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Team of the Week: Tropical Storm

As the Hurricanes prepare to host the Highlanders in an all-New Zealand final, it is no co-incidence that the home side dominates rugby365's famous Team of the Week.

The Hurricanes will host a Super Rugby Final for the first time and will be just their second appearance in the championship match, after they demolished the Brumbies 29-9 in Wellington.

The Canes' showing has handed them five spots in the forwards and a futher four in the backline.

Ben and Aaron Smith are the only players to retain their spots from last week's team after the Highlanders ensured it would be an all-New Zealand final when they travelled to Sydney and handed the Waratahs a 35-17 loss.

The scrumhalf managed to keep himself in the team with another strong showing while the Landers have a further three players in the starting XV.

There is some consolation though for the Waratahs as prop Sekope Kepu put in a good performance to be the only Australian in the team, although he did not have much competition this week while Michael Hooper finds himself among the reserves.

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, semifinals:

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm15 – Ben Smith (Highlanders): No Team of the Week can be selected without Mr Reliable who was once again in sublime form to help marshal the troops to victory.

Bubbling under: James Marshall (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm14 – Waisake Naholo (Highlanders): Proved to be a deadly finisher when he showed sublime individual skills to score despite off-the-ball interference to continue his excellent try scoring form.

Bubbling under: Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm13 – Conrad Smith (Hurricanes): Showed why is when one of the in-form outside centres at the moment as he helped guide his to a dominant performance.

Bubbling under: Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm12 – Ma'a Nonu (Hurricanes): Anyone who makes more than 100 metres from 13 runs deserves to be in this team, not to mention proving why his partnership with Conrad Smith is the deadliest midfield combination in the competition, if not the world.

Bubbling under: Richard Buckman (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm11 – Julian Savea (Hurricanes): He showed why he has the tag of being the next Lomu when he literally ran over Nic White – much like Lomu did to England's Mike Catt.

Bubbling under: Patrick Osborne (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm10 – Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes): The perfect link between his forwards and backline, Barrett was once again in fine form as he ran the show to help secure the home final.

Bubbling under: Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm9 – Aaron Smith (Highlanders): Yet another Jack Russel-like performance as he grabbed his side's first try and showed his ability to read the game while showcasing some simple, yet excellent skill.

Bubbling under: TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm8 – Nasi Manu (Highlanders): The workhorse of the side managed to edge a tight call after he hung onto all his tackles while making plenty of distance with his carries

Bubbling under: Victor Vito (Hurricanes)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm7 – Ardie Savea (Hurricanes): Powerful with ball-in-hand and grabbed a try in a performance that handed him a clean sweep of votes from our selectors.

Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Waratahs)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm6 – Brad Shields (Hurricanes): Slim pickings here but he managed to grab the vote thanks to his highly impressive work rate and defensive prowess.

Bubbling under: Elliot Dixon (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm5 – James Broadhurst (Hurricanes): Part of the engine room that drove the powerful Canes forward pack, he allowed no opposition player to pass while managing to enforce the odd turn-over.

Bubbling under: Mark Reddish (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm4 – Alex Ainley (Highlanders): Tightly contested position but Ainley won the hearts of enough selectors to pip his fellow locks to the position. Pretty sure it had something to do with his tackle count and line-out steals.

Bubbling under: Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm3 – Sekope Kepu (Waratahs):  The lone-Australian in the team secured his spot in the team by hanging on to all of his tackles while not conceding a penalty in a fairly openly-contested position.

Bubbling under: Josh Hohneck (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm2 – Dane Coles (Hurricanes):  Beat foour defenders while racking up 33 metres from seven runs and effected a turn-over during a dominant display in-front of his home crowd.

Bubbling under: Liam Coltman (Highlanders)

Team of the Week: Tropical Storm1 – Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes): Makes a welcome return to the team after last appearing in Round 12. Another solid performance on defence and at scrum time saw him edge the selection.

Bubbling under: Benn Robinson (Waratahs)

Our individual selections!

 

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Benn Robinson.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith,  8 Nasi Manu, 7 Ardie Savea,  6 Elliot Dixon, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Benn Robinson.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Scott Sio.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith,  8 Victor Vito, 7 Ardie Savea,  6 Elliot Dixon, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Reggie Goodes.

