Alright Settle Down, Settle Down! After only a handful of games I’m certainly not yet comparing Jack Maddocks to Richie Mo’unga but I am certainly damn excited about both these young stars and the prospect of seeing these two go head to head on the world’s biggest stage a few years from now. Relevantly, these two top scored this weeks Fantasy Super Rugby round, Jack Maddocks with a hatrick and 70 point haul and Richie Mo’unga not far behind with a handy 67 points. As excited as I was to talk about these two there may not be much point thinking of the coming weeks.
Fantasy managers beware that despite Maddock’s two great performances to start of the season he is in danger of finding himself on the pine next weekend with the return of Wallabies winger, Marika Koroibete from injury. Whilst some would argue that the Rebels need to find room for him on the field anywhere, let’s remeber that a) the Rebels suddenly have more talent than they know what do with and b) at 21 years of age, Maddocks is a young buck. Without a doubt I think he gets a bench spot and that itself is invaluable in that Maddocks can probably cover anything in the backline. I would think that you’d bring him on for the last 20+ minutes in the 10 jersey where he is trying to make his name after Wallabies Legend and Assistant Coach, Stephen Larkham has told him thats where he needs to be, unless reason calls for him elsewhere. You can catch Maddocks’s three tries against the sunwolves on the weekend in the match highlights video:
Richie Mo’unga had an absolute breakout year in 2017 finishing the season with the second highest flyhalf average of 46.5, behind the Wallabies Bernard Foley. However it’s looking a bit like groundhog day early on in the 2018 season. Last year Richie broke his hand early on and was out for 6 weeks for it to heal up and similarly in just his second game he has now broken his jaw which could possibly take a little longer to come good. If hes on your roster your going to want to hold on to him but he won’t be taking the field for at least 6 weeks.
Alright whilst Maddocks and Mo’unga headlined our round review, lets get stuck into the fixtures and see how the rest of the competition shaped up. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our new podcast, we recorded episode 2 on Monday night and certainly covered alot of Super Rugby Fantasy content. The podcast is available on Soundcloud, Itunes and Stitcher. Do us a solid and download, subscribe and leave us a review!
The injury ravaged Chiefs (Check out The Casualty Ward for all injuries) survived to beat the Blues 27-21 in Auckland. This game would have pleased many fantasy managers in that, as expected, there were alot of fantasy points dished out. Starting with the Chiefs, the games top scorer was Solomon Alaimalo with 52 points. This exciting youngster has surely bagged his position on the Chiefs left wing for the year with two outstanding performances and the Chiefs low on personnel. Utility Taleni Seu who has ben the Chiefs Mr Fixit and can slot in anywhere in the back 5 of the scrum had a great game as the eighth man with 49 points and captain Sam Cane backed up his score of 59 last week with another impressive performance and 41 points. Utility back Sean Wainui had a great game as a late ring in to the starting lineup on the wing with 41 points and is definetely someone to look into but I’ll leave that for The Stock Market that will come out either tomorrow or Friday. Talking Blues, Melani Nanai who always looks dangerous was rewarded with a start and he didn’t dissapoint with 48 points. James Parsons without the captainship this year had another great game also leaving Eden Park with 48 points. The dynamite Ioane brothers are going neck for neck in fantasy scores both scoring 43 this week after solid performances, how good does Akira look in 2018! Bryn Gatland had another commanding performance in the loss with 41 and George Moala knows how to score fantasy points with 40 despite not really getting that involved. Last mention for this game has to go to the halfbacks, in an extremely high scoring round for halfbacks, both Auggy Pulu and Brad Weber were into everything, including each other, and came away with 40 and 39 points respectively.Embed from Getty Images
The Reds held out the Brumbies 18-10 in a pretty woeful display by both sides. Whilst it was good for Brad Thorn’s young Reds team to get a win, aside from noting that the Reds have a pretty beasty scrum there weren’t many positives to take away from the game. Joe Powell was one of those positives and was absolutely everywhere. He scored 49 points, was the scrumhalf in the Team of the Week (TOTW) and made three try savers in the game. Otherwise Naisarani (47 points) built on his positive form from last week and is developing into a hell of an number 8, Kyle Godwin has had a second good performance also scoring 47 points through lots of involvements. For the Reds it was Samu Kerevi with 46, no surprises there, Samu scores fantasy points while he is asleep and the other performers were young gun Liam Wright with 42 in his first start and Chris Feauai-Sautia looking like he may be seriously back from a string of injuries with 41 points. Caleb Timu was very unluggy to receive a yellow card for gently patting his opposition on the head.
