Two rounds of the 2019 Six Nations down, three to go. And there are more changes in personnel in ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby team of the week than there were in the Welsh team for the trip to Rome.
In fact, there were 14 changes from last week, with only England’s Jonny May keeping his place in the ToW starting XV, courtesy of his half-hour hat-trick against France on Sunday.
So, without further ado, here are the players who scored the most Fantasy Rugby points this week.
Jonny May – (England)
24 points, 40.8% owned
Five tries in five Six Nations matches coming into Sunday became eight inside 35 minutes of six as the Leicester man had a field day at the expense of a thoroughly miserable France. May now has 35 points in two games – and the eternal gratitude of 40.8% of Fantasy Rugby managers who have him in their team.
Jacob Stockdale – (Ireland)
8 points, 62.1% owned
Proof that decent performances don’t always get the Fantasy Rugby recognition they deserve. That line, that touchdown will be a contender for try of the tournament when these things come up for grabs in March – and the Ulster player’s rapidly improving defensive work will have delighted Joe Schmidt. He cleaned up Scottish kicks all afternoon, and made a couple of vital tackles when the Irish line was under threat.
Josh Adams – (Wales)
8 points, 9.7% owned
May apart, it was – in Fantasy Rugby terms at least – a relatively quiet weekend for the outside backs. Welsh winger Adams will be the first to admit he made a couple of mistakes in Rome, but he put in a generally pretty solid performance, and that try on the hour will have meant everything was forgiven…
Owen Farrell – (England)
16 points, 67.7% owned
The England captain – listed as a centre in Fantasy Rugby, but back at the key 10 position on the field – did everything you’d expect. He scored one try, made another, kicked three conversions and two penalties, and did his fair share of defensive work.
Damien Penaud – (France)
8 points, 0.8% owned
The only French player in ESPN’s Fantasy Rugby team of the week – no surprise really, given Les Bleus’ dismal performance on Sunday. Defensively, he was all at sea, but with ball in hand he was France’s most dangerous threat … not that it was a high bar … making 85 metres and scoring their only try.
Tomasso Allan – (Italy)
8 points, 5.1% owned
Fortunate to make the team of the week here, perhaps, with Farrell listed at centre and Sexton leaving the pitch early with an injury, but you underestimate Allan at your peril. If he’d slotted that kick on the stroke of halftime, rather than rattling the upright, the final result might have been a little closer than it ended up…
Conor Murray – (Ireland)
8 points, 29.9% owned
A much better performance all round, this week, from Ireland against Scotland – and scrum-half Murray did his part with a try, and a conversion, as Johnny Sexton was getting treatment. Still not quite the high standard we’ve come to expect, but getting there.
Allan Dell – (Scotland)
6 points, 0.5% owned
A big defensive shift from the Scotland loosehead, as he made more than 20 tackles in 68 minutes before being replaced. Also took his chance to introduce himself to Ireland’s Johnny Sexton with a big and just slightly late hit early on.
Stuart McInally – (Scotland)
5 points, 10.9% owned
A fine performance in the tight and in the loose from the Edinburgh hooker – who, you may recall, moved from the back to the front row back in 2013. That hybrid skillset probably explains a lot…
Kyle Sinckler – (England)
5 points, 5.3% owned
Giving away a foolish penalty for slapping France’s Arthur Iturria will have been noticed by the England staff – but so will a strong performance in the scrum, two powerful runs – and that lovely pass for Henry Slade’s try.
Courtney Lawes – (England)
7 points, 17.8% owned
That tackle on Mathieu Bastareaud was right out of the Courtney Lawes special play book. But it was just one of several that the Northampton player made during the match. He also made a nuisance of himself at the lineout, stealing two French throws.
Jonny Gray – (Scotland)
7 points, 31.2% owned
In Fantasy Rugby, multiple tackles score points – and Gray, as he always does, tackled his way from can till can’t. He made 25 against Ireland in another dogged defensive shift.
Peter O’Mahony – (Ireland)
8 points, 19.3% owned
What’s this – 80.7% of Fantasy Rugby managers have somehow failed to pick Munster’s O’Mahony? That figure should plunge markedly after a man-of-the-match performance of subtle brutality that splintered Scotland time and again
Braam Steyn – (Italy)
15 points, 0.5% owned
Or, Abraham, to give him his proper name. A try, tackles aplenty, stolen lineouts – it was an eye-catching day’s work for the Benetton flanker in an ultimately losing cause. And it scored plenty of Fantasy Rugby points, too…
Josh Navidi – (Wales)
8 points, 41.1% owned
We need to talk about Josh. He was the best-performing forward in the Wales team by some margin. Excellent defensively, and a real danger with ball in hand. Italy’s Sergio Parisse is a couple of years passed his best, but few opposition eights get the better of him quite as comprehensively as Navidi did at the weekend.