25 March 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld
SUPER RUGBY SA TEAM OF THE WEEK – ROUND 6
South African sides had mixed fortunes in Round Six of Super Rugby on Saturday.
The Lions and Sharks were on the winning side, the Johannesburg franchise starting their overseas tour with a comprehensive 37-24 mauling of the Sunwolves and the men from Durban getting their campaign back on track with a comfortable 28-14 home victory over the Rebels.
The Stormers put forth a passionate performance but ultimately succumbed 34-28 to the Hurricanes in Wellington, while the Bulls endured a 56-20 humiliation at the hands of the previously winless Chiefs at a stunned Loftus.
As a result, our Team of the Week consists of seven Sharks, four Lions, three Stormers and a sole Bulls player.
The Lions rookie impressed for the second week in a row. Made the Sunwolves pay for aimless kicks with dangerous and confident running from the back and was brave and athletic under the high ball.
Even though he didn’t get a real attacking opportunity, he used his size and strength to make metres every time he touched the ball.
Stood out in a lost cause with the energy and passion he brought to the table. Looked like the only Bulls player on the park at times and was rewarded for his stellar workrate with a try from a Handre Pollard chip.
The Bok veteran seems reinvigorated and sparked his side into life with a brilliant ball that put Aphiwe Dyantyi into a gap and followed up to finish off one of the tries of the weekend. Was also a key contributor on defence, with a backline-high eight hits.
Simply electrifying. The Sharks speedster ripped the Rebels to shreds, racking up 78 metres, two clean breaks and blitzing past five would-be tacklers. Should have had a double but his scintillating second run-in was cruelly disallowed due to a cynical coat-hanger by Marius Louw.
A top-notch performance by the Sharks No. 10. Read the game perfectly, kept the scoreboard ticking over off the tee, attacked the line and scored a try to finish with a personal tally of 18 points.
The Sharks skipper was the key man behind the Durban side’s smarter approach, dictating how and where the black-and-white machine operated. A clever cut out ball for his flyhalf to walk in a try capped off a seasoned showing. Nic Groom deserves a special mention as one of the Lions’ standout players in Singapore.
Provided the go-forward grunt from the start. Showcased his power, passion and skill to force his way over for the opening try, fended off four defenders in 11 carries, made 11 tackles and featured in the lineout in a complete eighthman effort.
Every week, the Stormers freak of nature ups his game to new heights. HE MADE 30 TACKLES…you read that right, 30! Not only that, he was the go-to ball-carrying forward (12 hit-ups) and lineout target (five takes, plus a steal). Such outrageous output is damn near unbelievable. He’s a truly special talent and our Player of the Week.
The Stormers captain continued his sensational form in Wellington. Got on to the scoresheet, affected a turnover on the deck and made 18 tackles as he almost led his team to their first win at the Cake Tin since 2001.
The Sharks’ lineouts weren’t as accurate as usual, but that was more because of excellent competing from the Rebels. Andrews, himself, was a safe option, claiming six takes, including one on the visitors’ throw. It was in open play where the skyscraper really stood out, making an impressive 14 tackles, second only to flank Jacques Vermeulen’s 15.
The hard-grafting Lions second rower was massive in the tight loose and a pillar of strength in the lineouts, where he secured seven takes.
A real modern-day front rower, the Stormers tighthead made 11 tackles on top of winning two big scrum penalties.
Monumental in all departments. Led by example, scored a double, made three crucial turnovers – one of which saved a certain try – and a team-high 10 tackles. Bongi Mbonambi also had a blinder for the Stormers, but the Lions skipper was in a class of his own.
Beast Mode was activated on Saturday, with the legendary loosehead turning back the clock to show he can still keep up with the likes of the mobile Malherbe. Threw his big body around to stop 10 runners in their tracks and was solid at scrum time.
? Who was your SA #SuperRugby Player of the Week?
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