Planet Rugby

Heineken Cup: Team of Round Two

22nd October 2012 13:55

Share:

Wesley Fofana Exeter Heineken Cup

Two tries: Wesley Fofana

Now that the dust has settled, Planet Rugby thought it only right to hand out some praise to the star players of the Heineken Cup, Round Two.

All six Pools are shaping up very nicely going into the break as Saracens, Toulouse, Harlequins, Ulster, Clermont, Toulon set the early pace.

That sextet all won over the weekend and have eight representatives in our selection, with an English half-back duo making up our 9 and 10.

So without further ado, here comes our offering - be sure to send in your own 15-1 team line-ups.

15 Luke Arscott (Exeter) - It seems harsh to leave out Leigh Halfpenny after his try but what Arscott did in a losing battle against Clermont could not be ignored. He made metres aplenty, broke the line and caused the French quite a bit of bother on Saturday. A mention for Alex Goode.

14 Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) - As one Cardiff Blue misses out, this one just makes it in. Cuthbert was once again a threat for his side and despite not crossing the whitewash, was a constant thorn in Toulon's side. Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc finished well against Treviso while Ken Pisi was solid for Northampton.

13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester) - Has he scored two more important tries? Tuilagi started and finished Leicester's remarkable revival against the Ospreys as they kept their hopes of topping the 'Pool of Death' alive. Mentions for Seremaďa Burotu and Mathieu Bastareaud.

12 Wesley Fofana (Clermont) - It was a case of anything Gael Fickou can do, I can do better from Fofana as he showed France coach Philippe Saint-André that he remains the young go-to-centre. Matt Giteau cut the Blues apart while Connacht's Dave McSharry also shone.

11 Napolioni Nalaga (Clermont) - Fofana was not the only Clermont back to cross twice as Nalaga also got a double against the Chiefs. We felt Martin Bustos Moyano and Chris Wyles (in his 100th game) deserve a shout while Fetu Vainikolo was excellent against Quins.

10 Toby Flood (Leicester) - A few names dipped their toe in the selection pool this week but no one made more of a splash than England hopeful Flood. Was instrumental in Leicester picking up all five points. Mentions for Rémi Tales, Francois Trinh-Duc and Jonny Wilkinson.

9 Danny Care (Harlequins) - The picture looks pretty bright at scrum-half for England right now as Ben Youngs and Care both put in top shifts. Conor Murray silenced his critics with a man-of-the-match effort while Morgan Parra proved again he is France's best nine.

8 Louis Picamoles (Toulouse) - A freak. If you can check out his try against Treviso then do it. Nick Easter, Peter O'Mahony and Damien Chouly all put in decent showings over the weekend but we couldn't look past what Picamoles was doing. Strength, pace and skills.

7 Steffon Armitage (Toulon) - Justin Tipuric made light of Leicester's lack of an openside early in the piece on Sunday while Julien Bonnaire and Mamuka Gorgodze both put in strong shifts in Round 2. Chris Henry also deserves a well done but Armitage makes it.

6 Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse) - Last weekend Josh Navidi was superb in defeat for Cardiff Blues and put in another shift against Toulon. But in an hour Dusautoir was exceptional for Toulouse. His subsequent injury is a major blow to the French ahead of November. Meanwhile, a mention for Leicester's Steve Mafi and Montpellier's Fulgence Ouedraogo.

5 Paul O'Connell (Munster) - Ross Ford will have nightmares all week after Paulie's effort at the line-out. The veteran stole a great deal of set-piece ball from Edinburgh as Munster strolled to a 33-0 victory over the strugglers. Courtney Lawes was impressive in defence.

4 Steve Borthwick (Saracens) - Two weeks in a row for the old stager. Borthwick scored a fine try as he continues to lead by example at the Heineken Cup hopefuls. Leicester lock Graham Kitchener was also good while Treviso's Francesco Minto got through a lot of work.

3 Mike Ross (Leinster) - Two of three likely Lions tighthead travellers were excellent as Dan Cole and Ross stood up well against the Ospreys and Scarlets respectively. Ross sneaks this selection though as he picked up the official man-of-the-match at Parc y Scarlets.

2 Schalk Brits (Saracens) - It was noticeable that when Brits was replaced in the 55th minute by John Smit, the tempo that Saracens had took a substantial nose dive. Rory Best was strong for Ulster while Montpellier's bulky Argentine Agustin Creevy also played well.

1 Mihai Lazar (Castres) - Precious few come out on top against the Northampton front-row but Castres managed it on Friday. Lazar was key to that result which is why he pips Munster's Dave Kilcoyne and Thomas Domingo of Clermont to our number one jersey.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821