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SA United Rugby Championship Team of the Week – Round 3

Competition for places in our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week was
strong after a much-improved collective effort from the local teams in Round Three, writes Quintin
van Jaarsveld.

Competition for places in our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week was strong after a much-improved collective effort from the local teams in Round Three, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The Sharks set the tone when they ensured that their first trip to Wales will always be remembered as they broke their duck with a historic 27-13 win over the Ospreys in Swansea on Friday night.

A spirited Lions side could feel hard done by as a controversial try helped their hosts the Glasgow Warriors claim a 13-9 win in the first fixture involving a South African team on Saturday.

The Stormers were equally fired up and close to clinching victory in their Scottish assignment but had to be content with a 20-all draw with Edinburgh.

The Bulls then ended the round on a high and made history of their own as they registered their maiden win after overturning a 13-point half-time deficit to defeat Cardiff 29-19.

The Pretoria outfit have six representatives in our team, one more than the Sharks, while a trio of Stormers and a Lions standout also cracked the nod.

15: Warrick Gelant (Stormers)

A tornado of attacking excellence, running for a team-high 67 metres. Kick-started things by shooting into the line and spinning his way over in contact for the Capetonians’ first try. Stepped a few defenders, made a brilliant counter-attacking break near the 30-minute mark and was strong on defence, even winning a breakdown penalty

14: Marnus Potgieter (Sharks)

Put himself on the European map with an excellent all-around effort. Defused high bombs expertly, a terrific sliding take sticking out, and was potent on the attack, making the most successful carries (5) and 24 meters. Ran right over flank Jac Morgan and was rewarded with a try.

13: Jeremy Ward (Sharks)

The hard edge of the Sharks backline. Fired up his teammates with a big tackle (one of a backline best eight hits) and made several other inspirational plays. Ran a superb support line to score one of the tries of the weekend. Bulls veteran Cornal Hendricks also made a few hard hits.

12: Harold Vorster (Bulls)

An unassuming battering ram. Jake White clearly did his homework as he instructed Vorster to target the flyhalf channel where the hard-running midfielder bulldozed Rhys Priestland at will. A power player on defence as well, it was his tackle that created the turnover that led to Madosh Tambwe’s try.

11: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls)

Full of flair. Lit up Cardiff Arms Park with electrifying running and racked up a match-high 83 metres. Evaded an unrivalled five defenders, a pair of them when he created something out of nothing after receiving a poor pass from David Kriel. Scrambled sublimely on defence to mop up dangerous dinks and made a vital tackle on robust centre Reynold Lee-Lo to earn the Man of the Match award.

10: Boeta Chamberlain (Sharks) – Player of the Week

A coming of age for the talented young flyhalf. The star of the show, a confident conductor who controlled proceedings. At the heart of everything good for the Sharks, slotting three drop goals, creating the opening try with a good grubber and having a hand in the other. Created a line break with a flat pass, won the kicking battle and was dependable as a backstop under the high ball in a magnificent Man of the Match performance.

9: Andre Warner (Lions)

The standout player for the Lions. Warner was a warden on defence, making excellent cover tackles and sweeping to pounce on a dangerous grubber into his in-goal area. Equally influential on offence, shifting gears well and producing the Johannesburg outfit’s best try-scoring opportunity with a brilliant boot lace-level pick-up of Jaco Visagie’s offload.

8: Evan Roos (Stormers)

Plays like a man that has nitro fuel for blood and the Edinburgh encounter was no exception. Important cog in the Stormers’ opening try and sparked the second with a dynamic surge and well-timed pass for Paul de Wet to cross the whitewash. A physical force on defence and won a ruck penalty near his 22 in the 64th minute.

7: Arno Botha (Bulls)

Despite starting on the bench, Botha made the biggest impact. Vincent Tshituka and Willie Engelbrecht, in particular, put in good shifts, but Botha was the cattle prod that shocked the Bulls back to life when he was thrust into the action at the start of the second half. Full of energy and explosive power, his super-sub showing included two terrific breaks.

6: Marcell Coetzee (Bulls)

Talismanic. Excellent early try-saving tackle on Josh Navidi and led the second-half comeback. Made a dominant hit on Lee-Lo (one of a team-high 12 tackles], bounced the monstrous Josh Turnbull and Matthew Screech during two of his 10 rampaging runs, kept momentum going with offloads, earned his team three points with a jackal in the 63rd minute and repeated the feat to sew up the result in the 75th minute.

5: Hyron Andrews (Sharks)

A key contributor all-round. Good in the lineouts, which were fiercely contested, had a 100% tackle success rate, beat two defenders and displayed his athleticism and skills when he galloped to collect Chamberlain’s grubber and got a great offload away to Ward to score (time-stamped below).

4: Janko Steenkamp (Bulls)

Very industrious. Loose forward-like in his athletic ability and output, making eight carries and all seven of his tackles. Shone in the lineouts, where he was a pillar of strength as he secured seven takes. The Sharks’ Ruben van Heerden put in good work as well, making 10 tackles, and contested well in the lineouts.

3: Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

A massive captain’s innings by the man-mountain. Communicated well with the ref, led the defensive effort, put in immense counter-rucking work, dominated at scrum time, carried strongly and showed his impressive ball skills when he unleashed Ntuthuko Mchunu with a slick offload.

2: Bismarck du Plessis (Bulls)

Harped back memories of the juggernaut of old, especially with ball in hand. Made two beastly breaks, the second laying the groundwork for Elrigh Louw’s try as he threw a dummy before sending Priestland flying. Good set-piece work and kept his discipline. Edged Scarra Ntubeni, who was a Trojan on defence.

1:Brok Harris (Stormers)

Another veteran who turned back the clock. Dished out punishment with powerful scrummaging and outworked everyone on defence, making no less than 18 tackles. Not bad for a 36-year-old prop. Mchunu was big for the Sharks, a barnstorming break serving as the cherry on top of a colossal complete performance.

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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