FANTASY SUPER RUGBY 2019 – ROUND 10 IN REVIEW

What’s with the photo? Well I thought it appropriate to both celebrate TJ Perenara’s super hero like effort (Fantasy Man of the Round!) in carrying the Hurricanes to a victory against the Sunwolves and just as importantly, I am excited for the Avengers: Endgame movie released in cinemas this week! Let’s check out how things shaped up in Fantasy Super Rugby 2019 round 10.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Two of round 10’s players in focus were from the Sunwolves vs Hurricanes match, with TJ Perenara taking out Fantasy Man of the match and Round with one hell of a captain’s knock and 84 points. Semisi Masirewa continues to defy our fantasy predictions and now has the 8th highest average points (42.4) for outside backs. He killed it yet again in this one with 79 points in round 10 making this his third time as a player in focus with one of the top three fantasy scores for the week. Last but not least is a player who if I am quite sure has never made this list before, the Brumbies tall timber, Rory Arnold who had the fantasy super rugby game of his career with 74 points.

TJ Perenara always new he always knew he was going to step it up with the absence of key pivot, Beauden Barrett (& brother Jordie Barrett) being rested for this one but I bet he didn’t realize just what was going to be required of him! After realizing that young flyhalf Fletcher Smith just wasn’t quite cutting it, TJ put on a masterclass effectively playing 9 and 10 simultaneously and absolutely terrorizing the Sunwolves in the second half. He made 11 runs for 80m, 3 line breaks, 5 tackle busts, 2 offloads, sold one hell of a dummy and bagged himself a try. This performance see’s him now top the log with the highest average points (42.1) of all the scrum halves just nudging out an in form Will Genia (41.8).

At what point do we stop talking about Semisi Masirewa defying the odds (& all logic!#$??) and just acknowledge him for the super rugby fantasy weapon that he is in 2019. Semisi’s 3 round average is the highest in the competition at 87.3 and his 5 round average is 4th at 56 (behind Malcom Marx 59.8, Rieko Ioane 58.4 & Samu Kerevi 56.6). He has started in 7 of the 8 games he has taken part in this season and been sat out for one by the man we all thought had a mortgage on the jersey, Hosea Saumaki. His 79 points in round 10 came by way of 11 runs for 148 metres!!!, 4 Line Breaks, 4 Tackle Busts, two tries and a turnover won.

Rory Arnold must have just decided that he wants back in the Wallabies this year because he played like his life depended on it this week. He put all of his 208cm, 120kg frame to good use this week absolutely dismantling the Stormers driving maul, winning 8 line outs, charging down a clearance kick and pirouetting like a ballerina for a try and making a game high 24 tackles.  He also had a try assist and made 9 carries. He ended up with 74 points for his efforts and will has been firmly put back on Michael Chieka’s Wallaby watch list. He’s just got that bit of mongrel about him.

SUPER RUGBY TEAM FANTASY SCORES

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

TEAM STARTING XV FULL TEAM (23)
Blues 448 568
Chiefs 494 602
Crusaders BYE BYE
Highlanders 464 513
Hurricanes 416 452
Brumbies 395 443
Rebels 305 353
Reds 513 572
Waratahs 379 464
Sunwolves 358 396
Bulls BYE BYE
Lions 455 488
Sharks 434 552
Stormers 488 568
Jaguares BYE BYE

ROUND 10 FIXTURES

BYE: CRUSADERS, JAGUARES, BULLS

Chiefs 17 V 23 Lions (Harry) 3 tries 2 Lions

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Returning: Warren Whiteley (pec), Kwagga Smith (groin), Robbie Coetzee (hip), Jack Debreczeni (concussion), Atu Moli (elbow), Michael Allardice (back), Mitch Brown (?), Liam Polwart (concussion)
Injured: Jack Debreczeni (stretchered off), Gianni Lombard (ACL)

After throwing the chiefs off with their fake starting team lineup (#LINEUPGATE or #TEAMLISTGATE?) that had both Malcom Marx and Elton Jantjies on the bench, game day changes saw them both taking the field from minute one. The Lions came out firing and really gained from the return of two of their star forwards, captain Warren Whiteley and Kwagga Smith who were impressive. The Lions played the game with width and at pace but they also really dominated the set piece, especially the scrums winning 7/7 on their own feed and pushing the Chiefs off two of their own.

