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. Harry Hoopert (Reds)
Getting his first start for the Red’s the young prop was busy and made a good impression. He made 12/13 tackles.
2. Alex Mafi (Reds)
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)
Scrummaged well, put some good hits on in defence making 17 tackles and worked it up the middle with his 7 runs.
4. Izack Rodda (Reds)
A very hard worker and does a lot of work that he doesn’t get credit for. Pinched two at lineout time and made 10/11 tackles.
5.Rory Arnold (Brumbies)
With a victory that was built on defence, Arnold lead from the front. He made a whopping 24/26 tackles. He made 9 runs but most importantly was the pillar in their lineout in attack and defence.
6. Jahrome Brown (Brumbies)
In his very first match he came out with a man of the match performance. Earnt a couple of penalties early at the ruck and was a workhorse in defence making 18/20 tackles. Also made 17m in his 3 runs.
7. Liam Wright (Reds)
Another player that worked really hard throughout the game. Up until the 80th minute when he earnt his side the winning penalty, he never stopped. He made 17/19 tackles but most importantly got that penalty at the end of the game.
8. Pete Samu (Brumbies)
Managed to slow down the Stormers ball, made 8/9 tackles and scored a try to top it off.
9. Joe Powell (Brumbies)
Fought with Tate McDermott for this spot. He earnt the #9 position this week due to making some key tackles behind the line (16/20).
10. Bernard Foley (Waratahs)
Slowly making his way back into form. Hopefully some more performances like this at the back end of the season will give us 2 viable options at flyhalf for the World Cup. He ran for 77m on his way to 3 defenders beaten, a clean break and a try. He kicked well from hand and even better from the boot with 5/5. Tom English won’t forget his defence either with that great hit that lead to a turnover.
11. Alex Newsome (Waratahs)
Has been putting in strong performances the past few weeks. Although not being the star of the Waratahs backline he made great metres (53) and beat 5 defenders in his 12 runs.
12. Samu Kerevi (Reds)
Another week, another time Kerevi is picked in the team. He made a huge 23 runs on his way to 47m, 4 defenders beaten, a clean break, 4 offloads and a try assist.
13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)
His best week back in blue. Ran for 57m and made 4 clean breaks managing to snag himself a 5 pointer. Didn’t miss a beat in defence with 6/6.
14. Sefa Naivalu (Reds)
Week in, week out plays a nice supporting role for his big centres. Made 10 runs with 46m to his name.
15. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)
Between him and Foley, the Waratahs obviously had a plan to keep it out of their half and he did a great job doing that. Looked more at home at fullback and made 14 runs for 68m.
On the fringe of selection:
Reece Hodge – Had a blinder and was neck and neck with KB. Made 80 run metres with 4 defenders beaten and showed some toe to get to the line for a 5 pointer. Only missed out due to Beale playing a big hand in the second half comeback for the Tahs.
Chris Feauai-Sautia – They used CFS almost as a battering ram this week. He was put in situations where he didn’t have much room to move so he just used his big frame to crash it up. Managed 50m from his 9 runs.
Michael Hooper – Has showed again his brilliant defence making 20/21 tackles. Would have won the #7 jersey but gave away 3 penalties, a handling error and only made 2 runs. Still a good game though.
Sam Talakai – Came on midway through the second half and practically went straight back off again with a yellow card. Played okay when he was on the field.
Michael Ruru – I’m sure Rebels fans were with me when I put my hands in the air asking why you would kick the ball away when you’re down with 40 seconds on the clock. Luckily they ended up with the ball back but still an extremely questionable decision.
Tom English – Couldn’t get himself into the game. Made 4 runs for 1 metre, only made 60% of his tackles (3/5), gave away a penalty and got smashed by Bernard Foley resulting in a turnover.