Super Rugby round eight team of the week
April 8, 2013
Ardie Savea impressed on his Super Rugby debut in a powerful Hurricanes pack © Getty Images
15. Israel Folau (Waratahs)
Showed once again that he is coming to grips with the demands of the position, and produced power and dynamic lines as the New South Wales back three threatened with ball in hand. He may yet force Wallabies selection against the British & Irish Lions if he continues his upwards spiral.
14. Jason Woodward (Rebels)
The Kiwi winger scored two tries, and had one pulled back for a forward pass, to cap a dynamic performance as the Rebels regained a little of the pride lost in South Africa.
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)
Scored a try, made two linebreaks and gained 115+ running metres in a solid all-round performance. Responsible for the floated pass into touch that led to the lineout from which the Hurricanes ultimately scored their first try, but still did enough to squeak selection ahead of the impressive Rene Ranger.
12. Kyle Godwin (Western Force)
The centre remains one of the most impressive players in the Force side, and he turned in yet another of the performances that have him placed at least on the periphery of he Wallabies squad.
11. Julian Savea (Hurricanes)
Produced another one-man demolition show with powerful straight-line running, tackle busts and tries; he is arguably the standout player of the tournament right now.
10. Bernard Foley (Waratahs)
Lovely individual performance in a losing effort, showing he is coming to grips with Michael Cheika's playbook with three linebreaks and a try offsetting his five individual errors.
9. Piri Weepu (Blues)
Schooled Aaron Smith in a Man-of-the-Match performance to steer the Blues past the Highlanders, his effort capped by wonderful support running to claim two tries that iced the win.
8. Cornell du Preez (Southern Kings)
Did everything brilliantly against the Brumbies, and scored two tries including the powerful effort after the buzzer that secured an unlikely draw. Possibly the man of the round.
7. Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)
The brother of Julian Savea had been subject of much hype before he finally made his Super Rugby debut against the Waratahs; his all-round performance and workload in the absence of Victory Vito suggests he is a rising star.
Wimpie van der Walt produced a rampaging performance against the Brumbies © Getty Images
6. Wimpie van der Walt (Southern Kings)
Impressed greatly against George Smith and the Brumbies, and he was integral in everything that was good about the Kings with his strong ball carrying. His try was the least he deserved from his performance.
5. Andries Bekker (Stormers)
Back to his imperious best after a disappointing game against the Crusaders, he was strong in the loose and key in the improved lineout performance that should have been enough to get the Stormers over the line in Bloemfontein.
4. Hugh Pyle (Rebels)
Gained selection for the second time in three weeks for a strong try-scoring performance in the loose and in the set pieces; he might yet become a fringe candidate for the Wallabies against the British & Irish Lions - if he is not already.
3. Jannie du Plessis (Sharks)
Did everything you'd expect from a Springboks prop as the Sharks halted the Crusaders' momentum in a tight and physical game in Durban.
2. Motu Matu'u (Hurricanes)
The pace he showed to outpoint Waratahs winger Peter Betham for his try was but the most visible aspect of his display in a strong Hurricanes pack effort.
1. Reg Goodes (Hurricanes)
A late call-up to replace Ben Franks, the Hurricanes lost nothing as he produced a tremendous performance capped by a try that featured wonderful hands to take Conrad Smith's wonder pass.
Who impressed you in Super Rugby round eight? Which players made your team of the week? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.
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