Aviva Premiership Team of the Week: Round 21

15: Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
It may not have been a winning performance in their first game after the departure of Richard Hill, but incoming coach Dean Ryan will have liked what he saw from the Worcester fullback. Good pace to finish the opening try, and a combination of fast feet and a strong hand-off to send Grove over early in the second half.

14: Christian Wade (London Wasps)
As the commentators rightly asked at the time, would anyone else in world rugby have been able to finish Wade’s try other than him? There was barely a gap in the defence and yet he glided past the inside man with consummate ease before dancing around Steenson to score under the posts. Are you paying attention, Warren?

13: Guy Armitage (London Irish)
It was a game that meant very little, which unsurprisingly lead to an extremely open affair. The third Armitage brother showcased all his power to cross for a brace of tries against the languishing Welsh defence.

12: Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Filling the George Pisi-sized hole in Northampton’s midfield was never going to be easy, but they seem to have a more-than-capable replacement in Luther Burrell. He is a giant man, who consistently gets over the gain-line, but also showed good support work and awareness to dot down for his try.

11: Jonny May (Gloucester)
May’s brace took his tally to seven for the season in the Premiership, and encouragingly showed different aspects to his game. We all know how quick he is, but his first try showcased good strength to steamroll over Goode, while his second showed good composure to collect a bobbling-ball and crash over the line. Mention to Jack Nowell, who looks to have a huge future in the white of Exeter and maybe England.

10: Stephen Donald (Bath)
Donald bid farewell to the Rec with a commanding display that included a pinpoint cross-field kick to send Agulla over against his old club. He attacked the gain-line with typical venom, and while he may not be the most gifted fly-half around he has certainly given everything every time he’s pulled on a Bath shirt. Too many fly-halves played well this weekend to mention them all.

9: Danny Care (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs scored surely the individual try of the season, but Care’s was the more complete performance as he scored two and set up two more. Up against a Worcester defence in disarray at times, however, it may not be enough to drag himself onto that Lions plane.

1: Paul James (Bath)
Up against the duo of Dan Cole and Martin Castrogiovanni, there aren’t many loose-head props that relish playing Leicester. James handled it superbly, however, and fronted up well in a tight five that had gone missing at times this season.

2: Jack Yeandle (Exeter Chiefs)
Part of an excellent forward effort that saw the Chiefs snatch a memorable win at Adam’s Park. Exposed Wasps’ fringe frailties to score the first try that got the ball rolling for his side.

3: Halani Aulika (London Irish)
Has there ever been a more prolific prop? Aulika just cannot stop scoring, and the Tongan prop has four tries in as many games now, including a brace this weekend in the battle of the Exiles.

4: Dave Attwood (Bath)
Attwood looked much more like the player of old this weekend, and formed part of a Bath unit that outplayed its much-vaunted Leicester counterpart. Super stuff from the big man.

5: Damien Welch (Exeter Chiefs)
An unsung hero in the Exeter engine room, Welch had his moment in the sun this weekend as he showcased power and pace aplenty to score a fine try. He also formed part of an impressive pack that set the platform for what could be a vital victory for the Chiefs.

6: Francois Louw (Bath)
Simply superb stuff from the Bath captain. Scored the all-important try in the dying minutes to drag Bath to victory, including a smart hand off on Rob Hawkins and impressive pace to keep the covering defenders at bay. As always, he was a handful in the loose and tight alike.

7: James Scaysbrook (Exeter Chiefs)
Scaysbrook possesses the Robshaw-esque ability to stand at first receiver and distribute to the backs, as evidenced by his superb inside pass to Jack Nowell for his try. He also made several turnovers and generally popped up all over the pitch to make a nuisance of himself. Fine stuff from the Premiership veteran.

8: Ben Morgan (Gloucester)
A return to the team and an immediate impact from Gloucester’s England international, who could still have one eye on the Lions tour. His try this week will have done him no harm, shrugging off defenders and showing good gas to make it to the line. It was the kind of abrasive, go-forward performance that England so lacked in the Six Nations.

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

3 thoughts on “Aviva Premiership Team of the Week: Round 21

  1. thank you for giving stephen donald he deserves, not often four bath players get picked but just shows how good they were on saturday!

  2. Jesus Christ welcome back Ben Morgan. And sorry to anyone that got in his way at the weekend. What a guy, reminded us why we were all hoping he picked the red rose over the dragon

  3. Good to see three Exeter Chiefs players getting recognition but, thought Jack Nowell shaded Christian Wade overall in the game.

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