Vodafone Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Six

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It was a mixed bag for Aussie teams in round six with the Waratahs pulling off a major upset and the Reds snatching a derby win while the Rebels and Brumbies both suffered defeats.

Who were the Aussie standouts in round six?

1. James Slipper

Slipper is edging closer to a World Cup spot with every single week and had another outstanding performance on the weekend. Dominated rising star and former teammate Taniela Tupou in his return to Suncorp Stadium.

2. Damien Fitzpatrick 

Fitzpatrick is one of the most consistent Aussies in Super Rugby and delivered for NSW on the weekend. An accurate thrower, his contribution was a key part of the Waratahs' success in a gritty win over the Crusaders.

3. Sekope Kepu

The Waratahs scrum continues to punch above its weight and Kepu is a big part of that. Helped them get the edge over the super-dominant Crusaders on Saturday night.

4. Izack Rodda

Rodda has had a rollercoaster start to the season but reminded everyone of his quality against the Brumbies. Was promoted from the bench at the last minute and was one of Queensland's best in their win. His pressure on the Brumbies lineout forced uncharacteristic errors from the ACT side.

5. Rob Simmons

Simmons showed his grit at the SCG on Saturday night and was among a hugely industrial Waratahs pack. The second rower finished with 19 tackles and didn't miss one attempt to take down an opponent. 

6. Ned Hanigan

Hanigan has found his groove in the no. 6 spot this season and was again very effective. NSW's set piece is growing more solid each week and they used it well against the Crusaders. Finished with 18 tackles and two turnovers on the defensive side of the game too.

7. Michael Hooper

Hooper doesn't always receive the public plaudits but there were few who could argue he had anything less than a superb performance against the Crusaders. Finished with 22 tackles, missing just one of those, on top of 10 carries and three defenders beaten. Fair old night for the Tahs skipper.

8. Scott Higginbotham

Higginbotham scored the opener of the game in Queensland and continued in that vein for the whole afternoon. Had eight carries for 24 metres and was a barometer for the rest of his side.

9. Tate McDermott

McDermott earned a start with a zippy round five performance and he backed that up on Sunday afternoon. The no. 9 brings plenty of energy to the Reds attack and is able to unleash those behind him. Scored a match-sealing try too. 

10. Bernard Foley 

Foley has been the subject of plenty of criticism in recent weeks but he showed he is still the Wallabies frontrunner with his performance on Saturday night. He was the focal point of the Watratahs attack and his connection with Israel Folau again paid dividends. His best performance of the year by far.

11. Sefa Naivalu

Naivalu is heading overseas at the end of the year but he clearly wants to ensure he makes a World Cup squad before that. The speedster outpointed his Brumbies opponents on Sunday in a solid outing.

12. Samu Kerevi

Twelve or 13, it doesn't really matter, Kerevi is almost unarguably Queensland's most valuable player now. Finished with 77 run metres and set up a scintillating Chris Feauai-Sautia try. 

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper

Ashley-Cooper brings a handy defensive edge to the Waratahs and that was pivotal in their win over the Crusaders. led the backline in tackles, with eight for the night.

14. Cam Clark

Clark seems to enjoy playing the Crusaders - in both of his most recent encounters he has notched impressive tries early in the piece. Didn't do his chances of retention any harm with a strong wing performance.

15. Israel Folau 

Folau was  back to some of his best rugby in Sydney on Saturday night. When Folau has a chance to use his aerial skills, he looks unstoppable and clearly it's an effective tactic. One try drew him level with Doug Howlett as Super Rugby's all-time try scorer, adding another accolade to his ever-growing list.