Fantasy Rugby: Kicking woes sink Lambie

By Cameron McMillan

Cameron McMillan looks at the performance trends in the Herald Fantasy game.

Christian Lealiifano is a good option for Fantasy players who are looking to replace Dan Carter or Patrick Lambie. Photo / Getty Images
Christian Lealiifano is a good option for Fantasy players who are looking to replace Dan Carter or Patrick Lambie. Photo / Getty Images

Kick and miss
You'd think when a team wins 64-7 that would equate to plenty of points for the kicker but previous Fantasy Rugby points leader Patrick Lambie took a backward step last weekend, scoring zero points for the Sharks against the Rebels.

Lambie missed four from six kicks at goal in the first half which was worth negative eight points. Second five Meyer Bosman took over the kicking duties in the second half making five from six to take his points tally to 23. Along with two knock-ons (worth another minus four points) Lambie was lucky to end the game with zero.

It was a sharp fall for the Springbok who has slipped to third in the top points scorers with 96, now trailing Chiefs backrower Sam Cane (116) and Pieter Labuschagne of the Cheetahs (114).

Lambie wasn't the only player hit by kicking woes. After a solid start to the season with the boot, Gareth Anscombe has missed five attempts at goal in the past two matches. He's failed to reach double figures for the first time this season, scoring nine points in last Friday's win over the Highlanders.

Brumbies five-eighths Christian Lealiifano meanwhile has kicked 15 of his last 17 following a six from six effort in a losing cause to the Stormers. Priced at $8.14m Lealiifano is a good option for Fantasy players who are looking to replace Dan Carter or Lambie as the Brumbies begin a long stretch of games on home soil.

Sell high?
After a 41-19 win over the Bulls and last week's 55-20 thrashing of the Kings it's no surprise that five Crusaders make up the top 10 list of in-form players. George Whitelock leads the way with 62 Fantasy points from the past two rounds, he only had 14 in the previous two matches. Kieran Read and Carter have also been strong performers but they will miss the South African matches against the Stormers and the Sharks. That makes the road trip even harder for the Crusaders and might produce a sell high position for a number of Crusaders players. On the flip side with Carter and Read out, there could be a chance for low-cost players to step up.

Tyler Bleyendaal ($7.97m) is a very cheap replacement for Carter while Luke Whitelock ($5.42m) is an even better option in the forwards.

Cheetahs keep on running
The Cheetahs have five players in the best performing XV and it doesn't look like that is going to change anytime soon. After arriving home from a four-week road trip they have the Rebels waiting for them Bloemfontein - the same Rebels side that have conceded 22 tries this season, 10 coming in last week's defeat to the Sharks.

Weepu woes
Blues halfback Piri Weepu remains in 13 per cent of Fantasy teams but fails to repay the faith of those who continue to hang on to the All Black number nine. Weepu scored three points against the Waratahs taking his season total to 11, making him the 18th-ranked halfback.

For almost $500,000 cheaper Fantasy players could have scored 45 points more with Sarel Pretorius.

- NZ Herald

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