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 Gareth Anscombe (Chiefs) - Another 20 points for the champions' place-kicker, who is the number one marksman in the tournament so far. James O'Connor's talent was once again a highlight for Rebels fans.
14 Frank Halai (Blues) - Two more tries for the Blues flyer makes him the tournament's top try scorer. A mention too for Sampie Mastriet, who scored a fantastic try for the Bulls.
13 Rene Ranger (Blues) - Here's a guy who must be having second thoughts about his impending move overseas. An All Blacks call up is surely on the cards if Ranger keeps this kind of form up.
12 Frans Steyn Sharks A tough choice here as there weren't many eye-catching 12s. We turned to the stats and Steyn's name stood out above the rest not only for his tackle count (11) but almost the number of meters he gained with ball in hand. Robert Ebersohn also put his nose to the grindstone.
11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes) - Four line breaks made and five defenders beaten meant that Savea was -once again - one of the most dangerous players on view. A mention too for Blues try-scorer George Moala.
10 Sias Ebersohn (Force) - This was a tricky choice, especially considering Ebersohn didn't have a brilliant gajm defensively but his tactical kicking and his accuracy from the tee kept the visitors in the game at Loftus. Chris Noakes did well for the Blues.
9 Piri Weepu (Blues) - The vast majority of decisions made by the scrum-half were spot on against the Crusaders as he continued his strong start to Super Rugby 2013. Weepu has an excellent understanding of the game and thanks to his much-improved fitness this year, he is the only player to retain his place in our weekly selection.
8 Kieran Read (Crusaders) - One of Round Three's top tackles with 12 hits, the skipper was one of the few Crusaders' players that can hold his head high. He was all over the park in a tireless effort.
7 Luke Braid (Blues) - It was tough to leave out Michael Hooper following his all-action effort in Sydney, but Braid was that good against the Crusaders. He made fourteen tackles and made five offloads in what is an ever-improving back-row unit of number eight Peter Saili and the player below.
6 Steven Luatua (Blues) - He goes from strength to strength. The youngster, who won the Junior World Championship with New Zealand in 2010 and 2011 was again impressive on Friday. Luatua powered over from close-range and, against the experienced George Whitelock, edged his personal battle.
5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs) - Another big game from the Chiefs second rower who secured five clean line-out wins and made sure the Chiefs rucks were clean. It was his charge-down that set up Ben Afeaki's try. Pushing hard for an All Blacks starting berth.
4 Rob Simmons (Reds) - A first-ever Super Rugby try was just reward for Simmons, who also towered at line-out time with seven line-out takes. A mention too for Kane Douglas, who made loads of tackles and helped set up Bernard Foley's try.
3 Ben Afeaki (Chiefs) - A solid shift at the coal face from Afeaki, who made 12 tackles, was imposing at scrum time and rounded it all off with a try. Jannie du Plessis gets a mention for his scrummaging display in Durban.
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs) - The Wallaby hooker carried well, topping the metres-gained stats amongst the Waratahs forwards and was accurate with his line-out throwing so we'll forgive his yellow card, which was more of a sanction of the entire Tahs pack than Polota-Nau specifically.
1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks) - It's always handy to have a Beast in a dog fight. Dominant at scrum time, Durban's favourite loosehead carried well too. A mention for Benn Robinson.