Team of the Week: Super Rugby

Date published: May 5 2015

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Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, we select the men who stood out during Round Twelve of Super Rugby.

The Blues and Rebels have three players involved this week while there's a healthy mix from elsewhere after another exciting week of action.

Here it is then; be sure to offer your own XVs in the comments section.

Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Twelve 

15 Clayton Blommetjies (Cheetahs): Made a rare start in his preferred position and made full use of the opportunity with a fine all-round effort in the triumph over the Stormers. Blommetjies ran 103 metres with one clean break, six defenders beaten, an offload and was rewarded with a try for his efforts.

14 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders): Since Osborne decided to stay in Dunedin with the Highlanders he's produced some of his best rugby, with Friday against the Sharks being no different. The thundering winger scored a try and made six offloads, beat eight defenders and four clean breaks while racking 121 metres. Outstanding.

13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs): Winning a first derby in Canberra in four years was a great achievement for the champions, with Ashley-Cooper getting the key try as he latched onto Nick Phipps' wide pass. The Wallaby was rock solid in defence with ten tackles. Credit to JJ Engelbrecht for his great try.

12 George Moala (Blues): Played a leading role against the Force in only the Blues' second win of the season. Moala gained 96 metres on attack with two clean breaks, six defenders beaten and three offloads but also stood out on defence with 10 tackles.

11 Melani Nanai (Blues): He ended his Super Rugby wait for a try with two against the Force and they were top drawer efforts. Nanai, despite not scoring until Saturday, has been a threat for the Blues all season and last week starred with 8 carries and 127 metres.

10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes): A few players to mention before we get to Barrett and they are Lima Sopoaga, Colin Slade and Christian Lealiifano who shone for the Highlanders, Crusaders and Brumbies. But what can you say about the 'Canes fly-half? Superb in broken play at ten or full-back, his try-scoring showing was only cut short by injury. Hopefully it is nothing too serious.

9 Piet van Zyl (Bulls): Has impressed since returning to the Bulls' starting XV against the Stormers last week and continued where he left off in that clash with another solid display against the Lions. Van Zyl crossed for two tries and gained 33 metres on attack with one clean break and one defender beaten. Beats out Lions counterpart Faf de Klerk, the Rebels' Nic Stirzaker and Aaron Smith of the Highlanders.

8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels): Providing inspiration in spades from the base of the scrum, Higginbotham is having an excellent season as the Rebels start to make waves in the Australian Conference. A smart try too. Mentions for the impressive Arno Botha, Brad Shields and Duane Vermeulen.

7 Jaco Kriel (Lions): Took the game to the Bulls and was devastating with ball in hand, winning 114 metres, with two clean breaks, seven defenders beaten, two offloads and scored a deserved try. Blues tearaway Brendon O'Connor also impressed against the Force.

6 Akira Ioane (Blues): We have mentioned him already in our Hot and Not feature and he was hands down our pick for blindside. Ioane showed off his Sevens qualities against the Force with a brilliant individual score from 45 metres out. A fruitful career awaits him.

5 James Broadhurst (Hurricanes): Unlike in previous years when the 'Canes' stars were good but they lacked a spine, this year has seen guys like Broadhurst, Callum Gibbins and the like really step up to the plate. Broadhurst was outstanding again on Saturday and is fast becoming an All Black bolter for the World Cup. Solid in the line-out with his size and busy around the field, he is in excellent form.

4 Luke Jones (Rebels): Jones' form has been so good this year that the Wallabies will have to take a look at him. On Saturday he made 12 carries, ten tackles and won eight lineouts in another hard-working shift in the second-row. Credit to Mark Reddish and Will Skelton.

3 Paul Alo-Emile (Rebels): Our third Rebel, the Melbourne outfit used their ball carriers well all game long against the Chiefs with Alo-Emile putting in six carries. It was his defence however that was really impressive, with 14 tackles. Still learning his way in the scrum but a good step forward here.

2 Tolu Latu (Waratahs): Came off the bench early as a replacement for Tatafu Polota-Nau and delivered a busy shift as the Waratahs claimed a hard-fought win over the Brumbies in Canberra. Latu was a willing ball carrier, winning 29 metres but also caught the eye on defence with eight hits.

1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes): A mention first to Lions loosehead prop Jacques Van Rooyen who was impressive in defeat against the Bulls with a try-scoring performance. However, there's a number one getting better and better week by week at the Hurricanes as Goodes again put in a busy shift, getting a try as a reward in their victory over the Crusaders. The Wellington man is an under-rated prop.

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