Super Rugby Dream Team

Super Rugby Dream Team

This weekend sees the last round of the regular Super Rugby season before the finals kick off.

So as we head into the Grand Final weekend on TheBench, let’s take a look at what the perfect team would look like.

For starters, if you have Boom Prinsloo you are probably well on your way to a maiden title. He is the first player to ever crack 100 points (we know it’s only the first season but shhhhh)! He is a massive 28 points ahead of the next best player. A big part of his dominance was his ability to sniff a try finishing equal second behind only TJ Perenara.

The backrow was the position to pick as the top three players were all back rowers – Prinsloo, Ardie Savea and David Pocock.

TJ Perenara dominated from half back scoring the most tries in Super Rugby (10).


Super Rugby Dream Team after 17 Rounds

# Player Club Tries Workhorse Total Points
1. Ben Alexander Brumbies 3 16
2. Dane Cole Hurricanes 2 19
3. Reg Goodes Hurricanes 3 1 21
4. James Broadhurst Hurricanes 5 27
5. Luke Jones Rebels 1 5 31
6. David Pocock Brumbies 7 6 68
7. Boom Prinsloo Cheetahs 8 11 100
8. Ardie Savea Hurricanes 3 9 72
9. TJ Perenara Hurricanes 10 60
10. Dillyn Leyds Stormers 6 40
11. Taqele Naiyaravoro Waratahs 8 47
12. Francois Venter Cheetahs 7 38
13. Samu Kerevi Reds 6 42
14. Nemani Nadalo Crusaders 7 53
15. Israel Folau Waratahs 5 48


We hope you’re enjoying the inaugural season of Super Rugby on TheBench.

Team of the Year so far…

Top Players on TheBench

After ten rounds of the 2015 season it’s time to take stock and look at the top players of 2015 so far on TheBench.


TheBench Classic

In the most popular version of the game, our 9-a-side Classic, it’s the tall boppers in the ruck leading the way. They currently hold the top six overall scores with Todd Goldstein (480) ahead of Aaron Sandilands (467), Shane Mumford (440), Sam Jacobs (439), Stefan Martin (410) and Mike Pyke (371).

Position Player Club Score after Rd 10
Forward #1 Josh Kennedy West Coast 261
Forward #2 Jeromy Cameron GWS 209
Forward #3 Eddie Betts Adelaide 202
Midfielder #1 David Armitage St Kilda 319
Midfielder #2 Nathan Fyfe Fremantle 315
Midfielder #3 Daniel Hannebery Sydney 313
Ruckman Todd Goldstein North Melbourne 480
Tackler Matthew Priddis West Coast 365


TheBench Full Field

The full field version of our game brings the ruckmen back to the pack.

The leading scorer after 10 rounds is Nathan Fyfe, which is a great reflection of just how damn well he’s going. He is among six player who have broken the magical 1,000 point mark so far this season.

Position Player Club Score after Rd 10
Full Forward  Josh Kennedy  West Coast  953
Forward #1  Jack Gunston  Hawthorn  959
Forward #2  Buddy Franklin  Sydney  917
Forward #3  Taylor Walker  Adelaide  870
Forward #4  Jack Riewoldt  Richmond  859
Half Forward  Luke Dahlhaus  Footscray  1,008
Ruckman  Stefan Martin  Brisbane  1,057
Midfielder #1  Nathan Fyfe  Fremantle  1,109
Midfielder #2  Patrick Dangerfield  Adelaide  1,083
Midfielder #3  Dustin Martin  Richmond  1,015
Midfielder #4  Luke Parker  Sydney  996
Midfielder #5  Robert Gray  Port Adelaide  953
Half Back  Dyson Heppell  Essendon  1,062
Defender #1  Sam Mitchell  Hawthorn  928
Defender #2  Corey Enright  Geelong  898
Defender #3  Heath Shaw GWS  867
Defender #4  Tom Bell  Carlton  863
Full Back  Tom McDonald  Melbourne  843

Super Rugby Dream Team

Super Rugby Dream Team

Ten rounds into the Super Rugby competition it’s time to assess who the top players are so far.

The three top players so far are all back rowers which shows the dominance of the workhorses tackling each and every week.

The Hurricanes’ Brad Shields leads the way overall. The blonde bearded warrior has completed 92 tackles so far in ten rounds at an average of 10.2 per game but trails the overall tackling leader Warren Whitely on 121.

In the backs Waisake Nahalo leads the overall try scoring in the Super Rugby and is also the leading scorer on TheBench scoring 0.9 tries per game.


Super Rugby Dream Team after 10 Rounds

# Player Club Tries Workhorse Total Points
1.  Ben Alexander  Brumbies  3  –  16
2.  Keven Mealamu  Blues  2  –  11
3.  Reg Goodes  Hurriances  1  1  11
4.  Will Skelton  Waratahs  1  2  17
5.  Luke Jones  Rebels  –  3  16
6.  Marcell Coetzee  Sharks  5  1  34
7.  Boom Prinsloo  Cheetahs  4  4  41
8.  Brad Shields  Hurricanes  1  7  47
9.  TJ Perenara  Hurricanes  5  –  31
10.  Bernard Foley  Waratahs  2  –  20
11.  Waisake Nahalo  Highlanders  6  –  34
12.  Malaki Fekitoa  Highlanders  3  –  20
13.  Rob Horne  Waratahs  3  –  19
14.  James Lowe  Chiefs  5  –  31
15.  Nehe Milner-Skudder  Hurricanes  3  –  24


We hope you’re enjoying the inaugural season of Super Rugby on TheBench.

