Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: April 3 2012


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 6.

Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hail the star men of Super Rugby, Round 6.

Wins were sealed by the Highlanders, Cheetahs, Chiefs, Sharks, Force, Crusaders and Stormers in a thrilling couple of days below the equator.

Results see just three points separating the bottom seven on the table while the Stormers, Highlanders and Brumbies top the conferences.

So without further ado, here comes our offering – be sure to send in your own 15-1 team line-ups.

Team of Round 6

15 Ben Smith (Highlanders) – In the first game of the weekend, Smith was a constant threat from the back in Invercargill as he cut lines all day. Two tries went his way but it was how he seemingly glided across the turf that sees him pip Riaan Viljeon and goal-kicking full-back Dave Harvey.

14 Kade Poki (Highlanders) – Having suffered for a long time with a niggling knee injury, it was good to see Poki coming back to something near his best form on Friday. The former Crusader has the ability to beat a man even when space suggests it would be nigh on impossible and is blending well with Smith and Hosea Gear.

13 Nick Cummins (Western Force) – What a wise move it was from Richard Graham to bring in Cummins from wing for their clash with the Reds. Cummins has been restricted somewhat on the touchline and on Saturday we saw just how devastating he can be.

12 Andries Strauss (Cheetahs) – Arguably the toughest selection in our list as few put their hands up except for Strauss, who backed up last week's strong showing with another impressive effort at Westpac Stadium. We are still bemused why the Sharks let him go.

11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes) – We come to the cushion of Hosea Gear's departure from Wellington. Savea has been superb for the 'Canes throughout the early season and once again demonstrated how powerful he is, against the Cheetahs. Unfortunate to lose.

10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) – What can we say about this young man? Once more he directed traffic in a manner beyond his years and then chucked in another play of the week with a fine solo try that saw him beat four tacklers. If he carries on like this then look out DC.

9 Brett Sheehan (Western Force) – As one Australian commentator put it, “Sheehan is getting better with age”. We couldn't agree more. The 32-year-old number nine helped dog out a memorable victory over the Reds and starred from start to finish for his side.

8 Keegan Daniel (Sharks) – He has the whole package. As we all know, this man tackles, runs and leads from the front but against the Brumbies, Daniel stood out in the turnover department. According to our stats he made three along with nine tackles and six carries.

7 Willem Alberts (Sharks) – Alberts is a brute of a man and carried superbly for the Sharks in Canberra. Nailed on starter for South Africa right now as Schalk Burger nurses his knee.

6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders) – First name on the list after his hat-trick. Need I say more?

5 Nathan Sharpe (Western Force) – Despite the end being in sight, Sharpe shows little signs of slowing down as he put in another typically Sharpe-esque performance. Always on hand for a carry and secure in the line-out, the Wagga Wagga lock topped it all off with a try.

4 Steven Sykes (Sharks) – It looks like Sykes is lapping up being back from Leinster and once again slipping into a Sharks jersey. He made ten tackles against the Brumbies but it was his general play around the field that impressed us most. A mention – yet again – for Stormers hard man Eben Etzebeth who continues to outshine lock mate Andries Bekker.

3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies) – Dan Palmer's absence meant that Alexander had to shift from loosehead to tighthead this past week, and to make our XV says plenty of the man. He was tireless again for the Brumbies, putting in eight go-forwards and seven tackles.

2 Tiaan Liebenberg (Stormers) – And so we arrive at the hotly contested hooking position. Chiliboy Ralepelle, Stephen Moore, Adriaan Strauss and also Dane Coles pushed for the jersey but for a hungry performance at Newlands, try-scorer Liebenberg edges the quartet.

1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs) – Up against the Chiefs top try-scorer, Sona Taumalolo, but in truth there was little doubt where our final shirt was headed. Oosthuizen has been a rock for the Cheetahs and after being on the bench a week ago, he returned with a bang.

Compiled by Adam Kyriacou