Team of the Week - Aviva Premiership
January 3, 2011
Leeds' Hendre Fourie offloads the ball during his side's first victory of the campaign against Gloucester © Getty Images
Marcos Ayerza Olly Barkley Danny Care Dan Cole Mark Cueto Hendre Fourie Charlie Hodgson Nick Kennedy Lee Mears Geordan Murphy Topsy Ojo Kris Ormsby Andy Powell Jordan Turner-Hall Luke Watson
The latest round of Aviva Premiership action served up its usual mix of thrills and spills - but who did enough to make our Team of the Week?
15. Geordan Murphy (Leicester Tigers)
The Tigers skipper produced a typically assured performance at fullback as the defending champions began the New Year with victory over Exeter. His astute kicking and decision making helped undo a determined Chiefs side and ensure back-to-back appearances in our team.
14. Topsy Ojo (London Irish)
The Exiles' speedster pounced for his seventh league try of the season in the latter stages of his side's clash with Bath o put his side within reach of a much-needed victory but there was still time for the visitors to nick the result.
13. Olly Barkley (Bath)
The Bath centre's exploits with the boot carried his side to victory at the Madejski Stadium with his 20-point haul including a match-winning penalty in the last minute of a see-saw clash.
12. Jordan Turner-Hall (Harlequins)
The strong-running Quins centre relished the physical edge to his side's bruising battle with leaders Northampton and formed part of the heroic defensive effort that denied the Saints.
11. Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
The classy winger has taken on the captaincy of the Sharks and thrived on the honour against Saracens at Edgeley Park where he bristled with intent throughout. He racked up metres with ball in hand and his team-mates followed his lead in terms of work rate.
10. Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks)
The veteran fly-half, who appears to be on his way out of Edgeley Park at the end of the season, returned from injury to offer a reminder of what the Sharks will miss if he does head for pastures new. His experience and game management ensured Sale were on the front foot when it mattered most.
9. Danny Care (Harlequins)
The Quins scrum-half charged down Stephen Myler clearance to claim a crucial second half try against Northampton. His score brought his side back within striking range and fly-half Nick Evans did the rest.
1. Marcos Ayerza (Leicester Tigers)
The Argentinean loose-head was at his spiky best as the Tigers handed out a scrummaging lesson to the otherwise resilient Chiefs at Sandy Park.
2. Lee Mears (Bath)
The Bath hooker popped up in the loose on several occasions on his way to some impressive stats and also chipped in with his fair share of tackles.
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
The tight-head's star continues to rise after another powerful display to help dismantle the Chiefs' brave challenge. It is set to be a big year for the 23-year-old England international.
4. Nick Kennedy (London Irish)
The Exiles' second row led his side with an impressive ten tackles but the lineout is his bread and butter and he delivered there with five successful claims and one steal on Bath's throw.
5. Kris Ormsby (Sale Sharks)
The Sharks lock caused Saracens problems in the loose as part of a fleet-footed performance from the hosts at Edgeley Park. Beat at least a couple of tackles with ball in hand and felled a few attackers too.
6. Luke Watson (Bath)
The South African returned from injury to steer his side to a much-needed win against London Irish. A characteristically busy performance ensured the Bath captain claimed the Man of the Match honour.
7. Hendre Fourie (Leeds Carnegie)
His work in contact during his side's narrow victory over Gloucester was described by his boss Neil Back as "phenomenal" and he also grabbed a try to give him the edge over Sale's Carl Fearns for the No.7 shirt in our selection.
8. Andy Powell (London Wasps)
The Welshman delivered an inspirational performance to help Wasps sweep Newcastle aside. The result lifted Wasps into fourth place in the table while the Powell's performance will not be lost on national coach Warren Gatland.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd
Samoa's Sivi Tau says the team "come completely prepared", the reality is a world away. Seilala Mapusua on Samoa and building a future