RaboDirect Pro12 Team of the Week: Round 19

15. Stuart Hogg (Glasgow)
A fine overall performance from one of Glasgow and Scotland’s most dynamic players. Defended the Gary-Owen brilliantly with smart positional play while launching counter attacks with poise and determination. Hogg is a galvanizing force who injects pace, drive skill and a winning mentality into any team he features in.

14. George North (Scarlets)
Full of pace, power and aggression helping to lift the Scarlets to an all important win in front of close to 40,000 at the Millennium Stadium. North looked a constant threat, and his impressive afternoon was rewarded with two well taken tries.

13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
Another Scarlet who put his body on the line in a must win match. The skilful centre never stopped working right until the end, personifying exactly what the match meant to the Scarlets. He was excellent throughout and managed to touch down for a try of his own.

12. Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys)
Grabbed an all important try for his Ospreys team keeping them in the top four by the skin of their teeth. The Ospreys need to maintain this sort of form if they are to fend off the likes of Munster and the Scarlets, who sit level on points with the Ospreys. Spratt was impressive for his region, running with skill and determination.

11. Sean Maitland (Glasgow)
A stand-out performer for Glasgow, replicating his fine international form on the club stage with a try. The tricky winger displayed some brilliant running, slipping past the Munster defenders with ease as he helped lead Glasgow in a brutal thrashing of the Irishmen in front of 6,000 at Scotstoun Stadium. Glasgow now sit top of the Pro12 but with Ulster and Leinster both winning the chase is not over to secure that all important home-tie in the play-offs.

10. Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow)
By far Glasgow’s best player on Friday scoring an impressive 22 points and completely controlling every facet of the contest. Jackson is a volatile fly-half who can either single handedly take apart a team (Munster) or be a total passenger in matches (Ulster). Thankfully for Glasgow the better side of Jackson turned up spraying impressive passes all over the park and commanding his team in an important win at home.

9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)
Pienaar was back to his best on Saturday with some scintillating skills on show. The South African slotted four penalties helping Ulster break a three game losing streak. He controlled the breakdowns well, getting quick ball out and offering up some dynamic running slipping between the Leinster defense. For Ulster to continue to keep pace with Glasgow Pienaar needs to be on top form, keeping the motor running for the Northern Irishmen who rely heavily on his impressive decision making and drive.

1. Adam Jones (Ospreys)
The Welsh international imposed himself immediately on the match with some huge hits and excellent ball carrying. Fronted-up well in the scrums keeping his opposite number quiet all match. Grabbed himself man-of-the-match honors for his hard work and impressive all-round play.

2. Rory Best (Ulster)
Excellent line-out ball, dug deep in the scrums and offered himself as a viable support runner whenever he could. Ulster needed their players to front up against Leinster and Best didn’t disappoint with some great play.

3. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster)
Massive in the scrums, line-outs and rucks, he caused Glasgow all sorts of problems throughout the game. Did well to keep the big Glasgow pack quiet but was unable to do everything himself.

4. Paul O’Connell (Munster)
Another notable Munster forward who worked tirelessly to keep pace with Glasgow. O’Connell played brilliantly in the first half, keeping Glasgow pinned back with some excellent defensive play. The former Lion however was unable to maintain such high levels of intensity throughout the course of the game as Glasgow started to gain a bigger hold of the match.

5. Alastair Kellock (Glasgow)
Excellent all-round game from the big Scotsman. Got stuck into the match from the kick-off with some well-timed tackling and powerful running. Kellock worked well in the line-outs to disrupt the Munster line as best he could.

6. Robbie Diack (Ulster)
Worked well to keep pace with a powerful Leinster pack. Did his job well, picking-up lose ball while snuffing out any sort of forward momentum Leinster were trying to gain. Another player who Ulster will need over the coming weeks if they are to stay within touching distance of Glasgow.

7. James King (Ospreys)
Brilliant with or without the ball, King ran and defended superbly to keep the Ospreys just in the play-off places. King did his job well, doing the basics right while maintaining a high intensity throughout. Great all-round performance from the impressive back-rower.

8. Dries Van Schalkwyk (Zebre)
One of the best players on the pitch for the struggling Italian side. Zebre as a whole played well, keeping the pressure on the Scots who have had a poor Pro12 season considering the high hopes they had going into this year. The No.8 grabbed a well earned try while showing that Zebre are not a team to be taken lightly. Edinburgh were lucky to take home the points as the Italians pushed them right to the final whistle.

By Alexander McLeman

5 thoughts on “RaboDirect Pro12 Team of the Week: Round 19

  1. Is it not garryowen after the Irish league team that begun the tactic of high kicking rather than Gary-owen?

    I just want to know now. Please somebody tell me.

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