FANTASY SUPER RUGBY 2019 – Round 1 in Review

Apologies for the delay folks, it was either writing up the round review or working on getting the player stats up on the site and this had to give out. Even though I’m posting it on Friday, I ended up deciding to finish it (in an abbreviated form) because I had procrastinated from coding by writing a bunch of this anyway. So Enjoy;

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Our top 3 Fantasy scorers in round 1 2019 were Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs) with 84 points, Peter Samu (Brumbies) 83 points and Rosko Speckman (Bulls) with 81 points.

With a few names missing for the chiefs, most notably Damian McKenzie to lead the troops around, ALB literally just picked up this entire team and carried them on his shoulders. At Inside Centre he was both directing the team around like an experienced Fly Half and taking it upon himself to create all the opportunities out wide. It was a truly stellar display to witness. He made 13 carries and whilst they were only for 32m, he beat 10 defenders, made a clean break, a try assist, 5 offloads and 9 tackles.

In an effort to promote competition and I guess try to show Pete Samu that he wasn’t just going to be gifted the starting jersey, the Brumbies listed him on the bench to start the season, preferring Lachie McCaffrey who we must say did also look good. Samu came off the bench just 5 minutes into this one with David Pocock leaving the field for a HIA which he went on to fail and Pete wasted no time getting stuck into his work and showing that he is the business. It was an interesting one in that I felt quite surprised when I saw that he came second on the fantasy scores this week as I feel that in watching the game alot of his good work went relatively unnoticed, but that is nothing but a good sign for fantasy managers. Pete made 8 carries for 89m (over that golden carry for 10m threshold), 4 linebreaks (20 points!!!), 7 defenders beaten (21 points!!!), 2 offloads, 10 tackles and won a turnover. Suprisingly he has been listed to start on the bench again in round 2 but we suspect that won’t last for long he should be looking at a starting jersey all day very soon.

Rosko Specman, ‘the sevens specialist’ (drinking game: finish your beer every time the commentators mention his sevens career), showed that he certainly belongs in the fifteen man game and even if there is double the men on the field, he still only needs those few inches of space to turn on the gas and slip through behind enemy lines. Apart from his electric pace and hot stepping he was enthusiastic to get stuck into all facets of the game and really got amongst it, making 7 tackles for a winger. The fantasy points however came by way of 2 tries (20 points), 5 carries for 94m, 3 line breaks (15 points), 7 defenders beaten (21 points) and 1 offload. We think we can expect to see alot of Specman in super rugby 2019!!!

SUPER RUGBY TEAM FANTASY SCORES

This is something we’d been finding interesting and will introduce to the article each week so you can see how your fantasy team compared against the Super Rugby teams themselves.

TEAM STARTING XV FULL TEAM (23)
Blues 419 530
Chiefs 471 537
Crusaders 407 442
Highlanders 477 567
Hurricanes 361 421
Brumbies 382 518
Rebels 409 456
Reds BYE BYE
Waratahs 364 376
Sunwolves 214 251
Bulls 410 481
Lions 466 493
Sharks 470 555
Stormers 202 256
Jaguares 263 366

ROUND 1 FIXTURES

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Chiefs 27 v 30 Highlanders

This close fought affair was the classic tale of two halves, the highlanders dominating the first and last 20 minutes of the game and the Chiefs running riot in that middle 40. The Highlanders still managed to pull out the result despite seeing Sio Tomkinson red carded in the 66th minute and this was in large part to the accuracy at goal kicking from Josh Ioane (100% 6 from 6) .

