With SHOW ME THE IOANE last week and SHOW ME THE MOYANO this week I realize I might just be pushing it a little bit here, some might say I am lacking creativity but I contest that there likely won’t be such an easy name topping the fantasy charts next week. Or will it just be Reiko again after the bye against the Rebels??
Round 15 Players in Focus
Your round 15 fantasy super rugby top scorers and our players in focus this week are the Jaguares winger Ramiro Moyano making it rain with 98 points for his hatrick; Toni Pulu tearing it up for the Chiefs finishing the fixture with 89 points; and last but definetly not least it’s the supersub of the year so far, Corne Fourie off the pine early at hooker for the Lions, bagging himself a brace of tries and 87 fantasy points!!
In the Jaguares first ever win over the Sharks, there was no try scored that didn’t directly involve Ramiro Moyano. He scored three of the four himself and yes most of those were a matter or catching and placing but he set up the 4th with a spectacular line break, show of pace and draw and pass putting his team mate Delguy under the sticks. Aside from the tries and try assist, Moyano made 12 runs for 130m, 4 tacklebusts, 1 ineffective offload and FIVE linebreaks!! He is a slippery character and looks dangerous everytime he gets the ball in hand. With the Jaguares finally hitting their stride in 2018, I think Moyano’s stocks are only going up, particularly with their next fixture against an out of form Stormers at home at Velez Sarsfield.
This was only Toni Pulu’s 7th game this season, in a year where he has been constantly injured but this was certainly a showing that he is back up to full speed and in found his form. Pulu scored two tries, had both a try assist and a try saver, made 10 runs for 95m, 6 tacklebusts, 2 offloads and 3 linebreaks! He also made all 7/7 tackles against some pretty freaky Waratahs opposition in Israel Folau and his opposite winger was none other than Big Taqele Naiyaravoro. A great showing from Pulu and despite having 3 of their last 4 games at home in Waikato, they’ll need every bit of his form in 3 of the 4 matches being local kiwi derbies.
Our third player in focus is officially the supersub of 2018 (so far) coming off the pine to bag himself two tries and put out a man of the match performance. A pretty bad injury to Robbie Coetzee just 8 minutes in to this fixture saw Fourie, the Lions third string hooker get his summons and boy did he answer the call. An incredibly impressive performance given that Fourie has played most of his rugby at prop and with the Lions wealth of talented front rankers he has recently been molded into a hooker to get a gig! In previous weeks we discussed on the Fantasy XV Draft Podcast (available on Soundcloud, Itunes, Stitcher) how valuable Robbie Coetzee was after Malcom Marx’s injury because the Lions hookers are always the beneficiary of the teams many driving maul tries. Well only one of Fourie’s two tries this week was off a driving maul but the other was a similar type of close quarters pick and go. Fourie made 12 carries for 36 hard earned metres, a tacklebust, a linebreak (for the try), 6 tackles and 13/13 lineout throws. He also forced 2 crucial turnovers. If your in need of a fantasy hooker, look no further!
Crusaders 24 – 13 Hurricanes
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Fantasy: 419 points – 378 points
Certainly the most anticipated fixture of the week was soured by the weather conditions in Christchurch not being conducive to running rugby. This certainly favoured the Crusaders who were able to slowly grind this one out and the Crusaders coach, ‘Razor’ Robertson must have been performing a quality raindance all week as when asked about the conditions pregame he jested ‘the wetter the better.’ This saw one of the lowest fantasy scoring games of the week and a pretty boring game for watching by this teams standards. It was one in which the exciting outside backs, think Ben Lam or George Bridge (some of the top tryscorers in 2018), in these two juggernaughts, did not see any ball and also no fantasy points.
It will be no surprise then that the top three scorers in this fixture were all Crusaders, all forwards and all try scorers; Michael Alaalatoa & Heiden Bedwell-Curtis tied on 46 points a piece and Scott Barrett with 41 points. Ardie Savea (41 points) put his head down and muscled up for the Hurricanes and was followed by Reed Prinsep with a try off the bench and 37 points. It was a quiet day in the office for the backs, who mainly just sat around looking cold; the battle of the fantasy flyhalves was a non event, Beauden Barrett (27 points) & Richie Mo’unga (28 points) and the top points scorer for the backs was the Hurricanes ‘Min-bus’, Ngani Laumape (34 points) just trucking it up the middle of the park.
Rebels 40 – 13 Sunwolves
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Fantasy: 650 points – 455 points
A stark contrast to the game proceeding it, there was plenty of running rugby and free flowing tries in the Rebels vs Sunwolves in Melbourne. The Moondogs were without many key personnel, all busy with Brave Blossom duty, the Japanese National team training camp. They still fielded an impressive team however they couldn’t carry on the momentum from their previous two wins and just didn’t have quite the same synergy in the team. During the game they suffered injuries to key players, Michael Little (31 points – son of Walter Little) & Hosea ‘Tongan Godzilla’ Saumaki (38 points) which didn’t help the cause and Hayden Parker (20 points) who has been on fire in recent weeks didn’t get a chane to kick any goals this week. The Rebels back home at AAMI Park however turned up to play and they whilst they welcomed back some key men from injury (namely Dane Haylet-Petty – 28 points), they also tried out utility back Reece Hodge (28 points) starting at Flyhalf.
