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SA United Rugby Championship Team of the Week – Round 7

Bulls captain Elrigh Louw leads the way in our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Elrigh Louw

Bulls captain Elrigh Louw leads the way in our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

It was one-way traffic at Loftus Versfeld where the Bulls battered the Sharks 44-10 to kick off the action from a South African point of view on Saturday.

Despite losing Ruben Schoeman to a red card in the 25th minute, the Lions cruised to a 49-25 win over the Dragons at Ellis Park while the Stormers were scrappy but nevertheless snapped a four-match losing streak with a 31-7 win over Zebre in Stellenbosch.

The Bulls and Lions each have six representatives in our side with a trio of Stormers completing our line-up.

15: Quan Horn (Lions)

His influence was strongly felt. Made an early try-saving tackle, scored an epic coast-to-coast try and sparked the bonus-point try.

14: Canan Moodie (Bulls)

Elegant and electrifying, the blue-chipper made everything he did look effortless, including his match-high 90 metres and excellent try assist for Stedman Gans.

13: Stedman Gans (Bulls)

A big game against the great Lukhanyo Am in which he showed his footwork, intelligence and power. Superb support line to score his first try and straight, powerful surge over Makazole Mapimpi for his second.

12: Damian Willemse (Stormers)

The best of the Stormers’ returning Springboks. Deft left-footed grubber for Ruhan Nel to score, exciting break on the hour mark and stepped three defenders to score a late five-pointer.

11: Edwill van der Merwe (Lions)

Started the outrageous counter-attacking try rounded off by Horn from his try line and chased extremely well, which earned him two tries and saw him charge down Will Reed.

10: Johan Goosen (Bulls)

Completely outclassed Curwin Bosch. Pulled the strings well and brought a bit of everything, from the crucial cut-out pass that created Gans’ first try to a dangerous dab and re-gather. Near-22 to 22 touch-finder and kicked 14 points.

9: Morne van den Berg (Lions)

A mature performance highlighted by sound decision-making and good execution. Smart game management, superb clearance kicks, deft dink for Van der Merwe to dot down and a textbook support line to get onto the scoresheet.

8: Cameron Hanekom (Bulls)

Showed he belongs on the big stage. Full of explosive exuberance that saw him make telling carries and tackles alike plus he made beautiful offloads to Kurt-Lee Arendse and Louw for their tries.

7: Elrigh Louw (Bulls) – Player of the Week

The Bull’s captain was a commanding force in all aspects, including being a rock at the restarts. Broke tackles, scored a try, made a match-high 14 hits and sliced through to legally sack an ominous maul to win the Man of the Match award and send a message to Rassie Erasmus. 

6: Emmanuel Tshituka (Lions)

Worked his socks off and had a particularly big impact at the breakdown, where he seized two turnovers, both just outside his 22. Good feet to evade defenders and made a few dominant tackles. 

5: Ruan Delport (Lions)

Having lost his lock partner to a red card, he stepped up in a big way. Immense work rate, earning his team three points with a breakdown penalty, making plenty of tackles and bossing the lineout, including poaching a Dragons’ throw on his 5m line to earn the Man of the Match award.

4: Ruben van Heerden (Stormers)

One of the hardest workers of the Stellenbosch scrap. Did the donkey work, softened up Zebre with his physicality and was a towering presence in the lineout. Rewarded with the Man of the Match award.

3: Neethling Fouche (Stormers)

Asenathi Ntlabakanye was full of running, bouncing defenders off him and eating up valuable ground, but a tighthead’s primary job is scrummaging and Stormers skipper Fouche feasted on the Italians.

2: Akker van der Merwe (Bulls)

Clinical in the set pieces, scored a brace of tries, made good defensive reads and snatched a turnover.

1: JP Smith (Lions)

A prominent ball carrier, strong scrummager, outstanding hands to grab a Dragons punt and even better presence of mind to immediately offload to Henco van Wyk to run in a long-range try.

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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