Michael Cheika has announced his team to take on Fiji in the Wallabies’ opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
We are getting to the business end of the season and this round we saw the Rebels embarrassed, the Brumbies truimphant, the Jaguares dominant once more, the Stormers victorious and the Bulls and Highlanders share the spoils.
These are the players that made their mark.
15. David Havili
Never seems to make a mistake and is just a class act. Also a brilliant kicker. More All Blacks caps are surely on the way. Emiliano Boffelli was also electric for the Jags and is very unlucky to miss out.
14. Braydon Ennor
Grabbed a hat-trick and only a dodgy, bouncing ball stopped him getting a fourth meat-pie. Ennor dominated Jack Maddocks in defence all night and was lethal with the ball in his hands.
13. Samu Kerevi
In probably his last game in Brisbane before heading to Japan, Kerevi was all-class once more. The Fijian is literally able to get an offload away every time he is tackled. Just a pure beast. Ryan Crotty was also eye-catching for the Crusaders in his 150th game.
12. Ngani Laumape
Scored one try and almost had another against the Lions. The Hurricanes centre was a real handful and is the best Kiwi inside centre in the comp.
11. Sevu Reece
Just a hat-trick for the flying Fijian, which included a brilliant chip and chase five-pointer. A match-winner.
10. Richie Mo’unga
Got his backline ticking beautifully and set up a handful of tries with his deft kicks and smart passes. Not flashy, but very talented.
9. Augustine Pulu
Bagged two tries and would have three, if not for a TMO call. Pulu was brilliant for the Blues, dangerous running the ball and his service was great. Set Suncorp alight.
8. Scott Higginbotham
A double was a fitting way for Higginbotham to sign off from Suncorp. A skillful forward who knows how to find his way to the try-line. He gets in just ahead of Stormers forward Jaco Coetzee.
7. Ardie Savea
Came on and changed the game with his presence and enthusiasm. Stole some vital ball and set up a try as well.
6. Pablo Matera
Another big display from the Argentine blindside who has been exceptional this season.
5. Marcos Kremer
A key part of the Jaguares constant success. Kremer is a real workhorse who always gets his hands dirty and delivers come set-piece time.
4. Rory Arnold
Led from the front against the Waratahs and physically imposed himself against the opposition.
3. Alan Alaalatoa
Dominated his opposition with strong scrummaging and brutal defence. Another Brumby who stood out.
2. Dane Coles
Just two tries off the bench for Coles, who has taken the hooking role to new levels. His skills are like that of a 10, and he has the rugby brain to match.
1. James Slipper
Has been an integral cog in a terrific Brumbies campaign. Once again Slipper caught the eye as the ACT out-muscled and out-maneuvered the Waratahs.