Friday morning dragged us up for an entertaining game for the Brumbies and the Highlanders, with the Brumbies returning to full form and leaving the Highlanders with their season in ruins. After a quiet 2 weeks, George Smith was awesome producing a try, 11 runs, three tackles bust, a linebreak, 20 tackles only missing two and forcing another turnover. This gave Smith 53 points, top backrower and the sole representative from this game in the dream team of the week, hereby called DTOTW. Hosea Gear is now hanging on to his place in the DTOTY.
Chiefs Reds was played in the middle of the night over here, and Quade Cooper showed how good he is when Will Genia is inside him, and produced a performance approaching his 2011 best. He even made 6 tackles and forced a turnover. Rod Davies returned in what is becoming a fiercely competitive battle to get into the Red's back three, scoring two tries, five runs, five tackle busts and two offloads which earned him 43 points, joining Gareth Anscombe, Richard Kahui and Patrick Osborne in the DTOTW. James Slipper retains his place on the DTOTY.
The Blues rewarded those who were up to witness it a textbook performance that was thrilling to watch. Steven Luatua's performance was described by the commentator as "the best blindside performance ever". Now while that's a bit much, he was awesome. !0 runs, three tackle busts, an offload, two linebreaks, a try save, 16 tackles, a lineout take and a lineout steal contributing 48 points and a spot on the DTOTW with Tom McCartney and Charles Piatau. Piatau and Luatua are on the DTOTY, along with Piri Weepu.
The Kings shocked another Australian team in the last minute with a drop goal from Demetri Catrakilis to give the Kings their first ever away win. The Kings went 14-0 up before the Rebels rallied to go in 17-17 at half-time. It was deep into injury time before Catrakilis landed the drop goal to joyous scenes in Melbourne. Mitch Inman with 36 was on the DTOTW, and Schalk Ferraira, Jacques Engelbrecht, Ged Robinson and James O'Connor retain their places in the DTOTY.
The Force shocked the Crusaders for their first win at the new NIB stadium. This game gave a perfect example of why the extended rules for TMOs are good when it correctly disallowed a Luke Romano try for a forward pass. Richard Brown made 12 runs, with five tackle busts, an offload and 14 tackles, second only to Pek Cowan with 18 tackles. Cowan also forced a turnover. Both Cowan, and Brown along with Romano made the DTOTW. Kyle Godwin and George Whitelock remain in the DTOTY.
The Stormers beat the Sharks thanks to a quality offload from de Villiers to set up Juan de Jongh for a great try. Sharks scrumhalf Cobus Reinach is having a great season, running 6 times with 8 tackle busts to end up as the sole participant in the DTOTW. Andries Bekker retains his place in the DTOTY.
The Cheetahs again showed why they are the most attractive team in South Africa. Nearly extending their run to 6 games, just getting a losing bonus point against the Bulls. Jano Vermaak scored the pick of the tries running through a number of awful Cheetahs defending. Trevor Nyakane made the DTOTW with this salmon dance, and Pieter "Lappies" Labuschagne and Robert Ebersohn retain their places in the DTOTY.
Next week will see the introduction of competition wide cup:
The top 16,384 scorers in round 9 will enter the first round. If there are more than 16,384 qualifiers then there will be a random draw amongst the lowest scorers to see who qualifies.
How The Cup Works
Each qualifying team will be randomly drawn against another in the first round. The winner (the team with the highest round score minus any transfer points), will progress to the second round and another random draw, the losers are out! This process continues until the final round when the two remaining teams contest the cup final.
If a cup match is drawn, then the following tie-breaks will be applied in the following order until a winner is found:
Most tries scored in the round
Most drop goals scored in the round
Most conversions in the round
First player to register their team
This was a high scoring round with everyone over 300 points, and 4 over 400 points.
Competition average was a high 349, and 7 of 9 players were ahead of that. I knew you guys would make this a highly competitive league. Garbhan Hogan had a dream round, with 472 points, thanks to a good choice of captain and several DTOTW players on. That Piatau was on the bench is scary to think Garbhan should have had more than 500.
The only positional change was between Cillian Hogan's Poseidon's Belvedere and Connacht Man's The Weshties. Only 14 points separates them in 2nd and 3rd place.
Twittersphere showed Tim Horan had an exceptional week with 496 points, and is way out in front. Can anyone catch him.
In the head to head league
Cillian Hogan destroyed me, 456 to 371 to rise to the top of the table, Murray Kinsella overcome a high competition average to move into 4th, Ireland's Answer showed that he is focusing on this league beating Peter Corley 399 to 369. The Weshties will feel hard down by that 402 wasn't enough to beat Multiple Scorgasms with a high of 457. The Weshties would be in 3rd place were this a normal league, but finds himself in 7th. The lowest score here was 369, which shows the high competitive nature of the league.
Next round fixtures:
(2) Ireland's Answer vs Ball Handling hooker (3)
(1) Poseidon's Belveder vs Multiple Scoregasms (6) - Were this to have been played this week, Multiple Scoregasms would have won by a point. Big game.
(4) Les Mecs vs GlasUlstermanNSW (5)
(8) Average vs The Weshties (7)
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