Fantasy Man on the Match (FMOM): ALB 84pts (see his number above)
Chiefs Points: Etene Nanai-Seturo 58pts (2 tries for 29 run metres); Brodie Retallick 49; Tyler Ardron 48; Angus Ta’avao 36
Highlanders Points: Lomax 56 (16 pts from 8/8 tackles,1 try assist, 1 offload), Coltman 46; Faddes 43 (50m, 4 Defenders Beaten, 3 clean breaks, 2 offloads, 3 Turnovers won as well as conceded); Frizell 43; Luke Whitelock 42
Noteable: Thomas Umaga-Jensen 39; Pari Pari Parkinson 37 (1 try); Josh Ioane 33

Highlanders 100% lineouts and scrums (13/13 lineouts + 4 steals, won 8/8 scrums)
Chiefs won 11/15 lineouts and 6/6 scums.
The Highlanders  ran 448m compared to 306m

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Brumbies 27 V 34 Rebels ( 22 – 19 at half time)
The Brumbies had a few of their biggest names in the Casualty Ward by the end of this one, losing David Pocock 5 minutes in, Toni Pulu before the end of the first half and also Henry Speight. This was a very positive game for Australian Rugby though with some attacking rugby and actually holding onto the ball long enough to score some points! Whilst he has never been a particularly great fantasy scorer, Quade Cooper might be just what the Rebels backline needs to unlock some of its potential and whilst his tacking was as expected (around 50%), Quade did make a try saver against a rampaging Tevita Kuridrani (no easy feat!).

FMOM: Peter Samu (see top for his stats)
Brumbies: Allan Alaalatoa 58 (1 try, 8/8 tackles), Sam Carter 44 (1 try), Lachlan McCaffrey (42), Tevita Kuridrani (41), Rory Arnold 40 (1 try), Lealiifano (30),
Rebels: Matt Philip (59), Anaru Rangi (58 1 try), Isi Naisarani (54), Jack Maddocks (52), Will Genia (30 – 60passes for a total of 12 fantasy points)

Rebels made 92/114 tackles – 81%; Brumbies 82/97- 85%
Rebels Lineouts 12/12 and 3 steals, 6/7 scrums
Brumbies 11/14 lineouts, 6/6 scrums

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Blues 22 V 24 Crusaders

Despite the blues young up and coming fly half Harry Plummer having 2 opportunities to level or go head of the Crusaders with kicks at goal, as per standard practice somehow the Crusaders just walked away with another win. Like most of the rugby in round 1 2019, this was a very forward dominated affair and the Blues were certainly up to the task. Lead by the one and only Akira Ioane who put in an immense shift, followed by newly minted captain Patrick Tuipulotu and abrasive lock playing flank, Tom Robinson. The Crusaders just stayed calm as they always are, defended like a team about to complete the threepeat in 2019 and showed everyone that they have depth greater than the that in which the one ring was forged in Mordor. They gave young Braydon Ennor a crack, starting at 13 instead of rushing all black Jack Goodhue back into the frame and boy oh boy, he would be making the starting roster at pretty much any other team in the competition!! They also brought on another talented youngster, Will Jordan who will likely see little game time this season but he was basically what Damian McKenzie is to Super Rugby, to the Kiwi Provincial rugby (Mitre 10 Cup) last year. The Crusaders are just bloody scary.

FMOM: Akira Ioane (75) 18 carries for 100m (3rd from the entire Rd1), 4 defenders beaten, 2 clean breaks, 1 try and ⅞ tackles;
Blues: Tuipulotu (44); Collins (38pts – 106 run metres, tied w/ Folau); Tom Robinson (34); Alex Hodgman (33), Ma’a Nonu (33)
Crusaders: Braydon Ennor (61 – top defenders beaten w/ 8, 3 line breaks); Joe Moody (50); George Bridge (41); Manasa Mataele (37); Scott Barrett (37); Andrew Makalio (33); Owen Franks (31)

Run Metres: 468 Blues V 235 Crusaders
Gain Line Carries 59 Blues (of 113) V 21 Crusaders (of 61)
Offloads 10 Blues V 1 Crusaders
Tackles Blues 65/80 Made – 81%; Crusaders ;162/182 – 89%

