FANTASY SUPER RUGBY 2019 – ROUND 5 IN REVIEW

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Our top three fantasy scorers and players in focus for round 5 of Super Rugby 2019 were Wes Goosen (Hurricanes) seizing his opportunity to start on the wing, Wallabies and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper (Waratahs) really stepping up the effort levels and another exciting junior Springbok Tyrone Green (Lions) in his Super Rugby debut.

Wes Goosen has more often than not been the odd man left out of the Hurricanes starting 15, if not the match day 23. This despite his awesome form and versatility in that he can play more or less anywhere in the back line and has done so throughout a few Hurricanes and Mitre10 cup campaigns. The Hurricanes decided to give ‘Big Ben’ Lam a rest this week (note he is not an All Black so it wasn’t mandatory and if you take one look at Ben Lam you can tell he is in no need of resting, he is an absolute specimen!!) and Goosen did his very best to step up and take the opportunity with both hands. He was out Fantasy Man of the Round (FMOTR) with 92 points – 10 carries for 141m, 2 clean breaks, 13 TACKLE BUSTS!!! (39 points), 3 tackles, 1 turnover won and a try. It would be hard to keep him out of the match day team off the back of this but with so much talent, it wouldn’t surprise us at all.

Michael Hooper (Waratahs) has generally been the type of player any fantasy manager would love to have in their fantasy roster purely because before last year, he 1) never got injured, 2) played every minute of every game and 3) scored pretty well consistently. 2018 saw him suffer his first proper career injury, miss a few games (played 13 across the season) and his fantasy average dropped down to 30.2 points for the year. He has had a slow start to the 2019 but has really lead from the font in the last two weeks, really stepping up his effort levels which have him scoring 48 points last week and 73 points this week (bringing his season average up to 39.3). Against the Brumbies this week he made 14 carries for 31m, 6 tackle busts, 2 offloads, 15 tackles and scored a try chasing down the ball from a penalty kick post deflection! The signs are good that he will continue stepping it up as he needs a big year in the lead up to the rugby world cup.

Tyrone Green (Lions) is another exciting player that was all the talk in the South African Conference in the preseason 2019. One of the stars of the junior Springboks 2018 campaign, along with one of last week’s players in focus, Wandisile Simelane, similarly Green did not disappoint in his Super Rugby debut and we here at Draft Rugby have likened him to the ‘Damian McKenzie’ of South Africa, which means we are giving him a pretty big wrap after just the one game. He scored 71 fantasy points through 13 carries for 85m, 2 clean breaks, 9 tackle busts, a try assist and a turnover won. Exciting things to come for this youngster and he has brought some much needed competition to a perhaps stagnating Lions back line.

SUPER RUGBY TEAM FANTASY SCORES

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

TEAM STARTING XV FULL TEAM (23)
Blues BYE BYE
Chiefs 466 537
Crusaders GAME CANCELLED  GAME CANCELLED
Highlanders  GAME CANCELLED  GAME CANCELLED
Hurricanes 511 562
Brumbies 332 390
Rebels 281 355
Reds 548 705
Waratahs 472 542
Sunwolves 443 509
Bulls BYE BYE
Lions 492 644
Sharks BYE BYE
Stormers 377 464
Jaguares 412 488

ROUND 5 FIXTURES

BYES: BLUES, BULLS, SHARKS

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CHIEFS (23) vs (23) HURRICANES – FMG Stadium, Waikato

There are two types of NZ derby matches, either the very quick and free flowing outside back face off that was this game or the physical beat down that promised to be the Crusaders vs the Highlanders before the match was cancelled due to the unfortunate circumstances. Well the ‘Sun Chiefs’ as we donned the men from Waikato after losing to the ‘Wolves (Sunwolves) at home in New Zealand, started to show their first really promising signs in the 2019 season. They made a few positional/personnel changes and managed to get the ball into the hands of their play maker, Damian McKenzie (47 points) now back in the fullback position, with some space to work with.

The Hurricanes made some uncharacteristic handling errors in the first half causing them to waste a few opportunities but their pivot Beauden Barrett (62 points) put on a commanding performance and fullback Chase Tiatia (58 points) continuing to impress with some great counterattack and injecting himself in the right areas of the field. Up front it was reliable workhorse Ardie Savea (49 points) getting through his usual mountain of work for the Canes and for the Chiefs, Canadian International Tyler Ardron (41 points) looks to have really locked down that number 8 jersey and has been very effective.