Even though you wouldn’t have thought it possible with these two teams, the game did get a little boring at times with some really average kicking battles taking place. I’ve actually seen better games of primary school forcing’s back! The Lions found themselves up 20-0 before the Chiefs finding some composure and their way back into the game in the second half.

Game Stats:
1st half possession Chiefs 33% – 67% Lions
Clean Breaks; 15 – 3
Offloads: 15-5
Tackles made: 88% (141/160) – 79% (91/115)

Player stats:
Tied FMOTM – both on 55 points:
Brad Weber – 4 runs for 34 metres, 67 passes, 3 tackle busts, 1 try assists, 1 clean break & offload, 10 tackles
Sean Wainui – 6runs for 85 metres, 1 try, 3 clean breaks, 5 tackle busts
OTHERS: Malcolm Marx (52 – 14 carries, 1 line break, 2 tackle busts, 10/12 line out throws won, 8 tackles, 1 offload )
Luke Jacobson (48 – 8 carries, 2 line breaks, 2 tackle busts, 20 tackles, 1 turnover won )
Cyle Brink (47 – 13 carries, 12 tackles, 1 turnover won)
Others: Alex Nankivell (45), Nepo Laulala (45), Carlu Sadie (44), Shooter Stevenson (44)

Sunwolves 23 V 29 Hurricanes – Tries 2-4

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Returning: Rahboni Warren-Voyasaco (rib), James Marshall (dislocated shoulder), Billy Proctor (shoulder – didn’t take the field)
Injured: BLAM (limping on ankle or calf), Jamie Booth (limping w/ ankle?)

The Sunwolves tried an interesting strategy in this one that I have to say was largely a success. They moved eighth man Rahboni Warren-Voyasaco to inside centre essentially just to defend the unstoppable force that is Ngani Laumpe. Rahboni nailed that brief and looked pretty handy in the backs, making a great line break off some set piece to put masirewa in for one of his two tries. If you had turned on the TV just before half time, you would have been shocked to see the scoreline read 23 – 7 to the moondogs! The Sunwolves took their opportunities whilst the Hurricanes just looked a rudderless in the first 40 and Fletcher Smith couldn’t seem to get the ball out to his men outside. In the seconf half, TJ Perenara just took over the entire game and it all down hill for the Sunwolves when the Haydar missed a kick at goal (he went 5/6 for the night).

Game Stats: Pretty even but Hurricanes edged Sunwolves in most areas
Possession & territory even
Run metres 402- 427
Defenders beaten 16 – 20
Clean Breaks 7 -11
Offloads 6 – 9
Tackle Success: 85% – 83%

Player stats:
FMOTM: TJ Perenara (84 points – 11 runs for 80 run metres, 1 try, 3 clean breaks, 5 tackle busts, 2 offloads, 67 passes)
Semisi Masirewa (79 pts – 11 runs for 148 metres, 4 clean breaks, 4 tackle busts)
Ngani Laumape (43 pts – 72 metres, 4 tackle busts, 2 clean breaks, 1 offload, 1 try assist)

Sharks 14 V 19 Reds

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Returning: Marius Louw (3 week ban for head high), Sbu Nkosi (injury)
Injured: Jack Hardy (injured Knee), Juan Schoeman (scrum collapsed on his knee)

The Queensland Kerevi’s Reds punished a woeful Sharks side that couldn’t seem to bring it together and consequently suffered their fourth loss at home this season. Where has Rob Du Preez been in 2019? The Sharks looked rudderless without their pivot playing some good footy this year. The young Reds side just stuck to their game plan and executed relatively well. Two of the three Reds tries were off the back of a bit of brilliance from captain Samu Kerevi, both line break/offload combos.

