Planet Rugby

Super Rugby: Team of the Week

03rd July 2012 12:13

Share:

conrad smith

Two-try hero: Conrad Smith

Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby looks at the players who stole the show in Round 16 of Super Rugby.

15 Robbie Robinson (Chiefs): The competition for the Chiefs' number fifteen jersey between Robinson and Andrew Horrell has been one to savour. And judging by Robinson's scintillating attacking play against the Highlanders, it looks like Horrell may have to get used to warming the bench a wee bit longer.

14 Nick Cummins (Force): Sparked a spirited second-half fightback with two quickfire tries and was a standout with his aggressive ball carries and bone-jarring tackles. But it wasn't enough for the Western Force's man-of-the-match to save his team from another defeat.

13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes): The inspirational Hurricanes skipper led from the front as the All Black centre bagged a brace to help his team to a surprise and rare win over the Crusaders in Christchurch - their third in 12 visits. The men from the New Zealand capital are now 80 minutes away from potentially sealing what would be a fairytale place in the play-offs.

12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders): Despite ending the match on the losing side, the nuggety centre continues to impress in the Crusaders midfield. Crotty uses his fast feet to get past weak shoulders, and regularly exploits gaps. It just so happened another eye-catching performance was overshadowed by Conrad Smith's double.

11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders): Followed up his sensational appearance for the All Blacks in Hamilton with another thunderous performance out wide for the Highlanders and picked up a deserved try for his efforts.

10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs): The All Blacks pivot soldiered on with an ongoing Achilles tendon problem to be the dominant force as the Chiefs dented the Highlanders' play-off hopes. Both sides scored two tries apiece but Cruden's five penalties proved crucial in a fiercely-contested derby.

9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls): The Bulls ran rampant in Pretoria, with Hougaard a constant thorn in the Cheetahs' side for the 60 minutes he was on the field. It's no surprise that when he went off, the Bulls' momentum shifted down a gear. But his presence during the time he was on the pitch was enough to guide the three-time champs to a crucial bonus-point victory.

8 Ben Mowen (Brumbies): A rock at the back of the Brumbies scrum with his simple, but effective style of play. Mowen's career has gone from strength to strength since making the move from Sydney to Canberra, and continued to repay Jake White's faith in him by leading the Aussie conference leaders to another Super Rugby win in Perth.

7 Jack Lam (Hurricanes): Was bracketed leading up to the crucial derby hit-out in Christchurch with a hamstring strain. But once he took to the field, Lam put his injury worries on the back burner as the Hurricane was consistently at the forefront in both attack and defence.

6 Peter Kimlin (Brumbies): The lock cum flank delivered his best performance of the season after he bossed the collisions in Perth, eroding the Force's resistance through powerful runs. It reminded us just why Kimlin was one of the first players White re-signed when he took over as coach.

5 Juandre Kruger (Bulls): Kruger worked overtime in the Bulls engine room - providing clean line-out ball, hitting rucks and making hard yards with ball in hand. However, he also proved to be his own worst enemy as he showed that he's more of a standout on the Super Rugby stage than in the Test arena.

4 Craig Clarke (Chiefs): A tower of strength for the Chiefs, Clarke stood head and shoulders above team-mate Brodie Retallick as one of New Zealand's newest All Black locks was made to look pretty ordinary next to his team-mate. Clarke never gave the southerners an inch after taking all his line-outs (and two off the Highlanders), whilst he finished the game with the highest tackle count.

3 WP Nel (Cheetahs): Hurricanes heavy Ben May had his name pencilled in, but a number of penalties given away at scrum-time cost him a place. Instead, we've opted for the Cheetahs' super sub who we feel made a big impact with his two tries that gave the visitors' scoreline at full-time a bit more respect.

2 Saia Faingaa (Reds): There were a number of influential players for the Reds as the defending champs notched their fourth straight win, but none made more of an impact than the Wallaby hooker who was impressive in an 80-minute effort in his milestone 50th game for Queensland.

1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders): Another front-rower celebrating a milestone game (his 100th), but sadly for Crockett it didn't end in the same winnning fashion as Faingaa. But the Crusaders loosehead can still hold his head high following a powerful scrummaging performance that won several penalties for his team, whilst he was also a battering ram when carrying the pigskin.

Compiled by Dave Morris

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00