Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU: Round Nine Team of the Week

Mon, 19/04/2021, 06:04 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Joe Powell takes on the defence for the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: Getty Images

Round Nine of the Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU season continued to deliver as both games came down to the wire.

The Force managed to grab victory in the 85th minute after a valiant effort by the Waratahs whilst the Brumbies hung on in a thriller against the Rebels.

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But who stood out and made our Team of the Week?

1. Scott Sio

Sio took his chance to return to the starting line-up with open arms, producing a dominant scrummaging display. He sent a message to selectors, dominating the Rebels pack on a number of occasions during the first half, allowing the Brumbies to maintain pressure and build their early lead.

2. Feleti Kaitu’u

Kaitu'u continues to rise up the ranks in Australia and it's easy to see why after his performance against the Waratahs. His energy and athleticism was on display throughout the game whilst his fundamental skills remain towards the top of the comp as the Force won all 13 line-outs attempted.

3. Harry Johnson-Holmes

Playing out of his preferred position, Johnson-Holmes stepped up as the leader of the young Waratahs pack. He was crucial at scrum time and put in a major shift with ball in hand as he tried to will his team to victory.

4. Cadeyrn Neville

Neville continues to be the unsung hero of this Brumbies team. The work that he did in the lead-up to his try can not be understated, twice delivering the perfect ball to his backs as they streaked away before backing up for the five-pointer.

Neville finishes off a cracking team try

5. Sitaleki Timani

Timani made an impact in both in attack and defence for the Force. He led the team in carries(15) and delivered a number of strong tackles, the highlight being the crunching effort on James Ramm alongside Jeremy Thursh.

6. Richard Hardwick

One of the more underrated flankers in the game, Hardwick continues to lead from the front and impress for the Rebels. He looked dangerous every time he touched the ball and set the scene for their comeback with his energy and effort.

7. Kane Koteka

Whilst he doesn't get the recognition as other sevens in the game, Koteka's work rate and energy were unmatched during Friday's win. He made 11 tackles to go with a number of tackle busts, two line-breaks and a crucial turnover to help maintain the Force's finals hopes.

8. Rob Valetini

An incredible defensive effort from Valetini, who set the tempo early with his brutal tackling. Leading the tackle count for the Brumbies (14), the 22-year-old bashed the Rebels constantly throughout the game, leading to a number of turnovers.

9. Joe Powell

Against his old side, Powell stepped up as he reminded selectors of his class. He showed glimpses of the form that earned him Wallabies selection in 2017, breaking open the Brumbies on various occasions before shrugging off two defenders to score a great try after the break.

10. Domingo Miotti

This is probably the toughest choice to date, with Ben Donaldson doing everything right at the end of 80 minutes to be selected. Unfortunately for the Waratahs, the game wasn't finished when the siren sounded, with Miotti backing up his strong kicking game and play-making abilities with an 85th-minute penalty that won the Force the game and selection in this team.

Miotti clinches it for the Force after the siren

11. Marika Koroibete

Despite finding himself in a try drought, Koroibete continues to do everything right with ball in hand for the Rebels. His yellow card was a product of his side's ongoing ill-discipline but he made up for it, running for a team-high 80 metres from 12 carries, along with earning a crucial turnover.

12. Campbell Magnay

Magnay didn't miss a beat in his return, slotting in nicely into the centres. He seemed to unlock their attack, bursting through to set up Joe Powell after a strong run, along with being rock solid in defence.

13. Izaia Perese

Probably his best game since returning from rugby league, Perese was electric every time he touched the ball. He torched the Force backline throughout the game, breaking eight tackles as he makes up for his Round One suspension.

14. Tom Wright

Wright continues to show off his elite speed and game-awareness, on full display during his try just before the break. To go with two line-breaks, Wright ran for 97 metres along with earning multiple turnovers due to his strong defence.

15. Tom Banks

Banks maintains his mantle as the premier fullback in Australia, causing the Rebels major headaches in attack. Despite not finding the line, he made four line breaks as he ran for 98 metres off just seven carries as he continues to press his Wallabies claims.


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