I thought I would try something a little different this week for the Stock Market and that is to take it match by match.
After all variety is the spice of life.
CRUSADERS v LIONS
The top scoring fantasy side playing at home against, up against the hot and cold Lions. This should be a blow out on the score board and there should be a lot of points on offer for anyone in the home side.
The bookies have the Crusaders to win by 21 points! That may turn out to be generous to the Lions unless the puzzle pieces click together for the away side.
An inexperienced 10 in Shaun Reynolds, the defensively poor Jantjies playing out of position at 12 and an out of form Combrinck at fullback, the Crusaders backs are likely to be swimming in fantasy points this week.
Braydon Ennor slots back into his preferred outside centre position, while the high scoring George Bridge returns to the left wing. This seasons top Points Per Minute beast Sevu Reece and David Havili round out the back 3.
Points will likely be on offer for Mitch Drummond who gets his first start in a few weeks, as well as for Marnus Schoeman who replaces withdrawn Whiteley and Kwagga Smith who will need to get through a mountain of work to keep the Lions in this one.
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: Sevu Reece
SUNWOLVES v HIGHLANDERS
Sydney raised backrower Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco gets another crack in the 12 jersey for the Sunwolves after a few impressive moments last weekend. Barring a linebreak or 2 Rahboni is yet to prove his fantasy value in the centres, however his presence may be enough to keep the Highlanders’ inside backs a little more quiet than usual.
Matt Faddes shift to fullback in cover of All Black stalwart Ben Smith may provide pay for his fantasy managers, while Semisi Masirewa will look to defy logic and continue his amazing run. He will be coming up against Sio Tomkinson who has a 67% tackle success rate, which may provide him with lots of opportunities.
Elliot Dixon maintains the 8 jersey, while captain Luke Whitelock shifts into the starting 6. With Frizell on the bench, either 1 of these men are likely to come off for him at latest midway through the second half. My prediction will be that we will see Dixon the one to leave the field.
Hendrik Tui has scored big on a few occasions this year and with the potential return of Mafi and Vosayaco a chance to slot back into the backrow, he will likely be aiming for a big one this week to cement his spot in the starting lineup.
Towering South African Grant Hattingh returns this week but onto the side of the scrum, rather than lock. This could free him up to get his hands on the ball more often and I’m predicting a big score from him this week
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: Grant Hattingh in the losing side
HURRICANES v CHIEFS
Solomon Alaimalo makes his return into the 15 jersey this week, the young flyer along with Anton Lienert-Brown and Brad Weber will likely be among the big scorer for the Chiefs.
The backrow of Tyler Ardron, Luke Jacobson and Lachlan Boshier could be worth some decent points and they will likely have their work cutout for themselves around the paddock.
No Retallick is likely to hurt a few fantasy managers, not as much as Damian McKenzie’s absence though.
Ardie Savea, Beauden and Jordie Barrett will return to lift the Hurricanes as well as a lot of managers this week. Laumape always scores big and TJ Perenara played out of his skin last week.
Expect this match to contain a lot of fantasy points, it will be great to watch and even better if you have a few players on the field!
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: Ardie Savea
WARATAHS v SHARKS
The Waratahs take on the struggling Sharks at the new Western Sydney Stadium in a repeat of last years 24 all draw.
Both teams sit in the top half of fantasy points scored and the the lower half of points scored against. My gut tells me some points will be on offer but they probably will be less likely to be spread around the board, with a few players taking home most of the sweets.
The Waratahs answered the questions surrounding their ability without Folau well last week and they will be looking for another important win on Saturday.
Damien Fitzpatrick has been in a rich vein of form in the absence of Tolu Latu, who returns to the bench this weekend after serving his suspension. However he will get less and less minutes with Latu’s return and may be worth trading while he is still hot.
Last year’s 2nd top backrower, Jean-Luc du Preez will start for the first time this season and both himself and his twin Dan du Preez could be big scorers in this one. Michael Hooper is going to have his hands full and i expect him to make bulk tackles, leaving him little energy for his trademark runs which are fewer and further between this season.
Curwin Bosch moves into 10 in place of Rob du Preez who has dropped to the bench and this could go either way for his point scoring potential. More ball, but less space.
Curtis Rona finally makes his starting return and will look to regain his early season form that saw start the season with a 39 point average over the first 4 rounds.
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: Jean-Luc or Dan du Preez
STORMERS v BULLS
RG Snyman has played only 1 game this season and he was on fire. I expect him to have another big game in a tight all South African match-up, however i would be surprised to see him reach the heights of the 69 points lhe scored in Rd 9.
The likes of Pieter-Steph du Toit, Lizo Gqoboka, Jesse Kriel and Duane Vermeulen will all likely score decent, however I’m expecting a tight contest that will we fought and won in tight and I see Steven “the firetruck” Kitshoff getting pay for all his hard work.
Keep an eye on on Scarra Ntubeni who gets a rare start and can rack up the points with his work in all aspects of the game.
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: The Firetruck
JAGUARES v BRUMBIES
No Pocock or McCaffrey will hurt the Brumbies’ chances however their replacements in Pete Samu, who is yet to fire since return to Australia, and Jahrome Brown both have potential and will need to step up in Argentina.
Pablo Matera has been terrorizing opponents in recent weeks and I expect to see much of the same with the weakened backrow of the Brumbies.
Rory Arnold is coming off the performance of his life and he should be feeling pretty confident. The bullocking lock along with Tevita Kuridrani, Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks and Toni Pulu all have the ability to score big for the visitors, however I suspect this could be a low scoring affair.
Agustin Creevy returns to the starting side after a few matches on the bench after his injury. I am expecting Creevy to go about his usual work and take home a decent amount of points.
Jeronimo de la Fuente is yet to fire this season and there has been no sign of that changing in my eyes.
Emiliano Boffelli’s shift to fullback will likely see him receive a lot of ball, while Tomas Lezana and Guido Petti are likely to thrive on what will be another game that is won in the dark depths of the ruck and maul.
PREDICTED TOP SCORER: Pablo Matera
Written by Nelson Dale