As Eric Rush once said, “this is just one man’s opinion”. Please add your picks and your favourites in the feedback box below.
15 Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares)
Steady-headed at the back and slipped two great passes that led directly to tries. Always a threat under the attacking high ball as well.
14 Wes Goosen (Hurricanes)
There’s a search on for a right wing for the All Blacks and the Hurricanes has always been a good place to unearth one; think Cory Jane, Jordie Barrett, and Nehe Milner Skudder in the recent past. Goosen has amazing acceleration off the mark and is certainly a great finisher. Gerhard van den Heever stood out again for the Sunwolves.
13 Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
Alongside his determined school of Sharks showed that he has the goods to lock down a great offensive team like the Crusaders. His battle with Ennor and Goodhue was interrupted by a reshuffle after Will Jordan’s injury but he was willing and with Andre Esterhuizen gave them crumbs all day.
12 Samu Kerevi (Reds)
It was a slow start for the Reds captain but once he ignited the touch paper midway through the first half, then he was influential churning our metres through the middle of the park.
11 George Bridge (Crusaders)
The gliding winger showed some brilliant touches against the Sharks. You sense his form is ramping up just at the right time. Caleb Clarke seems to be favouring a leg but was all class for the Blues in the absence of Rieko Ioane.
10 Curwin Bosch (Sharks) A mighty kicking effort, 7 penalties from all angles and distances to put some bite in the Sharks for their draw against the Crusaders. Bryce Hegarty (Reds) Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Josh Ioane (Highlanders) and Domingo Miotti (Jagaures) had powerful games at 10 this weekend.
9 Tomas Cubelli (Jaguares)
Almost plays a French scrum-half role as a ‘petit general’. Has a real leadership and controlling role for the Argentinians and has made Domingo Miotti’s introduction to Super Rugby a relatively easy ride.
8 Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
The Big Bear was angry in Pretoria and was physically dominant over his Wallaby opposites Michael Hooper and Ned Hannigan. Classic try from a line out intercept where after a 10-metre start, Curtis Rona caught up with the flagging Springbok but decided to talk to the hand instead chopping the tree trunks. Bad idea, big Duane rumbled over.
7 Marco van Staden (Bulls)
This guy his stamped his place as a Bulls starter after returning from injury, what a fantastic player! Turnovers, tackles and rough and tumble is where he is at. There are not too many flankers that out shadow Michael Hooper but he was dominant with a pack going forward. Ardie Savea didn’t stand out as much as usual but the Hurricanes would have been in big trouble without him when the Rebels came home strong.
6 Luke Jacobson (Chiefs)
Battle of the ‘Lukes’ in Dunedin and the Chief had the upper hand over Luke the Whitelock. Was the major agent in the Waikato franchise’s come back showing some good touches with the ball in hand to complement his toxic tackling and work on the ground. At 189cm he is shorter than the standard All Black blindside but he is stating his case; alongside about 6 other contenders!
5 Izack Rodda (Reds)
Rodda is a bit like Sam Whitelock in that he goes under the radar doing all the dirty work in the collision area and sticks to his core role. No wonder Brad Thorn loves him. At only 22 years old this guy has a big future.
4 Jackson Hemopo (Highlanders)
This man is such a workhorse. He burns incandescent for the full 80 and there was a great series of play where he handled three times, each time going to ground but getting to his feet and screaming in to play the ball on consecutive phases.
3 Alan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)
There’re not many tightheads who have got the better of Karl Tuinukuafe in a genuine one on one but the stocky front rower dismissed both Alex Hodgeman and Big Karl. Was powerful around the field as well and assisted by Sio and Slipper on the other side.
2 Folau Fainga (Brumbies)
A hat-trick of mauled tries and he has vaulted himself to top try scorer in the competition with 9. Always seems slightly embarrassed when he walks back to halfway; love a humble hooker. Asafo Aumua (Hurricanes) is making the pain of missing Dane Coles go away.
1 Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls)
Second week in a row. A rich vein of form for the loosehead prop. Gave Sekope Kepu a bath at scrum time and was his usual energetic self round the paddock. He certainly is a metre eater!
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