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Team of the Week: Force field

Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:30
Nick-cummins-tackled
No players return
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There is another good spread in our famous weekly Super Rugby selection, but it is the Western Force that steals the spotlight.

Nick Cummins, the self-titled Honey Badger, is one of three Force players in our starting XV - with no other team able to get more.

While Cummins opted to use the handle Honey Badger because of the gritty animal's ferocious defensive abilities, the flying left wing was pouncing more like a Cheetah in getting his hat-trick to help the Force to an unprecedented fifth consecutive win.

Other teams to get a good look-in this week include the Sharks and Brumbies, with three each.

The Crusaders, after their fine come-from-behind win in Bloemfontein, provide two members of our starting XV. The Highlanders, Chiefs, Rebels and Cheetahs make up the numbers.

There is more reward for the Force in our back-up squad, with three more men from Perth bubbling under.

The Chiefs (four) and Cheetahs (three) are also well represented in our back-up selection, with the Highlanders (two), Sharks, Crusaders and Bulls (one each) making up the numbers.

For the third week in a row no players return from last week.

Team of the Week - Round Nine:

15 - Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks):
It appears more and more to have been a Jake White masterstroke to have moved him to fullback.
Bubbling under: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs)

14 - Joe Tomane (Brumbies):
His ability to beat defenders and make valuable metres for his team got him our vote.
Bubbling under: Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs)

13 - Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders):
Made the Bulls' famed midfielders look decidedly ordinary.
Bubbling under: Johann Sadie (Cheetahs)

12 - Bundee Aki (Chiefs):
He made headlines on attack, but was equally impressive on defence.
Bubbling under: Frans Steyn (Sharks)

11 - Nick Cummins (Western Force):
There is only one Honey Badger!
Bubbling under: Patrick Osborne (Highlanders)

10 - Colin Slade (Crusaders):
He ran the show, literally.
Bubbling under: Gareth Anscombe (Chiefs)

9 - Nic White (Brumbies):
It was a tough call to make, but White just edged Alby Mathewson with the addition of his goal-kicking.
Bubbling under: Alby Mathewson (Western Force)

8 - Kieran Read (Crusaders):
When the team needed someone to rally, Read provided the direction.
Bubbling under: Ben McCalman (Western Force)

7 - Matt Hodgson (Western Force):
It was a weekend for inspirational leadership.
Bubbling under: Matt Todd (Crusaders)

6 - Angus Cottrell (Western Force):
It was another close call, with Cottrell's higher tackle count allowing him to edge Gareth Evans.
Bubbling under: Gareth Evans (Highlanders)

5 - Luke Jones (Rebels):
He went up against one of the tournament's form locks and emerged with his reputation enhanced.
Bubbling under: Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)

4 - Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs):
One of the few Cheetahs who have managed to maintain his standards.
Bubbling under: Michael Fitzgerald (Chiefs)

3 - Ben Alexander (Brumbies):
Had a field day against a very ordinary Reds scrum.
Bubbling under: Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs)

2 - Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
His petulance sometimes distracts from the great game he plays.
Bubbling under: Nathan Charles (Western Force)

1 - Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks):
He is getting his 'Beast' back.
Bubbling under: Dean Greyling (Bulls)

Our individual selections!

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Nic White, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Paul Dobson XV:  15 Willie le Roux, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Bundee Aki,  11 Nick Cummins, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Kieran Read,  7 Matt Hodgson,  6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Dean Greyling.

Matthew Riches XV: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Nic White, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - Round Eight: 15 Jayden Hayward (Western Force), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Pat McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jack Lam (Hurricanes), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Chris King (Highlanders).

Team of the Week - Round Seven: 15 Jason Woodward (Rebels), 14 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Mitch Inman (Rebels), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Bryn Hall (Blues), 8 Steven Luatua (Blues), 7 Luke Braid (Blues), 6 Deon Stegmann (Bulls), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

Team of the Week - Round Six: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Robbie Coleman (Brumbies), 10 Quade Cooper (Reds), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force), 6 Seven Luatua (Blues), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Kieran Longbottom (Western Force), 2 Tatafu Polota Nau (Waratahs), 1 Jean-Pierre Smith (Brumbies).

Team of the Week - Round Five: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Tom Marshall (Chiefs), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes), 3 Julian Redelinghuys (Lions), 2 Nathan Charles (Western Force), 1 Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).

Team of the Week - Round Four: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 Roc Davis (Reds), 13 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 12 Par McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ben McCalman (Western Force), 7 Schalk Burger (Stormers), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (Western Force), 4 Flip van der Merwe (Bulls), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

Team of the Week - Round Three: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Bjorn Basson (Bulls), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jacques du Plessis (Bulls), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Tom Donnelly (Blues), 4 Hugh Pyle (Rebels), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

Team of the Week - Round Two: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Lachie Turner (Reds), 13 Robbie Fruean (Chiefs), 12 Frances Saili (Blues), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

Team of the Week - Round One: 15 SP Marais (Sharks), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

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