Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
3 minute read
29 May 2017
3:57 pm

Lions and a rookie winger star in our Super Rugby XV of the week

Rudolph Jacobs

When a team wins by 40 points with 14 men, those players surely deserve most of the credit in our selection, or what?

Kwagga Smith was everywhere against the Kings. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images.

The Lions were so dominant at the weekend that they easily beat the Kings despite playing with only 14 men.

It’s little wonder then that they are also the key contributor to our Super Rugby team of the week.

But to add a little sprinkling of variety, a few stalwarts from the others are also rewarded.

15 – Andries Coetzee (Lions)

The consistent fullback showed why he’s been included in the Springbok squad by delivering another performance brimming with attacking intent.

He ran an astonishing 173m, beating 7 defenders in the process and making 3 clean breaks.

14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers)

The little winger was a standout performer in a very game for the Capetonians.

He was the one man to consistently trouble a tight Sharks defence and defended bravely.

13 – Lionel Mapoe (Lions)

He was, naturally, a huge presence on the attack and sometimes glided through gaps with the greatest of ease.

However, Mapoe was a revelation as a defender against the Kings, completing an immense 14 tackles and even creating a turnover.

12 – Burger Odendaal (Bulls)

Is this consistent performer being punished by not being selected for any of the national side because he’s playing in a struggling side?

11 – S’bu Nkosi (Sharks)

A new star has been born.

The former Junior Springbok’s stock keeps rising as he not only scored a beautiful individual try but showed a big appetite for work.

That’s essential for any modern winger.

10 – Elton Jantjies (Lions)

It says much for his maturity this season that he hasn’t played a bag game in ages.

9 – Cobus Reinach (Sharks)

He controlled play well by varying his tactics.

8 – Warren Whiteley (Lions)

The new Bok captain was his reliable self and kept his troops composed after Robbie Coetzee’s red card.

Immovable on defence once again.

7 – Oupa Mohoje (Cheetahs)

For once, he didn’t only have to show off his stern defending but was allowed to show his more creative abilities too.

6 – Kwagga Smith (Lions)

What a magnificent performance from the Blitzboks star.

The diminutive flanker was absolutely everywhere, running 135m to score two tries and making an incredible 18 tackles.

And don’t forget what a menace he was at the breakdowns.

5 – Franco Mostert (Lions)

It’s surely official now: he’s the best lock in this year’s tournament.

4 – Ruan Botha (Sharks)

He was a big presence in the collisions, providing the grunt any side needs against the type of lock pairing the Stormers boasts.

3 – Ruan Dreyer (Lions)

He’s helped cushioned the blow of losing Julian Redelinghuys to such an extent that he’s not even missed anymore.

Scrummed well, ran freely and made 11 tackles.

2 – Malcolm Marx (Lions)

Wow is the only word to describe his performance.

The Bok hooker came on for just over 40 minutes after his side’s red card and flourished.

He almost immediately scored a try, pierced a gap, made 8 tackles and created 4 turnovers.

Who needs a fetcher if you have this man?

1 – Jacques van Rooyen (Lions)

He’s really come into his own this season after a slow(ish) start.

Click here for last week’s XV. 

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