Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: February 25 2014

Now that the dust has settled over in the southern hemisphere, it's time to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby.

Now that the dust has settled over in the southern hemisphere, we thought it was only right to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round Two.

With the Aussie and Kiwi teams entering the fray, there were plenty of candidates to consider from Friday until Sunday.

Two big upsets stand out, so there should be no surprise to see a few Lions and Highlanders in our selection.

Super Rugby Team of the week: Round Two

15 Israel Folau Waratahs: The code-hopper started the new season where he left off in 2013. Folau was superb in the Waratahs' demolition of the Western Force in Sydney. He made 114 metres on attack, beat four defenders and scored a hat-trick of tries. Comes in ahead of the Sharks' SP Marais, who impressed in his side's victory over the Hurricanes and Aidan Tou, who was in fine form for the Reds against the Brumbies in Canberra.

14 Lachie Turner Reds: Was the best of a crop of Australian wings and comes into our side ahead of the Waratahs' Alofa Alofa and the Brumbies' Henry Speight, who also impressed for their respective teams. Turner made a memorable debut for the men from Brisbane, scoring a try and always looked for work.

13 Malakai Fekitoa Highlanders: Went head-to-head with several of his Auckland ITM Cup team-mates and came out victorious in his side's triumph over the Blues. Fekitoa made his mark with a fine individual try and gained 83 metres. Just edges out the Chiefs' Robbie Fruean, who made a try-scoring return to Christchurch in the champions' win over the Crusaders.

12 Francis Saili Blues: A try to start the season and three defenders beaten, Saili is set for a big year as he pushes for a spot in the All Blacks starting XV. A mention too for Kurtley Beale, who scored for the Waratahs and Frans Steyn who is imposing himself for the Sharks.

11 Lwazi Mvovo Sharks: Another hard-working effort saw the Springbok speedster being rewarded with his second try in as many weeks. Put in a busy shift on attack, against the Hurricanes, and made 117 metres in the process.

10 Marnitz Boshoff Lions: Delivered another faultless goalkicking display in his side's win over the Stormers, scoring 29 points in the process. Boshoff also did his bit on defence with eight tackles and beats out Quade Cooper.

9 Will Genia Reds: Showed once again why is widely regarded as the world's best scrum-half. Did his basics well and combined brilliantly with Cooper in unleashing the Reds' backs. A mention too for the Lions' Faf de Klerk, who shared the man-of-the-match award with Boshoff in Johannesburg.

8 Warren Whiteley Lions: The Stormers had the bulk of the territory and possession but failed to make an impact largely due to Whiteley's superb effort on defence. The Lions skipper led from the front with 19 tackles and keeps out Waratahs stalwart Wycliff Palu, who carried well against the Western Force.

7 Jaco Kriel Lions: Wasn't far behind Whiteley in the tackling department with 15 hits against the Stormers but also impressed with his linking play with the backs. Blues captain Luke Braid also deserves a mention after a big effort in a losing cause against the Highlanders.

6 Lappies Labuschagne Cheetahs: On a wet night in Bloemfontein, defence was the name of the game and Labuschagne worked tirelessly, making 17 hits. Mentions too for Liam Messam and Steve Luatua.

5 Kane Douglas Waratahs: Scored a try against the Force but it was in the tight exchanges where he's worth came through. Put his body on the line on defence with eight tackles made and won a handful of line-outs. Beats out Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs.

4 Sam Whitelock Crusaders: Seemed to get better as the game progressed against the Chiefs and was rewarded for his efforts with a great try from a line-out.

3 Chris King Highlanders : A big shift from the Highlanders tighthead, who made a whopping 15 tackles against the Blues.

2 Bismarck du Plessis Sharks: Seems to be thriving in his new leadership role at the Sharks and delivered a solid effort – especially with his core duties – in the win over the Hurricanes in Durban. Scarra Ntubeni and Stephen Moore were also prominent in losing causes for the Stormers and Brumbies respectively.

1 James Slipper Reds: The Reds' top tackler in the win over the Brumbies with 11 hits, Slipper got through plenty of work. A mention too for Beast Mtawarira for his contribution to the dominant Sharks scrum.