If you wanted an illustration of the talent on offer in the Eastern Cape, our team of the week provides that.
The Kings dominate our line-up.
15 – Coyi Banda (Kings)
He’s not a particularly big man, but the man from Border has always had a big heart.
In Sydney of all places, Banda chose to show how much skill goes with that determination.
4 defenders beaten, 3 clean breaks and a try underlined a superb showing.
14 – Makazole Mapimpi (Kings)
The future Cheetah continued to win friends at home and in Australia … and there are already many.
13 – Jesse Kriel (Bulls)
The Springbok is now definitely on an upward curve and regaining some form. His attacking prowess was crucial in the second half against the Cheetahs.
12 – Harold Vorster (Lions)
It’s incredible to think that the Lions aren’t missing the injured Rohan Janse van Rensburg.
Vorster has been outstanding since filling his teammate’s role, particularly impressing with his fine attacking skills. But he was also excellent on defence, making 10 tackles.
11 – Courtnall Skosan (Lions)
He wasn’t granted a lot of opportunities but Skosan’s work rate and ability to have a hand in important movements make him a key player in the Lions line-up.
10 – Lionel Cronje (Kings)
His purple patch as the string-puller of his side’s backline continues.
9 – Ross Cronje (Lions)
Cronje won’t always look in control but there’s no scrumhalf in South Africa that can scramble better under pressure. Defended well as always.
8 – Henco Venter (Cheetahs)
Quietly, the former Kovsies star has nailed down a place for him in Super Rugby.
He’s a strong ball carrier but it’s his hard tackling that marks him out as a good player.
7 – Ruan Ackermann (Lions)
Delivered arguably his best performance of the season to date.
The imposing flanker was a menace against the Jaguares and stood out in a mediocre team performance. He scored the winning try and completed a massive 15 tackles.
6 – Chris Cloete (Kings)
He’s weekly proving everyone who believes fetchers can’t make it in top class rugby wrong.
5 – Wilhelm van der Sluys (Kings)
What an astute loan signing this has been by the Kings. Loaned from Worcester Warriors in England due to an injury crisis, Van der Sluys has suddenly become indispensable to this team with his solid line-out jumping and robust defence.
4 – Andries Ferreria (Lions)
The burly lock is one of the Lions’ underrated performers this year.
3 – Aranos Coetzee (Cheetahs)
They breed them tough in Windhoek. The Namibian international scrummed superbly at Loftus and combined well with the rest of his front row.
2 – Mikey Willemse (Kings)
Busy day at the office, especially in broken play. He was also rewarded with a try and does the basics well.
1 – Justin Forwood (Kings)
He’s doing what many felt he couldn’t do at this age: replace regular captain Schalk Ferreira with aplomb.