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FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week 16

There was a serious shock in Suva and the umpteenth draw of 2019. The Jags kept rolling, the Sharks’ season was finally shattered in the Shark Tank and the Lions finally found their roar, inspired by their Kwagga. It was another smashing weekend of Super Rugby!

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

Chiefs vs Crusaders

The people of Fiji were royally entertained in this ten-try thriller. Suva was treated to some incredible tries, fantastic excitement, an almighty comeback and a serious shock result. If this is to be the normal script for games held at such a venue then – bring it on! This was a game that will be remembered for quite some time as the Chiefs shocked the Crusaders and did so in style.

BEST TRY OF THE ROUND

There were two beauties in Fiji. A set-piece Crusaders special which saw Ennor break the line before putting Seevu Reece away as well as a long distance break out for the Chiefs after a turnover when Alaimalo stretched his legs for a 70 meter run-in, swerving the last defender on route to the tryline.
Semi Masirewa was a highlight of his own as he first finished an individual effort as he outstripped the Brumbies cover defense to score and then turned creator from within his own territory (after a kick-return) as busted through a few tackles before feeding Booth to finish it for the Sunwolves.
But my try of the week goes to the Lions and Courtnall Skosan. The magic of this score was in the seesaw nature of its build-up. Firstly Kwagga Smith pounced on a loose ball in midfield and soon Tshituka, Lewies and Marx had combined to go charging deep into the Stormers 22. The visitors were able to execute a last-ditch tackle penalty and went for the adventurous option of taking the quick tap in the shadow of their own posts. This risky approach looked set to deliver dividends as the Stormers found some space and broke deep into their hosts territory only for a crucial pass to go astray. Quick interplay between Mapoe and Tshituka (again) saw the Lions return the ball all the way back in the other direction, with Skosan finishing it off on this occasion.

MVP

After a week where much was made of the Elton Jantjies issue and problems around leadership in the Lions ranks, Kwagga Smith did what he does best – play the game at 110% and lead from the front. The ex Sevens star scored two himself and had a hand in most things creative and attacking that came from the men in the Spiderman outfits. He also comfortably made the most tackles of anyone on the field!

SA TEAM OF ROUND 16

1. Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls)
Another busy, all-round performance from the Bulls loosehead.

2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
An incredible 70 meters was made by the robust Springbok hooker with ball in hand. Oh, and he also won a turnover.

3. Carlu Sadie (Lions)
Against his previous team mates Sadie clearly had a point to prove and boy did he make a statement. Absolute scrum domination was achieved by the ex Capetonian. He also got around the park to make eight tackles.

4. Stephan Lewies (Lions)
The Lions’ main source of lineout ball was also often on hand in open play to help create line breaks by his team.

5. RG Snyman (Bulls)
Won a crucial turnover for the Bulls in the Cornal Hendricks try and had another busy game.

6. Marco van Staaden (Bulls)
Van Staaden made two valuable turnovers and was a constant, willing carrier in a game where the Bulls held their own in a tight, physical tussle.

7. Vincent Tshituka (Lions)
What a star performance from the flanker. Another of the Lions’ forwards who created issues for the defense every time he got involved as ball carrier. Sublime effort by Tshituka!

8. Kwagga Smith (Lions)
Take a bow captain Kwagga – what an incredible performance from our Player of the Week.

9. Ross Cronje (Lions)
The forgotten man of SA rugby had a good day out. He was sharp as ever behind the dominant Lions scrum and got the backline flowing with good service. Jantjies was good for the Stormers but missed a few important tackles around the ruck.

10. Shaun Reynolds (Lions)
No Springbok flyhalf, no problem. Reynolds slotted in flawlessly and had the Lions backline running like a well-oiled machine.

11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions)
A grand total of 100 meters made from ten ball carries with 2 clean breaks, Rassie Erasmus will be smiling that his dynamite winger is starting to hit his straps.

12. Harold Vorster (Lions)
The Vorster-Mapoe combination had four clean breaks between them as they cut the Stormers’ defensive line to shreds.

13. Lionel Mapoe (Lions)
Mapoe is starting to find his best form (also see above).

14. Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks)
In a losing cause Nkosi had a strong performance for the Sharks. Making more than 50 meters with the ball and beating six defenders it certainly wasn’t the fault of the Sharks’ back three that they came up short against the Hurricanes.

15. Andries Coetzee (Lions)
A polished performance from the Lions fullback. Used his boot well when needed and played an important role in the Lions finally finding some good attacking rhythm and running in 6 tries.

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