It was a disappointing weekend for the Aussie teams in Super Rugby.
Which players can hold their heads up after a difficult round 10?
1. Scott Sio
Sio was an anchor for the Brumbies scrum as it began to take dominance over the Jaguares. Though things slipped through the match, Sio’s early contribution was critical. Fell just short of a try, but his impressive run was cut short with a knock on.
2. Damien Fitzpatrick
The Waratahs’ lineout was an issue on Friday night, but that wasn’t solely Fitzpatrick’s doing. A super hard worker across the ground and defensively strong as well.
3. Allan Alaalatoa
Similarly to Sio, was a critical part of the Brumbies scrum when it was getting on top of the Jaguares. Slipped over the game, but the pair have been standouts in recent weeks.
4. Matt Philip
Philip is really starting to find some consistency this season and was a standout for the Rebels on Saturday night. Finished with 39 metres off 10 carries and made nine tackles, stealing a turnover as well.
5. Izack Rodda
It’s been a tough period for the Reds but youngster Rodda has really stood out for the Queenslanders. Was again one of their better performers on a tough night.
6. Tom Cusack
Cusack has taken every opportunity this season with both hands, a reliable backrower in any position. Made 38 metres off nine carries and defensively had eight tackles and a turnover.
7. Michael Hooper
Many of the Waratahs might have faded after an unyielding opening 20 minutes in Sydney, but not Michael Hooper. Both he and Brumbies’ David Pocock in sensational form, with the Waratahs skipper finding his way into everything. May need to pick his times more efficiently, but the national captain is showing no signs of slowing.
8. Amanaki Mafi
Mafi was a run-metre machine in Pretoria, making 121 metres in the match. Though he was shut down at times by the Bulls, he still managed to have a big influence and the Rebels thrive off those moments.
9. Michael Ruru
Ruru was under immense pressure this week, with the absence of Will Genia hanging over the Rebels side. To his credit, the halfback stood up and showed his mettle, with one of his best games of the season in difficult conditions.
10. Jack Debreczeni
It wasn’t Debreczeni’s best game, but it was a difficult weekend for all of Australia’s 10s, unable to create the opportunities they’d hoped to. The Rebels flyhalf played his 50th Super Rugby match and is showing a return to the form that had him as a much-hyped youngster.
11. Chance Peni
The Brumbies were starved of the ball early in Canberra but Peni made his touches count as the game went on. Found a try when they needed and showed some spark.
12. Samu Kerevi
Kerevi did everything he possibly could in Brisbane on Saturday, against what was essentially one-way traffic. It’s a sign of some growing maturity that kerevi was able to stand out on a rough night for his side, and a positive sign for Reds and Wallabies fans.
13. Tevita Kuridrani
Kuridrani has had an average start to the year but he was starting to show glimpses of his best work on Sunday. Made it past three defenders and also had eight tackles and two turnovers. He tends to time his form towards Test season, and it seems he might be doing that this year.
14. Jack Maddocks
Maddocks is continuing to build his reputation in Super Rugby. Had 11 carries for 67 metres in Pretoria and though some of his defensive work was off-target, he’s consistently showing his potential.
15. Tom Banks
It was an up and down game for Banks, who bagged two tries against the Jaguares, but also committed a basic kicking error. Without his finishing, the Brumbies would not have found themselves