Next up was the Moondogs 17 v Melbourne Force 37. Mad dog Jack Maddocks had 3 tries and 9 runs for 146m ending up with 70 points. Not far behind him was Super Sefa Naivalu on the other wing for the rebels with 48 points, 6 runs for 99m and 3 tacklebusts. Amanaki Mafi (45 points) essentially has a minimum threshold of 40 points every game and like last week, he didn’t get many opportunities in this game or maybe it is because he no longer has to carry the entire team on his shoulders. Will Tupou brought home 41 points for the sunwolves, largely off the back of an intercept try where he ran well over 50m to dot it down between the posts. There were two yellow cards in this game, DHP copping one in the 75th and Ed Quirk for intentionally knocking down the ball after the 80 minute mark which they are really cracking down on this year. He was literally given a card and then the ref blew the whistle signally full time… perhaps a little unnecessary?Embed from Getty Images
The Crusaders gave the Stormers a good hiding 45 – 28 at home in Christchurch. We’ve mentioned Richie Mo’unga killing it with 67 but the other crusaders that brought home the fantasy bacon were Seta Tamanivalu finishing well with 56, Billy Harmon who looked electric in his first start filling in for the injured Matt Todd with 51, the reliable finisher George Bridge with 51 and Cody Taylor with 49. In an extremely physical battle, the Crusaders showed their class and composure whilst the Stormers were without an everyday first five, with Dilyn Leyds deputising as cover. Leyds (24 points) at flyhalf is bad news for fantasy managers as he needs the space to spread his wings!! He is a gun at wing and I think even better at fullback but SP Marais has the 15 jersey locked down. The good (and bad news) stories were Cobus Wiese with 60 points in a tremendous effort (15 runs for 88m, 4 TB, 2 linebreaks and 14 tackles) and understudy lock JD Schickerling with 45 points. Both these players made the Team of the Week however I said ‘and bad news’ because they also both picked up injuries (see The Casualty Ward). The other Stormers standout who might just have flicked the on switch again this year was Damian De Allende with 60 points. De Allende was a fantasy freak circa 2015 and his good form had earned him the Bok 12 Jersey but throughout 2016 and 2017 he has been through injury and struggled to find form.
Sharks 24 – Tahs 24. A very anticlimactic draw but a very closefought match. It was all the Sharks in terms of fantasy points and perhaps that tells you who the better side was on the night. The Sharks centre pairing of Lukhanyo Am (65 points & TOTW) and Andre ‘The Giant’ Esterhuizen complemented each other magnificently, with Am cutting some great lines to slice through the defence and Esterhuizen (58 points) simply bulldozing over the top off them. Lwazi Mvovo (48 points) at fullback was able to find space time and time again and whilst hogging the ball is a great trait for Fantasy Super Rugby, I can’t help but think that if he had given a pass or two that the Sharks would have easily won the game. Other big performers were from; the Beast Mtawarira (42 points & TOTW) just putting in the hard work at scrumtime (tighthead win +7 points) and making tackles (10 – +20 points), big Bobby Du Preez (41 points) again running straight through his opposite number and Tyler Paul (41 points & TOTW) who is listed as a lock but plays flanker and made 17 tackels (look for a shoutout on the Stock Market). For the Tahs it was Michael Wells with 46 points and getting stuck into his work and otherwise the Folau and Hooper with 34 points a piece.Embed from Getty Images
The Blue Bulls went down to the Lions 35 – 49 at home in Loftus but showed some encouraging signs under new coach John Mitchell. Just not in the scrum, the Lions share going to the front frow from the away team with all three of the lions front rankers coming away with a try from a rolling maul and some tighthead wins against a bigger bulls pack. Technique over power! Malcom Marx (61 points & TOTW) is starting his year off the same way he left it in 2017 and without getting his hands on all that much ball so far, definetely more to come from him. The exciting sensation Aphiwe Dyanti looked to have a relatively quiet game by his standards and he still managed to accrue 50 points! I’ve no doubt he would have been picked up in your leagues already but look to trade for him if you can! Ross Cronje (47 points) and Andries Coetzee (46 points) had similarly solid performances finding space. For the Bulls it was wing Johnny Kotze (49 points) and springbok Handre Pollard (46 points) who starred, with the latter stepping up as captain and playing out of position, covering at inside centre. Pollard had an immense game and he was relieved of his kicking duties by Marnitz Boshoff who came to fill in at 10 with cocaptain Burger Odendaal out injured and Pollard at 12. Lastly was Travis Ismaiel who showed some incredible pace to run in a try from 80m out and the final score of the game.
