Super Rugby Team of the Week: Round three

There were options aplenty for the second edition of the team of the week for 2018, with two Australian sides chalking up wins and the Waratahs securing a draw in Durban.

Here’s who stood out from the pack in round three.

1. Tetera Faulkner – Rebels

The Rebels scrum was rock solid against the Sunwolves and Faulkner played a big part in that, contributing around the park with a pair of carries and five tackles.

2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Reds

Paenga-Amosa beat Alex Mafi and Andrew Ready to the top job in Queensland and he has repaid Brad Thorn’s faith so far, starring for the Reds in their upset win over the Brumbies.

There were two lineouts lost of the Reds’ 12 throws but the scrum completely mauled the Brumbies pack and the 22-year-old was tireless around the park in accumulating seven tackles in defence and sticking his head in plenty of breakdowns.

In attack, his six runs produced 14 metres, a tackle bust and a clean break.

A find for the Reds if this form continues.

3. Taniela Tupou – Reds

Put the Reds’ dominant scrum down to the work of Tupou, too, who has come along in leaps and bounds at set piece since bursting onto the scene at Ballymore.

Once considered a weakness for the “Tongan Thor”, Tupou is now every bit a force at scrum time and that hasn’t curbed his explosive carries, palming his way to three tackle busts, a line break and an offload in seven runs which also produced 29 metres.

4. Izack Rodda – Reds

Rodda looked short of a run against the Rebels and that came to fruition against the Brumbies, as he returned to the kind of form that saw him force his way into the Wallabies’ best XV prior to shoulder surgery last year.

Wreaked havoc at lineout time, was thumping blokes in defence and put his hand up for four carries, which produced nine metres of go forward.

5. Adam Coleman – Rebels

Toyed with the Sunwolves lineout but also played a deft hand in attack which will largely go unnoticed.

Threw a few passes out the back as the Sunwolves prepared to crunch him, freeing up plenty of space for the backs playing outside him.

Coleman is a 204cm target with ball in hand so the more he can draw attention and get the ball out the back, the better.

6. Michael Wells – Waratahs

A shift to blindside flanker may be just what the doctor ordered for Wells who, along with his captain, was the primary source of go forward in Durban.

Wells amassed 25 metres from nine runs which also included two tackle busts but it was his work in defence – recording a team high 16 tackles without missing one – which caught the eye.

7. Michael Hooper – Waratahs

Another herculean performance from the Waratahs skipper.

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Scored a critical try in the second half, racked up 11 tackles and picked up 60 metres from his four runs.

8. Amanaki Mafi – Rebels

Mafi’s return to the nation he represents come Test time was a spectacular one.

A try and nine tackles capped off a performance which featured 12 runs for 69 metres, a tackle bust, two line breaks and an offload.

9. Will Genia – Rebels

Genia was, once again, masterful at the base of the breakdown for Melbourne.

He orchestrated two of the tries which helped the Rebels kick clear in the second half, creating space with pinpoint passes off the back of solid scrums for Sefa Naivalu and Jack Maddocks.

10. Jono Lance – Reds

Kicked the Reds to an upset win off the kicking tee and was unlucky to not create some tries, particularly in the first half, with Queensland bombing some half chances.

Was typically sturdy in defence and his kicking in general play kept the Brumbies under the pump, too.

11. Chris Feauai-Sautia – Reds

Queensland’s most damaging player with ball in hand.

Was hunting work infield all night and when he got his hands on the ball he was tough to bring down, busting a pair of tackles and making a break in five runs, which also produced 35 metres.

Put in a big shift in defence, too, making 11 tackles.

12. Reece Hodge – Rebels

Hasn’t had to carry as much workload due to an improved team around him but his decision making has been exemplary Genia and Jack Debreczeni.

It’s been an understated hand in attack, distributing to the backs outside him, but he has shown through the first fortnight that he’s more than capable at inside centre, even if it may not be his best position.

13. Samu Kerevi – Reds

Was back to his destructive best against the Brumbies, picking up three tackle busts and an offload from 12 tough runs at the coal face.

Defensive work is on the up, too, making nine of 10 attempted tackles.

14. Jack Maddocks – Rebels

Dave Wessels has a serious selection dilemma on his hands, with Maddocks the hat trick hero in Melbourne’s win over the Sunwolves.

He may not like playing there but Maddocks barely put a foot wrong.

With Marika Koroibete expected to return for the showdown with the Brumbies, Maddocks could be in the rare position of finding himself relegated the week after scoring a hat trick.

15. Dane Haylett-Petty – Rebels

Was shown a late yellow card but was otherwise dominant once again for Melbourne.

As safe as a house under the high ball and racked up 70 metres from 16 runs, with a try assist to boot.