As Eric Rush once said, “this is just one man’s opinion”. Mike Rehu details his picks for Super Rugby Team of the Week for Round 3.
15 Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels)
The Rebels are unbeaten this year and the South African born fullback illustrates the uncompromising nature in which they’re playing. Not easy to lead from fullback but when Haylett-Petty gets involved he makes it count. Will Jordan made the most of his Crusader chances as well.
14 Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves)
It’s been an amazing two weekends for the Sunwolves right wing. He is like a slinky, he collapses on the ground and somehow he manages to propel himself forward. Another try to add to the brace he got last weekend.
13 Jack Goodhue (Crusaders)
Proved his strength and smart play to be in the right place at the right time on attack and defence.
12 Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes)
It was like ten-pin bowling in Palmerston North as Laumape hit strike after strike of Brumbie skittles. Ex-Blitzbok star Dylan Sage was very effective for the Bulls in a position that he is not too familiar with.
11 Ramiro Moyano (Jaguares)
Twice he had a few metres of space, twice he converted into tries. Him and Delguy form a potent pair. It’s a shame the Sharks couldn’t get the ball to Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks) more often as he was the pick of South African backs this week.
10 Hayden Parker (Sunwolves)
Hats off to Quade Cooper (Rebels) who again shone for the Melbourne team but Parker pips him for the 10 spot. Parker is the perfect example of why the Sunwolves are playing a strong brand of rugby. The team has maturity and they seem to be on a similar wave-length about the style of play they want to exhibit. As most of this motley crew are not in contention for the World Cup they can throw some caution to the wind. Enjoyable to watch.
9 Will Genia (Rebels)
When the Rebels pack get go forward ball Genia is at his best; keep ing the momentum going and allowing Quade Cooper to take the ball flat and on the front foot.
8 Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
Ardie Savea (Hurricanes) narrowly misses out to the belligerent beast that is Vermeulen. It was trench warfare in Joburg and there’s no better exponent in a slugfest than the meaty number 8.
7 Pieter Steph du Toit (Stormers)
He is not a 7 in a classic sense but both him and Frizell deserve a spot in the team. He enjoyed having Eben Etzebeth start to take care of a lot of the tight work he has been involved with in recent weeks and against the Sharks he led the team in carries, tackles and steals. Shuhei Matsuhashi (Sunwolves) is one to watch for the rest of the season. Played well above his size.
6 Shannon Frizell (Highlanders)
The only blot on his copybook was dropping the match-winning drive over the line but this was a seminal game for Frizell’ who was was asked to play a leading role. He has gone from project to a certainty at selection time. The Rebels defence knew he was coming but he still showed his power and a little subtlety at times.
5 Uwe Helu (Sunwolves)
Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) was clearly angry and wanted to lead the Chiefs back to some form but he was outshone by this whopper in Hamilton. Carried like a beast and was solid as a ball-winner.
4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)
The way the Stormers are winning rugby games is a mystey; they really don’t seem to have got any better on attack, their defence has clearly sharp ened up. Etzebeth is an amazing arrow head and the whole team lifts around him. Scott Barrett (Crusaders) wasn’t far behind.
3 Hiroshi Yamashita (Sunwolves)
Howls of derision came from Tokyo last week (or was it just the Sunwolves fan howl?) when Yamashita was omitted after his power scrummaging against the Waratahs and he continued his great form, adding a load of metres with his running game to creating a solid platform at scrum time.
2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes)
Coles is back. He continued his work with ball in hand and clean outs and most importantly got the set piece right. Cody Taylor will be bursting to get some playing time to make his case before Coles gets too much inside running. Anaru Rangi (Rebels) again was very good.
1 Joe Moody (Crusaders)
It’s amazing to see Franks and Moody work in tandem; both at scrum (where they are right at home) but also in the open where they’ve formed a fluid partnership as 1st/2nd receivers from broken play. The timing of the passes under pres sure was a delight to watch. Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues) almost won the game with his scrumming power in Buenos Aires but justice was served in the last minute.
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