Round 13 appears to be a mixed bag in foresight. Another huge Kiwi derby will kick off the weekend when the Crusaders take on the Chiefs in Fiji. The return of Tim Nanai-Williams is an exciting prospect for the risk-taking draft coaches, however disappointingly Charlie Ngatai will only be a spectator yet again. There are numerous positional changes, rested players and elevated rookies to keep an eye out for, so here is our breakdown for the stockmarket for Rd 13. If you haven’t read this weeks Casualty Ward or caught up on recent player form in the Round 12 Review, make sure you do so before the week is out!
Ruan Combrinck (LIO) – Combrinck was the form South African outside back last season, scoring almost 40 fantasy points a match. The Lions’ lineup hasn’t been provide for Rd 13 yet, but after turning out for his club last week he has been given the all clear to return for the Lions. If he is available BUY, BUY, BUY!
Jaco Kriel (LIO) – Jaco Kriel has been cleared to play this week and is likely to return from a knee niggle to take on the Bulls at home. He currently sits just behind Ardie Savea as the top averaging backrower with 45.5 points (a match), however games against the Bulls, Kings and Sunwolves over the next 3 rounds might see him edge his way back into first.
Smokies – Buy Low Sell High
Dillyn Leyds (STO) – I know, I know, this bloke was in the ‘Falling Stocks’ column last week, just hear me out. With injuries to the two first choice flyhalves for the Stormers, Leyds will be thrust in to the front line, giving him a lot more ball in hand opportunity. I see him playing 10 in a similar way to Damian McKenzie, he is quick, has good hands and is happy to have a run. Who knows which way this could go, I for one am interested to watch it play out.
Tim Nanai-Williams (CHI) – He is back and he is sure to be hungry after not playing Super Rugby since the second minute of Round 3. My main concern for the Chiefs’ utility back is that he is a small player, returning from a shoulder dislocation. The chances of a re-dislocation are considerably high as he hasn’t undergone a stabilisation surgery, which would have kept him out of the entire season.
Tevita Li (HIG) – This is simply a ‘one weeker’, if you need to plug a hole in your outside backs, Li could be the man for you. With the absence of Waisake Naholo due to him forgetting what his arms were last week, Li not only gets a start but he may get the full 80 minutes as there is no specialist outside back on the bench.
Taqele Naiyaravoro (WAR) – The barnstorming winger is yet to find the form to earn him a start week in week out during the 2017 season. Two vastly different Naiyaravoros may turn up; the damaging Lomu-esk runner who is almost impossible to put down, or the one you may be forgiven for thinking didn’t take the paddock. If the former turns up, we may see an awesome clash with one of the Rebels’ flying Fijian wingers.
Seabelo Senatla (STO) – The South African 7s speedster has had a forgettable season, only playing 93 minutes to date due to injury. His return to the squad has freed up Leyds to make his move into the 10 jersey and I for one am waiting with bated breath to see if the young winger can hit his straps with an easy run home for the Stormers after a tough game against the Blues this week.
Damian De Allende (STO) – The centre will make his first appearance for the Stormers off the bench, since injuring himself in Rd 1. As one of the form South African centres in previous seasons, expect him to insert himself back into the starting side in coming weeks.
Hold – watch this space
Patrick Tuipulotu (BLU) – The powerful lock made his return from injury last week for the Blues and he appeared to get right back into the thick of the action, however Umaga has asked him to provide his impact off the bench this week. With only 3 games left for the Blues after this week, I wouldn’t rush out and trade him but if he doesn’t get a start next week, it may be time to say goodbye.
Charlie Ngatai (CHI) – This one puzzles me. So far all we have been told is that Ngatai has had a headache post training, there has been no other mention of any “fogginess” or other post-concussion symptoms. For mine, it seems like a coincidence and the medical staff are being overly cautious, maybe he was simply dehydrated… Whatever the case it makes him a liability, you choose if you want to hold onto him.
Written by Nelson Dale