The Championship Semi-Finals Rd 2
(4) Burnin’ Bridges 643 leads 383 Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen (1)
(2) Call me Big Papali’i 501 leads 359 Karl Marx Groomed these Maddogs (3)
Burnin’ Bridges V Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen
A 260 point lead at the half way point of the head to head match-up should be enough for anyone to stroll into the grand final, but Blake wasn’t prepared to see yet another finals campaign go down in flames. Crafty Signings of Dane Coles (64), Jordie Barrett (48) and the out of form Tomas Cubelli (58) set him up well, but when Tomas Lavanini (46) of all people got involved, and the under rated Matias Orlando (94 points) scored a double he looked to have blown the semi final right open! Add to that Blake’s master stroke of stealing Agusting Creevy (44) off of Nabung so that he was stuck starting Julian Montoya (14) and things were really looking up. Havili’s Homophobic Henchmen scored solidly to post 518 points, meaning Nabung needed more than 258 to progress. The Jaguares V Brumbies didn’t bring much joy for Nabung as not a single player scored the required 40 points to be worth a mention, I will however divulge that ‘Hero’ de la Fuente (29) easily top scored the game for him. That brings us to the Hurricanes V Crusaders game. All eyes were on the trio of Ngani Laumape (67 points), Ben ‘BLAM’ Lam (53) and Ardie Savea (49) to see if they could lift his side, because no one else had a real crack. Burnin’ bridges went down in round 2 of the semi to take the head to heads to Blake 4, Nabung 1, but he did enough to push himself into the championship play off posting an adequate 455 to get the job done! The number 4 seed progresses to his first grand final 1098-901, the only thing left to decide will be his competition.
Call me Big Papali’i 501 leads 359 Karl Marx Groomed these Maddogs
A less daunting 142 points separated the two teams heading into the deciding round of the second semi-final, and Wylie was sure he had the cattle to cover the spread. Richie Mo’unga (71 points) top scored again for Harry’s Call me Big Papali’i but Wylie’s Long named Maddogs fired right back through his top scorer Beauden Barrett (70 points). A late change to both lineups with Peter Umaga-Jense (19) being benched for Wylie, and Salesi Rayasi being withdrawn for Harry, meant that both managers held two Jaguares outside backs. Wylie closed the gap on the contest through Emiliano Boffelli (54) and Matias Moroni (53) while Harry could only manage Sebastian Cancelliere (11) and Ramiro Moyano (1 off the bench). Harry was up and about seeing TJ Perenara (52) drag his men back into the contest just as he did for the Hurricanes, but just like in Super Rugby, he couldn’t stave off defeat in the match-up against Wylie 428 to 361. It was enough to give Wylie bragging rights for their head to head for the year 3-2, but not comprehensive enough to topple the round 1 lead Harry had put together. Call me Big Papali’i advancing to the finals 862 to 787. Will he be able to win his 4th competition in 5 years? Or will Nabung break his heart and ego just as Cargie (“the has been”) managed to in 2018?
The Wooden Spoon Final Week 1
(7) Otere is the new Black 554 leads 486 Clan McKenzie (8)
68 points is all that separated the two most deservingly underwhelming managers in this years draft. Nelson was trying to erase the memory of his 2018 Wooden Spoon by going one better…. and Larry was literally named “Loser Harry” for the third season running because he couldn’t finish top Harry on the table. Moving on to the match, just as Harry & Wylie traded blows with Richie Mo’unga (71 points) and Beauden Barrett (70 points), Nelson and Larry followed suit with the same players respectively. Nelson’s Otere is the new Black benefited from some Hurricanes brilliance through Ben Lam (53), TJ Perenara (52) and Ardie Savea (49), but he made a potentially devastating error by playing Tevita “Choo Choo” Kuridrani (14) over Matias Orlando (94). He also stole Joe Powell (25) forcing Larry to play Tomas Cubelli (58) which Larry can’t have been to disappointed about, his crafty tactics not serving him nearly as well as in the first round of the Semi. Meanwhile Larry sent his men to work with Ngani Laumape (67) defying the odds to score a double against the Crusaders, something Nelson swore could never happen. Dane Coles (64) had a blinder and Emiliano Boffelli (53) manager to cover himself in glory as well. We’d have thought Sevu Reece’s double deserved more than the 35 points he got, but it didn’t matter as Larry took out round two 546 to 459, avoiding the clean sweep pantsing between the two to finish the match-up at Larry 1, Nelson 4. The 87 point win was enough to overturn Nelson’s 68 point pregame lead, resigning him to his second Wooden Spoon in a row by only 19 points! It is official, Nelson is THE WORST FANTASY MANAGER ON THE PLANET! Our sincere condolences Nelson, you’ve got a lot of soul searching to do before 2020 kicks off.
Best Player: Matias Orlando 94 points (Blake, Nelson’s Bench)
Worst Player: Toni Pulu -1 point (Wylie)
The Best Supersub: Ramiro Moyano 1 point (Harry)
The Best free agent: Matias Moroni 54 points (Spoon Final), Matt Proctor 23 points (Championship semi-final)
Worst Coaching Decision (player left on the bench): Tevita Kuridrani 14 points started over Matias Orlando 94 points (Nelson – Spoon Final).
Congratulations to our two Championship Finalists Harry & Nabung!
Written by Harrison Dale