After the first-ever Super Rugby Pacific quarter-finals, Planet Rugby breaks down the main performers from an exciting weekend of rugby.
The Blues dominate the line-up after continuing their scintillating form while several Brumbies players feature after their spectacular victory over the Hurricanes.
Pacific Super Rugby Team of the Week
15 Tom Banks (Brumbies): The full-back was instrumental in the Brumbies’ spectacular win by charging in Salesi Rayasi’s spot-kick late in the game, forcing the winger into a cynical penalty on the ground that derailed the Hurricane before the Aussies don’t score the decisive try. Banks claimed his own try in one of his seven races. Josh Moorby and Does Jordan also performed well in test performances.
14 Tom Wright (Brumbies): The winger added to his total tries, taking his tally to nine, just one behind the top scorers in what has been a memorable season for Wright. The speedster made five tackles and earned a turnover in a critical contribution for the Canberra side, the only Australian team to advance to the semi-finals. Sevu Reece gets a mention after scoring a sublime try.
13 Rieko Ioane (Blues): The All Blacks continue to grow in the outside center role and produced a blockbuster performance in a venomous Blues backline. Ioane was instrumental in attack with two assists, covering just under 70 yards in nine runs. The 25-year-old is on his way to establishing himself as the most electric 13 in world rugby.
12 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Blues): As one of the most talked about players this season, the Tuivasa-Sheck code jump has finally produced the performance fans have been waiting for. The center scored his first try while playing an instrumental role in another. Performances like this justify the talk of an All Blacks call-up for the monstrous talented star.
11 Dylan Pietsch (waratahs): The Waratah grew in confidence throughout the season and produced a brilliant performance, including a superb acrobatic finish. Pietsch looks like a quality wing with good pace, breaking the line on one occasion while winning two turnovers. Philippe Daugunu played brilliantly for the Reds in a lost cause.
10 Beauden Barrett (Blues): The game leader has produced the merchandise yet again and is chosen ahead of the Crusaders star Richie Mo’unga, who scored 22 points. Barrett was at his best, scoring two tries and setting up another. The 31-year-old is thriving in a blistering Blues backline and has re-established himself as a top-flight Super Rugby Pacific playmaker.
9Brad Weber (Heads): The All Black scrum-half was sublime in the Chiefs’ win, scoring two tries in a generally charged performance. Weber’s performance was far above any other in his position, leading his team forward in a nearly flawless display.
8 Hoskins Sotutu (Blues): Number eight earns his selection thanks to his work rate. Sotutu made 12 tackles and earned a turnover carrying the ball nine times. The All Black found a new level of consistency and played a key role in linking forwards and backs, ultimately allowing the powerful speedsters to express themselves.
7 Luke Jacobson (Heads): The flank produced another strong performance in a very consistent season. Jacobson scored a try and made 12 runs. Moreover, the All Black’s defensive work rate was impressive, making 13 tackles en route to a solid win for the Chiefs.
6 Akira Ioane (Blues): The rugged flank announced his full return from injury with a powerful performance that included a try, set up by his brother Rieko, while carrying the ball 13 times. The dynamism in attack provided by Ioane is essential for the Blues in transition and the loose attacker has once again put his name in the hat of the All Blacks.
5 Josh Dickson (Mountaineers): The second line was one of the few shining lights for a well-beaten Highlanders team. Dickson had 13 tackles, nine carries and a turnover in a laborious performance. Waratah Ned Hanigan lost but produced a particularly industrious output.
4 Brodie Retallick (Heads): The veteran is apparently still featured in Teams of the Week due to the few mistakes he makes. Retallick had nine tackles, but his influence on the Chiefs’ attacking squad earned him a spot on the team of the week. The tight five is always more organized with the All Blacks in the fold.
3 Allan Alalatoa (Brumbies): The Brumbies captain had 11 tackles in a memorable victory for his team. Alaalatoa led the team brilliantly, keeping his players in the game until the very end. The prop’s defensive work rate was unmatched and justifies its selection.
2 Folau Fa’ainga (Brumbies): Fa’ainga scored a vital try off the back of a maul against the Hurricanes while providing solidity from set pieces. The hooker made six tackles in an impressive performance in a crucial knockout game to see Codie Taylor here.
1 George Bower (Crusaders): The prop showed incredible workrate, making eight tackles and stringing together six carries. At the time of the scrum, the Crusader were impressive and provided the platform for the team to jump in and get the job done against an overpowered Reds side. The All Blacks continue to grow in stature and will be one to watch for the semi-final.
READ MORE: Super Rugby Pacific highlights: Brumbies keep Australian title hopes alive with win over Hurricanes
The article Super Rugby Pacific Team of the Week: Brilliant Blues dominate selection as Beauden Barrett plays in quarters appeared first on Planetrugby.com.