Game week 5 started in the toughest possible fashion for fantasy coaches, with huge rotations across all of the clubs involved in the competition. There were still some great fantasy scores though, as well as some excellent wins too.
Newcastle and Wasps played out a tense affair at Kingston Park, with the visitors nudging ahead late on. There were plenty of positives on show for the home side, and despite a disappointing start on paper, they look set to press on over the coming rounds. Top players in this fixture were Adam Brocklebank (61pts), Lima Sopoaga (48), and Johnny Williams (43).
Saracens and Bath played out a fantastic fixture at the Stoop, in spite of the fact that Bath seemingly turned up with their second string. They were in with a shout at half time though, with the score at 26 points to 20. Saracens had already secured a bonus point by then, and their second half performance brought them a win that ensured they are the first side in the history of the competition to secure 5 bonus point wins in their opening 5 fixture. The key performers in this fixture were Alex Goode (76), Anthony Perenise (49), and Owen Farrell (45).
Harlequins secured a win against Gloucester at Kingsholm and in doing so ended a year long wait for victory on the road. Their 25 points to 27 win also brings them up into 4th place, though they are still a mighty 12 points away from top placed Saracens. Top fantasy performers were Danny Cipriani (49), Nathan Earle (44), and Jake Polledri (35).
Bristol and Northampton played out a stormer at Ashton Gate, with the visitors eventually winning through by 45 points to 40. The Saints secured their first victory on the road this season with the win, and while the Bears might have been disappointed with the loss, they still picked up try and losing bonus points. Will Hurrell and Harry Thacker (48) were the stand out fantasy performers in the fixture, with Ed Holmes (43) close behind.
Exeter also maintained their perfect start to the season, winning by 28 points to 11 against Worcester at Sandy Park, a fixture in which they found themselves undone last season. They were too much for the men in blue this time around however, and now sit just a solitary point below Saracens at the top of the table. Key performers were Dave Ewers (44), Jack Yeandle (43), and Jonny Hill (34).
Leicester and Sale battled out the last fixture of the weekend, with the hosts ending a stale game as victors, 19 points to 15. The late withdrawal of AJ MacGinty before kick off will certainly have hurt Sale who with three tries to Leicester's single score might have felt they deserved more from the game. The key players in this fixture were Rob Webber (41), Will John (40), and Jono Ross (40).
Alex Goode was undoubtedly the star of the weekend; 213 metres run, three try assists and a try to himself contributed to a fantastic 76 point haul. Given that he is again likely to be overlooked for international duty, he is a gem for any fantasy coach.
Having achieved their try bonus point before half time, Saracens still pressed on in the second half of their fixture against Bath, setting a high standard of play and putting down a strong marker as tournament favourites even at this early stage. They achieved a score of 517 points, though Newcastle were hot on their heels with 471 points. At the other end of the scale were Wasps and Worcester with 341 and 270 respectively.
Key Value Player
After his marauding run through the heart of the Wasps defence, it is no surprise to see twenty-three year old Adam Brocklebank feature as the star value performer. His score of 61 points was helped enormously by his 46 metres run, and at £164k, he presents remarkably good value for the fantasy coach.
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; Jono Ross (+13.2%), Will John (+12.8%), Sione Kalamafoni (+11.3%) and George Ford (+7.5%).