Team of the Week – S14 Round 5

We continue our Crusade to find the 15 best players of the week, but this week we have a tinge of Blue added to our ‘Black and Red’ selection.

The table-topping Blues join the Crusaders with the biggest representation in a team that shows the least number of changes it has all season.

The Crusaders and Reds have three members each, followed by the two each from the Bulls and Chiefs – with the Waratahs, Lions, Brumbies, Sharks and Stormers making up the numbers.

Six players retain their places this week, the most so far this season.

They are Scott Hamilton (Crusaders), Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), Roy Kinikinilau (Chiefs), Stephen Brett (Crusaders), Mose Tuiali’i (Crusaders) and Bakkies Botha (Bulls).

Here’s our selection!

Team of the Week – Round Four:

15 – Scott Hamilton (Crusaders):
He may have failed with that one vital tackle at the end against the Sharks, but otherwise he played a near flawless game – not to mention the try that he set up with some blistering counter attacking.
Bubbling under: Percy Montgomery (Sharks)

14 – Lelia Masaga (Chiefs):
Pace, power a poise … need we say more. He certainly knows where the tryline is.
Bubbling under: Doug Howlett (Blues)

13 – Isaia Toeava (Blues):
With this kind of form he is still going to win a few more matches for the Blues and defence coaches will be working overtime in their pre-match planning.
Bubbling under: Jean de Villiers (Stormers)

12 – De Wet Barry (Stormers):
He is beginning to show some of his true form, especially those big hits on defence.
Bubbling under: Luke McAlister (Blues)

11 – Roy Kinikinilau (Chiefs):
The Chiefs may not have won any matches yet, but it is certainly not the fault of their wings.
Bubbling under: David Smith (Hurricanes)

10 – Stephen Brett (Crusaders):
Crusaders coach Robbie Deans is going to have a very pleasant headache when Dan Carter comes back from his All Black training camp. We wouldn’t mind Carter staying away a while longer … this young man is a pleasure to watch.
Bubbling under: Andre Pretorius (Lions)

9 – Ruan Pienaar (Sharks):
Oh, that kick! To handle that kind of pressure with such aplomb says a lot about his character and ability. And he offers so much more than just a big and accurate boot.
Bubbling under: Fourie du Preez (Bulls)

8 – Mose Tuiali’i (Crusaders):
The metres that he gained with the ball in hand and the number of defenders he kept busy simply don’t reflect on the scoreboard. He was worth a couple of tries on his own.
Bubbling under: Jerome Kaino (Blues)

7 – George Smith (Brumbies):
He is simply George Smith … magnificent!
Bubbling under: Ernst Joubert (Lions)

6 – Cobus Grobbelaar (Lions):
Most teams have these unsung heroes, the guys who are seldom seen running ball in hand, doing the flashy stuff. They are the guys setting up the opportunities for others, turning over ball, tackling … all that.
Bubbling under: Schalk Burger (Stormers)

5 – Troy Flavell (Blues):
He appears to have sorted out the disciplinary shortcomings which seemed to blight his game early in the season. An inspired choice as captain.
Bubbling under: Victor Matfield (Bulls)

4 – Bakkies Botha (Bulls):
Doesn’t he just love the games when it is trench-warfare stuff? Then he is at his best … big hits and all.
Bubbling under: Ross Filipo (Crusaders)

3 – John Afoa (Blues):
He is now showing why he has been an All Black regular for the past two years. We’ll see a lot more of him in the weeks to come.
Bubbling under: Salesi Ma’afu (Brumbies)

2 – Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs):
This young man is showing us why he played Test rugby before he even stepped onto the field in a Super 14 game. He combines brute strength with some great skills and a handy turn of pace … for a hooker.

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