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My Six Nations Story

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btfi
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My Six Nations Story

Post by btfi » 17 Mar 2019, 12:38

Yesterday was an absolute rollercoaster for me, I was seconds away from winning the Guinness Six Nations fantasy game and wanted document and share my story.

I won’t go into too much detail about the earlier rounds, but I was ranked 56th overall after the first round of games thanks to a captain Blair Kinghorn hattrick. I moved into the top 10 after round 2.

By round 3, I was 5th, and just 15 points behind the overall leader. After Round 4, I was still in 5th, but now chasing a new the leader by 53 points going into the fifth and final round. This was the leaderboard at the beginning of the day:

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I had a chance of winning, but it was going to be tough. It's a pretty volatile game - the current leader was not even in the top 10 at the start of the previous round, so I knew that with a bit of luck, I could do it.

I went to a sports bar in Yorkshire to watch the action unfold. The order of games was Italy v France, followed by Wales v Ireland, and finally England v Scotland.

To get a few ground rules out the way, you can pick a maximum of 4 players per team and you can choose a captain who scores double.

Your bench players’ points are halved EXCEPT your supersub, who will score you triple points (but only if he starts on the bench and subs on).

You get points for tries, conversions and penalties, tackles, metres carried, all the usual stuff you’d expect from a fantasy game. You also get points for your players’ team winning. This is quite a significant number of points.

Here's a points breakdown:

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Six Nations lineups are released 48 hours before the game and there are unlimited transfers per round, so if you’re on the ball, it’s pretty easy to do well. Pick guys that start, pick guys with good fixtures.

A very important point is that you can change the players in your team and change your captain up until their match kicks off. You can’t view other teams’ players until their game has kicked off. Here's an example of what a team looks like midway through the round:

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So I stay in on Friday night to make the perfect team. Every other round I’d captain whoever plays Italy and this had worked out pretty well as they’re the whipping boys of the competition.

But they faced France at home in round 5, who are also not that great. England meanwhile had Scotland at home, so it was sensible to captain an England player. I chose May provisionally, but he would likely be the most popular captain choice. If I was chasing the pack after the first two games, I knew I had the option to change to Daly or Nowell as a ‘differential’ captain that just might secure me top spot.

This was how I lined up:

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The first game goes down and it’s all pretty good so far. I made up a little bit of ground on the teams ahead of me. I didn’t own Huget who was quite highly owned, but I still had 2 England wingers which most other teams around me didn’t. The leaderboard updated and I was up to 4th place. The new leader captained Penaud for France and was storming ahead but I wasn’t too concerned about him, as I knew my England captain could overturn that with a bit of luck.

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The next game kicked off. I expected it to be tight, not too many tries and could go either way. I had Conan as my supersub who could make a real difference with a bit of luck and an Ireland away win.

As it turned out, luck was not on my side at all. A supersub did make a huge difference, but not mine. George North picked up a knock and was subbed off after 8 minutes. This itself is no big deal, I don’t own North. The problem was that he was replaced by Dan Biggar, a popular supersub choice, including being picked by 2 of the top 3. He got a 72 minute run out, with this points tripled for those that chose him as their supersub. Wales went on to win comfortably and Biggar scored 36.8 (x3 = 108.9) compared to my Conan who scored 1.6 (x3 = 4.8).

The rest of my team did fine, but this was really crippling. The leaderboard updates after the game and I was down to 14th:

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I had 4 England players and my captain still to go, but so did everyone else. Even if I got lucky and nailed my captaincy pick, there was no way I could make up 100+ points. I didn’t take a screenshot of the top of the leaderboard at that time and I can’t remember the exact number. But more than 100 points behind the leader meant that this was game over. Just not possible for my 4 England players to make up the ground.

England were 1.08 odds (92.6% implied chance) to win the match and were expected to thrash Scotland. Scotland hadn’t won at Twickenham since 1983, a Scotland victory was just not on the cards.

But with Wales having just won the Grand Slam, maybe, just maybe, England would lack motivation. Either way, I had to do something drastic to get that top spot.

So with 30 minutes to kick off, I pressed the self destruct button. I swapped out May, Nowell, Daly and Vunipola for Graham, McGuigan, Johnson and Watson.

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Everyone was going to be on 4 England plus captain. Nobody would have Scotland players in their starting 15. If England thrashed Scotland like I expected them to, I’d be looking at an overall rank outside the top 500, at a guess.

But each player gets 18 fantasy points for an away win, and 1 point for a home defeat (compared to 12 for a home win, 3 for an away defeat, oh and I should probably mention 4 points for a home draw and 10 for an away draw).

Taking captains into account, if Scotland were to pull off the unthinkable, that should be good enough for me to win it, as long as nobody above me has the same idea.

The game kicks off and I check the top 20 teams. Yep, every single team apart from mine is on 4 England, and almost all have an England captain. There are a few Scots on people’s benches. I don’t think I saw any teams in the top 20 with more than 1 Scot starting.

So 31 minutes down and it’s 31-0 to England. An 80-0 full time scoreline at this rate then. At least it’s over and I don’t have to stress. As an Englishman, I can just sit back and enjoy the match. I have a screenshot of me at 4th earlier in the day and that’s kind of cool.

But after 57 minutes, suddenly we’re looking at a different game. It’s 31-24, and my captain Graham has two tries. 3 minutes later and it’s level. This could be on.

Then the unbelievable happens with 4 minutes to go. My lad Sam Johnson puts Scotland in the lead. Holy shit.

