Vodafone Super Rugby AU Team of the Week: Round Five

Sun, 02/08/2020, 09:00 pm
Christy Doran
by Christy Doran
Irae Simone was once again exceptional for the Brumbies. Photo: Getty Images

Round five of Super Rugby AU saw two cracking contests.

Isi Naisarani helped the Melbourne Rebels get home against the Western Force in Super Time, while Mack Hansen's after the hooter penalty saw the Brumbies beat the Queensland Reds 22-20 in one of the matches of the season.

But who stood out?

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1. Cameron Orr - Rebels

I'll leave it to Dave Wessels to sum up Orr's performance.

"I thought there was some really big moments in that game for us which I'm proud of. Cameron Orr's tackle in the corner, that probably saved them from scoring; then a big scrum before half-time that won us a penalty and (it) was an awesome bit of skill from Hodgy (Reece Hodge) to kick that over."

What Wessels didn't add was Orr's slips catch at half-back and then silky hands to his teammate Jordan Uelese to score from a beautiful set-piece play from a lineout.

2. Folau Fainga'a - Brumbies

Fainga'a's two tries in the first-half put the wheels in motion for the Brumbies. Watch out Joe Roff, your tryscoring record could be in danger one day.

3. Allan Alaalatoa - Brumbies

It says something of Alaalatoa's performance to keep Taniela Tupou out, because the Reds tight-head was brilliant.

Alaalatoa's work-rate once again shined a light on why he's the Wallabies' first-choice tight-head prop. Alaalatoa made 57 runs metres in tight and managed eight tackles.

4. Nick Frost - Brumbies

We've shifted Frost from right to left lock, but his second-row teammate Darcy Swain could easily have slotted in to this team.

But we've gone with Frost who made 11 runs for 41 metres and made eight tackles. But just importantly was his work at the lineout, where not only was he faultless but the Brumbies often disturbed the Reds' lineout, particularly in the second half.

5. Fergus Lee-Warner - Force

Check out these numbers: 12 runs for 68 metres, including one try, and 17 tackles.

Lee-Warner, along with his teammate Chris Heiberg was exceptional for the Force.

6. Isi Naisarani - Rebels

It was impossible to leave Naisarani out, so we've shifted him from No.8 to blindside flanker.

In Super Rugby match 50, the Wallabies back-rower scored the match-winner in his return from injury.

His work-rate was once again exceptional and ability to get over the gain line makes the Rebels a much greater threat.

7. Liam Wright - Reds

Brad Thorn's decision to move Fraser McReight to the bench saw his captain return to his preferred position at openside flanker. Unsurprisingly, the flanker was exceptional.

He got on the ball five times, winning a penalty in the 16th minute and, later, in the 41st minute won a clean turnover.

Wright was constantly doing the "shitters". He was latching onto teammates, hitting rucks and made 15 tackles without a miss.

8. Harry Wilson - Reds

Good luck finding a better player this weekend?

Wilson had his best match to date in Super Rugby AU. He scored the Reds' first try and came close to crashing over on another two occasions.

It's Wilson's game-awareness and ability to get over the gain line that makes him so exciting. Speaking of work rate, in addition to his 116 run metres he made 17 tackles.

9. Nick Frisby - Force

After a rusty return a week earlier against the Brumbies, Frisby was much better against the Rebels.

His bounce out of halfback and ability to draw two men in defence allowed the Force to get on the outside and see Byron Ralston score a cracking try midway through the second-half.

10. James O'Connor - Reds

His missed penalty late in the second half will haunt him, but with the exception of that O'Connor was very good.

O'Connor's no-look inside ball to Filpo Daugunu was a cracker. If you've missed the replay, do yourself a favour and watch it again.

11. Filipo Daugunu - Reds

Twice Daugunu was exposed at the back, the latter of which allowed the Brumbies to have one last sniff - they took it.

But Daugunu's threat on the wing once again was on display at he made 128 run metres and ran a sublime line inside O'Connor to make a break for Wilson before Angus Scott-Young scored one phase later.

12. Irae Simone - Brumbies 

Rod Kafer called him Australia's most improved Super Rugby player and it's hard to argue.

Simone's well and truly found his feet under the management of Dan McKellar and Peter Hewat. 

The most impressive feature to his game is his composure, closely followed by the time he appears to have with ball-in-hand.

13. Hunter Paisami - Reds

He didn't always barge his way through, but Paisami continually attempted to bang the wall down.

Paisami made 63 metres in attack, but it was his defensive reads and big hits that was the feature of his performance.

14. Jordan Petaia - Reds

Petaia came off the bench midway through the first-half and looked like he hadn't missed a beat.

He had one disallowed try, while his line and offload to Wilson saw the Reds score their first try.

15. Jock Campbell - Reds

The Reds fullback edged out Tom Banks.

Campbell's elusiveness was on display as he skipped out of four tackles, but more than that it was his playmaking ability that stood out in attack.

One of the main highlights for the Rebels: Reclaiming the Weary Dunlop Shield. Photo: Getty Images.
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