Felise Kaufusi is averaging 50 points a game. Picture: AAP Image/Hamish Blair
Felise Kaufusi is averaging 50 points a game. Picture: AAP Image/Hamish Blair

The perfect Maroons team based on stats

If the SuperCoach stats don't lie, this should be the Queensland team announced for State of Origin Game One, writes our in-house expert The Mastermind.

These are the best performing Queenslanders in every position after the opening 10 rounds of the NRL season and it's a little worrying to say only six mighty Maroons are averaging more than 60 SuperCoach points per game.

Kalyn Ponga is the form fullback with a five-round average of 89PPG.

 

Kalyn Ponga is a walk up start for the Maroons no matter which way you look at it. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Kalyn Ponga is a walk up start for the Maroons no matter which way you look at it. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

Cameron Munster is behind only Cody Walker and Kalyn Ponga at five-eigth with 72.5PPG.

Daly Cherry-Evans (71.9PPG) is the top performing halfback by almost 10PPG.

Jai Arrow is getting through a mountain of work for the Titans averaging 67PPG.

In the hooker position the two top rated Queenslanders won't be pulling on a jersey.

Cameron Smith 65.6PPG has retired from representative duties and Jake Friend 62.3PPG is injured.

That leaves the position wide open for Parramatta youngster Reed Mahoney (56.9PPG) to make his debut. I expect selectors will go with Ben Hunt, but for the purposes of our experiment let's put players in the position they're playing in.

Proven Origin campaigners Will Chambers 33PPG and Dane Gagai 42.3PPG will likely be the Maroons centres, but at the moment much more unfancied players are outperforming them.

Will Chambers will be playing Origin. But should he? Picture: Getty Images
Will Chambers will be playing Origin. But should he? Picture: Getty Images

 

Chambers is not even in the top 10 Queenslanders in the CTW position and is playing 20 PPG worse than he's been in previous years.

It's a similar situation in the backrow where Origin regulars have suffered a massive drop off in form this year. Felise Kaufusi has dropped from 60.4PPG to 50PPG; Coen Hess has gone from 58.5PPG to 43.4PPG; and Matt Gillett has failed to return to his mid-60s form of previous years with an average of 47.9PPG.

We've scoured the list of the QRL's eligible Queenslanders to make sure nobody misses out. https://www.qrl.com.au/eligible-players/

Here's who should be pulling on a Maroon jersey this year according to the SuperCoach stats.

 

1. KALYN PONGA

Average: 73.8PPG

The form player of the NRL since moving back to fullback after the Knights attempt to switch him to five-eighth failed. Ponga has averaged 87.7PPG since that move with an amazing six tries, 11 line breaks, four try assists and 32 tackle busts. He's also a very good goal kicker landing 37 from 45 at 82.2%.

 

Corey Oates . (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Corey Oates . (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

 

2. COREY OATES

Average: 58.3PPG

Nine tries and 11 line breaks in 10 games make the Broncos winger Queensland's best in the CTW position. In fact it's his best ever SuperCoach season. He's had 39 tackle busts and his powerful runs can get Queensland on the front foot. Just hope he doesn't have one of those games when the mistakes start flowing. He had four errors in Round 3 against the Dragons and five in Round 8 against the Rabbitohs.

 

3. JUSTIN O'NEILL

Average: 56PPG

It seems a long time ago that the Cowboy was a Queensland and Australian representative but he's well and truly turned it around with his best SuperCoach season ever. He's had seven tries and four line breaks in seven games this season. In the two previous seasons he had three tries in 38 games.

 

Dale Copley would be a surprise selection based on SuperCoach scores. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Dale Copley would be a surprise selection based on SuperCoach scores. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

 

4. DALE COPLEY

Average: 47.6PPG

If you ditch the 1 point game against the Tigers when he went off injured early in the game, he's actually averaging 54.2PPG. Copley has had five tries, six line breaks and two try assists in seven games for the Titans. It's his best SuperCoach season ever.

 

5. BRENDAN ELLIOT

Average: 47PPG

He's filled in at fullback admirably with Tom Trbojevic out for Manly and has a five-round average of 53.4. He's had five line breaks, eight line break assists and 29 tackle busts in nine games. Showing good form after locking down a starting role at his fourth club in five years.

 

Cameron Munster is a lock for Origin. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Cameron Munster is a lock for Origin. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

6. CAMERON MUNSTER

Average: 72.5PPG

His last outing at Suncorp Stadium was 159 points against the Eels in Magic Round. Let's hope for another showing like that in Origin. Munster is leading the Dally M leaderboard and having his best SuperCoach season yet with the Storm attacking play all going through him. He's had five tries, nine try assists, five line breaks, 16 line break assists and 26 tackle busts in 10 games.

 

7. DALY CHERRY-EVANS

Average: 71.9PPG

The Manly halfback is the best in the business for SuperCoach with his nearest rival Mitchell Moses almost 10PPG behind him. Cherry-Evans should return from injury in time for Origin and had an incredible run of form in the opening seven rounds including 156 points against the Warriors. He's had three tries, five try assists, five line breaks, five line break assists and two 40/20s.

 

Josh Papalii is one of three Raiders on Origin duty. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images
Josh Papalii is one of three Raiders on Origin duty. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

 

8. JOSH PAPALII

Average: 59PPG

The Raiders prop had a relatively slow start to the season with his minutes down in the first four rounds. Since then his game time has gone up and so have his SuperCoach scores with a six-game average of 67.6PPG.

