15. Mat Tait (Leicester Tigers)
Tait is looking increasingly at home in the Tigers no.15 jersey. One moment in the second half summed up the transitional phase of this position at the moment – Geordan Murphy, acting waterboy, passed on some words of advice with the bottle of water to Tait, who nodded and took it on board. If Tait is to be Murphy’s successor, the shirt is in good hands. He showed a superb range of skills against Wasps – delicate hands, dancing feet and an intelligent boot. Mention to Cameron Shepherd of Sale, whose finish was a silky one.
14. Niall Morris (Leicester Tigers)
Morris has become a real weapon for the Tigers, perhaps mainly because teams seem to massively underestimate him. Strong as well as deceivingly quick, the Irishman outshone his vastly more illustrious opponents on Sunday making 120 metres in a series of devastating carries.
13. Jonny Leota (Sale Sharks)
Sale all but confirmed their safety on Friday night with a comprehensive win that showed they have probably been better this season than results suggest. Leota bagged a try as the beneficiary of a charge down and then showed brute strength to cross the line when he had no right to, only for it to be ruled out by the TMO. Luther Burrell was in fine form for the Saints, too.
12. Tom May (Northampton Saints)
George Pisi would be a huge loss for any side, but Saints fans would quickly have forgotten his absence thanks to the brilliance of May at the Kassam Stadium. Two tries saw him glide through the London Welsh defence and set up a commanding win for his team. Anthony Allen was superb for the Tigers.
11. Dave Strettle (Saracens)
You can’t really argue with a hattrick in 22 minutes, can you? They weren’t all easy finishes, either, with the second involving some brilliantly balanced running. Turned provider in the second half to set up Ashton, too.
10. Ben Botica (Harlequins)
Botica made a real difference when he came on. Playing in combination with compatriot Nick Evans, it gave Quins more width to their game thanks to the second distributing option. Kicked well, including one well-placed bomb that led to the Monye try.
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
Tough to ignore a Dwayne Peel brace for Sale, but Youngs was at his best on Sunday against Wasps. Two tries, showing opportunism as well as pace, combined with some sublime box-kicking means it was a top all-round performance from the man who is looking increasingly a shoo-in for the Lions tour.
1. Logovi’i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers)
It was startlingly obvious how the Leicester scrum began to capitulate after this man went off in the second half. A nuisance in the loose as well, following Marcos Ayerza’s season-ending injury it is vitally important that Mulipola stays fit.
2. Jack Yeandle (Exeter Chiefs)
Part of a super rolling drive that saw the Exeter pack to the brink of crashing over, and then offered himself as a strong runner to set the platform for Matt Jess to cross in the corner.
3. Brian Mujati (Northampton Saints)
Cornerstone of a Saints pack that was simply too strong for its London Welsh counterpart. A superb offload for a Burrell try after a barrelling break added sparkle to a typically powerful performance.
4. Ed Slater (Leicester Tigers)
What a season Slater is having. Another huge performance saw him carry strongly, tackle everything that moved and even win a turnover at the breakdown, demonstrating superb technique for a man who stands at 6’6″ and weighs in at over 18 stone. Must be pushing hard for a spot on the Argentina tour.
5. James Cannon (London Wasps)
In a game in which half of his teammates looked frankly uninterested, Cannon was a pillar of effort in a losing cause. One simply astonishing tackle on wing Niall Morris summed up the graft and commitment the young lock showed all afternoon.
6. Kelly Brown (Saracens)
A key cog in the Saracens engine that is starting to pick up ominous steam. As always, he tackled his heart out and also weighed in with a strong burst that set-up Strettle’s hattrick try.
7. Jacques Burger (Saracens)
A touch of sentimentality about this one, perhaps, but it was fantastic to see Burger back on the frontline for Sarries. A true warrior, it genuinely looked like he had never been away – certainly, you couldn’t tell he had been seriously injured, flying as he was into every tackle and getting stuck in at the breakdown. Welcome back, Jacques.
8. Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)
Seemingly the no.1 at Tigers ahead of Thomas Waldrom (whether rightly or not), Crane certainly excelled on Sunday against Wasps. He made 18 carries, but the most impressive thing was that many of those ended with a clever offload rather than heading straight to ground. A commanding performance at the back of a dominant pack.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43