Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: April 11 2016

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

The Chiefs' win over the Blues and the Reds holding off the Highlanders played a part in our selection this week which sees nine New Zealanders, three South Africans and three Australians making our XV.

Super Rugby Team of the Week, Round 7

15 SP Marais (Bulls): The former Sharks number 15 was highly motivated in the Bulls' one-sided win against another one of his former sides, the Kings, and finished the match with a brace of tries after gaining 109 metres on attack from 16 runs with one clean break, four denders beaten and six offloads. Edges out Cheslin Kolbe of the Stormers.

14 Rieko Ioane (Blues): Was in superb form in a losing cause against the Chiefs in Hamilton, and was rewarded with a memorable try for his efforts. Ioane was a constant threat on attack, gaining 93 metres from 11 runs with three clean breaks, six defenders beaten and an offload.

13 Samu Kerevi (Reds): What a player Kerevi is on his day. Rampaged around Suncorp Stadium, against the Highlanders, with an outstanding allround display. Kerevi gained an incredible 164 metres with ball in hand from 16 runs, beating eight defenders from five clean breaks and also managed three offloads as well as a try.

12 Jan Serfontein (Bulls): The Springbok played a key part in the Bulls' victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth and posed a constant threat on attack as a playmaker. Serfontein metres, with two clean breaks, two defenders beaten and also scored a try. Edges out the Stormers' Juan de Jongh.

11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes): Answered his critics, who said he was overweight and out of form, in the best way possible by crossing for a hat-trick of tries in the 'Canes victory over the Jaguares. Savea proved difficult to stop, gaining 59 metres from 11 runs with three clean breaks, five defenders beaten and one offload.

10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs): Was in a sublime form as a playmaker in his side's win over the Blues. Cruden pulled the strings in the Chiefs back-line, gaining 36 metres with one clean break, two defenders beaten an offload and scored a deserved try. Beats out the Stormers' Jean-Luc du Plessis and Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders.

9 Brad Weber (Chiefs): Combined brilliantly with Cruden as the Chiefs' playmakers and impressed with his slick service to his outside backs. Weber also caught the eye on attack, winning 38 metres from eight runs with two clean breaks, and also made nine tackles in defence.

8 Liam Squire (Highlanders): Proved a handful at the base of the champions' scrum, winning 34 metres from 10 runs with one clean break but also put his body on the line with seven hits. Ben McCalman of the Force also did well.

7 Liam Gill (Reds): Made a big impact as a ball carrier in his side's win over the Highlanders and scored a deserved try. Gill gained 69 metres with four clean breaks, beating two defenders and managed an offload but also did his bit on defence with nine tackles.

6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)A mention for Stormers tearaway Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who scored two tries against the Sunwolves but Taufua's allround effort against the Force gets him into our side. Scored the matchwinning try after winning 53 metres with two clean breaks, two defenders beaten and two offloads from 1 runs.

5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers): The former Sharks lock was outstanding as a ball carrier for the Stormers, winning 38 metres after completing 11 runs with two defenders beaten and one offload. Also impressed in the line-outs with four clean takes as well as one steal and also did his bit in defence with 13 tackles. Michael Fatialofa of the Hurricanes also impressed.

4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs): Crowned his return to action with a try after a fine showing in the win over the Blues. Retallick was a willing ball carrier, gaining 16 metres from eight runs but also impressed in defence, making 13 hits, and at the line-outs with three balls won and one stolen.

3 Owen Franks (Crusaders): Delivered a superb effort in the scrums against the Force and dominated the set-piece on several occasions. Also shone at his core duties and cleaned out the rucks with great intent.

2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes): Was phenomenal with ball in hand against the Jaguares, gaining 65 metres from 11 runs with two clean breaks, five defenders beaten an offload and scored a deserved try. Comes in ahead of Scarra Ntubeni of the Stormers.

 1 James Slipper (Reds):  Caught the eye with a strong scrummaging effort against the Highlanders but also impressed with his captaincy in a memorable victory. Slipper's leadership helped the Reds to secure their first win of the season.

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