Whilst the majority of the fantasy points went the way of the men out the back, it was Fantasy God Amanaki Mafi returning to his usual position topping games and taking names, with 72 points. He leads the competition in carries and made a further 20 runs this week for 157m, a try, 7 tacklebusts, 2 offloads, 2 linebreaks and 13 tackles. The man is a machine. Onto the backs, we had both the Rebels wingers absolutely cleaning up, Jack Maddocks (70 points) with two tries and another huge score against the sunwolves, Mariko Koroibete (69 points) with one more!! He scored a hatrick and had some pretty insane numbers; 6 runs for 119m. That means he basically made 20m per run and scored a try one out of every two possessions!! For the Sunwolves, it was Lomano Lemeki (50 points) who we have in the past said is a ‘feast or famine’ type of fantasy player and he was hungry in this one. Lomeki scored a try and put up the same numbers as Koroibete with 6 runs for 118m, 7 tacklebusts and 2 linebreaks. The Rebels centres Billy Meakes and Tom English both scored 44 points for their involvements and Captain Adam Coleman (40 points) had an impressive showing leading from the front.
Last thoughts: The Georgian International Jaba Bregvadze (39 points) for the Sunwolves is someone we have previously mentioned could be worth a look if you are in need of a fantasy prop, yes he is a hooker that is listed on Fox Sports Fantasy as a prop. As a prop He gets pretty much an extra 10 points a game for throwing the lineouts and hookers generally are the ones to benefit from driving maul tries, not that mauls are a big part of the Sunwolves game.
Jaguares 29 – 13 Sharks
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Fantasy: 491 points – 325 points
This was a very test match style affair in which both teams put on some pretty impressive defensive performances but it was the Jaguares who were able to keep their composure, hang on to the ball and slowly build enough pressure to captalise for a try. The Sharks frustrations built up until Captain Ruan Botha made a reckless clean out, dropping his shoulder into someones temple and was appropriately red carded marking both the end to the game and Ruan Botha’s Springbok chances (if there were any). Full credit needs to go to Tomas Lavanini in 2018, whilst he has had a relatively quiet year, I feel that this he was yellow carded on at least a few occasions for that type of clean out in 2017 alone. Ramiro Moyano (98 points) really took the lions share of the fantasy points in this game but his fellow outside back Emiliano Boffelli was next on the table with 45 points. Aside from both hookers; Akker Van der Merwe (39 points) & Agustin Creevy (38 points) and Jaguares flyhalf Nicolas Sanchez (37 points), the points were pretty evenly distributed across the sides which is typical of the brand of more test match style footy both these teams exhibit. When looking at the Du Preez brothers (Jean-Luc & Dan) in the 7 & 8 jersey, we are convinced that the stats man doesn’t ever know who he is looking at, so this week elected to just give them both 32 points.
39 Chiefs – 27 Waratahs
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Fantasy: 707 points – 497 points
The Warratahs made yet another great start to a match in New Zealand with two early tries in the 5th and 12th minute but just couldn’t maintain their composure to see the game through. Having my New South Wales coloured glasses on here I think that the Tahs had a try disallowed for a forward pass when it was certainly not one and that effected their momentum in the game but I wouldn’t be so bold to say it would have changed the end result. If anything it was yet another example of where the captain Michael Hooper needed to make like TJ Perenara or Ben Smith and get in the referee’s face until he takes a second look upon referral. The Chiefs just stayed calm and collected under pressure for the full 80 and really took their opportunities when they were presented.
In terms of fantasy, it was largely the Chiefs, the aforementioned Toni Pulu topping this one on 89 points and not far behind him was Fantasy Super Rugby’s chosen one, Damian McKenzie on 80 points, also scoring two tries, including one after the buzzer which both gained the Chiefs a bonus point and wiped away the Waratahs losing bonus point. Nathan Harris (74 points) had a hell of a game with his points coming from a try, 11 tackles (22 points) a few runs and a crucial tighthead win (7 points). Brodie Retallick (60 points) did what he does and also came up with two turnovers on his tryline. Both Chiefs centres had great fantasy outings, Charlie Ngatai (58 points) back in the 12 jersey and Anton Lienert-Brown (52 points) outside him. Last shout out from the Chiefs goes to the Chiefs Mana, the Wairua, the Moraaaaleee Booster, Liam Messam having a big game at eighth man with 48 points. The Tahs fantasy peformances came by way of Curtis Rona (63 points) & Kurtley Beale (45 points) both with a try and couple of linebreaks and of course Israel Folau (40 points) althought he couldn’t seem to get his hands on the pill as much.
