Vodafone Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Nine

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Aussie Super Rugby teams had a mixed weekend in round nine.

Who stood out for the Aussie sides last weekend?

1. James Slipper 

The Brumbies' usually dominant front row battled early against the Lions but Slipper steadied the ship when he was injected into the game. Came off the bench early in the second half and made an immediate impact in the pack.

2. Folau Faingaa

Faingaa showed a new trick on Saturday night with a perfect drop punt to set up a Brumbies try against the Lions. The Brumbies' lineout - both attacking and defending - had the edge on the Johannesburg side last weekend and Faingaa was key to that.

3. Taniela Tupou 

Tupou has had a mixed season so far but he stepped up on a tough night against the Bulls. Was solid in the scrum as the Reds tried to work their way back into the contest against the Bulls.

4. Rory Arnold

Arnold has been at his hard-working best so far this season for the Brumbies and had another strong outing on Saturday night. Stole a defensive lineout and finished with eight tackles at a 100 per cent strike rate.

5. Sam Carter

The Brumbies' attack stood up against the Lions but Carter's relentless defence laid much of the foundation for the side. Carter made 16 tackles without missing a single attempt - a handy contribution to the side.

6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

Salakaia-Loto is beginning to settle the debate over his position with his performances at blindside flanker. The Wallabies backrower had nine carries for 21 run metres and had two turnovers for his troubles.

7. Tom Cusack

Tom Cusack has big shoes to fill each week in the absence of David Pocock but he steps up well in every outing. The tireless flanker finished with 14 tackles in another gritty performance.

8. Locky McCaffrey

McCaffrey hasn't been far from the Wallabies conversation this year and another standout performance for the Brumbies added to his case. He had a hand in two tries and had one of his own on a good night for the Brumbies. 

9. Joe Powell

Powell played his 50th Super Rugby game last Saturday night and it was a milestone to remember. The 25-year-old gave slick, rapid service to his teammates and set them up perfectly in one of his best performances of the year.

10. Christian Lealiifano

When Lealiifano is on the front foot, the Brumbies are on the front foot and that's exactly what happened on Saturday night. Lealiifano was the perfect link man in attack and it paid off for the Canberra outfit.

11. Toni Pulu

Pulu had a delayed start to the season with injury but has been making up for lost time with his recent performances. Scored a try and made 70 metres off nine carries against the Lions.

12. Tom Wright

Wright staked a big claim on the Brumbies' no. 12 spot last weekend. Was yellow-carded in the first five minutes but bounced back to have a real impact on the contest with a try and six carries for 70 run metres.

13. Tevita Kuridrani

Kuridrani rediscovered some of his early-season form against the Lions and it was timely. Had a try, ran for 76 metres and was influential across the park.

14.  Jack Hardy

Hardy was handed an opportunity to tour with the Reds and he has taken it with both hands. Made a team-high 53 metres in Pretoria and loomed as an attacking threat.

15. Tom Banks

Banks didn't hurt his World Cup chances with another stellar outing for the Brumbies. The fullback had a try, ran for 64 metres and looked dangerous nearly every time he touched the ball.