Super Rugby Team of the week
With Round 13 of Super Rugby done and dusted, SA Rugby.com looks at who stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes): Impressed in the Canes' win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Taylor scored a try and gained 146 metres on attack, with six defenders beaten. Gets in ahead of Israel Folau, who gave another polished display in the Waratahs' win over the Stormers.
14 Frank Halai (Blues): Scored a first-half hat-trick in the Blues' win over the Rebels and always looked dangerous with ball in hand. Apart from his try-scoring heroics, he also won 100 metres on attack with four defenders beaten. Reds speedster Rod Davies also shone with two well-taken tries against the Sharks.
13 Rene Ranger (Blues): He edges out his direct opponent from this round - Rebels centre Mitch Inman, who scored a brace of tries - but the All Black deserves his spot as he was once again a threat on attack throughout. His offload in the build-up to Francis Saili's try was reminiscent of Sonny Bill Williams at his best. Ranger also got in for a deserved try.
12 Anthony Faingaa (Reds): Scored a try and did well in the playmaker role against the Sharks. Also impressed on defence with 10 tackles made. Francis Saili of the Blues also impressed against the Rebels.
11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders): Scored a try and made 70 metres on attack in the loss to the Kings. Gear crossed the advantage line at will which is no mean feat against the Kings whose defence was back to its best after last week's horror show against the Waratahs. Force speedster Rory Dellit is unlucky to miss out after scoring two tries in his side's narrow loss to the Chiefs.
10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes): His performance played a huge part in the Hurricanes' win over the Cheetahs. Scored 24 of his side's 39 points via a try, five penalties and two conversions and pips Reds pivot Quade Cooper whose creativity played a big role in the his side's win over the Sharks.
9 Will Genia (Reds): So much of the Reds' success is down to him and he showed against the Sharks why he is widely regarded as the world's best scrum-half. Was the spark that lit the Queenslanders' attacks and his perfectly-weighted grubber kick which led to Rod Davies' first try will live on long in the memories of Reds supporters.
8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels): It was difficult to choose between Higginbotham and the Kings' Cornell du Preez, who was outstanding against the Highlanders. But in the end, Higginbotham gets the nod for leading from the front in the Rebels' narrow defeat to the Blues. Scored a try for his efforts and did well on defence.
7 Luke Watson (Kings): Gave easily his best performance of the season and was rewarded with two tries for his effort. As captain, Watson marshalled his troops well and also put his body on the line with 12 tackles. Sam Cane also caught the eye in the Chiefs' win over the Western Force.
6 Ed Quirk (Reds): Got through plenty of hard graft in his side's win against the Sharks. Quirk cleaned out the rucks with great intensity and made a big impact on defence with 13 tackles. Dave Dennis also did well for the Waratahs.
5 Andries Bekker (Stormers): Was immense in the tight exchanges for the Stormers in their defeat to the Waratahs. Bekker made 14 tackles and, as usual, was the visitors' go-to man at the line-outs, winning seven balls. He keeps out Chiefs second-rower Brodie Retallick, who had a good game against the Force.
4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes): Won the man-of-the-match award in his side's win over the Cheetahs after a solid all-round display. Did his basics well and even won a couple of turnovers which proved crucial in the end. He gets in a head of Stormers enforcer, Eben Etzebeth and his Waratahs counterpart Sitaleki Timani, whose duel was one of the highlights of their clash in Sydney.
3 Ben Afeaki (Chiefs): Another strong scrummaging performance from Afeaki was one of the Chiefs' biggest plus points in a close win over the Force.
2 Bandise Maku (Kings): Was used mostly as a battering ram but did it with great effect. This created gaps which team-mates like Watson and Du Preez exploited and resulted in the back-rowers scoring three of the Kings' four tries between them. Maku edges out Tatafu Polota-Nau, who impressed - especially in the tight exchanges - for the 'Tahs.
1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs): Was back to his rampaging best against the Hurricanes. Oosthuizen stood his ground in the scrums but was fearless on attack, scoring two tries in the process.
Compiled by David Skippers