The Highlanders' impressive win over the Crusaders in Dunedin at the weekend means they dominate our weekly selection, and with good reason.
The Highlanders provide seven members to our starting XV - with the Chiefs, Hurricanes and Stormers (two each) the only other teams to get more than one player in our team. The Reds and Bulls (one each) also manage to sneak in.
The Bulls are literally 'bubbling under', as they provide the bulk of our back-up squad.
They have five members in the 'Bubbling Under XV' - with the Waratahs next best at two. The Reds, Lions, Hurricanes, Western Force, Stormers, Highlanders, Chiefs and Sharks (one each) make up the numbers.
Just three players return from last week - flank Adam Thomson (Highlanders), along with locks Juandré Kruger (Bulls) and Eben Etzebeth (Stormers).
Team of the Week - Round Two:
15 - Robbie Robinson (Chiefs):
Probably one of the Chiefs' best buys. Yes, even more valuable than Sonny Bill Williams. At the Chiefs the promise Williams showed at the Highlanders will give him a chance of an All Black call-up.
Bubbling under: Zane Kirchner (Bulls)
14 - Cory Jane (Hurricanes):
The Hurricanes were always going to rely on the class of the few All Blacks they have left and last Friday Jane delivered in a big way.
Bubbling under: Akona Ndungane (Bulls)
13 - Conrad Smith (Hurricanes):
He doesn't always do the flashy stuff, but closer inspection will reveal his true value - in organising the attack and defence.
Bubbling under: Ben Tapuai (Reds)
12 - Phil Burleigh (Highlanders):
He epitomised what the Highlanders are all about - not too many big names, but plenty of heart.
Bubbling under: Tom Carter (Waratahs)
11 - Hosea Gear (Highlanders):
In a close game and a weekend of high quality wing play, Gear showed his ability to score crucial points. He is what they call a 'game-breaker'.
Bubbling under: Bjorn Basson (Bulls)
10 - Aaron Cruden (Chiefs):
He showed why he was first choice as Dan Carter's understudy at the World Cup and on current form it won't be long before he starts challenging for a regular starting spot in the All Black team.
Bubbling under: Elton Jantjies (Lions)
9 - Will Genia (Reds):
In some very testing conditions he showed his class - quality services and great decision making.
Bubbling under: Sarel Pretorius (Waratahs)
8 - Nasi Manu (Highlanders):
He is at the heart of what drives the Highlanders. His power and skill often keep the men from Dunedin on the front foot.
Bubbling under: Victor Vito (Hurricanes)
7 - John Hardie (Highlanders):
Against the star-studded Crusaders loose trio he put up his hand and played a huge role in the win.
Bubbling under: David Pocock (Western Force)
6 - Adam Thomson (Highlanders):
He was again involved in all aspects - carrying the ball, taking line-outs, off-loading in the tackle .... you name it.
Bubbling under: Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
5 - Juandré Kruger (Bulls):
Yes, there is Andries Bekker at the Stormers, but if people were worried about Victor Matfield's retirement, they can now rest assured. South Africa is well-served in this department.
Bubbling under: Nick Crosswell (Highlanders)
4 - Eben Etzebeth (Stormers):
And to think he is only 20? He is an astonishing force for such a young player.
Bubbling under: Craig Clarke (Chiefs)
3 - Chris King (Highlanders):
One of those unassuming players who just gets through a load of work, as well as doing the basics well.
Bubbling under: Werner Kruger (Bulls)
2 - Andrew Hore (Highlanders):
Doing what he has done for more than a decade of Super Rugby - giving his all and blasting holes in the opposition lines.
Bubbling under: Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks)
1 - Steven Kitshoff (Stormers):
Another of the Stormers' young guns (also just 20) who are putting up their hands in a forceful manner.
Bubbling under: Dean Greyling (Bulls)
Our individual selections!
Timmy Hancox XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Will Genia, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Chris King, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Benn Robinson.
Len Kaplan XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Tim Nanai-Williams, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Victor Vito, 7 John Hardie, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Will Genia, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 John Hardie, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Nick Crosswell, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nick Köster, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ben Franks, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Victor Vito, 7 John Hardie, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Chris King, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Dean Greyling.
Team of the Week, Round One: 15 Isaia Toeava (Blues), 14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), 13 Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), 12 Tim Bateman (Hurricanes), 11 Gio Aplon (Stormers), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Waratahs), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).
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