Planet Rugby

HEC: Team of the quarter-finals

08th April 2013 12:16

Share:

Heineken Cup team of the week QFs 2013

Pure class: Wilko and Sivi

Now that the dust has settled on the European quarter-finals, we select the players who stood out from the crowd this weekend.

If there is a trend to pick out, it's the prominence of old stalwarts producing the goods when the chips are down. If you're good enough...you're young enough!

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

Heineken Cup Team of the Quarter-Finals:

15 Mathew Tait (Leicester): Probably the visitors' most dangerous back at Stade Felix Mayol. Tait's counter attack from deep inside his own 22 - beating four defenders along the way - is one for the highlights reel at the end of the season.

14 Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont): Pure class. Sivi's try against Montpellier was out of the top draw. It was also his break that set up Aurélien Rougerie's score which opened the floodgates. His 158 metres gained were the best stats of anyone, anywhere, this weekend.

13 Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon): The Bulldozer was at his devastating best and it often required a small gang of Tigers to bring him down. Basta came within millimetres of scoring what would have been a fantastic try. A mention too for Saracens' Joel Tomkins.

12 Brad Barritt (Saracens): Rock solid in defence with 13 tackles. Barritt isn't the flashiest 12 in Europe but he makes very few mistakes, which suits Sarries' suffocating style perfectly. Mentions too for Munster's James Downey and Clermont's Wesley Fofana.

11 Napolioni Nalaga (Clermont): When Clermont hit their straps, you can bet your bottom Euro that their Fijian try-machine will get on the scoresheet. He touched down and gained 96 metres in another impressive display of power running.

10 Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon): Committed on defence. Accurate when kicking out of hand. A perfect record from the boot and a textbook drop-goal to seal victory in a tight game. Warren Gatland, are you listening?

9 Morgan Parra (Clermont): There were plenty of plaudits for the Clermont pack but their backs scored all the tries. The link between them was Parra, who also kicked very well. A mention for Leicester's Ben Youngs.

8 Kelly Brown (Saracens): The top tackler of the quarter-finals weekend with a phenomenal 21 hits. Mentions too for Toulon's Chris Masoe and Montpellier's Alex Tulou, who carried the ball for 85 metres.

7 Will Fraser (Saracens): Man of the Match in Saracens' dominant display at Twickenham in a performance that included the opening try. A big mention for Clermont's Gerhard Vosloo who produced some crazy stats: 96 metres gained, seven offloads and eleven tackles!

6 Peter O'Mahony (Munster): The visitors to the Stoop turned up the heat in the second half and O'Mahony led the physical onslaught. George Robson would rather forget getting the ball ripped from his hands in mid-air!

5 Paul O'Connell (Munster): What a return to the red jersey! Munster are a different beast with POC in the side. Unrivalled in the air, the veteran second row also carried the ball with real determination. A few weeks ago his Lions chances looked slim but on the basis of this performance, he'll be very hard to overlook.

4 Steve Borthwick (Saracens): Another veteran second row getting the job done on the big occasion. 12 tackles, five clean line-out wins and a steal made for a good night for the Sarries skipper. A reluctant mention for Bakkies Botha, who brought his infamous hard edge, though he sometimes stepped over the line.

3 Matt Stevens (Saracens): A busy evening for the Sarries tighthead, who made his presence felt in the loose. A mention for Dan Cole who was great at scrum time but lost his place in our team due to that costly yellow card.

2 Tom Youngs (Leicester): Against the much-vaunted Toulon pack, the Leicester scrum dominated. Youngs also hit his jumpers in the air and, with 13 hits, topped the tackle stats amongst the weekend's front rowers.

1 Thomas Domingo (Clermont): A tough call to make but we'll settle for the Jaunards' loosehead, who went forward at every impact. A mention for Saracens' Mako Vunipola

Compiled by Ross Hastie

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058