The Round 8 team of the week has a formidable and experienced backrow in Kieran Read, George Smith and Jerome Kaino. It is led by mercurial Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett who ran for 204 metres, made four clean breaks and beat 9 defenders against the Blues in Auckland.

 

15

Karmichael Hunt

Reds

Was directly involved in four tries (2 tries, 2 assists), made a joint-high five clean breaks, beating four defenders and gaining 124 metres.

14

Henry Speight

Brumbies

Only Beauden Barrett gained more metres than Speight's 158, while he also made four clean breaks and beat four defenders, crossing for two tries.

13

Sam McNicol

Chiefs

Made a joint-high three offloads, gained 96 metres, beat six defenders and assisted a try. In defence he made 9/9 tackles.

12

Harold Vorster

Lions

Scored a try, beat five defenders and made two clean breaks and in defence maintained a 100% tackle success rate.

11

Manasa Mataele

Crusaders

The only player to score a hat-trick in Round 8, Mataele also made the joint most clean breaks (5) and beat four defenders from his 10 carries.

10

Beauden Barrett

Hurricanes

Barrett's 204 metre gain was the second highest ever in the Super Rugby era (2011-), while his nine defenders beaten was the most by a fly half in that time. He also scored and assisted a try for the 'Canes.

9

Tawera Kerr-Barlow

Chiefs

One of eight players, and the only scrum half, to both score and assist a try. In defence he completed all six of his attempted tackles.

8

Kieran Read

Crusaders

Beat four defenders and made two clean breaks from his 12 carries, crossing for a try in the process. At the set piece he claimed four lineouts for his side.

7

George Smith

Reds

Won five turnovers, no player has won more in a match this season, hit double figures for both carries (11) and tackles (12) and scored a try.

6

Jerome Kaino

Blues

Busy in both attack and defence making 12 carries, gaining 55 metres, and completing 11 tackles.

5

Lodewyk De Jager

Bulls

Claimed eight lineouts for his side, made 13 tackles and eight carries, crossing for a try.

4

Mark Abbott

Hurricanes

Crossed the try line twice, made the second most carries of any forward (17) as well as completing 11 tackles.

3

Allan Alaalatoa

Brumbies

Made six carries, and completed eight tackles without a single miss.

2

Torsten Van Jaarsveld

Cheetahs

Found a teammate with 17 of his 18 lineout throws, carried 12 times and made six tackles, as well as scoring a try.

1

Pierre Schoeman

Bulls

Won all his scrums, carried seven times and made 12 tackles without missing, the most of any front rower to not miss a hit.

Opta Index: How does it work

The Opta Index allows genuine opportunities to compare and contrast both player and team strengths and weaknesses across Super Rugby, providing real insights pre-game as follows: 

After every match Opta completes a video analysis of every touch of the ball. Each action in the match is awarded a points value depending on the relative importance of the action. So for example, a try scores more points than a tackle, but a player loses points for a missed tackle.

The points are then weighted against the score at the time when the action took place (higher points if the score is closer), the time in the match (higher points at the start of the match) and the position on the pitch where it took place (higher points for actions closer to the goal line).

The player is then given a score for the match by adding up all his actions while he was on the field. The total match score is then weighted to take account of the strength of the opposition so that performances across many matches can be judged fairly.