Fantasy Bru: Round One top tips
Fantasy rugby and Super Bru are serious business and as such you keyboard-warriors will need all the help you can get so Darryn Pollock is here to give you the skinny on Round One.
There is nothing better than nonchalantly asking a colleague, a friend, a close family member or life-long enemy how they did on Fantasy League on a Monday morning safe in the knowledge that your captain, Israel Folau, slid in for a hat-trick of tries on an away win.
Meanwhile, said enemy's entire loose trio got yellow carded and they are sitting on minus points.
That is what you get for picking Michael Rhodes, Scott Higginbotham and Heinrich Brussow.
An even better feeling is walking into your corporate office job wearing a bright yellow cap that clashes horribly with your dull grey suit. The senior partner storms up to you ready to drench you in angry spittle for breaking the dress-code but you simply hold a finger to your lips and whisper 'shhh' because you predicted that the Chiefs would draw against the Cheetahs, and today, you are the big boss!
Here are my tips for Rugby365's Fantasy league:
(Ultimate Dream Team League Name: Rugby365 Super Rugby
Ultimate Dream Team League Code: 6337829870589
Go to http://fantasy.udtgames.com/superrugby/restricted/Dashboard.j to signup, then search for the Rugby365 pool by using the above code)
Fantasy League really boils down to picking try scorers; the points breakdown as such:
Try scored by tight five: 16
Try scored by loose forward: 14
Try scored by back: 12
Assists are also quite useful as they give you an additional six points and a player that is good with assists is also usually good for some five-pointers
Another important aspect to note is that there are easy points to be made from a full appearance (four as apposed to two for a part-appearance)
Finally, the biggest tip out there is: if you are predicting a team to get an easy away win, pack your Fantasy Team with those players. (An away win offers eight points per player!)
Who to pick:
Picking players is obviously about choosing some super stars who are renowned for their try scoring prowess, but you need to unearth a few gems that will come cheap in the early rounds.
The obvious, and most expensive choices out there are Israel Folau, Julian Savea, Sonny Bill Williams, Nemani Nadolo and Willie le Roux.
Bismarck du Plessis is another one who is really pricey for front row forward!
But if you are looking for those hidden talents that will get you points on a tight budget – look no further!
1. Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs)
This powerful wing is an absolute steal at $14 million (out of $350 million), making him $1 million cheaper than Bismarch Du Plessis – and he is a wing! Naiyaravoro made a few appearances off the bench for the Waratahs at the end of last season and was a huge threat to the line. He has looked really impressive in the Tahs' warm-up games which has seen coach Michael Cheika pick him to start against the Force for what should be an easy win.
2. Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs)
Ngatai is another one who comes really cheap, and with the 2012 and 2013 champions facing the slow-starting Blues away from home, there is a chance of an away win. The centre is of a similar style to Juan de Jongh and has an eye for the tryline, he seems to slice defences apart. He will be running outside Sonny Bill Williams who is bound to set him up with his fantastic offloading game.
3. Ihaia West (Blues)
At $14 million West has it all, the former Rugby League man enjoys running at the line and has an eye for gaps, he is incredibly pacey and has a deadly boot. He would make an excellent kicker for your teams too.
4.Francois Hougaard (Bulls)
Here is a cheeky one, selecting Hougaard as your scrumhalf gives you another wing as the Springbok was handed the No.11 jersey against the Stormers. He may not be everyone's cup of tea at scrumhalf, but at wing he could definitely score some tries.
5. Renaldo Bothma (Sharks)
With Willem Alberts out for an unknown peroid of time Bothma has a chance to stake a claim in the Sharks loose trio. He is no stranger to scoring tries and should fit into the Sharks game plan well. As poften is with the Sharks, the bigger forwards are the ones racking in the tries.
6. Grant Hattingh (Bulls)
Hattingh has been named on the bench for this weekend but he is definitely one to keep around. The lock can also easily play as a loose forward and hit a rich try-scoring run of form during last year's Currie Cup. With old man Matfield around, he may well get some extra game time when things open up in the match.
7. Schalk van der Merwe (Lions)
The Lions front row really made a name for themselves last year, none more so than Van der Merwe who racked up a massive amount of tries for a front row forward while decimating the rest of the competition's tightheads.
Here are my tips for Rugby365's Super Bru:
(SuperBru Pool: Rugby365 Super Rugby
SuperBru Pool Code: oozyberk
Go to www.superbru.com to signup, then search for the Rugby365 pool by using the above code)
Crusaders vs Rebels
Brumbies vs Reds
Lions vs Hurricanes
Blues vs Chiefs
Sharks vs Cheetahs
Bulls vs Stormers
Waratahs vs Force
1. Crusaders by 10
The Crusaders are notoriously slow starters, their warm-up games even attested to this. But you have to feel that this again will not a year for the Rebels who are simply picking up from last year's poor performance.
It is also a home game for the Kiwis, and if 2014 and the opening few rounds taught us anything – it is incredibly difficult to win away from home!
2. Brumbies by 3
A tough one to call, the Reds had a terrible 2014, but they look determined to turn their fortunes around this year with a couple key signings.
The Brumbies are always top competitors in the Australian conference and again the home game should count for something.
3. Hurricanes by 10 (in a high scoring game)
This is going to be a make-or-break season for the Lions who look to be on the rise after a successful Super Rugby season in 2014 as well as a great Currie Cup.
The Hurricanes however are a team with some amazing attacking options such as Conrad Smith, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Cory Jane. They might just break the high-spirited Lions' hearts
4. Blues by 8
The Blues can be a very up and down team, but they have nothing on the Chiefs whose fortunes change as often as their matchday squad!
The Blues are very good at home and very poor away from home, this coupled with the inexperienced look about the Chiefs makes it seem like a solid home victory in Albany.
5. Sharks by 5
The Sharks have been touted as the best South African team on paper, they have a powerhouse pack and an exciting halfback pairing in Pat Lambie and Cobus Reinach.
There will be questions about the rest of the backline that may struggle to defend against the flair of the Cheetahs backs, but knowing the Sharks, they will strangle out a victory.
6. Bulls by 11
The Bulls squad is another one that looks really good on paper, especially since being bolstered by some of the Cheetahs' best players.
With the likes of a revived Pierre Spies on the bench and the exciting Jesse Kriel they will be too strong for the Stormers who have named a very inexperienced team themselves.
7. Waratahs by 15
The defending champions look incredibly well balanced; a tough as nails pack with exciting flair in the backs should see them brush the Force aside with ease.
The Force may be on a revival of their own, but without captain fantastic Matt Hodgson, their heads are bound to drop.
By Darryn Pollock