Super Rugby: Round Seven Team of the Week

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies and Force registered a pair of much needed wins for the Australian Conference but who stood out from the pack?

1. Scott Sio

First start, first dominant performance by Sio. The Reds scrum has been their saving grace at times this years but Sio played a big part in tearing it to shreds on Saturday.

2. Robbie Abel

Abel was similarly powerful at scrum time and impressed with his throws at lineout time as well.

3. Alan Alaalatoa

Alan Alaalatoa was dominant in the big Brumbies win. Photo: Getty ImagesIn a match where very few Brumbies, if any, played poorly, Alaalatoa was among the best on ground. Explosive carries and similarly burly scrummaging was the order of the day.

4. Rory Arnold

Arnold tore the Reds to shreds in the first 40 minutes. A pair of long, striding line breaks straight up the middle of the field saw Arnold breach 50 run metres and in truth, Queensland looked hesitant to put their bodies on the line when he was running at full tilt.

5. Ned Hannigan

Played at blindside for the Tahs but well worth squeezing into this XV. The Tahs looked to have found a gem in Hanigan, who has impressed since his elevation to the starting XV. His carries take some serious stopping as he plays well above his weight.

6. Scott Fardy

Captain courageous in his first start with the C next to his name. Dominated the breakdown battle - as he almost always does - and put his hand up for the usual amount of industrious carries.

7. Chris Alcock

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham gave all honours to Alcock in his head-to-head clash with George Smith. Along with Fardy, completely controlled the breakdown battle for the Brumbies and forced a trio of turnovers.

8. Isi Naisarani

What a find this man has been for the Force. Never stops working in both attack and defence. Stat line of 14 runs for 35 metres, a line break and a tackle bust says all one needs to know about his work rate.

9. Joe Powell

Was working behind a commanding forward pack but again showed how far he has come with consistent minutes this year. Created space for his tight forwards around the fringes, regularly opts for the right option and always seems to know where Wharenui Hawera is lurking.

10. Wharenui Hawera

Started shakily with a bizarre kick out on the full but once the forward pack started rolling, played the perfect part as field general. Didn't take the line on with ball in hand as much as he has in weeks prior but didn't have to.

11. Alex Newsome

Alex Newsome has made the left wing his own at the Force. Photo: Getty ImagesShowed his immense talent once again. Dave Wessels has opted to keep this young gun in his best XV ahead of Luke Morahan and his individual brilliance in toeing a ball forward while negotiating the sideline repaid the faith.

12. Billy Meakes

Has been in super touch for the Force since coming back to Australia and that was no different yesterday. Is a hybrid inside centre that can carry when required but also set others up when the space is there.

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Scored the Brumbies' only first half try through sheer will power and contained Samu Kerevi's impact with his typically stingy defensive work.

14. Henry Speight

In similar fashion to Arnold, the Reds did not know how to handle Speight when he reached top gear. Was bumping off defenders as though he had a forcefield in front of him. A line of 10 runs for 83 metres, six tackle busts, three line breaks and two offloads makes for impressive reading.

15. Aidan Toua

Stephen Larkham's man of the match on Saturday night. Carved the Reds up with carefully chosen runs, an underrated step off both feet and a knack of knowing when to counterattack and when to kick for position. Unstoppable in 13 runs for 148 metres, three tackle busts, two line breaks and a try assist.

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