Team of the Week: Super Rugby

Date published: March 6 2017

Now the dust has settled after Round Two of Super Rugby we have sat down to select our Team of the Week.

It was a weekend packed full of comebacks and late drama, headlined by the Crusaders and Sharks, while the Hurricanes dominance on the competition continued.

Let's see who made the cut.

Team of the Week: Super Rugby, Round Two

15 Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes): 10 runs for 130 metres from busy Kings full-back Masixole Banda while Andries Coetzee was at his efficient best again for the Lions. However, it had to be Milner-Skudder as he returned to action with a hat-trick in the Hurricanes thrashing of the Rebels.

14 Vince Aso (Hurricanes): What a start to the year it's been from Aso. He has taken his chance on the wing with both hands and was among the tries again over the weekend, grabbing two against the Rebels. Try-scoring Force wing Chance Peni and Highlanders finisher Waisake Naholo, who scored two tries and got an assist, were also impressive, but we go for Aso who gets better and better.

13 Lukanyo Am (Sharks): A complete performance from the Sharks centre as solid defence alongside Andre Esterhuizen helped the visitors get the win in Canberra. Also showed good pace to score the match-winning try late on, gathering Curwin Bosch's nice kick through.

12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions): Brilliant again with his two-try showing against the Waratahs coming just days after he lost his mother to illness. To put in that performance says a lot about the man as he sees off Hurricane Ngani Laumape, who got two crossings against the Rebels, and Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty. Janse van Rensburg is arguably the in-form player in Super Rugby.

11 Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders): Harsh on hat-trick hero for the Reds, Eto Nabuli, after his performance against the Force on Thursday, but Tamanivalu's match-winning try was just one of many things he did well in Dunedin against the Highlanders. Two-try Jaguares wing Santiago Cordero also deserves a mention but we go for the Crusaders finisher, who is settling in on the wing at his new side.

10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs): Cruden contributed 11 points to his team's tally through his boot but what's more contributed 15 points after assisting three tries. One of which was to Anton Lienert-Brown that could be try of the season, after the number ten predicted where the play was going and put himself into a position on the field to give the final pass. Beauden Barrett deserves a mention after adding 12 points to his team's tally as well as two assists.

9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes): The nuggety and creative number nine provided the Rebels with a lot of problems as he ducked and weaved his way through the defence on many an occasion. He assisted two tries, one of which was an incredible spectacle on the wing where him and wing Vince Aso managed to survive three waves Rebels cover defence through some skillful interplay. Lions number nine Ross Cronje scored a try over the weekend while also beat five defenders on the run to deserve a shout on his 50th cap.

8 Warren Whiteley (Lions): The Lions skipper scored a try in the fourth minute to kick start his side's big win over the Waratahs. Whiteley made a crushing run into the Tahs defence to crash over. He also kept his side's momentum constantly going forward through several offloads. Crusaders number eight Whetu Douglas gets a shout for scoring a try against the Highlanders at a pivotal moment in their win.

7 Lachlan Boshier (Chiefs): The Chiefs flanker was tough as nails against the Blues. Boshier was at the bottom of every ruck and made himself a nuisance for the opposition after making 10 tackles and scored a try. Ardie Savea, Jaco Kriel and Andisa Ntsila get mentions for some great performances; Savea for scoring a try and making running 83 metres, Kriel for a try assist and running 86 metres and Ntsila for running 78 metres, beating five defenders and putting in a huge 13 tackles.

6 Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks): The Sharks flanker was monstrous against the Brumbies making a massive 18 tackles to keep the them at bay as he also beat three defenders on the run. Springbok flanker Teboho Mohoje gets a shoutout for scoring a brace against the Bulls. Jaguares flanker Pablo Matera deserves a mention for making 10 tackles and beating three defenders on the run.

5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers)Talismanic again for the Stormers as Du Toit outshone his Springbok team-mate Eben Etzebeth. On attack Du Toit made 13 carries and beat a handful of defenders, but he also stood out at the set-piece with three lineout steals. He also made his presence felt in defence with ten tackles. Sam Whitelock of the Crusaders and Ruan Botha of the Sharks deserve credit.

4 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)Starting the season in great touch for the Chiefs, with a lineout steal and number of big tackles in Friday's win over the Blues as Retallick helped do the hard graft upfront for the Chiefs backs to shine. His playmaking ability never ceases to amaze, setting up a Tim Nanai-Williams break with a fine pass.

3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues)Only on in the second half and on a tough evening for the Blues, but the All Blacks tighthead made some impact. Faumuina scored, made eight runs, beat three defenders and made five tackles after coming on following the half-time interval. He gets the nod ahead of Coenie Oosthuizen of the Sharks.

2 Josh Mann-Rea (Brumbies)Heartbreaking loss for the Brumbies but Mann-Rea was everywhere for the Australian side against the Sharks, more than filling the boots left by Stephen Moore. Mann-Rea made nine runs but crucially an eye-watering 21 tackles, while hitting his targets 15 times at the lineout. Tolu Latu was also excellent for the Waratahs again, while the Cheetahs' Torsten van Jaarsverld deserves credit.

1 Ox Nche (Cheetahs)Full of dynamic running in the Cheetahs win over the Bulls, making eight runs for 31 metres and also eight tackles, as the South African prospect held his own at the scrum as well. Tendai Mtawaria also had a good game in Canberra.

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