The penultimate round of the OG League is complete and the play-off pictures are well and truly taking shape!
Trade Night Rd 5
Round 6 Fixtures:
Ride My Pone (299) vs (364) Peri Peri Chicken
Nsync (8) vs Wylie (3)
Wylie will be thanking his lucky stars that he was gifted ‘the bye’ fixture this week and managed to notch up a win to keep him 3rd on the ladder with only one week to go to make the finals series. He secured the win this week with the 3rd lowest team fantasy score of the round with the team on the other side of the sheet taking out the lowest. There were definitely some positives, sync making trades to at least get XV men on the park (all be it some off the bench) and his top scorers were Dane Coles (59), Reece Hodge having his one good fantasy game he has every season (42), his bedrock Sam Whitelock (39) and Will Harrison (38). Perhaps it was the spiritual loss of having Pone Fa’amausili coming off the bench rather than starting and scoring -3 that didn’t gee the rest of the boys up. Wylie’s backs led his fantasy scores this week with Jonah Nareki and Sevu Reece 53 points each and Jack Goodhue with 43.
Whilst Nsync on 1897 points for the season is almost 1000 points shy of compeition top scorer Cargie on 2855, I think all managers wish that he had managed to put one win to the name, which would have then kept Nelson in contention to finish bottom of the table. As it stands Sync can’t do any better than finishing bottom but can certainly spoil the party for someone in the final round with such a close top 6 of the table.
Rieking Havoc 2.0 (478) Vs (302) Where My Hosea At
Nabung (5) vs Nelson (7)
Nabung needed the win to truly stay in finals contention and his men answered the call. His lads were lead by a hell of a game from Josh Ioane (67), trade night pick up and double try scorer Peter Umaga-Jensen (51), George Bridge and Aaron Smith (49 pts each) and rounded out by old heads Ash Dixon and Karmichael Hunt (45 pts each). He was let down by Tom Banks (-2) having one to forget and rewarded by the late withdrawal of Rob Simmons pre game who surely would have lost him points.
Of course his men weren’t needed as much nor called for as loudly as the one and only Nelson Dale who is as a result of their poor performance, is now staring a back to back (to back…) wooden spoon finals playoff series. Nelson’s top scorer was Tom Horton with 38 points followed by Solomon Kata and and an off the bench Tate McDermott (34 pts each). He was truly let down by his men up front, Mitch Brown and Trevor Hosea only managing 2 points a piece in the locks the stand outs. Despite only managing to get 13 men on the field as compared to Nelson’s XV (** McDermott and Sione Havili off the bench before Nelson protests), Nabung scored a whopping 176 more points and despite losing some serious personnel has put him in a great position to attempt to push his way into the finals next week.
Damian McKenzie XV (378) Vs (407) Roll away Blue!
Harry (1) vs Newbung (4)
Initially it was all looking to be coming up milhouse for the competition leader Harry in his campaign against the Super Rugby 2020 (1.0) competition leader Newbung. By this I mean he had Braydon Ennor returning from injury, a late crusaders team announcement saw him able to pick up a freshly dropped Whetu Douglas who we all thought was gone for the season but returned to start for the Saders, and Matt Philip was back in the starting side for the rebels. It also looked as if Jordan Petaia was going to be starting on the wing for the injured Chris Feauai-Sautia but unfortunately and our condolences are with Jordan, who lost his father during the week and understandably had to pull out from the game. Of Harry’s 5 Queenslands Reds who all did the mahi and got the treats the week prior in terms of fantasy points, only James O’Connor delivered (44 points) and the rest may as well have stayed at home, Brandon Paenga-Amosa (0 pts), Harry Wilson (1 pts), Dane Zander (8 pts – he had 55 last week!) and Petaia (DNP). No one was writing home about he rest of his team’s performances, Sean Wainui his top scorer with 45 points.
Newbung is a hybrid flanker/scrumhalf himself and accordingly knew how to pick his men in those positions. His 410 points was lead by Jack Dempsey laying his claim for a starting wallabies berth with 71 points, Dillon Hunt with 50 and TJ Perenara with 47 points. Add to this Jordan Uelese (the prince that was promised but has sorta/kinda delivered) with 48 points and Wes Goosen with 41 points and you can see where he bagged himself the win. He wasn’t without some dissappointment himself though with Jock Campbell pulled pregame, Nepo Laulala 1 point and Billy Meakes (off the bench as flanker! 2 points). Whilst not the top of the log where he was looking real comfortable earlier in the year, Newbung finds himself on the right side of the ledge sitting in 4th on the ladder and will need another win this week to enter the finals in his maiden fantasy super rugby season.
King Richard’s First XV (534) Vs (375) 2 out of 3 ain’t Barrett
Cargie (2) vs AJ (6)
Another week, another 5 trades and looking at those trades you would have thought Cargie was a madman, increasing his waratahs stock from 2 men to 5 (about 5 too many waratahs based on their recent form). However it was as if someone reminded the Waratahs that they are a professional rugby team and although the bookies had them at $11 to win 13+ they went out there and absolutely blitzed the Reds 45 – 12. That or it was because Rob Simmons wasn’t in the side (you decide). In his first start for the season, Jake Gordon ran in three tries in a fantasy man of the round performance (97 points), Alex Newsome with the rugby league finish in the corner (almost twice!) and add a Jack Maddocks try and Cargie came away with 5 tries from the men in sky blue. Despite 3 negative scores on the team sheet, Tevita Kuridrani (-2), Tom Robertson (-3), and Andy Muirhead (-8) he more than offset these with his usual suspects. The top shelf Crusaders (in a Super Rugby Aotearoa winning performance no less), Richie Mo’unga (74), Codie Taylor (60), Will Jordan (54) delivered the goods as well as Shannon Frizell (49) bringing home the bacon and illustrating why Cargie top scored this week with 534.
AJ had the 5th highest score for the week and his men were spearheaded by strong performances from Jordie Barrett and Pete Samu both on 45, Hunter Paisami (43), Anton Lienert Brown (37) and Folau Fainga’a (36 pts). AJ is in the unique position, proving just how close this competition is of possibly finding himself in the top 4 and final or in 7th and competing in the spoon final depending on his result next week.
Best Player: Jake Gordon (97 points) – Cargie
Worst Player: Andy Muirhead (-8 points) – Cargie
Best Supersub: n/a
Best Free Agent: n/a
Biggest Coaching Mistake (player left on the bench): n/a
Team Scores Round 6:
Round 7 Fixtures:
Written by your local rugby nerd Harrison Dale.