I’m an English guy, in a bar in Yorkshire full of English people. I’m on the table cheering the Scotland try, getting a load of funny looks, and then the bouncer comes over and I almost get kicked out. But I can’t contain myself. If Scotland hold on, I’ve won.

I check the number one team’s points just to make sure, and my team:

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Bear in mind that he was 12th I think at the beginning of the day, I was 5th, and I have a 30 point lead on him just for the week. Start going through 2nd, 3rd, 4th just to make sure and I have more points than them all.

I am looking at “two tickets to 2020 match of [my] choice (+ flights within Europe) and one night hotel accommodation (for 2 people)”. More than that though, it’s just the pride, the achievement, a story to tell the grandkids. I am absolutely ecstatic.

We know what happens next though. England looking like scoring and my eyes are off my phone and back on the game.

Ford scores for England in injury time and then kicks the conversion. The game ends in a draw. I check the top team and his score is higher than mine again. I’ve not won.

The leaderboard updates and I finish 4th. Thanks to the Scotland draw, the gamble didn’t go as badly as I expected it to, but whether I finished 4th or 500th overall, it’s still not 1st place and I'm feeling gutted.

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Huge congratulations to Simon’s Luxembourg Lolly Legs who came out on top.
Last edited by btfi on 17 Mar 2019, 16:30, edited 1 time in total.

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admin
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by admin » 17 Mar 2019, 15:22

Great read. Thanks for sharing. An incredible rugby match just as it was and you had all that going on as well.

raoul
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by raoul » 17 Mar 2019, 15:30

long posts can often be a drag.

This one is fantastic.

Well done and I hope you are having a rather more relaxed Sunday than Saturday.

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unc.si.
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by unc.si. » 17 Mar 2019, 23:19

Unlucky. Nice tactics and so nearly paid off.

well done though - no mean feat to be fighting for the win like that

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trampie
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by trampie » 18 Mar 2019, 13:00

So you lost because you did not pick Dan Biggar ?...………………………...I did not realise you could make changes right up until a team plays after other teams had started the round, I might have won it myself otherwise, lol.
Nice prize, ive won two similar rugby prizes like that in the past and they are well worth winning.

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jimmy ching
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by jimmy ching » 18 Mar 2019, 13:39

Well done.

btfi
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by btfi » 18 Mar 2019, 22:48

trampie wrote:
18 Mar 2019, 13:00
So you lost because you did not pick Dan Biggar ?...………………………...I did not realise you could make changes right up until a team plays after other teams had started the round, I might have won it myself otherwise, lol.
Nice prize, ive won two similar rugby prizes like that in the past and they are well worth winning.
If I'd have picked Biggar, I'd probably have been top 5 still with one game to go, and I wouldn't have gone for the Hail Mary; I'd have gone with May (c), Nowell (alternative c), Nowell and Vunipola, which may or may not have won me the title.

There are just so many variables, so many ifs and buts, so it's really not Dan Biggar that cost me the campaign. It's a collection of decisions made by me, as well as the thousands of other managers playing the game. It's a cumulation of everything that happens on the field and it's far too simple to pin it down to one decision.

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trampie
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by trampie » 19 Mar 2019, 08:12

btfi wrote:
18 Mar 2019, 22:48
trampie wrote:
18 Mar 2019, 13:00
So you lost because you did not pick Dan Biggar ?...………………………...I did not realise you could make changes right up until a team plays after other teams had started the round, I might have won it myself otherwise, lol.
Nice prize, ive won two similar rugby prizes like that in the past and they are well worth winning.
If I'd have picked Biggar, I'd probably have been top 5 still with one game to go, and I wouldn't have gone for the Hail Mary; I'd have gone with May (c), Nowell (alternative c), Nowell and Vunipola, which may or may not have won me the title.

There are just so many variables, so many ifs and buts, so it's really not Dan Biggar that cost me the campaign. It's a collection of decisions made by me, as well as the thousands of other managers playing the game. It's a cumulation of everything that happens on the field and it's far too simple to pin it down to one decision.
Congratulations on playing the competition so well, but Biggar seemed to be an obvious sub pick and not just because he came on early for an injury, he was likely to come on if Wales was struggling or losing earlier than other subs even without injuries and if there was an injury due to lots of Wales players being able to play various positions Biggar was likely to come on even if the person in his position did not get injured, plus he was likely to be goal kicking, he has a longer kicking range than Anscombe, he is a better kicker than Anscombe and Anscombe can be a flakey place kicker so Wales could have taken kicking duties off Anscombe if he started to miss some kicks although that scenario did not happen it could have.
Like I say well done and a good thread on your 'journey' on this competition.

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trampie
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by trampie » 19 Mar 2019, 10:18

I had Kinghorn [hattrick] captain first week but I did not have George North in the team and he scored a brace that week, I did not have May in the team at all for the second week and he scored a hattrick, those two players in those rounds is where I see any chance I had was lost although I had a top 20 finish.

btfi
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Re: My Six Nations Story

Post by btfi » 19 Mar 2019, 23:04

trampie wrote:
19 Mar 2019, 10:18
I had Kinghorn [hattrick] captain first week but I did not have George North in the team and he scored a brace that week, I did not have May in the team at all for the second week and he scored a hattrick, those two players in those rounds is where I see any chance I had was lost although I had a top 20 finish.
Just spotted you on the leaderboard. Nice finish!

I also did not have May at all for his hattrick, nor did I have North in week 1. So many variables, so many ifs and buts. But in the end, they all add up.

And I just checked... neither did the overall winner.

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