THE SIX NATIONS is the most wonderful time of the rugby year for many supporters, and very often part of the enjoyment is handing a beating to your friends in fantasy rugby.
Does Sexton make your squad despite missing the first game? Source: James Crombie/INPHO
There are always nagging complaints at the end of the tournament, however, as the beaten fantasy managers claim a points scoring system accounting only for kicks, tries and assists doesn’t accurately allow their rugby knowledge to come to the fore.
It’s a sentiment the creators of the new Fantasy Rugger website have long agreed with and their motivation for setting up a fantasy rugby competition that allocates points within a more in-depth scoring system.
“Other leagues just award the tries and assists,” says Michael Storan, one of the men behind Fantasy Rugger.
“Jamie Roberts could make a linebreak, beat three defenders and offload to George North, but North would run in and get the five points for the try. We started looking at it in the summer and we got the stats together to reward all the major actions in the game.
“We did quite a lot of work, ran regression analyses, and got stats people in to see how important each one of these things is to the game. How important is it that a turnover happens? How important is a missed tackle? There’s all that stuff behind it.”
Fantasy Rugger brings statistics such as clean breaks, offloads, metres gained, lineouts won, lineouts stolen and penalty concessions into the mix, aiming to provide a far more comprehensive view of each player’s performance.
The scoring system for Fantasy Rugger. Source: Fantasy Rugger
That in turn should mean the shrewder fantasy rugby manager earning additional points, while the need to pick players in specific positions also adds to the level of realism. No longer can we simply select eight back rows and seven wings.
Storan, along with his brother Bart [the “technical whizz”] and Dave Walker [whose background is in online marketing], has been getting “really good feedback” on the website so far.
A number of professional rugby players, including Ian Madigan, Jordi Murphy and Jason Harris-Wright, have signed up to play too, lending Fantasy Rugger some notable testimonials.