What an Aso – Fantasy Round 11 in Review

Round 11 Players in Focus

Our players in focus in round 11 are Vince Aso of the Hurricanes, Malcom Marx of the Lions yet again & Damian De Allende (DDA) of the Stormers. Vince Aso topped fantasy super rugby round 11 with 105 points, 2 tries, 2 try assists, 10 runs for 101m, 7 tacklebusts, 3 offloads, 1 ineffective offload, 3 linebreaks, 1 linebreak created & 7/7 tackles. He certainly took his rare opportunity to don the 12 jersey with both hands and you have to feel for the Hurricanes Mr Fixit because he is one hell of a player but can’t crack the starting team ahead of All Black Ngani Laumape at 12 or coach Chris Boyds favourite son Matt Proctor at 13. Instead he is a hell of a utility, being able to lineup anywhere from 12-15 (although I can’t say I’ve ever seen him kick) and seems to have more of a shot getting on the field as a winger than he does in the centres. I feel like he would might get a start at 12 every week in either the Highlanders or Chiefs. The scary thing about his performance this week was that he scored 105 points but he was more or less robbed of 2 more tries!!! The TMO Ben Skeen called back a play two phases and 80 odd metres up the field for something trivial and I believe the it was a similar case for the second. Vince Aso is very hit or miss for fantasy points; as a one week pickup when gets a start but I think I’ve figured it out. If he is starting and there is no Ngani Laumpe then he is going to score big. If he is starting alongside Laumpae either at 13 or the wing then he is less of a chance to score big. This is because both Laumape and Aso are massive ball hogs but at inside centre, Laumape always gets first dibs!! Don’t quote me on that, its an unfounded suspicion, I’d have to go back and analyse the games.

Malcom Marx just makes me feel sorry for other hookers because with him playing the way he does they are never getting in the fantasy team of the week. The position is permanently taken. Similar to us retiring Rob Simmons Jersey in the mud team of the week – he is the permanent Captain, we are starting to consider retirng the number 2 Jersey because Marx will inevitably just make the TOTW for years to come. Marx scored 84 points consisting of 2 tries, 10 runs for 47m, 1 tacklebust, 2 offloads, 1 linebreak, 7 tackles, 10 successful lineouts & 1 turnover forced. The tackles came in the first half and the offensive stats the second. The flanker come hooker is just the new mold of hooker for rugby going forward and the thing is that he is only 23 and continues to get better every year. Last but not least is Damian De Allende with 69 points. DDA scored a try, had a try assist, made 11 carries for 86m, 7 tacklebusts, 2 linebreaks, 8 tackles and forced a turnover. DDa has started to find some of his best form again this year and the tick for him will be finding consistency and minimising the brain explosions. He ran ragged against the Rebels and even the pretty stellar defensive pairing of Meakes and Hodge couldn’t hold him at bay. Look for DDA to continue getting some great scores with a run of home games and then the Sunwolves to come.

Now onto the fixtures:

Hurricanes 43 – 15 Sunwolves

Following on from the insanity that was Vince Aso’s 105 point haul, the Hurricanes other two outside backs racked up the next two top scores for this fixture, Jordie Barrett with 69 points (TOTW) and the ‘Bus’ – Julian Savea finished on 50 points. Both Jordie and the Bus bagged themseleves a try and ended up with their personal top fantasy scores for 2018 so far. JB destroyed the Sunwolves defense with 9 runs for 116m, 2 tacklebusts, 4 offloads, 2 linebreaks and one line break created. The Bus didn’t do too bad either making 10 runs for 112m, 2 tacklebusts, 2 offloads and a linebreak. Similarly to the back three, the back row for the Hurricanes also cleaned up; Reed Prinsep crossed the paint for a try and 49 points; Ardie Savea‘s long awaited return from injury saw him accumualte 46 points (TOTW) and Captain Brad Shields left with 39 points. Ardie has been one of the top fantasy backrowers in recent years and whilst he certainly didn’t look back to his best, (as noted in several NZ media articles) he still managed to come away with 49 points for what I thought looked quite promising involvements. Beauden Barrett (38 points) and Ben Lam (34 points) were kept tryless in this one just not getting the ball in the right places on the field.

