Team of the week: Breathtaking

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 11:40
Large aaron smith and rob thompson highlanders v blues 2018 800

OPINION: There was some entertaining rugby on display in New Zealand in Round Two of Super Rugby.

The match between the Highlanders and the Blues was the pick of the round and five players from that encounter are in our Team of the Week. 

The Highlanders have four players in our XV after their 41-34 win, while the Blues are also represented with one player.

The Crusaders have three players in our XV after their 45-23 win over the Chiefs.

In the backline, we have Ben Smith at fullback and Lions duo Sylvian Mahuza and Aphiwe Dyantyi on the wings. Ryan Crotty and Rob Thompson are our choices for the midfield.

Lima Sopoaga gets the No.10 spot, while Aaron Smith comes in at No.9.

In the pack, the loose trio consists of Jordan Taufua, Pieter Labuschagne and Roelof Smit. In the second row, we have Samuel Whitelock and Rudolph Snyman.

Ruan Dreyer, James Parsons and Steven Kitshoff are our picks for the front row. 

Teams of the Week - Round Two:

15 - Ben Smith (Highlanders)
he showed his quality at the back with good vision and decisions. He was a handful with ball in hand and he hardly put a foot wrong.
Bubbling under: Andries Coetzee (Lions)

14 - Sylvian Mahuza (Lions)
He made good use of the space he was given against the Jaguares and he scored a try as well.
Bubbling under: Matt Duffie (Blues)

13 - Rob Thompson (Highlanders)
He thrived on the quality ball he got in the Highlanders backline and his offloading abilities kept the ball alive on attack. He also scored two good tries in an entertaining win over the Blues.
Bubbling under: Lionel Mapoe (Lions)

12 - Ryan Crotty (Crusaders)
His distribution in the midfield was excellent against the Chief and the Crusaders relied on his experience in tough situations.
Bubbling under: Burger Odendaal (Bulls)

11 - Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions)
The man of the moment. The wing put in another superb performance out wide and he got onto the scoresheet again with two tries.
Bubbling under: George Bridge (Crusaders)

10 - Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders)
The flyhalf showed his class on attack against the Blues and he never missed a tackle on defence as well.
Bubbling under: Jack Debreczeni (Melbourne Rebels)

9 - Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
He was influential in the Highlanders' win against the Blues. He had a hand in a few tries and his distribution was excellent once again.
Bubbling under: Will Genia (Melbourne Rebels)

8 - Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)
He was powerful with ball in hand and he scored one of his team's tries in the win over the Chiefs.
Bubbling under: Akira Ioane (Blues)

7 - Pieter Labuschagne (Sunwolves)
He was immense on defence against the Brumbies. He made about 25 tackles and he never missed one. He made a few metres with ball in hand as well.
Bubbling under: Murphy Taramai (Blues)

6 - Roelof Smit (Bulls)
He was a menace at the breakdowns against the Hurricanes. He won a few turnovers and he was solid on defence as well.
Bubbling under: Liam Squire (Highlanders)

5 - Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders)
The captain put in a fantastic all-round performance for his side against the Chiefs.
Bubbling under: Francois Mostert (Lions)

4 - Rudolph Snyman (Bulls)
He was a colossus for the Bulls in their surprise win over the Hurricanes. He racked up the metres with some powerful carries and was a key figure in the set pieces as well.
Bubbling under: Brodie Retallick (Chiefs)

3 - Ruan Dreyer (Lions)
It was another solid performance in the scrums for the big man. He also did a lot of work around the park on attack and on defence.
Bubbling under: Frans van Wyk (Bulls)

2 - James Parsons (Blues)
His performance against the Highlanders was one of his best in a Blues jersey. He was a hard man to bring down with ball in and hand.
Bubbling under: Malcolm Marx (Lions)

1 - Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)
He played a big role a powerful Stormers scrum against the Waratahs in Sydney.
Bubbling under: Jacques van Rooyen (Lions)

Our individual selections:

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 James Parsons, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Rudolph Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 James Parsons, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Previous selection:

Team of the Week - Round One: 15 Dillyn Leyds (Stormers), 14 Seabelo Senatla (Stormers), 13 Lionel Mapoe (Lions), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), 10 Robert du Preez (Sharks), 9 Ross Cronje (Lions), 8 Nizaam Carr (Stormers), 7 Cyle Brink (Lions), 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (Stormers), 5 John Schickerling (Stormers), 4 Ruan Botha (Sharks), 3 Nahuel Tétaz Chaparro (Jaguares), 2 Malcolm Marx (Lions), 1 Jacques van Rooyen (Lions).


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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 23 March 2018
Rebels v Sharks 46 | 14
Crusaders v Bulls 34 | 14
Mon, 19 March 2018
Wits v NWU-Pukke 31 | 35
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 23 | 30
UP-Tuks v UJ 30 | 30
Shimlas v NMMU-Madibaz 28 | 22
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 4 3 0 1 12
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 5 1 1 5 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4