Round 10 Players in Focus
The top three fantasy players in round 10 were Shannon Frizell, Samu Kerevi and Reiko Ioane. Featuring as a smoky to pick up in the Stock Market last week, Shannon Frizell delivered the goods and topped the fantasy round with a 91 point effort. Frizell is one of those incredible Tongan athletes that love to impose their physicality on a game and that is exactly what he did this week. He can and has played lock, 6 and 8 for the Highlanders so far in 2018 and is presently holding down a starting spot ahead of former All Black Elliot Dixon with his great form. He was absolutely into everything against the Blues and popped up at the right places at the right time to bag himself three tries. He made a couple of big carries, a couple of tacklebusts, three linebreaks, 2 offloads, created a linebreak and made 14 tackles in this one. At 6’5 he is also a great addition to the lineout and I don’t see the Highlanders dropping him anytime soon, particularly with Liam Squire suffering a further setback with his injury return – check out The Casualty Ward for all injury info!
Both Samu Kerevi and Reiko Ioane are no strangers to the fantasy team of the week (TOTW) or players in focus, they just went out there and did what they do best. These two will surely fight it out for the top Fox Sports Fantasy Centre of 2018. Samu was really the only glimmer of light in an otherwise outmatched Reds outfit against the Chiefs this week. He scored two tries, 89 fantasy points and made every one of his 13 carries count, running for 129m and making 11 tacklebusts!!! He also made two linebreaks, created one and was busy on defense making 11 tackles. Reiko Ioane (the worlds best winger) was finally moved back to the wing and contrary to popular belief he had no problem getting his hands on the ball, making 19 carries for 162 metres!! He just went looking for work and the Blues recognized what should be their entire strategy of just getting him ball in hand. He made 8 tacklebusts, 3 offloads, 2 linebreaks, created one and ended up on 74 points without a try to his name. Reiko the Freako.
Now onto the fixtures:
Blues 16 – Highlanders 34
There were points aplenty in the first fixture of the week (see image below), New Zealand Derbies always offering up the goods. Big Shannon Frizell the beneficiary of another great Highlanders team performane against the still tackling optional Blues and Reiko Ioane the beneficiary of being moved back to the wing. Them aside it was another case of either Tevita Li or Waiseke Naholo getting the fantasy points and this week it was Tevita Li with 55, Naholo only getting 21. Mr Workrate, Dillon Hunt (50 points) came away with 50 points after bagging one try from a chargedown and bombing another dropping it over the line. The vast majority of his points however came from making 27 tackles!! We could be seeing a competitior to tackle machine, the sunwolves Lappies Labuschagne. For the men from Auckland, fellow Blues brother, Akira Ioane (47 points) also got his hands on the pill making 22 carries for 97 hard earned metres and only the 5 tacklebusts and no linebreaks this week – a rough day in the office for him. Stephen ‘Perofranchise’ (47 points) was exciting from fullback, making 11 runs for 98m and creating 3 linebreaks for the team. Last but definetly not least worth mentioning was Matt Duffie taking out the supersub of the round with 50 points in 24 minutes!! Usually this would entail a try or two but not even!! Duffie has clearly fallen out of favour over in the Blues camp made the most of every single minute with 10 runs for 113m, 4 TB, 2 offloads and 2 linebreaks. He looked electric and would be a good bet to be back starting on the right wing next week.
Waratahs 0 – Lions 29Embed from Getty Images
As a completely biased and devout Tahs fan I take no pleasure in writing this but the Waratahs truely were the Horotahs this week, they were absolutely abysmal. The Lions came to play on there first game of the tour and they had their opposition covered in every facet of the game on the night. The Lions made a great team effort sharing the fantasy points across the 15 but the standouts included the current fantasy player of the year Malcom Marx with 63 points (TOTW), Kwagga Smith with 60 points and Maddosh Tambwe with 49 points. Marx was just immense across the park as per usual and Kwagga seems to be getting back to his best, my FantasyXVDraft colleague Harry Dale, pointing out that this is the third week in a row that he has scored higher than Akira Ioane. Kwagga had a try, 10 runs for 67m, 9 tacklebusts and a linebreak in his efforts. For the Tahs, Kurtley Beale (52 points) was the only one who showed up and despite his best efforts strapping the backpack on, couldn’t carry his team mates to a win at home because they just weighed him down too much. KB had his game of the year so far with 7 runs for 103m, 3 TB, 2 offloads, 2 linebreaks and 2 linebreaks created in spite of no one running off him the entire game.
