15 – Ricky Andrew, Ulster
The quick full-back worked hard to snuff out any Zebre attacks while running some excellentMangles to break open the weak Italian defensive set-up. Played well grabbing himself a try while his team tightened their grip on the top of the table.
14 – Nikola Matawalu, Glasgow
One of Glasgow’s main attacking threats, Matawalu’s massive strength and hard running was too much for a Dragons team who had no answer TO him. Gregor Townsend’s team won comfortably running in eight tries in a 60 point win to remain in second position two points ahead of Leinster and seven behind Ulster.
13 – Luke Marshall, Ulster
A rock defensively, stopping anything that came near him, he also showed excellent vision and game awareness to outsmart Zebre. Marshall ran the line well.
12 – Alex Dunbar, Glasgow
Another great performance from one of Glasgow’s impressive back-line players. Dunbar slipped past defenders with ease, creating space and running hard to let his team-mates loose. With the ball he was an important attacking threat keeping the Dragons’ defenders on their toes while defensively he was solid, letting nothing slip past.
11 – Andrew Trimble, Ulster
The speedy Irishman displayed some of those sprinter talents again against a slow Zebre side who were ripped apart by his lightning quick pace. Trimble posed a legitimate attacking threat whenever the ball came near him, dancing in and out of tackles, evading defenders with ease. An all-round excellent performance from one of Ulster’s often unsung heroes.
10 – Dan Parks, Connacht
Collected 17 of Connacht’s 22 points, running the show with impressive vision, kicking and tactical awareness. The former Scottish international ran riot over an Ospreys team who could hardly contain him. Parks grabbed four penalties, one conversion and one drop goal to lift Connacht up to ninth in the Pro12 table.
9 – Ruan Pienaar, Ulster
One of the most exciting and impressive talents in the Pro12, Pienaar can light up any game with his deft kicking and magician-like creativity. Ulster’s most important player didn’t disappoint as Zebre were opened thanks to some outstanding playmaking.
1 – WP Nel, Edinburgh
The replacement prop grabbed a try and helped bring Edinburgh to the brink of victory with some solid defensive displays and consistent scrummaging. Edinburgh are in a horrible run of form presently, having lost five on the trot with the SRU also announcing that head coach Michael Bradley will not be returning at the end of the season. Nel was one of the few bright sparks who kept the home team in the hunt till the final whistle.
2 – Sean Cronin, Leinster
The hooker ran in two tries, scrummaged well and put in a man of the match shift in Leinster’s 40 point win over Benetton Treviso. Cronin was magnificent in the scrum, holding up the Italian player well, grinding hard to keep Leinster on top. An impressive all-round performance from the Leinster Hooker.
3 – Jon Welsh, Glasgow
Has been in and out of the Glasgow and Scotland team for a year now but with the internationals not being considered this weekend, Welsh had his chance to shine. He worked hard in the scrum to keep Glasgow on top while defending excellently in the tight channels to stop any Dragons attacks. If the young prop can keep this level of play up he will make it back to the international fold.
4 – Tim Swinson, Glasgow
Line-out was consistent, ran hard to keep the Dragons on the back foot and defended brilliantly to keep the game under Glasgow’s control. Crossed over for two well taken tries while posing a real threat whenever the ball was found in his hands. Head coach Townsend has a solid player in Swinson, someone who could keep his team in the hunt for their maiden Pro12 title.
5 – Mike Paterson, Cardiff
In a match which ended in a one-point victory for the Blues, Paterson was a game changer with his try and impressive attacking and defensive play. The big second-rower dug deep when his team needed it to grab an important away win which leaves them seventh in the Pro12 table.
6 – Dominic Ryan, Leinster
The powerful Leinsterman ran hard, disrupted Treviso’s play brilliantly and kept the game in the Irishmen’s hands throughout the entire contest. Ryan grabbed himself an impressive hat-trick of tries to punish the visitors and keep Leinster in the hunt for a top four finish.
7 – Willie Faloon, Connacht
Bagged a try and Man of the Match honors with an impressive display. Faloon helped drive the Connacht scrum, over-powering a lacklustre Ospreys side who could hardly contain Parks let alone Faloon. Connacht have been improving with every match and if the perennial underachievers continue this form, they could well upset more teams who are challenging for Pro12 honors.
8 – Robbie Diack, Ulster
Another stand-out performer for Ulster, Diack controlled the scrum well, driving hard to keep the Northern Irishmen on-top for the majority of the contest. The strong number 8 scored twice while keeping pressure on the Italian visitors with his typically aggressive and skilful play.
By Alexander McLeman