In Fantasy this week, those who made moves picking up either Crusaders or Reds players reaped the rewards, taking advantage of a pair of easy fixtures;
The Crusaders annihilated the Sunwolves 50 – 3 on the weekend and if you weren’t already invested in the competition leaders, you may have been lucky enough to pick up one of the benchies getting a start while the big guns took a rest;
Manasa Mataele – 77 points, 3 tries!! (see full stats below in the TOTW). Filling in for the injured Digby Ioane and given a shot over the in form George Bridge. The Smokey from our weekly fantasy Stock Market report!
Pete Samu – 65 points, (see full stats in TOTW). Stepped up in his second opportunity to start for the saders this year, filling in for a rested Jordan Taufua.
Ben Funnell – 53 points, 1 try, 1 LTA, 10 runs for 30m, 2 TB, 1 LB, 4 tackles, 8 successful lineouts and 1 tighthead won. Although he has come off the bench in all previous fixtures, Funnell should have been on everyone’s trade list last week. He has perhaps the highest points per minute in fantasy and is currently the 7th ranked hooker on total points, ahead of team mate, starting crusaders hooker and All Black, Cody Taylor (in 8th) who was rested this week and I guess the other 11 hookers starting every week for the rest of the super franchises.
Luke Romano – 37 points, 80 mins, 16 runs for 61m, 1 TB, 4 tackles made, 7 lineout takes and 1 lineout steal. Romano got his second start of the season, filling in for the rested Scott Barrett.
Otherwise for the Crusaders, blue chips Richie Mo’unga (28 points) and All Black captain Kieran Read (66 points, see TOTW) returned well and with Israel Dagg back in coming weeks (check out the Casualty Ward for all your weekly injury updates) the undefeated Crusaders are looking to steam home in the second half of the season. Not so much luck for big Seta Tamanivalu (12) in his first game back from injury, leaving the field with a concussion 26 minutes in however Jack Goodhue (28) had a good game, also returning from injury.
Whilst the Reds game was a much more two sided affair, it was without doubt that the Reds were bound to rack up some serious points on both the match and fantasy scoreboards. The Reds beat the Kings 47-34 and there were a few players on both sides with a serious fantasy haul to their name;
Karmichael Hunt (RED) – 83 points, see TOTW. Karmichael topped the round with his efforts in an outstanding performance he had been building towards much of the season. I don’t know about you but I think he is certainly pressing his claim for a green and gold jersey and I’d love to at least have him on the bench as an amazing utility option for the Wallabies.
Makazole Mapimpi (KIN) – 77 points, see TOTW. Mapimpi has some some real gas and has been one of the consistently solid performers for the Kings this year.
Berton Klassen (KIN) – 61 points, see TOTW. Klassen really took his opportunity filling in for injured Waylon Murray with both hands on the weekend.
Scott Higganbotham (RED) – 59 points, see TOTW. Scotty continues to deliver great performance after performance for the reds and both his silky set of skills and vision out on the field are a real assett to the reds.
Izaia Perese (RED) – 56 points, this exciting youngster has been waiting to explode onto the scene and after putting on a bit of size from last year, he has really impressed on the weekend. His defense and finishing ability was of top quality on the weekend.
Masixole Banda (KIN) – 54 points, the little man is the Cheslin Kolbe of the Kings and he is an absolute handful in broken play. He knows how to find his way to the tryline.
George Smith (RED) – 51 points, in his 150th super rugby cap, Georgey boy really stepped it up for the occasion in a complete performance we have been waiting for all year.
Ruaan Lerm (KIN) – 49 points, has been a pillar of solidarity in the back row for the kings all year.
Alex Mafi (RED) – 44 points, Gifted an opportunity after the resting of Wallaby Captain Stephen Moore and some misconduct relegating Andrew Ready to the Bench. The youngster looked comfortable out on the super rugby field and was physical with both ball in hand and in defense.
Quade Cooper (RED) – 41 points, Quade’s best performance of the year, his vision and skill execution were world class against the reds and a reminder why on his day he is one of the best.
Not forgetting the other 5 matches of the week, there were some standout performers across some much tighter fixtures.
Sam McNicol (75, TOTW), Toni Pulu (62 & headline #StockMarket pick) Tawera Kerr-Barlow (42, TOTW) had big performances for the chiefs and were omnipresent on the field, in the right place at the right time. Tortsten van Jaarsveld (61, TOTW) & Raymond Rhule (54) were the highlights from a great Cheetahs first half.
