Fantasy guns. They take up a large portion of your salary cap, have a ridiculous average, and you should be aiming to stack your Holden NRL Fantasy side with them as soon as possible.
When they turn in a poor performance, it’s often an uphill battle to salvage your week. In Round 20 though, most delivered in a big way. But there were a few injuries that threw a spanner in the works at a time of the season when trades are drying up.
Let’s take a look back at the round that was.
Knights 16 def. Roosters 12
The first of many upsets this weekend, the Knights’ victory was inspired by Tyrone Roberts (68) who stepped up in the absence of Jarrod Mullen (18), who only managed to get through the first half before succumbing to an abdominal injury. Jake Friend (93) made an astounding 69 tackles on Friday night to claim his highest total of the season, while Boyd Cordner (61) continued his good run. Sonny Bill Williams picked up a thumb fracture that will see him miss a month of football but still made 46, while Knights young gun Sione Mata’utia hit 51 in his debut game. Joey Leilua scored the match-winning try in the 79th minute, and secured his owners 54 in Fantasy.
Storm 30 def. Broncos 8
Cooper Cronk (66) was the star of the show at Suncorp Stadium, but the reliable Cameron Smith (72) upstaged his teammate from a Fantasy perspective. Fellow Origin representative Ryan Hoffman (63) had a big night out, while Corey Parker (61) continues to punch out the scores we expect from the Fantasy legend. Interestingly, mid-season Melbourne recruit Marika Koroibete (59) had another good showing, as did Ben Barba (51), who scored his highest total since Round 7.
Sharks 18 def. Panthers 16
The result was a shock, but few were surprised to see Andrew Fifita smash out a season-high 88. The representative prop made 237 metres, 25 tackles, six tackle breaks, seven offloads, as well as a try assist and line break. Stand-in skipper Wade Graham (71) was also industrious in the absence of club captain Paul Gallen, and fullback Michael Gordon scored a try for the third week in a row on his way to 51 against his former club. Best for the Panthers was James Segeyaro (51), while halfback Peter Wallace managed 25 before leaving the field with a season-ending ACL injury.
Eels 24 def. Titans 18
Eels fans and Jarryd Hayne owners rose as one on Saturday night to cheer their superstar fullback, as he produced a masterful 91 to reaffirm his status as the premier WFB in Holden NRL Fantasy. Chris Sandow (48) had a decent night out, as did Nate Myles (49) and Isaac De Gois (43). Speedster James Roberts (46) has continued to deliver consistent scores since making his Titans debut in Round 14, as has Daniel Mortimer (42), who has made well over $100,000 in his first five games for the Gold Coast club. As they say, all good things must come to an end, and Mark Minichiello (25) owners were bought back down to earth with his lowest score since Round 13.
Cowboys 20 def. Bulldogs 12
The Cowboys are starting their run to the finals, winning on the road for the second consecutive week. Johnathan Thurston (58) was North Queensland’s best, with Josh Jackson (63) and James Graham (54) producing the best scores of the night.
Sea Eagles 22 def. Warriors 12
Daly Cherry-Evans hasn’t had the best season from a Fantasy perspective, his price plummeting below $350,000. But it was the DCE we know and love that lit up Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday with a try, two try saves, five tackle breaks, 21 tackles and 377 kick metres for a season-high 85. Returning to haunt his former side, Peta Hiku (53) scored two tries, while popular picks Jamie Lyon (50) and Sam Tomkins (48) were solid. Simon Mannering scored his eighth try from his last nine starts, but had his lowest score (41) since Round 9.
Dragons 28 def. Wests Tigers 12
With all the speculation surrounding Mick Potter’s coaching future, it was easy to forget that a game of rugby league took place at ANZ Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Robbie Farah was at the centre of much of the drama, but that didn’t impact his Fantasy output, finishing with a game-high 75. The Dragons ran out comfortable winners, with Brett Morris (72) producing the goods from the wing, Gareth Widdop (74) steering the Red V around the park, and Gerard Beale (64) collecting his highest total of 2014. Trent Merrin returned from injury but could only manage 25, disappointing those coaches who held onto the NSW forward, while Mitch Moses (15) couldn’t match last week’s heroics. Bargain basement 2RF Dene Halatau (45) played the full 80 and made almost $20,000, with further prices rises to follow in the coming weeks.
Rabbitohs 34 def. Raiders 18
Dylan Walker continues to produce the goods, finishing on 60 on Monday night. With Luke Keary (25) looming large on the bench, Adam Reynolds owners would’ve been tempted to search for another premium HLF, but the South Syndey halfback scored two tries on his way to 64, despite a wayward night with the boot. Keary and Reynolds look set to continue their partnership for the coming weeks, with John Sutton (-2) leaving the field with a knee injury just minutes into the contest. Injury hampered Sam Burgess (35) as well, while Anthony Milford (34) had a relatively quiet night. Shaun Fensom made a customary 56 tackles en route to 65.