Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round eight

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Waratahs and Brumbies had big wins in the Aussie Conference this week.

Who stood out from the Aussie sides this weekend?

1. Scott Sio

The Brumbies rediscovered some of their forward pack mojo against the Reds and Sio was impressive anchoring that scrum.

2. Folau Faingaa

Faingaa scored a critical try for the Brumbies and went just centimetres away from a double, disallowed for going into touch. Faingaa re-signed with the Brumbies last week and showed why against the Reds, an exciting prospect for Brumbies fans.

3. Taniela Tupou

Tupou is growing every week, with his scrummaging work matching his ability with ball in hand. Was one of the Reds' best before being struck down with a shoulder injury, that fans and staff alike will be hoping isn't serious.

4. Rory Arnold

A runaway try was a highlight for the big man, in a standout 50th match, racking up 45 metres off 11 carries and making 11 tackles along the way. The Brumbies' set piece functioned the best it has in weeks, no mean feat after an inconsistent start.

5. Izack Rodda

Rodda stood up well in what turned out to be a difficult night for the Reds. Immense in defence, with 16 tackles, showing his work rate never slipped in Canberra.

6. Will Miller

Miller earned a start against the Sunwolves and he made the most of it in Tokyo. His pace was crucial and though the Waratahs were pinged at the breakdown, he still managed to have an impact, scoring a spectacular try as well.

7. David Pocock

Pocock is well and truly back, one of the Brumbies' most influential in an ultimately big win. A try, 16 tackles and three turnovers adds up to a monster game from the openside flanker, who is getting back to his very best.

8. Isi Naisarani

Isi Naisarani has had a couple of quieter weeks in recent rounds, but that wasn't the case on Saturday night. The no. 8 had a double, ran for 92 metres off 14 carries and made eight tackles on the other side of the ball. The Wallabies coaches are surely eagerly awaiting the day he becomes Test eligible for Australia.

9. Jake Gordon

Gordon flourished in the starting nine spot in Tokyo, scoring a double and showing his running game to damaging effect against the Sunwolves. Going to be a tight battle for the Waratahs' number nine spot this week.

10. Bernard Foley

 Foley hasn't received many plaudits this year, but he is so valuable to the Waratahs. Was again consistent for the Waratahs and was critical in attack, setting up two tries for NSW.

11. Taqele Naiyaravoro

If only Naiyaravoro was always this fit. The mammoth winger helped set up Jake Gordon's first try and ran for 176 metres across the game, with his own score late. Though he's not any kind of defensive beast, if he keeps running over people and managing to make it through most of the game, he's giving the Waratahs exactly what they want.

12. Samu Kerevi

Kerevi was another Queensland Reds player who stood up in difficult circumstances. Should probably have been awarded a try, with David Pocock's hand appearing to hit the ball though the referee ruled a knock-on. Outside of that drama, though, the inside centre showed plenty  Though his defensive game can be patchy, Kerevi managed nine tackles and a turnover in Canberra.

13. Chris Feauai-Sautia

 Welcome back to the big time, Chris Feauai-Sautia. The centre is an absolute beast when he is on song and he showed that early on against the Brumbies, creating a try out of nothing deep in Reds' attacking territory and getting one of his own later on. A deliberate knock on put him out of the game for 10 minutes, but overall he continued to show why Wallabies coach Michael Cheika name checked him as a Test bolter recently.

14. Filipo Daugunu

Daugunu was guilty of letting a try through in Canberra, but for the most part he gave the Reds some X-factor on the edge. Had 84 run metres and six carries, beating 10 defenders along the way.

15. Tom Banks

Banks has had a patchy start to the year, but showed some of his best work against the Reds. The rising star is a valuable attacking weapon for the Brumibes and will only continue to grow in that role.