Dancing with the Devil: My first AFL Draft


Sometime late last year I got in touch with a bloke called Ben.

NRLCEO had been floundering for a year or two and hadn’t gained much ground despite the founders paying a group of developers a lot of money to essentially take us backwards. Fantasy Footy sites are a complicated beast.

We got to a position where it was sink or swim for our game. With our passion and product, we felt like we still had something to offer, so we just couldn’t give up. So I got in touch with TheBench website through their standard contact form. I noticed he had an NRL player icon in his website header, but no NRL game. “Could we work together?” I asked.

Ben was interested and after a few long phone calls discussing the intricacies of fantasy sports in each of the codes a partnership was born. AFL and NRL. Side by side.

A couple of precursors need to come into play here. Firstly, I was born to two rugby mad Kiwi parents and grew up in a part of Sydney where Rugby League and Rugby Union dominates the landscape.

I probably couldn’t even tell you my earliest memory of AFL, because it just didn’t feature on my radar. The Sydney Swans just didn’t interest me and even if Tony Lockett signed a Sherrin and plonked it into my hands, I wouldn’t have cracked half a smile. I was much more interested in a slightly bent, torn copy of a Brett Dallas footy card.

Fast forward years of my life where I won’t bore you with the details. I ended up moving to Canberra and marrying a farmer’s daughter. Now the part of the world where she is from is AFL dominated. Quite simply, AFL mad. Sure, the Riverina has brought us some great cricketers and rugby league players, but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the AFL Premiership flag was the Holy Grail. Craved almost more than rain by the hard working farmers.

There was one real problem. The blokes down that way only talk about three things; farming, the weather and AFL. I’m a pretty social guy, so I like to bring value to the conversation where possible and buggered if I knew anything about farming or the weather, so I figured I needed to learn a bit more about this AFL side show.

So my knowledge to this day is a few player names, a flimsy grasp of the rules and a couple of live games under my belt. So after many years and the long road around, that brings me to my very first AFL draft.

We opted for the 18 man squad, 9-a-side each week, basic model that offers the best introduction to AFL Fantasy footy on TheBench.

I tried to asked for tips where and when I could. Turns out a few more people than I first thought are AFL Fantasy Fanatics. Names like Abblett and Swan were thrown around as guns. I knew these names.

I spoke to Ben, the founder of TheBench. Surely his tips are as good as anyone’s. He told me look to the Ruckman to begin with, there aren’t many guns that stand out from the pack.

My brother in law, a mad Hawks supporter offered me names like Rioli, Roughead and Mitchell. But come the draft, I was all on my own.

So onto the draft. One of my mates over in the UK, the General Manager of AFL Europe no less, turned up a day early. So while the rest of us were still analysing who to pick, he was suited up and running off the Wifi of a small café in central London.

The next night all eight participants were keen, on time, and raring to go.

Round one came up and quickly Will Minson and Todd Goldstein went. My first two targets based on Ben’s advice and by all accounts the workhorse type players of TheBench. I quickly snapped up Matthew Leunberger. Sounds more like something I would get from Grill’d on a Friday lunch time, but my research tells me he’s a bit of a gun.

Names like Mumford, Roughead, Ablett, Jacobs and Swan disappear quickly in front of my eyes. It’s just like an NRLCEO draft, in Chinese. The old characters I know and trust are quickly taken away from me.

Round two comes along and my dreams of linking up to my rugby league lineage are shattered when the Hawthorn Ravens snaffle Kieran Jack from me as a tackler. I watch the Dane Tilse with talent of the AFL, Aaron Sandilands, get snapped up and quickly decide on Travis Cloke. My father in law is a Pies fan and I’ve heard this name many times before.

Once we get to round three I just can’t restrain myself. If I’m going to enjoy this, then I need to pick the players that I know, I think to myself. So welcome to Ferret FC Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin. We hope you have a long and profitable season with us.

Now we’re into Round four and my fellow competitors are starting to take their time a bit now. Early picks are done within 60 seconds, now we’re up to two or three minutes per pick. The Internet must be slow over in London, or the GM just wants to be thorough because the Vauxhall Deemans are taking their sweet arse time.

As I Google News Search the name Matt De Boer and nothing sinister appears I add him to the Ferrets rosters. He’s a “Freo Star” and has a Twitter account with 6,500 followers. Enough to convince me.

The next time around I wasn’t so sure of myself, so I quickly text a mate. “Tom Hawkins or Lindsay Thomas?” I ask. Turns out Hawkins is a very safe option at Geelong, so I ask for his signature on the cyber dotted line. He obliges. If I had of known that Thomas was the cooler of the two then I probably would have saddled him up, but the draft can’t wait forever.

