Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: March 7 2016

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Now that the dust has settled after Round Two of Super Rugby, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.

The Lions stole the show with their win over the Chiefs in Hamilton as eight matches took place over the course of Friday and Saturday.

Let's see who made the cut.

Super Rugby Team of the Week, Round 2

15 Santiago Cordero (Jaguares): Moved to 15 in the absence of Joaquín Tuculet and Cordero looked good, very good indeed. His superb pace secured the Jaguares' second try after they attacked out of their own 22 and he was solid under the high ball. He also the Jaguares' top carrier in Durban with 12 and typifies their ethos. Gets the nod over an improved Israel Folau and Warrick Gelant.

14 Bjorn Basson (Bulls): Not a perfect performance from the former Springbok but Basson's finishing remains a lethal weapon for the Bulls, as he showed with a hat-trick against the Rebels. In ahead of Henry Speight.

13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders)Destructive on both sides of the ball, this was a vintage performance from Fekitoa as he tore the Hurricanes defence open. Unfortunate to not be awarded a try when he grounded the ball on the post. Lionel Mapoe misses out.

12 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)Phenomenal carrying in the derby against the Waratahs, crossing the gain line 11 times on 16 runs as Kuridrani found gaps and bounced off tacklers.

11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders): Matt Duffie is still flying through the air somewhere. Nadolo responded after a quiet game in Round 1 with an inspired outing for the Crusaders in their win over the Blues. Went past seven defenders on 13 runs.

10 Elton Jantjies (Lions)Came of age in Hamilton with the type of performance that will catch the attention of the Springboks. Scoring 16 points off the tee was important, but it was Jantjies' runs at the defence which caused plenty of damage too as he finished with an assist. Takes the spot instead of Christian Lealiifano and Richie Mo'unga.

9 Faf de Klerk (Lions)Like his half-back partner delivered the kind of display that suggests he's destined to play rugby at a higher level. Plenty of telling runs from the nippy number nine along with an assist.  Too good for the Rebels' Ben Meehan.

8 Warren Whiteley (Lions)Kieran Read came close after his try-scoring effort against the Blues but we have to go with the Lions skipper, who not only leads the Lions exceptionally well but impresses as a player. Two lineout steals to go with a try and a number of carries and tackles.

7 Matt Hodgson (Force): Nothing about Saturday's Australian derby was pretty but Hodgson won't care, as the Force captain got stuck in with ten runs, three turnovers and 12 tackles. In ahead of Marcell Coetzee.

6 Sean McMahon (Rebels)His efforts were completely in vain after the Rebels' thrashing at Loftus but McMahon's 13 runs and 17 tackles deserve recognition as he stood tall in defeat.

5 Mark Abbott (Hurricanes)Another to miss out on the win but Abbott went well in the Hurricanes' one-point loss to the Highlanders, with plenty of big runs, 12 in total, and four lineout takes. Pieter-Steph du Toit  was also excellent.

4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)Man of the Match in Bloemfontein and Etzebeth has started the season on fire, looking as physical as ever with some extra subtle touch added to his game. Nine takes and three steals at the lineout were backed up by 12 carries and nine tackles.

3 Owen Franks (Crusaders)Demolition time at the scrum for the Crusaders and their All Blacks tighthead seemed to love every second of it. Carried well too with a total of seven runs. Sneaks in ahead of Marcel van der Merwe whose offload for Travis Ismaiel's try was very special.

2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls)Arguably his best performance since moving to Loftus, the Springbok number two hit his targets 11 times at the lineout, making 11 tackles and nine runs to boot. Contenders were Stephen Moore and Malcom Marx.

1 Dylan Smith (Lions)Very impressive showing from the 22-year-old as he took apart Chiefs tighthead Hiroshi Yamashita.

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