Rabbitoh finally becomes relevant?
As Tatola enters his 6th season in the NRL he becomes a very interesting prospect for the 2023 season. We see a slight changing of the guard at the Rabbitohs with Mark Nicholls moving to the Dolphins and an aging Tom Burgess on the decline.
Tatola has been a mainstay in this Rabbitohs team since his debut in 2018 and has been a constant reliable player. At 26 years old Tatola, while still young will be one of the forward leaders in 2023. Below is a slight breakdown of his stats.
*Please note we removed RD 11 due to injury 1 minute into the game.
Now you might be thinking them stats look alright, but they don’t stand out as a buy. Let me show you some reasons why Tatola should be on your radar. Any middle forward with a consistent strong base should always be considered, you know you will always have decent points to fall back on and gives the player a great platform to add extra stats. We have seen a slight increase in minutes each year for him. In fact from Rd 21 last year, he averaged 53 minutes. He also has a really good PPM with it actually increasing the more minutes he plays (weird I know). He is hitting his prime years of football and with a strong team around him there isn’t any glaring reason he can’t improve more. With a very attacking based team and spine the Rabbitohs should be on the up in 2023.
An added bonus is Damien Cook, as we all know he loves a scoot out of dummy half, thus increasing the speed of the play the ball and creating plenty of room for the ball runners. In recent times Cook has learnt to link more with his middle forwards especially close to the line. This gives great momentum for the middle forwards and with quick ball also a few extra attacking stats. I bet your thinking, come on mate Tatola isn’t known for his attacking stats. And I agree but the man does love running. He has average run meters of 133m and a massive peak of 234m in 2022. So, while I don’t expect him to be getting a try every game, I do see an increase in run meters which almost always correlates to a few extra attacking stats.
Other then Tatola and Burgess the Rabbitohs don’t have excellent depth in their middle forwards. The only real ones that threaten any of his minutes are Havilli, Knight, Suluka Fifita and Moale. With none of these players being of any immediate threat mainly due to lack on NRL experience and youth.
At worst Tatola will average in the high 40’s with the occasional 50+ score. At best you’ve got a mid 50’s scorer for an absolute steal. Priced at $628 (42 average) and a 44 point average for 2022 immediately there seems to be money to be made.
I project Tatola averaging 50 – 55 minutes in 2023 and 48 – 54 points.
Verdict – It’s a gamble, just not a big one. I would say proceed with Caution. While he isn’t a must have there are worse buys out there.