Round 7 Players in Focus
The round 7 Players in Focus are BLAM from the Hurricanes, Jean-Luc duuuuu Please from the Sharks and finally the man we said was back last week, he is here again to round out the three, D-Mac from the Chiefs.
The Canes would have left the rebels with the parting words, ‘Wham, BLAM, Thankyou Ma’am’ or something to that effect after they left AAMI park having bent the Rebels over a barrell. Big Ben Lam (or ‘BLAM’) must have been unhappy that he missed out on making the fantasy team of the week in round 6 and so took it upon himself to sure it up this time round by not only making the TOTW but instead topping the entire fantasy round 7. BLAM came away with 101 points from a #RyanQuaddy of tries (4 tries). (Yes #RyanQuaddy from the podcast is now a thing and is going to take off! Check out our podcast on Soundcloud, Itunes or Stitcher now). BLAM had his 4 tries, 10 runs for 125m, 6 tacklebusts, 4 linebreaks and a linebreak created when the final whistle was blown and set a Hurricanes record for most tries in a game by a single player. Whilst he was certainly lucky to come away with 4 tries, he is the complete package showing his strength and finishing prowess last week and showing his pace this week. For a player that we were unsure whether he would continue to get a starting run every week, one would think he has definetely locked down the 11 jersey and that the Bus, ‘Julian Savea’ will be feeling the heat a little bit on the other wing.
Jean-Luc Du Preez had an absolutely immense performance on the weekend and was omnipresent out on the field. He finished with 87 points, the result of a try, a try assist, 11 runs for 75m, 8 tacklebusts, 4 offloads, 2 linebreaks created and he made 15 tackles. The young flank is definetely putting a claim to the Bok number 7 Jersey with Jaco Kriel out of action and is just getting better and better week by week. After he himself returned from injury via the bench in round 5 where he scored 34 points, he started against the rebels in round 6 for 46 points and now 87 against the Blues. Jean-Luc is the rock of this Sharks foward pack and with Phillip Van Der Walt back into the pack this week and taking over some of the ruck and maul duties, this has freed up Jean-Luc to pick his spots to inject himself all over the field. Jean-Luc looks is in great form and perhaps the only thing that could mire this is the return of his twin brother Dan Du Preez from injury in the coming weeks.
We said alot about D-Mac last week and whilst we’d have no problem again this week, I’ll try to keep this short. All you need to know is – 15 Tackle busts!!! Yep, FIFTEEEEEN!!!! Damian McKenzie ended up with 81 points, uncharacteristically that coming without any tries of his own. In the flyhalf jersey he seems to just double the amount he gets the pill in his hand. He is still dropping back to do what he does best, setting off on those winding kick returns where he runs around most of the other team but he additionally gets the first dibs at the ball in the first receiver position and if the Chiefs are on the front foot he really tests the line and if he isn’t breaking through you can bet he’ll be creating a whole for a team mate. He also isn’t backing away from the hard work either, he made 15 tackles against the Landers. D-Mac knows that he can’t make the All Blacks on his offensive arsenal alone, that he will be required to make tackles and not hide out the back on D. And this he did on the weekend. As we said last week – the D-Mac is back.
Round 7 Fixtures
Chiefs 27 defeated the Highlanders 22Embed from Getty Images
The Chiefs narrowly closed out a close fought affair, one that had to have been significantly helped by the Highlanders losing their All Black first five, Lima Sopoaga to injury in the initial few minutes of the game. Lima’s injury isn’t as bad as first thought and should be only two weeks – for complete Super Rugby Injury News check out the Casualty Ward. On the fantasy front, apart from the superstar Waisake Naholo (63 points) for the Highlanders, it was all Chiefs. Nathan Harris (64 points) had an absolute ripper with a try, 2 linebreaks and 12 tackles the standout numbers and is in good fantasy form as of late. Anton Lienert-Brown (54 points) is always good for 50 points if the Chiefs are on – hence the 48.8 average and was great around the park – often the pivotol link man between D-Mac and the back three. Other performers were Sean Wainui on the wing again with 45 points and Brodie Retallick relatively quiet (for him anyway) with 40 points (Brodie has a 49.5 average).