Kane Cornes, Dean Cox and Matthew Stokes are the next three to join the club at Ferretville. I’ve been told I’ve got an ageing roster and upon checking Wikipedia, I have to agree. But I’m not building for the future, this is my Premiership window and I’ll use experience where I need it.

At this point a fellow coach proposes a mid-season draft. I take this as a point that he’s losing confidence. I’m still feeling ok.

My next pick is Dayne Zorko – mainly because of the name. It’s awesome. Turns out he’s pretty decent too. I manage to get a Tweet out to tell the world I’m doing my first AFL draft while I wait. No one really cares. The picks are coming slower now…

My next plan was to snaffle Cyril Rioli, but as was any draft things never go to plan. He goes the pick before me so I pick Nick Dal Santo. I find out post draft that a mate of mine thinks this was my worst pick.

The next round snuck up on me and for the first time I was unprepared. Most of the names started looking foreign to me. In the end over the next few rounds I pluck for Jonathan Giles, Tom Lynch and David Armitage.

Being a non AFL fan, when a player I recognised popped up on my list I decided to jump at it. Welcome to the Ferrets Jonathan Brown. I’ve been a long time admirer of Brown as a person for a long time and the guy is a beast.

By this stage the crew became restless. The draft was coming close to an hour and a half and everyone just wanted to nail it. I obliged with quick picks; Andrew Walker, Daniel Giansaracusa and Zach Clarke.

So there you have it. My first ever AFL draft done and dusted. I actually enjoyed myself. I wasn’t as stressed as my AFL draft so I could just sit back and enjoy it.

According to the other coaches I have the ugliest team in the comp. My reply was simply that this isn’t a beauty contest and if I come anything other than last I will consuder it a huge success.

The other coaches really enjoyed the draft. For many of them this was their first draft and I think I have seven new converts already.

So now when the AFL is on the box this year I’ll have a vested interest. Come on Ferret FC!

This post first appeared on NRLCEO.

A new era of Fantasy Super Rugby

Super Rugby

If you’ve ever played fantasy rugby before then you will know that it can get pretty addictive.

Well… You haven’t seen any form of addiction until you’ve played a draft version of fantasy footy.

That’s where we come in.

Over the past ten years we have crafted the hugely popular forms of our game for AFL and NRL, but now you can play Super Rugby too.

Why is the draft the best?

The beauty of a draft version of the game is that when you select a player in your competition, only you can have him. Too often we’ve seen fantasy games where everyone sees the potential of players and every team ends up having Brodie Retallick, Israel Folau and Francois Steyn.

Where is the fun in that?

Whenever Folau scores you have to decided how many other people in your competition have him to decide whether or not it benefits your team greatly.

Not in the draft based version of TheBench. Only you can celebrate. Because only you will have each player.

The best scoring option

The other addictive part of our game is the scoring options. Instead of every team ending up on hundreds and even thousands of points, our game is slightly easier to follow.

Most games will end up with a total of 20-60 points.

When you get down to the last game of the round you know that you need a try and a try assist to defeat your mate.

That brings great excitement and banter!

Here are the default settings for points scored in our game:

Tries = 5 points
Goals = 2 points
Penalty Goals = 3 points
Drop Goals = 3 points
Try Assists = 2 points
Clean Breaks = 1 point
Workhorse = 5 points

So what is a workhorse?

Once again this makes a great differentiator between our game and others. Rugby is a game of equals. There are positions for big guys, small guys, fat guys and skinny guys.

The workhorse brings the big guys into the game.

As forwards don’t score as many tries as the backs, the workhorse allows them to contribute based on their workload.  If any forward can achieve 20 or more tackles and runs combined then they are rewarded 5 points. If they can achieve 40 or more involvements then they are awarded 10 points for a double workhorse.

Join in the fun

It might sound complicated, but it’s a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.

Are you interested? Sign up for free and see what you think.

Want the full experience?

If you want to get the full experience then you can sign up to create a customisable paid League which will allow you to utilise some of the following bonus features:

  • Rolling lockout (the ability to change your team over the weekend in case of injuries)
  • Custom changes to scoring options (want tries to be worth 10 points? Want to remove a scoring option like Clean Breaks all together? You can change it all to suit yourselves)
  • Captains for bonus scoring options (allows you to select a player for bonus points such as double points)
  • The ability to customise your draft order (the site will set your order unless you create a custom league then you can set it up however you like)
  • Export reports on players (for the real stats nerds amongst us)

All this for just $10 per club,

2015 NRL Bye Rounds

(excerpt from NRL CEO, read more here:


We can’t get too hung up on the draw, but it’s always important to have a look at when team’s have the bye.

Firstly so that you can understand how your players will be affected around Origin, but mostly so that you can avoid picking your back-up squad members playing the same week as your stars.

As always with NRLCEO Fantasy Rugby League, the byes can help bring lower teams back to the pack when the representative stars are away and this year Rounds 11 and 14 are the horror rounds with eight teams each having the bye.

Read more here: