Gameweek 3 delivered some exciting rugby and close results, as well as a distinctly muted return for fantasy coaches.
Gloucester welcomed Bristol to Kingsholm on for the first fixture of the weekend on Friday evening. After a high paced start, Bristol went into the break with the lead, but after gaining control of the game early in the second half, Gloucester turned the screw and delivered a 35-13 victory. Top performers in this fixture were Jake Polledri (44pts), Charlie Sharples (43) and Ruan Ackermann (39).
Harlequins and Bath played out a fantastic fixture at the Stoop, with Bath winning through despite a strong final push from Harlequins (32-37). This match was notable for a disallowed try after obstruction from Aled Brew, but Bath will be pleased to have come through and won their first fixture of the season. Key players in this fixture were Joe Cockanasiga (53pts), Elliott Stooke (45) and Zach Mercer (44).
Exeter won through against Sale at Sandy Park by 35 points to 18 despite a promising start from the visitors. The most notable event for fantasy coaches however, was the omission of Sam Simmonds from the starting lineup, many of whom had him as their captain. Top games came from Bryn Evans (46pts), Tom Curry (41) and Jack Maunder (39).
Northampton welcomed Saracens to Franklin's Gardens in a match that saw the introduction of their new winger Taqele Naiyaravoro. The Australian arrives after a stand out Super Rugby campaign, and showed glimpses of what is to come through this fixture despite not picking up a big fantasy score. The Saints were leading the game on the 70 minute mark, but testament must go to the champions who ground out another win, 27-38. Key players in this game were Maro Itoje (51pts), Ben Franks (40) and David Strettle (35).
Newcastle earned their first win of the season at Worcester in a fixture that saw the hosts take the share of possession and territory; the Falcons winning through by 23 points to 20. Top players in the fixture were Sami Mavinga (64pts), Francois Hourgaard (36) and Duncan Weir (35).
The final fixture of the weekend was overshadowed by a red card for Will Spencer, but Wasps will be pleased to have won through against their Midlands rivals Leicester, the final score 41 points to 35. George Ford was the stand out performer with 55 points, Jonny May (39) and Dan Robson (38) also played well.
Forty-six metres and a try assist went a long way to establishing the marauding Sam Mavinga as the star of this gameweek. His 64 points are higher than Will Stuart's 58 for round 1, but a little short of the 70 posted by George Ford in round 2.
With talk of Blackadder's job being on the line going into Bath's game against Quins, his players delivered a superb performance that amassed 565 points, and has really put their season back on track.
Key Value Player
The key player from the weekend who costs under £200k was Sami Mavinga, but close behind him was Gloucester's mountain Jake Polledri (44pts), as well as Jack Maunder (39).
Top Value Risers
With prices on their way up, and player performance having an ever more increasing influence on their respective value, it is no surprise to see some of this weekend's top performers' values up on last gameweek; Don Armand (+1.9%), Sam Simmonds (+1.9%), Greg Bateman (+1.3%) and Dan Robson (+1.3%).