Planet Rugby

Super Rugby: Team of the Week

08th April 2013 12:47

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Super rugby team of the week 8 2013

In fine form: Savea and Van der Walt

Now that the dust has settled over in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby thought it was only right to hand out some praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round 8.

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

15 Charles Piutau (Blues): Got over the advantage line on several occasions with his counter-attacking runs and was safe under the high ball. Ben Smith also deserves a mention as he was one of the Highlanders' best players as well as Israel Folau, who stood out in the Waratahs' defeat to the Hurricanes.

14 Jason Woodward (Rebels): Gave easily his best display since joining the Rebels. Scored two tries in the win over the Force and could have had a hat-trick but for a forward pass from James O'Connor.

13 Rene Ranger (Blues): Another fine showing for the Blues against the Highlanders. Set up two tries for Piri Weepu and gained 72 metres on attack with five defenders beaten as well as five offloads. He gets in ahead of the Hurricanes' Conrad Smith and Adam Ashley-Cooper of the Waratahs, who both impressed in their head-to-head clash in Wellington.

12 Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs): Is improving with every outing in the number 12 jersey after playing most of his career at outside centre. Ebersohn did well against the Stormers' Springbok midfield combination of Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh and was rewarded with a try for his efforts.

11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes): - Kept the 'Tahs defence busy for 80 minutes, gaining 156 metres on attack with five defenders beaten. His superb attacking efforts were rewarded with a brace of tries.

10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes): Pulled the strings in the Hurricanes' back-line and his perfectly-weighted grubber kick which set up Motu Matu'u's try was one of the highlights in Wellington. Also impressed with his tactical kicking and just edges out Cheetahs pivot Burton Francis, who came back to haunt his former team in Bloemfontein.

9 Piri Weepu (Blues): Was influential in his side's win over the Highlanders, and was rewarded with two tries after fine support play. Also won his battle with All Blacks rival Aaron Smith.

8 Cornell du Preez (Kings): Strong effort with ball in hand in the Kings' memorable draw and scored two tries in the process. Also put in a big effort on defence and beats out Mose Tuiali'i of the Highlanders and the Cheetahs' Philip van der Walt who also had big games.

7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes): An excellent debut against the Waratahs. The 19-year-old had a high work-rate, impressed with his support play, and was immense on defence, making 21 tackles! Also won his battle with Wallaby flanker Michael Hooper who was one of the 'Tahs' better players.

6 Wimpie van der Walt (Kings): Huge game for the Kings against Brumbies, especially on defence where he made 19 hits. That has become a trademark of his game as he has put in similar displays in previous matches. Marcell Coetzee was also prominent for the Sharks in their victory over the Crusaders.

5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks): Has come on in leaps and bounds since establishing himself in the Sharks run-on side. The 20-year-old got the better of All Blacks enforcer Luke Romano, in their head-to-head battle, and was a more than willing ball carrier for the full 80 minutes.

4 Hugh Pyle (Rebels): Was in the thick of the action from the outset and played a huge part in the Rebels' win over the Force. Made 41 metres with ball in hand and scored his side's opening try.

3 Angus Ta'avao (Blues): Has done well since replacing Charlie Faumuina in the Blues' starting XV and a fine display was rewarded with a try against the Highlanders.

2 Kyle Cooper (Sharks): Did well for the Sharks against the Crusaders and was deservedly named as the game's man of the match. Shone at his core duties and also caught the eye with a solid defensive effort. Adriaan Strauss and Motu Matu'u also impressed with fine ball carrying displays for the Cheetahs and Hurricanes respectively.

1 Trevor Nyakane (Cheetahs): One of the Cheetahs tight-five's unsung heroes. Rock solid in the scrums and impressed with his tackling, at close quarters, and his ball-carrying ability against the Stormers.

Compiled by David Skippers

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