Colonel Sanders would never give up the secrets to his success – his eleven secret herbs and spices. But here is eleven secrets to SuperCoach success you can sprinkle over your side, to add some flavour to the 2022 season and spice up your chances of being the next SuperCoach champion. Now while I admit some of these might be Zingers, and a little outside the original recipe 3-piece box, you’re going to want to sink your teeth into this… because it’s finger licking good.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.
Sign up to NRL SuperCoach 2022
1. TREAT SUPERCOACH LIKE A MARATHON
It’s not a sprint…It’s a long season, don’t worry if you don’t start fast – just try to stick with the pack as much as you can. It’s okay to trip over some weeks, just pick yourself up and keep running with it. Save them trades, they’re like paper cups of Poweraid to give you the boost you need later in the race. Don’t give up… I was so disappointed in some of my choices last year there were two stages I wanted to throw the towel in. You can recover from a slow start or several bad weeks throughout the season. Know the finish line is a long way still to come and trust you have the stamina to breakaway from the pack when the time is right.
2. HAVE A PLAN
Plan ahead, don’t just play week to week. Try to plan weeks ahead on trades and pay attention to the draw to see if players in your side have a soft or tough run of games. This can be useful when considering trades or whether to start or bench players in your side. Also focus on bye planning as Origin starts to loom. There is no super trade week of 5 trades this season, so bye planning and choosing if to use our trade boost option around the byes will something to consider. But be prepared to throw your plan out the window and adapt on the run by playing what I like to call ‘eyes up SuperCoach’. If things are not working, don’t be too stubborn to admit you might have got a decision wrong and correct what needs fixing, that may mean having to jump on a player a week or two late – with some players you don’t want to miss jumping on the boat all together.
3. WEIGH UP THE PROS AND CONS TO EACH DECISION
Each week we have several decisions to make. Who am I going to use as my (VC) vice-captain and who am I going to select as my (C) captain, remember the captain you pick gets double his score. And if I plan to use my VC as a looped captain, do I have someone not playing this round in my side that I can switch into the starting side as captain, as well as having someone else in the same position as the non-playing captain that is still yet to play?
The pros and cons can be looked at as risk vs reward. The pros of trading in a player may be things like the player has a good draw, he has bye coverage, his scores have the potential for a high ceiling, he is in a good attacking side that score lots of points. The cons might be things like the player isn’t consistent in his scoring with some big scores yet several underwhelming scores, the player may not have good job security, the player could be rather injury prone, or perhaps they are a liability when it comes to being suspended – they may have a history of missing games through suspension.
4. TRY TO WATCH EVERY GAME AND GO BACK AND WATCH GAMES AGAIN IF NEEDED
While this may be easier for some than others depending on life outside of SuperCoach such as family, work and lifestyle. Watching the games gives you so much more information than merely checking the SC app for scores. Watching the games allows you to see why a player scored so well, and it gives you and idea of if this sort of scoring can be repeated, or was it on the back of a lot of luck. It also allows you to get a feel of what will happen next, is a player showing signs of breaking out or maybe you see that a player goes missing to much and realise why he isn’t scoring as well. On some of the bigger trade decision throughout the year I’d go back and watch several games from earlier in the year to see how the player I am considering scored so well, or didn’t score so well. Rather than just trusting the stats, why are the stats the way they are, maybe a player who scored low was injured early in the game maybe they just had a stinker.
5. DON’T CHASE LAST WEEK’S POINTS
Ok so there is a difference between chasing last weeks points and jumping on a player a week or two late, and knowing the difference is the hard part I guess. Some players will have a blinder scoring loads of points, but this might have been a one-off special occasion. If week-after-week we just trade into our side the player that scored the most the round before then we are chasing last week’s points. Instead of jumping on last weeks hero, I find it more beneficial trying to identify trends and patterns, focus on the upcoming draw, who is showing potential and could go break out – try get on the who will score big next week and moving forward. Try do this early as it helps you get ahead. Sometimes we have to bite the bullet and admit we missed the boat on a player – but there are times we need to also admit we got it wrong, and jump on a player late, even paying a bit extra if need be – players that you just cannot go without – Last year those where players like Tommy Turbo, Nicho Hynes, Nathan Cleary, Isaiah Papali’I, David Fifita, Cody Walker, Ruben Garrick and Brian To’o.
