RaboDirect Pro12 Team of the Week: Round 22

15. Jared Payne (Ulster)
Held the last line of defense well with some excellent positional work combined with outstanding tackling. The Blues were not challenging for the play-offs but still put up a fight which kept Payne busy all afternoon.

14. Andrew Conway (Leinster)
Conway was brilliant on the wing for Leinster, running hard, causing the Osprey defence all sorts of problems. The impressive winger collected three tries for his afternoon’s work, handing the advantage to Leinster for the first play-off round against Glasgow on 11 May.

13. Sean Lamont (Glasgow)
The powerful centre dominated the middle of the pitch with a combination of strength and determined running against a Connacht side who caused Glasgow problems. Lamont kept the home team’s defence busy with some tireless running, bulldozing holes for the likes of Jackson, Maitland and Hogg to exploit. Good all round game from the big man.

12. Ian Keatley (Munster)
Keatley did it all for Munster, ran hard, created brilliantly and slotted three conversions and two penalties, helping Munster record a narrow victory over Zebre, who finish the season winless. Keatley kept the scoreboard ticking over for the visitors with excellent kicking and ball-handling skills.

11. Andrew Trimble (Ulster)
Grabbed himself two tries and ran the Blues ragged all game. One of the major weapons Ulster have in their arsenal, Trimble played well with hard work in attack and defence, resulting in Ulster finishing on top of the RaboPro12.

10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)
Slotted three conversions and three penalties helping Leinster to a second place finish and a date with Glasgow on 11th May. Sprayed the ball all over the pitch with precision and skill while running the Ospreys ragged with quick ball.

9. Ruan Pienaar (Ulster)
An excellent game from one of the Rabo PRO12’s most talented players, scoring one try while helping to set-up three more. Pienaar displayed his usual array of trickery, ball-skills and brilliant decision-making to lead Ulster to an impressive 24-point win over the Blues.

1. Matias Aguero (Zebre)
A spirited performance from the powerful prop. Aguero held-up well against the talented Munster front row, putting in a dominating performance in the scrums and rucks, causing the Munster defense all sorts of problems. With talents like Aguero, Zebre will not remain winless for long next season.

2. Steven Lawrie (Edinburgh)
Put in a hard shift to keep Edinburgh in the hunt for victory which has eluded them for a while. Lawrie performed well in the scrums, handled the line-out with skill and put in a strong defensive showing to give the Murrayfield faithful a win and performance they have craved for some time.

3. Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh)
In what was his final professional game the setting and outcome could not have been more perfect. Jacobsen has been one of Edinburgh and Scotland’s best players, a timeless prop who has defied so many odds to remain in both international and club folds. The ‘old-school’ prop did his job for the last time excellently, dominating in the scrums while causing as many problems as he could in the rucks and mauls. Jacobsen will be sorely missed by both Edinburgh and Scotland.

4. Paul O’Connell (Munster)
Another talismanic warrior who put in an outstanding display to help Munster hold on for the win in Italy. O’Connell had another huge game for his team, tackling with soaring levels of aggression and determination. He sought out the ball with some crushing hits.

5. Josh Sole (Zebre)
Grabbed himself man of the match honors for his brilliant second row display, competing well against some of the best in European rugby. The big lock put in a big shift, running hard, jumping well in the line-outs and distributing the ball out of contact expertly. Sole is another example of the talents this young Zebre side have.

6. Manova Vosawai (Treviso)
The big, dominating back-row put in a big shift, helping to keep the Scarlets penned back. Vosawai earned himself a try and set up another, helping to record an impressive scalp for the Italians which means they finish seventh in the Pro12 table, not far off play-off positions.

7. Robbie Diack (Ulster)
Grabbed a try in an impressive back-row performance. Diack was all over the pitch asserting himself on the match with ferocious determination. Ulster will need the likes of Diack, Pienaar, Payne and Trimble all to step-up for the play-off series if they are to stand any chance of stopping Glasgow, Leinster or the Scarlets.

8. Netani Talei (Edinburgh)
Put in a big shift earning himself Man of the Match honours. The big number 8 played with skill and aggression as the Dragons continually tried to take full control of the match. Talei bagged one try along with a handful of bone-crunching tackles. Overall an impressive performance from the powerful Fijian.

By Alexander McLeman