The Sunwolves Fantasy points came by way off some very sounding Japanese lads; Grant Hattigh (48 points) who had an absolute blinder, the recently promoted Captain, fantasy stalwart and the competitions top tackler, Lappies Labuschagne (36 points) and Michael Little and Wimpie Van Der Walt both tied on 38 points. Other fantasy performances worth noting were Finlay Christie for the Hurricanes, whom we tipped for a try this week, did that just that and came away with 37 pointsHosea ‘Tongan Godzilla’ Saumaki (30 points) couldn’t seem to get his hands on the pill despite the moondogs overwhelming amount of possession and lastly shout out to Jeff Toomaga-Allen, the A-class prop bagging 29 points in 30 minutes off the bench this week. Oh and also Nehe Milner-Skudder came back after being out since round 2 or 3 2017- we aren’t sure how he fits into the equation in the Hurricanes overtalented backline so you’ll have to watch this space.

Stormers 34 – 18 Rebels

We’ve already talked DDA leading this game with 69 points and the next cab off the rank was a unexpected one, particularly as Sefa Naivalu (56 points – TOTW) was a late call up to the starting team after Jack Maddocks suffered an injury in training. Super Sefa is a name we haven’t touted in a while but he definetely had his game of the year with 2 tries, 9 runs for 80m, 3 tacklebusts and 2 linebreaks. Everything just went his way! Another name we haven’t seen scoring fantasy points and hence not featuring in the round review is Stormers and Springbok utility Dilyn Leyds (52 points). I picked up Leyds this week as I thought it might be time for him to come back into some form, particularly with the Stormers next several fixtures all being at home in Newlands (& off to Hong Kong to play the Sunwolves). He got his first try for the year and made 6 runs for 51m, 8 tacklebusts, 1 offload and a linebreak. Could his stellar performance be the nail in the coffin for last years fantasy god SP Marais? SP hasn’t been able to find his form nor a starting spot as of late. Damian Willemse (55 points) had another great game and is perhaps my favourite flyhalf to watch in 2018. He really is not afraid to take on the line or square up against anyone in D, making 10 tackles against the Rebels this week. JJ Engelbrecht (39 points) played well with 39 but he might too will find it hard to find a starting gig in the Stormers in the weeks to come with the like of Raymond Rhule, Seablo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen all on the scene. Steven Kitshoff and PSDT were both rock solid again with 38 points each and interestingly we did the analysis on Pieter-Steph Du Toit’s fantasy points when he is playing at lock vs on the flank. We discussed it on the latest episode of our podcast and you’ll just have to listen to it to find out – (FantasyXVDraft Podcast available where ever you listen to podcasts; Soundcloud, Itunes, Stitcher)

Reds 27 – 22 Lions

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There are no games in my recent memory that better fit the old addage; ‘It was a game of two halves.’ I think the Reds first half performance was one of the best 40 minutes of rugby played by an Australian Team in the last couple of years. Simply put, they went out there, dominated their set peice, didn’t make any handling mistakes and just put on some relentless pressure through physicality in the contact zone. This was nowhere to be seen in the second half and whilst the first was locked up 24 – 0, the second half was all Lions, 22-3. In a very forward oriented game, 3 of the top 5 fantasy scores were from front rowers! Malcom Marx topping the game with 84, and not too far behind was his opposite number, Brandon Paenga-Amosa (BPA – 60 points) and JP Smith (48 points – TOTW) after that. Both BPA and Smith bagged themselves a try and made 11 tackles (22 points each). Caleb Timu (38 points) and Franco Mostert (37 points) had pretty spot on average games from them; Timu’s season average is 42 and Mostert’s is 36.1. Filipo Daugunu (56 points – TOTW) was the only back to earn himself some propper fantasy points in this one with 7 runs for 104m, 2 tacklebusts, 2 offloads, 2 linebreaks and showing his incredible value, this week steppin gup to kick 2 conversions and a penalty goal as well as making 10 tackles and a pilfer! He is fantasy hungry!! Samu Kerevi had his quietest game of the year with only 29 points and whilst veteran George Smith

Marnus Schoeman.PNG
Fox Sports Stats Centre punking us all listing supersub Marnus Schoeman as a Bull when he plays for the Lions.

bagged himself a try in his first start of 2018, he only ended with 31 points. Whilst Kwagga Smith had a relatively quiet game (by his standards) with 31 points, it was Kwagga Smith 2.0 (or maybe 0.5? He is definetely no Kwagga but plays like him), supersub Marnus Schoeman (63 points) who came on and scored two tries in the last 10 minutes or so.

