15. Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
It was a busy performance from Foden, who popped up on the ball on numerous occasions against London Irish and always looked dangerous, beating six defenders for 106 metres made.
14. Josh Drauninui (Worcester Warriors)
It wasn’t a vintage weekend for wingers, and so Drauninui’s brilliance for Worcester saw him top most of the stats. He beat an incredible 11 defenders, on his way to making 121 metres with ball in hand from just 11 carries. It is too little too late for Worcester now, but this guy has been a shining light in a losing cause on too many occasions.
13. Matt Banahan (Bath)
This was Banahan back to his best, a sight we see with increasing rarity these days. He rampaged with ball in hand, using all his bulk to make inroads over the gainline and ending with 87 metres made.
12. Sam Tuitupou (Sale Sharks)
Much has been made of Cipriani’s form this season but huge credit must go to the experienced Tuitupou outside him. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time, and has the ability to cut some beuatiful running lines, all of which was in evidence agains the Chiefs, and saw him come away with a brace.
11. Tom Varndell (London Wasps)
Just as we hoped, it was an open game at Twickenham on Saturday. It could not have suited the returning Tom Varndell any better, as he galloped down the wing time and again to return an impressive 105 metres made, including a try.
10. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks)
With Andy Farrell watching on, Cipriani ran the show in what was one of the team performances of the season so far. Superb in attack, it was the way he brought others onto the ball and put them in spaces that so impressed, rather than any show-boating individual brilliance. Another mature performance.
9. Danny Care (Harlequins)
It was billed as Care vs Youngs for the undisputed number one spot as England scrum-half, and there was only one winner. The Harlequins man, as he so often does, injected pace and zip into their attack and caught flat-footed Leicester defenders unawares on several occasions.
1. Nathan Catt (Bath)
A promising performance from one of England’s best young propping prospects. Catt was busy in the loose, completing eight carries, while also looking solid at the set piece.
2. Dave Ward (Harlequins)
Ward has had an incredible season, and it continued against the Tigers. He is not a big man but his work rate is simply insatiable – on Friday night he tore around the park, carrying ten times for an impressive return of 61 metres.
3. Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
A debatable one, this. Penalties were awarded in Sinckler’s favour on Friday night when most – apart from referee Tim Wigglesworth – could see that the Quins man was in fact at fault. But then, if you’ve pulled the wool over the referee’s eyes, who cares? Sinckler was also a handful around the park in a promising showing from a young English tighthead.
4. Stuart Hooper (Bath)
A captain’s innings from Hooper, who barged his way over the gainline when given the opportunity and put in a stirling effort in defence, topping his side’s tackle charts with 12.
5. Michael Paterson (Sale Sharks)
This was a huge performance from Paterson, who carried the ball an astonishing 18 times, beating seven defenders (more than anyone else on the pitch) in the process. A handful of those came in his try, when he made his way to the line through a forest of defenders – superb stuff.
6. Sione Kalamafoni (Gloucester)
Forming the start of what would be a terrifyingly large back row, Kalamafoni was a constant thorn in Wasps’ side at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon. The giant pacific islander carried on an astonishing 17 occasions, usually to good effect.
7. James Haskell (London Wasps)
A brace for his efforts was just reward for another consistently good outing for the Wasps back-rower. He finished his side’s second top tackler and was generally a nuisance around the park.
8. Nathan Hughes (London Wasps)
An immensely powerful outing from a player who is rapidly becoming one of the stars of the season. The Fijian powerhouse smashed his way over the gainline time and time again, and had the presence of mind to offload more often than not.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images