Super Rugby 2016 is up and running, with the opening round providing entertainment aplenty. With loads of tries scored and the focus very much on attacking, exciting rugby, it was a high scoring opening round in SuperBru’s Fantasy Super Rugby game.
So who should you bring in for round two? Here are our recommendations for your four weekly transfers:
Ben Smith (outside back, Highlanders)
Points scored so far: 18
Next 3 fixtures: Hurricanes (h), Lions (h), Waratahs (a)
Last season’s champions may have lost on opening weekend, but All Black Smith bagged two tries and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball. They have another Kiwi derby this weekend, which almost always means a high-scoring game featuring plenty of involvement for the outside backs, and in the injury-enforced absence of Waisake Naholo, even more game-breaking responsibility will fall on Smith’s shoulders. On top of that, the Highlanders have a Australian tour coming up, meaning Smith will be facing winnable games against the likes of the Reds and the Force in the next few weeks.
Blake Gibson (loose forward, Blues)
Points scored so far: 21
Next 3 fixtures: Crusaders (a), Hurricanes (h), Reds (a)
This 20 year old flanker announced himself to the wider rugby world in round one with a barnstorming performance that inspired the Blues to their first opening round home victory since 2011 – and against the champions, no less. Gibson has an insatiable work-rate and in true Kiwi style, enjoys carrying the ball in the wide channels. Big things are expected of a man who won three MOTM awards when the Baby Blacks swept to the 2015 JWC title. The Blues have back to back Kiwi derbies coming up, as well as an away trip to the very beatable Reds, so Gibson’s opportunities for points are endless.
Cheslin Kolbe (outside back, Stormers)
Points scored so far: 15.5
Next 3 fixtures: Cheetahs (a), Sharks (h), Brumbies (h)
Kolbe’s time with the Blitzbokke on the sevens circuit look to have been well spent. He has always been a sparky, diminutive player, entirely at odds with the traditional mould for the Springboks, but his performance against the Bulls in round one was hugely encouraging. Playing at fullback, Kolbe loves to counterattack, and will always look to run the ball rather than kick it – which usually results in loads of points for metres made (he carried for over 100 in round one against the Bulls). With eminently winnable fixtures coming up for the Stormers, and a seemingly newfound desire to play a more attacking game under Robbie Fleck, Kolbe should be primed to score some big points in the coming weeks.
Sam Carter (lock, Brumbies)
Points scored so far: 13.5
Next 3 fixtures: Waratahs (h), Force (a), Stormers (a)
The Brumbies might have some tricky fixtures coming up, but if their performance in round one is anything to go by, they have a pack to mix it with the very best. Their scrum is strong, their lineout is immensely accurate, and their rolling maul as a real weapon. Sam Carter was at the heart of all of these things in round one, as the Brumbies front five made mincemeat of the Hurricanes and set the platform for victory. If their set piece remains accurate, as it surely will, there will be plenty of points on offer for Carter in the coming weeks.
This article also appears on superbru.com.