Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: July 18 2016

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Now that the dust has settled after Round 17 of Super Rugby, we have sat down and selected the players that stood out over the weekend.

Super Rugby: Team of Round 17

15 Ben Smith (Highlanders): Mr Consistent stood up well against for the Highlanders as his side beat the Chiefs in Dunedin. He made 83 metres with ball in hand and was his usual solid self in the air, one take in particular on his own line standing out.

14 Waisake Naholo (Highlanders): Strong yet again from the All Black wing as he frightens the life out of opposition in this kind of form. Made 13 carries and beat 6 defenders, scoring a wonderful try on the right that saw him take the airborne route.

13 Huw Jones (Stormers): What a performance from the young Scot as he scored four tries and caused the Kings problems throughout the game on Saturday. He has already had a taste of international rugby this June and on this kind of form expect plenty more caps in the future. For now though he will be looking to carry this form into the weekend's match against the Chiefs.

12 Piers Francis (Blues): Assured again at inside centre for the Blues. Scored a lovely try against the Waratahs as he had Nick Phipps in a spin before dotting down. But it was his organisation and game management that impressed alongside Ihaia West.

11 Leolin Zas (Stormers): The Stormers flyer was one of his side's heroes in their win over the Kings and crossed for a hat-trick of tries at Newlands. Zas was a constant threat on attack, gaining 110 metres thanks to five clean breaks with five defenders beaten. Beats out the Lions' Anthony Volmink who scored a double against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders): Tough to leave out Beauden Barrett after another impressive showing for the Hurricanes but we've gone for Sopoaga, who got the better of Aaron Cruden's Chiefs in Dunedin. He was strong in both defence and attack as the Highlanders played like the champion side they are last Saturday. Sopoaga needs another big game in Canberra this week.

9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes): Before the battle between New Zealand's number and two half-backs in Dunedin that Aaron Smith won against Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Perenara made a statement to the All Black selectors with an excellent performance that saw him rewarded with a try.

8 Facundo Isa (Jaguares) : Enhanced his growing reputation with another superb performance in his side's win over the Lions. Isa was a constant threat on attack and scored a try after gaining 100 metres from three clean breaks and beating 10 defenders.

7 Sam Cane (Chiefs): Led from the front during his side's defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin. Cane was a willing carrier, winning 42 metres from a clean break with four defenders beaten and two offloads. Also impressed in defence with 10 tackles and won a turnover. Edges out Rebels tearaway Jordy Reid.

6 Sean McMahon (Rebels): Another impressive effort from one of the Rebels' best players of 2016. McMahon proved a handful for the Reds and was rewarded with a brace of tries for his efforts after a superb all-round display in which he gained 97 metres from three clean breaks with five defenders beaten. Also made five tackles and won a crucial turnover.

5 Ruan Botha (Sharks) : Made a rare start in his side's win over the Sunwolves but gave a good account of himself. Botha did his core duties well and carried strongly, winning 16 metres but it was in defence that he made his biggest impact with 13 tackles made.

4 Rory Arnold (Brumbies): The Wallaby was in fine form as the Brumbies put the Force to the sword in Canberra. Arnold did his bit with ball in hand, gaining 47 metres from one clean break, with one defender beaten and two offloads but also did well in defence with six tackles. Patrick Tuipulotu of the Blues deserves a mention after his shift against the 'Tahs.

3 Ramiro Herrera (Jaguares): A dominant scrumming performance from him as the Jaguares enjoyed their day at the coalface on Saturday. The Lions were holding on at the set-piece for dear life and despite being substituted early, Herrera's work didn't go unnoticed.

2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes): The Hurricanes skipper was his usual busy self as his side stunned the Crusaders in Christchurch. Coles was impressive on attack, winning 28 metres from one clean break with one defender beaten and an offload, but also caught the eye with impressive leadership and made five tackles.

1 Toby Smith (Rebels): A strong carrying game from the Rebels loosehead as he got his side over the advantage line plenty of times against the Reds. He edges out Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro of the Jaguares who was part of a strong scrummaging unit that beat the Lions.

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