Vodafone Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Two

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It was a mixed week for the Australian sides in Super Rugby with the Brumbies blowing the Chiefs away in Canberra, the Waratahs edging the Sunwolves and the Reds falling agonisingly short of the Highlanders

Who were the players from the Aussie teams who stood out in round two?

1. James Slipper

The Brumbies scrum has proven to be a powerful force even just two rounds into 2019 and Slipper has been a huge part of that. 

2. Folau Faingaa

Faingaa burst into Wallabies contention last year after a superb Super Rugby season and he's backed that up this year already. Was super against the Chiefs and earned a try for his efforts.

3. Allan Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa has cemented himself as one of Australia's top tightheads and has come back into the Super Rugby season in some of his best form. This Brumbies pack is something to be feared.

4. Izack Rodda

A genuinely courageous performance from Rodda after the death of his father just two days earlier. Even without that emotional weight, though, Rodda played an impressive game in New Zealand. Scored a great try and was a monster in defence with 12 tackles.

5. Rory Arnold

Arnold continues to deliver consistency and a plenty of grunt to the Brumbies' pack. The lock finished with six tackles against the Chiefs and played a pivotal role in their set piece successes.

6. Rob Valetini

Valetini is going under the radar somewhat in this Brumbies backrow but the youngster is certainly pulling his weight. Was a beast in defence with 10 tackles.

7. Tom Cusack

Cusack could not have had a tougher assignment than being asked to step into David Pocock's shoes but he stepped up with ease. Was a nuisance for the Chiefs' attack all night finishing with nine tackles.

8. Lockie McCaffrey

McCaffrey is a no-frills player but he is invaluable to this Brumbies side. A tireless workhorse, McCaffrey again showed his value against the Chiefs. Finished with a try for his efforts and a hand in one of Chance Peni's two for the night.

9. Moses Sorovi

Sorovi is still young but he is one of the most exciting halfbacks in Super Rugby. His delivery is slick and he helped the Reds backline get on the front foot in Dunedin. Scored a nice try as well.

10. Christian Lealiifano

Lealiifano wound back the clock in Canberra on Saturday night with his best performance in recent memory. The past three years have not been easy for Lealiifano but he has been all class throughout his challenges. Was super direct in attack and his strong running lines put the Brumbies over the line or in a dangerous position a handful of times.

11. Chance Peni

Peni had a disrupted 2018 season with suspensions but the winger had no such disciplinary problems on Saturday night. Stepped up in the absence of Henry Speight and Toni Pulu, finishing with two tries.

12. Samu Kerevi

Kerevi looks as fit as he has ever been and that is showing in his on-field impact. The Reds captain found plenty of the ball against the Highlanders and made metres with basically every one of his carries. Solid in defence as well with seven tackles for the night.

13. Jordan Petaia

It's hard to believe this kid is still only 18, such is the poise with which he played. Had two pivotal breaks against the Highlanders and ended up with 103 metres off 10 carries for the night.

14. Andy Muirhead

Similarly to Peni, Muirhead took his chance with both hands after Speight and Pulu's injuries. Provided an option almost every time the Brumbies were on the attack and his fast-tihnking offload when just inside the touch line helped set up one of the most spectacular tries of the weekend.

15. Tom Banks

Banks showed off his electric pace against the Chiefs with a try of the round contender in Canberra. Finished with that score, 80 run metres, and beat six defenders along the way as well.