Game Stats:
Carries 119-121,
Run metres 497-532
Line breaks 11-6
Offloads 16-4
Tackle Busts 19-36
Penalties Conceded 7-6

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BRUMBIES (19) vs (13) WARATAHS – GIO Stadium, Canberra

Whilst this Aussie derby certainly doesn’t have quite the feeling it in of a NSW vs QLD affair, both the teams got up for this one. This was a very physical game that ultimately came down to exactly what we thought it would – the Brumbies awesome lineout maul which the Waratahs just had no idea how to defend. The Brumbs had the better forward pack and the Tahs the better back line which is clearly evidenced in the match stats (see below).

The standout fantasy performances were mainly from the forwards, aside from Michael Hooper’s captain knock of 73 points (scroll up to the players in focus to check out his stats), Folau Fainga (58 points) the try scoring machine bagged another 2 tries this week (he was unlucky not to get a third with the penalty try being awarded instead), 13 successful line out throws and 14 tackles (28 points for a front rower). Eighth men, Lachlan McCaffrey (49 points) and Jack Dempsey (48 points) went at it and had ripper games, the two are actually possibly vying for the potential Wallabies No. 8 jersey. Whilst of the pretty boys that stand out the back, it was none other than Israel Folau (52 points) bringing home the bacon and making 5 offloads (20 points) in this one.

Game Stats:
Carries 99-132,
Run metres 234-445
Line breaks 2-9
Offloads 7-16
Tackle Busts 22-7

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STORMERS (35) vs (8) JAGUARES – DHL Newlands, Capetown

Despite the Jaguares bringing back essentially their A team after resting many players last week, the Stormers just decided it was time to show up in 2019. The Stomers took a few minutes to warm into the game with the Jaguares drawing first blood through a try just 4 minutes in to exciting youngster Bautista Delguy (who unfortunately will now miss the rest of the season with an injury he picked up in this one – check out The Casualty Ward for all the details). Whilst it was a fairly even match after this, it was the Stormers that made capitalized on their opportunities and put the points on the board, something the Jaguares continue to struggle with. The Stormers welcomed back a Draft Rugby favourite, Steven ‘The Firetruck’ Kitshoff (38 points) in the front row and he picked up right where he left off in 2018.

The Fantasy Man of the Match was Guido Petti (58 points) having a blinder, he made 11 runs, 1 tackle bust, 2 clean breaks, 3 offloads, 8 tackles and won 6 line outs. Not far behind him for the Jaguares was 2018 captain Pablo Matera (48 points) in his first big score for the year, Julian Montoya (48 points) taking over from Agustin Creevy and scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli (40 points) with another commanding performance behind the pack. For the home team another Captain’s knock this week with Siya Kolisi (57 points) getting stuck into everything and leading through his actions, nabbing himself a try for his efforts, youngster Herschel Jantjies (48 points) darted through for another try and would look to have all but nailed down that starting scrumhalf jersey for the Stormers. Other notables in this match were JD Schickerling (39 points) picking up the slack when Eben Etzebeth failed a HIA early in the second 40 and Sebastian Cancelliere (39 points) came off the bench and played like his life depended on it!

Game Stats:
Tackles 83% (110/132) – 86% (96/111)
Carries 105 – 137
Run Metres 309 – 357
Clean Breaks 7 – 11
Penalties conceded 6 – 9

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SUNWOLVES (31) vs (34) REDS – National Stadium , Singapore

This was a hard fought and thrilling affair that came right down to the wire with FMOTM Hamish Stewart (62 points) kicking a penalty goal to win it right at the end. We’ve discussed many times on the podcast that the Sharks laid down the blue print to defeating the Sunwolves by just out muscling them up front and at set piece in week one, and we thought the reds would have the pack to do just that. Whilst the reds did score the majority of their tries through their forwards in tight, the set piece was fairly even and the Sunwolves were taking apart the reds with some brilliant play out wide.

The expansive and free flowing nature of this game yielded loads of points for fantasy managers on both sides. For the Reds the aforementioned Hamish Stewart looked great out back in the fullback position making 10 carries, 2 line breaks and beating 7 defenders, Samu Kerevi (58 points) made 14 carries and beat 9 defenders and Chris Feauai-Sautia (53 points) made 7 carries for 3 line breaks and beat 7 defenders. Up front Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (51 points) had his first big shift for 2019 and bagged himself a try and Brandon Paenga-Amosa (45 points) got two tries off the bench after being rotated out for Alex Mafi to get a start.

