FANTASY SUPER RUGBY 2019 – ROUND 7 IN REVIEW

How about those Photoshop skills? The Blues brothers were on fire in Fantasy Super Rugby round 7 2019.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Our Fantasy Super Rugby 2019 round 7 players in focus was a family affair, with the ‘blues brothers,’ Rieko Ioane (112 points) and Akira Ioane (82 points) stealing the show with some downright impressive performances this week. The Ioane brother had a combined 13 line breaks against the Stormers, THIRTEEN LINE BREAKS!!!  Our third player in focus is an unlikely character, the sunwolves flyer, Semisi Masirewa (88 points) with his three try haul against a ‘helpless’ Waratahs in Newcastle.

After an ominously low first couple of weeks, a player many would have tipped to top the fantasy scoreboard in 2019, Rieko Ioane scored a #RyanQuaddy (4 tries) and 98 points in round 4 to put him back on a more anticipated trajectory. He’s outdone himself this week with the highest fantasy score of the year to date of 112 points from only the one try (10 points) and also after conceding 4 turnovers (-16 points). He and the team has worked harder to just get him the ball (should be 90% of their game plan) and his increased involvements have reaped the rewards for both fantasy managers and the Blues winning their past two fixtures! He made 12 carries for 137m, made 8 LINE BREAKS (40 points)!!!! 6 tackle busts (18 points), 3 offloads (12 points), 11 tackles, a try & try assist and won a turnover. After scoring only 8 points in round 2 this year, Rieko’s average is up to 55 points from playing all 6 Blues fixtures so far in 2019. Simply put if you weren’t lucky enough to draft this man into your fantasy team then just hope whomever did has a Blues bye when your fixture comes up.

Akira Ioane’s average (46.7) is getting up to around that 50 point mark where I would expect it to be from the prolific ball carrier and whilst we’d love him to be more consistent, he has always been more of a hit or miss in terms of fantasy scores. He’s a great ball hog which is just what you want to see from your back rowers and he was near his best form this week. He made 13 carries for 60 odd metres, 5 LINE BREAKS!!!, 4 tackle busts, 2 offloads, 16 tackles and a try assist to brother Rieko nonetheless. As he isn’t yet an All Black, he doesn’t fall under those mandatory resting requirements for the rugby world cup year. In 2019 more teams are certainly resting and rotating players throughout the season but you’d have to think that Akira will play pretty much every minute because 1) the Blues need him to and 2) he will want every chance to impress selectors if he is at all a chance to make the international squad.

Whilst I think many fantasy managers were disappointed with Semisi Masirewa’s selection keeping fan favourite Hosea Saumaki on the bench this week, I’m not sure Saumaki would have delivered the three tries that Masirewa did. The Fijian flyer just has out and out pace and scored tries from each of his 3 line breaks.  He made 8 carries for 106 metres and busted 8 tackles (24 points) on his way in a stellar outing for him and the Sunwolves picking up the franchise’s first ever victory in Australia.

SUPER RUGBY TEAM FANTASY SCORES

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

TEAM STARTING XV FULL TEAM (23)
Blues 560 634
Chiefs 502 621
Crusaders 355 430
Highlanders BYE BYE
Hurricanes 401 478
Brumbies BYE BYE
Rebels 392 463
Reds 349 437
Waratahs 451 489
Sunwolves 457 520
Bulls 304 332
Lions BYE BYE
Sharks 367 432
Stormers 476 572
Jaguares 334 439

ROUND 7 FIXTURES

BYES: BRUMBIES, HIGHLANDERS & LIONS

Hurricanes 8 – 32 Crusaders, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

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In the first 15 minutes, this top of the table clash looked like it was going to be a contender for game of the season, as the Hurricanes at home came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. The Crusaders started off with little ball and a couple of errors due to some great pressure from the Canes but they just defended like champs and waited for their chance.  They capitalized on two silly Hurricanes dropped balls (Ben Lam & Chase Tiatia), both leading to Crusaders tries (Will Jordan & David Havili) and well and truly swinging the momentum back in their favor. With a yellow card to Matt Todd (-5 points) in the 31st minute and a try to Ngani Laumape (30 points) for the Canes in the 32nd, you might have thought that it was game on again but in truly Crusaders style, if anything the team galvanized and played even better a man down. That Laumape try were the last points the Canes scored in the match and it was all Crusaders in the second innings.

The Hurricanes had more ball, more territory and more gain line carries but were just unable to convert this pressure into points and Crusaders just got more clinical as the game went on. Interesting caveat: Hurricanes won 9/9 scrums, Crusaders won 3/7!! If you were a crusaders forward and played the 80 (Sam Whitelock & Scott Barrett) you got -9 points for scrums!

