Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hail the stars of Super Rugby, Round 3.
Now that the dust has settled in the south, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hand out some praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round 3.
There were some notable performances put in over this past weekend, not least from a certain hat-trick-scoring 'Canes debutante TJ Perenara. Elsewhere, Gareth Anscombe repaid the faith shown in him by Pat Lam as the Blues did a job on the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. Both are included.
In other stand-out results, the 'Canes continued to prove the pre-season doubters wrong while the Chiefs claimed the scalp of the Crusaders.
So without further ado, here comes our offering – be sure to send in your own 15-1 team line-ups.
Team of Round 3
15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes) – He is keeping Cory Jane out of the number fifteen jersey in Wellington and on his most recent showing, the reason why becomes apparent. Taylor cut the line superbly for the 'Canes and was worthy of his try against the Force. Jaco Taute came desperately close for our opening selection mind you as he was again excellent in Lions colours.
14 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs) – Those on the other side of the world to Canberra who were brave enough to set your alarm for Saturday's early fixture will have noticed a free-running performance from a certain Cheetah. Yes, the Brumbies' wide defence was non-existent at times but Le Roux spotted that and capitalised on numerous occasions. We know he wore 11 in Australia but with only a decent effort from Kade Poki pushing him, we found a spot.
13 Andrew Smith (Brumbies) – With nine go-forwards to his name, the statistics have put Smith at the top of our pile at number 13. While we were again impressed by Tamati Ellison while Conrad Smith and JP Pietersen also went well for the Highlanders, Hurricanes and Sharks respectively, Smith added a great deal the Brumbies midfield outside Christian Lealiifano. If Jake White can keep Matt Toomua and these two in top form, wins will come.
12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs) – Our first of four representatives from the Chiefs is centre Williams, who came back to haunt his former employers. Boxing part-timer Williams landed a few body blows as he ran through the heart of the 'Saders, mainly Tyler Bleyendaal.
11 Bjorn Basson (Bulls) – He is looking threatening again is the former Griquas wing and two tries for the Bulls showed what searing pace he has. It wouldn't be a surprise if he was knocking on the door of the Boks under new coach Heyneke Meyer if he can keep this up.
10 Gareth Anscombe (Blues) – Thrown in at the deep-end somewhat in the cauldron that is Loftus, but you would not think it from the former U20 fly-half as he scored two tries and kicked seven goals for all of his side's points. It has been a great week for the Anscombe family after father, Mark, was confirmed as the new head coach at Ulster from 2012/13.
9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes) – And so we come to the easiest call. What an effort on his first start for the 'Canes. Three tries, if a touch fortuitous, for Perenara but no one can argue he wasn't in the right spot at the right time. Perenara and Beauden Barrett are going strong.
8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes) – Tough on Pierre Spies that he misses the cut following his best performance of the season for the Bulls in which he scored. However, Vito was superb for Super Rugby's surprise package as he made ten tackles, took six line-outs and ran well.
7 Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs) – It was difficult to leave out John Hardie, who did his utmost to keep hold of his jersey on PR from Round 2. He was superb for the Highlanders and deserved his try, but for Brussow being a constant thorn in the side of the Brumbies we go for the pocket-sized flank. Someone who deserves a huge mention is Rebels openside Tom Chamberlain as he continues to get through a tower of work for the Melbourne outfit.
6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders) – New Zealand have to find a starting spot for Thomson. He has been his franchise's go-to-man at the line-out and grabbed ten claims against the Waratahs and made nine runs and ten tackles. It sounds harsh to look at the positive side of an injury, but it's lucky for the ABs that Jerome Kaino's issue is cushioned by Thomson.
5 Nathan Sharpe (Western Force) – Calls for Jason Eaton to be included were considered as he has been strong so far in 2012. But we go for the lock who played his 150th Super Rugby game on Friday. Sharpe was immense as he carried, took line-outs and tackled well.
4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) – Dave Rennie has himself two high-class locks. Alongside Retallick is Craig Clarke, who was strong again, but Retallick was a workhorse as the duo got the better of Tom Donnelly and Luke Romano. Surprising that he is still only 20.
3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs) – Another youngster making noise is 20-year-old Tameifuna. Weighing in at 138kg – if we're to believe player's recorded weights these days – Tameifuna is forming quite a partnership with his uncle, Sona Taumololo. Don't mess with that family.
2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies) – Bismarck du Plessis was a strong challenger after being his usual industrious self for the Sharks. However, Moore had a good day as he carried well and was strong in the set-piece. A mention too for Highlanders hooker Andrew Hore.
1 Sona Taumololo (Chiefs) – Do Tonga possess the two best loosehead props in world rugby? Soane Tonga'uiha has been immense for Northampton these past few years while Taumololo keeps on doing the business for the Chiefs. His try against the Crusaders was typical Taumololo in a top effort from the man, with Rennie having a real gem at number 1.
Compiled by Adam Kyriacou – Twitter: @PlanetRugbyAK