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Another good week of results for the South African conference getting three from four, the Lions are falling further and further back into their old habits and are almost unrecognisable from the team that looked so good during the Currie Cup. The question has to be asked, does this mean the Currie Cup is really, really weak or the Lions slumped back to their poor form?
The team is evenly spread between the three winning teams Bulls (5), Sharks (5) and Cheetahs (4), with the Lions sneaking in one man, his selection based on stats.
15. Louis Ludik *
A solid and very committed performance from the man. He deserves the spot this week. Our outside backs can’t be compared to the backs of teams like the Brumbies and the Hurricanes though. It seems that most weeks we select the players who made the fewest mistakes or who were seen the most. Compared to other teams the South African teams have been average in this area.
14. Akona Ndugane (4)
In a good attacking game Akona got involved as much as he could and when his team slipped in defence he kept making his tackles.
13. Jaco Taute *
The stats support it, he was good on attack and solid on defence. He is a way better fullback though, but with his strong runs he can also be valuable in the midfield.
12. Andries Strauss (2)
Another strong defensive game from the former Shark. Always committed, Andries also showed good distributing skills in this game.
11. Bjorn Basson (2)
When they couldn’t get over the advantage line the Bulls went high and Basson retrieved the ball most of the time.
10. Patrick Lambie (4)
Showed leadership and control in executing a game plan that kept his opposition stuck in their half, definitely an awesome accurate tactical and goal kicking display. Morne Steyn also had a great game, but slipped a few tackles that were crucial and kept the Rebels in the running right to the end.
9. Francois Hougaard (5)
Almost an automatic selection. Everything he does, he does at a very high level. Passing, running and defending. McLeod made a great catch, run and offload, but I felt there were too many errors in his play overall.
8. Keegan Daniel (2)
He has been getting better each week. His work rate is always high and his error rate is shrinking. His captaincy is in question but that may change if his team starts to win.
7. Marcell Coetzee (4)
Still the only criticism here is his accuracy in handling and passing (in fact in passing I don’t even know if it is accurate, because he almost never passes). Something he could definitely work on. It will be difficult for him to continue making metres if he is so predictable in his attack, but I suppose as long as he keeps doing it…
6. CJ Stander (2)
The young man has taken his chance this year, he is a strong ball carrier with good ball skills. He has also been very good at the breakdown. Cleaning out and on opposition ball.
5. Anton Bresler (2)
Another player who has been improving each week. His defence is very solid and strong and whether it’s because of game time or just combinations clicking, the line-outs have improved a lot.
4. George Earle *
A strong ball carrier in this game for the Cheetahs. His inclusion is determined by the stats. He made many strong runs for his team and was a solid defender.
3. WP Nel (5)
The Cheetahs front row as a unit has been looking really strong this year. They create a good base for their backs to work from. WP is also one of the tight forwards that has stood up as a strong ball carrier for his team.
2. Adriaan Strauss (3)
Captain fantastic. He is everywhere on the field, really leads from the front and his team follows with committed performances. He always gives his team go forward ball and is very accurate in the set pieces.
1. Coenie Oosthuizen (3)
Another strong performance from Coenie, another one of the Cheetahs tight five that gets involved in the game as much as he can.
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