Hurricanes 50 defeated the Rebels 19
Similarly to the Chiefs v Landers, apart from the standout Amanaki Mafi (45 points), it was all the Hurricanes when it came to the Fantasy loot this week. Thats where the similarities stopped however, unlike the Chiefs v Landers, the Hurricanes absolutely blew away the Rebels by over 30 points after the Rebels just dissappeared 25 minutes into the game. The Rebels are either on or off, there is no inbetween, no staying power to grind back into a game. Beware of the fantasy implications of this – play your rebels players if you think they are going to win the game but if your not sure, then maybe don’t. We’ve already talked about Big Ben Lam topping the match and round with 101 points and whilst the next in line was almost half of his score, it was still a great performacne from Beauden Barrett with 56 points, particularly from the boot. Gareth Evans (49 points) has been looking better each week and picking the right times to get himself involved in the offense saw him bag a try himself this week. Ngani Laumape (47 points) scored just his second try for the year (he had 15 tries in 2017) and is starting to gain some momentum as the Hurricanes look more dangerous with each week in this competition. Expect plenty from Laumape in the coming weeks. Finally the Bus will round out this game, Julian Savea with 45 points. The bus still had a great game despite everyone talking about Ben Lam and I think they would be hard pressed to drop him. I think Wes Goosen will lament ever getting injured because he was in amazing form but will surely struggle for game time for the forseeable future.
Sharks 63 defeated the Blues 40Embed from Getty Images
Despite going down to the Sharks, the Blues still know how to score Fantasy Points with 6 of the top 10 fantasy players in this game and the game itself resulting in 6 players making the TOTW. Watching the match, it looked like a feudal battle between the two families, the battle of the Ioanes and the Du Preez’s! Jean-Luc Du Preez topped the game on 87 and was then followed by George Moala with 76 and Akira Ioane with 75 (All three combining for 23 tackle busts and all making the TOTW). Robert Du Preez came away with 70 fantasy points after actually putting 38 of the Sharks 63 points to his name. He killed it off the boot and really ignited his backline, opening up the Blues. It was a spectacular battle with Stephen Perofeta (Perofranchise) who ended on 47 points but Bobby definetely the winner there. Other big points for the Blues came by way of Michael Collins (68 points – TOTW), TJ Faiane (63 points off the bench) and Patrick Tuipulotu (53 points – TOTW), the big lock with a runaway try up the middle. For the Sharks it was Curwin Bosch (54 points) who was industrious as the power tools, his score was helped by a 90 odd metre try to end the game & also Tera Mtembu (52 points – TOTW).
Waratahs 24 defeated the Brumbies 17Embed from Getty Images
I have to say that as a devout Tahs fan, compared to the other fixtures this week I wasn’t that excited for this fixture as I knew the type of game it was going to be. A Stinkfest. And a Stinkfest it was. Rather than dwelling on it, the positives were perhaps one of my favourite players Taqele Naiyaravoro crushing it in his first start for the year with two tries and 67 points – TOTW. The big man had 9 runs for 113m, 5 tacklebusts, 1 offload, and 2 linebreaks! God he is exciting to watch and he is going to win any one on ones. He has been named to start this week against the sunwolves and I am praying for a matchup agains the ‘Tongan Godzilla’ Hosea Saumaki. Naiyaravoro will make Saumaki look like your household blue-toungue lizard and boy that will be make for some good watching. Either way I think we can expect to being seeing Naiyaravoro in the TOTW in rd 8. The other positive was the return of David Pocock (48 points) and narrowly missing the TOTW. We all know poey is the world class and an incredible athlete but we weren’t sure how he was going to go with the rule changes and after being out for a long time. Well he put any doubts at ease and was the shining light in a very dark pool for the Brumbies – he made 2 pilfers througout the game, 3 tacklebusts and 3 offloads. Aside from Big T and Poey, there were a few in the high 30’s (Alex Newsome, Folau Fainga’a and Tevita Kurindrani) but that was about it on the Fantasy Front.
Bulls 33 defeated the Stormers 23
Adriaan Strauss (65 points – TOTW) doing what he does best and bagging three tries from closeout in his 149th super rugby appearance, making him the most capped south african super rugby player of all time. Strauss only had 3 runs for 11m, he scored two tries off the back of rolling mauls and one from a lineout where he caught it and fell over the line. They don’t get much easier than that and there aren’t many as experienced or better at it than him. Strauss has been coming off the bench in what might be the 32 year old’s last super rugby season before heading overseas (he stepped down from international rugby last year). I’m not sure whether or not he will be starting again next week – they are trying to give Visagie some time and experience and bring on Strauss for his leadership in the last minutes of the game. The Stormers got some great fantasy scores despite losing the game, Damian De Allende with 60, Siya Kolisi with 50 and Pieter-Steph Du Toit with 44. Marco Gerhardt van Staden (49 points) had an immense game in his first start (injury cover) and despite players returning from injury he will be pushing for a starting spot. This game featured a great inner narrative, the battle between Handre Pollard (35 points) and the young gun Damian Willemse (30 points) at flyhalf. I think Pollard had the upperhand in this, on his man like white on rice, playing a large part in silencing a usually high scoring Willemse.
