FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week 8

It was a jungle out there this past weekend. The Sharks pulled off a Lazarus-like return to form by dispatching Swys’ cubs in the concrete jungle whilst the Tahs were left singing the Blues.

Elsewhere the Bulls bashed and bullied their way to a 10-point lead with ten minutes to play but the young calves lost their way in the end and in Melbourne the Wolves were finally put down.


Highlanders vs Hurricanes

We’ve seen this movie so many times before. The opponents dominate territory and possession but ultimate the Hurricanes are just pure class in finishing whenever they sniff a half chance. The tension was also at serious levels for this one as the Canes had to hold off a five meter rolling maul at the death. The most impressive thing about this clash is how, unlike SA derbies, the quality of rugby in an all-Kiwi affair remains incredibly high.


The Brumbies scored a beauty when they played a smart move off a lineout in their own 22. The ball off the top was popped inside to Tony Pulu going at full tilt and he finally put Kuridrani in for the score. There was also a long-distance beauty created by a clean break from Bosch inside his own 22 before feeding Mapimpi for a scintillating score.


Curwin Bosch!!!! The big news in the past week has been the talk around Bosch’s future. The fullback further underlined his value with an electrifying performance as he created loads of opportunities for his team when attacking from the back. There are hardly more elusive, threatening attacking runners in SA Rugby than the talented Mr Bosch.


1. Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls)
He might not have been able to get his team over the line but few players had a bigger impact than the Bulls loosehead. The man had line breaks and ball carrying meters which would have left Duane Vermeulen and Jesse Kriel satisfied. Take a bow young man, the next Beast has well and truly arrived.

2. Kerron van Vuuren (Sharks)
The Sharks youngster had big boots to fill in the absence of Akker and despite not having the same type of impact as ball carrier the replacement held his own and nailed his lineouts under enormous pressure.

3. Carlu Sadie (Lions)
It takes some doing to be able to come out of a hiding and still be able to hold your head high. Sadie matched the scrum and work rate effort of all of the SA number three’s and that despite being part of a team that got comprehensively out played.

4. Ruben van Heerden (Sharks)
Could we have witnessed a coming of age performance from the 21 year old – strong carries, good defence and took the lineouts that came his way.

5. Marvin Orie (Lions)
Hyron Andrews was on hand for a great clean break but Orie deserves credit for making an incredible 20 tackles on a tough night for the Lions – he was also the primary source of lineout ball and never faltered in this regard.

6. Luke Stringer (Sharks)
The Sharks went the route of having the big Stringer in the number 6 jumper and he did his duties to a tee. A few good carries but more importantly strong defensive work.

7. Jannes Kirsten (Bulls)
It shows the depth at looseforward for South African rugby that there were a number of contenders in this category. Another game and another 120% effort from Jacques Vermeulen who emptied the tank both on attack and defence. Kobus van Dyk deserves a mention for his efforts in a losing cause as well but Kirsten gets the nod for matching these others on a day when many around him weren’t at their best. With two clean breaks and 12 tackles the Bulls’ big rig gets the nod.

8. Dan du Preez (Sharks)
Becoming a familiar face in our weekly team. Dan Dup brings the physicality that is crucial to the way the Sharks play the game and his ball carrying ability knows no end.

9. Louis Schreuder (Sharks)
Another tidy performance from the Sharks skipper who steered his team around the park well.

10. Rob du Preez (Sharks)
Took a lot of flak last week but his distribution game was sharp on this occasion.

11. Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks)
Finished with aplomb when asked to do so and a constant presence on attack.

12. André Esterhuizen (Sharks)
There is no need to look any further than the Sharks centre pair. Esterhuizen did his part as carrier (17 carries from the big centre) whilst Am was his usual self, distributing well and made some good half-breaks and putt his outside players into space when the opportunity was there to do so. Burger Odendaal deserves an honourable mention as well.

13. Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
See above.

14. Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks)
The old man was full of running and had a performance to be proud of. Tyrone Green came out of a tough day at the office with plenty to be proud of as well.

15. Curwin Bosh (Sharks)
Our MVP for this round of Super Rugby.

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