Now that the dust has settled in the south, we thought it was only right to hand out praise to the stars of Super Rugby, Round 16.
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 16.
Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round 16
15 Israel Folau (Waratahs): Not an easy call as Blues full-back Lolagi Visinia scored one and set up another while the steady Mike Harris went well for the Reds, kicking eleven points. However, the threat that Folau poses at fifteen for the 'Tahs couldn't be ignored as he helped lead his team to victory over the reigning champions. Once again he went over the 100 mark for metres made as his try-scoring performance stood out.
14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders): McNicholl takes our fourteen jersey after a try-scoring effort against the Force. Of course being behind a pack that's going forward helps but the young wing was in good form on Friday. One blot on his copybook will be not passing when a try was there for the taking, a bonus-point one at that. Dwayne Sweeney meanwhile was a running machine for the Chiefs but unfortunately it was all in vain.
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs): No debates about this one, AAC was phenomenal. On this kind of form, he will surely wear the Wallaby 13 jersey in June. He bust through the Chiefs defensive line a handful of times, notably to set up a stunning try for his full-back early on.
12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders): Mr Dependable at inside centre has unsurprisingly been named in the All Blacks squad, leading the Crusaders to not their best victory but a solid one over the Force. Crotty consistently beat defenders in midfield while making over 50 metres and putting in ten tackles. Bundee Aki deserves credit for scoring two tries in very little time off the bench for the Chiefs.
11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders): The Highlanders almost completed an incredible comeback with their attacking flair and Osborne led the way, making 170-odd metres with ball in hand and scoring a try. Nemani Nadolo had another strong game for the Crusaders.
10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions): Heyneke Meyer went out of his way to mention the Lions pivot at Sunday's press conference as probably the unluckiest man to miss out on Springbok selection. Boshoff controlled the game brilliantly at Ellis Park. He pips Matt Toomua, who scored two tries for the Brumbies to give his chances of wearing 10 for the Wallabies a boost. A mention too for Bernard Foley who impressed once again.
9 Will Genia (Reds): Apparently set to be left out by the Wallabies against France due to the Reds' poor run this season, Genia produced his best game of the year against the Highlanders. Setting up three tries and making a couple of clean breaks for 66 metres, he terrorised the opposition. Nic White did the same against the Rebels, also producing three assists. Except he's been doing it all year.
8 Jerome Kaino (Blues): England beware, Kaino is in superb form. The All Black has been excellent in recent weeks at number eight and should cause the Red Rose plenty of problems this June. On Saturday he led by example against the Hurricanes as he got the better of Victor Vito to help his side continue their fine run at Eden Park. A mention also for Reds eight Jake Schatz, who scored the match-winner against the Highlanders.
7 Richie McCaw (Crusaders): 22 tackles for the All Blacks captain. 22! It's difficult to leave out McCaw based on that as he gears up for bigger things with the arrival of England in the country. He looks ready for the challenge. Tough to leave out Luke Braid after his heroics for the Blues – he was everywhere.
6 Faifili Levave (Hurricanes): Somewhat under the radar at the 'Canes but so effective in what he does. Levave scored two in Auckland and was unlucky to be on the losing side. Meanwhile, 'Tahs flank David Dennis stood out against the Chiefs, scoring an excellent try in the process.
5 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues): It was clear to see why the All Blacks coaching staff want this guy in their squad. The Blues lock carried the ball with real venom and was excellent in the air, stealing two line-outs off the 'Canes. A mention for Luke Jones who made 15 tackles for the Rebels.
4 Jacques Potgieter (Waratahs): The versatile South Africa has become a key ball carrier for the 'Tahs and he was knocking people backwards all day. A mention too for Sam Carter, who scored a try for the Brumbies and made a bucketload of tackles.
3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues): Two of New Zealand's in-form tighthead met on Saturday as Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen and Faumuina looked to impress All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. In the end it was the Blues man who stood out in our eyes but one imagines Owen Franks will start the first Test, particularly after being rested of late. Speaking of which, Crusaders youngster Nepo Laulala continues to shine with another good shift.
2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies): The new Wallabies captain just never has a bad game. Moore revelled in the Rebels' weak output in Canberra by putting in 13 tackles and 20 metres going forward. The Rebels also got nowhere near the Brumbies line-out, with an 100 percent 10/10 record. A world-class operator. A mention for James Hanson too of the Reds.
1 Scott Sio (Brumbies): One of the try scorers in the rout of the Rebels, Sio did his bit in a concise set-piece performance. A talent who is getting better game by game, it's no surprise to see him in the Wallaby squad. He can get better. Benn Robinson deserves credit, as does the Stormers' Allister Vermaak who made 11 tackles.