Super Rugby Aotearoa: Team of the Tournament (Halfway)
By Carl Lewis
Using the Opta Index, Sanzaar came up with a team of the season for the Aotearoa campaign halfway through the inaugural competition.
Preview and Predictions for Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 6 here.
The Crusaders, Hurricanes and Blues each have two representatives in the backline. At full-back is the Chiefs’ Damian McKenzie who has made the most carries (57) of any player in the tournament and is one of only two to have made over 50 along with inside centre in this XV Ngani Laumape (51) of the Hurricanes.
Laumape (20) and the two wingers, Will Jordan (24) and Mark Telea (20) are the only three players to have beaten over 20 defenders this in SUper Rugby Aotearoa. Laumape also has impressive defensive stats, his tackle success rate (32/35), which is the best of any back. Rieko Ioane (Blues – 2) is the only outside centre to score more than two tries this tournament.
The halfback pairing is All Blacks Richie Mo’unga and TJ Perenara. Classy Mo’unga (58) is the top point scorer so far. Perenara is the only scrumhalf to have run and gained over 100 metres (153), as well as leading his position in defenders beaten (8), clean breaks (5) and offloads (5).
15 – Damian Mckenzie – Chiefs
14 – Will Jordan – Crusaders
13 – Rieko Ioane – Blues
12 – Ngani Laumape – Hurricanes
11 – Mark Telea – Blues
10 – Richie Mo’unga – Crusaders
9 – TJ Perenara – Hurricanes
In the pack we have to start with the red-hot number eight Hoskins Sotutu, he is the only player to have made 40+ in both carries (40) and tackles (42). Highlanders’ flankers Dillon Hunt and Shannon Frizell are on the side of the scrum because no players has made more successful tackles than them (Hunt – 60 and Frizell – 48). Hunt has also been in great form at the breakdown with 5 turnovers.
The second rows is Patrick Tuipulotu and James Blackwell because they are the two players who have made the most lineout steals (3). World-class hooker Dane Coles as expected is setting the bar high, gaining 6.5 metres per carry, he also seen three of his offloads result in break assists, more than any other player overall in the competition.
Loosehead Alex Hodgman (Blues – 42) has made five more tackles than any other prop in the competition, with only his tighthead teammate (Michael Alaalatoa – 27) boasting more carries amongst such players than Hodgman’s 25.
8 – Hoksins Sototu – Blues
7 – Dillon Hunt (Highlanders)
6 – Shannon Frizell (Highlanders)
3⃣ defenders beaten
— Super Rugby (@SuperRugbyNZ) July 4, 2020