15. Liam Williams (Scarlets)
Another youthful cog in the exciting Scarlets backline, Williams was excellent in attack and counter attack, making 10 carries and gaining precious yards for his side against Racing Metro. Mentions go to two England fullbacks, Alex Goode and Ben Foden, who were instrumental in their sides’ performances.
14. Chris Ashton (Saracens)
Friday night saw Chris Ashton show glimpses of old, with great support play and plenty of pressure on the Toulouse defence. Good vision and hands to set up Chris Wyles’ try and unlucky not to get on the scoreboard himself.
13. Casey Laulala (Munster)
Probably Munster’s most threatening player in attack, Laulala looked exciting every time he got the ball and his footwork constantly threatened the Gloucester defence. Made one clean break and beat four defenders.
12. Scott Williams (Scarlets)
Another good week for the impressive 12. He scored again, his passing and footwork looked sumptuous and his defence was solid. Looks set to continue his partnership with teammate Jonathan Davies at international level. Another Welshman, Cory Allen, deserves a mention.
11. Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
The Ulsterman scored a lovely try at Montpellier and constantly came off his wing to worry the defence. His defence was great and he managed two turnovers to help his side record an impressive victory. A mention to Perpignan speedster Wandie Mjekvu who came off the bench to score twice.
10. Paddy Jackson (Ulster)
Montpellier away is no easy place to win and Jackson put in an experienced performance to keep his side on top. He ran the show and made eight tackles, which is impressive for a fly-half. Dan Parks ran him close with 23 points for Connacht.
9. Ruan Piennar (Ulster)
Another Ulsterman on the list but five penalties from the South African kept the scoreboard ticking over and his passing and organisation of the forwards was world class. Rhodri Williams scored again and Rory Kockott played well for Castres.
1. Cian Healey (Leinster)
The Lion was the cornerstone of the scrum that caused Castres so many problems and he carried well in the loose. He provided the platform for Jimmy Gopperth to control the game around him.
2. Rory Best (Ulster)
“Stop naming Ulstermen” I hear you cry! Well Ulster recorded the victory of the weekend and the experienced hooker’s performance was one of the reasons why. Consistent in the set pieces and made 15 tackles to nullify any sign of a Montpellier attack.
3. Census Johnston (Toulouse)
The big Samoan came back with a vengeance to haunt his old team, giving Mako Vunipola a horrible time in the scrum and flying around in the loose, making ten huge tackles. Made Matt Stevens look average at best.
4. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
The performance of the weekend from the man who is England’s most in-form lock at the moment. The go-to man in the lineout and showed that there is more to his game with a clever little pass for Christian Day’s try. Will surely be giving the Ospreys players nightmares for weeks to come after constantly smashing their attack back.
5. Christian Day (Northampton Saints)
Lawes’ partner-in-crime, Day put in an understated yet just as impressive performance. Made a number of turnovers and scored a try. Munstermen Paul O’Connell and Donncha O’Callaghan deserve to be mentioned.
6. Justin Purll (Perpignan)
Perpignan flew out of the blocks in the second half to send Edinburgh home with their tail between their legs and the experienced Frenchman was at the centre of it, making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown. Managed to score himself a try too.
7. Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
Another Saints player with physicality in abundance, Wood was dominant in attack and defence, making yards and turning over ball. Just one of a few players giving Stuart Lancaster a selection headache at the moment. Sean O’Brien also played well for the second week in a row.
8. Thomas Waldrom (Leicester Tigers)
It seems Number 8 was the position of the week with Robin Copeland and Gillian Galan both being standout players for their sides, but Thomas Waldrom terrorised the Treviso defence with such ferocity that he has to be included. Scored a try and made 18 carries for a total of nearly 80 metres.
By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images