The Super Rugby TOTW has representatives from 11 of the teams, including some in-form big names,  as the competition heats up and we approach the halfway stage of the season.

Round 8 produced three away wins as the Hurricanes [2nd] and Sharks [1st] strengthened their respective conference standings, while the Jaguares recorded a much needed away win to get back on track. The Blues recorded their fourth straight win to leap frog up the NZ Conference while the Rebels now sit comfortably at the top of the Australian Conference.

Ardie Savea continued to impress for the Hurricanes and will hope to be on the All Blacks selectors radar with his consistent performances. Against the Highlanders he won two turnovers, gained 97m from nine carries, made two clean breaks, and scored a brace of tries. Fellow backrower Pablo Matera of the Jaguares made 13/13 tackles, beat four defenders, gained 57m from eight carries, and crossed for a try, while Crusader lock Scott Barrett put in another big shift also.

Behind the scrum Will Genia of the Rebels made more metres (85) and more clean breaks (3) than any other scrum-half, as well as crossing for a try. Another big name player Beauden Barrett steered the Hurricanes to a victory over the Highlanders, scoring 11 points thatb included 5/5 kicks at goal. Sunwolves flyer Semisi Masirewa scored another two tries as did Crusader wing Sevu Reece.

Player of the Week is Rebels Fullback Reece Hodge who starred with a hat-trick of tries in the defeat of the Sunwolves in Melbourne.




Reece Hodge


Scored his second hat-trick in seven games and became just the second player in Melbourne Rebels history to be directly involved in four tries in a Super Rugby game (3 tries, 1 try assist).


Semisi Masirewa


Made three offloads - the joint-most of any back - beat nine defenders, and equalled the Sunwolves' record for most clean breaks in a Super Rugby game (5) as well as crossing for two tries.


Lukhanyo Am


Won a round-high four turnovers - twice as many as any other player - as well as making 15 carries from which he made two clean breaks and scored a try.


Samu Kerevi


Made a round-high 20 carries from which he gained 101m, beat seven defenders, made two offloads, and scored a try.


Sevu Reece


Ran for a round-high 142m gained from 13 carries, also making a round-high six clean breaks, beating six defenders, and scoring a brace of tries.


Beauden Barrett


Made the joint second-most metres gained of any player, eight kicks in play, nine tackles and finished with a haul of 11 points, slotting 5/5 kicks at goal.


Will Genia


Made more metres (85) and more clean breaks (3) than any other scrumhalf, as well as crossing for a try.


Lizo Gqoboka


Gained more than twice as many metres (45) as any other prop, as well as making two clean breaks and beating three defenders.


Ben Funnell


Made 14 tackles without missing, five successful throws, and made one offload in just 44 minutes.


Tyrel Lomax


Made six tackles without missing a single attempt as well as making as many carries (6).


Patrick Tuipulotu


One of only three New Zealand based players to make 10+ carries and 10+ tackles, also winning five lineouts and one turnover.


Scott Barrett


Won five lineouts, made 14/14 tackles, and gained 22m from nine carries.


Pablo Matera


Made 13/13 tackles, beat four defenders, gained 57m from eight carries, and crossed for a try.


Ardie Savea


Won two turnovers, gained 97m from nine carries, made two clean breaks, and scored a brace of tries.


Michael Wells


Won five lineouts (including one steal), made 14/14 tackles, and beat two defenders.


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.