6. SAVE TRADES
Now the SuperCoach gods have blessed us with five extra trades than last season. But we are still going to have to be cautious with how we use them. Saving trades will be crucial in 2022. We have also been given the flexibility to apply a trade boost in any round, giving us an extra trade for the round, but we only have three of these trade boosts throughout the season. Choosing when to apply them will be part of the strategy we each go with. With the uncertainty of Covid, saving trades will be essential to lasting the season.
7. TAKE A DAY OFF FROM SUPERCOACH EACH WEEK
For me my SuperCoach brain is always winding. If you’re putting the effort in – watching the games, reading SuperCoach and NRL content, listening to a podcast or two, and you feel like you are always thinking SuperCoach. I like to use Monday as my day off – it gives me that reset mentality that prevents me from making emotional decisions such as rage trading.
8. DON’T GET CUTE WITH YOUR CAPTAIN
As nice as it is to go against the pack and nail a POD captain, I found that going with the obvious standout option was usually the best way. That often means just choosing the captaincy choice which the highest percentage of other SuperCoaches have selected. In the past the safe option was to lock in a safe score of 80 as your captain by picking a player with solid base such as a front rower, 2FR or hooker. But last year has shown that we want to be picking those players with big upside, who also show consistency – and for me last year that was picking mostly between Nathan Cleary or Tommy Turbo as my captain. My advice is stay away from picking a creative POD captain choices, and save the creativity for selecting your VC, if you pick a POD VC and they go massive – use the vice-captain/captain loophole.
9. YOU CAN’T HAVE THEM ALL
As much as we would like to start the season with all the superstars, it’s just not going to work with the starting salary cap. Picking good cheapies pre-season and then as the season goes on will allow us to grow cash and buy more expensive superstar players. It would be impossible to start the season with all of the following playing Cleary, Turbo, Teddy, Garrick, To’o, Cody Walker, Munster, Harry Grant, Ipap, and David Fifita. This year is super exciting because there are so many different combinations of players that teams will start with compared to years prior in my opinion.
10. PICK THE RIGHT TIME TO ZIG WHEN EVERYONE ELSE ZAGS
If you find yourself up near the very top ranks at some point you will need to zig when others zag. I was given this advice by the 2019 SuperCoach champion Dez Creek, but what he didn’t tell me is how to choose the right time to zig. I took the advice on immediately, the following week actually. Now this was early days still, going into round 15. I was in 24th place and I decided to do a zig that gave me nightmares for weeks. Everyone was zagging with Tommy Turbo as their captain, who was playing David Fifita’s Titans… yep I zigged all right! I captained Fifita for a score of 83 and missed out on Turbo’s score of 208. It didn’t feel right in my gut this decision, but I was in a hurry to zig. I was able to recover from this, even though the decision dropped me from 24th to 55th when I would have got green arrows had I stuck with Turbo. I did find a more appropriate time to zig when others zagged, and that was when Cleary got injured in Origin. Most brought in Shaun Johnson, who I really was firm on as not a good replacement. I identified that Daly Cherry-Evans coming off a tough Origin campaign as captain would lift in the NRL alongside Tommy Turbo. Only 5% of coaches near the top of the ladder traded DCE in. This zig was one of the major reasons I broke away soon into the lead, which I went on to retain. So cheers for the zigzag tip Dez, but SuperCoaches try not zig to early or make the wrong zig.
11. TRUST YOUR GUT AND BACK YOURSELF
Finally and most importantly TRUST YOUR GUT, and back yourself. There is no worse feeling than having a gut feeling about a decision and going against it when it would have paid off big time. Also it’s great to reach out to the SuperCoach community for advice on your team. That’s all part of learning and improving. But remember that you care more about your own side than anyone else, and it’s you that has to live and die by the decisions you make throughout the season. So getting advice is great, but you are the expert on your own side, you put the most time into it. You don’t need to be a SuperCoach or NRL genius to win SuperCoach, I am living example of this. I’ll say it again. TRUST YOUR GUT and back yourself, and if you’re ever in doubt make a shrine for your side like I did with Viliame Kikau.