Super Rugby Pacific Team of the Week: Chiefs aplenty after big win in Round Two

David Skippers
SRP Team of the Week image Rd 2 4 March 2024.jpg

Peter Lakai of the Hurricanes, Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto of the Rebels.

After the second round of Super Rugby Pacific action, Planet Rugby breaks down the star performers from a thrilling weekend of rugby.

The Chiefs dominate the line-up with four players in our side after cruising to an easy victory over the Brumbies in the Super Round in Melbourne, while the Rebels are next best with three representatives.

Super Rugby Pacific Team of the Week, Round Two

15 Andrew Kellaway (Rebels): What a performance it was at the weekend for the Wallaby who took the game into his own hands bagging a brace beating five defenders and making three clean breaks in the process. It is the kind of outing that will have new Wallabies boss Joe Schmidt watching with a very keen eye. There were many other good games from the full-backs Max Burey (Western Force), Shaun Stevenson (Chiefs) and Jordan Petaia (Reds).

14 Mark Telea (Blues): A name fans will get used to seeing in the Team of the Week this season. The All Black was typically elusive, beating six defenders on his way to a try and almost 100 metres with ball in hand. He is genuinely one of the most slippery players in the world right now. Waratahs flyer Mark Nawaqanitawase was also in good form for his side.

13 Harry Wilson (Waratahs): It was always going to take a serious effort to beat the Crusaders and the Waratahs did just that with Wilson sparkling on attack with a well-taken try. The outside centre was also well represented in defence with seven tackles in a busy effort. Elsewhere, Reds star Josh Flook was also a great performer.

12 Apisalome Vota (Fijian Drua): Unfortunately for the centre, he did come out on the losing end but really held his own against Moana Pasfika’s Julian Savea who was also promising. Vota managed 67 metres in eight carries with four defenders beaten in a brilliant outing. Reds centre Hunter Paisami was also great for his team.

11 Etene Nanai-Seturo (Chiefs): The electric winger was just that during the Super Round as he ran rampant for his side making 91 metres scoring a try and assisting two. He looks as hungry as ever and beating four defenders with as many clean breaks as underlines how dangerous he can be. Moana Pasifika’s Viliami Fine was also in fine form last weekend.

‘DMac’ firing on all cylinders

10 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs): ‘DMac’ is currently firing on all cylinders as he controls just about every game he is involved with at the moment. He finished off a lovely try that he started at the weekend whilst consistently making good decisions on attack for the Chiefs. He is sprinting for the All Blacks number 10 shirt. Elsewhere, Wallaby Carter Gordon was promising for the Melbourne Rebels.

9 Jake Gordon (Waratahs): The Waratahs captain was one of the stars of the show as his side put the defending champions to the sword. The Wallaby was lively thoughout and kept the Crusaders’ defence busy with several sniping breaks around the fringes of the rucks and mauls. He finished with 118 metres gained from seven runs, with two clean breaks, five defenders beaten and a try. Xavier Roe and Cam Roigard also shone for the Chiefs and Hurricanes respectively.

8 Hoskins Sotutu (Blues): Like Telea, fellow All Black Sotutu makes our team for the second week in a row after an excellent attacking display in his side’s win over the Highlanders. After scoring two tries in Round One, the 25-year-old followed it up with a hat-trick and was an easy choice for the number eight spot with Chiefs skipper Luke Jacobson next best.

7 Peter Lakai (Hurricanes): The 20-year-old was shifted to the side of the scrum, after shining at number eight for the Hurricanes in Round One but despite his positional switch he still impressed. Made a nuisance of himself at the breakdowns in his side’s win over the Reds but made his biggest impact on defence as he made a match-high 22 tackles. Also did well on attack as he gained 45 metres from 20 carries and beats out the Crusaders’ Tom Christie.

6 Samipeni Finau (Chiefs): The All Black has continued where he left off in last year’s breakout tournament and was in fine form for the Chiefs against the Brumbies at the weekend. Finau was solid on attack, with 35 metres gained from seven carries and a defender beaten, but also did his bit on defence with 13 tackles made and edges out the Blues’ Akira Ioane.

Wallaby second-row back to his best

5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Rebels): The Wallaby utility forward is back in Australia and is displaying the form which earned him an international call up. Salakaia-Loto put in a busy shift in the Rebels’ come-from-behind win over the Force as he carried well and finished with 26 metres gained from 17 carries and also caught the eye with fine lineout work. Isaia Walker-Leawere also impressed.

4 Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Chiefs): The 27-year-old was at the forefront of his team’s forward onslaught in their demolition of the Brumbies in Melbourne. Selby-Rickit made his mark with a strong performance in the lineouts but also caught the eye with some excellent ball carrying and finised the game with 30 metres gained from four runs which included a clean one clean break and a defender beaten.

3 Sione Mafileo (Moana Pasifika): The former Blues and Chiefs stalwart has cemented his place with Moana and came to the fore with a fine performance during his team’s tense victory over the Fijian Drua. The 30-year-old stood up well in the scrums and received a bonus on attack when he crossed for a well-taken try. He edges out the Reds’ Zane Nonggorr.

2 Alex Mafi (Rebels): The 27-year-old was one of the Rebels’ star performers in their win over the Force as he shone in the execution of his core duties and thrived on attack where he gained 60 metres from nine carries which included one clean break and two defenders beaten. Mafi was also prominent on defence with nine hits and comes in ahead of the Hurricanes’ Asafo Aumua.

1 Angus Bell (Waratahs): The 23-year-old continues to impress and showed in the Waratahs’ impressive triumph over the Crusaders why he is one of the world’s best young props and the Wallabies’ first choice player in his position. Bell scrummed solidly throughout and kept the defence busy as he gained 25 metres on attack from 12 carries, including four defenders beaten.

READ MORE: Damian McKenzie the early leader in All Blacks race after another fine showing