This is how the Super Rugby teams themselves scored in the last round of the Fantasy Super Rugby 2019 regular season, Round 18:

Chiefs 724 820 96
Blues 585 633 48
Jaguares 579 753 174
Highlanders 524 622 98
Sharks 500 582 82
Brumbies 475 564 89
Bulls 459 550 91
Sunwolves 446 545 99
Lions 419 483 64
Stormers 416 560 144
Hurricanes 393 579 186
Waratahs 336 398 62
Rebels 336 400 64
Reds 329 383 54
Crusaders BYE BYE BYE

The Chiefs were by far and above the top dogs in round 18 with both the top fantasy starting XV (724 points) and full team of 23 scores (820 points) in their 59 – 8 drubbing of the Rebels in Melbourne. It was as though after watching the Waratahs well & truly capitulate to the Highlanders (49 – 12, 6 tries to 2) on friday night, the Rebels said “Hold My Beer,” and were determined to prove they could do worse. Whilst in both these games the Rebels and Waratahs had their fair share of possession and territory, neither proved able to really do anything with it. The Highlanders just broke through with brute force, leading all the attacking stats most notably 3 times the tackle busts (25 – 8). The Chiefs utterly decimated the Rebels defences with almost 300 more run metres (702 – 415), had double the tackle busts (33 – 15) but most astonishingly, they made SIX TIMES the line breaks!!! (28 – 3). 

Jack Debreczeni (46 pts) had his best ever game at AAMI Park in the 5 odd years he has been in Melbourne, unfortunately for the Rebels it was for the opposing Chiefs. He truly looks to be playing his best footy out of New Zealand and kicked 6/7 and touched down for his own try under the posts in the second half. The Fantasy stand outs were the ever reliable Anton Lienert-Brown (Fantasy Man of the Round: 96 pts – 18 carries for over 110m, 4 line breaks, 8 tackle busts, 2 offloads and a try), Shaun ‘Shooter’ Stevenson (95 pts – Ran for over 160m, 5 line breaks, 4 tackle busts and 3 tries!), Lachlan Boshier (69 pts), Angus Ta’avao (63 pts), Sam Cane (62 pts), Pita Gus Sowakula (52). The only positives on the fantasy front for the home side were the workhorses, Matt Phillip (68 pts) and Isi Naisarani (50) who will run hard until the final whistle no matter how the game is going. 

We advised fantasy managers on the podcast last week to pick up any Jaguares (vs the Sunwolves) & Highlanders (vs the Waratahs) you could get your hands on going into round 18. Whilst the Jags (579 points) and Landers (524 points) were accordingly 3rd and 4th on the team fantasy scores this week, the Blues were still able to edge out those money match ups and come in second with 585 points despite losing the fixture to the Hurricanes. Pretty well summarizing the entire Blues season, they lead all the attacking stats, the Canes even tackled worse at an 80% success rate and conceded more turnovers but yet the Blues still somehow went down 24 – 29, 3 tries to 4. Speaking of the Canes, they still bagged the win despite resting most of their big name All Black’s including the Barrett Brothers, Ngani Laumape and relegating both TJ Perenara and Ardie Savea to the bench. Their young team of up and comers (Salesi Rayasi, Danny Toala, Peter Umaga-Jensen) all jumped at their opportunities in a pretty scrappy game but as it has all season, the Canes profited from their bench injection in the second 40 with their bench taking out the top fantasy score of the round with 186 points. Those efforts were headlined by exciting prop Alex Fidow (50 points) making the most of the few minutes he has been able to play with an injury riddled season & Fletcher Smith (43 points) who was absolute lightning with his running game.

I think we were all expecting the Jaguares to top the Super Rugby Club fantasy scores in round 18 even with a few new faces in the lineup. This particularly so given that nothing was going the way of the Sunwolves in the fixture, Hayden ‘Haydar’ Parker missed 2 from 2 goal kicks (taking him to 46/52 for the season) and then after going down to 14 men with a yellow card, both their hookers were injured and they were forced to take another man off down to 13 men in order to play uncontested scrums the entire second half. Whilst I’m still not sure we know what those injuries were to the Sunwolves hookers, for that and all injury news going into the finals be sure to check out the Casualty Ward. That aside, the Jaguares still had 3 players in the top 5 fantasy scores of the round that are worth a mention. The Fantasy man of the match in that one was Guido Petti (86 points), the big lock ran for over 60m, made 8 tackle busts and received 10 line outs (20 points). There was also the dangerous Sebastian Cancelliere (83 points) with 5 line breaks, over 160 run metres and two tries and last but not least another man that probably should have had two tries, Julian Montoya (70 points) the benefactor of the rolling maul but was deemed to have dropped the ball over the line in what would have been his second driving maul try.

A depressing round as an Australian rugby fan with the Rebels, Waratahs and Reds taking out the bottom three fantasy scores in round 18 and I think the prevailing sentiment is best summarized by following tweet:

How did your Fantasy team compare to the Super Rugby Clubs?

You can check out how our league teams went in the OG League Blog to end the regular season and how we approach the finals, with an exciting complete redraft for the top 4!

Over the next week or two we will be posting some content both about the upcoming finals (be sure to check out the Quarter Finals edition of the Casualty Ward) but also in reviewing the regular season; players that finished with the highest average fantasy points per game, points per minute etc. Also stay tuned for the 2019 regular season total Super Rugby Club Fantasy scores table which will include Average points per game etc.

We talk about this and more in this weeks episode of the Draft Rugby podcast. Get after it where ever you listen to pods:

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