 

9. REED MAHONEY

Average: 56.9PPG

The Eels hooker has shown he's got the right mix of work rate (averaging 42 tackles a game) and creativity with three tries, two try assists and four line breaks.

 

10. JOSH MCGUIRE

Average: 54.9PPG

The Cowboys enforcer was averaging 60.7PPG over the opening seven games before he went off injured aginst the Titans. There's not too many attacking stats to talk about here. McGuire is all about the hard yards as evidenced by the massive 23 hit-ups he's had in two games this year.

 

Kurt Capewell has been solid as a replacement for Wade Graham. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Kurt Capewell has been solid as a replacement for Wade Graham. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

 

11. KURT CAPEWELL

Average: 55.1PPG

Capewell has impressed playing 80 minutes on the left edge for Cronulla with Wade Graham out injured. He's had his best ever SuperCoach season and has shown a good work rate and attacking instincts. He's had two try assists and six line break assists.

 

12. RHYSE MARTIN

Average: 56.7PPG

Martin could well be Queensland's next Corey Parker but he'll probably need to nail down a spot in the Bulldogs team before that happens. For whatever reason, Dean Pay isn't as impressed with the goalkicking backrower as SuperCoaches are. Prior to being dumped for Magic Round and being brought off the bench for just 15 minutes last week, Martin was getting through a mountain of work and averaging 63.7PPG.

 

13. JAI ARROW

Average: 67PPG

Has continued his stellar form after moving from the Broncos to the Titans last season. He's one of the top 2RF in SuperCoach with his incredible workrate and offloading ability. He had a massive score of 110 against the Sharks early in the season.

 

Ben Hunt’s errors have hurt what has been an otherwise outstanding season. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Ben Hunt’s errors have hurt what has been an otherwise outstanding season. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

14. BEN HUNT

Average: 57.9PPG

Dragons halfback Hunt is having his best SuperCoach season since 2015. He's had three tries, nine try assists and 20 line break assists in 10 games. Most of those attacking stats coming after Gareth Widdop and Corey Norman have been out injured. Hunt scored a whopping 134 points against the Bulldogs in Round 5. He does however have errors in his game including last week's -27 SuperCoach points against the Knights from four errors, two penalties conceded, kicked dead three times and six missed six tackles.

 

15. JARROD WALLACE

Average: 52.9PPG

The Titans prop consistently scores at a rate of just over a point per minute. There's nothing too fancy in his game but he has improved his ball-playing. He's had nine offloads this season compared to just 10 for all of 2018.

 

16. GAVIN COOPER

Average: 50.8PPG

The Cowboys backrower's scores have taken a dip this year. He's had just two tries out of 10 games and that was bound to happen with Johnathan Thurston's retirement. He's still getting through the usual amount of work though.

 

Joe Ofahengaue has been solid from the bench. Picture: AAP Image/Brendon Thorne
Joe Ofahengaue has been solid from the bench. Picture: AAP Image/Brendon Thorne

 

17. JOE OFAHENGAUE

Average: 50.2PPG

A lot of SuperCoaches thought it might be Joe's year to step up. Instead he's taken a back seat while teenager Payne Haas plays big minutes terrorising opposition defences. Without doing anything outstanding this season he's Queensland's best scoring big man for the bench.

 

QUEENSLAND'S BEST OF THE REST

FULLBACKS

Moses Mbye 41.8PPG

Darius Boyd (retired) 37.7PPG

AJ Brimson 34.8PPG

 

CENTRE/WING

Hymel Hunt 46.9PPG

Tom Opacic 45.4PPG

Dane Gagai 42.3PPG

Edrick Lee 41.2PPG

Corey Thompson 40.9PPG

Kyle Feldt 38.5PPG

Marion Seve 37PPG

Will Chambers 33.3PPG

Enari Tuala 32.8PPG

 

Corey Norman is the best of the rest in the halves. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Corey Norman is the best of the rest in the halves. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

HALVES

Corey Norman 54.1PPG

Michael Morgan 50.3PPG

Anthony Milford 48.5PPG

Lachlan Lewis 45.3PPG

Brodie Croft 41.2PPG

Ashley Taylor 36.3PPG

Kane Elgey 34.2PPG

Tom Dearden 31.7PPG

 

FRONT ROW

Dylan Napa 48.3PPG

Matt Scott 46.3PPG

Tim Glasby 43.8PPG

Christian Welch 43.5PPG

Scott Bolton 41.8PPG

Korbin Sims 40.5PPG

Thomas Flegler 31.7PPG

 

Felise Kaufusi is averaging 50 points a game. Picture: AAP Image/Hamish Blair
Felise Kaufusi is averaging 50 points a game. Picture: AAP Image/Hamish Blair

 

SECOND ROW

Felise Kaufusi 50PPG

Matt Gillett 47.9PPG

Coen Hess 43.4PPG

David Fifita 40.5PPG

Ethan Lowe 40.5PPG

Aidan Guerra 39.6PPG

Jayson Bukuya 38.8PPG

Corey Horsburgh 31.6PPG

 

HOOKERS

Cameron Smith (retired) 65.6PPG

Jake Friend 62.3PPG

Andrew McCullough 56.4PPG

James Segeyaro 55PPG

Jake Granville 42.8PPG

Karl Lawton 40PPG

Jake Turpin 37.5PPG