Super Rugby round four, team of the week
March 11, 2013
Jesse Mogg may yet look good in green and gold © Getty Images
Blues 21 - 28 Bulls Southern Kings 12 - 21 Sharks Stormers 36 - 34 Chiefs Brumbies 35 - 6 Waratahs Highlanders 19 - 36 Cheetahs Melbourne Rebels 13 - 23 Reds Hurricanes 29 - 28 Crusaders
Ben Afeaki Andries Bekker Damian de Allende Johan Goosen Lappies Labuschagne Jesse Mogg Tendai Mtawarira Tim Nanai-Williams Kade Poki Sarel Pretorius Julian Savea George Smith Pierre Spies De Kock Steenkamp Adriaan Strauss
Australia Blues Brumbies Bulls Cheetahs Chiefs Crusaders Highlanders Hurricanes Melbourne Rebels New South Wales Waratahs New Zealand Queensland Reds Rebels Reds Sharks South Africa Southern Kings Stormers Waratahs
15. Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)
Jesse Mogg produced another scintillating performance to press his Wallabies claims ahead of the British & Irish Lions series, playing a key role in two tries and showing beyond doubt the advantage of searing pace in defence as well as attack.
14. Kade Poki (Highlanders)
Kade Poki was dangerous every time he got the ball in hand against the Cheetahs, and his three tries, including a fantastic individual effort to cap his hat-trick, gave the hosts belief when there was no reason to believe.
13. Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs)
Scored a try and made several incisive breaks for the defending champions, who did everything but retain their season's undefeated record against the Stormers.
12. Damian de Allende (Stormers)
The Stormers inside centre produced a powerful performance against the Chiefs, making particular impact on offence in the second half, and he was crucial in all aspects as the home side finally claimed their first win of the season.
11. Julian Savea (Hurricanes)
The Hurricanes flyer earns selection for the second time in as many weeks; how can you argue with his tally of 14 runs for 170+ metres, one linebreak and one try against the Crusaders?
10. Johan Goosen (Cheetahs)
Solid in defence and guided the visitors around Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill with aplomb. Gains selection primarily, however, for his kicking form - eight from eight to keep the score ticking over - just one week after his shocker against the Chiefs that cost the visitors what could have been important momentum on the board.
9. Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs)
Produced a quicksilver performance, and was key in everything good from the Cheetahs against the Highlanders. Two tries was the least he deserved from an effort that showed exactly why New South Wales Waratahs signed him for last season.
Pierre Spies led the Bulls from the front © Getty Images
8. Pierre Spies (Bulls)
Led the Bulls to their first victory in Auckland, inspiring the visitors with deeds in the tight and the loose; showed he remains as good as ever when he inspired a length-of-the-field counter-attack from the base of the scrum deep in the second half.
7. George Smith (Brumbies)
The returning Brumbies and Wallabies great had far more game time that he could have imagined, given the season-ending injury to David Pocock, but he was immediately up to speed and Robbie Deans could do worse than select him against the British & Irish Lions.
6. Lappies Labuschagne (Cheetahs)
The Cheetahs blindside was just one of several outstanding South African flankers in round four, but he produced arguably the performance of the weekend. He produced an all-action effort in all facets of the game to lead the dominant visiting pack to lay the foundations for the shock result in Invercargill.
5. Andries Bekker (Stormers)
Andries Bekker remains a second-rower of the highest order, and he produced an astoundingly good effort against the Chiefs. Solid as ever in the set piece, his work in the loose - with nine runs for 70 metres and one linebreak in which resembled more a breakway winger - was as good as you'll see anywhere.
4. De Kock Steenkamp (Stormers)
Ben Afeaki continues to impress © Getty Images
De Kock Steenkamp was dominant in the lineout, winning his own ball and making life difficult for the visitors; he wasn't as visible in the loose, but he was still effective. His combination with Andries Bekker was one of the most noticeable aspects of the weekend.
3. Ben Afeaki (Chiefs)
Bean Afeaki is a man mountain, who continues to show why he is a front-runner for All Blacks selection this season. Highly visible in attack and defence against the Stormers, and strong in the scrum.
2. Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
The Cheetahs hooker was everywhere against the Highlanders, and his calm and assured leadership saw the visitors remain focused in Invercargill.
1. Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks)
Brutally effective as the Sharks dominated scrum time, and also made a damaging impact away from the set piece.
Who would you select in your Super Rugby round four team of the week? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
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