Crusaders 14 defeated the Lions 8
Depsite the low final score and nature of this game – very territory and set peice oriented, this 2017 finals rematch did see some fantasy points scored. The two top scorers were both captaining their sides and both played lock – Sam Whitelock (57 points) and Franco Mostert (52 points). Malcom Marx is never normally very far from at least 50 points and he ended on 52 points after providing the try assist for the only Lions try of the game. George Bridge and supersub Manasa Mataele were both getting some work done for the Crusaders, both coming up with 50 points. Maddosh Tambwe (Aka Perry Baker) was incredibly exciting on the left wing as the already incredibly exciting Aphiwe Diyanti’s injury replacement. He has some pretty incredible pace to burn and with the exception of another first starter Hacjivah Dayimani, could have been the fastest man on the pitch. I think I’d probably bet on Dayimani though, even playing eighth man – he was scary quick.
Look out for the Stock Market article to drop tomorrow or Friday at the latest, to discuss players to pick up this week, who’s hot and who is definetely not.
Steven Kitshoff (STO) – 33 points
Allan Alaalatoa (BRU) – 32 points
Adrian Strauss (BUL) – 65 points: 3 tries, 3runs for 11m!
Hon mention Nathan Harris 64 points.
Sam Whitelock (CRU) – 57 points: 1 try, 11 runs for 28m, 3 TB, 1 O, 1 LB, 13 TCK and 3 LT
Patrick Tuipulotu (BLU) – 53 points: 1 try, 10 runs for 88m, 2 TB, 2 O, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 9 TCK
Jean-Luc Du Preez (SHA) – 87 points: 1 T, 1 TA, 11 runs for 75m, 8 TB, 4 O, 2 :LBC, 15 TCK
Akira Ioane (BLU) – 75 points: 1 T, 13 runs for 87m, 8 TB, 3 O, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 6 TCK, 1 PF
Tera Mtembu (SHA) – 52 points: 1 T, 7 runs for 39m, 3 TB, 2 O, 1 LB, 10 TCK
TJ Perenara (HUR) – 28 points: 1 LTA, 3 runs for 54m, 1 TB, 2 LB, 1 LBC
Rob Du Preez (SHA) – 70 points: 1 T. 2 TA, 6 C, 7 PG, 3 runs for 20m, 1 O, 1 IO, 1 LBC
George Moala (BLU) – 76 points: 1 T, 1 LTA, 11 runs for 143m, 7 TB, 2 O, 3 LB, 1 LBC
Michael Collins (BLU) – 68 points: 1 T, 12 runs for 103m, 1 TB, 2 O, 1 IO, 3 LB, 2 LBC
Ben Lam (HUR) – 101 point (POTR): 4 T, 10 runs for 125m, 6 TB, 4 LB, 1 LBC
Damian McKenzie (CHI) – 81 points: 1 TA, 3 C, 2 PG, 11 runs for 100m, 15 TB, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 15 TCK
Taqele Naiyaravoro (WAR) – 2 T, 9 runs for 113m, 5 TB, 1 O, 1 IO, 2 LB, 4 TCK
Fox Sports Fantasy Rugby Glossary of Terms:
TA = Try Assist (5)
LTA = Last touch assist (3)
TS = Trysaver (5)
C = Conversion (2)
PG = Penalty Goal (3)
DG = Drop Goal (3)
YC = Yellow Card (-10)
RC = Red Card (-15)
R = Runs (or Carries – 1 every run)
RM = Run Metres (1 every 10m)
TB = Tackle Busts (2)
O = Offload (4)
LB = Linebreak (5)
LBC = Linebreak Created (3)
TCK = Tackle (1 point or 2 points for a front rower per tackle)
LT = Lineout Take (1 – also includes successful throw from hooker)
LS = Lineout Steal (4)
THW = Tighthead Win (7)
PF = Penalty Forced (4)
TF = Turnover Forced (3)
PC = Penalty Conceded (-4)