Previous selections:

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, play-offs: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Waisake Naholo (Highlanders), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Damian De Allende (Stormers), 11 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Ita Vaea (Brumbies), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Scott Fardy (Brumbies), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Pauliasi Manu (Chiefs).

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 18: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Odwa Ndungane (Sharks), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Ryno Benjamin (Cheetahs), 11  Matt Carraro (Waratahs), 10 Dan Carter (Crusaders), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), 8 Dan Pryor (Highlanders), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3  Ben Franks (Hurricanes), 2  Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1  Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 17: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes), 13 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11  Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Dan Carter (Crusaders), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 James Broadhurst (Hurricanes), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3  Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2  Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), 1  Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 16: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Quade Cooper (Reds), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes), 3  Vincent Koch (Stormers), 2  Armand van der Merwe (Lions), 1  Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 15: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), 13 Lionel Mapoe (Lions), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Dillyn Leyds (Stormers), 10 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 9 Augustine Pulu (Chiefs), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Liam Messam (Chiefs), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3  Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2  Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1  Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 14: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Hosea Gear (Chiefs), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Hurricanes), 11 Bryce Heem (Chiefs), 10 Bernards Foley (Waratahs), 9 Nic White (Brumbies), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Jordy Reid (Rebels), 6 Schalk Burger (Stormers), 5 James Broadhurst (Hurricanes), 4 Jeremy Thush (Hurricanes), 3 Greg Holmes (Reds), 2  Hika Elliot (Chiefs), 1  Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 13: 15 Andries Coetzee (Lions), 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), 13 Harold Vorster (Lions), 12 Dan Carter (Crusaders), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Akira Ioane (Blues), 5 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 4 Jeremy Thush (Hurricanes), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2  Motu Matu'u (Hurricanes), 1  Chris Eves (Hurricanes).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 12: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders), 12 Michael van der Spuy (Cheetahs), 11 Melani Nanai (Blues), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Arno Botha (Bulls), 7 Jordy Reid (Rebels), 6 Akira Ioane (Blues), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Carl Wegner (Cheetahs), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1  Reg Goodes (Hurricanes).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 11: 15 Joe Pietersen (Cheetahs), 14 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 13 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Jordan Tafua (Crusaders), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Hika Elliot (Chiefs), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round 10: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes), 14 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 George Moala (Blues), 11 James O'Connor (Reds), 10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders), 9 Brad Weber (Chiefs), 8 Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Nine: 15 Jesse Kriel (Bulls), 14 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Matt Todd (Crusaders), 6 Heinrich Brussow (Cheetahs), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Stephan Moore (Brumbies), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Eight: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Tom Marshall (Chiefs), 13 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Warrick Tecklenburg (Lions), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 5 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Scott Sio (Brumbies), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1 Reg Goodes (Hurricanes).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Seven: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Waisake Naholo (Highlanders), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), 10 Handre Pollard (Bulls), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Warrick Tecklenburg (Lions), 6 Renaldo Bothma (Sharks), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes), 3 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), 2  Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1 Pauliasi Manu (Chiefs).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Six: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Dan Carter (Crusaders), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Pat Lambie (Sharks), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Scott Sio (Brumbies), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Bulls), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes).  

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Five: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Bryce Heem (Chiefs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Damien de Allende (Stormers), 11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Ita Vaea (Brumbies), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 Elliot Dixon (Highlanders), 5 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Four: 15 Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Damien de Allende (Stormers), 11 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 10 Handre Pollard (Bulls), 9 Nic White (Brumbies), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 Warrick Tecklenburg (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Steve Mafi (Western Force), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs), 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni (Stormers), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Three: 15 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 6 Adam Thomson (Reds), 5 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues), 4 Matt Symons (Chiefs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).      

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round Two: 15 Andries Coetzee (Lions), 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Dillyn Leyds (Stormers), 10 Pat Lambie (Sharks), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Renaldo Bothma (Sharks), 6 Adam Thomson (Reds), 5 Lopeti Timani (Rebels), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Vincent Koch (Stormers), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

 

Team of the Week – Super Rugby, Round One: 15 Mike Harris (Rebels), 14 Luke Morahan (Western Force), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Rob Horne (Waratahs), 10 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Scott Fardy (Brumbies), 5 Lopeti Timani (Rebels), 4 Sam Wykes (Western Force), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

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