Vodafone Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round 10

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It was a big weekend for Australia's Super Rugby teams with three winners on the books.

The Reds and Brumbies clinched pivotal wins in South Africa, while the Waratahs edged out the Rebels at the SCG.

1. Harry Hoopert

Hoopert stepped up in his first start for the Reds. The youngster is one of a number of Queensland forwards under 22 and who held up in the pressure cooker of Kings Park. The Sharks underestimated Queensland's front row power and Hoopert helped show them the danger of that.

2. Alex Mafi

Mafi is another in that young group in the Reds pack and up against a set piece-heavy South African side, that group impressed. Mafi has been keeping Brandon Paenga-Amosa on the bench and he is only growing in stature.

3. Sekope Kepu

Kepu was one of the Waratahs that propelled NSW back into the game in the second half against the Rebels. Kepu has plenty of responsibility on his shoulders every week and proved he can handle that as well as anybody with his outing on Saturday.

4. Rory Arnold

Arnold's aggression is what has put him in Wallabies contention in recent seasons and his relentless in defence was a fixture of his performance in Cape Town. Aside from that, Arnold also set up Pete Samu for the first try and had one of his own, off a charge down to help the Brumbies along.

5. Izack Rodda

Rodda is the anchor for the Reds' young pack and he proved that again in Durban. The lock was a tower of strength for Queensland in Durban and a key part of a solid set piece that laid the platform for a win.

6. Pete Samu

Samu is quickly becoming a key cog of the Brumbies backrow and was again pivotal against the Stormers. Scored a try and forced three turnovers in Cape Town. 

7. Liam Wright

Wright just edges out Michael Hooper for the no. 7 spot this week after a mature performance against the Sharks. Wright has been consistent for the Reds this season and showed his mettle in the dying stages of their Durban clash to win a pivotal turnover after the full-time siren to deny the Sharks. 

8. Jahrome Brown

Only weeks ago, Jahrome Brown was a name few Super Rugby fans knew. The no. 8 was handed an opportunity and has taken it with both hands. Started in place of Locky McCaffrey on the weekend and earned man-of-the-match honours. Not bad at all.

9. Tate McDermott

McDermott forced his way into a regular starting spot with his performances and provides a reminder of his potential each week he plays. His slick service and finishing ability are helping to spark the Reds' attack.

10. Bernard Foley

Foley was pitted up against his closest competition for the Wallabies no. 10 in Quade Cooper and ultimately took the honours. The Waratahs flyhalf finished with 16 points in a game-breaking performance at flyhalf.

11. Alex Newsome

Newsome didn't find the line in Sydney but he made his presence felt. Had 12 carries and played a key part in the Waratahs attack when they found oportunities.

12. Samu Kerevi 

Just a lazy 23 carries for Kerevi in another game-changing performance for the Reds. The Queensland captain seems to get better every week and was again influential in breaking a 15-year drought in Durban.

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper

Saturday was Ashley-Cooper's best performance for the Waratahs since returning to Sydney this season. Scored a try against the run of play early and was solid in defence as well. 

14. Sefa Naivalu

Naivalu returned from a rest week fully refreshed and made an immediate impact for the Reds. 

15. Kurtley Beale

Beale picked his time cleverly in the clash against the Rebels, happy to stick to the Waratahs' kick-heavy game plan but showing his ability to break through when the time was right. Fielded a barrage of Rebels high balls well too.