Crusaders 33 – Sunwolves 11
There were plenty of fantasy points to go around in this one and if you had listened to us and picked up some crusaders, you would have been a happy camper. The Saders outside backs all cleaned up, Ryan Crotty, who we would have thought would have been perhaps the most likely player for a rest, took out the lions share with two tries and topping the fixture with 60 points. George ‘the Finisher’ Bridge (57 points) looked great at fullback, (his preferred positon), and knew exactly where to inject himself and when (look out David Havili). Manasa Mataele (54 points) was a no brainer provided he got his hands on the ball which he did with 9 runs for 100m, 2 TB, 1 offload and 2 linebreaks. Even the old timers, Mike Delaney and Tim Bateman came away with fantasy points, 42 and 38 respectively and Delaney made one hell of a step to setup a try early on. It didn’t go much the way of the crusaders forwards, particularly with Ben Funnell who we thought would have been a great one week pickup, going off injured just a few minutes in but the scores for the forwards weren’t too bad either. The usual suspects for the moondogs at least gave fantasy owners some solace, actually lets be honest, no sunwolves fantasy owners expect them to win games, just their players to get points. Kazuki Himeno (45 points – TOTW) who we have heavily mentioned on the podcast since he first made his debut contined to dominate, the fantasy lock playing eighth man. Michael Little and the tongan Godzilla Hosea Saumaki both came away with 36 points. The last things I think that are worth mentioning from this one are Sunwolves prop, Craig Millar has been pretty consistently killing it for a prop, with 34, 34 and 33 in recent weeks and also Matt ’30 point’ Todd as we call him in our league has been sticking absolutely true to his name with 30 points this week and a season average of 29.5 so far.
Reds 12 – Chiefs 36
Again plenty of fantasy points in this one but aside from the top scorer, Samu Kerevi with 89 (TOTW), it was all the Chiefs which shouldn’t really surprise anyone. The Crusaders points all went to the backs but it was a 50/50 split for the Chiefs with an all around dominant team effort. Up front, backup hooker Liam Polwart killed it with 59 points and what could be the best locking duo in the competition of Brodie Retallick (48 points) and Tyler Ardron (52 points) excelled, both the big men crashing over for tries. Retallick is without question the best lock in the world and we’ve said before perhaps the most valuable fantasy player this year and Tyler Ardron also seems to be the full package and I’m sure is benefitting from playing alongside Brodie. Captain Sam Cane also seems to be more fantasy consistent in 2018, theres no doubt he is a great player but he has been a very up and down fantasy player in the past. He bagged 35 points and is sitting on an average of 33 this season. Out the back it was excitement machine Solomon Alaimalo with 54 points, the ‘Glue,’ the ever consistent Anton Lienert-Brown with 48 points and the stabilising figure of Charlie Ngatai with 43 points. Damian McKenzie (31 points) came off from a substantial head knock 20 minutes into this one and did not return. 20 minutes in the game was already won, I think it was 17 – 0 at that point so this was a wise decision by the coaching staff. Follow the Casualty Ward for updates on how D-Mac’s return to play protocols are travelling. For the Reds, aside from Kerevi, it was only really Caleb Timu (40 points) who never falls short of putting in 100% for the full 80 and the consistent Jono Lance (30 points) sticking to his average of 31 this season.
