Round 12 Players in Focus
Chiefs 19 – 23 JaguaresEmbed from Getty Images
The Jaguares completed the unthinkable! They went 4 from 4 on tour in Australia (fair enough) & New Zealand (wait what?). Yep they beat both the Blues & the Chiefs at home in New Zealand!! Full credit to the
Pumas Jaguares for finally living up to expectations!! They stuck to their gameplan, played some test match style footy and just showed up every week. They didn’t send some of their key players home for a rest as in previous years but rather rotated them to the bench. The Chiefs however looked as woeful as I can remember seeing them in recent years. they just didn’t have any answers and nothing clicked on the night. It was helped with two yellow cards to Michael Allardice and Liam Messam in the 49th and 51st minute. This showed in terms of the fantasy performances in this one with the usual exceptions of Solomon Alaimalo (36 points) and Damian McKenzie (33 points) from the Chiefs still finding a way to scrap some points despite being much lower than their 50+ averages. There were pretty low fantasy scores all round in this game, the team effort from the Jaguares meaning the points were shared around. The top of the crop was Tomas Lezana (44 points) who was back starting this week. Off the back of some strong stats, 11 runs for 87m, 3 TB and 2 LB, Lezana may just have worked his way back into a starting spot, unless Captain Pablo Matera returns from injury. Otherwise of note was Emiliano Boffelli (40 points) had another strong showing with a try assist, 7 runs for 96m, 4 tacklebusts and 2 linebreaks and with Joaquin Tuculet out with injury (check out The Casualty Ward for all Super Rugby Information – updated daily), we’d expect to see Boffelli take the 15 jersey for the rest of the season.
Rebels 10 – 55 CrusadersEmbed from Getty Images
Just as we said on the podcast this week – this game went exactly as everyone expected; the Rebels were no match for last years competition winners and all of the Crusaders and just Amanaki Mafi from the Rebels went on to score some serious fantasy points. Mafi scored 51 points which was 15.5% of the starting 15’s points this weak, a little bit higher than his season average of around 12.5% of the teams points every week. There were three yellow cards in this game, the first to Reece Hodge for the Rebels 15 minutes in, followed by two to the Crusaders, Matt Todd on the 23rd and David Havili on the 34th. The Saders third string hooker Andrew Makalio (62 points – TOTW) topped this one in his first start for the season with Cody Taylor having a rest on the bench. Makalio was everywhere, the big unit working hard around the park and it paid off; he crossed the paint twice for his efforts. Seta Tamanivalu (57 points – TOTW) featured in the Team of the week many times last year but just had quite been able to find his form so far this year, until now. Seta had a better performance last week and this week an absolute ripper with a try, 2 try assists, 10 runs for 109m with a couple of tacklebusts and linebreaks. The Crusaders welcomed back Jack Goodhue (51 points) and Richie Mo’unga (45 points) from injuries and they were straight back into the form we are all familiar with (even though this fixture was against the Rebels). Richie kicked 60% from the boot but was back getting the Saders on the front foot. There were great fantasy numbers all round for the men from Christchurch and we won’t go through them all but the other players to score above 40 (all three ended on 42 points actually) included Scott Barrett with a try to his name; Ryan Crotty had an impressive 10 carries for 76m and 7 tacklebusts; and Pete Samu who worked hard after returning from injury and getting the nod to start in the 6 jersey which we imagine he will continue to do so.
Hurricanes 28 – 19 Lions
This game featured lots of free running rugby and consequently the fantasy points flowed freely!! We have already talked above about how so many of those points flowed in the direction of Ben Lam (95 points – Round Top Score) with his hatrick and Marnus ‘workrate’ Schoeman (67 points), well following them was a man who is no stranger to the team of the week himself, a man returning to prominence, Ardie Savea with 62 points (TOTW). Ardie Savea had impressive numbers this week, he scored a try and made 10 carries for 104m, 3 tacklebusts, 2 linebreaks, 11 tackles and a turnover. Not a bad days work. The rest of the big numbers went to the best centre in the world according to Chris Boyd, Matty Proctor (47 points) who had two try assists, 8 runs for 103m and a couple of linebreaks; and also the actual best player in the world (as voted IRB World Rugby player of the year, two years running) Beauden Barrett (46 points). Beauden was 100% off the tee and made only three runs for 84 metres with two of the three featuring linebreaks. For the Lions, it was the interim captain and Mr reliable Franco Mostert with 37 points and a return from injury for excitement machine Aphew Dyanti with 29 points. Mostert worked hard around the field making 13 tackles and disrupting at the lineout with a steal and Dyanti who was slotted straight back into the starting team made the best of what little ball and space he received but boy he looked dangerous with every touch.
