Kurt-Lee Arendse leads a stampede of Bulls into our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
The South African teams finished the regular season on a high for the most part at the weekend, starting with the Stormers, who beat Benetton 38-22 in Stellenbosch on Friday night.
Saturday’s double-header at Loftus Versfeld saw the Lions finish their campaign with a dazzling 50-35 win over Zebre and the Bulls batter previously unbeaten Leinster 62-7, before the Sharks and Munster played to a 22-all draw in Durban.
As a result, the Stormers and Bulls will collide in Cape Town and the Sharks will face Leinster in Dublin in the quarter-finals in two weeks. The Warriors will battle Munster in Glasgow and Ulster will meet Connacht in Belfast in the other last-eight encounters.
Making up our team this week are six Bulls, five Stormers, two Lions, and two Sharks.
15: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls) – Player of the Week
Weaved his magic in a Man of the Match performance. Lethal with his sudden injection of pace and understanding of how to manipulate space. Scored a brace and produced a couple of try-assists.
14: Canan Moodie (Bulls)
In his element. Sensational grab of Johan Goosen’s crosskick to score the first of his two tries, intelligent grubber to put Arendse in for his second try, beat the first man on a few occasions, made a match-high 134 metres, retained a restart, and won a turnover.
13: Dan du Plessis (Stormers)
Enjoyed the extra time and space at outside centre. Made a match-high nine successful carries, beat four defenders and made two clean breaks. Slick offload to send Clayton Blommetjies in for a try and added a big touch-finder in a classy Man of the Match performance.
12: Harold Vorster (Bulls)
An unsung class act. Consistently steamrolled over the advantage line, put Moodie into a gap with a perfectly-timed short ball and got onto the scoresheet.
11: Edwill van der Merwe (Lions)
More than a handful. Super elusive with his dancing feet and scored a memorable double. Delivered match-high numbers in successful carries (7) and metres (118).
10: Johan Goosen (Bulls)
Ran the massacre with slick distribution and deft crosskicks and racked up 17 points. Just the confidence-boosting performance the veteran and the Bulls need ahead of the quarter-finals.
9: Sanele Nohamba (Lions)
Such a slippery customer. Wicked sniping ability to score a try in each half. Added 10 more points with the boot while his fundamentals were good to earn the Man of the Match award.
8: Elrigh Louw (Bulls)
“The Sheriff” was in town in a big way. Generated go-forward like an inverter does electricity. Steamrolled Chris Cook during one of his 10 successful carries and showed good awareness to snatch an intercept that led to a try.
7: Hacjivah Dayimani (Stormers)
In a word, dynamic. Brilliant early break in which he bulldozed Dewaldt Duvenage and stepped up in the lineout where we secured balls and pulled off an athletic steal in his 22.
6: Willie Engelbrecht (Stormers)
A heavy-duty bruiser whose tries just before and after halftime turned the game in the Stormers’ favour. Good power and agility to finish his second five-pointer (time-stamped below).
5: Marvin Orie (Stormers)
A classy all-court outing. A tower of strength in the lineout, made a great long break to set up the Stormers’ third try and led the defensive effort with a match-high 15 tackles.
4: Ben-Jason Dixon (Stormers)
Emergency cover turned revelation. Brought his back-row work rate to the second row after the injuries to Ruben van Heerden and Ernst van Rhyn and won no less than three turnovers, two of them on his 5m line.
3: Thomas du Toit (Sharks)
Pure class in his final game for the Sharks at Kings Park. Part of a dominant scrum and was equally good in open play, where his contributions included a brilliant jackal.
2: Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)
Super clinical in the set pieces, a workhorse in general play and crossed the whitewash twice, the second score highlighting his hard grafting.
1: Ox Nche (Sharks)
A dominant force. Stephen Archer will have nightmares about the mauling he endured at scrum time courtesy of the popular Man of the Match. Made some strong carries, showed good passing ability for a front-rower and made a terrific try-saving tackle on Antoine Frisch.