Team of the Week – S14 Rd. 7

We are going on a big Crusade this week. Following their 32-10 demolition of the Bulls at the weekend, it is not surprising that the Crusaders dominate our team.

Yes, there were some other very impressive performances – notably from the Western Force, Cheetahs and Sharks – but none so clinical as the Crusaders.

And to think that this team gets seven All Blacks to bolster its ranks this week.

The Crusaders provide six members of our ‘starting XV’ this week, with another four Crusaders on our ‘Bubbling Under’ list.

Next best are the Cheetahs with four starters, while the Sharks and Western Force have two members each. The Chiefs and Lions make up the numbers with one player each.

Only three players – Francois Steyn (Sharks), BJ Botha (Sharks) and Heinke van der Merwe (Lions) – have retained their places.

Here’s our selection!

Team of the Week – Round Seven:

15 – Francois Steyn (Sharks):
This young man is one of the brightest prospects to come out of South Africa in the past two years.
Bubbling under: Scott Hamilton (Crusaders)

14 – Rico Gear (Crusaders):
We always knew about his qualities, they just went into hibernation for a while.
Bubbling under: Philip Burger (Cheetahs)

13 – Ronnie Cooke (Cheetahs):
He had some strong performances at outside centre last year and played mostly on the wing this year. Now he is back in the jersey most suited to him, number 13.
Bubbling under: Casey Laulala (Crusaders)

12 – Tim Bateman (Crusaders):
It is amazing the amount of talent coming out of Christchurch, especially the creative and skillful inside backs.
Bubbling under: Tasesa Lavea (Chiefs)

11 – Cameron Shepherd (Western Force):
He has been one of the standout and most consistent Australian players all season.
Bubbling under: JP Pietersen (Sharks)

10 – Stephen Brett (Crusaders):
Another of the Crusaders young guns that made sure the All Blacks don’t have an armchair ride back into the team this week.
Bubbling under: Stephen Donald (Chiefs)

9 – Chris O’Young (Western Force):
The debate about the successor to George Gregan got another chapter. Add the name of Chris O’Young to that story.
Bubbling under: Fourie du Preez (Bulls)

8 – Mose Tuiali’i (Crusaders):
It is not just for those bullocking runs of his. He has an incredible workrate as well.
Bubbling under: Scott Fava (Western Force)

7 – Marty Holah (Chiefs):
He made sure All Black coach Graham Henry does not forget about him when it comes to team selections later this year.
Bubbling under: Luke Watson (Stormers)

6 – Juan Smith (Cheetahs):
Without doubt the standout player among the South African loose forwards this year.
Bubbling under: Kieran Reid (Crusaders)

5 – Corniel van Zyl (Cheetahs):
One of those unassuming players, nothing flash … just a real grafter.
Bubbling under: Johan Ackermann (Sharks)

4 – Michael Paterson (Crusaders):
And the success story of the young guns at the Red-‘n-Blacks continue.
Bubbling under: Bakkies Botha (Bulls)

3 – BJ Botha (Sharks):
He is fast establishing himself as one of the premier tighthead props in the Southern Hemisphere.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (Cheetahs)

2 – Corey Flynn (Crusaders):
He is a true leader, but it is his performance as a player that impressed us most.
Bubbling under: Richardt Strauss (Cheetahs)

1 – Heinke van der Merwe (Lions):
For the past two weeks he showed a maturity beyond his 21 years … and that in a losing cause.
Bubbling under: Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)

Previous selections:

Team

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