Waratahs 21 – 24 BluesEmbed from Getty Images
There were arguments for both sides winning this game but in the end it was the Blues that took it out up in Brookvale, in the northern suburbs of Sydney. Both teams brought their attacking styles of play to the ground and it made for both some great rugby and happy fantasy managers with points aplenty. We’ve discussed the return of Israel Folau with the second highest score of the round but the second top scorer in this game isn’t exactly too bad either, it’s Reiko Ioane (54 points). Reiko scored one try but as far as I am concerned it should definetely have been two (possibly three) without a doubt; after running 80m and being ankle tapped by Cam Clark he was deemed to be held and have to release the ball when he just got up and jumped over the try line. I thought that was a bad call but regardless Reiko ripped up the Tahs from inside centre with 8 runs for 139m, 3 tacklebusts, 2 offloads, a line break and 14 tackles. Michael Hooper (52 points – TOTW) scored a crucial try to bring the game back into contention in the second half and he had his running shoes on that night with 9 carries for 73m and 2 linebreaks. He also made 18 tackles!!! As always you can’t fault hoops’ effort levels. Damian Fitzpatrick (51 points) was rewarded with a try for his great defensive and set peice efforts; he made 9 tackles and 12 successful lineout throws. Stephen Perofeta (50 points – TOTW) nailed 4 important penalty goals, the Blues deciding to take the points when they were on offer and ultimately thats what won them the game. Kurtley Beale (48 points) was looking his dangerous best, particularly linking up well with Izzy Folau. KB had a try assist and created 5 linebreaks for his team!! Other noteable’s over 40 points came from the rock solid Blues Hooker, James Parsons (45 points), the Big Show Bernard Foley (42 points) who did miss a penalty goal that would have drawn the game and lastly Will Miller (41 points) who has really been taking full advantage of his opportunity and playing out of his skin for the tahs.
Stormers 29 – 17 BullsEmbed from Getty Images
This was a great and highly anticipated local debry at the Stormers fortress in Newlands. The Bulls would have to be said to be the form team but there is just something about playing at home in South Africa where the teams feel as though they have a 16th man on the field. The Stormers fast start definetely rattled the Bulls and once ahead they managed to just maintain their composure as the Bulls mounted their attack again and again. As a former front rower myself I am always happy to see some of the big men up front score tries and top the fantasy points and it was big Wilco Louw and Ramone Samuels on 60 points doing just that in this fixture. Wilco has been monumental to the Stormers this season and whilst former first choice tighthead and fellow Springbok Frans Malherbe is back from injury, they would be hardpressed dropping Louw to the bench for anything other than a rest!! Louw has been incredible every week. Similarly the former flanker come hooker Ramone Samuels was the third choice stormers hooker at the start of the year but has just been playing some great footy. Scarra Ntubeni has been back from injury for a few weeks now but has been rightly contained on the bench with Samuels form as good as it is. Both Louw and Samuels scored tries, combined for 20 odd tackles and held strong in the set peice. In a week where we thought we might see him left out of the 23 altogether, SP Marais (47 points) was given a start at fullback and repaid the faith with a great performance reminiscent of his outstanding 2017 form. He scored a try, even kicked a penalty goal but it was his running game with 8 runs for 70m, 4 tacklebusts, 2 offloads and a linebreak that was where his value came from. Hopefully it is onwards and upwards from here for SP, particularly with Damian Willemse heading off overseas for u20’s duty. Springbok locks Lodewyk de Jager (45 points – TOTW) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (PSDT, 43 points – TOTW) both carried strongly as always and relished the intense battle at the lineout. De Jager ran a magnificent line in the midfield to be put through into open space and looked like a galloping giraffe as he ran the final 20 metres or so to dot the ball down under the posts for a five pointer.
