Week 9 of the Super Rugby was Australia vs South Africa. The Rebels lost to the Stormers in Melbourne, the Brumbies got a win for Australia against the Lions in Canberra and the Reds were outclassed by the Bulls in Pretoria. Here is our team of the week.
1. James Slipper (Brumbies)
Coming off the bench he had another strong performance. He didn’t miss a tackle (5/5) and showed some good hands as a link player in the backline.
2. Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies)
Doesn’t get a lot of attention playing but is consistently putting in good efforts for the sky blue. 13/13 lineouts, 12/14 tackles and 5 runs.
3. Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)
AAA was the workhorse of the front row this week. Had a great week in defence making 15/16 tackles. He also made a good 10 runs in his 66 minutes.
4. Izack Rodda (Reds)
Had a great game. 19/22 tackles and 7 runs. Stole 2 at the lineout and is becoming as important as Samu Kerevi for the Reds.
5.Sam Carter (Brumbies)
You can’t look past Carters 100% tackle success over his 16 tackles of the game. Also stole one at lineout time.
6. Luke Jones (Rebels)
Not Jones best week for the Rebels but that seems to be because of what was happening around him. He was his usual busy self, making 17 runs. He seemed to be picking up the slack for a few of the players around him.
7. Liam Wright (Reds)
Had an okay game. Made 8/9 tackles and 11 run metres from his 4 runs. He gets the spot due to Cusack being a penalty magnet this week.
8. Lachlan McCaffrey (Brumbies)
Another tireless hit out from the Brumbies 8. Only played 52 minutes due to an injury but managed 11 run for 25 metres, 3 defenders beaten, 2 offloads and a try.
9. Joe Powell (Brumbies)
Some nice fast ball and good decisions gives him the spot this week. He looks good but it could be because of his pack winning the contest.
10. Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies)
Lead from the front with direction. Ended up beating 3 defenders on his way to 42 run metres. The backline ran smoothly and even though it doesn’t work that often I love the inside ball to a hard running Banks.
11. Toni Pulu (Brumbies)
Getting some good time on the park after his injury has shown how good of a signing Pulu was for the Brumbies. He managed 6 defenders beaten on his way to 70 run metres. He also scored a try to top it off.
12. Tom Wright (Brumbies)
Even though he was carded early in the game (Yes it probably deserved a card, but was very soft), he made a fiery comeback to have his best game of the year. He is still young and made some questionable decisions but he was electric. He beat 7 defenders with 2 clean breaks, a try assist and a try for himself on his way to 70 run metres.
13. Tevita Kuridrani (Brumbies)
TK has been quiet this season. This week he had a great attacking game and seemed like when there wasn’t much on they just threw it to him and let him truck it up. He made the defence on the way to his try look like under 10’s and racked up 76 run metres. Could he be coming back into form?
14. Jack Hardy (Reds)
It seemed as if only 5 of the Reds players wanted to be there this week and Hardy was one of them. Tried hard all night and looked dangerous in open play. 53 run metres in only 5 runs. They should have been trying to get the ball in his hand more often.
15. Tom Banks (Brumbies)
With the Folau news everywhere this week, it was the perfect opportunity for Banks to show he deserves that Wallabies #15 jersey. Had a fantastic game beating 9 defenders and having 11 runs for 64m.
On the fringe of selection:
Taniela Tupou – It was a bit of an up and down night for the Reds scrum. It seemed Tupou had the upper hand in majority of the scrums he was in though. When the Reds scrum was pinged it was on the other side. Hopefully he had become that scrummaging weapon we know he is capable of.
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto – Another great showing from the big Reds player. Made 9 runs for 21m and 6/7 tackles. A couple of handling errors put a small wet blanket on his performance.
Chris Feauai-Sautia – I thought CFS had a fantastic game and was another Red that seemed like he wanted to be there. 11/11 tackles and even though he didn’t get much room to move he still managed 20 run metres from his 7 runs.
Quade Cooper – It just wasn’t his week this week. As the general of the backline, his failure to execute a different plan when the one they were using obviously wasn’t working falls back onto him. Other teams will watch that match and try to copy what the Stormers did, hopefully next time he will be ready.
Semisi Tupou – I don’t want to be too harsh on the young Rebel but a few mistakes (specifically the one where he dropped the cross field kick over the line) were unforgiveable. Looked okay with ball in hand but also only made 3/7 tackles.
Billy Meakes – A very uncharacteristically quiet night for the Rebels #12. 3/6 tackles and made more runs (7) than metres (6). 2 handling errors also.