How Brailey bunch should settle SuperCoach feud
Jayden Brailey isn't a big SuperCoach player.
But little brother Taj, he is.
Which is going to be a problem for the youngster - and indeed the entire Brailey clan - come round six of the NRL season.
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Specifically, when siblings Jayden and Blayke Brailey face each other for the first time outside games of knee footy in the lounge room.
"And I'm still not sure who Mum and Dad will be cheering for," the Newcastle No.9 laughs.
"It will definitely be weird."
After missing almost the entire 2020 season with a busted ACL, 24-year-old Brailey is now back in training and promising to be ready for the Knights season opener.
Better, the young rake finally gets to play against his younger brother and Cronulla No.9 Blayke.
"Same day the draw was released, I sent him a text saying: See you Round Six," Brailey laughs of what will be their first of two encounters in 2021.
"So the banter, it's already started.
"Or I guess you can really say it's never stopped.
"Over the years we've played together through juniors, through school, U/20s, then in the NRL.
"But we've never played against each other outside knee footy in the lounge room."
Which again is already providing young Taj, himself a promising Cronulla Juniors hooker, with something of a SuperCoach headache.
So as for who he should pick?
According to SuperCoach expert Rob Sutherland, Jayden Brailey will likely be offered at around $440,000 in his 2021 return - or roughly $40k more than his Sharks sibling.
"But my pick would be Blayke," Sutherland says in a statement sure to get that brotherly banter going again.
"Comparing Jayden in 2019 to Blayke this year, it's the latter who comes out slightly in front.
"His base was lower, but his increased attacking stats more than made up the difference. Although to be fair though, 2020 scores were up across the board thanks to the six-again rule interpretation.
"But when all things look pretty equal, pick the guy who is cheaper - and not coming back from an ACL."
Importantly though, Jayden stresses his season on the sidelines has actually made him a better player - thanks largely to coach Adam O'Brien transforming him into something of a Knights assistant.
"Adam offered me some coaching opportunities," Brailey explains.
"So I spent some time in the box, learning the way he reads the game and some of those things he expects from us.
"Once a week I would also go into his office and have a chat about the upcoming team we were versing.
"We'd have a chat about footage on them and I'd give my opinion.
"It kept me busy and definitely made me feel like I was contributing."
Better, it also meant the young Knight was learning.
"I had a laptop at home to look over each game," he continues.
"I would cut up clips of things I would look for as a dummy half going into that next week's game.
"Then I did some stuff with Kalyn Ponga. After that, our defensive structures.
"Every week it changed based on what Adam was wanting me to look at."
But as for studying up on his rival come Round 6 next year?
"It'll be weird because my brother and I, we know each other's games so well," he said.
"And I'm sure he will try to take me on.
"Right now though, it's just good to be back training.
"I'm doing 95 per of stuff, just avoiding the high impact when bodies are flying around and it's a little less controlled.
ut it's just great to be a footy player again."
Originally published as How Brailey bunch should settle SuperCoach feud