Waratahs 19 V 20 Hurricanes

As a devout NSW Waratahs fan I don’t even want to talk about this one, we let yet another one we let slip away. Whilst the Tahs did pull together some positives, the fact that the Hurricanes were more or less atrocious by their standards and still came away with the W is all you need to know. Bernard ‘Iceman’ Foley wasn’t able to seal the kick from in front to take the game after an amazing Tahs scrum forced a penalty. The Hurricanes were missing key pivot Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles returned to play from the bench, from the 57th minute they actually had TJ Perenara playing fly half!!! Karmichael Hunt is perhaps the best signing for the Tahs for the year and would be a great backup centre to add to your arsenal because whilst he is currently just filling gaps, I suspect we will end up seeing alot of him in 2019, in a number of positions.

Foley

FMOM: Ardie Savea (61) 1 try (almost 2);12 tackles, 13 carries; 4 defs beaten; 1 turnover
Waratahs: Holloway (40 – 3 lineout steals and 3 on their own throw, 10/10 tackles); Karmichael Hunt (34 – 6 defs beaten (Most in match)); Curtis Rona (31); Harry Johnson-Holmes (31); Bernard Foley (30); Israel Folau (26 run metres 106m (tied 1st));
Hurricanes: Jordie Barrett (33); Liam Mitchell (33 LOCK); Reed Prinsep (29)

Tackle success 84% waratahs; 83% Hurricanes
Lineout success Waratahs 77% 10/13; Hurricanes 85% 17/20

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Sunwolves 10 V 45 Sharks

Essentially the Sunwolves are comprised of two teams in 2019; The Japanese internationals (Brave Blossoms) and what I am going to don, ‘the mercenaries.’ If you couldn’t tell, it was the latter that took to the field in an empty Singapore stadium this week and it wasn’t pretty. I mean who the hell is Luke Thompson? I’ll tell you who, a 37 year old making his super rugby debut!! So the plan is that the mercenaries are going to fill the gaps while the Brave Blossoms spend the majority of the season in training camps or being rested for the rugby world cup. I don’t think anyone was convinced this band of vagabonds was going to work and now especially so with crowd favourite Rene Ranger flying home after doing his ACL in this first game. *End Rant*. The Sharks looked good, Akkers ‘the angry warthog’ van der Merwe doesn’t look like he will have to compete with anyone for the starting hooker jersey this year and we’ve tipped him to have a huge year for fantasy. Dan Du Preez stepped up in the absence of twin brother JL Du Preez and was making his presence felt with some big carries.

FMOM: Akkers van der Merwe (73); 2 tries, 6 tackles; 1 offload; 13 lineouts won, ??
Sunwolves: Semisi Masirewa (38); Jaba Begvadze (35); Hayden Parker (25);
Sharks: Dan du Preez (63 – 1 try, 11 runs for 12 metres, 2 defenders beaten, 2 offloads ); BEAST (49); Nkosi (35); Coenie Oosthuizen (34); Lukhanyo Am (33); Tyler Paul (31);

Tackle success 90% each

Image result for rosko specman bulls vs stormers

Bulls 40 v 3 Stormers 
Well of course the star studded Stormers team weren’t going to let any of the broader institutional issues back home effect their rugby in 2019 season and they came out firing. The Stormers were utterly awful. One of the worst performances from them I can remember seeing. In recent years hey had been known as the defensive benchmark, at times ahead of the Crusaders but this display was more like the turn styles you’d find at the Cheetahs or the Kings. On the offensive end, it was just one of those days where nothing seemed to click at all. We had some big wraps on Ruhan Nel at outside centre being perhaps the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle for that back line but instead his super rugby debut will likely be one he would like to forget. Combine this with a Bulls team that brought the complete package and the result speaks for itself. The only area the Bulls were lacking was the scrum, their line out dominated (again the Stormers are typically known for their lineout), their defense was awesome and their offense was beautiful to watch. Check out this great analysis of the bulls team effort to create the specman tries. The Stormers will be ruing that they weren’t able to secure the services of their former wrecking ball Duane Vermeulen who made his entrance back into Super Rugby with a hell of a shift. The Stormers have got some big guns back into the team for round 2 against the Lions at Newlands so lets hope this was a one off from them.

