Super Rugby: Team of the Week
With Round Two of Super Rugby done and dusted, SA Rugby.com looks at who stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
Without further ado, here comes our offering - be sure to add your team selections to the comments section.
15 Charles Piutau (Blues) - Was sensational with ball in hand, making an incredible 166 metres on attack. The former New Zealand Sevens speedster's surges from the back put his side on the front-foot and he scored a deserved try for his efforts.
14 Kade Poki (Highlanders) - Stood out as one of the Highlanders' best players, making 115 metres and scored a fine solo try. Also, worked well in tandem with Hosea Gear and Ben Smith as part of a back-three which should wreak havoc during the rest of the competition.
13 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs) - Caught the eye with some telling breaks and crossed the whitewash twice. Showed a tremendous burst of speed with his first five-pointer and, although he missed a crucial tackle which led to Poki's try, gave an assured display on defence despite playing out of position.
12 Francis Saili (Blues) - Showed great physicality which the Hurricanes had difficulty dealing with. Saili's direct style proved successful as he gained 80 metres with seven defenders beaten and two line breaks.
11 Sergeal Petersen (Kings) - The teenager made a sensational debut, bagging a brace of tries. His second was pure class as he handed off two defenders on his way to the try-line. Petersen also showed tremendous guts on defence making 11 tackles.
10 Morne Steyn (Bulls) - Was back to his best after going off the boil during the latter part of 2012. Steyn dictated proceedings and varied his play well which seemed to surprise the Stormers. Also gave a perfect goal-kicking display which saw him succeeding with seven out of seven shots at goal.
9 Piri Weepu (Blues) - Solid performance against the Hurricanes from a player who has plenty to prove this season. The veteran guided his younger back-line team-mates well. His slick service was the launchpad for several of the Blues' attacks and he also gave an accomplished goal-kicking display.
8 Jacques Engelbrecht (Kings) - Put your hand up if you'd heard of this guy before this weekend. Engelbrecht came on in the first half as a replacement for Luke Watson and played a huge role in his side's win over the Western Force. He stood out on attack, beating nine defenders, and put in a solid defensive display. Just beats out Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen who gave another polished performance in his side's win over the Rebels.
7 Sam Cane (Chiefs) - Showed why he is currently viewed as the heir apparent to Richie McCaw's All Blacks jersey. Worked hard in the tight-loose, playing the scavenger's role to perfection, winning two crucial turnovers. Also led on defence for the champions with 19 tackles against the Highlanders.
6 Ed Quirk (Reds) - Has been a revelation since coming into the team as Scott Higginbotham's replacement. Quirk thrives on doing the dirty work while other players revel in the platform which this creates. He just edges out Marcell Coetzee, who impressed in the Sharks' win over the Cheetahs.
5 Josh Bekhuis (Highlanders) - Stood out as a ball-carrier and also put his body on the line on defence in a losing cause.
4 Craig Clarke (Chiefs) - Impressed as his team's enforcer. His leadership qualities will be missed when he leaves the champions to join Connacht at the end of the season.
3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks) - The rock on which the Sharks' scrum is built. Du Plessis had another good day at the office as his side destroyed the Cheetahs in the set-piece and he also put in a high work-rate in the tight-loose.
2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies) - Underlined his value to his side with some bullocking runs and also stood out in the set-pieces where his accurate line-out throwing was particularly impressive.
1 Pek Cowan (Western Force) - Another big game from a player who continues to improve in leaps and bounds. Scored a deserved try against the Kings, and kept on trying when things fell apart for the Force in the second half.
By David Skippers