Should you pick Paul Gallen?
It's rep round, with the NRL takinga break for a week and Dream Team coaches getting a week off from the stressesof injuries, late team changes, low scores and break evens.
Instead, the weekend kicks off withAustralia taking on New Zealand at Canberra Stadium, and with it will be thefirst Test Match Dream Team – with $5000 up for grabs for one lucky DreamTeamer.
It couldn't be easier to play. Picksix players from either the Kangaroos or Kiwis (one in each of the sixpositions), pick a captain and a vice captain, and you could win it.
Play Test Match Dream Team for your chance to win $5000. Click here to play now!
If you're already playing DreamTeam then you're already signed up – just click the 'Test Match Dream Team'link at the top of the page (or log in then click here).
Remember, like All Stars DreamTeam, your captain gets triple points and your vice captain gets double, somake those decisions wisely.
But how much planning should youreally put into your Test Match team? If you want to get clinical with yourteam, I'll help you out.
Statistically, of the Kangaroos andKiwis players, the highest scorers in each position this season are:
-Fullback: Greg Inglis (49.8 points a game)
-Centre: Simon Mannering (39.2)
-Half: Johnathan Thurston (50.2)
-Second row: Sam Thaiday (49.6)
-Front row: Paul Gallen (50.7)
-Hooker: Cameron Smith (68.5)
So, that's the team to pick, right?Not so fast.
One-off matches like this alwaysthrow up a surprise high-scorer or two. A winger or centre will score a coupleof tries and rack up 60 points. A front-rower will make half a dozen tacklebusts and hit 70. A playmaker will have a hand in everything and make 80.
So make some room for theunpredictable in your team. Back Issac Luke to fire up and match it withCameron Smith (who won't be goalkicking as he usually does for the Storm). BackJustin Hodges to cause havoc for the Kiwis' wide defenders. Or back ShaunJohnson to notch a ton of kick metres while Thurston and Cooper Cronk share theworkload for the Aussies.
What I'm saying is, go with yourgut. So far in these one-off Dream Team games, there hasn't been a tie forfirst – meaning every winning team has been unique. Even just picking your sixfavourite players from the match could end up being the winning combination.
With $5000 at stake, the one smartthing you can do is get as many of your mates and family to play as possible...and get them to promise you a slice of the winnings if their team takes out theprize.