The last game of the round saw the Hurricanes regroup from a loss in Pretoria to down the Jaguares at their home in Buenos Airies 34 to 9. This wasn’t a particularly high scoring nor fantasy high scoring affair as the Hurricanes team played very well together and seemed to evenly distribute both the workload and the fantasy points. Highlights included the Bus’s (Julian Savea) return to form with 44 points and 7 tackle busts! Otherwise Gareth Evans (41 points) played well from the back of the scrum and showed some pace we didn’t know he had with a prolific linebreak and Ngani Laumape (37), like the aforementioned George Moala for the blues, just always finds away to get himself both the pill and some fantasy points. Blade Thomson and Alex Fidow racked up alot of points in their short cameos off the bench at the end of the game both with 29 points and could be ones to watch but again we will leave that to the Stock Market.
Team of the Week (TOTW):
Wilco Louw (Stormers) – 42 points: 1 try, 3 tackle busts (TB), 2 Linebreaks
Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira (Sharks) – 42 points: 10 runs, 8 tackles, tighthead win
Malcom Marx (Lions) – 61 points: 1 try, 1 linebreak, 12 successful lineout throws
JD Schickerling (Stormers) – 45 points: 1 try, 7 runs, 1 linebreak, 10 tackles, 1 lineout steal
Tyler Paul (Sharks) – 41 points: 8 runs, 1 offload, 1 linebreak, 17 tackles,
Cobus Wiese (Stomers) – 60 points: 15 runs for 88m, 4 TB, 2 linebreaks and 14 tackles
Billy Harmon (Crusaders) – 51 points: 1 try, 9 runs, 3 TB, 1 linebreak and 23 tackles
Taleni Seu (Chiefs) – 49 points: 1 try, 9 runs, 1 TB, 1 Offload, 1 linebreak
Joe Powell (Brumbies) – 49 points: 1 try, 3 trysavers, 3 TB & 2 linebreaks
Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders) – 67 points: 1 try, 2 try assists, 1 try save, 9 runs, 3 TB, 1 linebreak, 2 linebreaks created and 7 tackles
Lukanyo Am (Sharks) – 65 points: 2 tries, 9 runs for 110m, 3 TB, 2 Offloads, 1 LB
Damian de Allende (Stormers) – 60 points: 19 runs for 141m, 9 TB, 1 linebreak & 1 pilfer
Jack Maddocks (Rebels) – 70 points: 3 tries, 1 try assist, 9 runs for 146m, 1 TB, 2 LBC
Solomon Alaimalo (Chiefs) – 52 points: 12 runs for 154m, 4 TB, 1 offload, 1 LB, 2 LBC
George Bridge (Crusaders) – 51 points: 2 tries, 7 runs, 3 TB, 1 offload & 1 LB
Keep a look out the Stock Market either tomorrow or Friday where I know Nelson will definetely be discussing some of the players above!!
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