Blues 13 – 20 Jaguares

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Now I will admit that I haven’t actually watched this game. Well that’s not true, I watched the first 15 minutes or so until Akira Ioane received a yellow card and then turned it off and went to the pub. Is the game really worth watching with no Akira anyway? I intend on going back to finish this one and like the Reds vs Lions it was primarily a game for the forwards. This was mainly due to the fact that it was thundering down, the heavy precipitation really slowing down the game and making it a dreary affair by all accounts. Agustin Creevy (48 points) topped this one a try, 12 carries, 8 tackles, 10 successful lineout throws and a pilfer. Similarly industrious was his go to man in the lineout, Guido Petti (44 points) having seemed to earn himself the starting nod each week, with 12 carries, 4 tacklebusts, 8 tackles, 8 lineout takes and a lineout steal. Marcos Kremer and Tomas Lezana also put in the hard yards with 34 points to take out of it each. For the Blues it was Tumua Manu’s (36 points) first ever Super Rugby start on the left wing and he made the most of every opportunity, as limited as they were. He scored a try that was essentially a catch and place but in just 4 runs he made 4 tacklebusts and a linebreak. The Blues Brothers had their worst fantasy rugby week of 2018 in this one, Reiko Ioane with 25 points and Akira Ioane only 12 points!! One of if not the best fantasy scrumhalf in the competition, Augustine Pulu made his injury return via the bench and he didn’t have a happy evening, ending with -1 points. Be sure to check out The Casualty Ward for all Super Rugby injury news updated daily.

Brumbies 8 – 31 Crusaders

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This game just featured many things that frustrate Fantasy Super Rugby managers; yellow cards, injuries and supersubs. There were three yellow cards awarded; Chance Peni (20th minute), Scott Barrett (59th minute) and Ryan Crotty (61st minute). The game was topped by a supersub, Israel Dagg‘s 20th minute injury made way for Manasa Mataele (63 points – TOTW) to come on and score twice with his first two touches. Mataele made 9 runs for 100m, 6 tacklebusts, a offload and 2 linebreaks. We here at FantasyXVDraft love Manasa Mataele, he is such an exciting player but like all fantasy managers, it’s hard to have a bench player in your roster. Surely the man has earnt himself a starting spot!! Next up was the veteran, in the truest application of the word, Wyatt Crockett (46 points) in his 194th Super Rugby Game. Crockzilla came on to replace fantasyjunk Tim Perry (brother of Steve) who succubmed to an injury in the 5th minute. The Zilla has always been one to sniff out a try (and a penalty for that matter!!) but he managed 46 points without one! He made 15 tackles (30 points for a front rower), a pilfer and 7 carries. Last up for the Saders was Jordan Taufua (41 points)  coming back hot after a week’s rest; making 11 carries for 70m, 3 tacklebusts and 10 tackles. The men from Canberra were lead by the ‘Flying Fijiian,’ Henry Speight (45 points) who is just always looking for work. He certainly hasn’t been getting it all right in 2018 (particuarly on defense) but the man can run with ball in hand. He made 9 runs for 81m, 6 tacklebusts and a linebreak. Captain Sam Carter (34 points) was back starting after getting injured earlier in the Brumbies campaign and he made a solid 14 tackles in this one. Isi Naisarani (14 points) had his quietest for the year, only playing 43 minutes.

