Now that the dust has settled after Round Fourteen of Super Rugby, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.
The Brumbies, Waratahs, Crusaders and Lions feature heavily in our line-up after their impressive victories. Read on to see who made the cut and be sure to comment below.
Team of the Week: Round 14
15 Aiden Toua (Brumbies): Was devastating on attack during his side’s impressive victory over the Sunwolves in Canberra. Toua crossed the gainline at will and made an incredible 156 metres on attack, from two clean breaks with three defenders beaten and also managed an offload.
14 Nigel Ah Wong (Brumbies): Another Brumby who enjoyed his outing against the Sunwolves and was rewarded with two tries for his efforts. Ah Wong gained 68 metres and, just like Toua, made two clean breaks with three defenders and included an offload. Edges out Rebels flyer Sefanaia Naivalu.
13 Israel Folau (Waratahs): The Wallaby full-back continues to impress in the number 13 jersey for the Sydneysiders and finished with a brace of tries in their win over the Chiefs. Folau was arguably the player of the round after gaining 156 metres on attack with five clean breaks, five defenders and three offloads.
12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions): The young midfielder returned to the Lions’ side and scored two tries in their impressive triumph over the Bulls in Pretoria. Janse van Rensburg always looked dangerous on attack and gained 112 metres with four clean breaks and two defenders beaten. Reece Hodge of the Rebels also impressed.
11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders): Returned to action from suspension and hit the ground running in a hard-fought win against a determined Blues side in Auckland. Nadolo crossed for a try from 56 metres gained on attack with two clean breaks, three defenders beaten and four offloads.
10 Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders): The young pivot finished well after a shaky start in his side’s win over the Blues. Mo’unga was at the forefront of his side’s comeback and finished with a 16-point haul from four penalties and two conversions. Also caught the eye on defence with eight tackles and edges out Bernard Foley of the Waratahs and Lima Sopoaga of the Highlanders.
9 Faf de Klerk (Lions): The diminutive number nine played a starring role during his side’s thrashing of the Bulls. De Klerk gained 72 metres on attack from four clean breaks with two defenders beaten and crossed for one of his side’s seven tries. Beats out TJ Perenara of the Hurricanes,
8 Kieran Read (Crusaders): The All Black captain has been in fine form all season and this weekend was no exception as he was at the forefront when the Crusaders put the Blues to the sword in Auckland. Read won four line-outs, three turnovers, had ten carries and also finished with a try assist.
7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs): The Wallaby tearaway was back to his best in his side’s victory over the Chiefs in Sydney. The Waratahs skipper scored two tries and managed an assist while making 50 metres proving himself a real handful to the Chiefs defence. Is preferred to Ardie Savea of the Hurricanes.
6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers): The Stormers were not so convincing against the Cheetahs on Saturday but the versatile back-row stamped his authority on that match with an impressive performance. Kolisi finished with seven tackle, made 71 running metres from eight carries and beat five defenders earning him the Man-of-the-Match award.
5 JC Astle (Kings): The Kings’ victory over the Jaguares in Port Elizabeth did not come without some hard graft and Astle was at the centre of it. Astle won seven line-outs, proved to be defensively resolute as he made eight tackles and also did his bit on attack with two carries. Beats out the Stormers’ Pieter-Steph du Toit.
4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers): Lets forget about the giant’s scrap with Springbok team-mate Lood De Jager over the weekend. When concentrating on his game, Etzebeth was spectacular in the line-outs as he won eight on his own throw and also stole a Cheetahs line-out. His loose play was also something to behold as he made seven carries, 11 tackles and won two turnovers.
3 Ruan Smith (Brumbies): The hard-working front-row impressed during the two-time champions’ demolition of the Sunwolves in Canberra. Smith was solid in the scrums, made five carries, but also found the time and energy to make 14 tackles and won a turnover for his side.
2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies): The Brumbies captain played a leading role against the Sunwolves, and scored a brace of tries which makes him the tied top try-scorer of the game with team-mate Ah Wong. The Wallabies’ first-choice hooker also made a clean break and ran 29 metres.
1 Reg Goodes (Hurricanes): The Hurricanes front-row had a blinder in his side’s memorable win over the Highlanders delivering a busy shift up front. Goodes proved to be a machine on defence as he made 18 tackles and stood his man in the scrums.