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

SA Super Rugby Christmas Wishlist

18 June 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld


Champagne rugby and high drama saw the Bulls and Sharks qualify for the Super Rugby quarter-finals in the final round of regular season action at the weekend but it’s a fair spread of players in the Team of the Week,

In the first of the two do-or-die South African shootouts, the Sharks snuck through the back door with centre Lukhanyo Am scoring after the hooter to snatch a thrilling 12-9 win over the Stormers in Cape Town, before the Bulls hammered the Lions 48-27 in a high-quality clash in Pretoria to finish as the top-placed local team.

The Bulls (5) will take on the Hurricanes (4) in Wellington, while the Sharks (6) will battle the Brumbies (3) in Canberra for semi-final spots this Saturday.

Full of running. Joined the line expertly, racked up a South African round-record 134 metres with 11 runs, whilst beating three defenders.

The comeback story of the year reached a zenith at Loftus that’ll long be remembered. Sport, at its most powerful, inspires. It’s a vehicle for showcasing the triumph of the human spirit. Hendricks, in his first season back after a serious heart ailment threatened to end his career, has done that all year, but his performance on Saturday was truly special. He scored arguably the best solo try of the season, made three clean breaks, 63 metres and beat no less than seven defenders.

The match winner delivered when it mattered most, summing up the situation with a good step off the left foot to cut inside and through the Stormers defence to dot down and send the Sharks to the play-offs.

Burger Odendaal had a big game, but the impact Esterhuizen made as the Sharks’ midfield battering ram outweighed that of the Bulls No.12. The Bulls would’ve won without Odendaal. I’m not so sure that would’ve been the case for the Sharks without Esterhuizen’s brute force.

Thrived in the free-flowing game. Made two clean breaks, danced past two defenders and made 52 metres with seven runs. Put Odendaal in for a try with a good inside ball and was courageous on defence.

Pulled the strings superbly. Threw some beautiful cut-out balls, one of which set up Hendricks for his incredible score, bashed over for a try of his own and popped a classy offload to Manie Libbok for him to stroll over. Pinned the Lions in their 22 with a few touch finders in the second half and finished with an 18-point haul.

The veteran’s breakaway from a lineout was the highlight of Round 18 when it comes to South African scrumhalves making an impact.

The horse-power of the Sharks once again with a South African round-record 18 carries, which saw him steamroll four defenders and make 39 metres – impressive yardage considering the slow, static nature of the coastal clash. Also made all 10 of his tackles and won a turnover.

Was named Man of the Match after an incredibly industrious performance that saw him make 11 carries, 17 tackles, win a turnover and secure three lineouts.

Like a dog with a bone with ball-in-hand – making 53 metres, 17 runs, scoring a try and beating four defenders – and like a hungry pit bull at the breakdown, winning two turnovers in a Man of the Match performance.

Excellent in the lineout, where he poached a Lions throw five metres from his tryline and another just before half-time. Great hands and distribution and made solid carries and tackles (aside from the yellow card grass-cutter).

An absolute juggernaut in all departments. Got through a ton of work, making 13 carries and all 12 of his tackles.

Kept up with the frenetic pace of the game well, especially on defence, where he put himself in the perfect position to secure a turnover inside his 22 early on in addition to making nine tackles.

Took the fight to the Bulls with his strength and skill. Won three breakdown penalties, made nine hard hits and 11 strong carries, which included two line breaks and saw him bump off two tacklers.

Both he and Bulls try-scorer Lizo Gqoboka were busy around the park. The scrum battle was a key part of the error-strewn Cape Town clash and a non-factor in the frenetic Trans-Jukskei derby. It’s Kitshoff’s dominance in this department that saw
him crack the nod.

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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