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Highlighting the best South African players of Round 10 of Super Rugby.

03 June 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld


The Lions treated their home crowd to a rumble in the jungle on Saturday, smashing the Stormers 41-22 to bolster their play-off hopes.

Like the Stormers, the Sharks’ knockout aspirations were dented courtesy of a 30-17 defeat to the Hurricanes in Durban, while the Bulls claimed two valuable log points from their 22-all draw with the Blues in Auckland to put themselves firmly back in the mix.

The Lions ran rampant at Ellis Park as they broke their derby drought and bagged maximum points to move into second place in the South African Conference, behind the Jaguares, and fifth overall. It should come as no surprise, then, that the men from Johannesburg make up the bulk of our Team of the Week.   

The most difficult decision of the weekend. Andries Coetzee was outstanding for the Lions where he made 67 metres, beat six defenders, scored a great try and punished the Stormers with booming touch-finders. Fassi, though, was even more influential and when he was inexplicably subbed, the Sharks lost their way. He racked up 85 metres, 10 carries, made three clean breaks and crossed the whitewash.

Turned chicken crap into chicken salad as only he can in a struggling Sharks backline. Powerful and athletic, he beat five defenders and broke the ‘Canes line on two occasions.

Had a major hand in two of his team’s tries, made four clean breaks and 88 metres in nine runs. Also, he noticeably took over the backline leadership role in Elton Jantjies’ absence.  

Often doesn’t get the credit he deserves in the flashy Lions backline. Straightened the line like any good No.12 should and also made a couple of breaks, which he finished off with all-important offloads.

Shot out of the blocks like an Olympic sprinter in the first 10 minutes. Made some uncharacteristic errors, but stayed busy and dangerous throughout, scoring a try and racking up a South African round-record 101 metres.

Curwin Bosch was once again a key player for the Sharks, but his well-documented defensive issues were exploited by the Hurricanes. There was nothing flashy from Reynolds, but he controlled the game well and showed that the Lions can cope without their primary playmaker.

His opposite number Herschel Jantjies was more eye-catching with his attacking flair, but the Stormers scrumhalf was a liability on defence on the day, slipping five tackles in all, most notably falling off Kwagga Smith to concede the opening try. Cronje was his fast, efficient and reliable self, greasing the wheels and allowing the Lions machine to flourish.

Was all over Ellis Park. Some way down the established Springbok back row pecking order, he reminded Rassie Erasmus of just how impactful he can be with a brilliant all-round performance and was rewarded with two well-taken tries. Our Player of the Week made 71 metres, 11 carries, beat four defenders, made 12 tackles and won three turnovers.

A coming out party for the young Lions loose forward, which netted him the Man of the Match award. The former ballroom dancer dazzled in open play, showcasing speed, footwork and offloading ability. Tackled well and made a turnover.

The best Stormers player by some margin at Ellis Park. Played with gusto to fire-up those around him. Carried the visitors with a whopping 13 hit-ups, winning 73 metres and beating four defenders, and made almost double the number of tackles than his teammates, with 15.

Less sizzle and more steak from the multi-talented Bulls lock this time around. Was still a key ball-carrier but did his best work on defence, making a team-high 11 hits. Also, it was his turnover that led to Cornal Hendricks’ thrilling try.

With no standout No.4, Botha shifts one after a strong, seasoned effort in the Sharks second row. Ran the lineout, where he took three balls, completed seven tackles and a turnover and made his fair share of carries.

Left no doubt that he’s the apex scrummaging tighthead in the country with another destructive display, this time against a proven international loosehead in Steven Kitshoff. Made an impressive nine tackles as well.

A complete performance that showed why many regard him as the world’s best hooker. Complemented brute force, which earned him 62 metres, with great offloads, one of which put Hacjivah Dayimani in for a try. Also made an unrivalled 14 tackles and completed a turnover.

A tough call to make between the Lions loosehead and the Bulls’ Lizo Gqoboka as both were solid all-round. One of the most underrated players in the country, Smith cracks the nod for his beastly performance at scrum time.

BET: Super Rugby 2019

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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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