Bulls 28 – Rebels 10Embed from Getty Images
How good are the Bulls looking? We discussed them on the podcast this week and after new kiwi coach John Mitchell has had them focusing on some more expansive play for the first few weeks of the competition, the Bulls spent the last two weeks refocusing on their historically strong setpeice and have look set to have combined the two into the full complement. Similarly to the Chiefs, the Bulls scored great fantasy points from 1-15. Warrick Gelant has certainly come into form, topping it for the Bulls with 63 points making a tacklebust per run; 9 runs for 123m and 9 tacklebusts. Veteran and most capped South African Super Rugby player, Adriaan Strauss (58 points) added yet another try to his name and the same as last week, he was unlucky not to bag himself a second! Whilst Mitchell has been trying to give the young blood Jaco Visagie some exposure for the future, starting the first five games of the season ahead of Strauss, the Bulls just look a better team with their commander out there. The set peice shapes up a hell of alot better too. Give it time Padawan. Jesse Kriel (50 points) had another strong showing and whilst their is still plenty of competition, I’d say would be firming up for the Springbok 13 jersey once again. The Bulls second string wingers saw plenty of ball as well, Johny Kotze (traditionally a centre) with 45 points and Divan Rossouw has been a good deputy with 40. Talking Rebels, the Aussie side with the so much promise but like many of my internet shopping orders, they keep failing to deliver. One Rebel player that mantra does not apply to however is the fantasy God, Amanaki Mafi with 66 points, topping the game and making the TOTW yet again. He had 22 runs for 132m, 4 TB, 4 offloads, 2 linebreaks created and 11 tackles. I’m not sure what more he can do week in and week out. If you had needed to fill a jam with a scrumhalf this week and picked up Michael Ruru you would have been most pleasantly surprised. Ruru definetely took the most of his opportunity with Will Genia out injured and had a hell of a game finishing on 64 points. He had outside back like numbers with a try, 8 runs for 73m. 5 tacklebusts for a halfback! An offload and 3 linebreaks! Last but not least is a shoutout to the consistent hard worker, Matt Philip (38 points) who just gets on with his work no matter how the game is going.
Sharks 24 – Stormers 17
In a game I can’t talk much about because its the only game I haven’t watched so far this season, the highlights suggested a very tight, hard fought affair. Most of the word appeared to be done by the big men up front, with front rowers taking out 4 of the top ten fantasy points in this one! Ramone Samuels (63 points – TOTW) continues to hold Scarra Ntubeni out for the starting jersey, the flanker come hooker has a very similar playstyle to Malcom Marx. He was 2 short of playing the full 80 minutes and his efforts were rewarded with a try of his own. Jean-Luc Du Preez (JLDP – 61 points – TOTW) was integral as always, he has an average of 55.7 for the season and is withouta doubt the Sharks MVP. Pieter-Steph Du Toit (PSDT – 51 points – TOTW) was shelling out the PTSD as per standard practice, the big man hits hard, carries hard, probably sleeps hard. Philip Van Der Walt (PVDW – 51 points) obviously had an immense game and his ability to read & inject himself into the game is very similar to that of the great Richie McCaw. His leadership is essential to a young Sharks forward pack and his decision making is exemplary. PVDW for captain in my opinion. Damian De Allende (DDA – 50 points) has been back in form and fantasy form in 2018 and I want to watch this game purely for the matchup between DDA and Andre Esterhuizen (33 points) in the midfield. With Rohan Van Rensburg obviously enjoying his holidays a bit much, these two look to be the form inside centres for the Boks 12 jersey. I said there were 4 front rowers in the top ten and here they come, Akker van Der Merwe with 44 points off the bench (I’d be starting him for mine but then again there is the SA Rugby politics), the firetruck, Steven Kitshoff with 43 points and widely touted prodigy, Tomas ‘The Tank’ Du Toit with 38 points. I said I wanted to watch this for the battle at inside centre but daaaamn I really must watch this now for the battle of the big front rankers. I can only imagine the Sharks would really have missed the Beast Mtawarira (out with a groin issue) in this one. Last thing worth mentioning is the return of Makazole Mapimpi (41 points) who really seems to be the form winger for the Sharks no matter how they plan on playing the game. He is always dangerous with ball in hand and one of those players that can just create something from nothing.
Brumbies 20 – Jaguares 25
Last and definetely least was the anticlimactic sunday afternoon test match style battle between the Brumbies and Jaguares. In one word, the Brumbies just didn’t have the right ‘Attitude’ in this one and just were letting frustrations get the better of them in large parts of the game. The Jaguares had a gameplan, stuck to it and executed it. In terms of fantasy, Chance Peni narrowly topped this one with 56 points and was closely followed by Tom Banks and Matias Orlando on 55 points. Joaquin Tuculet finished on 47 points, Emiliano Boffelli still managed 44 points despite a brain fart issuing him a yellow card (-10 points). You wouldn’t have known the Jags were a man down though and this crucial period in which the Brumbies needed to jam down the accelerator but instead the wheels came off and the Jags looked a man up if anything. Wallaby Henry Speight returned with 38 points and is the first Fijian to play 100 super rugby games but he made two terrible defensive reads and very likely costed the Brumbies the game. He didn’t trust his inside man (was Wharenui Hawera) on two occasions and came in off his wing leaving the winger free to stroll over for the points. There were a few injuries in this one so be sure to check the Casualty Ward to be aprised of them as more information is released.