David Havili (79 points) had a ripper for the Crusaders and was just in the right places on the field at the right times. He was the fantasy man of the match FMOTM with 12 carries for 85m, 3 line breaks, 4 tackle busts, 2 offloads and 2 tries. I feel like we should don Jack Goodue (46 points) with Tim Duncan’s nickname (retired San Antonio Spurs great), ‘The Big Fundamental’ because like TD, Goodhue is just such a fundamentally solid player. Alot of his work goes unnoticed but he is the glue in that back line, particularly on the defensive end and his efforts in keeping the Hurricanes at bay were incredible. He made 16 tackles, 4 tackle busts & 2 offloads in this one.

The fantasy stand outs from the home team were Vaea Fifita (57 points) with 13 carries, 7 line out wins, 2 lineout steals, 1 turnover won and Ardie Savea (47 points) who’s running game was shut down by the Crusaders but he still managed to get in there to win 3 turnovers. Whilst Beauden Barrett (17 points) had one to forget throwing 2 intercept passes his halves partner, TJ Perenara (40 points) was solid as ever, if only he got points for kind of milking that yellow card to Matt Todd.

Some Match Stats:
Possession 62% – 38%
Territory 64% – 36%
Gainline Carries 69 – 29
Line breaks 3 – 12
Offloads 6 – 12
Tackles 92/111 (83%) – 155-172 (90%)
Handling errors 20 – 9

Waratahs 29 V 31 Sunwolves

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Alright let me rip the bandaid off and just get through this one quickly.

  • Waratahs rested wallabies; Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper & Jack Dempsey. Sunwolves no Michael Little (concussion), Amanaki Mafi (“Visa Issue” …🤔) and Hosea Saumaki on the bench (someone tell me why???)
  • Mack Mason (-8 points) had a shocker (that’s what happens when you give a bloke zero game time off the bench and then expect him to play the 80 in the best and fastest rugby competition in the world). Chin up Mack!
  • Kurtley Beale’s (47 points) non existent defence. Note – you don’t lose fantasy points for not tackling at all, just for missed tackles (attempted and missed) 😉.
  • Zero Urgency from the Waratahs.
  • Sunwolves just played their game. Chaotic, uptempo and in your face stuff. Scored tries off Waratah mistakes and just didn’t let up the entire 80.
  • Haydar’s (Hayden Parker – 40 points) kicking!! Holy Cow!!

This was some propper free running rugby so there were lots on fantasy points dished out in this match. The FMOTM was Semisi Masirewa (88points) with the second highest score of the fantasy super rugby round 7. Consequently he was one of our three players in focus so scroll up to check out his game stats there! Staying on the moon dogs, Grant Hattingh (55 points) knows how to get over the line for a try, will tackle all day making 15 tackles in this one and was effective at the line out with 6 wins. In the back row, Dan Pryor and Hendrik Tui both finished with 47 points and both got involved in this game; Pryor had a line break, beat 3 defenders, made 15 tackles and a try assist, whilst Tui made 7 carries, 4 offloads and won 5 line outs.

Unsurprisingly Israel Folau (65 points) was the best on field for the Waratahs. Izzy made 14 carries for over 100m, 3 line breaks, beat 11 defenders!! Damien Fitzpatrick (54 points) was rock solid again, he doesn’t excite you at all but he does his bloody job, he made 12/12 line out throws and 10 tackles (20 points for a front rower). Michael Hooper (51 points) bagged himself a try he had no right scoring up the guts of the big men and otherwise just went to work with 19 tackles, (he’s got one of the top tackle counts for the season) and winning a turnover. Kurtley Beale finished with 47 points after his heads up play for a quick tap and dive over try and Cam Clarke with 45 points after being put into space a couple of times.

Some Match Stats:
Match Stats: SO EVEN ITS NOT FUNNY
Possession 48% – 52% – all other stats pretty even
Tackle success 81% each
Run Metres 371 – 399
Tackle Busts 21 – 22
Line Breaks 13 – 7
Penalties conceded 5 – 6
Only difference is goal kicking: Waratahs 4/5 ; Sunwolves 5/5

Blues 24 V 9 Stormers

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The Stormers didn’t just come out to bash the blues and keep it in the forwards like we though they might, instead they did end up throwing the pill around quite a bit but the blues were absolutely resolute in their defence efforts – making twice the number of tackles and to a higher degree of accuracy. With both teams throwing it around there were loads of fantasy points and the Blues actually topped the round with 560 points from their starting fifteen. Scroll to the top to check out the simply insane stats the ‘Blues Brothers’ (Ioane brothers) had in this one and the impact they had on the game.

