Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round One
OPINION: The @rugby365com team sat down and after much deliberation produced what we believe to be the 15 best players from the opening round.
The winners – Rebels, Crusaders, Bulls and Lions all feature prominently.
However, there are also a couple of bolters.
* Let us know what you think!
Team of the Week – Round One:
15 – Israel Folau (Waratahs):
He made plenty of metres – well into triple figures – and was a real threat on attack.
Bubbling under: Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes)
14 – Jack Maddocks (Rebels):
It was not just the tries – which were both great scorers and one was a match-winning effort – but was constantly involved in the game.
Bubbling under: Manasa Mataele (Crusaders)
13 – Braydon Ennor (Crusaders):
The Crusaders seem to have unearthed another gem in the midfield, even though he is equally at home on the wing.
Bubbling under: Jesse Kriel (Bulls)
12 – Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs):
Many will look at the result and wonder how we could select a player from a losing cause. Apart from having beaten 10 defenders, he also made nine tackles.
Bubbling under: Billy Meakes (Rebels)
11 – Rosko Specman (Bulls):
SpecMagic was on display in all its glory. The first try was something special.
Bubbling under: George Bridge (Crusaders)
10 – Handre Pollard (Bulls):
The Springbok need to hope he stays injury free. His game management was from the top shelve.
Bubbling under: Quade Cooper (Rebels)
9 – Will Genia (Rebels):
Wise old head on those shoulders. Was instrumental in the Rebels win, even if his defence let him down on occasion.
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
8 – Duane Vermeulen (Bulls):
Carried strongly and often, beat defenders, made plenty of tackles and won two turnovers.
Bubbling under: Akira Ioane (Blues)
7 – Ardie Savea (Hurricanes):
The contest between Savea and Michael Hooper as intriguing as the final result. Not much in it.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Waratahs)
6 – Marnus Schoeman (Lions):
Three tries, including a magic moment off the back of a scrum. His tackles went well into double figures and he won two crucial turnovers.
Bubbling under: Tom Robinson (Blues)
5 – Lodewyk de Jager (Bulls):
The line-out steals stole the headlines, but he made plenty of carries and made 15 tackles.
Bubbling under: Matt Philip (Rebels)
4 – Scott Barrett (Crusaders):
A string of big hits and clean-outs helped get his team over the line when it seemed an upset was on the cards.
Bubbling under: Luke Jones (Rebels)
3 – Carlu Sadie (Lions):
There was that monster scrum, his tackle count was into double figures and he won three turnovers. May just be the Lions’ most astute acquisition this year.
Bubbling under: Tyrel Lomax (Highlanders)
2 – Armand van der Merwe (Sharks):
Another energetic performance from the livewire hooker, who was rewarded with two tries.
Bubbling under: Nathan Harris (Chiefs)
1 – Dylan Smith (Lions):
Provided his direct opponent with plenty of ‘air miles’ in the scrums. Didn’t shirk his duties outside of the set pieces either, making 12 tackles and winning a turnover.
Bubbling under: Joe Moody (Crusaders)
Our individual selections:
Warren Fortune XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Will Genia, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Dylan Smith.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Joe Moody.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Armand van de Merwe, 1 Dylan Smith.