Finally Super Rugby has returned and we can again keep an eye on the stand-out players in the South African conference with, what we now call our Bok barometer – Super Rugby Team of the Week. We saw some great rugby this past weekend, especially from the New Zeeland sides that dished up some superb open running rugby and as usual the two South African derbies were a battle up front to try and prove dominance early on, while the Kings surprised and with a decent victory against the Force in their first game ever.
This week the three winning South African teams are well-represented in our numbers, The Sharks have 5 players this week just ahead of the Kings with 4 and the Bulls with 3. The two losing South African teams, the Stormers and the Cheetahs, get 2 and 1 respectively.
15. Zane Kirchner
He was solid as usual at the back and with his flyhalf executed the kicking game plan that the Bulls successfully instilled against the Stormers with great control and accuracy.
14 Sergeal Petersen
What a way to start your Super Rugby career, three months out of school, your first game and you already scored 2 tries for your team. A little pocket rocket, full of energy and great potential.
13. Jean de Villiers
He got his team over the advantage line even when they did not look good as a team and when they did start to get it together he was central to their mini comeback to give their scoreline some respectability.
12. Wynand Olivier
Fresh back from his stint in Japan and sporting a new hairstyle, the Bulls veteran inside centre did not have that much to do in his team’s game-plan, but when he did he showed why he’s an automatic pick in the Bulls backline.
11. Bryan Habana
He had to wait until the second half to get any quality ball, but when he finally did, he looked dangerous.
10. Patrick Lambie
He has added another layer to his game and used it perfectly this weekend. He controlled the game well with his tactical kicking and a 100% kicking record will always be valuable in this competition.
9. Cobus Reinach
He produced a clinical performance, providing quick and clean ball for his flyhalf to work off.
8. Philip van der Walt
A strong ball carrier for the Cheetahs, he got his team over the advantage line with every run and even created the comeback try for his team, pulling in the defence and making the inside pass to put his flanker over the line.
7. Jacques Engelbrecht
He didn’t start the game, but made a huge impact when he came on with every ball carrying opportunity he got.
6. Jacques Botes
Injuries to a few key players probably gave him his starting spot and it looked like he was out to prove that he still has something to offer the Sharks in his position, making quite a few steals for his team.
5. Steven Sykes
Maybe the best game I’ve seen him play. He was a strong physical presence in the loose.
4. David Bulbring
I thought the whole Kings pack was quite impressive in getting the ball over the advantage line for their team and making big tackles, Bulbring was just one of the stand-outs.
3. Jannie du Plessis
A dominant scrum performance like that needs no further support.
2. Chiliboy Ralepelle
One of the Bok Hooker contenders, Chilliboy will do his chances of pushing for selection no harm with clean performances like this one.
He made a couple of his trademark runs again, but it’s his dominance at scrum time that was most impressive
And just to give things perspective here’s an idea of how we thought SA players faired in the competition as a whole:
15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies) 14. Frank Halai (Blues) 13. Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs) 12. Francis Saili (Blues) 11. Julian Savea (Hurricanes) 10. Patrick Lambie (Sharks) 9. Piri Weepu (Blues) 8. Jake Schatz (Reds) 7 Jacques Engelbrecht (Kings) 6. Ed Quirk (Reds) 5. Ali Williams (Blues) 4. Craig Clark (Chiefs) 3. Jannie du Plessis (Sharks) 2. Siai Fainga’a (Reds) 1. Beast Mtawarira (Sharks)Tweet