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Team of the Week: Fiery Crusade

Our team this week has a strong New Zealand presence with eight of our XV players coming from Kiwi teams. Besides the Crusaders, other NZ teams represented in our XV this week are the Chiefs and Hurricanes.

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The Stormers, Lions, Melbourne Rebels, Southern Kings and Sunwolves are also represented this week.

Damian McKenzie is at fullback, with Ruan Combrinck and Nemani Nadolo on the wings. In the midfield we have Reece Hodge and David Havili.

We have an all-Hurricanes halfback pairing with Beauden Barrett at flyhalf and TJ Perenara at scrumhalf.

In our loose trio we have Kieran Read, Sam Cane and Chris Cloete, while in the second row we have Franco Mostert and Luke Romano.

Finally, in the front row we have Vincent Koch, Shota Horie and Toby Smith.

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Team of the week – Round Nine

15 – Damian McKenzie (Chiefs)

He is an attacking genius with ball in hand and gave the Hurricanes all sorts of problems with his awareness on the field.

Bubbling under: Israel Dagg (Crusaders)

14 – Ruan Combrinck (Lions)

Scored two great tries against the Southern Kings and was just a handful throughout the game with ball in hand.

Bubbling under: Reece Robinson (Waratahs)

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13 – Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels)

The Cheetahs struggled to contain this explosive player. He scored two tries and is just improving with every opportunity he gets for the Melbourne side.

Bubbling under: Samu Kerevi (Reds)

12 – David Havili (Crusaders)

His distribution from centre was brilliant against the Brumbies and was a key figure in his team's attack.

Bubbling under: Vince Aso (Hurricanes)

11 – Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders)

Got his team over the advantage line on numerous occasions against the Brumbies with his big frame and offloading abilities.

Bubbling under: Julian Savea (Hurricanes)

10 – Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)

Although his kicking to polls was poor, Barrett dominated almost every other aspect of the game against the Chiefs and outplayed his opposite number, Aaron Cruden.

Bubbling under: Richie Mo'unga (Crusaders)

9 – TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)

Kept the Hurricanes on the front foot against the Chiefs with his quick service and made good decisions from the breakdowns.

Bubbling under: Andy Ellis (Crusaders)

8 – Kieran Read (Crusaders)

Was a nuisance at the breakdowns and had a hand in one of his team's tries against the Brumbies.

Bubbling under: Warren Whiteley (Lions)

7 – Sam Cane (Chiefs)

Put in a huge effort on defence against the Hurricanes and carried the ball courageously throughout the 80 minutes.

Bubbling under: Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)

6 – Chris Cloete (Southern Kings)

He was the shining light for the PE team against the Lions. He is continuing his fantastic growth at this level.

Bubbling under: Scott Fardy (Brumbies)

5 – Franco Mostert (Lions)

He was very busy against the Southern Kings. He was good with ball in hand and did some good things on defence as well.

Bubbling under: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers)

4 – Luke Romano (Crusaders)

He did more good things than other locks over the weekend and was an important cog in a strong forward effort from the Christchurch team.

Bubbling under: Hitoshi Ono (Sunwolves)

3 – Vincent Koch (Stormers)

Was solid in the scrums and had a great afternoon in open play against the Reds. His try at the end of the game was a thing of beauty.

Bubbling under: Owen Franks (Crusaders)

2 – Shota Horie (Sunwolves)

He missed quite a few tackles against the Jaguares, but he was outstanding with ball in hand and was influential in his team's first-ever Super Rugby win.

Bubbling under: Dane Coles (Hurricanes)

1 – Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels)

Was industrious in open play and was physical on attack against the Cheetahs. He is one of the most improved players in Australia this year.

Bubbling under: Joe Moody (Crusaders)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Toby Smith.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 David Havili, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Hitoshi Ono, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Joe Moody.

Previous selections:

Team of the week – Round Eight: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Rieko Ioane (Blues), 13 Lionel Mapoe (Lions), 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Jason Jenkins (Bulls), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls).

Team of the week – Round Seven: 15 Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 12 Charlie Ngatai(Chiefs), 11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis (Stormers), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Warren Whiteley, (Lions), 7 Liam Gill (Reds), 6 Hendrik Tui (Reds), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Jason Jenkins (Bulls), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Dyllan Smith (Lions).

Team of the week – Round Six: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Rene Ranger (Blues), 12 Ryan Crotty (Crusaders), 11 James Lowe (Chiefs), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Paul Schoeman (Cheetahs), 7 Sean McMahon (Rebels), 6 Cyril-John Velleman (Southern Kings), 5 Lopeti Timani (Rebels), 4 Luke Jones (Rebels), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 James Parsons (Blues), 1 Toby Smith (Rebels).

Team of the week – Round Five: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Seta Tamanivalu (Chiefs), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Michael Leitch (Chiefs), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Roelof Smit (Bulls), 5 Tomás Lavanini (Jaguares), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Edgar Marutlulle (Southern Kings), 1 Joe Moody (Crusaders).

Team of the week – Round Four: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Santiago Cordero (Jaguares), 13 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies), 12 George Moala (Blues), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Jimmy Tupou (Crusaders), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Blade Thomson (Hurricanes), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Chris Eves (Hurricanes.

Team of the week – Round Three: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Akihito Yamada (Sunwolves), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), 11 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 10 Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders, 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 David Pocock (Brumbies), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

Team of the week – Round Two: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

Team of the week – Round One: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Odwa Ndungane (Sharks), 13 Tamati Ellison (Rebels), 12 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), 11 Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Tomás Cubelli (Brumbies), 8 Nizaam Carr (Stormers), 7 Blake Gibson (Blues), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (Stormers).

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