Sharks 39 – 12 HighlandersEmbed from Getty Images
If the Stormers came out fast against the Bulls then it was as if the Sharks must have borrowed some Elon Musk technology because they started the game at hyperspeed. They were almost three tries up 15 minutes in to this one and they didn’t really feel like slowing up. The Highlanders are no strangers to making tackles and they definetely made more than twice the Sharks in this one. The landers just didn’t really have any answers, they couldn’t get their hands on the ball and if they did, they couldn’t break the Great Wall that was the Sharks defensive line. The highlanders capitalised on the counterattack for two tries but those must have been the only two opportunities they were given because the Sharks were just playing flawlessly across their 1-15 on the night. Accordingly the fantasy points went all the way of the Sharks – Andre Esterhuizen (62 points – TOTW) topped this one and he had a simply immense game, absolutely dominating the midfield. He made 9 carries for 105m, 7 tacklebusts, 1 offload, 3 linebreaks and 11 tackles. Next up and always up there were the Du Preez family, Jean-Luc Du Preez with 51 points, Robert Du Preez with 50 (TOTW) and Dan Du Preez with 43 points. Jean-Luc just did what he does with some big carries (7 tacklebusts & 2 linebreaks) and 3 offloads, Bob scored a try, had two try assists and was flawless off the tee and Dan also bagged a try of his own. Not only is Makazole Mapimpi’s (48 points) name fun to say but he is fun to have in your fantasy team as when he gets even half a metre of space, he is absolutely eletric. He would have to be up there as a winger that creates the most doubt in the mind of his opposition with his dancing feet. He scored a try and made 11 carries for 126m including 2 linebreaks. The ‘warthog’ Akker van der Merwe (46 points) had a good game for the Sharks, the man can carry alright – he left with a 5 pointer to his name, as did S’busiso Nkosi (42 points) who enjoyed his stir fry try celebration so much he just kept doing to make sure everyone saw. Topping it for the landers was a man who is never short on effort, Dillon Hunt with 43 points, it was interesting to see in a game where so many tackles were made he only made 12 according to the stats. With Lappies Labuschagne no longer playing for the sunwolves (unless further negotiations with his top league team the Kubota Spears go through), Dillon Hunt would have to be the favourite for topping the tackle count at the end of the Super Rugby 2018 season.
Wilco Louw (STO) – 60 points; 76 mins, 1 T, 7 runs for 28m, 5 TB, 1 LB, 9 TCK and 1 THW
Wyatt Crockett (CRU) – 46 points; 66mins, 1 T, 3 runs for 16m, 2 TB, 1 LB, 4 TCK
Andrew Makalio (CRU) – 62 points; 50 mins, 2 T, 5 runs for 34m, 1 TB, 1 LB, 5 TCK, 6 LT,
Lodewyk de Jager (BUL) – 45 points; 1 T, 8 runs for 54m, 3 TB, 1 O, 1 LB, 7 TCK, 4 LT
Pieter-Steph du Toit (STO) – 43 points; 10 runs for 46m, 1 O, 13 TCK, 7 LT, 1 LS, 1 PF
Marnus Schoeman (LIO) – 63 points; (no stats available?)
Ardie Savea (HUR) – 62 points; 1 T, 10 runs for 104m, 3 TB, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 1 TCK & 1 TF
Michael Hooper (WAR) – 52 points; 1 T, 9 runs for 73m, 1 TB, 2 LB, 18 TCK!!
Augustine Pulu (BLU) – 26 points; 5 runs for 33m, 3 TB, 1 O, 7 TCK
Nic Groom (LIO) – 26 points; 1 T, 2 runs for 3m, 1 LB, 8 TCK
Robert Du Preez (SHA) – 50 points; 1 T, 2 TA, 5 C, 1 PG, 4 runs for 25m, 1 TB, 3 LBC, 1 TCK
Stephen Perofeta (BLU) – 50 points; 1 C, 4 PG, 4 runs for 59m, 3 TB, 3 O, 1 LB, 2 LBC, 4 TCK
Andre Esterhuizen (SHA) – 62 points; 9 runs for 105m, 7 TB, 1 O, 3 LB, 11 TCK
Seta Tamanivalu (CRU) – 57 points; 1 T, 2 TA, 10 runs for 109m, 3 TB, 1 O, 2 LB, 3 TCK
Ben Lam (HUR) – 95 points; 3 Tries!!, 11 runs for 128m, 4 TB, 2 O, 2 IO, 4 LB, 2 TCK
Israel Folau (WAR) – 66 points; 15 runs for 126m, 4 TB, 3 O, 1 IO, 2 LB, 3 LBC, 3 TCK
Makazole Mapimpi (SHA) – 48 points; 1 T, 11 runs for 126m, 2 TB, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 3 TCK
Fox Sports Fantasy Rugby Glossary of Terms:
T = Try
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)