Planet Rugby

Heineken Cup: Team of the Week

21st October 2013 13:26

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Heineken Cup XV of the week 2 2013 2014

Impressive: Robin Copeland and Ruan Pienaar

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

The Pools are starting to take shape and what is intriguing is that some have four teams still very much in the mix as this competition takes a break.

So without further ado, here comes our offering.

Heineken Cup: Team of Round Two

15 Liam Williams (Scarlets) - He continues to impress and deserves applause once again for his performance against Racing Metro. It was close between him and Brice Dulin, Ben Foden and Lee Byrne but the Welshman gets the nod.

14 Wandile Mjekevu (Perpignan) - Came on for Richard Haughton in the first-half and the South African winger did not look back, eating up 126 metres en route to a couple of tries as Perpignan picked up a bonus-point win against Edinburgh.

13 Casey Laulala (Munster) - It has taken him a while to transfer the form he showed when at Cardiff Blues to the Munster jersey but the former Crusaders centre has certainly found top gear now. Silky smooth yet ultra destructive with ball in hand against Gloucester.

12 Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues) - When Jamie Roberts exited for Racing, many at the Arms Park may have been ringing the panic bell about who would fill the 12 spot. That didn't last long as Allen has bags of talent and a big game mentality, shown against Matt Giteau.

11 Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont) - Yet another special individual shift from the former All Black. Well over 100 metres on the board as he always kept Quins guessing. A mention for Watisoni Votu, who was equally impressive with ball in hand for USAP against Edinburgh.

10 Jimmy Gopperth (Leinster) - A few supporters were disappointed to see Gopperth get picked ahead of Ian Madigan in week one and two but the former Hurricanes and Newcastle fly-half has surely now won over those doubters. Another assured showing from the New Zealander, who edges out 23-point Connacht fly-half Dan Parks for this jersey.

9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster) - Five penalties as the Ravenhill outfit stunned Montpellier in France on Saturday. Pienaar and Paddy Jackson also combined very well indeed as they directed Ulster to an excellent victory. A mention for Scarlets nine Rhodri Williams.

8 Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues) - Like all of his Blues team-mates, Copeland gave everything for the cause against Toulon as he tackled, carried and did the dirty work that secured victory. Both Gillian Galan and Thomas Waldrom are deserving of mentions.

7 Tom Wood (Northampton) - Beats Glasgow man-of-the-match Tyrone Homes to this shirt after a top performance at Franklin's Gardens. Wood appears to be the front-runner for the England captaincy and on this evidence, he would be a man that players would follow.

6 Peter O'Mahony (Munster) - Justin Purll scored the crucial try bonus-point for Perpignan but unfortunately for him we simply had to find O'Mahony a place in our line-up. The Irish back-row forward was a rock once again and continues to improve with every game.

5 Christian Day (Northampton) - A try and an assist for the former Sale lock who mixed power with finesse for the Saints on Sunday. It was a performance that Stuart Lancaster will surely have taken note of as he assesses who are England's back-ups at second-row.

4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton) - Plenty of praise has been given to Day's lock partner after his all-action showing against the Ospreys. He made fourteen tackles on Sunday - most of those being monster hits - while his work around the field was impressive.

3 BJ Botha (Munster) - Solid if not spectacular is just what every coach wants from their tighthead prop and Botha offers that game after game. The South African was also not shy to get around Thomond Park, making the second most tackles in his forward pack.

2 Tom Youngs (Leicester) - Scored one of the Tigers' four try against Treviso in a much-needed bonus-point win. The hooker also took the ball up an impressive seventeen times as the battle for the England two jersey shifts toward the converted inside centre.

1 Emmanuel Felsina (Toulon) - What about that scrum in Cardiff? Toulon had sent on Carl Hayman and Felsina for Martin Castrogiovanni and Xavier Chiocci and the duo did not disappoint. Blues tighthead Scott Andrews will have had nightmares starring Felsina.

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