Fifty shades of grey: The fantasy rugby guide

Stephen Moore
Stephen Moore made the Super Rugby Fantasy Rugby Team of Super Rugby 2014, but will you pick him?
©Press Association
 

In sport, there is a growing industry of gambling, predictions and fantasy leagues. It is a whole new sector that rugby fans embrace through traditional print media and increasingly with mobile apps. 

Computer gaming has become a spectator sport in its own right and gamers are heroes and celebrities. This is a new world and many rugby bloggers appear nervous as to the implications of selecting teams. It certainly is not easy and the attritional nature of rugby causes injuries to have a huge influence on the outcomes.

Since TalkingRugbyUnion launched we have maintained a massive connection with Scott Donaldson with a specific emphasis on the southern hemisphere. Scott brings first hand analysis of the game and provides this regularly. 

To start the season we asked Scott to give our readers some tips on how to participate in this new sport; here’s what he filed

Super Rugby 2015 is here and for those people playing fantasy rugby games like www.testrugby.com it is worth looking at Super Rugby 2014 stars to get an idea of players worth putting in your team.

Here are some tips for people playing fantasy rugby games.

When playing fantasy rugby games like www.testrugby.com, players in some positions score more points than others. Usually ball running Number 8s score the most heavily out of the loose forwards, especially if they make tackles and take lineouts. Ball carrying openside flankers are also good, while blindside flankers sometimes struggle to score the big points. 

The reliable high scoring players are outside backs (especially fullbacks, but also try scoring wingers who beat defenders) and inside backs who not only kick goals, but also run at the defence and score tries. Usually hookers are the best scoring front rowers, especially if they score tries. There are usually one or two quality locks and centres who score more than the other players in their position, but they can be expensive and difficult to afford in salary cap based games. Usually lock and centre are the lowest scoring positions.

There will be the usual established points scorers, but there will be some bargain priced stars like Malakai Fekitoa was in 2014, while there will be some past stars returning to Super Rugby who could take the competition by storm like Adam Thomson (Reds), Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), David Pocock (Brumbies) and James O'Connor (Reds).

Super Rugby Fantasy Rugby Team of Super Rugby 2014

This squad is picked based entirely on TESTRUGBY.com fantasy points earned from the round robin games in the 2014 Super 15 Series. For the best 15 selection the results are limited to the actual starting 15 of each side, and spots are based on the jersey number worn in the game. In both lists player must have played at least 6 times to be considered, and for the best 15 that must have been in the actual jersey number.

Deon Fourie is worth mentioning because he played 7 games in the number 2 jersey, 4 games at number 6 (that's an unusual mix!) and 3 games as a reserve. His fantasy stats overall were not as good as Stephen Moore or Bismarck du Plessis BUT when only considering only his stats in the Number 2 jumper he came out better than those two - as can be seen in the lists below.

Picked By Fantasy PositionPlayer

Country

Pos

Avg
Points

Total
Points

Games

Avg
Value

Avg
Owned

Stephen Moore

Australia

FR

261

3400

13

$1,162,500

12%

Bismarck du Plessis

South Africa

FR

252

3780

15

$1,210,000

28%

Sam Whitelock

New Zealand

LK

241

3620

15

$1,357,500

29%

Brodie Retallick

New Zealand

LK

223

3355

15

$1,155,000

8%

Jerome Kaino

New Zealand

LF

285

3425

12

$1,077,500

8%

Phillip Van der Walt

South Africa

LF

264

2115

8

$1,097,500

5%

Bernard Foley

Australia

HV

308

4940

16

$1,242,500

30%

Beauden Barrett

New Zealand

HV

295

4725

16

$1,207,000

20%

Malakai Fekitoa

New Zealand

CT

253

4060

16

$835,000

13%

Adam Ashley-Cooper

Australia

CT

220

3530

16

$1,325,000

23%

Michael Harris

Australia

CT

220

3080

14

$975,000

4%

Israel Folau

Australia

OB

309

3715

12

$1,372,500

40%

Nemani Nadolo

New Zealand

OB

277

3330

12

$1,127,500

21%

Picked by Rugby Position

Player

Country

Pos

Fantasy Avg

Fantasy Total

Actual Points

James Slipper

Australia

1-Prop-Loose

261

1955

5

Deon Fourie

South Africa

2-Hooker

177

1940

5

Frans Malherbe

South Africa

3-Prop-Tight

277

1615

10

Patrick Tuipulotu

New Zealand

4-Lock

179

2405

5

Sam Whitelock

New Zealand

5-Lock

218

3165

0

Nizaam Carr

South Africa

6-Loose Blindside

255

2810

15

Luke Braid

New Zealand

7-Loose Openside

251

3015

10

Jerome Kaino

New Zealand

8-Loose Number

301

2410

5

Cobus Reinach

South Africa

9-Halfback

231

2310

30

Bernard Foley

Australia

10-Fly-Half

308

4940

213

Nemani Nadolo

New Zealand

11-Wing-Left

320

3205

50

Kurtley Beale

Australia

12-Centre Inside

241

3615

47

Malakai Fekitoa

New Zealand

13-Centre Outside

249

3735

30

Tim Nanai-Williams

New Zealand

14-Wing Right

242

1695

15

Israel Folau

Australia

15-Fullback

309

3715

60

Republished with permission from www.testrugby.com