Fantasy Rugby: Points, tackles aid Ebersohn

By Cameron McMillan

Cameron McMillan looks at the Herald Fantasy rugby form guide after the first five rounds of the Super 15

Super rugby Lelia Masaga's three tries overshadowed his knock-ons. Photo / Alan Gibson
Super rugby Lelia Masaga's three tries overshadowed his knock-ons. Photo / Alan Gibson

Heating up

Cheetahs second-five Robert Ebersohn scored 30 points in consecutive weeks after failing to reach double figures in the side's first two games. His value remains at $8.26 million which puts him mid-range in the list of backs and much cheaper than the likes of internationals Digby Ioane ($9.53 million, 38 points), Hosea Gear ($9.05 million, 35 points), Julian Savea ($9 million, 35 points) and JP Pietersen ($9 million, 32 points). The increase in Ebersohn's points comes not only from his two tries over the past two weeks but from the increase in his tackles, which is the advantage of having a midfield back in your Fantasy team. The Cheetahs finish their road trip this week against the Force and spend the rest of the season on home soil.

Getting cold

Rebels five-eighths James O'Connor is in 6 per cent of Fantasy teams, which may be based on his strong first-week effort when he scored 23 points in his side's only win, over the Force.

He was perfect with the boot that night (6/6) but since then is kicking at 66 per cent including three missed attempts in a round four loss to the Reds. The Rebels come off the bye to begin their trip to South Africa - where they have never won.

Staying cold

Israel Folau remains in 20 per cent of Fantasy teams but has yet to fire for the one-win Waratahs topping 11 points in the opening four matches. His knock-on woes - five in the first two games - have stopped, but so has his sense for the try line with just one try coming in the opening game. He had a very quiet game against the Cheetahs last week with just two tackles made and one missed and relied on his metres gained stat to get him into the positives. He remains a cheap option at $7.49 million, well below most backs, but he's obviously priced that low for a reason.

Risky moves

Chiefs winger Lelia Masaga was the top points scorer last week with 33, but that doesn't make him an automatic selection to your team. He's been hot and cold, and doesn't score many points from tackles because he is stuck out on the wing. He's also made four knock-ons this season - two of them against the Southern Kings last week, when they were overshadowed by his three tries. The Chiefs have plenty of try-scoring threats so he's unlikely to produce another 30-pointer any time soon.

Dan Carter has increased in value each week and should score big against the Kings this week. But he said yesterday he won't be taking part in the South African leg of the Crusaders' road trip because of the impending birth of his first child. If you don't have him in your team, it will cost you two transfers to get his points this week. Is it worth it?

Negative feeling

You've got to feel for Highlanders five-eighths Lima Sopoaga who scored negative points for the second straight week last Friday. Sopoaga was benched for the Hurricanes match and entered the game with only three minutes remaining. For getting on the field in a losing cause, a player gets negative three points. Since he played 59 minutes or less, he did get one point, leaving him with a negative two-point performance. Southern Kings halfback Nicolas Vergallo was even more hard done by, being subbed on in the 79th minute with his team down by nine points. It leaves Fantasy players in a strange position where it's more beneficial if their player doesn't take the field.

Fantasy All Blacks

Here's the All Black XV based on Fantasy performance:

1 Ben Franks, 2 Motu Matu'u, 3 Ben Afeaki, 4 Sam Whitelock, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 6 Karl Lowe, 7 Sam Cane, 8 Liam Messam, 9 TJ Perenara, 10 Dan Carter, 11 Frank Halai, 12 Conrad Smith, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Lelia Masaga, 15 Gareth Anscombe.

- NZ Herald

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