Super Rugby Pacific 2024 TOTW: Looking at the best Australian performers from Round 14

Mon, May 27, 2024, 4:11 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

Round 14 of Super Rugby Pacific saw some big score-lines as Australian sides as they built towards the finals.

The Queensland Reds and ACT Brumbies delivered thumping wins over the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels respectively, whilst the NSW Waratahs went down to Moana Pasifika.

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It leaves the Reds, Brumbies and Rebels locked into finals whilst the Force need a win this weekend and results to go their way to join them.

With this in mind, has selected the best from the Australian sides for round 14.

1. Alex Hodgman (Queensland Reds)

Hodgman is putting himself firmly on Wallabies selectors' radars after another strong performance for the Reds.

The loosehead, eligible for Australia from November, provided a powerful presence with his carries in the thumping win over the Force.

He was also reliable in defence, making 11 whilst missing just one in a complete performance.

2. Matt Faessler (Queensland Reds)

Faessler continues to build a strong lead as the premier hooker in Australian Rugby at the moment.

He was perfect with his 11 throws on his return to the starting side to go with double-digit carries and tackles.

Faessler also got a trademark try at the back of the rolling maul to get his eighth of the season

3. Taniela Tupou (Melbourne Rebels)

Tupou reminded everyone of his power in his stint off the bench for the Rebels.

His work at scrum-time got the Rebels back into the contest as he bullied Harry Vella and the Brumbies front-row.

It was enough to earn the nod over Allan Alaalatoa, with the duo set to form a powerhouse combination in the Test arena.

4. Seru Uru (Queensland Reds)

It was a strong return to the second-row for Uru, who grew in confidence throughout the game.

His 23 carries were conformable a game high for the rangy forward whilst controlling the lineout game.

5. Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds)

Smith quietly goes about his work but he is the key towards the Reds’ success in 2024.

The lock won several turnovers whilst producing a tied team high 14 tackles with Faessler.

No Australian player came close to his ruck work in Round 14 with 34 entries on his own ball, ensuring fast and clean ball for Tate McDermott all night.

6. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies)

Frost’s transformation to the back-row continues to deliver results for the Brumbies.

The Wallaby led the game for carries (16) and powered his way over for a crucial try.

It ensured he held out Liam Wright, who delivered another great night of work for the Reds. 

7. Fraser McReight (Queensland Reds)

McReight was outstanding for the Reds as he continues to tighten his grip on the Wallabies seven jersey.

The Red was dangerous in attack, going over for a double whilst setting up two line breaks.

In defence, he didn’t miss a tackle and won a key turnover to add to his growing collection.

8. Rob Valetini (ACT Brumbies)

Valetini finds further levels to his game in 2024 and was key towards the Brumbies’ win over the Rebels.

He got them on the front foot early to set up Jahrome Brown’s try with some nice hands at the line.

On top of this, his carries constantly got the Brumbies over the advantage line and set up the first-half lead.

9. Ryan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies)

It was a tight tussle between Lonergan and Tate McDermott but the Brumbies skipper just won out in the win over the Rebels.

Lonergan’s delivery was superb all night, complemented by a strong kicking game at the base of the ruck.

He marshalled the pack perfectly close to the line to have a hand in a number of tries to just earn his place over the Wallaby.

10. Tom Lynagh (Queensland Reds)

It was a poised night for the young half as he pieced apart the Force defence.

Lynagh looked dangerous when he took the line on with four tackle busts and kept finding his backs in prime position to attack.

11. Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs)

Pietsch has been one of the few bright spots for the Waratahs in 2024.

The winger has been sensational to finish the season and looked dangerous as he had a dozen tackle busts and three offloads.

He deserved a try in the opening minutes off a break that he started before a knock-on in the build-up brought it back. Pietsch then set up Izaia Perese after a long-range effort that started on their line

12. Hunter Paisami (Queensland Reds)

Paisami continues to shine in 2024 for the Reds.

The centre was in everything as they built a commanding lead, causing the Force headaches with his carries and distribution.

He had four tackle busts to go with a line break and a perfect night in defence.

13. Josh Flook (Queensland Reds)

Flook celebrated his 50th game for the Reds in style with a thumping win at home.

The centre shut down the Force attack all night whilst sliced through the defence on several occasions, setting up McReight’s try as they ran away with the win.

14. Tim Ryan (Queensland Reds)

Ryan is on cloud nine as his dream debut season continues in Brisbane.

Another hat trick has rocketed his tally to nine tries in just eight Super Rugby appearances and all of tonight's were top shelf.

Ryan won the aerial battle against former Aus U20s teammate Ronan Leahy for his first after five minutes, showed true gas for his second after half time and ran the perfect line off James O'Connor for his third in the dying minutes.

15. Tom Wright (ACT Brumbies

Wright is in career best form as he powers the Brumbies into title contention.

He backed up his two-try haul against the Crusaders with another brace against Melbourne on Friday night and came up with a try-saver of his own to stop Darby Lancaster on the paint.

The Brumby showed power with his first to flatten Brad Wilkin en route to the try line and pace with his second, blasting onto a Rhys Van Nek short ball and outpacing Andrew Kellaway home.