Our friends at Opta Sports have crunched the numbers to create the Super Rugby Team of the Week following the completion of Round 14.
Jaco Kriel backs up his selection last week with another stellar performance, landing the captain's armband as the highest scoring player this week.
The tenacious flanker gained the most metres (85) and beat more defenders (7) than any other forward, in addition to making 14/14 tackles for three turnovers.
Kriel narrowly pipped Ma'a Nonu for the top score, but Hurricane and All Blacks fans will care little as they watched one of the world's dynamic centres hit top form in the shadows of the Super Rugby Finals Series and Rugby World Cup.
In addition to scoring a pair of tries (including a sensational intercept), the veteran beat five defenders and made nine of his 10 attempted tackles.
It was a weekend largely dominated by Australian teams with 10 of the select XV representing Aussie franchises.
David Pocock and Will Genia earned back-to-back selections while Bernard Foley found his way in to the No. 10 jersey and will hope for a repeat performance in this Saturday's re-match of the Super Rugby Final against the Crusaders at ANZ Stadium.
See the full team selection and statistics below.
|Number||Name||Team||Minutes||Opta Index*||Performance Fact|
|1||James Slipper||Reds||69||221||Made nine carries, completed 8/8 tackles and won a turnover.|
|2||Hika Elliot||Chiefs||71||316||Found his man with 8/9 lineout throws and beat four defenders in his 11 carries.|
|3||Greg Holmes||Reds||69||226||Didn't miss any of his five attempted tackles and chipped in with nine ball carries.|
|4||Will Skelton||Waratahs||80||334||Beat three defenders, made 7/7 tackles and won the joint second most turnovers in the round (3).|
|5||Luke Jones||Rebels||80||303||Made 10 carries, one clean break and crossed for a try in his 80 minutes.|
|6||Jaco Kriel (c)||Lions||80||593||The try-scorer gained the most metres (85) and beat the most defenders (7) of any forwar. He also completed 14/14 tackles and won three turnovers.|
|7||David Pocock||Brumbies||80||396||Completed the joint second most tackles and the most of any player to not miss a single hit in Round 14 (16/16).|
|8||Scott Higginbotham||Rebels||80||349||Didn't miss a single tackle (10/10) and gained 30 metres from just five carries, beating three defenders along the way.|
|9||Will Genia||Reds||75||310||Assisted two tries (a joint round-high), and beat two defenders with his seven carries.|
|10||Bernard Foley||Waratahs||80||444||Scored a try and made 7/7 kicks at goal. Also gained 94 metres thanks to three clean breaks and two defenders beaten. Made a round-high 18 carries.|
|11||Hosea Gear||Chiefs||80||501||Gained 104 metres, made three clean breaks and beat seven defenders against the 'Canes.|
|12||Ma'a Nonu||Hurricanes||80||524||Beat five defenders, made two clean breaks and completed 9/10 tackles, as well as crossing for two tries.|
|13||Adam Ashley-Cooper||Waratahs||67||313||Gained 66 metres from just six carries, beat seven defenders and crossed for a try against the Sharks.|
|14||Chris Feauai-Sautia||Reds||80||534||The try-scorer gained 84 metres thanks to six defenders beaten and a round-high five clean breaks.|
|15||Andries Coetzee||Lions||80||442||Beat an incredible 11 defenders against the Brumbies - the most by any player in a game this season - and crossed for 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.