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 Damian Willemse (Stormers)
Willemse is a good heads up counter attacker, has a strong kicking game and has pulled off some brave tackles in the last few weeks. Must be going close to Springbok team, wrestling with Curwin Bosch as a 10/15 option.
14 Marika Koroibete (Rebels)
Played mainly on the left wing but with two good finishes as Rebels drubbed the Sunwolves, he was definitely second best flyer in the round behind Moyano. Good to see Waisake Naholo (Highlanders) back and compare his style with Seabelo Senatla (Stormers).
13 Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)
Hat-trick hero in Canberra, surely he has to play a part in the Cheika plan for the Rugby World Cup? Looks buffed and up for it and at 28, like so many class mid-field backs looks like he is starting to peak in his late 20s as he uses his knowledge and experience as well as his physical attributes.
12 Alex Nankiwell (Chiefs)
The Chiefs might be struggling in the pack for options but they have riches at number 12. Anton Lienert Brown was given the night off and Nankivell given his fourth start of the season. Each time he’s been given the opportunity he has risen to the task magnificently. A bit like ALB he has an eye for the angle that can cause big problems for the defence.
11 Ramiro Moyano (Jaguares)
2nd week in a row, rampaging Ramiro is a finisher par excellence! South African left-wing candidates Dyanti (Lions) and Mapampi (Sharks) had a good battle, Mapimpi was named man of the match but Dyanti’s work rate was very strong. When a wing makes more cleanouts than runs you know he’s not shirking but you’d have to question his teammate’s ability to get him the ball in good positions.
10 Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders)
The Blues ran the Crusaders close but ultimately the difference between the teams was the mighty Mo’unga running the cutter at 10. He looked unflustered by the media furore he’s had to endure this week. He may be destined to play a bench role for the ABs at the RWC but he has made a better fist at unlocking rush defences than Beauden Barrett this year. Domingo Miotti (Jaguares) stood out after he gained his first start in three weeks.
9 Hershel Jantjies (Stormers)
Up against the senior (and noisy) figure of Aaron Smith, Jantjes was unfazed as he marshalled his troops and sparked the Stormers backline into some strong attacking play and a much-needed win. Ran a great line inside Senatla to pick up an early try. Must be putting pressure on Embrose Papier for a Springbok role. Papier is suffering a similar fate to Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi; on the bench for much of the season.
8 Dan du Preez (Sharks)
Big match up against the industrious Kwagga Smith and Du Preez spearheaded an impressive loose forward effort for the Sharks. Would stroll into most international starting sides at the moment. Pete Samu (Brumbies) led from the front with ball in hand and it’s great to have the sight of Amanaki Mafi terrorising defences again. Poor Will Genia was put to sleep by one of his thighs and he will be good to watch at the Rugby World Cup for Japan.
7 Sam Cane (Chiefs)
Shag Hansen must be heartened with Cane’s return to the coal face. Even with the physical effects of a broken neck fixed up, an injury like that could temper your love for contact. No worries for Cane, he formed a potent duo with Lachlan Boshier in a supreme Chiefs’ defensive effort.
6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
The Stormers and Springboks have a great leader in the form of Kolisi. He does all you’d expect for a fetcher and his work with ball in hand is incredible; two tries in the last two rounds showing how elusive he is. I reckon he’d be a sensation in rugby league.
5 Ruan Botha (Sharks)
The Sharks lock is one of the biggest men in Super rugby and he imposes himself well in contact. Moves bodies and makes a difference when power is needed. Has probably seen the writing on the Springbok wall and signed for London Irish, he’ll love it up there against fellow giants.
4 Jesse Parete (Chiefs)
The Chiefs are playing the game without locks at the moment, they have five loose forwards and it seems to be working. At 196cm Parete took up the mantle as a major line out target which is ridiculous when you think the Reds lock were both at least 3 inches taller than him. Good timing and technique made it work and Parete was awesome around the field with his partner Tyler Ardron. The last 5 minutes he was like a zombie, out on his feet but managed to get the job done.
3 Alan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)
2 Julian Montoya (Jaguares)
Six wins in seven rounds for the Jaguares and a very successful tour so far. We talk about the one-two punch in the front row and when you have Agustin Creevy coming on after Montoya has been subbed that’s as good as it gets. Both spectators and the Lions missed Malcom Marx, who was having a rest.
1 Joe Moody (Crusaders)
With the slippery ball scrums became a focal point in the showdown with the Blues and Moody stepped to give Ofa Tu’ungafasi and the Blues pack an uncomfortable night. Sad the commentators didn’t make more of the brother v brother match up when Moody went off and Isileli Tu’ungafasi came on.
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