After suggesting last week’s qualifying final was one of the best Australian derby games in years, it’s only fair to note that Saturday night’s final topped it in exactly the way you would hope.
This round we had the Rebels on fire, the Brumbies notching an important win, the Crusaders staying calm and the Jaguares sinking the Tahs in Sydney.
This is the team of the week:
15. David Havili – Continues to shine brightly at the Crusaders.
14 Ramior Moyano – Just the two tries for the Argentine in Sydney. He has pace to burn and knows how to find his way to the line.
13 Tevita Kuridrani – Scored a handy hat-trick in the Brumbies win over the Bulls. Ran some great lines, supported well and made an impact. Back to his best form.
12 Damian De Allende – Was sensational for the Stormers, a constant threat with his passing and running game.
11 Marika Koroibete – Grabbed a double for the Rebels and was full of running and tackle busts.
10 Richie Mo’unga – Faced some adversity but showed his class with a cool and at times magical display for Canterbury.
9 Michael Ruru – Came off the bench and was very impressive for the Rebels. Scored a try and set up Jack Maddocks for another. An excellent cameo.
8 Pita Gus Sowakula – Got through a tonne of work for the Chiefs and touched down for a five-pointer as well.
7 Matt Todd – Another Kiwi flanker in fine form, he was scintillating for the Crusaders.
6 Sam Cane – The Chiefs skipper was pivotal for his team as he pilfered at the breakdown and was energetic in defence.
5 Sam Whitelock – Leading the way for the best team in the competition. Might be 30 but seems to be getting better with each year.
4 Patrick Tuipulotu – Was a demon in defence for the Blues. The All Black was on song again this season.
3 Nepo Laulala – The tighthead rose to the occasion and kept the Crusaders scrum together.
2 Folau Fainga’a – The Brumbies rake edged a tough battle with Schalk Brits. Was effective at both scrum time and lineout time, and did not shirk an inch.
1 Joe Moody – The loosehead was just as busy as Laulala. He certainly made his presence felt in Christchurch as the Blues were overpowered.