Super Rugby team of the week: semi finals

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 31 Jul 2013 at 09:32
Tagged with :

So the Chiefs and the Brumbies will compete for the title of Super Rugby Champion at the end of this week. The Chiefs vs Crusaders game was always going to be a close one, with the Crusaders in sublime form and their kingpin Carter – showing his class over the past few weeks – just being picked as the favorite here. In the end it was a pretty dodgy decision by Carter to take a drop with 5 minutes to go, that finally cost the Crusaders the game.

The Bulls and the Brumbies game was of a different class altogether and pretty early on one felt that whoever was going to get out on top of this game, was going to struggle against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, lets see which players stood out in the semi finals.

15. Isreal Dagg
His try was a thing of beauty. He knows how to pick out the tight forwards and weave through the defence and he put his team back into the contest with that piece of individual brilliance.

14. Henry Speight
He’s a slippery man on attack. He completely exposed Bjorn Basson’s weakness on defence. He’ll be available to play for the Wallabies in 2014 and with the way he’s playing we can expect to see him in the gold and green very soon.

13. Tivati Kuridrani
He scored the winning try, which automatically gets him a look in for the team, but Kuridrani was dangerous throughout the game.

12. Christian Leali’ifano
Calm and collected, Leali’ifano has become a player the Brumbies can rely on and very rarely has an off day.

11. Lelia Masaga
Again, what a brilliant try, spotting the gap and sliding through it to open up the game against the Crusaders.

10. Aaron Cruden
Playing against one of the best in the world, Cruden stood his man, made an important intercept try, made good decisions and in the end came out on top.

9. Nic White
He had a few shaky moments in the first half with passes not going to hand, but after that he was back to his usual self making expertly placed clearance kicks and accurately linking up with his ball carriers.

8. Liam Messam
Not his usual game where he stands out in ball carries and tackle busts, but Messam was committed on defence and made an important contribution in this area of the game.

7. George Smith
He was a definite standout in this game. He he still the ultimate fetcher.

6. Tanerau Latimer
A big game for Latimer. He made plenty of carries and kept his team on the front foot with ball in hand.

5. Sam Whitelock
Another outstanding display from Whitelock. Disrupting the line-outs whenever he had a chance and making his input all around the field.

4. Craig Clarke
He’ll be leaving at the end of the season and seems determined to get his team over the line one more time before he does. An outstanding performance from the captain.

3. Ben Alexander
Alexander had all the answers against Dean Greyling and again had a big influence in the momentum of his team.

2. Stpehen Moore
Without being overly flashy, Moore put in another solid performance getting through a lot of work and staying cynical in his duties.

1. Scott Sio
He’s forming part of a strong front row and holding up his end strongly, getting ahead of his opposite number at scrum time a few times and also enjoying himself in open play.


  • No Dewald Potgieter…. I think he was the best of them all this weekend :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.07.13 09:58:50 by Lassy_lion Reply
    Lassy_lionUnder 21 player
  • JJ was better than Kuridrani at 13

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.07.13 13:48:41 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player
  • @Saffex (Comment 2) : ummm…. can I be the first to say this.


  • Comment 3, posted at 31.07.13 15:15:31 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Kuridranki was close to the best player on the field at loftus (second only to George Smith). If you couldn’t see that, Saffex, then I need to seriously question how well you understand the game – or perhaps your state of inebriation whilst watching.

    Essex and cheap booze do kind of go hand in hand :)

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.07.13 15:16:54 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Rob, I did think JJ was good though, he’s really start to prove his worth for that spot in the Springbok jersey. I like that his pace for an outside center.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.07.13 15:27:22 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    LetgoAssistant coach
  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Ag kak man, what the hell did Kurindrani do of note, his try was a simple run in after the 10 made the break. Here is Team of the week by someone who knows what he is talking about and no, its not my selection

    This is a better team of the week with JJ at 13 as it should have been:

    15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders) – The All Black full-back was a strong presence throughout, but it was his 58th minute try that sealed his selection. Having just conceded a seven-pointer the Crusaders needed to hit back and up stepped Dagg to weave his magic, cutting through a string of Chiefs defenders as he dived over close to the touchline for the score.

