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Team of the week: Sharks fly SA flag

The Durban-based side produced their best performance of the season to beat the Hurricanes, while other SA teams, the Bulls, Southern Kings and Cheetahs were disappointing in their matches and don't have a single player in our XV or bubbling under. The Lions and Stormers had bye.

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The Highlanders, who beat the high flying Chiefs, have five players in our XV.

In the backline we have Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Jone Macilai-Tori in the back three and an all-Aussie midfield pairing with Tevita Kuridrani and Kurtley Beale.

At flyhalf we have Garth April from the Sharks, while Tomás Cubelli is our pick at scrumhalf.

In the pack, Luke Whitelock, Matt Todd and Keegan Daniel are our loose trio. Stephan Lewies and Patrick Tuipulotu are in the second row.

Josh Hohneck, Stephen Moore and Daniel Lienert-Brown completes our tight five.

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Team of the week – Round 11

15 – Ben Smith (Highlanders)

He was ever present in the win against the Chiefs with ball in hand. His experience from the back just lifts his team to another level.

Bubbling under: Willie le Roux (Sharks)

14 – Waisake Naholo (Highlanders)

He showed just why he is an All Black in the match against the Chiefs. He scored two crucial tries in the win and also won a few turnovers for his team.

Bubbling under: JP Pietersen (Sharks)

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13 – Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)

Was solid in the midfield against the Bulls and again racked up the metres with ball in hand.

Bubbling under: Israel Folau (Waratahs)

12 – Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)

His decision-making and distribution at inside centre was second to none in Round 11. He also caused a few problems for the Cheetahs when he took the ball to the line.

Bubbling under: Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders)

11 – Jone Macilai-Tori (Crusaders)

For a wing, he was simply phenomenal against the Reds. He scored three tries after some superb finishing and also had a hand in another against the Queensland side.

Bubbling under: Patrick Osborne (Highlanders)

10 – Garth April (Sharks)

The 24-year-old just gets better with every game. The Sharks' backline look like they know what they are doing with him at the helm.

Bubbling under: Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders)

9 – Tomás Cubelli (Brumbies)

He kept the Bulls defence guessing with his nippy service and quick darts. He is scored a try as well against the team from Pretoria.

Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (Highlanders)

8 – Luke Whitelock (Highlanders)

He put in a great all-round performance against the Chiefs. He never missed a tackle and also carried the ball with aggression.

Bubbling under: Kieran Read (Crusaders)

7 – Matt Todd (Crusaders)

He was a nuisance at the breakdowns against the Reds and also won a number of turnover ball. It was a great display by the flank.

Bubbling under: Sam Cane (Chiefs)

6 – Keegan Daniel (Sharks)

The veteran played out of his skin against the Hurricanes. He made metres every time he carried the ball and he eluded a number of defended. Daniel also put in some big hits on defence.

Bubbling under: Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)

5 – Stephan Lewies (Sharks)

He put in some bone-crunching tackles against the Hurricanes and just played like a monster when he had ball in hand.

Bubbling under: Thomas Franklin (Highlanders)

4 – Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues)

The big lock was great in open play, on attack and defence, against the Southern Kings and also secured valuable ball for his team in the line-outs.

Bubbling under: Scott Barrett (Crusaders)

3 – Josh Hohneck (Highlanders)

He put in a strong performance in the scrums against the Chiefs and also assisted in one of Waisake Naholo's tries on the weekend.

Bubbling under: Michael Alaalatoa (Crusaders)

2 – Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

The Wallaby captain led by example with ball in hand against the Bulls and made some good decisions on the field as well.

Bubbling under: Ash Dixon (Highlanders)

1 – Daniel Lienert-Brown (Highlanders)

Threw a dummy and raced 23 exhilarating metres to score a try. He is a prop.

Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks)

Our individual selections: 

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Garth April, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Thomas Franklin, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Dan Lienert-Brown.

Wynona Louw XV: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 David Pocock, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 James Parsons, 1 Dan Lienert-Brown.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Israel Folau, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Garth April, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Warren Fortune XV:  15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Jone Macilai-Tori, 10 Garth April, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Previous selections:

Team of the week – Round 10: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Matt Proctor (Hurricanes), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Martin Landajo (Jaguares), 8 Michael Leitch (Chiefs), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Hendrik Tui (Reds), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), 4 Rudolph Snyman (Bulls), 3 Frans Malherbe (Stormers), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Reg Goodes (Hurricanes).

Team of the week – Round Nine: 15 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs), 14 Ruan Combrinck (Lions), 13 Reece Hodge (Melbourne Rebels), 12 David Havili (Crusaders), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 Chris Cloete (Southern Kings), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Vincent Koch (Stormers), 2 Shota Horie (Sunwolves), 1 Toby Smith (Melbourne Rebels).

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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