Planet Rugby

Heineken Cup: Team of Round 5

14th January 2013 14:39

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Heineken Cup Team of Round 5

In: Owen Farrell & Justin Tipuric

Now that the dust has settled across Europe, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hand out some praise to the stars of Heineken Cup, Round 5.

Without further ado, here comes our offering - be sure to send in your own 15-1 team selections.

Team of Round 5

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues) - Still one of the first onto the plane for the British & Irish Lions, Halfpenny was a positive force on a tough day for the Blues in Toulon. A brace from the Wales full-back added some gloss to the scoreline.

14 Ugo Monye (Harlequins) - Snubbed by England and finding himself £10,000 short during last week due to a banking theft on his account, Monye turned his fortunes around with a great performance on his 200th game for Quins.

13 Benoit Baby (Biarritz) - One try and two assists for the former France centre lands him a spot after Biarritz's bonus-point win over Zebre, with Baby making plenty of metres in the process.

12 Wesley Fofana (Clermont) - Hitting a purple patch ahead of the Six Nations, Fofana was magnificent against Exeter - with over 100 metres made and finishing off an excellent team try.

11 Eli Walker (Ospreys) - The young Wales winger continued to impress with another fine showing, this time against Leicester Tigers. His clever footwork and searing pace led to the equalising try from Jonathan Spratt with time running out.

10 Owen Farrell (Saracens) - A real statement from the incumbent England fly-half. Perfect with the boot landing 11/11 kicks, Farrell might not be as expressive as Freddie Burns but his accuracy with the boot is crucial. Great composure.

9 Kahn Fotuali'i (Ospreys) - With Will Genia returning from injury, there is no better scrum-half around than Fotuali'i. Another commanding performance for the Osprey earned him the Man of the Match award. He will be highly sought after in the coming months.

8 Joe Bearman (Ospreys) - We found it difficult to leave out returning Scotland squad member Johnnie Beattie and also the immense Nick Williams. But there was a former Dragons forward playing an exceptional brand of rugby in Swansea. In went Bearman.

7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) - Rob Howley would be a brave coach to select Sam Warburton over Tipuric for their Six Nations opener against Ireland. The Osprey's step to go past Jordan Crane was superb while he mixed power with skills throughout against the Tigers.

6 Peter O'Mahony (Munster) - Was outstanding against Edinburgh. Nineteen carries in all from the youngster whose stock continues to rocket in Ireland while Stephen Ferris is out.

5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton) - The Lions hopeful had been criticised in recent weeks for, among other things, for being too upright in contact. But Lawes silenced a great deal of his critics against a resilient Castres forward pack on Friday in an all-action display.

4 Patricio Albacete (Toulouse) - The French giants had a tight and physical game-plan early on against Treviso and Albacete was key to it. The evergreen Puma second-row's try following hooker Gary Botha's effort after six minutes at Ernest Wallon laid the platform.

3 Matt Stevens (Saracens) - Stevens was in excellent form against Racing on Saturday as he continues his impressive performances after announcing he'd retired from international rugby. Solid in the set-piece and busy in broken play, Stevens gets in as our tighthead.

2 Jean Charles Orioli (Toulon) - Without Sebastien Bruno not playing, Saturday brought a big chance for Orioli and one which he took. Apparently John Smit is on his way to the club next term so Orioli will have another veteran to compete with. This week though he's No.1.

1 Cian Healy (Leinster) - In our eyes the Lions loosehead shirt has Healy's name all over it. He was a carrying machine against the Scarlets and edges Ulster's Tom Court to our final jersey. The fact he only played 40 minutes makes you wonder what he could've done in 80.

By Ben Coles and Adam Kyriacou
@bencoles_ and @PlanetRugbyAK

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