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SA United Rugby Championship Team of the Week – Round 2

Coastal stars make up two-thirds of our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

URC Team of the Week

Coastal stars make up two-thirds of our South African United Rugby Championship Team of the Week, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The South African franchises pulled off a full house of victories locally and abroad.

The Sharks and Lions bookended the weekend with nail-biting wins over Zebre (42-37) and the Ospreys (28-27) in Parma and Swansea, while the Stormers and Bulls prevailed over Connacht (38-15) and Edinburgh (33-31) on home soil.

Our team consist of six Sharks, four Stormers, three Lions and two Bulls players.

15: Clayton Blommetjies (Stormers)

Dangerous on attack and put his educated boot to very good use in a top-class debut. Stepped a defender with his first touch of the ball, made a good run from deep and was instrumental in Andre-Hugo Venter’s fantastic try, starting it with a crosskick before adding a long pass wide and chicken-wing offload inside.

14: Edwill van der Merwe (Lions)

Made the most of his limited opportunities, making a match-high 54 metres, beating three defenders and scoring the game-winning try.

13: Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Sharks)

A game-changing colossus. Smashed over the advantage line at will with his size and strength to set try-scoring sequences in motion and sped away for a try of his own. Good line speed and physicality on defence and won a turnover to round out a dynamic debut.

12: Marius Louw (Lions)

Took centre stage in the Lions’ win. Absolutely owned opposite number Andrew Collins, smashing him not once, not twice but thrice. Made a match-high 14 hits and charged over the gain line with brute force. Nice long pass to Quan Horn, too.

11: Thaakir Abrahams (Sharks)

Stravino Jacobs scored a try but kicked poorly and conceded the penalty that nearly cost the Bulls the win. Abrahams made more metres (83) and beat more defenders (5) than anyone in Parma and produced a top-notch try assist for Werner Kok.

10: Boeta Chamberlain (Sharks)

As a third-string injury-enforced starter, he delivered in overdrive. Steered the Sharks to victory with good goal-kicking and distribution, scoring 17 points and setting up Janse van Rensburg for his try. Restarts were excellent as well and made a try-saving intervention as a sweeper.

9: Grant Williams (Sharks)

Speedy Gonzales. Lightning-quick in everything he did. Fed the fast-paced attack, blasted off on a 30-metre dart from a quick tap in the first half and nearly cut through in the second. Accurate when he did kick and came away with the Man of the Match award.

8: Evan Roos (Stormers)

The star of the inaugural season picked right back up where he left off. Took just four minutes to send a clear message to the Springbok management team, going scorched earth to score a rumbling solo try punctuated by the bulldozing of Mack Hansen. Made a team-high 52 metres and beat three defenders in all.

7: Hacjivah Dayimani (Stormers)

Connacht were unable to contain the ultra-athletic and skillful loose forward in the wider channels. Knew exactly when to press and when to pass, threw one-handed offloads, played a key role in Venter’s try and exploited a mismatch to score himself and bag the Man of the Match award.

6: Marcell Coetze (Bulls)

Made a match-high 16 tackles and his offloading prowess, an often underappreciated part of his game, was particularly vital. Slick sleight of hand to convert the tap and go move and a key touch, after running a great line, in the lead-up to Cornal Hendricks’ try.

5: Marvin Orie (Stormers)

His motor has always been his biggest strength and it roared in Stellenbosch as he executed an unrivalled 17 tackles and charged down a kick.

4: Reinhard Nothnagel (Lions)

Played at No 5 but shifts one as his captain’s innings went a long way in getting the Lions over the line. Strong all-around effort and a busy defensive pillar.

3: Thomas du Toit (Sharks) – Player of the Week

The last thing you’d expect from a tighthead captain is to lead by example in the effort department as that’s exactly what Du Toit did. The 138kg “Tank” made four carries in the build-up to the Sharks’ first try alone and kept at for an hour, posting team-high numbers in successful carries (7) and tackles (10) while dominating at scrum time, where he won two penalties.

2: Johan Grobbelaar (Bulls)

Mr Do It All. Pit bull-like tenacity in contact, fighting two defenders to dot down from a tap and go move, influential at the breakdown – winning a penalty in his half in the seventh minute – and dangerous when he peeled off the maul.

1: Ntuthuko Mchunu (Sharks)

Taking inspiration from his captain, Mchunu did a mountain of work including making an unbelievable try-saving cover tackle on Erich Cronje – one of the highlights of the weekend. Put his power to good use in the scrums.

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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