Super Rugby round seven, team of the week
April 1, 2013
Tom Marshall finally gained the selection he was unlucky to miss in previous weeks © Getty Images
Waratahs 23 - 19 Force Stormers 14 - 19 Crusaders Cheetahs 34 - 16 Melbourne Rebels Brumbies 23 - 20 Bulls Chiefs 23 - 16 Blues Hurricanes 46 - 30 Southern Kings Highlanders 33 - 34 Reds
Tyler Bleyendaal Wyatt Crockett Hosea Gear Will Genia James Hanson Richard Kahui Lappies Labuschagne Alapati Leiua Tom Marshall Waylon Murray Jake Schatz Steven Sykes Ben Tameifuna Matt Todd Sam Whitelock
Australia Blues Brumbies Bulls Cheetahs Chiefs Crusaders Force Highlanders Hurricanes Melbourne Rebels New South Wales Waratahs New Zealand Queensland Reds Rebels Reds South Africa Southern Kings Stormers Waratahs
15. Tom Marshall (Chiefs)
Crusaders fans might be asking "Israel who ... ?" after Marshall's late switch to fullback because of the All Blacks star's hamstring injury. He produced dynamic running and outstanding defence to force the Team of the Week selection he was previously unlucky to miss.
14. Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes)
The stand-out player in the match against Southern Kings, he combined defence with strong running; butchered one try opportunity after a breakaway but soon crossed the line with an intercept, and he's surely in the mind of All Blacks selectors.
13. Richard Kahui (Chiefs)
Welcome back to the starting side, Richard Kahui: 11 runs 110+ run metres, two linebreaks, one try, brutal defence, and consummate organisation. Arguably the best individual performance of the round.
12. Waylon Murray (Southern Kings)
Murray provided great go-forward for the Kings when pitched in to the action from the bench after Hadleigh Parkes broke his right arm, his straight-line running seeing him cross the advantage line at almost every opportunity.
11. Hosea Gear (Highlanders)
The bright, shining light in the Highlanders' miserable season, he produced another outstanding display with 14 runs, 100+ run metres, one linebreak and a try. We can only imagine what he will do in a humming team functioning at the best of its ability; watch out France when you play the All Blacks in June.
10. Tyler Bleyendaal (Crusaders)
Tyler Bleyendaal stepped up to fill the big boots of father-to-be Dan Carter, landing crucial goals in the tricky conditions and producing a master class of tactical kicking to guide the Crusaders around Newlands.
9. Will Genia (Queensland Reds)
Produced a Man of the Match performance in Dunedin, superb in every aspect of the game, as Queensland Reds streaked ahead then held on for dear life against the charging Highlanders.
Queensland Reds made history in Dunedin (video available only in Australia)
8. Jake Schatz (Queensland Reds)
Produced a powerful performance against the Highlanders, and his combination with Will Genia and the improving Quade Cooper must be giving Wallabies selectors food for thought ahead of the series against the British & Irish Lions
The Crusaders were resolute and heroic in stopping the surging Stormers (video available only in Australia)%]
7. Matt Todd (Crusaders)
The "everywhere man" in Cape Town: his try was just the icing on a Man of the Match performance that saw him prominent in the loose, at the breakdown, in defence ... everywhere.
6.Lappies Labuschagne (Cheetahs)
Produced yet another eye-catching display on the blindside, and his efforts cannot be ignored simply because he performed against the hapless Rebels.
5. Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
A key figure in the Crusaders' performance as he pilfered lineout after lineout from in-form Andries Bekker, denying the Stormers ball and gaining crucial advantage for the visitors. He just held out the Sunday claims of Hugh McMeniman.
Steven Sykes crossed unopposed for his try against the Hurricanes © Getty Images
4. Steven Sykes (Southern Kings)
Produced a physical all-round game that featured one linebreak and a try as the Kings refused to go away in Wellington.
3. Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs)
He replaced the injured Ben Afeaki in the first half, and showed the Chiefs should not fear the reported six-week absence of their rock in the front-row. His try was just the most visible of his work against the Blues.
2. James Hanson (Queensland Reds)
Produced a hooker's hooker performance as the Reds made history in Dunedin, capped by a try to open the scoring.
1. Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)
Selected again after showing his versatility, switching to tight-head after just 11 minutes, replacing injured rock Owen Franks and ensuring the scrum remained solid against a physical Stormers set-piece.
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter