Overall rd 12 was a pretty tame week as far as fantasy points go. It saw a number of new names headline and earning themselves a position in the Team of the Week (TOTW). There was one exception to this rule, Samu ‘The Truth’ Kerevi, with 125 fantasy points!!! He made 14 runs for 174m, 12 tackle busts and 5 line breaks!!! (check out his full stats in the TOTW below) This is the biggest fantasy score I have seen in my couple of years championing this blood sport. And yes I have donned Kerevi with recently retired NBA Legend Paul Pierce’s nickname ‘The Truth,’ as I believe it to be fitting.
Onto the fixtures. The Blues were on fantasy fire this week, particularly the forwards whom have taken out much of the TOTW (5/8). The Ioane brothers continued to light it up Akira with 64 (TOTW) and Reiko with 39. One of the top props of the season, Paulisi Manu succumbed to a calf injury (check The Casualty Ward for the complete weekly injury update) but this has opened the door for Ofa Tu’ungafasi, one of last years top fantasy props. Torsten van Jaarsveld (63) was unlucky to be subbed 52 minutes in after another great performance. The Cheetahs had an unstoppable driving maul against a perplexed Blues outfit that offered little by way of resistance. Elandre Hugget came on and took full advantage of this racking up 66 points off the back of two driving maul tries. Torsten perhaps may have outscored Creevy’s huge 118 last week and would have possibly topped Kerevi’s 125!
Whereas the Blues vs Cheetahs was a battle of two great attacking teams with terrible defence, the Brumbies vs Lions was the opposite. Whilst we know they can both be dangerous in attack, neither team could find their mojo but they both defended like they were playing the grand final. This was an absolute boner killer for fantasy coaches. The highest scores came from the Brumbies mid field with Godwin & Kurindrani racking up 42 points trucking it up the midfield without breaking through. Kwagga Smith (36) showed his rugby sevens pace to burn Brumbies flyhalf Wharenui Hawera for a runaway try.
The Crusaders vs Hurricanes was literally an international test match. Genuinely these two teams could likely give most international teams a run for their money, but the tight five for the Crusaders (essentially the All Blacks) got it done with the hard yards. They masterfully controlled the game and shared the fantasy points fairly evenly throughout the forward pack. This was a great game of rugby but not as great for fantasy coaches with these two teams a reservoir for significant fantasy points each week. The Barretts and the Savea’s were effectively shut out of the game by constricting crusaders defense and set piece. Ngani Laumape (46) however found a way to rack up the points as he does each week and it was David Havili & Richie Mo’unga with 37 points the outliers for the saders.
The Rebels vs Reds was probably the best game of rugby to watch over the weekend for fantasy super rugby coaches. This free flowing affair saw both teams leave it all out there with lengthy continuous phases of play and a whole lot of run meters racked up over the 80 minutes. Most of the backs on the field came away with good scores, the standouts being Kerevi (125) & Nabuli (50) for the Reds and Koroibete (51) & Hodge (41) for the Rebels. The Reds forwards won both the fantasy and actual battle out on the field and this saw George Smith continue to rack it in wiht 45 & Scotty Higganbotham (39) devestate me after dropping a perfectly placed kick and falling over the tryline. Up front, two of last years best; Stephen Moore has started to gel with the team and the fantasy points of last year are starting to show, he made the TOTW with 69 and likewise Toby Smith with 35. The Rebels almost became a new side in the second half with the return of their general Sean McMahon (28) from injury, lifting the team.
The Bulls vs Highlanders was an extremely sloppy affair, the pouring rain in the high veld was unrelenting, much like the Highlanders. The landers are trying their very best to take over from the Crusaders as the complete 80 minute team. Not much to get excited about here in terms of fantasy, particularly if you have Waiseke Naholo or RG Snyman in your squad. Both gentleman issued with red cards after Naholo tried to take Odendaal’s head off and RG Snyman hurled himself like a rocket at Highlanders prop Greg Pleasants-Tate lying over the ruck. I’ll say it was certainly an effective clean out but after being given 4 weeks on the sidelines, perhaps not so great in the long run. Naholo was only issued with a 1 week ban however. With Ben Smith possibly sitting out antother week on the recovery trail, who will come in to replace Waiseke Naholo? You’ll have to check out the Stock Market which will be posted tomorrow for our best guess.
