FANTASY SUPER RUGBY 2019 – ROUND 2 IN REVIEW

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Our top 3 Fantasy scorers in round 2 2019 were Israel Folau (Waratahs) with 101 points, Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves) with 90 points and Shannon Frizell (Highlanders) with 87 points.

In a scrappy but pretty free flowing game, Israel Folau was back to his near best hitting the line with pace, finding the smallest of holes and leaving defenders in his wake. He had 14 carries for 96 metres, 4 clean breaks, 7 defenders beaten, 5 offloads and 2 tries.

Gerhard van den Heever was the main beneficiary of the moon dogs capitalizing on their chances but boy did he show he has some out and out pace.  He had 10 carries for 140m (including a practically length of the field run in), 3 clean breaks, 6 defenders beaten, 1 offload, a try and 7 tackles.

Shannon Frizell would have had fantasy managers scrambling to pick him up this week as he always proves to be a fantasy excitement machine. He is just an absolute weapon (he received an few all black caps for a reason!) and knows how to find the ball close to the try line and then brute force his way over for a try or two. He had an immense showing, 14 carries for 57 metres,  2 clean breaks, 5 defenders beaten, 1 offload, 11 tackles, 2 tries, 2 turnovers won.

SUPER RUGBY TEAM FANTASY SCORES

See how your fantasy team compared against the Super Rugby teams themselves.

TEAM STARTING XV FULL TEAM (23)
Blues 370 486
Chiefs 225 273
Crusaders 626 🔥🔥🔥 692 🔥🔥🔥
Highlanders 483 577
Hurricanes 313 466
Brumbies 526 625
Rebels BYE BYE
Reds 497 558
Waratahs 599 631
Sunwolves 466 546
Bulls 254 309
Lions 314 363
Sharks 382 475
Stormers 305 389
Jaguares 319 402

ROUND 2 FIXTURES

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Highlanders 36 – 31 Reds

For mine this had to be the game of the round, this was the Queensland Reds first game for 2019 having their bye in round 1 and I think none of us were quite sure what to expect from them. Well they certainly came out firing and whilst they didn’t come away with the result, they have put the competition on notice – they are here to play this year and they are going to be bloody physical. Friend of the pod and the voice of rugby in New Zealand, Scotty ‘Sumo’ Stevenson wrote a great short piece ’10 Takeaways from the Highlanders vs Reds’ which perfectly summarizes this incredible match, (Sumo joined us on the pod for a chat and to preview the New Zealand conference in 2019, you can listen here).
In terms of fantasy, the reds answered some questions for fantasy managers and I suspect there will be a few managers picking up some reds players for the 2019 season. Moses Sorovi (52 points) at scrum half was incredible and you’d have to think after that performance the clear front-runner to remain in the number 9 jersey. Whilst all managers would be well aware of Samu Kerevi (48 points) and what he can do on the rugby field and for a fantasy team’s score but managers outside Australia certainly won’t have been as familiar with Jordan Petaia (51 points) who whilst he played a few games last year as an 18 year old, certainly announced himself in this match. Lock and vice captain Izack Rodda (45 points) had a blinder, culminating in his try after backing up the length of the field to finish an absolutely superb team try (proper end to end stuff!). The last one from the reds to notice is for any managers in need of a Fly Half or a good backup option, Bryce Hegarty (19 points) looks as though he will play a prominent role starting at fullback and taking the goal kicking responsibilities for the reds in 2019.
Whilst the reds certainly ‘brought it’ on the physical font, Shannon Frizell (87 points) was up to the task and lead the Highlanders efforts with 2 tries and alot of the grunt work in close quarters. Otherwise it was the work of the men outside, punishing the reds less than great kicking and clearance game, Ben ‘from accounts’ Smith (44 points) and Matt ‘The White Fijiian’ Faddes (52 points).
Game Stats: HIG vs RED
Tackle success: Highlanders 75% v 82% Reds
Lineouts: Highlanders 10/14 (71%) v (62%) 5/8 Reds