    14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs) – A menace on attack, Masaga opened up the semi-final with his second half effort. Seemingly with nothing on the speedster cut back towards the traffic and scorched through the Crusaders big men on his way over the whitewash.

    13 JJ Engelbrecht (Bulls) – The Bulls centre ended what has been a strong season with another dominant performance. Jan Serfontein on his inside may be the boy wonder, but Engelbrecht is proving himself to be dynamite in the midfield. He rounded off some good, patient build-up work from the Bulls to open his side’s account, handing off Henry Speight as he went over in the corner.

    12 Christian Leali’ifano (Brumbies) – Aside from one early miss, the Wallaby centre was on target from the tee and in a game as tight as Saturday’s, one can’t overstate the importance of a high conversion rate. It’s not often that Morne Steyn is out-kicked, particularly on his own turf, but Leali’ifano did the business.

    11 Henry Speight (Brumbies) – Not wearing the same number that he turned out in on Saturday, but for a sublime piece of skill that set up the Brumbies’ first try, a space is made for Speight. Having broken through the defence, Speight beat three Bulls defenders (including Bjorn Basson who was the victim of a powerful hand-off) before offloading behind his back to send Jesse Mogg over in the corner. Sheer brilliance. A pity he got a taste of his own medicine for the Engelbrecht try…

    10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs) – Went head-to-head against Dan Carter and got the better of his more illustrious opponent. Cruden’s intercept try proved decisive but he also impressed with his distribution and option taking. Also defended well with ten tackles made. Edges out Matt Toomua who had a fine all-round game for the Brumbies.

    9 Nic White (Brumbies) – Played well in only his second match since returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. White linked expertly with his forwards and took plenty of pressure off Toomua with some long-range kicks into touch.

    8 Kieran Read (Crusaders) – Another polished display from the Crusaders number eight in a losing cause. Read carried well with 45 metres on attack but also impressed with his leadership, especially when his side looked dead and buried after Cruden’s try. Also impressed on defence and won his fair share of line-outs.

    7 George Smith (Brumbies) – The 33-year-old played a leading role in his side’s thrilling victory over the Bulls. Apart from dominating at the breakdowns, Smith was a willing ball carrier and also solid on defence. Also won the official man-of-the-match award in Pretoria. His best game since returning to Super Rugby.

    6 Liam Messam (Chiefs) – The All Black flank was at the forefront of the Chiefs’ defensive effort with sixteen hits. This was especially significant in the closing stages of the game when the Crusaders were trying desperately to regain the lead.

    5 Scott Fardy (Brumbies) – Has been a tireless grafter in recent weeks for the Canberra outfit and was again prominent in their semi-final. Playing in possibly the most under-rated lock partnership in the competition alongside Sam Carter, both locks contributed to a strong scrum early on and were busy around the park. Fully deserved his recent call-up to the Wallabies 40-man training squad.

    4 Craig Clarke (Chiefs) – Connacht have arguably done the best bit of business in the PRO12 during the off-season, with the Chiefs co-captain leading by example once again as he covets back-to-back Super Rugby titles. His running game was on show against the Crusaders as he galloped through the visiting defence and with sixteen tackles also racked up, he was the first name down in our tight five.

    3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies) – Following a disappointing final Lions Test against Alex Corbisiero, Alexander has bounced back with solid performances in recent Super Rugby outings. Definitely got the number on Dean Greyling, which played a major role in the Brumbies’ eventual victory.

    2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies) – Re-affirmed his position as one of the top three hookers in world rugby on Saturday as the Australian got through a great deal of work. Jake White clearly knows Moore’s worth to the side and subsequently stuck with his man for the full 80 minutes – the only hooker to do so in the semis. Hika Elliot will have to up his performance a great deal in Waikato this weekend.

    1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders) – Quietly going about his business in recent weeks, making our line-up in successive rounds. Crockett is offering a great deal in open play and was again prominent with five go-forwards complimenting his solid scrummaging against the huge Ben Tameifuna.

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.07.13 22:54:39 by Saffex Reply

    SaffexCurrie Cup player

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