Team of the Week: Round 14

Author
Nigel Yalden,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 23 May 2018, 4:17PM
Toby Smith was the best of an unimpressive group of looseheads. (Photo / Getty)
Toby Smith was the best of an unimpressive group of looseheads. (Photo / Getty)

More losses than wins for the New Zealand franchises against overseas opposition highlighted the fourteenth week of Super Rugby.  The Hurricanes way-to-close-for-comfort win was outweighed by losses for the Highlanders (here endeth the streak) and Chiefs, while the Crusaders were too good for the Blues in the latest NZ derby.  Radio Sport Rugby Editor Nigel Yalden got himself side tracked over the last two day, hence here is an abridged Team of the Week:

1 Toby Smith (Hurricanes) was the best, though I wasn’t overly impressed with the combined efforts of the looseheads this week

2 Codie Taylor (Crusaders) maintained his good form

3 Jeffrey To’omaga-Allen (Hurricanes) was solid and busy

4 Tom Franklin (Highlanders) was one of the few good ones for the Landers in Sydney Saturday night

5 Tyler Ardron (Chiefs) stepped up even more in the absence of Brodie Retallick

6 Luke Jacobson (Chiefs) was occasionally rough, but competitive and unrelenting through the 80 minutes in Durban

7 Dalton Papali’I (Blues) out Matt Todd-ed Matt Todd … takes some doing that

8 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders) produced another excellent all round performance

9 Bryn Hall (Crusaders) is best wet weather halfback in the country

10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) was most consistent of the bunch

11 Rieko Ioane (Blues) – I mean dang!  What a performance to see him earn Back of the Week & Russell Westbrook Stat Line of the Week honours, the latter with 8 carries, 78 metres gained, 9 defenders beaten, 9 tackles, 4 clean line breaks, 2 offloads, 2 tries, 2 try assists and a partridge in a pear tree

12 Sonny Bill Williams (Blues) was outstanding; Jack Goodhue (Crusaders) not far behind after moving one spot following yet another Ryan Crotty head knock

13 Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs) was solid & dependable as usual; good leadership too

14 Sean Wainui (Chiefs) got himself involved heaps and has a very deft set of skills

15 Michael Collins (Blues) showed what the Blues have been missing with some fine play after replacing the injured Matt Duffie on Saturday night

Selection criteria: Must play for a NZ franchise but does not have to be eligible for All Blacks

NIGEL YALDEN IS RUGBY EDITOR FOR RADIO SPORT & NEWSTALK ZB

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