Super Rugby round five, team of the week
March 17, 2013
Lelia Masaga was hugely influential in Port Elizabeth © Getty Images
Sharks 10 - 29 Brumbies Queensland Reds 12 - 19 Force Crusaders 41 - 19 Bulls Southern Kings 24 - 35 Chiefs New South Wales Waratahs 26 - 27 Cheetahs Highlanders 19 - 23 Hurricanes
Dan Carter Robert Ebersohn Hika Elliot Ben Franks Owen Franks Robbie Fruean Hugh McMeniman Lelia Masaga Alby Mathewson Jesse Mogg Raymond Rhule Conrad Smith George Smith George Whitelock Sam Whitelock
Australia Brumbies Bulls Cheetahs Chiefs Crusaders Force Highlanders Hurricanes New South Wales Waratahs New Zealand Queensland Reds Scotland Sharks Southern Kings
15. Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)
Dragged after 57 minutes due to injury, but still comfortably did enough to earn back-to-back jumpers: one try, one linebreak and 83 running metres; what more do you want? Clearly has the front-running for the Wallabies jumper on this season's form.
14. Lelia Masaga (Chiefs)
The Chiefs winger was Man of the Match in Port Elizabeth, making four linebreaks as he ran for 145 metres and scored a hat-trick of tries. You can't ask for more from an outside back.
13. Conrad Smith (Hurricanes)
The All Blacks star produced his best game of the season, damaging the Highlanders at every turn either with ball in hand or in defence. Made 13 runs for 85 metres and two linebreaks, and he was at the heart of everything good in yellow.
Robbie Fruean was back to his best against the Bulls © Getty Images
12. Robbie Fruean (Crusaders)
Robbie Fruean made a shaky start to the game against the Bulls, but he finished the fixture having shown form to suggest he will be pushing for All Blacks honours before the Rugby Championship.
11. Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs)
The Cheetahs flyer enjoyed a day out against New South Wales Waratahs, making two linebreaks and scoring two tries including the match-winner in a hugely influential display.
10. Dan Carter (Crusaders)
Directed the Crusaders brilliantly against the Bulls, and finished the match having played a leading hand in three of the Crusaders' tries and showing just why he is the best No.10 in the world.
Alby Mathewson earned his right to celebrate © Getty Images
9. Alby Mathewson (Western Force)
The New Zealander was Man of the Match against Queensland Reds, making two scything linebreaks - one to set up a score, and one that should have. A key influence in the shock result.
8. Fota Auelua (Brumbies)
Man of the Match against the Sharks, his direct running in the first half setting up two tries as he twice drew three defenders to create an overlap. Just edged the worthy Kieran Read for the jumper.
7. George Smith (Brumbies)
Produced another masterclass at the breakdown against the Sharks, and rampaged in the loose for 73 metres from 11 runs, to show why Robbie Deans and the Australian Rugby Union must move heaven and earth to get him involved against the British & Irish Lions.
6. George Whitelock (Crusaders)
The eldest of the Whitelock brothers produced a masterful performance against the Bulls, making 99 metres from 16 runs and impressing with his strength when he reefed the ball from rag-tagged Wynand Olivier to lay the foundation for another try.
Hugh McMeniman enjoyed his return to Queensland © Getty Images
5. Hugh McMeniman (Western Force)
Had a lot to prove returning to the state of his birth with Western Force, and boy did he prove it. May yet play his way into Wallabies contention.
4. Sam Whitelock (Crusaders)
Produced a dominant performance in the lineout against the masters from Pretoria, and was hugely visible with his runs and work in the loose.
3. Owen Franks (Crusaders)
Wyatt Crockett grabbed the headline with a try, but Owen Franks rumbled strongly and was among the key men who laid a foundation for his steam's improved effort.
2. Hika Elliot (Chiefs)
Busy throughout against the Cheetahs, impressing with work in the set pieces and also his running in the loose.
1. Ben Franks (Hurricanes)
How can you not pick him after he dropped a shoulder and produced a Jonah Lomu-esque Maori sidestep to run over Ben Smith to score a try in the opening match of the round?
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies