Super Rugby: Round Four Team of the Week

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies have dominated the Australian conference team of the week after another tough weekend for Aussie teams.

Here are the 15 standouts from round four.

1. Ben Alexander

The Brumbies’ scrum laid the foundations for their win over the Waratahs and Alexander was  at the forefront, literally. Switching back to his original loosehead spot, Alexander has been one of the most reliable in the opening month of the season, continuing that form against the Waratahs.

2. Tolu Latu

Latu is the form hooker of the Australian conference, but probably more for his breakdown work as much as any traditional hooking role. Latu clinched another turnover on the weekend and helped set up Tom Robertson’s try in the ninth minute of the game.

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Along with Alexander, Alaalatoa has been a key cog in the Brumbies’ forwards form so far this season. The 22-year-old is growing with each game at tighthead and his consistency is only good news for the Wallabies as the June Series nears.

4. Rory Arnold

Rory Arnold has been strong for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Brumbies lineout made a major difference in the back end of their 28-12 win over the Waratahs and Arnold played a major role in that. The 2016 Wallabies debutant continues to forge a promising partnership with Sam Carter, that keeps their set piece as one of their major weapons.

5. Sam Carter

Captain Carter is wearing his new badge well and his growing maturity has shone through in their past two weeks. The game was in the balance going into the second half and the Brumbies made the right calls in the critical moments. Coach Stephen Larkham praised Carter and the senior players after the game and that praise was deserved, with the side on top of the Australian conference. The second rower leads Supe rugby in tackels made through the first part of the season.

6. Scott Fardy

If Scott Fardy is going to produce efforts like he did against the Waratahs, maybe he should be rotated out of the side more often. The flanker finished with four turnovers at Allianz Stadium in a standout performance, though an eighth-minute yellow card soured his night.

7. Lolo Fakaosilea

He had big shoes to fill replacing in-from Chris Alcock and Lolo Fakaosilea slipped right in. The former Reds backrower stood up against the Waratahs, finishing with four turnovers. You’d have to think Alcocok will have first crack when he returns from concussion but Fakaosilea has done nothing to hurt his chances.

8. Amanaki Mafi

Amanaki Mafi has been a Rebels standout. Photo: Getty ImagesBuy of the season? Amanakai Mafi is certainly building his case nicely at the back of the Rebels scrum. The Japanese international was influential again for the Melbourne side in their most positive performance of the season against the Chiefs.

9. Joe Powell

Talk about stepping up - Joe Powell is showing exactly why he was plucked out of obscurity last year and thrown into a Wallabies camp. Powell is growing with confidence each time he plays and delivering pinpoint accurate passes for his side. His form would be a major relief for Brumbies fans after the preseason loss of Tomas Cubelli (knee).

10. Wharenui Hawera

Powell’s halves partner has taken huge strides in four weeks as well, with Wharenui Hawera steering the team with confidence. Stephen Larkham has backed his young guys in this season, albeit with little choice in the matter, and they’re delivering.

11. Henry Speight

The ‘fro' is back and its owner is firing. Henry Speight’s double against the Waratahs was ultimately decisive and continued a superb start to the year for the winger. With a bit of competition in the outside back department, Speight’s return to form after a rollercoaster 2016 is timely for both the Brumbies and for his chances at Wallabies level.

12. Kyle Godwin

Kyle Godwin’s gone through the first month of his Brumbies career relatively unheralded but he is certainly contributing. The inside centre was immense defensively against the Waratahs, leading all comers with 11 tackles for the match, as they carved out a vital derby win.

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Tevita Kuridrani got back to what he does best on Saturday night and it worked. The outside centre ran straight, hard and fast and crashed over for a crucial Brumbies try. He also finished with three turnovers, a handy stat for an outside back. 

14. Marika Koroibete

A spectacular NRL-esque try landed Marika Koroibete on the Super Rugby stage. Teaming up with Sefa Naivalu, the former Storm flyer showed glimpses of his potential in an improved Rebels showing.

15. Aidan Toua

Aside from an early in-field kicking shank, Toua had another positive performance for the Brumbies at fullback. He’s managed to shake off a lot of the injury worries that have plagued him in recent times and it’s manifesting as a consistent effort. Jack Debreczeni was another who could have slotted in this spot after his most positive performance.