RaboDirect Pro12 Team of the Week: Round 17

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15 – Brendan Williams (Treviso)
A solid last line of defense for the Italian side who are looking more and more relevant in the Pro12. Williams read the Ulster attackers well with pinpoint positioning for the highballs put up by the likes of Jackson and Pienaar while also joining in the back-line to launch excellent counter-attacking play.

14 – Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
The speedy Irishman ran hard all game, making space both for himself and his teammates. Displayed some dazzling individual running, out pacing the Benetton Treviso defenders on countless occasions. Bagged himself a well earned try and was unfortunate not to add anymore.

13 – Stuart Olding (Ulster)
Strong defender, counter attacked with pace, tried his hardest to get his Ulster team back to winning ways following last weekend’s defeat. The powerful centre bulldozed his way through the Benetton Treviso defense on a number of occasions collecting a try for his troubles. He was one of the Northern Irishmen’s most consistent players.

12 – Peter Horne (Glasgow)
Another stand-out week from an emerging talent for the Scottish title chasers. The Warriors looked solid in the back-line with Horne putting in some big hits to keep the Cardiff Blues moving backwards. Kept to the basics throughout the contest, ran hard and defended like his life depended on it.

11 – Dave Kearney (Leinster)
An excellent overall performance from the powerful winger. Collected the Man of the Match honours for his troubles while crossing over for two tries in a match Leinster needed to win to stay within touching distance of Glasgow and the stuttering Ulster.

10 – Duncan Weir (Glasgow)
Was one of the Warriors’ main attacking threats, pulling all the strings in a match the home team never looked like losing. Accurate relief kicking, three conversions, one penalty and a try was an excellent outing for the Glasgow Fly Half.

9 – Nikola Matawalu (Glasgow)
Commanded the rucks, mauls, scrums and generally the entire game. Again showed his worth to Glasgow with impressive line-breaks, well-timed off-loads and quick ball to Weir and the rest of the Glasgow back-line. Scored twice which takes his tally for the season to five tries overall.

1 -WP Nel (Edinburgh)
Was consistant the entire game, holding firm in the scrums and fronted-up well to slow the Scarlets down. Nel was one of the good points Edinburgh could take away from the trip to Wales.

2 – Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Scrummaged well, defended excellently and grabbed two tries and Man of the Match honours. He kept motoring forward throughout the entire contest, motivating his team to follow suit. Displayed an overall powerful performance which could merit a call-up to the Irish squad for this weekend’s game.

3 – John Welsh (Glasgow)
As the young Prop continues to regain his pre-injury form, he keeps showing his class in a Glasgow forward pack which is dominating everything it comes into contact with. Welsh was dependable in the scrums while running hard to break those critical gain-lines.

4 – Andrew Browne (Connacht)
Line-outs were consistent, always looking for the ball and worked hard in the trenches to keep Connacht in with a shout and record another impressive victory. The win over Zebre means that Connacht stay at 9th in the table but have closed the gap on Cardiff and Benetton Treviso.

5 – Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
A strong overall performance from the experienced second-rower. Showed what he is capable of when fully fit with some hard hits being administered combined with excellent ball foraging skills to keep the Ospreys in the hunt.

6 – John Strauss (Glasgow)
Man of the Match for his error free performance which allowed Glasgow to stay on top of the RaboDirect Pro12. Strauss played dynamic rugby with excellent ball handling, hard running and timing to power Glasgow to victory and another step closer to glory.

7 – Dean Budd (Treviso)
Put his body on the line countless times, throwing himself into tackles to almost give his Italian team the biggest scalp of the season. Budd kept working hard to the final whistle, continually found rummaging for the ball trying to make something happen. An impressive game against one of the Pro12’s most impressive and consistent teams.

8 – Ieuan Jones (Dragons)
Stood-out as the Dragons’ most impressive player, keeping the ball at the breakdown while trying his hardest to keep Leinster in check. Scored a well executed try in a match which could have gone either way.

By Alexander McLeman
@TodaysPlay

4 thoughts on “RaboDirect Pro12 Team of the Week: Round 17

  1. I see the error Ken has pointed out, however both players did perform to a ‘Man of the Match’ standard therefore Alexander has either by luck or on purpose identified two excellent performers who should have shared the honors. Either way it wasn’t like one player was rotten and the other outstanding. Semantics I believe.

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