Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Three
OPINION: The Sunwolves are no longer the laughing stock of Super Rugby.
They saw to that with a first-ever away win – 30-15 over the Chiefs in Hamilton.
It is thus not surprising they top the pops in @rugby365com’s famous weekly selection.
There are four Sunwolves in our starting XV, with four other teams – the Crusaders, Rebels, Bulls and Stormers – producing two each.
The Jaguares, Highlanders and Hurricanes make up the numbers.
There is further reward for the Sunwolves and Crusaders in our back-up squad – four from each team bubbling under.
The Hurricanes (two), Sharks, Jaguares, Stormers, Rebels and Blues (one each) make up the numbers.
Just two players return from last week – flank Shannon Frizell (Highlanders) and prop Joe Moody (Crusaders).
* Did we get it right this week?
Team of the Week – Round Three:
15 – Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels):
The epitome of the Rebels’ never-say-die attitude – be that with ball-in-hand or on defence.
Bubbling under: Will Jordan (Crusaders)
14 – Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves):
Unwanted and discarded in South Africa. Now a superstar in Japan. Scoring tries almost at will.
Bubbling under: Braydon Ennor (Crusaders)
13 – Jack Goodhue (Crusaders):
Showed why he is now rated New Zealand’s premier outside centre. His reading of the game was spot on – both attack and defence.
Bubbling under: Shane Gates (Sunwolves)
12 – Michael Little (Sunwolves):
Not only was he the creative mastermind, but also the physical presence in the Sunwolves backline – plenty of carry metres and his tackle count well into double figures.
Bubbling under: Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes)
11 – Ramiro Moyano (Jaguares):
So little space, so much speed! Shows what the real the qualities of a wing should be – scoring tries when there appears to be no way through.
Bubbling under: Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)
10 – Handre Pollard (Bulls):
Flyhalf masterclass. Lessons at Loftus. Bring your own sandwiches.
Bubbling under: Hayden Parker (Sunwolves)
9 – Will Genia (Rebels):
The veteran still has all the skills and class. Alongside Quade Cooper he will do a lot of damage this year.
Bubbling under: Thomas Cubelli (Jaguares)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Bulls):
He was everything that was missing from the Lions pack – physical, energetic and persistent. A belligerent beast.
Bubbling under: Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers):
Since his move from the second row to the back row, he has become one of South Africa’s most valuable assets.
Bubbling under: Shuhei Matsuhashi (Sunwolves)
6 – Shannon Frizell (Highlanders):
Was outstanding in a losing cause – even considering the dropped ball over the goalline. Now an All Black certainty.
Bubbling under: Hendrik Tui (Sunwolves)
5 – Uwe Helu (Sunwolves):
All Black stalwart Brodie Retallick was outshone by this little-known Japanese lock in Hamilton. Helu could be crucial to the Japan cause at the World Cup.
Bubbling under: John Schickerling (Stormers)
4 – Eben Etzebeth (Stormers):
At the heart of a pack that has set up the two wins in the last fortnight – giving new meaning to the phrase: ‘Winning ugly’.
Bubbling under: Scott Barrett (Crusaders)
3 – Hiroshi Yamashita (Sunwolves):
Powerful scrumming and strong carries. An energetic performance.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (Crusaders)
2 – Dane Coles (Hurricanes):
The fans in the Land of the Silver fern will celebrate that Coles is back and performing to his usual high standards.
Bubbling under: Anaru Rangi (Rebels)
1 – Joe Moody (Crusaders):
Working in tandem with Owen Franks, especially at scrum time, has given the Crusaders pack a decisive edge.
Bubbling under: Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues)
Our individual selections:
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Will Genia, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Michael Little, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Thomas Cubelli, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Team of the Week – Round Two: 15 Tom Banks (Brumbies), 14 Chance Peni (Brumbies), 13 Jordan Petaia (Reds), 12 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 11 George Bridge (Crusaders), 10 Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies), 9 Tomas Cubelli (Jaguares), 8 Lachlan McCaffrey (Brumbies), 7 Albertus Smith (Lions), 6 Shannon Frizell (Highlanders), 5 Josh Dickson (Highlanders), 4 Scott Barrett (Crusaders), 3 Carlu Sadie (Lions), 2 Armand van der Merwe (Sharks), 1 Joe Moody (Crusaders).
Team of the Week – Round One: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Jack Maddocks (Rebels), 13 Braydon Ennor (Crusaders), 12 Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs), 11 Rosko Specman (Bulls), 10 Handre Pollard (Bulls), 9 Will Genia (Rebels), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Bulls), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Marnus Schoeman (Lions), 5 Lodewyk de Jager (Bulls), 4 Scott Barrett (Crusaders), 3 Carlu Sadie (Lions), 2 Armand van der Merwe (Sharks), 1 Dylan Smith (Lions).