FULL-TIME: Who and What Stole the Show – Super Rugby Week2

Here’s what we as rugby fans should be talking about next to the water cooler on Monday…our weekly round-up of the weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby action or should we say drama.


Crusaders vs Hurricanes

Missing Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea, it was always going to be a tough task for the Hurricanes to come to the hallowed grounds of the Crusaders and escape with an unlikely victory. The hosts were ruthlessly efficient in putting the game to bed in the first half, but to their credit the Canes kept their heads up and finished strong with the game ultimately delivering ten tries.


Hands down this goes for the legs up (and ball out the back) effort of Manasa Mataele of the Crusaders who managed to just about stay in field and remain in control of the movement of his body to get an audacious offload away for Richie Mo’unga to run in a fantastic try. Gcobani Bobo nicely described this effort as the “around the world chicken wing”.

Marty Banks gets an honourable mention for his great running line off an inside ball which saw him slice open the Chiefs defence for a 50-meter score of beauty. Gerhard van den Heever also scored from a beautifully crafted lineout set-play.


He might have ended on the losing side but his team’s fate would surely have been known a whole lot earlier than the 80th minute had it not been for the impressive return of Kwagga Smith! He might not look like a big bruising rugby player but boy is he explosive and pound-for-pound there are few tougher.


1. Dylan Smith (Lions)
Another strong effort from the young loosehead who had the measure of Springbok incumbent, Frans Malherbe in Cape Town.

2. Akker van der Merwe (Sharks)
The lineouts weren’t as smooth as they could be but his work around the park remains immense.

3. Coenie Oosthuizen (Sharks)
Welcome back big man! He did his job in the scrum and was very active as ball carrier. Trevor was also impressive for 40 minutes against the Jags.

4. Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)
Another DHL Stormer who wasn’t on the park all that long but boy did he make an impact in the time that he was. When Eben unleashes the vulgarities I would run in the other direction.

5. Lood de Jager (Bulls)
In a scrappy game in wet conditions in Argentina the lineout general was good at his primary duty as well as leading from the front as ball carrier.

6. Ruan Steenkamp (Bulls)
Stoney was indeed rock-hard for the Bulls. In difficult conditions he never stopped pouring his heart and soul into everything he did.

7. Kwagga Smith (Lions)
The Kwagga was back with a bang, performing like a stallion as the Stormers had little answer for coping with the flanker when he had ball in hand.

8. Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
Donned the no.7 jumper in South America but was slotting in at the back of the scrum on most occasions. Not an immense effort but was solid on defence, did his thing as carrier and was his usual nuisance at the breakdown at times as well. Whiteley was also influential for the Lions in the time he was on the park.

9. Herschell Jantjies (Stormers)
Only on the field for just over 20 minutes, but boy what an impact he had sniping over to secure that dramatic home victory.

10. Robert du Preez (Sharks)
Good solid showing in all aspects from the Sharks pivot this week.

11. Makazola Mapimpi (Sharks)
Mapimpi was at his busy best on Saturday. The excitement machine seems to love his game, and so do we!

12. Burger Odendaal (Bulls)
On a bad day for the Bulls Odendaal kept running at the line and making those tackles.

13. Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
A bit quieter than last week but still another solid showing from the Sharks outside centre.

14. Gerhard van den Heever (Sunwolves)
Technically Van den Heever was far and away the most impressive South African right-winger of game week 2. He put in a number of lethal runs against the Waratahs in Tokyo. Cornal Hendricks would have been happy with his first outing for the Bulls as well.

15. Aphelele Fassi (Sharks)
A bit of a surprise to see the youngster retain his spot ahead of Bosch, but boy was it an impressive showing. There will be bigger tests ahead in terms of handling the high ball and showing a boot that can get his team out of trouble. For now though, he caught the eye with a few elusive runs and kept things tidy at the back as well.

Let us know below what you think of our team of the week and who you perhaps felt should have rather been here. Also join the conversation on Twitter with my new handle @HDiemont 

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