In the scrum it was very much a case of the young bucks vs the old bulls. Harry Hoopert (20 years of age) and Taniela Tupou (22) up against Springboks, the Beast who recently became the most capped South African super rugby player of all time and Coenie Oosthuizen who also has over 100 super rugby games. Whilst there was certainly some back and forth I’d say the young bucks took this one out in the scrums and around the park. Out in the backs, Sbu Nkosi was an absolute handful, he made some rampaging runs with ball in hand and made 9 tackle busts returning from injury and the Sharks looked like they really missed outside centre Lukhanyo Am who was rested for this match.

Game Stats:
Sharks made more:
Run Metres: 543 – 398
Where the Reds made:
14 – 6 LBs
12 – 3 Os
12 – 6 Turnovers won

Player stats:
FMOTM: Samu Kerevi (69 points) – 23 carries, 1 line break, 4 tackle busts, 4 Offloads
Dan du Preez (58 points) – 10 carries, 5 tackle busts, a try
Sbu Nkosi (57 points) – 10 carries, 9 Tackle Busts
Chris Feauai-Sautia (53 points) – 9 carries, 2 line breaks, 2 tackle busts, 9 tackles
Bryce Hegarty (52 points) – 2 line breaks, 2 tackle busts, 1 try
Andre Esterhuizen (51 points) – 17 carries
Tate McDermott (51 points) – 2 line breaks, 1 try, 1 try assist

Highlanders 24 V 12 Blues – 3 tries 2

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Returning: Luke Whitelock (calf), Aaron Smith (Anklem, 2 -3 weeks earlier than expected)
Injured: Sione Mafileo (ankle)

The Highlanders were certainly more dominant than the scoreline suggests in this match but it was a great New Zealand derby nonetheless. Ma’a Nonu continued his great form and campaign to make the All Black’s one more time for the rugby world cup by splitting the Highlanders open and setting up Tom Robinson in the corner for the first try. Whilst the Blues scrum seemed to have the upper hand in the first half, with the start of the second, the Highlanders drover over a 5m scrum for a penalty try. The scrum battle was fierce and there were about 100 scrum restarts in this one. Matt Faddes took his second intercept in two weeks but unlike in round 9 when he pulled up lame, this week he had enough gas to run 50 odd metres and finish. Ultimately the Highlanders workmen like pack just got through more work around the paddock and at ruck time, the blues not doing enough to protect the pill.

Game Stats:
Possession and territory even
Run metres 371 – 480
Defenders beaten 18-24
Clean breaks 8-12
Turnovers won 10-3

Player Stats:
FMOM: Melani Nanai 62 points – 14 runs for 89 run metres, 1 try, 1 clean break, 4 tackle busts, 2 offload
Jackson Hemopo (60) – 9 carries, 1 line break, 3 tackle busts, 2 offloads, 13 tackles, 1 turnover won
Shannon Frizell (58) – 12 carries, 1 line break, 2 tackle busts, 11 tackles, a try, 1 turnover won
Tom BIG SAUCE Robinson (58) – 5 carries, 2 line breaks, 11 tackles, a try
Rieko Ioane (53 – 105 metres, 4 clean breaks),
Ma’a Nonu (49 – 7 tackle busts),
Dalton Papali’i (47 – 17 tackles along w/ James Lentjes)

Waratahs 23 V 20 Rebels

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Returning: Curtis Rona (groin strain), Jack Maddocks (patella tendinopathy), Matt Phillip (plantar fascia tear), Jordan Uelese (still a month away as of 2nd april)
Injured:

