Super Rugby Round #4 Team of the Week

25 Feb 2020
Super Rugby Round #4 Team of the Week

The TOTW has players from nine teams after a round that saw away wins to the Sharks, Brumbies and Blues, but Crusaders lead the way with five players this week.

The Reds won their first match of the season after hosting the Sunwolves in their first home match at Suncorp Stadium. James O'Connor [pictured below] shone again at fly-half making four clean breaks from 18 carries and he beat six defenders and scored a try. With centre Jordan Petaia on the sidelines Hunter Paisami has enjoyed his Reds call up as he beat a round-high eight defenders, scored a try, made two clean breaks, and made 7 tackles.

All seven three-quarters in TOTW scored a try including Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen [above], Brumbies rugby league convert Solomone Kata and Stormers live-wire scrum-half Herschel Jantjies.

The Crusaders are back on top of the NZ Conference after a solid win over the Highlanders in Christchurch where they appear to be unbeatable. The back five is producing plenty of ball for the backs with lock Mitchell Dunshea proving an admirable replacement for Sam Whitelock. He gained 41m - the second-most of any front-five forward - and won three lineouts, and made 11 tackles.


In the backrow openside Tom Christie is one of the tournament's form players. He made a round-high 20 tackles without missing a single attempt; he also made eight carries for 23m gained, one clean break, and scored one try. Even more impressive is the up-and-coming Cullen Grace who wore the six jersey against the Highlanders. He won two turnovers, made 15 tackles without miss, gained 57m from 10 carries, made three clean breaks, two offloads, one try assist and won five lineouts; he didn't concede any turnovers, miss a tackle, or concede a penalty in his 80 minutes. Cullen is this week's Player of the Week.

 

15

Michael Collins

Highlanders

Gained a round-high 135m - the most of any Highlanders player since April 2017 (Matt Faddes) - as well as scoring a try, making two clean breaks, and six kicks in play.

14

Solomone Kata

Brumbies

Made two clean breaks, one offload, beat five defenders, and gained 48m from his six carries, as well as crossing for a try.

13

Hunter Paisami

Reds

Beat a round-high eight defenders - the most by a Reds player this season - scored a try, made two clean breaks, and made 7/9 tackles.

12

Andre Esterhuizen

Sharks

One of only two backs to make 10+ carries and 10+ tackles (11 carries, 10/13 tackles), beat four defenders, won a round-high three turnovers, and scored a try.

11

George Bridge

Crusaders

Made a round-high 20 carries - the most of any player in a game this season - from which he gained 81m, made two clean breaks, three offloads, and beat six defenders, as well as scoring a try and providing try assist.

10

James O'Connor

Reds

Made the joint-most clean breaks (4), two offloads, beat six defenders, and scored a try; his 18 carries were the joint-second most of any player.

9

Herschel Jantjies

Stormers

Made three clean breaks from just six carries, gained 73m, made nine kicks in player - the joint-most of any scrumhalf - and scored a try.

1

Aidan Ross

Chiefs

Made 17/19 tackles - the most of any prop - as well as two carries and one lineout win.

2

Codie Taylor

Crusaders

Made nine successful lineout throws from as many attempts, gained 22m and made two clean breaks from six carries, and crossed for a try.

3

Thomas du Toit

Sharks

Gained 35m - nearly twice as many as any other prop - from three carries, making one clean break and beating four defenders; he also made 12/12 tackles.

4

Juandre Kruger

Bulls

Made nine tackles from as many attempts, made one clean break and one offload from five carries, as well as gaining 15m; also won five lineouts.

5

Mitchell Dunshea

Crusaders

Gained 41m - the second-most of any front-five forward - from five carries, as well as making a clean break, winning three lineouts, and making 11/13 tackles.

6

Cullen Grace

Crusaders

Won two turnovers, made 15 tackles without miss, gained 57m from 10 carries, made three clean breaks, two offloads, one try assist and won five lineouts; he didn't concede any turnovers, miss a tackle, or concede a penalty in his 80 minutes.

7

Tom Christie

Crusaders

Made a round-high 20 tackles without missing a single attempt; he also made eight carries for 23m gained, one clean break, and scored one try.

8

Rodrigo Bruni

Jaguares

Won two turnovers, made 16/17 tackles, one clean break, and gained 35m from nine carries, as well as scoring a try.

 

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.