The Kings snatched the game from the Sharks in the jaws of defeat with a late try in the 77th minute. Lionel Cronje (58) and Aishaun Bock (65) both made team of the week with standout performances. Cronje has been an amazing general to this ever improving Kings side and just finds a way to create something each week. Bock has only come in to the fray as injury cover but boy is he electric and he has some real pace to back it up. For the Sharks it was Dan Du Preez (55) and Lwazi Mvovo (43) that were getting it done.
Last and typically you would have thought least, but Alas, the Force vs Jaguares was great to watch. It wasn’t a high scoring affair however it was total warfare out there. Both teams brought the physicality and I think the Force just stunned the Jaguares with their sheer determination. Creevy (52) excelled in this type of close quarters affair and loose forwards Juan Manuel Leguizamon (49), Lezana (39), Ross Haylet-Petty (36), Richard Hardwick (37) battled it out. On the outside, Curtis Rona (49) and Alex Newsome (45) excelled with some hard straight running.
Team of the Week
Toby Smith (REB) – 35 points, 80 min, 8 runs for 32m, 2 TB, 1 offload, 5 tackles & a pilfer
Charlie Faumuina (BLU) – 33 points, 55 min, 1 TA, 7 runs for 20m, 1 offload, 2 LBC & 7 tackles
Stephen Moore (RED) – 69 points, 80 min, 1 try, 1 LTA, 5 runs for 18m, 1 TB & 14 tackles!
Hon mention: Elandre Hugget (CHE) – 66 points in 28 mins!
Scott Scrafton (BLU) – 43 points, 57 min, 1 try, 1 TA, 7 runs for 31m, 1 TB, 2 LB, 7 tackles and 2 Lineout Takes
Patrick Tuipulotu (BLU) – 38 points, 80 min, 1 try, 1 LTA, 7 runs for 56m, 3 TB, 7 tackles and 3 Lineout Takes
Steven Luatua (BLU) – 64 points, 80 min, 1 try, 1 TA, 8 runs for 37m, 3 TB, 2 offloads, 7 tackles, 1 Lineout Take, 1 Pilfer & 1 Penalty forced.
Akira Ioane (BLU) – 64 points, 80 min, 1 try, 1 TA, 9 runs for 78m, 4 TB, 2 LB, 8 tackles & 4 Lineout Takes
Dan Du Preez (SHA) – 55 points, 75 min, 1 try, 8 runs for 45m, 5 TB, 2 offloads, 1 LB, 3 Tackles & 2 Lineout takes.
Lionel Cronje (KIN) – 58, 80 min, 1 try, 1 TA, 3 Conversions, 2 Penalty Goals, 1 Drop Goal, 8 runs for 84m, 6 TB, 1 LB & 7 tackles
Ben Volavola (REB) – 44 points, 80 min, 1 TA, 8 runs for 69m, 5 TB, 1 Offload, 4 LBC & 3 tackles
Hon. mention: Kyle Godwin (BRU) – 42 points
Samu Kerevi (RED) – 125 points, 80 min, 2 Trys, 1 TA, 14 runs for 174m, 12 TB, 3 Offloads, 5 LB & 9 Tackles!
Lukanyo Am (SHA) – 52 points, 80 min, 1 TA, 7 runs for 113m, 6 TB, 1 offload, 1 LB, 1 LBC, 4 Tackles & 1 Turn over forced
Aishaun Bock (KIN) – 65 points, 66 min, 2 Trys, 1 TA, 8 runs for 103m, 1 TB, 1 LB, 1 LBC
Mariko Koroibete (REB) – 51 points, 80 min, 1 Try, 7 runs for 82m, 4 TB, 3 LB, 3 tackles
Eto Nabuli (RED) – 50 points, 80 min, 1 Try, 1 TA, 11 runs for 113m, 3 TB, 2 offloads, 1 LBC & 3 tackles.
Hon mention: Curtis Rona (FOR) – 49 points,