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

Mon, Mar 4, 2024, 3:16 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Highlights from the Round 2 clash of Super Rugby Pacific 2024 between the Crusaders and Waratahs

Round Two of Super Rugby Pacific was a strong weekend for the Australian sides.

The NSW Waratahs were the stars of Super Round after their shock upset of the Crusaders.

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The Melbourne Rebels showed great fight to defeat the Western Force whilst the Reds went down to the wire to the Hurricanes and the Brumbies were no match for the Chiefs.

With this in mind, Rugby.com.au has selected the best from the Australian sides for round one.

1. Angus Bell (NSW Waratahs)

Bell was at his barnstorming best to power the Waratahs to victory.

He produced a team high 12 carries with four defenders beat, including a great run that saw him swat away George Bower (confirm).

Bell also drew several penalties from Fletcher Newell at scrum time to beat out Matt Gibbon.

2. Mahe Vailanu (NSW Waratahs)

Vailanu’s presence over the ball and defence was key in the Crusaders' upset.

He consistently bent the defensive line with his runs and didn’t miss a tackle in his 70-minute stint.

For this, he holds off Tom Horton who continues to impress for the Force despite the defeat.

3. Zane Nonggorr (Queensland Reds)

Nonggorr backed up his strong start to the season with a great shift for the Reds.

His try at the back of the maul was a great show of strength and he looked solid in defence.

4. Jed Holloway (NSW Waratahs)

Holloway showcased the form that saw him called into the Wallabies squad in 2022.

The lock disrupted the Crusaders’ lineout all night with a pair of steals whilst making some key tackles.

For this, he just holds off Jeremy Williams and Josh Canham, who were both excellent on Friday night

5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Melbourne Rebels)

Salakaia-Loto took comments around their ‘soft’ pack personally.

He was a workhorse throughout his 80 minute stint with an impressive 17 carries, always there for the one-off drives when they needed someone to take on the line.

The lock also constantly was there to set their rucks to give their backs clean ball. 

6. Josh Kemeny (Melbourne Rebels)

Kemeny was one of the key drivers behind their comeback victory at AAMI Park.

His try started the avalanche of tries to go with a pair of breakdown steals and three tackle busts.

Ned Hanigan was a close runner up, even though he played minimal minutes. When he was on the park, the ball was only in ball for 12 minutes yet he made 16 from 16 tackles only second behind Charlie Gamble.

7. Charlie Gamble (NSW Waratahs)

A coin toss decision but Gamble just beats out Fraser McReight.

Gamble was immense in defence with 21 tackles, forcing two turnovers.

McReight was tireless in his 87 minute stint with a pair of breakdown steals, but ultimately Gamble’s effort to close out the game is the tie-breaker.

8. Harry Wilson (Queensland Reds)

Wilson continues to thrive in Les Kiss’ system.

He’s playing with a new-found freedom, back at his offloading best to keep the Reds playing a quick style of play.

His try early in the game was a great show of strength to go with a perfect defensive game.

9. Jake Gordon (NSW Waratahs)

Gordon was up for the challenge against the Crusaders.

He’s the ultimate competitor and set the tempo with his tenacity to dive on every ball and snap up a pair of intercepts.

The Waratahs captain gained 118 metres thanks to his two line breaks and five tackles to prove the difference on the night.

10. Tane Edmed (NSW Waratahs)

Edmed joins his halves partner after a brutal display from the flyhalf.

He pressed the Crusaders line throughout the night with 12 carries for 70 metres, defying his stature. This included a great carry right before half-time to set up Harry Wilson.

Edmed’s kick to Triston Reilly was picture-perfect to set up yet another try to go with two line break assists.

11. Corey Toole (ACT Brumbies)

Toole was a one-man wrecking ball for the Brumbies.

His chip and chase for the opening try was a beautiful play in a game where their chances were limited.

He led the team for carries to go with seven tackle busts and three line breaks

12 Joey Walton (NSW Waratahs)

Walton stepped up for the Waratahs in a depleted backline with no Izaia Perese or Lalakai Foketi.

He was a rock in defence to limit the effectiveness of David Havili along with a pair of tackle busts. 

13. Josh Flook (Queensland Reds)

Flook has come out flying for the Reds in the opening fortnight.

He showed great pace to pick up the loose ball and race away for a key try to go with a trio of tackle busts.

Flook was also rock solid in defence to force a mistake on the Reds’ goal-line, beating out the impressive Harry Wilson

14. Harry Potter (Western Force)

Potter was one of the best for the Force in a tough defeat.

He produced three line breaks and a line break assist to frustrate the Rebels throughout the first half.

This just earned him selection over FIlipo Daugunu, who was electric on the wing for the Rebels.

15. Andrew Kellaway (Melbourne Rebels)

Kellaway willed the Rebels to victory at home, solidifying his claims as the premier fullback in Australia.

His try in the opening minutes was excellent, burning his man and racing 60 metres for the try.

He was the Rebels’ best attacking threat on the night with five tackle busts and three line breaks.

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