Whilst the Barrett Bonanza continued this week with brothers Beauden (59, TOTW) and Jordie (49) taking it to the Blues on the weekend but it was the workhorse lock Mark Abbott (78, TOTW) who should have taken out man of the match with his monumental 2 try effort. He was into everything!! Melani Nanai (51) and SBW (41) led from the back for the Blues in their narrow defeat against the Canes but again it was the locks getting it done with Scott Scrafton (47) & Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (43) putting in a mountain of work.
Amanaki Mafi (50) and Sefa Naivalu (48) stood out for the Rebels in their first win of the season, taking down a Brumbies outfit that just couldn’t seem to execute on the night. The rebels won the match despite conceding three yellow cards and three tries to only one of their own. Similarly to the rebs, it was a winger and backrower the standouts for the Brumbs with Henry Speight (68) and Chris Alcock (48) having a great year for the club.
I’ve yet to watch the Bulls vs Jaguares or the Stormers vs Lions games this week but from what I’ve read they were both extremely physical and tightly contested affairs. The Bulls & Jags was obviously a forwards game with big scores coming from the men in front, particularly the Bulls Props who both made TOTW, Pierre Schoeman (39) & Trevor Nyakane (37). In the trend of the week, the locks had some big games with Lodewyk De Ager (47), Guido Petti (51) & Marcos Kremer (39). With this being the case you’d expect the cream of the crop when it comes to locks, the Stormers & Springboks duo of Eben Etzebeth (15) and Pieter Steph Du Toit (16) to have crushed it but to the contrary, it wasn’t their week nor that of the Stormers, all players producing mediocre scores across the board this week. Lastly but not least, Malcom Marx (54) continues to tear it up for the Lions, with his frame and athleticism I think he could play most positions on the field! Otherwise another great performance from Jaco Kriel (45) despite a yellow card and the standout performance coming from Harold Vorster (50) after taking the field for an injured Rohan van Rensburg (4).
Team of the Week (TOTW):
Pierre Schoeman (BUL) – 39 points, 55 mins, 6 runs for 40m, 14 tackles!!
Trevor Nyakane (BUL) – 37 points, 78 mins, 4 runs for 23m, 2 TB, 9 tackles and one tighthead won.
Torsten van Jaarsveld (CHE) – 61 points, 70 mins, 1 try, 8 runs for 52m, 2 TB, 1 LBC, 17 successful lineouts and 1 turnover forced.
Mark Abbott (HUR) – 78 points, 2 tries, 17 runs for 71m, 3 TB, 2 LB, 13 tackles and 1 Lineout Take
Guido Petti (JAG) – 51 points, 10 runs for 44m, 6 TB! 1 offload, 1 LBC, 6 tackles, 5 Lineout Takes and 1 Lineout Steal.
Hon. Mention Lodewyk de Jager (BUL) – 47 points
Kieran Read (CRU) – 66 points, 49 mins, 1 try, 12 runs for 76m, 7 TB, 1 offload, 1 ineffective offload, 1 LB, 1 LBC and 4 lineout takes
Peter Samu (CRU) – 65 points, 80 mins, 1 try, 1 TA, 11 runs for 52m, 2 TB, 1 Offload, 1 counter ruck turnover, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 8 tackles, 1 lineout take and 1 penalty forced.
Scott Higganbotham (RED) – 59 points, 80 mins, 1 TA, 15 runs for 96m, 3 TB, 1 offload, 3 ineffective offloads, 1 counter ruck turnover, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 5 tackles, 2 lineout takes and 1 lineout steal
Tawera Kerr-Barlow (CHI) – 42 points, 1 try, 1 TA, 3 runs for 34m, 1 TB, 1 LB, 1 LBC and 9 tackles
Beauden Barrett (HUR) – 59 points, 1 try, 1 TA, 9 runs for 183m, 8 TB, 1 Offload, 1 ineffective offload, 1 LB and 4 tackles. Conceded 2 penalties (-8 and a yellow card -5)
Karmichael Hunt (RED) – 83 points, 2 tries, 1 TA, 1 LTA, 9 runs for 142m, 4 TB, 1 Offload, 3 LB and 6 tackles.
Berton Klaasen (KIN) – 61 points, 1 TA, 1 LTA, 13 runs for 119m, 5 TB, 2 LB, 2 LBC and 4 tackles.
Manasa Mataele (CRU) – 77 points, 3 tries, 9 runs for 75m, 4 TB, 1 Offload, 1 ineffective offload and 3 tackles.
Makazole Mapimpi (KIN) – 77 points, 2 tries, 10 runs for 171m, 6 TB, 3 LB and 3 tackles.
Sam McNicol (CHI) – 75 points, 1 TA, 9 runs for 118m, 5 TB, 3 Offloads, 3 LB, 3 LBC, 10 tackles.