In the battle for top spot of the Australian conference and the much fabled battle of the wallaby fly halves, both teams brought a lot of line speed and both teams played well against it- pushed hard through the forwards in tight and looked to kick into space. It was in line with the narrative for round 10, the Rebels took out the first half (they were up 20-7 at half time!!!) before it was all Waratahs in the second 40. The Rebels gave up 7 penalties in a row in the second and just couldn’t come back against the momentum of the Tahs. This game ultimately came down to kicks at goal, Bernard Foley was 100% 5/5 whilst Quade Cooper was 4/6 for the Rebels. This game was probably the least exciting to watch of the round mainly due to all the dropped ball!!! The lack of basic skill execution saw both teams try to keep it in tight and the game was probably decided by a Rebels line out overthrow that was contested by both Foley and Cooper but Foley grabbing the ball and running the 50m for a try. It would have gone either way but it didn’t for Quade on the night. Stand out performances were from Adam Ashley-Cooper providing a cool head and really making the most of the ball he got and Will Genia was an absolute pest at the Waratahs set piece.

Game Stats:
Possession and territory even overall but territory went Rebels 1st half 62%, Waratahs 2nd half 61%
Defenders beaten 17-19
Clean Breaks 14 -3
Turnovers won 5 – 8
Lineout success 88% each, Waratahs 14/16. Rebels 15/17 (two of the strongest lineouts in the comp)

Player stats:
FMOM: Adam Ashley-Cooper (59 points – 5runs for 57 metres, 1 try, 3 tackle busts, 4 clean breaks, 6/6 tackles)
Damien Fitzpatrick (51) – 14/16 lineout throws won, 14 tackles, 1 turnover won
Will Genia (47) – 11 carries, 2 tackle busts, 3 offloads and 2 turnovers won
Bernard Foley (47) – 8 carries for over 70m, 1 line break, 3 tackle busts, 1 try, 5/5 goal kicks
Harry Johnson-Holmes (40), Reece Hodge (40)

Stormers 17 V 19 Brumbies

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Returning: Siya Kolisi (returned off the bench from a rest), PSDT (paternity leave)
Injured: Sam Carter (limped off 64th min), Mann-Rea (flown home after tearing ACL), Lachlan McCaffery (headed home after aggravating MCL)

The Brumbies came out firing scoring two early tries in quick succession before both teams shut up shop and the tackle fest ensued. You look at the game stats and it’s hard to understand how the Brumbies managed to win this one. The Stormers just refused to try anything new and the Brumbies just got more resolute in their defensive efforts as the game went on. they really dug trenches on their try line and wouldn’t give in. The big moment in this one was after calling half time, the ref brought the teams back on the field to look at a high tackle and eventually called it a penalty try and yellow carded Toni Pulu. The decision was legit but I’ve never seen anything like that before once a team is already half way up the tunnel into the changing room. Talk about home ground advantage at its best!

Game Stats:
Run Metres: 463 – 172
Tackle Busts 29 – 9
Line Breaks 9 – 3
Tackles 82 (90%) – 195 (87%)
Brumbies won 5/7 scrums and 13/15 lineouts, while the stormers won 100% of their set piece.

Player Stats:
FMOTM: Rory Arnold (74 pts) – 8 Lineouts, 24 tackles, 1 try, 1 try assist, 9 carries
Hershel Jantjies (63 pts) – 2 line breaks, 7 TB,
Bongi Mbonambi (50 pts) – 15 lineout throws won, 8 tackles, 1 turnover won
Steven Kitshoff (49 points) – 24 carries, 7 tackles

 

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PROP:
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers) – 49 points
Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira (Sharks) – 49 points

HOOKER:
Malcolm Marx (Lions) – 52 points

LOCK:
Rory Arnold (Brumbies) – 74 points
Jackson Hemopo (Highlanders) – 60 points

BACK ROW:
Dan Du Preez (Sharks) – 58 points
Shannon Frizell (Highlanders) – 58 points
Luke Jacobson (Chiefs) – 48 points

SCRUMHALF:
TJ Perenara (Hurricanes) – 84 points

FLYHALF:
Bryce Hegarty (Reds) – 52 points

CENTRES:
Samu Kerevi (Reds) – 69 points
Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs) – 59 points

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Semisi Masirewa (Sunwolves) – 79 points
Melani Nanai (Blues) – 62 points
Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks) – 57 points

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