Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round 2

15. Charles Piutau (Blues)
The Blues fullback is probably one of the strongest around. He joined the line at pace and kept the Hurricanes’ defense very busy.

14. Frank Halai (Blues)
Another real tough guy in the Blues backline. Despite earning himself a yellow card and conceding a penalty try, he came back on with a vengeance and made sure that he had the final say in his team’s runaway victory by dotting down a second time in the dying minutes of the game.

13. Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs)
Not even the loss of their two legendary kahunas (SBW to league and Richard Kahui to injury) could deter the Chiefs’ midfield from being sensational. The youngster is a true opportunist and if you allow him even an inch of space, he’ll make you pay – as he did twice against the Highlanders.

12. Francis Saili (Blues)
Yes, it’s the third Blues player in the team. Even considering Ben Tapuai’s brace, it is this inside centre’s manoeuvring and airtight defence that allowed his teammates to excel as they did.

11. Hosea Gear (Highlanders)
He often goes almost unnoticed even when he puts in the hard work, but this time the Highlanders’ captain got himself on the scoreboard in addition to his usual telling runs.

10. Demetri Catrakilis (Kings)
I did consider Pat Lambie as he didn’t put a foot wrong, and although Catrakilis didn’t have the most desirable day with the boot, it was the way he took control of the match in the second half and his cool head under pressure that gave his team the tactical advantage.

9. Nic White (Brumbies)
He came up against stronger opposition this week, but everyone else looked rather rusty and he replied with a scrumhalf’s first, second and third priorities. He swept the rucks with speed and efficiency, providing his team with plenty of front-foot ball.

8. Jacques Engelbrecht (Kings)
Engelbrecht came on as a replacement after the Kings’ captain Luke Watson took a blow to the throat, and what an impact he made. Just about every time he touched the ball, he broke through the defense and tackled as if his life depended on it.

7. Marcel Coetzee (Sharks)
This openside flanker is a real terrier and made life very difficult for the Cheetahs at the breakdown. Not only is he a strong youngster, but he has nimble feet and a keen eye for the line.

6. Eddie Quirk (Reds)
Who said the Reds would miss Scott Higginbotham? He pounced on anything lose and wriggled his way through many tackles. Add to that his great vision and the amount of yards he puts on the clock when he breaks the line, and you have one very useful loose forward.

5. Steven Sykes (Kings)
The Kings’ lock made a nuisance of himself on the opposition’s throw and tackled for all his worth. Although he conceded too many penalties, he played a central role in his team’s historic victory.

4. Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes)
Not only did he successfully secure the Hurricanes’ ball time and again, he was by far the most dependable jumper in a weekend that didn’t see many shining stars in the second row.

3. Ben Afeaki (Chiefs)
The Chiefs’ tighthead was outstanding in defence and provided a good, strong platform in the scrum for the rest of his team to work from.

2. Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
Even though he didn’t have the best day at the office, the Cheetahs’ captain lead from the front and made his presence felt all over the park.

1. Pek Cowan (Force)
He was one the wrong side of my coin flip last week, but this time around the Force’s loosehead made sure he got noticed. Not only did he put the Kings’ scrum under constant pressure, he successfully powered his way over the try line as well.

By Jackie Smit

6 thoughts on “Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round 2

  1. Hi Jasper, I did consider Moggy and I should probably have given him a mention here as I did in the Round 2 Review. However, I felt that Piutau had a bigger influence on his team’s shocking victory. Many favoured the Hurricanes and their dangerous backline versus Jesse who played in a team that was easily the stronger side. Alfie Mafi has also scored 3 tries now and shares the lead with Mogg.

  2. ek like no 8,maar ek dink m steyn was die beter 10 die naweek. hy het die stormers uit die wedstryd geskop.stel dit so,as hy nie daar was nie het die bulls verloor,maar as Demetri ook nie daar was nie sou die kings nog altyd meng. voorstel wat van n all round span elke week. vir die ouens wat elke week goed speel.

  3. I agree with you that Steyn played a big part in the Bulls’ win, but I felt that Catrakilis was under more pressure on and off the field. He doesn’t have any Super Rugby experience and his team was practically written off before the match even kicked off. The way he absorbed that and kept the Force on the back foot during the second half, served to increase the Kings’ resolve by superb tactical kicking. He probably won’t feature in the Team of the Week again, so I gave him the benefit this time.

  4. Hi Nick, Beast did have a great game and he surely made the Cheetah front-rowers suffer. I just felt that Pek contributed on other areas as well. I’ll have to start paying more attention to the scrums during the game, see who gets the high-fives, etc, as I’m no expert when it comes to the engine.

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