15 Reds – 18 Highlanders
Fantasy: 552 points – 545 points
This closefought affair came down to the wire and not for the first time this season it was Lima Sopoaga (37 points) kicking over a penalty goal to snatch it at the death. Tevita ‘Jet’ Li (65 points) topped this game and proved an absolute handful in his return from injury. He scored a try, made 10 runs for 121m, 5 tacklebusts, 2 offloads, 2 linebreaks and created a linebreak. Li had a good battle with his opposite number Izaia Perese (64 points) who put up some similarly impressive numbers in his return to the starting team ahead of Filipo Daugunu. Whilst Perese didn’t score a try, he made 11 runs for 118m, 6 tacklebusts, 4 offloads, 2 linebreaks and created one. Neither of these blokes lack enthusiasm, thats for sure. After the battle of the wingers, it was the hookers that killed it in this game. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (64 points) bagged himself a try and made 13 carries and 4 tacklebusts. Ash Dixon (63 points) didn’t get a try but rather he just got through a mountain of work makin 10 carries and 19 tackles!!! (worth 38 points for a front rower). Talking off players getting through work, both George Smith (44 points) for the Reds and Jackson Hemopo (42 points) for the Landers did just that, Hemopo was unlucky to get over the line but not be rewarded with a try for his efforts. Last mentions go to Samu Kerevi with a pretty stock standard 42 points for him (no tries), All Black Liam Squire (40 points) returned from a fractured thumb and ran over Moses Sorovi like a steam train for his try and lastly Taniela ‘Tongan Thor’ Tupou with another solid outing and 40 points.
28 Bulls – 38 Brumbies
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Fantasy: 406 points – 473 points
This see-saw like affair saw each team take turns scoring points and struggle to really build any lasting momentum until midway through the second half, funnily enough, it took a pretty ridiculous red card to galvanize the Brumbies resolve and we saw them show more heart than they have all season to grind out the win. In the last twenty they looked like the team with the extra player on the field and as a team just lifted in a way we haven’t seen this season. I won’t get started on Folau Fainga’a’s red card but thank christ he was only given a one week ban. Fainga’a still ended up on 40 points after the card and leaving the field in the 62nd minute. Tom Banks (50 points) topped this match with another blinder in South Africa; his try was from a piece of individual brilliance where he simply picked apart the Bulls defense and left Warwick Gelant for dead. Banks had 9 runs for 127m, 6 tacklebusts and a linebreak. Handre Pollard (48 points) pulled out some individual brilliance of his own, taking on and busting through the line for the first try of the match just 4 minutes in. He kicked 5/6 goals and marshalled his troops well but the team just didn’t lift to the level of the Brumbies and some lacklustre defence was their downfall.
The out of form Tevita Kurindrani had his game of the year and was perhaps the glue in the backline that made them stick. He was solid defensively and was actually busting the line for once this season, with 6 runs for 63m and 5 tacklebusts. He finished on 46 points (his highest for the season). The flying fijiian Henry Speight (44 points) had a good game out wide, making 9 runs for 146m and a pair of linebreaks and Joe Powell (36 points) kept the Bulls honest with some probing runs around the breakdown, one of which resulting in a linebreak and try assist. He was the top scoring scrumhalf this week. The other standouts for the men from Pretoria were; Roelof Smit (42 points) who scored a try and enjoyed his work up against David Pocock but unfortunately copped a pretty serious knee injury that will likely see him miss the rest of the season;* Johnny Kotze (41 points) scored a try and was the only Bulls back who could seem to find any space, making 6 runs for 107m and a couple of tacklebusts and linebreaks; and lastly RG Snyman (39 points) stepping up in the absence of Lodewyk de Jager and getting the hardwork done.
*For all Super Rugby injury information be sure to check out The Casualty Ward, released every Monday and updated periodically throughout the week.
23 Stormers – 26 Lions
Fantasy: 353 points – 503 points
This was actually a great game until the cards started coming out. It’s pretty hard to win a man down but the Stormers really went for it with 2 yellows (JJ Engelbrecht & Jaco Coetzee) and a red card (Raymond Rhule). They played the 60th to the 70th minute down to only 13 men. The game started welll with the halfbacks Dewalt Duvenage and Nic Groom trading off tries from poor ruck defence and before being sent off, Raymond Rhule scored a try off a spectacularly placed kick to the corner for the Stormers. Without the cards, the Stormers win this game. Simple as that. Now onto Fantasy:
I’ve already spoken about the top scorer out of this one, it was the 2018 Supersub of the year; Corne Fourie with 87 points. Fourie aside the points were pretty evenly spread across both XV’s, bearing in mind the Stormers lost 35 points for all their cards plus whatever points those players would have made in the 50 combined minutes they weren’t on the field. Lourens Erasmus (45 points) has really been seizing his starting opportunities and got through a mountain of work in this one, the lions going to him as their first choice lineout receiver as the Stormers were all over Franco Mostert. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (37 points) and Bongi Mbonambi (34 points) off the bench were the pick of the Stormers, getting through a hell of alot of tackles, Notshe 19 and Bongi 16 tackles (32 points – front rower) in just the 30 minutes he was on field. With only two more games to play this season you’ll have to think long and hard if it is worth holding onto any of your stormers for fantasy. Time to sell.