Now that the dust has settled after Round One of Super Rugby, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.
Order was more or less restored as the stronger sides rebounded from surprise losses in the opening round, with the Hurricanes going top of the table.
Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round 2
15 Lachie Turner (Reds): Drafted in at the last minute following the Karmichael Hunt scandal, Turner was massive for the Reds at full-back. Perhaps his finest performance since making the move to Queensland, Turner finished off a superb team try and added a conversion and two penalties to round off what was a surprise victory after such a turbulent week.
14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs): A silent assassin, in that Naiyaravoro appeared to do very little before bursting into life with two tries in the second half for the Tahs. The 120kg winger is going to be a real handful, and although his second finish was fairly simple we can overlook his rules clanger that lead a to a yellow card given how impressive he was as he charged through for his first score. He keeps out Henry Speight.
13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders): The breakout star of last year's Super Rugby competition carried on where he left on from where he left off Dunedin, scoring a try as the Highlanders fell to the Crusaders in their first game of the season. A couple of clean breaks and four defenders beaten for the big All Black.
12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs): Sonny Bill Williams was withdrawn at the last minute, forcing a Chiefs backline reshuffle, but SBW was hardly missed as Ngatai shifted to 12 and provided plenty of midfield punch, beating eight Brumbies defenders. A mention too for Ma'a Nonu, who made an impressive comeback with the Hurricanes while Kurtley Beale scored one try and set up another.
11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes): Man of the Match at Loftus, the All Black wing scored what proved to be the winning try with a piece of quick thinking and some of that trademark power. A shout out for Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds, who scored a blistering try against the Blues.
10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs): A tough call to leave out Pat Lambie, who controlled the game well in terrible conditions in Durban, although he missed a few shots at goal. Foley however showed the kind of form that helped the 'Tahs to the title last year, taking the ball to the line with good affect as the defending champs bounced back from a poor start to their campaign with a bonus-point win.
9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes): A good weekend for Aussie scrum-halves with Will Genia and Luke Burgess both having strong games. But a Kiwi is our pick as Perenara did a very good job of providing his team with go-forward ball. Excellent on defence too with 12 tackles made.
8 Stephen Hoiles (Waratahs): The veteran was a late addition to the champions' run-on side, as a replacement for Wycliff Palu, and grabbed his chance with both hands. Hoiles was in fine form, winning 39 metres with two clean breaks, an equal number of defenders beaten, plus an offload and crossed over for a try. Also made nine tackles, won some lineouts and was involved in a great battle with Rebels counterpart Scott Higginbotham. who also deserves a mention.
7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks): The Springbok tearaway helped the Sharks return to the victory trail in atrocious conditions against the Lions with a brilliant all-round effort. Coetzee scored a brace of tries and was prolific on defence with 11 hits and edges out the Reds' Liam Gill.
6 Adam Thomson (Reds): The former All Black made a memorable debut for his new franchise and played a huge role in helping them secure their first win of the season. Was a willing ball carrier, impressed on defence with 14 tackles and a handy option at the back of the lineout. He comes in ahead of Liam Messam of the Chiefs and the Bulls' Lappies Labuschagne.
5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks): Safe lineout ball was all-important at a soggy Kings Park and the Springbok lock secured possession at the set piece a staggering 11 times! It was another good week for Lopeti Timani, who scored once again and came in for praise from Wallabies boss Michael Cheika.
4 Scott Barrett (Crusaders): At just 21-years-old, Beauden Barrett's younger brother could be a star in the making. A try for the Crusaders plus a plenty of effective ball carrying caught the eye. A mention too for the Stormers' Ruan Botha.
3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies): The Brumbies domianted the Chiefs at scrum-time with Alexander more than pulling his weight up against Jamie Mackintosh and Pauliasi Mani. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, as the Chiefs hit back through Aaron Cruden's boot to win in New Plymouth.
2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks): In grim conditions the Sharks relished having their captain back and it showed in the lineout, with the Sharks winning 13/16 throws – not bad considering the unrelenting rain and slippery ball. Du Plessis also made eight tackles and can be expected to give more in the loose in the weeks to come. The Sharks scrum was also very good as well.
1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes): The young loosehead had another strong performance since stepping in for Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen at Loftus, making the most of his opportunity. He looked to be a real handful in the loose and tackled well in Pretoria, with more to come after his standout innings so far.