Team of the Week: Beastly selection
There is an interesting collection of players in our famous weekly selection – spread across nine of the 14 teams that featured in the first full round of Super Rugby action.
The Sharks may have the most players, four in all, but it is because their entire front row made into our starting XV.
The only other teams with more than one player are the Chiefs, Lions and Highlanders.
The Waratahs, Reds, Blues, Cheetahs and Crusaders also get a look-in.
It is a similar story in our back-up squad, where eight teams are represented.
Top of that pile are the Sharks and Reds (three each), followed by the Cheetahs, Waratahs, Highlanders (two each), Chiefs, Crusaders and Lions (one each).
Four players return from last week – wing Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), hooker Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks) and prop Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
Team of the Week – Round Two:
15 – Israel Folau (Waratahs):
It is so much more than just his hat-trick. He is going to trouble many teams this season.
Bubbling under: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)
14 – Lachie Turner (Reds):
Yes, he did score a great try, but it was the amount of work he did on defence – including a try-saving tackle on Jesse Mogg.
Bubbling under: Alofa Alofa (Waratahs)
13 – Robbie Fruean (Chiefs):
His always been big an powerful, which gets him plenty of run metres, to go along with some monster hits on defence.
Bubbling under: Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders)
12 – Frances Saili (Blues):
It is amazing that he showed no signs of the stress fracture which has now ruled him out for at least six weeks. He admitted going into the game with a serious injury, which makes his performance all that more admirable.
Bubbling under: Frans Steyn (Sharks)
11 – Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks):
He is a sight to behold when he is in such devastating form.
Bubbling under: Patrick Osborne (Highlanders)
10 – Marnitz Boshoff (Lions):
It wasn't as straight forward as it seems, despite Boshoff's kicking game the standout feature of the weekend. However, Boshoff edged Wallaby Quade Cooper, not just because of his kicking, but he made three times more metres when he ran and made more tackles than Cooper.
Bubbling under: Quade Cooper (Reds)
9 – Aaron Smith (Highlanders):
He has clearly stolen a march on his rivals for the All Black No.9 jersey.
Bubbling under: Will Genia (Reds)
8 – Nasi Manu (Highlanders):
Gave new meaning to the phrase: 'Captain's innings'.
Bubbling under: Ryan Kankowski (Sharks)
7 – Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs):
Was one of our toughest calls of the weekend. Two quality players, but Labuschagne just edge Liam Gill because of his value in the line-outs.
Bubbling under: Liam Gill (Reds)
6 – Jaco Kriel (Lions):
One of the most underrated players in the competition. Good ball carrier and immense on defence, often making twice as many tackles as his rivals.
Bubbling under: Liam Messam (Chiefs)
5 – Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):
Another tough call – with Retallick's work on defence just edging him ahead of Pieter-Steph du Toit, who is becoming a very valuable line-out asset.
Bubbling under: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks)
4 – Sam Whitelock (Crusaders):
Great allround performance – strong carries, made all his tackles and took more than a handful of line-outs.
Bubbling under: Will Skelton (Waratahs)
3 – Jannie du Plessis (Sharks):
He does have his detractors, but such a powerful scrumming performance must be applauded.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (Crusaders)
2 – Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
Simply the best!
Bubbling under: Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
1 – Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks):
The Beast has found his mojo! Oh, yes, and he can also scrum.
Bubbling under: Schalk van der Merwe (Lions)
Our individual selections!
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Frances Saili, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Frances Saili, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Team of the Week – Round One: 15 SP Marais (Sharks), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).