Super Rugby: Team of the Week

Date published: July 25 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Super_Rugby_Team_of_Quarter_Finals

Now that the dust has settled after Super Rugby quarter-finals, we have sat down and selected the players that stood out over the weekend.

Let's see who made the cut.

Super Rugby Team of the Week

15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs): Outstanding once again as he cut loose at Newlands, scoring a try, two assists, seven conversions and two penalties. Ben Smith and Andries Coetzee also impressed but McKenzie was superb on Saturday and his star continues to rise.

14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders): He was the best Crusaders player on the field in Johannesburg, causing the Lions a great deal of problems in his nine runs and four clean breaks. He will be sorely missed year in Canterbury and edges out Ruan Combrinck for this shirt.

13 Lionel Mapoe (Lions): First off, a round of applause to Sam McNicol of the Chiefs who moved in from wing early in the game when Stephen Donald suffered an injury. McNicol, who started ahead of Toni Pulu in a surprise move, silenced any doubters with a brilliant showing that saw him rewarded with a try. However, Mapoe was excellent in attack and defence with his two assists in the second-half vital.

12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions): What a season it has been for the 21-year-old. He looks a calm operator and has been the go-to man for front-foot ball at the Lions. It was no different on Saturday as he carried superbly and also scored a try from close-range.

11 James Lowe (Chiefs): A wonderful player who is surely now set for a call-up to the All Blacks. With Julian Savea named on the Hurricanes' replacements bench, Lowe gave yet another outstanding performance for the Chiefs against the Stormers on Saturday. He set up a try for Brad Weber and then also kicked ahead for his own score. Those two moments were part of 12 runs that had the Stormers in bits.

10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes): 'Canes head coach Chris Boyd said afterwards that Barrett is now performing to a top standard on a consistent basis. He is right as this was another showing of high-class fly-half play from the classy All Black. Barrett mastered the wind and rain in Wellington as he led the 'Canes to a brilliant 41-0 victory over the Sharks. His mixture of tactical kicking was superb.

9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes): A mention for Brad Weber who returned to the Chiefs starting XV with a bang in Cape Town, helping set the tempo for their big win. But Perenara was on a different level in the quarter-finals in one of his best performances of the year. He scored a try and laid on another three scores for his team-mates, as his combination with Barrett looks in red-hot form at the moment.

8 Warren Whiteley (Lions): The presence of the Lions captain made a world of difference to his side. Whiteley has been an inspiration the whole season and this past weekend was no different. The mobile unit got around the park swiftly with ball in hand and organised the breakdown fantastically so the ball is always presented neatly for his scrum-half. He just pips the Chiefs' Tom Sanders and the Highlanders' Liam Squire who each scored a try for their teams.

7 Jaco Kriel (Lions): The openside was an enigma to defend against over the weekend. He has always been an aggressive carrier of the ball but against the Crusaders he made nine carries and beat six defenders in the process. In the overall competition statistics he holds a strong position at fifth for defenders beaten. He didn't forget his scavenger duties either as he collected three loose balls and stole possession on the ground twice.

6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes): The Hurricanes enforcer had a blinder against the hapless Sharks. He gave the Durban side a lesson in tackling as he put in 11 on the day without a single one missed. Shields battered the opposition line into submission making seven carries and scoring a try for his side by spotting a gap close to the whitewash and dived over. Highlanders loose forward Elliot Dixon also gets a shout for an industrious performance against the Brumbies.

5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs): A masterclass from the 2014 World Player of the Year up against the pairing of Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit. Four line-out takes and 11 tackles show how much work he put in, but it's his soft hands in attack that always surprise us. Class player.

4 Vaea Fifita (Hurricanes): This guy looks special. Hitting the afterburners for his try stunned the Sharks defence – in fact it was his first carry of the match – but the way Fifita has slotted into the key slot in the Hurricanes' second-row left by Jeremy Thrush has been a surprise. Also weighed in with eight tackles.

3 Vincent Koch (Stormers): Deserved better than to be on the end of a 60-point thumping. Koch crossed twice for the Stormers in the first-half in his final game for the Cape Town franchise ahead of his move to European champions Saracens.

2 Malcolm Marx (Lions): Has to be given a chance by the Springboks during the Rugby Championship, because Marx is in blistering form for the Super Rugby semi-finalists. Always carries well, with four over the gain-line on Saturday, whilst hitting his targets at the lineout 11 times.

1 Loni Uhila (Hurricanes): "The Bear" is making Super Rugby look easy. Starting again in place of the injured Reggie Goodes, Uhila is becoming a firm favourite with the Wellington crowd. Good work on both sides of the ball, six carries and seven tackles, while more than holding his own in the scrum too.

COMMENTS