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Stephen Moore claims Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Week award

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Qantas Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore’s fired-up performance against the Springboks in Cape Town saw him claim the title of the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Week award.

Moore met fire with fire as he took on the fearsome Springbok pack in a non-stop performance that had the Fairfax Rugby writer’s panel singing his praises. The Brumbies hard man simply refused to back down or be intimidated, no matter how hot it got in the tight encounters.

The veteran hooker polled 13 points to close the gap slightly on the run away leader of the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series race, flanker Michael Hooper, who still managed to earn 7 points despite being yellow carded during the match.

Runner up on the day was scrumhalf Will Genia who polled 10 points to move up to equal fourth, even though he spent the first half on the bench. The Reds playmaker gave the Wallabies a real boost when he came on at half time and he must be under strong consideration for a starting spot this weekend against Argentina.

Another big improver was Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper who notched up 8 points to come in third after a committed performance in defence and attack, including setting up the Wallabies only try, to debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia, in the final minutes.

In just his third Test, young centre Tevita Kuridrani picked up 7 points after a powerful performance outwide, where his strong bursts kept the South African defence on the back foot.

The versatile Adam Ashley-Cooper, who played on the wing, maintained his consistent form with 5 points as did fullback Israel Folau, whose 4 points kept him in third spot overall, just three points behind second placed Christian Leali’ifano who polled 2 points for the match.

Flanker Scott Fardy collected another 4 points to stay equal fourth, with Genia, and his backrow partner Ben McCalman also polled his first votes of the series, 4, after a solid all round game.

Brumbies duo of scrumhalf Nic White and No.8 Ben Mowen also picked up 1 point each to stay 8th and 13th respectively.

Each week during the 2013 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship, Fairfax’s panel of leading Rugby writers, who includes some of Australia’s top Rugby scribes such as Paul Cully, Georgina Robinson and Spiro Zavos, vote for the best-performing Qantas Wallabies.

Points are allocated on a three, two, one basis by each panelist, with the player with the highest points tally at the end of the tournament being awarded the Castrol EDGE Strongest Performer of the Series trophy.

A running points table will be published in the Sydney Morning Herald and each week during the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.

The points awarded after this week’s match, and the full Series’ points table, are below.

Points awarded for Round 5: vs South Africa in Cape Town

13 Stephen Moore
10 Will Genia
8 Quade Cooper
7 Michael Hooper
7 Tevita Kuridrani
5 Adam Ashley-Cooper
4 Israel Folau
4 Scott Fardy
4 Ben McCalman
2 Christian Leali’ifano
1 Nic White
1 Ben Mowen

Cumulative Points Total after round Five:
Place (Placing last Round) Total points [Points scored this Round]
1. (1) Michael Hooper 75 [7]
2. (2) Christian Leali’ifano 28 [2]
3. (3) Israel Folau 25 [4]
4. (4) Scott Fardy 19 [4]
4. (8) Will Genia 19 [10]
6. (6) Adam Ashley-Cooper 17 [5]
6. (11) Stephen Moore 17 [13]
8. (4) James O'Connor 15 [DNP]
9. (7) Nic White 12 [1]
10. (8) Rob Simmons 9 [0]
10. (14) Quade Cooper 9 [8]
12. (-) Tevita Kuridrani 7 [7]
13. (10) Ben Mowen 6 [1]
14. (11) James Slipper 4 [0]
14. (-) Ben McCalman 4 [4]
15. (13) James Horwill 3 [0]
16. (14) Matt Toomua 1 [0]

Panellists:Georgina Robinson, Paul Cully, Stephen Samuelson, Chris Dutton, Spiro Zavos, Matthew Burke, Peter FitzSimons, Rupert Guinness, Phil Lutton.