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NRL SuperCoach: Parramatta Eels fans dominate rugby league fantasy competition

January 12, 2018 7:30pm

PARRAMATTA have gone through a few lean years in the NRL but when it comes to SuperCoach their supporters have managed to Eel the pain.

And though the blue-and-gold army are not used to seeing success on the field, according to Saturday Telegraph statistics they may be better than Eels management at picking a player.

We have crunched the numbers and found the Parra faithful account for almost 10,000 of the players in the hugely popular SuperCoach, making the Eels the most widely supported NSW club in the comp.

Parramatta Eels fans bow to no one in SuperCoach. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

SuperCoach, the Telegraph’s NRL fantasy game, is played by a whopping 133,307 people across the globe and is growing in popularity every year.

Users take on the role of an NRL coach, managing a salary cap, roster and earning points through the real-life statistics of their players in the hunt for more than $120,000 in prizes.

There are 9677 Parramatta fans who obsessively monitor their selected players each week, easily beating the 9242 supporters of the Bulldogs into second place, with the Tigers lagging a long way behind in third (8379).

Eels fans are No.1 when it comes to playing NRL SuperCoach.

But while they may have the numbers Eels diehards aren’t top of the ladder when it comes to points gained.

Their archrival Sea Eagles supporters land out in front with an average of 899.30 points, beating the Raiders and Knights into second and third place respectively, with Eels fans in fifth.

SuperCoach is not a competition for the fairweather player. Everyone agonises over each and every player they pick, debating whether Paul Gallen will lead the Sharks to victory or if Nathan Cleary will pounce for the Panthers.

But they fade to fifth behind hated rivals Manly when it comes to points.

It is a dilemma Eels fan Mary Kaye, a self-diagnosed SuperCoach addict, knows all too well. “I’ve got a notepad next to my bed in case I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for my team,” the former SuperCoach champion, who spends 20 hours a week checking out who’s hot and who’s not, said.

And Kaye has a theory about why the game is so popular with Parramatta supporters.

“That’s because of the lack of success on the field,” she said. “We need something to keep us interested in the games.

The ladies who made their mark in 2017.

“And also because so many Parramatta players are exciting for SuperCoach — Semi Radradra was great when he was at the club and Bevan French is such an exciting player.”

Ms Kaye, a lawyer when she’s not selecting world-beating rugby league sides, won $30,000 playing SuperCoach in 2015 — her first attempt at the game. Last year she finished as the second highest-ranked female in 72nd spot.

She also runs the Ladies Who League football community and is a prolific blogger and podcaster. However, as her workmates from NBN confirm, she can’t suppress her competitive streak when it comes to SuperCoach.

Eels super fan Mary Konstantopolous is also a SuperCoach star. Picture: David Swift

“I’m not someone who engages in banter around the office. If my team doesn’t do well, just don’t talk to me,” Ms Kaye said.

“I wake up cranky if one of my players gets injured, suspended or sent off. It ruins my entire weekend.”

She admits her addiction has infected her entire household, with her father and brothers also obsessed.

“Mum hates it. She’s banned SuperCoach talk in the house,” Ms Kaye said. “We don’t stop talking about it at the dinner table, breakfast table, everywhere. She’s sick of hearing about it.”

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Why is anyone surprised? Parra fans live in fantasy land, of course we would be well represented. Well in numbers at least, cause looking at the people in the pictures we have been uh... Not very well represented in that case.



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