Super Rugby XV of the Week
With Round Seven 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 send in your own 15-1 team selections.
15 Israel Folau (Waratahs): For the second week running, the Rugby League convert produced a solid all-round performance against the Western Force on Sunday - highlighted by several genuine linebreaks (making 104m in the process), assurance under the high ball and effective defence.
14 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes): The Hurricanes looked rather sluggish against the Kings, but not this guy. Leiua was as energetic as ever, pouncing on anything loose and scored an opportunistic try that took the wind from the Kings sails.
13 Richard Kahui (Chiefs): An impressive return to the Chiefs starting line-up for the All Blacks utility back. Kahui looked dangerous with the pill in hand, breaking numerous tackles as he surged for the line and kept the door shut on the Blues attack. Oh, and he scored a vital try too.
12 Christian Lealiifano (Brumbies): Really proved his mettle in pressure situations having missed just once from his six attempts at goal, with the last of them winning the game for the Brumbies in extra time. Mention too for Waratahs centre Rob Horne, who made a whopping 18 tackles against the Force in Sydney.
11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders): Once again, Gear was the top performer in a losing cause for the winless Highlanders. Unlike his Super Rugby franchise, the All Blacks winger has certainly done his reputation little harm after once again creating lots of problems for the opposition with ball in hand. And yes, he scored again.
10 Tyler Bleyendaal (Crusaders): Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder commented in the week building up to this game to "keep an eye on this bloke." Oh how the Stormers wish they had listened. Dan Carter's stand-in led his team around the paddock superbly, showing deft touches in his tactical play and in the end was responsible for 14 of his side's 19 points in an accomplished man-of-the-match performance.
9 Will Genia (Reds): Helped steer the Reds to a historic win over the Highlanders in Dunedin. It was also the first time the Queenslanders managed to bank a four-try bonus point, which just goes to show that the 2011 champions function better with Genia around. This little genius is the rudder around which the Reds revolve.
8 Jake Schatz (Reds): Tough choice, but in the end we went with the Reds number eight who made quite a nuisance of himself against the Highlanders at the base of the scrum and in loose play. If there was a ruck to be cleaned out, Schatz was there. His defensive work and pilfering abilities also proved vital for the Reds, while he also added his name to the scoresheet in the first half.
7 Matt Todd (Crusaders): A tireless effort from the Crusaders' loosie. Todd made the most metres with ball in hand, put in the second highest tackles on defence and scored a try for his efforts. He just seems to get better and better with every game played - expect to see him in a black jersey soon.
6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes): Made a telling impact on attack for the 'Canes, and proved just why he's been earmarked for a big future in New Zealand. The barnstorming blindside flanker's try with 15 minutes to play sealed the deal for his team and ended the Kings' gallant challenge.
5 Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders): Conquered the Stormers' own Mount Everest ala Andries Bekker by pinching four line-out balls for the Crusaders. Like a fine red wine, Whitelock just keeps getting better with age - and he's only 24!
4 Steven Sykes (Kings): Worked hard under the radar at the 'Cake Tin'. The former Sharks and Leinster second-rower was a vital cog in the Kings engine room in the New Zealand capital, and his try early in the first half was an early warning sign to the 'Canes that the Kings weren't there to simply make up numbers.
3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs): Granted he only played half the match, but his powerful impact off the bench saw Tameifuna score a crucial try whilst he also got stuck in on defence - making 10 tackles. Not bad for a replacement front-rower.
2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs): Ticked all the right boxes in attack, defence and his line-out throwing. Simply inspirational in leading the Cheetahs to a record fourth consecutive win in Super Rugby.
1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders): Showed his versatility and value in the front row after switching to tighthead after Owen Franks left the field with a rib injury in the 10th minute. The All Black made sure the Crusaders scrum didn't take a step backwards though and remained solid against a physical Stormers pack.