Say hello to one to keep an eye on, Mr. Loiero.

This man looks to be the biggest beneficiary of the mass movement from the Melbourne Storm. As we see a lot of the old brigade move on from Melbourne and with the lack of NRL depth at Melbourne Trent looks to be an absolute lock at 2nd row. Let’s have a look at why he should be on your radar.

Below is the breakdown of stats for his 2 seasons in the NRL with a decent PPM. Please note Melbourne love to play 2nd rowers for 80min or close too.

PositionAvg MinutesAvg PointsPPMDemerits
2nd Row7245.20.63– 6.4
Interchange29.2823.70.80– 2.3

*EXPANDED NOTES BY MARK*: Personally, I am one of the biggest “drum bangers” for Loiero this year. Looking at the history, Loiero is a Melbourne Storm classic “project player” similar to Tom Eisenhuth. He debuted in 2021, playing in 6 matches and winning all of them. He made 149 tackles, missing 12 at a 92.5% efficiency rate. In 2022, his game tally rose to 17, where he made almost double the tackles (294) but actually missed less!!! at only 11 misses – a 96.4% tackle efficiency. His average metres per game also rose by 21 metres per game between 2021 and 2022, despite playing less minutes per game on avg.

With so many players departing who were mainstays in the side, Bellamy will no doubt be giving first preference to the players who a) know and b) can execute the Storm game plan. With players like Papenhuyzen, Munster, Hughes, Grant, NAS and co in the side, the role of every single other player is simple – run hard, tackle hard, follow the systems. Loiero is the most capable player of ANY of their other edge back row options to execute this, and at only 21 years old he is a player that can be turned into a long term starter if needed.

The Storm face a fairly average starting draw, and have a favourable bye in terms of duration for cash generation and team selections. With a round 9 break, we would likely see Bellamy persist with team selections (barring disaster) through the first 8 weeks, then look to make adjustments through the bye with the extra time available if needed. 8 weeks should be more than enough time for Loiero to generate his $150k+, with a 40 average (his low side projection) generating approximately $110k in rises over the first 5 matches.

Loiero does have a “low score” in him, registering a 24 in 80 mins in his last back row start. This would be a nightmare for his cash generation, but it could happen to literally anyone outside of the “elite” tier of back rowers. Obviously, he needs to be strong through the preseason, and be named in the edge role round 1 to be a buy for me.

Now we have looked at the reasons why Trent should be a buy, let’s check the other side of the fence as to why we shouldn’t. There are 2 main threats to his position, the first one is named Eliesa Katoa and the second is Tariq Sims. These are the 2 main acquisitions by the Melbourne Storm coming into 2023. We can speculate how they all fit into the team but until that first team list is released, we will never know. Personally, I expect Katoa and Trent to be the starting 2nd rowers and Sims to start at lock. Supplimental note from Mark – the Storm also have Jack Howarth and Joe Chan on the books, the latter of which we hear is putting in a big effort at preseason this year after returning from Super League, and there is no doubt that Loiero will be in a dog fight to win the job. Really, anyone but Sims/Nas on the edges is a good thing for Fantasy.

If this is the case then Trent will be a lock in my team, with a decent PPM and the minutes he can be a quick money maker. Time will tell.