Steven Kitshoff (STO) – 43 points, 11 runs for 54m, 2 TB, 10 TCK
Tomas Du Toit (SHA) – 38 points, 80 mins, 1 Try, 9 runs for 40m, 3 TB, 10 TCK
Malcom Marx (LIO) – 63 points, 8 runs for 73m, 4 TB, 1 offload, 1 LB, 4 TCK, 11 LT, 3 Pilfers, 1 Turnover forced
Ramone Samuels (STO) – 63 points, 78 minutes, 1 try, 7 runs for 35m, 3 offloads, 1 LB, 8 TCK, 6 LT and 1 Pilfer
Pieter-Steph Du Toit (STO) – 51 points, 9 runs for 77m, 4 TB, 2 LB, 12 TCK, 3 LT, 1 Pilfer and 1 Turnover forced
Kazuki Himeno (SUN) – 45 points, 12 runs for 41m, 2 TB, 16 TCK, 1 Pilfer and 1 Turnover forced
Brodie Retallick (CHI) – 45 points, 1 Try, 6 runs for 35m, 2 TB, 1 offload, 1 LB, 14 TCK
Shannon Frizell (HIG) – 91 points, 3 Tries, 7 runs for 60m, 2 TB, 2 offloads, 3 LB, 1 LBC, 14 TCK & 2 LT
Amanaki Mafi (REB) – 66 points, 22 runs for 132m, 4 TB, 4 offloads, 2 LBC, 11 TCK, 1 TF
Jean-Luc Du Preez (SHA) – 1 try, 7 runs for 36m, 3 TB, 5 offloads, 1 LB, 13 TCK, 1 LT
Michael Ruru (REB) – 64 points, 1 try, 8 runs for 73m, 5 TB, 1 offload, 1 IO, 3 LB, 7 TCK,
Stephen Perofeta (BLU) – 47 points, 1 TA, 11 runs 98m, 3 TB, 1 offload, 1 LB, 3 LBC, 2 TCK
Samu Kerevi (RED) – 89 points, 2 tries, 13 runs for 129m, 11 TB, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 11 TCK
Reiko Ioane (BLU) – 74 points, 19 runs for 162m, 8 TB, 3 offloads, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 4 TCK
Warrick Gelant (BUL) – 63 points, 9 runs for 123m, 9 TB, 2 offloads, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 4 TCK
George Bridge (CRU) – 57 points, 1 TA, 11 runs for 83m, 5 TB, 3 offloads, 1 LB, 3 TCK
Tom Banks (BRU) – 55 points, 2 tries, 8 runs for 76m, 4 TB, 2 LB, 1 LBC, 2 TCK
Tevita Li (HIG) – 55 points, 1 TA, 8 runs for 114m, 5 TB, 2 offloads, 2 LB, 6 TCK
Fox Sports Fantasy Rugby Glossary of Terms:
TA = Try Assist (5)
LTA = Last touch assist (3)
TS = Trysaver (5)
C = Conversion (2)
PG = Penalty Goal (3)
DG = Drop Goal (3)
YC = Yellow Card (-10)
RC = Red Card (-15)
R = Runs (or Carries – 1 every run)
RM = Run Metres (1 every 10m)
TB = Tackle Busts (2)
O = Offload (4)
LB = Linebreak (5)
LBC = Linebreak Created (3)
TCK = Tackle (1 point or 2 points for a front rower per tackle)
LT = Lineout Take (1 – also includes successful throw from hooker)
LS = Lineout Steal (4)
THW = Tighthead Win (7)
PF = Penalty Forced (4)
TF = Turnover Forced (3)
PC = Penalty Conceded (-4)