Super Rugby Round nine Team of the Week

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It was another difficult week for Aussie teams in Super Rugby, with just a draw to claim from four matches.

Who stood out among those in the Aussie conference?

1. Ben Daley

Daley continues his consistent form for the Force, as the WA franchise put in another solid scrum performance against one of the stiffest opposition in the Chiefs.

2. Tatafu Polota-Nau

Tatafu Polota-Nau has found his groove as the year has gone on in Perth and once again contributed in a competitive showing from the Force.

3. Tetera Faulkner

Similar to the above, Tetera Fualkner has helped combine in the Force front row to make the Perth side a formidable scrum to deal with and it showed again on Saturday night.

4.  Rory Arnold

Arnold has become the form lock in the competition in recent weeks and while the Brumbies had issues in the lineout again, Arnold was impressive.

5. Sam Carter

Sam Carter continues to be one of the biggest Brumbies’ workhorses, finishing with 11 tackles against the Hurricanes on Friday night.

6. Isi Naisarani

Isi Naisarani is ineligible for the Wallabies, and looks set to be in the middle of a Test tug-of-war as Fiji try to claim him, and it’s not hard to see why. The flanker put in a monstrous performance against the Chiefs and proved his talents yet again.

7. Will Miller

Miller has been one of the Shute Shield standouts in recent seasons, leading Norths to a drought-breaking premiership win in the competition last year. Signed as injury cover with the Rebels, he had no issue stepping up to Super Rugby, clinching the final penalty that gave Reece Hodge a chance to draw as well as a pivotal turnover, one of his four for the match, 10 minutes earlier.

8.  Amanaki Mafi

Amanaki Mafi is close to the recruit of the year, quickly becoming the Rebels’ most valuable player of this season, with his work in the backrow. Fourteen tackles and a turnover show his defensive prowess and he and Miller were the only forwards to beat a defender in Durban.

9. Joe Powell

Joe Powell continue to be the form halfback in Australian rugby, still showing that form against the Hurricanes, one of his biggest tests. Top off slick service with his try of the year contender and it’s easy to see why he’s been surrounded by Wallabies speculation.

10. Wharenui Hawera

Wharenui Hawera’s yellow card handed momentum to the Hurricanes on Friday night but aside from that blunder the Kiwi 10 continued to prove himself as an ultra consistent playmaker. His kicking has progressed this season and it’s showing for the Brumbies.

11. Henry Speight

Speight’s attacking excitement continues to shine through each week for the Brumbies. Speight made the most metres of any Brumbies player against the Hurricanes and makes himself a threat every  week.

12. Bill Meakes

Bill Meakes has proven himself as an abrasive centre this season and once again he managed to influence proceedings in Perth. Two turnovers on top of eight tackles and a big dose of aggression show the value he adds to this team.

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Tevita Kuridrani is back to some of his best form in 2017, and led the way for the Brumbies in an inconsistent showing. Scored the opening try and had the most carries (11) of the team, beating three defenders and making three clean breaks along the way.

14. Sefa Naivalu

There was little attacking spice in the Rebels-Sharks draw but when there was any for the Rebels, you can bet that Sefa Naivalu was involved. Made 112 metres and beat three defenders on a difficult night, while also having a perfect strike rate with his four tackles.

15. Reece Hodge

Hodge’s boot salvaged a first-ever draw for the Rebels in a country that has never delivered joy for the franchise. He scored all their points, with a perfect conversion rate, a development they desperately needed.