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FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week 5

In a weekend where we saw one draw and two further matches where the deadlock was only broken on the hooter there is plenty to talk about after yet another exhilarating weekend of Vodacom Super Rugby.

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

Sunwolves vs Reds

The Sunwolves were at their entertaining best for the most parts of the first half against the Reds in Singapore. Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco kept offering himself as effective barnstorming ball carrier whilst Booth, Parker, Little and Van den Heever were key players in executing their fast, slick total running game which often had the Aussies grasping at thin air. In a thrilling final 20 or so minutes the Reds came charging back into the contest and dramatically snatched the victory with a try and a penalty in the final five minutes.

Of course, had you switched from Super Rugby to Six Nations you would have witnessed one of the greatest games of two halves ever witnessed in the competition as Scotland fought back from a 31-5 half time deficit.

BEST TRY OF THE ROUND

Sam Johnson scored a screamer for the Scots and Ali Price with a beautiful chip and chase from scrumhalf also set up a score to remember. Quade Cooper’s try after a long-distance counter form the Rebels was a particularly memorable effort. Yet Kwagga Smith’s break before putting Skosan away takes the cake for us.

MVP

This might be a piece based mostly on Super Rugby but there was no bigger star in rugby union over the past weekend than Finn Russell. The Scots incredibly came back from trailing 31-0 after half an hour at Twickenham and Russell was the main catalyst for the comeback. The flyhalf intercepted and scored himself off an Owen Farrell pass. But apart from that also used a beautifully floated long pass that led to Darcy Graham’s second try as well as two other neat inside balls which had tries as their end result. Truly a performance of pure class.

SA TEAM OF ROUND 5

1. Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)
A great first game back for the strong and industrious red head.

2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
Another step toward getting to his absolute barnstorming best.

3. Frans Malherbe (Stormers)
Known to be a strong scrummager it was his work around the park, with ball in hand, that really impressed against the Jaguares.

4. Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)
Eben barely made it to half time before crying off with injury. Yet the big enforcer had already completed nine tackles by this time and was a big part of the physical dominance that the home side were able to enjoy over the South Americans.

5. JD Schickerling (Stormers)
Tipped as a future Bok, Schickerling shows on a weekly basis why he is so highly rated as a promising youngster destined for a big future. Rules the lineouts and always gets himself over the advantage line. Defensively JD made an impressive 13 tackles.

6. Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
Schoeman had another strong game across the park but the Stormers skipper really led from the front. Kolisi was his normal self with strong carries and a great work rate. His 10 carries brought about 52 meters gained and the skip added 9 tackles to this effort.

7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers)
A go-to lineout option PSdT puts in a number of ball carries but even more impressively tackled himself to a stand-still.

8. Kwagga Smith (Lions)
There is a lot to be said of the fact that Kwagga wasn’t even at his best on the day and yet still made 89 running meters and put in 8 tackles. Smith was particularly lethal in his roaming ball-in-hand role in the second half.

9. Ross Cornje (Lions)
Bossed the game well for the Lions in the second half.

10. Damian Willemse (Stormers)
Jean-luc gave away three turnovers and missed the same amount of tackles. Under his stewardship the Stormers backline was stuttering and directionless. Jantjies gave away a simple intercept pass and the Springbok pivot needed to make better decisions in terms of when and where to launch attacks. Willemse added a touch more bite to the home side when he took over at 10 and thus gets the nod form us.

11. Courtnall Skosan (Lions)
The dreadlocked winger made three clean breaks against the Rebels and doesn’t need a GPS to find the tryline.

12. Damian de Allende (Stormers)
Hardly at his distributive and explosive best, surely also due to the Stormers lack of fluency on attack, the one thing you know De Allende will deliver on is ball carries. Tirelessly DdA carried the ball into contact for his team.

13. Wandisile Simelane (Lions)
Defensively he has a lot to learn, but remains a serious threat with ball in hand. Dan du Plessis was impressive for the Stormers as well.

14. Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves)
The Sunwolf is becoming a regular fixture in this team. Not his most eye-catching performance in terms of clean breaks and tries but its noticeable how big a role the winger plays in the Sunwolves team. Elusive to bring down and constantly looking to run onto weaker shoulders and keep the ball alive shows a player who has learnt the finer art to the game.

15. Tyrone Green (Lions)
Well what a debut it must have been for the youngster. First seemingly a mere spectator as five tries were notched up against his side but then contributing to the revival (he left 9 defenders in his wake) as the Lions made a miraculous turnaround after the break. A match he will remember for a very long time.

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