The talking points in this fixture were;

  • the red card to rookie winger Tanielu Tele’a (32 points), who was not in a realistic position (in today’s game standards) to compete for a kick and put Dillyn Leyds (49 points) in a very dangerous position coming down from a kick. Fantasy managers will be delighted that Tele’a still finished with 32 points after losing 20 and any remaining game time for the red card.
  • Sonny-Bill Williams (43 points) coming off the bench to really break the game open doing what he does best with a spectacular running line and offload through two defenders to put Otere Black (22 points) over under the posts.
  • Why were the Stormers turning down the points and better yet why were they not trying the driving maul off the line out? They only scored 6 of their previous 9 tries from rolling mauls!!!!

The fantasy performers after the Ioane’s were; Sergeal Petersen (58 points) who we’ve been waiting to have a break out game after such an incredible Currie Cup campaign. Petersen made 13 carries, a line break, 4 tackle busts and made 5 offloads (40 points)!! Just what you want in fantasy, a player who doesn’t like being tackled, so he offloads it instead! Bongi Mbonambi (54 points) backing up last week’s strong showing with another angry performance – he made 11 carries, 2 line breaks, 2 tackle busts and won 8/9 lineout throws. Dillyn Leyds and Damian Willemse  both scored 49 points, with plenty of ball in hand, particularly Willemse with 21 carries for over 100m. For the blues there was one other player of note, a rookie that goes by many names, ‘Big Red’, ‘Paul Tito the 2nd’, ‘Big Sauce’, I could go on… Tom Robinson (52 points) with a game high 23 tackles!

Some Match Stats:
Blues 36% V Stormers 64% possession & 67% field position
Running Metres: 544 to 464
Tackle busts: 26 v 25
Clean Breaks: 25 v 13
SHOWS how little the stormers did with their ball
Tackle success: Blues 86% (157/182) V Stormers 72% (66/92)
Forward dominance:
Ruck success: Blues 90% (40/52) V Stormers 97% (115/119)
Lineout success: Blues 71% (10/14) V Stormers 93% (14/15)

Reds 13 V 32 Rebels

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This talk of the town in this match was the homecoming of Quade Cooper (38 points) & Will Genia (26 points) back to Suncorp. They both looked bloody good and commanded a Rebels side that just looked the better team throughout this one. The first 40 saw the Rebels with all the territory, playing 72% of it in the Reds half. The Reds defence was pretty solid however until just before the end of the first half Jack Maddocks (30 points) jumped over Hamish Stewart (8 points) to grab a perfectly weighted Quade cross field kick for a try. Sublime skills from both Quade and Maddocks. The second half was pretty much all dictated by the rebels short of the Reds getting one back through some old fashioned pick and driving from the forward pack, with Taniela Tupou (32 points) coming in off the bench and dotting it over.

This wasn’t a particularly high scoring one for fantasy managers, Luke Jones was the FMOTM with 52 points, making 16 tackles, winning 3 lineouts and stealing 3 line outs and making a turnover. Jones looks to be getting better every week and could be playing himself into consideration for the Wallabies no. 6 jersey. Anaru Rangi (50 points) was the next best on park with 13/14 line out throws hitting their mark, a turnover won and a try off the back of a rebels rolling maul. For the Queenslanders; Filipo Daugunu (46 points) was good, he made 8 carries for 60 odd metres, 7 tackle busts (21 points), a line break, an offload and won a turn over. Tate McDermott (41 points) who to me still looks like a lost surfer child who’s parents forgot to pick him up from the beach but alas he was also impressive with a linebreak, 4 tackle busts and 9 tackles.

Some Match Stats:
Possession: 58% to the Rebels
Field position: Rebels 63%
Most other stats did go the way of the Reds
tackle busts : Reds 20 v Rebels 7
line breaks: Reds 9 V Rebels 2
Offloads: Reds 6 V Rebels 2
Yet with so many more offloads, line breaks and tackle busts, the Reds only managed 27 gain line carries to 56.
Defence: Reds 94% (119/126) V Rebels 81% (88/108)
Reds Struggled a little bit at Line out time w/ a success rate of: Reds 75% (9/12) V Rebels 88% (14/16)

Sharks 16 V 19 Bulls

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Highlights from the first half of this match:

  • 2′ – Handre Pollard penatly goal.
  • 5′ – Rob Du Preez penatly goal.
  • 28′ – Handre Pollard penalty goal.

