Finally, a semi-decent weekend where we don’t look like we predict from cave drawings.
Round 3 was a history-making one with the Crusaders getting another result, the Rebels breaking a four-year New Zealand hoodoo, the Jaguares belting the Blues in Buenos Aires and the Sunwolves toppling the Chiefs.
Here are the players that took centre stage.
15. Will Jordan
Replacing David Havili, Jordan certainly made the most of his first Super Rugby start. One try, five clean breaks and 121 metres from 19 carries only tells part of his influence. At 21 years old he is a future All Black.
14. Jack Maddocks
Sunwolves flyer Gerhard van den Heever was very good but we’ve given the nod to Maddocks. He helped the Rebels to a famous win over the Highlanders, bagging a try in the process. Maddocks is thriving outside of Quade Cooper and Will Genia.
13. Jack Goodhue
Rebels centre Tom English crossed twice against the Highlanders, but just misses out for Goodhue. The Crusaders man showed great maturity against the Reds with strong ball carries, beautiful passing and excellent footwork.
12. Ngani Laumape
The All Black was near unstoppable as the Hurricanes destroyed the Brumbies. He claimed a hat-trick in a phenomenal solo display.
11. Ramiro Moyano
Moyana grabbed a brace as the Jaguares edged the Blues. A dangerous ball-runner, his second try was a special one.
10. Hayden Parker
For steering the Sunwolves to a historic victory, Parker gets the spot. He finished with 15 points and was the calm influence that got the job done. Hat-tip to Bulls fly-half Handre Pollard as well.
9. Will Genia
He might be 31 and in his 13th year as a professional, but it matters not. Age has not wearied Genia and the Port Moresby-born scrum-half is still the best No.9 the Wallabies have.
8. Duane Vermeulen
Just like Genia, the Bulls enforcer is a veteran that packs a punch. Another bullocking performance from the South African.
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit
Not a traditional open-side but it didn’t matter as he starred in the Stormers’ result against the Sharks. Just gets in ahead of the improving Sunwolves flanker Shuhei Matsuhashi.
6. Siya Kolisi
A really tough choice but the Stormers captain is a fine leader and never lets his team down. He makes our team ahead of the excellent Highlanders flanker Shannon Frizell.
5. Uwe Helu
At 193 centimetres and 115 kilograms, this Tongan-born, New Zealand-schooled forward is a beast. The Sunwolves lock was a workhorse in the Japanese outfit’s momentous victory.
4. Eben Etzebeth
The Springbok was at his usual pest-best for the Stormers, winning line-outs, skittling opponents and smashing ball-carriers. A player his team can’t do without.
3. Owen Franks
Led the Crusaders scrum to a complete demolition of the Reds pack at Suncorp Stadium. There are few more effective tight-heads in the world than this All Black.
2. Schalk Brits
There was some very stiff competition for the hooker position this week, as Rebels No.2 Anaru Rangi caught the eye and Dane Coles was brilliant for the Hurricanes. But the Stormers old boy Brits played like a man half his age and was simply sensational. A pure warrior.
1. Joe Moody
As the Crusaders rack up win after win after win, the impact of Moody cannot be underestimated. Along with fellow prop Franks, his scrummaging power is massive and his excellent hands keep the Crusaders’ attack flowing. He gets the spot, though Bulls prop Lizo Gqoboka also had a special weekend.