Now that the dust has settled in the south, we thought it only right to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round Four.
Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, we thought it only right to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round Four.
So without further ado, herewith our selection.
Super Rugby: Team of Round Four
15 Jurgens Visser(Bulls) – Is growing in stature as the Bulls' new number 15 and did well in their win over the Blues at Loftus Versfeld. Visser was brave under the high ball and was dangerous with ball in hand, winning 100 metres in the process. Comes in ahead of Jesse Mogg and Jayden Hayward who did well for the Brumbies and Western Force respectively.
14 Rod Davies(Reds) – Returned to action after a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury but the “Rocket Man” certainly hasn't lost any of his speed and proved a handful for the Cheetahs' defence. Was rewarded for his efforts with a well-taken try and made 103 metres on attack.
13 Chris Feauai-Sautia(Reds) – The 20-year-old was a revelation in his side's superb performance against the Cheetahs in Brisbane. Feauai-Sautia scored a brace of tries and was cruelly denied a third by Rayno Benjamin. Beats out Jean de Villiers who did well for the Stormers in a losing cause against the Crusaders.
12 Pat McCabe(Brumbies) – Was the pick of the Canberra-based outfit's players in their victory over the Hurricanes in Wellington. McCabe seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, gaining 101 metres on attack and having a hand in Lachlan McCaffrey's try.
11 Lwazi Mvovo(Sharks) – The Springbok flyer didn't get his name on the scoresheet but was always busy on attack with 73 metres gained and four defenders beaten. Also set up a try for Paul Jordaan and beats out the Western Force's Nic Cummins.
10 Frans Steyn(Sharks) – Was a late replacement for Patrick Lambie but the men from Durban hardly missed there regular number 10 as Steyn delivered a commanding all-round display. Steyn was superb and delivered a perfect goal-kicking performance, scoring 17 points in the process. Mentions for the Bulls' Jacques-Louis Potgieter and Quade Cooper of the Reds, who were influential for their sides.
9 Alby Mathewson(Western Foce) Got the ball rolling for the Force with a fine piece of individual skill in scoring their opening try in the victory over the Rebels in Perth. Mathewson varied his play intelligently and did well to bring his other players into the game in a memorable win for the Force.
8 Kieran Read(Crusaders) – After a below-par effort in his return last weekend, the 2013 World Player of the Year was close to his best in his side's win over the Stormers. Did well as a ball-carrier, gaining 46 metres but also impressed with his captaincy and on defence. Ryan Kankowski also impressed for the Sharks, especially at line-out time.
7 Matt Hodgson(Western Force) – The Force captain got through heaps of work in his 100th match for the Perth-based franchise and was rewarded with his side's first victory. Hodgson was superb on defence, with an incredible 22 tackles and just edges out the Cheetahs' Boom Prinsloo.
6 Schalk Burger(Stormers) – Proved his detractors wrong with a dominant display in his side's narrow loss to the Crusaders in Christchurch. Burger turned back the clock with an energetic attacking display and led the Cape Town-based franchise's defensive effort with 16 tackles.
5 Victor Matfield(Bulls) – It was only a matter of time before Matfield made our team and he deserves his inclusion after a sterling effort – his best since his return to the game – against the Blues. Was dominant in the line-outs, with seven takes, but the 36-year-old also did well on defence with seven hits. His leadership is an added bonus for the three-times champions.
4 Sam Whitelock(Crusaders) – The All Blacks enforcer was superb in his side's victory over the Stormers, especially at the coalface of the forward effort. Whitelock's high work-rate and defensive effort – nine tackles made – beats out James Horwill who did well for the Reds.
3 Kieran Longbottom(Western Force) – Was solid in the scrums against the Rebels, proved a willing ball-carrier and also did well on defence with eight tackles.
2 James Hanson (Reds) – Made his first start of the season and certainly delivered the goods. Hanson was a willing ball-carrier against the Cheetahs and was rewarded for his efforts with a fantastic try. A mention too for Sharks skipper Bismarck du Plessis.
1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders) – His experience showed in the scrums as the Crusaders held their own against the Stormers. Crockett also did his bit on defence with six hits. A mention for the Brumbies' Scott Sio