The penultimate round is done, 5 men are left in finals contention and 3 are in the running for the spoon play off. Draft Rugby is the home of the OG League, check out how it all happened right here.
Round 16 Final scores:
(4) Burnin’ Bridges 548 defeats 440 Marximum Louw Groomed Maddogs (1)
(2) Call Me Big Papali’i 605 defeats 560 Otere is the new Black (7)
(3) Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen 708 defeats 678 White Linen Hides the Sinning (6)
(8) Clan Mckenzie 339 defeats 580 Coles-Royce (5)
Burnin’ Bridges 548 defeats 440 Marximum Louw Groomed Maddogs
At this point in the season every match-up in the top 5 is incredibly important, but the opportunity to take down one of your competing managers could bring up to a 10 point competition swing. That’s exactly what happened in this one as Nabung capitalized on Wylie’s slip up to tie them up on the ladder; giving him the chance to go as high as 2nd if results go his way next week. His bonus point win came through Aphiwe Dyantyi (70 points) who scored in a lackluster Lions performance, while both Bernard Foley (61) and Jackson Hemopo (53) also contributed to the win. Rounding out his top performers were Ofa Tu’ungafasi (43) and new man Santiago Carreras (43). Wylie is proof that a single loss can really hurt you at this end of the season, missing the attacking BP by 10 points means he slides down to equal third, and could go as far as 5th if luck doesn’t fall his way in his final round game against Harry next week. Wylie’s hopes were brutalized by his backline as Beauden was pulled through illness which threw in Elton Jantjies (3) off the bench. His Rebels flyers were also completely lost Reece Hodge (-4) and Jack Maddocks (0) to more or less seal the deal. He did have some standouts though, as Augustine Pulu (61 points) excelled in his first game for his new franchise. Add Dan du Prees (53), Izack Rodda (49), Ngani Laumape (48) and Reed Princep (42) and there could be life in the previous number 1 rank yet. Nabung’s win also pushed him ahead in their match-up 2-1 which could be important if they end even on competition points and points scored.
Call Me Big Papali’i 605 defeats 560 Otere is the new Black
‘The Battle of the Podcast’ was one that a few managers were keenly interested in considering that Nelson was 0-5 against his fellow hosts (Cargie 0-3, Harry 0-2) and Harry was 5-0 against his (Cargie 3-0). A win to Harry would consolidate his finals spot and give him the podcast clean sweep, a feat that has never even been attempted, let alone achieved! Both managers looked strong off the back of the Crusaders performance with Nelson leaning on the Fantasy Man Of the Week Sevu Reece (122 points), while Harry looked to Brayden Ennor (102 points), Sam Whitelock (54) and Matt Todd (46) to get the upper hand. Nelson also benefited from Tanielu Tele’a’s (82) strong showing, while Curtis Rona (54), super-sub off the week Luke Jones (44), and Liam Coltman (40) didn’t let him down either. The last laugh sits with Harry though as the South African conference dealt the final blow, Emiliano Boffelli (100) had his biggest game of the year, Pablo Matera (56), Bongi Mbonambi (49) and Andries Coetzee (46) all also scored heavily. Harry’s BP win puts him back to the top of the table with one round remaining, with 3rd place being his lowest conceivable finishing spot. Nelson on the other hand sits 5 points adrift of sixth placed Nsync, meaning that a solitary competition point for Nsync this week would relegate Nelson to a playoff to defend his 2018 wooden spoon. The years match-up finishes Harry 3, Nelson 0. In the wise words of lyrical geniuses Bombs Away, “Better luck next time” Nelson.
Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen 708 defeats 678 White Linen Hides the Sinning
This one was always setup to be an epic despite their respective rankings. Both managers had a three round average of 511 points heading in, and both had a lot to play for. Blake was yet another manager in the tight run for finals, while Nsync was desperately trying to fend off Nelson’s worst attempts to push him down into the Wooden Spoon final. Cue the best two scores of the week by a big margin! Both managers walked away with an attacking bonus point, and the hard done by Nsync bagged the losing BP for his efforts as well. Nsync benefited from Ryan Crotty’s (95 points) 150th game master class, while he also drafted in Jaco Coetzee (80) who also had a dream game. You’ve got to admire the balls of the guy for sticking with Semisi Masiwera (70), the most unloved fantasy player despite boasting a 51.3 three round average. He also got the most out of Rory Arnold (61) who is in a rich vein of form, while Jordie Barrett (57), Michael Hooper (48), Bryce Hegarty (46) and absolute wild card Scott Malolua (42) didn’t let him down either. That brings me to Blake, the man that has never missed finals. Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen must have been given an absolute rev up during the week, because his men are only the third team to ever crack the 700 points barrier. David Havili (96 points) led from the front as part of the dominant Crusaders side. While Rob Thompson (83), Richie Mo’unga (75), Samu Kerevi (72) and Scott Higginbotham (71) all went absolutely mental as well. Newly drafted Tevita Li (49) rounded off the week for Blake as his team jumped to second place on the table. Despite his string of wins, a loss to Nabung next week could still relegate him to 5th place and out of finals contention if he loses by more than 50 and can’t bag the 450 attacking bonus points. Despite the win, bragging rights will finish with Nsync as he holds the head to head 2-1 in 2019.
Coles-Royce 580 defeats 339 Clan Mckenzie
Cargie is one of the lucky few to play Larry three times in the 2019 OG League. Considering his 5th placed ranking it is an absolute blessing as Larry finally through the towel in this week. He played with only 13 men, and a further 4 players that were coming off the bench. He made zero trades in the week and didn’t even switch in Alex Mafi over Brandon Paenga-Amosa (16), really it’s a surprise that he scored as many points as he did. Isi Naisarani (55 points) and Ma’a Nonu (47) are worth a shout out, but that’s as much as I can say for his side. Hopefully he puts more effort into his sexy calendar than he does his Draft Rugby side. Cargie just needed a win, but true to form his rocks or diamonds players turned it on to ensure his total points gave him a real run at winning a finals tie break based off total points scored. Cargie’s entire team scored well this week but Aaron Smith (66 points) was the clear standout. Luke Whitelock (52) scored more solidly since moving back to number 8 and Ben Lam (50) looked unstoppable. Rounding out the performance was Taniela Tupou (47), Vincent Tshituka (44), Kieran Read (43) and Josh Ioane (41). Cargie’s 52 competition points has him two points out of finals with only a game against Nsync remaining. Blake (57 points) takes on Nabung (54) next week so his finals chances are still well and truly in his hands. Rounding out the formalities it’s no surprise that the match-up finishes at Cargie 3, Larry 0.
Best Player: Sevu Reece 122 points (Nelson)
Worst Player: Marika Koroibete -8 points (Larry)
The Best Supersub: Luke Jones 44 points subbed in for Stephan Lewies after he was pulled during the week (Nelson)
The Best free agent: Josh McKay 59 points
Worst Coaching Decision (player left on the bench): Dane Coles 75 points sat on the bench for Andrew Makalio 20 points (Cargie)
THIS WEEKS Trade Order:
1st – Larry
2nd – Nelson
3rd – Nsync
4th – Cargie
5th – Nabung
6th – Wylie
7th – Blake
8th – Harry
This Weeks Fixtures:
(3) Marximum Louw Groomed Maddogs V Call Me Big Papali’i (1)
(4) Burnin’ Bridges V Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen (2)
(7) Otere is the new Black V Clan Mckenzie (8)
(6) White Linen Hides the Sinning V Coles-Royce (5)
Harry’s pick for the Thursday draft night pub, fair to say it will be far enough from Wylie that he doesn’t want to come.
Written by Harrison Dale.