Posted by http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3824_37398,00.html on March 17, 2015
Now that the dust has settled after Round Five of Super Rugby, we select the players that stood out over the weekend.
With the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Crusaders impressing over the weekend, this week's XV has a Kiwi flavour while the table-tapping Brumbies feature in the front row.
Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round Five
15 Nehe Milner-Skudder (Hurricanes): Remember this name! In his first Super Rugby start, the Manawatu full-back put in an eye-catching performance against the Blues, making almost 150m with ball in hand and playing a role in setting up two of the Hurricanes' tries. It'll be tough to get the 'Canes 15 shirt off his back now. Mentions too for Mike Harris and Lolagi Visinia, who both scored tries.
14 Waisake Naholo (Highlanders): One of the form players of the tournament so far, the Highlanders speedster once again impressed with his power running. Naholo scored is second try of the year and beat four defenders while making nearly 100m with ball in hand.
13 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs): Brilliant at Newlands, Nanai-Williams made five clean breaks and beat eight defenders to notch up 155m going forward as the Chiefs backs turned up the pace.
12 Mitch Inman (Melbourne Rebels): A big defensive shift from the Rebels centre with 13 tackles against the Force. He also helped set up a try. A mention too for Frans Steyn, who scored a try in Bloemfontein.
11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes): You really need this guy in your fantasy league team! The All Black wing touched down twice having made five clean breaks. Kudos must also go to James Lowe and Patrick Osborne for their try-scoring efforts.
10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs): Under pressure after a slow start to the season, this was Cruden's best performance so far as he guided his team to victory over a previously unbeaten Stormers side in Cape Town. 18 points, including a try, in a top-notch effort.
9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks): There was certainly no shirking from the hard work by the Sharks scrum-half, who topped the tackle count against the Cheetahs and helped set up a try.
8 Kieran Read (Crusaders): Made his first appearance of the season for the seven-time champions and fitted in seamlessly as they secured a hard-fought victory over the Lions in Christchurch. The All Blacks stalwart made 44 metres on attack, with one clean break, four offloads, won turnover and was rewarded with a try for his efforts.
7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks): The Springbok tearaway was in fine form as his side returned to the victory trail against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein. Coetzee scored a brace of tries and almost had a third but it was disallowed due to an infringement in the build-up. He also did well on defence with 13 hits. He comes in ahead of the Chiefs' Sam Cane.
6 Sean McMahon (Melbourne Rebels): The young Wallaby delivered a fine all-round performance as his side claimed a narrow win over the Western Force in Perth. McMahon was a willing ball carrier, gaining 53 metres, with one clean break, three defenders beaten and also won a turnover. It was on defence that he made his biggest impact, however, with 23 tackles made and he also did his bit at the line-outs with three takes.
5 Steve Mafi (Western Force): The big Tongan international continued where he left off in Round Four with another impressive effort against the Rebels and makes our team for the second week in a row. Mafi gained 73 metres on attack, with a clean break, two turnovers and an offload. Also won three line-outs and beats out Sam Whitelock who impressed on his return for the Crusaders.
4 Tom Franklin (Highlanders): Comes into our side at number four despite wearing the number five jersey for the men from Dunedin. Worked tirelessly at the coalface of his side's forward effort in their win over the Waratahs and scored a try in the process. Made a big impact on defence as well with 14 tackles.
3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies): Another player who makes our team for the second consecutive week after a solid display against the Reds. Alexander did his basic duties well and went over the whitewash for two deserved tries. Beats outVincent Koch of the Stormers.
2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies): The Brumbies captain led his troops well and also scored a try in a one-sided win over the Reds. Also impressed in the tight phases, with a strong scrummaging display and accurate throw-ins at the line-outs. Dane Coles also impressed for the Hurricanes.
1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders): Was singled out for special praise by his coach Todd Blackadder and rightly so after a dominant display in the scrums against the Lions. Crockett destroyed his opposite number Julian Redelinghuys at the set-piece and also caught the eye on defence with 11 hits.