15: Rob Cook (Gloucester)
There was nothing too flash about Cook’s performance against Newcastle at the weekend, but two of his interventions proved key. Firstly and obviously, his smartly-taken finish was a welcome boost to the Cherry and Whites who had yet again fallen behind, but perhaps more important was his try-saving tackle in the dying moments as the hosts looked sure to score. It was brave stuff from a player who rarely has a bad game.
14: Semesa Rokodoguni (Bath)
Another week, another excellent performance from Bath’s Army-winger. His dancing feet allied with a raw strength saw him beat an impressive eight defenders at the weekend, making 97 metres in the process. There were even a couple of turnovers thrown in there for good measure.
13: George Pisi (Northampton Saints)
The big Samoan centre crossed the whitewash again after some hard support work to catch up with Dickson after his break. There were also a couple of powerful carries close to the Sale line in the build-up to Saints’ other tries, as well as some nice handling.
12: Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints)
Burell is enjoying a fantastic start to the season, and it continued against Sale. His partnership with Pisi is one of not just brute power, but also intelligent running lines and good support play – both were in evidence for Burrell’s smartly taken try. A former academy member of his at Leeds, Lancaster will not have missed his brilliant start.
11: Jonny May (Gloucester)
Ran in an easy try to mark his return to Premiership action, but more impressive, and arguably more important, was his rush defence and big hit during the final play of the game as the Falcons were camped on Gloucester’s line. It was great awareness and great technique to thwart an almost certain try.
10: George Ford (Bath)
Ford has become a mainstay in this team after a strong start to the season at new club Bath. He bagged a superb solo-try (that arguably shouldn’t have stood) that saw him jink his way past three defenders, and he also provided an assist for Guy Mercer as well as generally controlling the game well.
9: Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints)
The arrival of Fotuali’i has spurred Dickson onto greater things, and he was again brilliant at the weekend. There was a scything break to set up Pisi as well as snappy service throughout. He is a different type of player to Care or Youngs, and one that could still play a role in England’s future.
1: Logovi’i Mulipola (Leicester Tigers)
The Tigers’ intensity in the opening 20 minutes was immense, and it was built upon the foundation laid by their front five. Mulipola had a hugely powerful game, averaging over 10 metres per carry and getting in six tackles.
2: Schalk Brits (Saracens)
Hit 100% of his lineouts, which, although expected, is one of the most important parts of a hookers game. There were some strong carries and his usual high work rate in the loose saw him make seven tackles as well as two turnovers.
3: Jake Cooper-Wooley (London Wasps)
Completed a try-scoring duo with fellow prop Matt Mullen after burrowing over from close range in the second half. Was a menace in the scrums as Wasps managed to disrupt any platform Worcester could have hoped for.
4: Steve Borthwick (Saracens)
The Saracens captain was titanic once again for his club, as they continued their 100% start to the season with a win at Harlequins. The big lock made an incredible three turnovers – no mean feat for such a big man.
5: Joe Launchbury (London Wasps)
Launchbury’s twenty tackles illustrate his importance to every team he plays in – an insatiable work-rate and a general willingness to do the nitty-gritty stuff. He also carried very well and managed a couple of nice offloads, too.
6: Ashley Johnson (London Wasps)
Wasps’ first win of the season was built on the pack’s effort, of which Johnson was at the forefront. He made 73 metres with ball in hand from just seven carries – an impressive return, and there were some classy touches in there too.
7: Guy Mercer (Bath)
Two tries for the Bath flanker who continues to deputise ably in the absence of Francois Louw. There was a good sidestep for his second score (although the Irish defensive organisation was woeful), while he also got through an impressive 15 tackles. Mention to Jacques Burger who continues to impress for Saracens on his road back from injury.
8: Sam Dickinson (Northampton Saints)
After missing last season with injury, Dickinson has started this one like a man making up for lost time. He is an immensely strong ball carrier, and on Friday night carried an unbelievable 20 times, making 92 metres in the process, including one barnstorming break in the second half.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images