Sunwolves 30 – 31 Waratahs

Well after going on a rant and trashing the ‘mercenary Sunwolves’ last week and not wanting to talk about the Waratahs performance last week, only one of those things has changed in round 2. The Waratahs played absolute rubbish for the most part, so much so that the New Zealand Sunwolves (as dubbed by the boys over at the rugby roundup) arguably should have taken the win.
nz sunwolves
#NewZealandSunwolves (@therugbyroundup)
The free flowing nature of this one meant there was lots of fantasy points on offer though. For the Waratahs, in the backs the points went the way of Izzy Folau (101 points – 2 tries, Fantasy Man of the Round), Kurtley Beale (48 points) was electric in his first game of the season after being rested in round one and Karmichael ‘the solution’ Hunt (46 points) also looked slick at outside centre, on his way to play every position in the waratahs backline at least once throughout the season. Up front, Jack Dempsey (67 points) carried like a champion and did all the work that we would usually see carried out by a noticeably absent Michael Hooper (12 points), Harry Johnson-Holmes (47) continues to impress around the park, making 4 line breaks!! (Note he was absolutely destroyed in the scrums by his opposite number, some would say he was up YamaSHITA creek!). Damian Fitzpatrick (46 points) also looks to have a lock on that starting hooker jersey for the Tahs with Tolu Latu receiving a 6 week ban after an incident was reviewed post-game.

For the Sunwolves it was Gerhard van den Heever (90 points) showing some blistering pace and bagging himself a long distance try, crowd favourite Hayden ‘Haydar’ Parker (38 points) with his usual good showing, 100% off the tee (6/6) but couldn’t convert a drop goal on the death knell to seize the victory!! Hendrik Tui (38 points) continues some good form and stocks are only rising with the injury to Ed Quirk, Tui could be a great addition to fantasy managers backrows with lots of upside.

Game Stats: SUN vs WAR
Tahs 63% posession
Clean breaks sunwolves (12) V (23) Tahs
Tackle success: Sunwolves (83%), Waratahs (73%)
Scrums – Sunwolves dominanted and stole 2 of 6
Lineouts Tahs won 16/16 100%, Sunwolves lost 3/1
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Crusaders 38 – 22 Hurricanes

This was really a game of thirds. The first two thirds the Crusaders just utterly dominated their opponents, the Hurricanes were caught out missing some of their key players at pivot (Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara only coming in off the bench late in the game). There were some incredible skills on display; the below offload from Manasa Mataele (38 points) (sadly now injured – we are still waiting on an injury update from his scans this week so be sure to check out the Casualty Ward for that!), Jack Goodue (41 points) also threw an blinder of an offload in his first game of the season after being rested in week one.
Mataele-offload.gif
There was also some serious power, with Ben Lam (57 points) rampaging through some pretty all star defense to show some of his form that saw him break the Super Rugby try scoring record in 2018, he scored two on the night. The last third of this game saw a Hurricanes resurgence, perhaps the Crusaders slacked off a little but certainly more of what we were hoping to see from the Hurricanes throughout this one. They came back with three late tries to make the scoreline look more respectable. I’ll let you go through all of the crusaders player scores on the player stats page yourselves for this one because the Crusaders starting XV’s fantasy score was an absolutely insane 626 points!!  Fantasy managers its hard to go wrong when picking up crusaders.
Game Stats: CRU vs HUR
Offloads: 15 to 4
LINEOUT SUCCESS: Cru (92% 12/13), Hur (60% 9/15)
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Brumbies 54 – 17 Chiefs

I think the Brumbies just absolutely stunned the Chiefs in this match with an absolutely complete performance. They were dominating set piece, scoring tries off line out mauls and playing some of the best executed running rugby in Australia in quite some time!! Absolutely positive stuff and have left us Aussies incredibly excited and desperate for more!! Will be telling to see how they go against the Hurricanes in Palmerston next weekend. The big fantasy performances came by way of Tevita Kuridrani (68 points) running in two tries and sucking in the defense out wide, Tom Banks (61 points) ran an incredible line to receive a quality inside ball from a resurgent Christian Lealiifano (55 points) to split the Chiefs wide open and spring to the line to get it done. It was a commanding performance by Lealiifano at the pivot role and is a sign of plenty of good things to come from the Brumbies offense this year. Folau Fainga’a (55 points) was the beneficiary of a driving maul try and alot of the hard work getting done up front by the big men, he looks to return to his fantastic fantasy form from 2018. In terms of fantasy points for the chiefs all you need to know is that their points were topped by reserve hooker, Samisoni Taukei’aho (33 points) who drove over the maul for one of the chiefs two tries on the night. Even Brodie Retallick who was forced through injuries to play more minutes that the all black selectors would have liked with their 2019 resting policies only managed to walk away with 27 fantasy points from this one.
Game stats: BRU v CHI
8 tries – 2 tries
463 metres – 165 metres
15 clean breaks – 2 clean breaks
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Sharks 26 – 7 Blues

