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FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week 15

The Bulls stumbled in Aus, the Stormers impressed at Newlands and the Jaguares continued their march up the table in Super Rugby. The Sharks out-muscled the Lions, the Crusaders stuttered for attacking rhythm for a change whilst the Rebels had no such issues in Tokyo. Week 15 of Super Rugby was yet another ripper!

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

Stormers vs Highlanders
The Stormers started strong and were relatively comfortably clear for the majority of the match yet the visiting Kiwi’s fought gallantly to just about stay in the contest. There was some good, hard defence and also some good attacking moments from the Stormers but with seven tries in the game the Newlands fans were well entertained.

BEST TRY OF THE ROUND

The Rebels sliced the Sunwolves open on a number of occasions – the first Koroibete try came off a beautiful set play from a lineout near the halfway line. Cooper delayed his short pass well and hit Reece Hodge on a good line before Hodge gave it to his winger to finish the job. There was also a smart effort from the Crusaders as a dinky chip from Mo’unga was gathered by Crotty and handed to Bryn Hall who stretched his legs all the way to the line.
But my try of the week goes to the Jaguares. What stood out about this score was the players involved – the scrumhalf secured the turnover at the breakdown, the lock stepped in to clear the ball to his flanker who took it as first receiver. Thomas Lezana in turn fed hooker, Montoya who shuffled it out to his other lock. Eighth-man, Desio was the final forward to handle the ball before the outside backs finally stepped in to judge the space well down the touchline and stretch clear from the cover defence to score a great try.

MVP

Makazole Mapimpi! Seldom has one single player had such a big impact on a game with specific, crucial moments. The Sharks winger pulled off a match swinging intercept when the Lions were hot on attack and the game in the balance at 17-14. He also made a significant cover tackle on Mapoe when the Lions looked certain to score. Damian de Allende came closest of all the others to wrestling this award away from Mapimpi.

SA TEAM OF ROUND 15

1. Mzamo Majola (Sharks)
No Beast, no Thomas – no problem! Majola played a big part in the Sharks scrum dominating matters in the first half and also made eight tackles in his time on the park. Kitshoff was good for the Stormers as well.

2. Schalk Brits (Bulls)
Always a willing and dangerous carrier Brits caught the eye in what was a disappointing day for the Bulls. Scarra Ntubeni had a lively showing as well.

3. Coenie Oosthuizen (Sharks)
None of the strong men really stood out with their play in the loose. Carlu Sadie made an immediate difference to the Lions scrum when he came on but on a day when the Sharks physically outmuscled the Lions in every facet we give this ward to the Sharks number 3.

4. Cobus Wiese (Stormers)
The young lock had a busy game with eight carries and 12 tackles. He was also the Stormers’ main source of lineout ball.

5. RG Snyman (Bulls)
Snyman remains in a different league as ball carrying lock and he also doesn’t shy away from his defensive duties.

6. Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
Only played for half an hour but boy was it an impressive 30 minutes from the Bok skipper. Impressed with a dominant hit and a beautiful line-break in his short stint. Paul Schoeman was one of the few Bulls players who could leave Canberra with his head held high.

7. Jean-luc du Preez (Sharks)
The Sharks beat the Lions by being more physical than their opponents. Jean-luc leads the charge when it comes to the physicality – the flanker made 12 tackles and most of those were big, dominant hits. Hanro Liebenberg is another Bulls who deserves an honourable mention.

8. Jaco Coetzee (Stormers)
The Stormers number eight didn’t do everything perfectly but his effort on the day was immense! Gave his 110% whether it was carrying the ball, getting involved at the breakdown or defending. Dan Dup put in a solid shift as well.

9. Herschel Jantjies (Stormers)
Another live-wire showing from the Stormers scrummie. Warner and especially Cronje had sharp showings as well.

10. Curwin Bosch (Sharks)
After the Bulls brushed the Rebels aside on Friday Pollard was penned in as the best number ten for this week. Yet we are often very critical of Jantjies and on this ooccasion he had a cracker of a game against the Highlanders on Saturday and thus gets this selection based on a cracker-jack attacking effort from the Lions pivot who’s goal kicking was also flawless.

11. Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)
Strange thing to say but it was the Sharks winger’s impressive defensive efforts which sees him edge the classy Dillyn Leyds in this position. Mapimpi also earns himself the MVP award for this week.

12. Damian de Allende (Stormers)
DDA often takes a lot of stick from fans and critics alike but against the Highlanders he performed exactly like Rassie would want him to. Plenty of strong carries as is the norm but also broken the line on occasion whilst more pleasingly than that, his distribution game was a tough more prominent than usual.

13. Lionel Mapoe (Lions)
Put in a number of stinging runs which had the Sharks grasping at thin air.

14. Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks)
Dynamite with ball in hand, solid on defence and becoming proficient under the high ball. Another strong showing from the Sharks winger.

15. Aphelele Fassi (Sharks)
Willemse was very busy and involved but with some good things came the odd missed tackle. Fassi showed maturity beyond his years in a tidy performance at the back for the Sharks.

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