Super Rugby proved to deliver another weekend jam-packed with tries, open-field running, and some massive hits. We’ve assessed the players who stood tallest this past weekend in order to gather our Super Rugby team of the week for Round 3:
1. Beast Mtawarira (Sharks) – Mtawarira was an absolute menace at scrumtime, leading the surge that dismantled numerous Stormers’ scrums. The captain also carried well and made some big contributions on defence.
2. Shota Horie (Sunwolves) – The courageous Sunwolves captain had another great game, scoring a try for himself and leading by example with some solid tackling and ball-carries.
3. Charlie Faumuina (Blues) – You would’ve thought Charlie Faumuina had a number 12 on his back. The Blues prop threw some fantastic passes, broke tackles, sidestepped defenders, had some powerful carries, and tackled his heart out. A great performance by the big man.
4. Blade Thomson (Hurricanes) – There weren’t any standout second-rower performances per se, but the Hurricanes’ Blade Thomson did prove a strong for for the New Zealanders. He threw himself into every contact situation and worked hard in the driving-mauls and tackle area
5. Sam Carter (Brumbies) – Sam Carter had a number of standout moments against the Force, working hard to dominate the lineout and clearing rucks like a torpedo. Carter looked good in open space too, racking up quite a few metres during his linebreaks.
6. Scott Fardy (Brumbies) – The Brumbies flanker was an immense presence in the tight match against the Force, running some brilliant lines and delivering a great offload for Matt Toomua’s try.
7. Sean McMahon (Rebels) – Sean McMahon had an impressive game, slipping through defenders and giving some great offloads to keep the Rebels’ continuity going. Was also strong at the breakdown.
8. Victor Vito (Hurricanes) – Victor Vito controlled the Hurricanes’ set-pieces excellently, and organised the driving maul into a vital attacking weapon, scoring off of the back of one in the 25th minute.
9. TJ Perenara (Hurricanes) – Perenara’s service to Beauden Barrett was as robust as ever, but the elusive scrumhalf also showed his brilliant support play, scoring two great tries thanks to following up play.
10. Tusi Pisi (Sunwolves) – Pisi hit his attacking stride against the Cheetahs, putting through a few brilliant grubbers and chip kicks – two of which resulted in tries. He also tested the defensive line himself and kicked well. A great all-round performance.
11. Joe Tomane (Brumbies) – continuing on his electric form from last weekend, Tomane was solid in defence, dangerous in attack, and scored a great individual try, weaving through a number of defenders to give his side 5 points.
12. Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs) – Aaron Cruden and Charlie Ngatai’s combination clicked excellently, with Cruden putting Ngatai through a number of clean gaps. Ngatai scored a great try and constantly slipped through defenders when they did manage to get a hand on him. An inspired performance.
13. Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders) – Malakai Fekitoa seems to be getting better and better with each round. The Highlanders’ strike-weapon terrorised the Lions’ defence and put in some massive hits too. Receiving the final pass from Ben Smith to round off the Highlanders’ long-range try was a fitting reward for the All Black.
14. Akihito Yamada (Sunwolves) – Nehe Milner-Skudder was in great form, but the Sunwolves and Japan winger showed his international class against the Cheetahs scoring a hat-trick of great tries thanks to his blistering pace.
15. Ben Smith (Highlanders) – The Highlanders’ attacking menace was exemplified by their linchpin at the back. Ben Smith amassed 111 metres with ball in hand, four clean breaks and linked well with Matt Faddes to lay on Malakai Fekitoa’s match-sealing try, in addition to scoring one himself.
Who do you think deserves to be in the Super Rugby team of the week? Let us know in the comments below and tweet us @MenStuffZA.