The good news is that there was actually some rugby played in the second half, with three tries and a good old fashioned punch on resulting in red cards to both hookers, Armand van der Merwe (-1 point) & Schalk Brits (7 points). Bring back the biff I say, god I miss it. The Sharks brought their home crowd to their feet when they leveled the scores with a try to Andre ‘The Giant’ Esterhuizen (62 points FMOTM) in the 71st minute however the missed conversion was the story of the night, Rob Du Preez making only 2 from 5. Pollard knocked over another penalty in the 79th to go 5 from 5 on the night and seal the Durbanites disappointment.

Andre Esterhuizen & Dan Du Preez both got through mountains of work which saw them share the FMOTM with 62 points each. Esterhuizenmade 14 carries for 57m, 2 clean breaks, 4 tackle busts, an offload, a turnover won, a try and 6/6 tackles. DDP made 18 carries also for 57m, also made 2 clean breaks and 4 tackle busts, made 2 offloads, scored a try and won a turnover. From the Bulls it was; Lizo Gqoboka (54 points) who has been getting better and better as the year as gone on, he made 12 carries, 2 tackle busts, an offload and 12 tackles in this one (2 points per tackle for a front rower = 24 points from tackles!). Jesse Kriel (44 points) scored the bulls only try, he made 2 line breaks from only 6 carries and made 10/14 tackles.

Some Match Stats:
Field position: Sharks 65% V Bulls 35%
Run Metres: Sharks 351 V Bulls 211

Jaguares 27  V 30 Chiefs

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After a fairly Chiefs dominated first half, the Pumas Jaguares three try second 40 resurgence looked like they had this one in the bag! They defended brilliantly against the Chiefs, held them out on their try line and turned the ball over, only to have the clearance kick charged down in goal resulting in a Chiefs 5m scrum with 2 minutes to go. Taleni Seu (20 points) flew over to Buenos Aires as an injury replacement last week and is was almost as if he flew over just for the purpose of scoring this try off the back of the scrum as has done many a time before. He shot off the back of the scrum to the blind side and made a textbook offload to Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi to go across the chalk untouched with a minute left to wind down with a conversion. Needless to say there was an absolutely silenced crowd at Estadio Jose Amalfitani.

Essentially the narrative in this one was another dominant game from Damian McKenzie (63 points) from fullback, he made 13 carries for 50+m, 2 tackle busts, 1 line break, an offload and scored a try. Lead by the FMOTM Luke Jacobson (72 points – 14 carries, 4 defenders beaten, 2 offloads, 17 tackles, 2 turnovers won) who looked like a man on a mission, the Chiefs forwards were just all round more physical across the park and it wasn’t until the 2017 captain Pablo Matera (who was meant to be on a rest week) came off the bench in the second 40 to really fire up home troops. Guido Petti (50 points) had another great shift, he made 11 carries, 6 line out takes and 13 tackles and youngster Tomaz Lezana (43 points) followed suit with 7 carries and 19 tackles.

The last player worth mentioning was Canadian international who has found his home in the number 8 jersey for the Chiefs, Tyler Ardron (49 points) and is fast becoming a crucial part of their attack, really playing that linkman role between the forward and backs but is not afraid to get in there and do the hard stuff. He made 8 carries, 1 line break, 2 offloads and beat 2 defenders. If you couldn’t tell already, yes I am a huge fan and yes he is in my fantasy team. Go son!

Some Match Stats:
Chiefs 59% possession, 60% field position including 72% in first half
Goal kicking: 100% each – Bonilla 5/5; McKenzie 6/6
Tackle success: Jaguares 86% to Chiefs 92% (Solid chiefs defence)

TOTW.PNG

PROP:
Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls) – 54 points
Aidan Ross (Chiefs) & Steven Kitshoff (Stormers) – 37 points

HOOKER:
Damian Fitzpatrick (Waratahs) & Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers) – 54 Points

LOCK:
Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes) – 57 points
Grant Hattingh (Sunwolves) – 55 points

BACK ROW:
Akira Ioane (Blues) – 82 points
Luke Jacobson (Chiefs) – 72 points
Daniel Du Preez (Sharks) – 62 points

SCRUMHALF:
Tate McDermott (Reds) – 41 points

FLYHALF:
Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) – 63 points

CENTRES:
Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks)- 62 points
Kurtley Beale (Waratahs) – 47 points

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Rieko Ioane (Blues) – 112 points
Semisi Masirewa (Sunwolves) – 88 points
David Havili (Crusaders) – 79 points

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