The Reds were the stars of the Australian Super Rugby clubs at the weekend but there were some impressive performances from the Rebels and Brumbies, too.
Here’s who starred in round 11.
1. JP Smith – Reds
A stellar first start for the Reds, filling the sizeable hole left by interim captain James Slipper. Set the tone with a rolling maul try in the second minute and followed that with elite scrummaging and some surprisingly elusive carries.
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Reds
Paenga-Amosa was a workhorse around the field and had the Reds lineout humming, making for an eye catching afternoon.
3. Taniela Tupou – Reds
Tupou showed a different side to his game against the Lions, dominating defensively and once again, at scrum time. There were a handful of dominant carries but it was a typical prop performance and Tupou excelled.
4. Rory Arnold – Brumbies
Arnold had a big impact for the Brumbies pack, both on and off the ball. He was easily ACT’s most effective elusive ball carrier and was the primary target at lineout time, too.
5. Kane Douglas – Reds
Douglas’ best performances are always understated and that was no different against the Lions. A lineout steal, six carries and nine tackles all formed part of a fine afternoon for the Reds veteran.
6. Angus Scott-Young – Reds
A monumental defensive effort from the rookie. Scott-Young amassed 19 tackles and still managed to put his hand up for a pair of carries, too.
7. Angus Cottrell – Rebels
In a match where just a handful of Rebels could hold their head high, Cottrell gave it everything he had. A performance which featured six tackles, eight determined carries and a line break was one of a player desperate to impress.
8. Caleb Timu – Reds
Timu played just 29 minutes before suffering an ankle injury but his intercept try and six carries were instrumental to Queensland’s 24-0 first half.
9. Ben Lucas – Reds
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Lucas has copped criticism for slow service at the breakdown since making the starting halfback job his own but he was much better against the Lions, providing sharp service for Hamish Stewart and playing a more prominent part in running the Reds attack.
10. Hamish Stewart – Reds
Stewart’s first start was one which showed he is more than capable of running the Reds’ attack. He kicked with care, split the line and threw just one ill advised pass. A star of the very near future.
11. Sefa Naivalu – Rebels
Naivalu was a late inclusion in the Rebels starting XV when Jack Maddocks succumbed to a foot injury on game day but he nabbed a double, busted four tackles and had two line breaks in a stellar performance.
12. Samu Kerevi – Reds
Another week, another team of the week entry for Kerevi. The star centre busted five tackles from his five runs but it was a performance which brought his outside backs to the fore, an element he has struggled with to date. An eye catching 15 tackles helps, too.
13. Tevita Kuridrani – Brumbies
Kuridrani was one of the only Brumbies backs that posed a threat to the Crusaders line.
14. Henry Speight – Brumbies
Speight was ACT’s best player, scoring a superb try to open the Brumbies’ account before breaking six tackles, making 64 metres and busting the line three times from his nine runs.
15. Tom Banks – Brumbies
Banks is starting to find his feet again, having been dropped earlier this season. A performance which featured seven runs for 23 metres, a tackle bust and a line break showed Banks is almost back to his best.