Heineken Cup Team of the Week: Round 6

alex goode

15. Alex Goode (Saracens)
A classy game from the fullback who gave us a lesson in counter-attacking. His footwork was superb and he carved the Connacht defence open a number of times. If he keeps playing like this then he could oust Mike Brown from his England shirt.

14. David Strettle (Saracens)
It’s quite hard to overlook a winger who scores a hat-trick in the Heineken Cup. Strettle did what every good winger should do and that’s support his players and take his chances when he gets the ball. Honourable mention to Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

13. Duncan Taylor (Saracens)
The Scottish centre was a bit of an unsung hero for Saracens during their demolition of Connacht. He attacked well, tackled hard and was involved in most of Sarries’ tries. Should be pushing for that Scotland 13 jersey. Mention to Jonny May who scored a beauty for Gloucester.

12. Wesley Fofana (Clermont Auvergne)
Clermont’s game against Racing wasn’t really one for the backs but Fofana looked electric every time he got the ball. The French international made eight carries for a total of 78 metres, including one superb counter-attack which nearly led to a try.

11. Simon Zebo (Munster)
Came off the bench early doors for the injured Keith Earls and looked sharp. He was always hungry for the ball, ran well and scored a try. Made 11 carries for 49 metres in 55 minutes.

10. Charlie Hodgson (Saracens)
This was the type of match that Hodgson thrives upon. His kicking off the tee was uncharacteristically poor but he attacked quickly, took the ball to the gain-line and he kept Connacht guessing all game.

9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)
The maestro was at it again on Saturday. Scored all of his side’s 22 points and his management of the game was superb as always. Has the South African been the player of the Heineken Cup so far?

1. Cian Healy (Leinster)
Comes back weeks early from his shoulder injury and helps Leinster dominate the Ospreys’ scrum. Healy looked like a man possessed, he carried hard and tackled hard for the 50 minutes that he was on the pitch. Honourable mention to Mako Vunipola.

2. Damien Varley (Munster)
The hooker’s throwing in was brilliant, only missing his target once during the match and his defensive work was excellent, especially the choke tackle. Honourable mention to Quins’ Dave Ward again.

3. Martin Moore (Leinster)
Alongside Healy and Sean Cronin, Moore helped to shatter the Ospreys’ front-row. He made a number of telling tackles in a performance that was mature beyond his years.

4. George Kruis (Saracens)
Kruis was in Connacht’s face all game and his efforts were quite rightly rewarded with a try. He came into the backline to act as a linkman and he stole ball in the lineout. A solid performance.

5. Leone Nakarawa (Glasgow Warriors)
He produced some typical Fijian offloading which probably wasn’t needed in the sodden conditions but his work in the loose was outstanding. He carried 14 times for 26 metres, beat eight defenders and made 10 tackles.

6. Gerhard Vosloo (Clermont Auvergne)
Two tries for the South African in the type of physical slug-fest that he absolutely loves. He looked like a stereotypical number six, making a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and tackling well. Honourable mention to Rhys Ruddock.

7. Chris Henry (Ulster)
Henry covered every blade of grass in a superb display that saw him make 20 tackles as well as carrying a number of times. Honourable mentions to Tom Wood and Chris Fusaro.

8. Steffon Armitage (Toulon)
This was a weekend for number 8s with Nick Williams brilliant against Leicester and Fritz Lee showing some wonderfully consistent form, but Armitage just takes it. He’s not a natural eight but you couldn’t tell as he carried 11 times for 30 metres, made 17 tackles and stole a huge amount of ball.

By Calum Gillon (@C_Gillon)

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

13 thoughts on “Heineken Cup Team of the Week: Round 6

  1. ” If he keeps playing like this then he could oust Mike Brown from his England shirt.”

    I’m resigned to him getting the 23 shirt, but if Brown gets moved to the wing to accommodate Goode again I’ll be dismayed.

  2. Goode’s been excellent since he came back from injury. He’s always been a very good footballer but he’s added a bit more pace which was always his worst aspect. I’d rather he gets a start than Brown, whose form hasn’t been great since the AIs.

  3. Pleased with how all of England’s fit loosehead resources are going at the moment. Mako had the edge of Census Johnston last week, went well again this week. Marler seemed to get the upper hand on Lee (who’s earning a big reputation as a destroyer of scrum) and behind Mullen there’s Nathan Catt.

    Healy was mighty in the loose, but maybe too much credit given for the scrummaging against a pick minus Evans.

  4. I don’t want to see Goode anywhere near the eng 15 shirt (and I am a Sarries supporter). He was made to look very goode (excuse the punn) against a woeful Connacht, there is no way any 6 or tri nations team would give him anywhere near that amount of room. Brown does everything better and has to be a shoe in for 15 unless Foden is available for selection.

    Think that Billy V deserves a special mention. Had he been playing 8 sure he would have made it into the team!

    Luke Marshall was awesome for Ulster and derserves a mention.

    Pienaar was just in a totally different league to anyone else at the weekend!

    1. Spot on. Practically impossible to gauge how good they really were because it took little to despatch such a weak team.

    2. Agree with you on Billy V. 14 carries for 41 metres is awesome. And although he was wearing 6, every time they packed down he was at 8. I think Joubert is a little superstitious about his shirt number.

  5. Charlie hodgson was great with the ball and his kicking is normally better I would rather have him in 6 nations squad than myler. Also Dave ward seems to be developing well and could push for an upgrade if anything happens to young/Hartley.

  6. Agree with Matt regarding Goode.I’ve long had my doubts regarding the England backs coaching set up and hope to God that one outing against a very under firing Connacht side hasn’t convinced them they have to fit him in.He’s good in his own way with deft kicking skills and ‘vision’ but is hopelessly under powered and under paced to be a convincing International.

  7. Oh god, I can see it now. The back line from my deepest, darkest nightmares…


    I fear I shall wake screaming tonight having dreamt that, in a surprise move, Lancaster has called up Strettle due to his ‘form’ and dropped Brown

    On a more serious note, I do think it’s a shame that Goode has never had a proper run at fly half. I reckon he’d suit it rather nicely

  8. Goode wouldn’t replace hodgson or Farrell at 10 for sarries tho so would have to move clubs to get a shot. Big gamble when he appears pretty settled at a big club.

Comments are closed.