Bull 28 – 29 Highlanders

This was definitely the game of the round to watch, what a game!! Lima ‘Soapywanger’ Sopoaga (38 points) used the rarified atmosphere in Loftus to kick a penalty goal after the buzzer to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat. The Bulls controlled most of the game and played some absoultely awesome rugby but the Highlanders just did what they do and capitalized on every of their few opportunities. Handre Pollard (57 points – TOTW) had perhaps his best performance this year steering the ship for the Bulls. He scored a try himself (very unlucky not to have two!), a try assist, 3/3 conversions, 8 runs for 94m, 3 tacklebusts, 1 offload, 1 linebreak created and a pilfer! Lock Jason Jenkins (47 Points – TOTW) made the most of his opportunity starting on the flank scoring a try, making 10 carries and 8 tackles. Jesse Kriel (46 points) continues to press for the Springbok 13 jersey again and was heavily involved all over the park; he scored a try, made 9 runs for 80m, 3 tacklebusts and made 2 linebreaks. The standouts from the Highlanders were Dilon Hunt (42 points) and Fletcher ‘AKA Lost Child in K-mart’ Smith (39 points). Hunt was busy getting through the grunt work again, we refer to him as Lappies Labuschagne’s padawan, as he is second in the average tackles per game, making another 17 tackles in this one. Fletcher Smith looked a helluva lot more comfortable at fullback then what we’ve seen him running the show as flyhalf. He scored a great try, had a try assist and made 7 runs for 69m, 2 linebreaks, an offload and a tacklebust. He has some serious wheels on him and was able to find the space out on the field on a number of occasions. Our topscorer from last week Shannon Frizell was against popular belief relgated back to the bench in favour of Elliot Dixon for this game and he didn’t get much gametime, only ending up with 6 fantasy points. Elliot Dixon isn’t exactly a nobody, he is a former All Black and he didn’t exactly light it up. We fully expected Frizell to play on until Liam Squires return from injury in a few weeks time but who knows how the Highlanders will play it.

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PROP:
JP Smith (RED) – 48 points; 78 mins, 1 Try, 6 runs for 34m, 2 TB, 11 Tck
Wyatt Crockett (CRU) – 46 points; 75mins, 1 TS, 7 runs for 25m, 1 IO, 1 LBC, 15 TCK!!! 1 Pilfer.

HOOKER:
Malcom Marx (LIO) – 84 points; 76 mins, 2 T, 10 runs for 47m, 1 TB, 2 O, 1 LB, 7 TCK, 10 LT, 1 TF

LOCK:
Grant Hattingh (SUN) – 48 points; 18 runs for 76m, 2 TB, 1 LB, 7 TCK, 7 LT, 1 LS
Jason Jenkins (BUL) – 47 points; 1 T,  10 runs for 23m, 1 TB, 1 O, 1 LB, 8 TCK, 5 LT

BACKROWERS:
Marnus Schoeman (LIO) – 63 points;
Reed Prinsep (HUR) – 49 points; 1 Try, 1 LTA, 6 runs for 38m, 3 TB, 2 LB, 14 Tck
Ardie Savea (HUR) – 46 points; 1 TA, 5 runs for 42m, 2 TB, 1 O, 1 LB, 2 LBC, 20 Tck!!!

SCRUMHALF:
Finlay Christie (HUR) – 37 points; 1 Try, 2 runs for 17m, 3 TB, 1 LB, 11 Tck

FLYHALF:
Handre Pollard (BUL) – 57 points; 1 Try, 1 TA, 3 C, 8 runs for 94m, 3 TB, 1 O, 1 LBC, 4 TCK, 1 Pilfer!

CENTRES:
Vince Aso (HUR) – 105 points; 2 T, 2 TA, 10 runs for 101m, 7 TB, 3 O, 1 IO, 3 LB, 1 LBC, 7 TCK
Damian De Allende (STO) – 69 points; 1 T, 1 TA, 11 runs for 86m, 7 TB, 2 LB, 8 TCK, 1 TF

OUTSIDE BACKS:
Jordie Barrett (HUR) – 69 points; 1 Try, 1 C, 9 runs for 116m, 2 TB, 5 O, 2 LB, 1 LBC
Manasa Mataele (CRU) – 63 points; 60 mins off the bench, 2 tries, 9 runs for 100m, 6 TB, 1 O, 2 LB
Filipo Daugunu (RED) – 56 points; 2 C, 1 PG, 7 runs for 104m, 2 TB, 2 O, 2 LB, 10 TCK, 1 TF
Sefanaia Naivalu (REB) – 56 points; 2 Tries, 9 runs for 80m, 3 TB, 2 LB,

***

Fox Sports Fantasy Rugby Glossary of Terms:

T = Try
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)

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