After missing the first week, team of the week is back, and this week it’s the Bulls who dominates the numbers after their convincing victory against a disappointing Cheetahs side. Our selectors are mainly Sharks and some Stormers, but clearly we can all be relatively objective with 8 Bulls making the cut this week. The Stormers, the other South African team who was victorious this weekend has half as many with four and the Sharks and Lions make up the numbers with 2 and 1 respectively.
15. Zane Kirchner (Bulls):
With a dominating performance from his team Kirchner had a lot of space to work with, as always he was solid at the back, but also made a few good breaks from aimless Cheetah kicks and joined the line nicely to create space for his wings. Joe Pietersen and Riaan Viljoen also had a mention, but with their game being a much closer battle, they did not have as much chances to shine.
14. Akona Ndugane/ Lwazi Mvovo (Bulls/Sharks):
Akona is looking good in his comeback, getting involved as much as he can. His inside pass to Kirchner just before the end of the half shows the kind of class that you don’t lose with age. Lwazi tried to sneak in on the wings, as most of us felt that he was the second best wing with his strong runs down the sideline in a good Sharks attack, but it was also agreed that he was not the best left wing of the week.
13. Wynand Olivier (Bulls):
It’s the first game back for the fair haired centre and with his younger centre partner showing some good form to retain his place at inside centre, Olivier had to go out in the somewhat unfamiliar position of outside centre, but again, when your team dominates like the Bulls did this weekend it makes it much easier to look good and Olivier took this chance with both hands.
12. Meyer Bosman (Sharks):
After being dropped to the bench for the first game of the season, Meyer looks like he wants to proof a point. Going up against the Springbok centre, who also got a few votes for our team this week, Meyer not only got the Sharks over the advantage line with his strong runs, but also put his players into space with accurate passing. Both our centres did good in the first two weeks and it will be interesting to see who Plumtree backs for the third game.
11. Bjorn Basson (Bulls):
Basson got all the votes for left wing from us, this guy has something special. The Bulls clearly has one game plan for attack that revolves around him, kick the ball and have Basson retrieve it, and it works. His pace and creativity thrived on the space given to him.
10. Morne Steyn (Bulls):
He fits into the game plan of the Bulls perfectly and no matter what you think of the guy his consistent form since his inclusion in the Bok team has created a player who plays with confidence and composure and this has become very valuable for the Bulls. Elton Jantjies just missed out, a completely different player to Steyn, attacking the line and breaking it at times, but Elton was on the losing side and I suppose this counted against him.
9. Dewaldt Duvenhage/Sarel Pretorius (Stormers/Waratahs):
Sarel got a few votes because he has been proving his worth for the Waratahs, it is possible that all of us did not watch that game, as this is a SA-Conference team, but he is a South African and well worth a mention. Francois Hougaard also had a great game for the Bulls, but with a red card against him for a lack of concentration and a tip tackle we had to go with the steady Dewalt Duvenage.
8. Warren Whiteley (Lions):
The only Lion that made it into the team this week as part of a very youthful Sharksworld team of the week loose trio. Pierre Spies was the player battling it out for this spot. Whiteley is an exciting player who reminds me of Kanko (back in the day I suppose), his fast and quick to spot a gap, but also very strong.
7. Marcell Coetzee (Sharks):
Another one of the stand out players, getting all our votes for this position. Marcell has a very high work rate, and got the Sharks over the advantage line almost every time he touched the ball. Where he might lack something in size he makes up for it in agility and a mind to spot a gap. Too bad he knocked that last ball and I would like to see him pass every now and then, but he was still the best in his position by far.
6. Siya Kolisi (Stormers):
To round out our loosies, another young up and coming player. Kolisi is only starting because the Stormers captain is out with an injury, but he’s more than standing his ground while the captain is out. Another strong and exciting runner, Kolisi also runs good supportive lines and has a nice offload to go with it.
5. Juandre Kruger (Bulls):
You lose a world-class lock and replace him with a young player who is showing the potential to become a player in the same mould. Kruger has taken control at line-out time and is an annoyance on opposition line outs, he has definitely taken a leader role in the front row.
4. Eben Etzebeth (Stormers):
It’s hard to believe he’s only 20 and it’s great to see that South Africa is producing so much young talent. Already a great enforcer and will only grow with time.
3. Werner Kruger (Bulls):
A very high work rate and a dominant scrum. The Cheetahs pack did not know how to counter the force of their opposition. They were on the back foot all day and a lot of the damage was done by strong drives from Kruger, he was even given a freeby of a try.
2. Chilliboy Ralepelle (Bulls):
Part of that dominating Bulls pack, you just had to pick Chilli, no matter how much effort other players put in individually. A clinical showing by the player in a clinical performance.
1. Steven Kitshoff (Stormers):
Another 20 year old Stormers playing at a maturity level that his age usually does not allow for this position. A strong player and enforcer with ball in hand, but more impressively for the first time in a while a more than solid force in the Stormers scrums.
That’s how we saw it this week, what do you think?Tweet