FMOM: Rosko Speckman (81); 2 tries; 94metres; 3 linebreaks, 7 defs beaten
Bulls: Jesse Kriel (51); Duane Vermeulen (47); Lood de Jager (34); Pollard (30)
Stormers: JD Schickerling (35); de Allende (28); PSDT (28)

Kicks from hands Bulls 39 – 20 Stormers
Tackle Success – Bulls 123/135 (91%); Stormers 59/78 (76%)
Lineout Success Bulls 12/12 TO Stormers 14/19 (74%) – Bongi learn to throw

Jaguares 16 V 25 Lions
This game was probably the least exciting of the lot and was also a very forward dominated affair just not in your typical way. The Jaguares didn’t really get their rolling maul happening at all and just couldn’t seem to get themselves organized in this one. The Lions supersub of 2018, Marnus Schoeman (or as Nelson pronounces it on our draftrugby podcast, ‘The Shoe Man’) really wants a starting gig and he brought that insane intensity he usually comes on and brings for the last 20 minutes, for the entire 80!! He is a man that knows how to find the ball near the line and then how to actually get over it, crossing for three tries in this one. Even with the return of Kwagga Smith for round 2 of super rugby, he has been rewarded with a start, the lions are just simply going to play them both at 6 and 7! Marx was strong throughout the game just quiet by way of fantasy standards, (43 points a walk in the park for him) and the all of the exciting outside backs were just starved of the ball in this fixture.

FMOM: Marnus Schoeman (68) – 3 tries, 11 tackles, 6 carries, 11 metres, 3 defs beaten, 1 linebreak
Jaguares: Kremer (42 – 1 try – 27 min); Medrano (36); Creevy (34);
Lions: Malcolm Marx (43); Dylan Smith (41 – 12 tackles); Andries Coetzee (38); Carlu Sadie (36 – 10 tackles, 3 turnovers won); Vorster (33); Orie (33); Groom (30)

Most metres gained: Moyano topped it with only 47 metres!!! (Boring as shit)
Passes – Bertranou 71 (14pts)
Gain line carries Jaguares 70 from 134 (51%) – Lions 21 from 89 (24%)

TEAM OF THE WEEK (TOTW)

PROP:
Allan Alaalatoa (BRU) – 57 points, is the Allan Alaalatoa of 2017 back? (top prop in 2017).
Tyrel Lomax (HIG) – 56 points

HOOKER:
Armand van der Merwe (SHA) – 73 points

LOCK:
Matt Philip (REB) – 59 points
Brodie Retallick (CHI) – 49 points

BACK ROW:
Pete Samu (BRU) – 83 points off the bench! Must have been covered in ants!
Akira Ioane (BLU) – 74 points
Marnus Schoeman (LIO) – 68 points, last year’s supersub showing what he can do with a game start!

SCRUMHALF:
Aaron Smith (HIG) – 34 points, the world’s best halfback will fare better in fantasy in 2019 with our adjustments to the scoring system. Aaron Smith top scored for scrumhalves coming in off the bench and nabbing himself a try.

FLYHALF:
Josh Ioane (HIG) – 33 points, 100% off the boot and took his opportunity with both hands.

CENTRES:
Anton Lienert-Brown (CHI) – 84 points, FANTASY MAN OF THE ROUND
Braydon Ennor (CRU) – 61 points, given a start in the 13 jersey to rest all black Jack Goodhue for a week, boy did Braydon Ennor seize this opportunity.

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Rosko Speckman (BUL) – 81 points, the sevens specialist showing he can light it up in the fifteen man game if given but a few inches of room to move.
Etene Nanai-Seturo (CHI) – 58 points
Jack Maddocks (REB) – 52 points

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