This was most definitely a game of two halves, the Blues looked like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed, were not dealing with the travel nor the Durban heat & humidity very well in the first 40. They almost looked like they didn’t want to be there!! That was except for Melani Nanai (53 points) who really stepped up and showcased what he can do in his 50th cap for the Blues, he had 6 carries for 80m with 2 line breaks and 8 defenders beaten!!! It was pretty much all the home team, with the Sharks very strong forward pack getting the absolute better of the men from Auckland, quite literally leading from the front, the front rankers; Akker van der Merwe (41 points), Coenie Oosthuizen (40 points) and the Beast (Tendai Mtawarira – 31 points) were 3 of the top 5 Sharks fantasy points scorers. In the backs it was exciting youngster, Aphelele Fassi (37 points) and returning off the bench and likely to take Fassi’s place, Curwin Bosch (34 points) that were finding the space and getting over the line for the Sharks tries. Bosch could be a great pickup for fantasy managers, he is listed as a fly half but will most likely be the Sharks starting full back for the majority of the season and can certainly run with the ball in hand!
The second half was mainly dominated by the Blues although they still only managed to get over the line the once, testament to some great Sharks defence at home. The notable performances from the Blues came from debutant from the bench and powerful winger, Tanielu Tele’a (51 points) who took quite something to stop with ball in hand and then the locks, Tom Robinson (50 points – note fantasy managers that whilst Tom Robinson has been playing in the 6 jersey he has been listed as a lock) and Josh Goodhue (39 points) both putting in the hard yakka up front for the Blues.

Stormers 19 – 17 Lions

This game was all penalties, handling errors and refereeing errors. Egon ‘Always’ Seconds (a former Stormers player, *cough, cough*) was very rattled in officiating this match. It was tough viewing despite the exciting finish with the Stormers keeping their composure and managing to secure the win in overtime. This game essentially had no running metres, it was all kicking and set piece, Ruhan Nel (42 points) topped run metres with 54 and Kwagga Smith (48 points) was 2nd with 35 run metres. The team totals were 260m to 162m!!!! It was more of a chess game! I mean Nick Groom was the Fantasy man of the match with 50 points, bloody Nick Groom!!!

Jaguares 27 – 12 Bulls

Again another difficult game to watch but this game was scrappy mainly because of the rainy conditions in Buenos Aires. Honestly the only really noteworthy things to take out of this game was 1) Tomas Cubelli’s (44 points) first game for the Jaguares which featured 2 clean breaks, 2 offloads and 3 defenders beaten!! Big fans of Cubelli here in Australia, he spent two seasons with the Brumbies and really lead the back line around. 2) Joaquin Diaz Bonilla (29 points) starting to settle in more to his role at pivot and attack the line a little more and bring the backline up flatter. I think he is only going to improve and improve quickly playing at this level. For the Bulls, Schalk Brits (32 points) had a relatively good showing and Rosko Speckman still managed to nab 30 points in this nothing game and we aren’t even sure how! Good news for excited managers that picked him up after his one week blow out score in round 1.
Game Stats: JAG vs BUL
Tries 3-0
Clean breaks 13 – 3
Tackle success: 88% – 77%

TEAM OF THE WEEK (TOTW)

PROP:
Harry Johnson-Holmes (Waratahs) – 47 points
Coenraad Oosthuizen (Sharks) – 40 points

HOOKER:
Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies) – 55 points

LOCK:
Scott Barrett (Crusaders) – 59 points
Tom Robinson (Blues) – 50 points

BACK ROW:
Shannon Frizell (Highlanders) – 87 points
Jack Dempsey (Waratahs) – 67 points
Jordan Taufua (Crusaders) – 59 points

SCRUMHALF:
Moses Sorovi (Reds) – 52 points

FLYHALF:
Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders) – 64 points

CENTRES:
Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies) – 68 points
Matt Faddes (Highlanders) – 52 points

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Israel Folau (Waratahs) – 101 points
Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves) – 90 points
David Havili (Crusaders) – 68 points

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