The moondogs fantasy efforts were spearheaded by Jamie Booth (58 points) having another absolute ripper game. with a try and 2 line breaks from his 6 carries and then backrowers Dan Pryor (55 points) and Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (53 points) were just omni present on the field, getting stuck into everything and were both rewarded with a try of their own. Other notables for the Sunwolves were Michael Little (43 points) generating alot of their linebreaks, the return of Hosea ‘the Tongan Godzilla’ Saumaki (39 points) to the Sunwolves lineup for the first time in 2019 and also Amanaki Mafi (40 points) running out for the sunwolves for the first time and picking up where he left off in 2019 in terms of fantasy form with his 40 points off the bench.

Game Stats:
Possession 64% – 36%
Carries 141 – 103
Line Breaks 14 – 11
Defenders Beaten 49 – 27
Missed Tackles 27 – 49

HIGHLANDERS vs CRUSADERS – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Game was cancelled. You can read about it here.

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Lions (36) vs (33) Rebels – Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg

Well the Rebels certainly blew this one!! Early in the second half, the Melbourne mob was up 33 – 5!!! Yet the Lions walked away the victors, scoring the next 28 points and the second match in the round to be sealed and won by a penalty goal at the very end. It was yet another of the Lions youngsters and star of the 2018 Junior Boks, Gianni Lombard who was subbed on late in the game and stepped up to make the kick when it mattered.

The FMOTM was Lions debutant Tyrone Green with an impressive showing at fullback (scroll up to the players in focus for more on him and his stats this week). Following him was his competition and pretty settled Lions starting full back Andries Coetzee (69 points) who looks to have taken inspiration from his younger counterpart when he came off the bench as he was full of running! He made 8 runs, 2 line breaks, beat 7 defenders and scored a try. Malcolm Marx (64 points) is getting better with each week if that’s possible, he made 17 carries and won 16 line out throws. Kwagga Smith (63 points) also was dangerous with ball in hand, he made 2 line breaks and a try assist.  Other notable performances from the Lions were Courtnall Skosan (54 points) and Wandisile Simelane (45 points).

Whilst it probably would have been a fantasy field day if the Rebels had just continued playing the way they had in the first half, sadly the errors and more specifically 20 penalties (-100 points!) dished out across the team really brought down scores. Also the 2 yellow cards (-10 each) to Adam Coleman and Angus Cottrell. Bill Meakes (67 points) top scored with no tries this week, rather just a mountain of work. He made 23 tackles (huuuuge for a back!), 2 line breaks, a try assist and beat 4 defenders. Otherwise the only other notables were experienced halves pairing, Will Genia (47 points) & Quade Cooper (45 points) with a try a piece and Cooper with 2 try assists in this one.

Game Stats:
Lions 75% possession in 2nd half (territory also 75% lions full game)
Defenders beaten 33 – 14
Tackles success LIONS 79% (53/67); Rebels 78% (115/148)
Penalties  1- 20! + 2 yellows – discipline was ridiculous

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 PROP:
Harry Hoopert (Reds) – 40 points (try off the bench!! How good)
Jean-Pierre Smith (Reds) – 39 points
** Hon mention: Steven Kitshoff (Stormers) – 38 points in his first game back in 2019.

HOOKER:
Malcolm Marx (Lions) – 64 points

LOCK:
Guido Petti (Jaguares) – 58 points
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Reds) – 51 points

BACK ROW:
Michael Hooper (Waratahs) – 73 points
Kwagga Smith (Lions) – 63 points
Siya Kolisi (Stormers) – 57 points

SCRUMHALF:
Jamie Booth (Sunwolves) – 58 points (Also scored 59 points last week as well!!)

FLYHALF:
Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) & Hamish Stewart (Reds) – 62 points

CENTRES:
Bill Meakes (Rebels) – 67 points
Samu Kerevi (Reds) – 58 points

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Wes Goosen (Hurricanes) – 92 points
Tyrone Green (Lions) – 71 points (On Debut!!)
Andries Coetzee (Lions) – 69 points (Off the bench!!)

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