nod for Sangster’s Paradise. I actually think the off-season family dramas could cause him to fire and get off the blocks even harder.
Christian Welch ($464,000)
Suddenly the oldest striker in the attack after the exits of Felise Kaufusi, Jesse Bromwich (Dolphins) and Felise Kaufusi. Starts at a decent price after an Achilles injury shortened his 2023.
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Stefano Utoikamanu ($319,200)
Big Stefano was considered one of the brightest young props in the NRL in 2021 before an injury limited him to just nine games and 33 minutes last season. KFC SuperCoaches is fit again and hoping for a return to their very solid performance of 2021, which included 52 points per game at an impressive 1.16 points per minute.
Davvy Moale ($234,800)
Young forward building to something. Played just 21 minutes in 12 games last year but seems set for a first-round bench berth with the Rabbitohs this season and can only improve.
Cameron Murray ($749,200)
Only Isaiah Papali’I scored more points at 2RF last year and Papali’i is a no-go this season after joining the Tigers. Translation: Murray is the best back-row banker for 2023.
David Fifita ($689,800)
Last year was a stop-start season for Fifita as he was rotated between start, bench and even middle. But there’s no doubting Fifita’s talent and he has the highest cap of any 2RF in the game. A calculated risk.
J’maine Hopgood ($298,800)
The departures of Isaiah Papali’I and Marata Niukore open up forward spots at the Eels. Hopgood should at least get a place on the bench and could even start in 13th place. Hopgood was stuck behind a Premiership pack with the Panthers last season but dominated the NSW Cup and now is his time to shine.
Luke Garner ($435,100)
Clear leader for the Penrith Edge back row spot vacated by Viliame Kikau (Bulldogs). Averaging 66 minutes with the Tigers last year so don’t expect a huge improvement in playing time but his attacking stats should see a significant increase given his move from the wooden spoons to the Premiers.
Ray Stone ($246,900)
Basically every place on the Dolphins first team is up for grabs and as such they promise to become a KFC SuperCoach gold mine. Former Parramatta provider Stone is being heavily backed to earn a cheap-priced starting spot after suffering an ACL injury.
Josh Schuster ($241,200)
The exit of Kieran Foran (Titans) opens the door for Schuster to become a full-time five-timer with the Sea Eagles. Schuster played mostly as a bench user last year as he struggled with fitness issues, averaging just 43 minutes for the season. He therefore starts very cheaply, but should increase his playing time to 80 minutes per game in the playmaker hotspot.
Nathan Cleary ($841,000)
Just lock it up and throw away the key. Cleary is the most consistent halfback in the KFC SuperCoach, having topped average for three straight years (2019, 2020, 2021) before finishing second to Nicho Hynes last year. The bye in round three is hardly ideal, but I’m willing to take the hit against a player of Cleary’s caliber. Full information on the new bye rules here.
Nicho Hynes ($902,600)
Last year’s KFC SuperCoach top-scorer shows no sign of slowing down, making it one of the most popular bankers. He averaged 14 runs per game in 2023, by far the most of any player in this position, and therefore has a reliable base in addition to his undisputed attacking quality. Unfortunately, he loses fullback status and is only available as a halfback.
Adam Doueihi ($624,600)
After returning from an ACL injury, he only played 11 games last season but immediately brought spark to the Tigers despite alternating between bench, center and his preferred five-eighth position. But he has secured fifth place this year with the Tigers, who are a significantly better team after recruiting John Bateman, Isaiah Papali’I and David Klemmer.
Isaiya Katoa ($216,100)
While Anthony Milford and Sean O’Sullivan appear to make up half of the Dolphins, 18-year-old Katoa is a real shot at earning a spot sometime this season. He’s young, but Wayne Bennett didn’t lure him to the Dolphns to play in the reserve class.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow $330,200
Spent much of last year’s senior year as a bench utility with the Cowboys, averaging just 54 minutes per game. But he should be back to 80 minutes this season at new club, the Dolphins, likely in a KFC SuperCoach hot spot as a full-back. Dual positional flexibility between full-back and centre/wing.
Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad $327,100
Another who had a lot of time on the bench last year, averaging just 58 minutes per game. But he will start as a full-back for the new club, the Warriors. So expect him to play 80 minutes every week in 2023. He also has handy dual position flexibility between full-back and centre-back/wing.
Valynce Te Whare $200,800
The composition of the Dolphins’ opening squad is still in the air and the hulking New Zealand winger could sneak into the top 17 at the lowest dollar. Outstanding in last season’s Queensland Cup.
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Alofiana Khan-Pereira $200,800
As Travis Meyn reports, the Titans will bleed one of the fastest players in the NRL in round one. AKP is the bottom dollar for KFC SuperCoach and is poised to become a KFC SuperCoach cult hero after notching an impressive 25 tries in 19 games for Burleigh last season.
Reimis Smith $316,800
Due to a chest injury, he only played nine games last season, averaging 30. However, he averaged 51 games last season and 52 games in 2018, so at a bargain price he has plenty of room for improvement.
Krystian Mapapalangi $309,600
Many are backing the youngster for a round one spot with the Knights. If so, he’s hard to refuse. Played two games in 2022 and it won’t be his last.
Paul Alamoti, Bulldogs, $200,800
The Bulldogs’ backline spots are vacant after losses to Corey Allan (Roosters), Matt Dufty (Warrington Wolves), Brent Naden (Tigers) and Aaron Schoupp (Titans). Alamoti is considered the smartest backline prospect at the club and could sneak in for a central spot.
James Tedesco $836,300
Sure as they come. Hasn’t finished below seventh place overall for the last half decade. I’m a little concerned about World Cup players starting out slowly after a brief offseason, but Teddy is basically bulletproof.
Tom Trbojevic $577,700
Ridiculously cheap for those willing to grapple with an increasingly worrying injury history. Simply put, Turbo is the best player at KFC SuperCoach when fit and is available for $700,000 less than its starting price last year. Hard to turn down at the price, especially with the extra trades on offer for 2023.
Originally published as KFC SuperCoach NRL 2023: Tom Sangster’s Team Revealed
https://www.codesports.com.au/nrl/supercoach-news/kfc-supercoach-nrl-2023-tom-sangsters-team-revealed/news-story/f9da7ad8995dfcd4c93ad245ed2b1c0f?nk=59fd3610c6fd9feea141ec752d05ac7e-1674515770 KFC SuperCoach NRL 2023: Tom Sangster’s team revealed