Vodafone Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Four

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It was a good weekend for Australian Super Rugby teams in round four.

The Brumbies snapped a six-year streak across the ditch to beat the Chiefs 26-14 while the Reds enjoyed a record win over the Sunwolves.

Who stood up last weekend for Australia's sides? Have your say at the bottom of the page.

1. James Slipper (Brumbies)

Slipper did give away a yellow card that threatened to undo the Brumbies but the starting loosehead was responsible for establishing some of the early advantage against the Chiefs. Threw the last pass in the Tom Banks try and was more than reliable in the scrum. Having another great year.

2. Connal McInerney (Brumbies)

McInerney had to step up for the Brumbies in Hamilton and he certainly did. The Brumbies lineout ran like clockwork and the starting rake was on target with every throw. Made a monstrous 17 tackles as well. 

3. Taniela Tupou (Reds)

Tupou was at his ball-running best against the Sunwolves on Saturday night. Crashed his way to a try early in the game and helped Queensland establish scrum dominance throughout. 

4. Murray Douglas (Brumbies)

The Brumbies had a big second row hole to fill ahead of 2020 and Douglas and Cadeyrn Neville are stepping up. Douglas was superb in a slick Brumbies lineout in Hamilton and disrupted the Chiefs' set piece as well. 

5. Angus Blyth (Reds)

Queensland's second row department is deep and Blyth is working his way to the top of the logjam. Blyth made some strong carries and was effective without the ball too. Making big strides in 2020.

6. Rob Valetini (Brumbies)

Valetini continues to string consistent performances together for the Brumbies and was again instrumental on Saturday. The blindside flanker found some space in attack and was strong in defence, making eight tackles.

7. Will Miller (Brumbies)

Miller is taking game time with both hands at the Brumbies, establishing himself as the first-choice seven in Canberra. The flanker was influential for the Brumbies against the Chiefs, setting the tone for dominance in the breakdown.

8. Pete Samu (Brumbies)

Samu had another near man-of-the-match performance for the Brumbies on Saturday evening. The no. 8 scored a double against the Chiefs and had a strong physical presence for his side. Should be leading contender for the Test no. 8 spot right now.

9. Tate McDermott (Reds)

McDermott is certainly establishing himself as a Test contender and he had another brilliant game for Queensland against the Sunwolves. The halfback was a super linkman for the Reds on Saturday night and also managed to score two tries for his efforts.

10. Noah Lolesio (Brumbies)

This is the toughest call of the season so far, with Reds flyhalf James O'Connor also having a hugely influential game in Brisbane. However, given the opposition and the gravity of the win and his performance, Lolesio just gets the nod. The 20-year-old looks as composed as anyone on the field and was critical in setting up a Tom Banks try early in the piece. Wasn't afraid to chance his arm but took the right options when they presented. A breakout game for the young 10.

11. Henry Speight (Reds)

Speight is enjoying a renaissance at the Reds and had another strong showing against the Sunwolves. Though he didn't nab a try, Speight had nine carries and ran for 90 metres and was influential for Queensland. Was also effective in defence, making five tackles and winning a turnover. 

12. Hamish Stewart (Reds)

Stewart seems to be finding his groove at inside centre, working well outside James O'Connor. The youngster is a very different player to his predecessor in Samu Kerevi but is developing nicely. Scored a try, had 81 metres off 10 carries and made seven tackles in defence as well.

13. Hunter Paisami (Reds)

Paisami is surely the bargain buy of the season. Worked his way up to a second Super Rugby chance after a season of club rugby and he is firing on all cylinders right now. Given the tough gig of replacing Jordan Petaia, Paisami has stepped up to be one of the best for the Reds in both of his starts. Scored a try and had 16 carries against the Sunwolves, almost everyone an effective one.

14. Solomone Kata (Brumbies)

Kata is delivering for the Brumbies and the winger had a big game in Hamilton to add to his form this season.  Scored a pivotal try against the Chiefs to help the Brumbies to their early lead and was dangerous in attack throughout the game.

15. Tom Banks (Brumbies)

Banks is surely putting himself forward as the leading Wallabies fullback contender. Banks had another superb game on the weekend, finishing off a great try and also proving effective across the ground. His accurate kicking for the most part put the Brumbies in dangerous positions as well.