Our friends at Opta Sports have crunched the numbers to create the Super Rugby Team of the Week following the completion of Round 16.
While it's too little, too late for the Reds this Super Rugby season, their Wallaby stars provided a glimpse of magic and what Aussie fans hope may be a precursor to the Rugby World Cup.
Will Genia and Quade Cooper looked unstoppable at in the nine and 10 jerseys with the latter playing just his first game back after a long-term injury lay-off. Hooker James Hanson also featured in the side after a dominant win over the Force in Perth.
The star of the show in Round 16 however was Ruan Combrinck who made four clean breaks and beat six defenders on his way to scoring a pair of tries for the Lions in their win over the champion Waratahs.
The victory keeps the Lions' hopes of clinching the South African Conference alive and they can go a long way to doing that with victory over the Stormers at DHL Newlands this coming weekend.
Jaco Kriel continued his dominance in the number six jersey, earning yet another call-up to the Super Rugby TOTW after a game that saw him win two turnovers and beat seven defenders for a personal haul of 86 metres.
See the full team selection and statistics below.
|Number||Name||Team||Minutes||Opta Index*||Performance Fact|
|1||Steven Kitshoff||Stormers||64||298||Was part of a scrum that won five own feeds as well as disrupting three of six from the opposition.|
|2||James Hanson||Reds||74||322||Landed all 13 of his lineouts and chipped in with 10 carries.|
|3||Vincent Koch||Stormers||79||449||As well as being part of the same scrum as Kitshoff, also crossed for a try and beat two defenders.|
|4||Steve Mafi||Force||80||330||Broke the line twice with three defenders beaten to his name. Was also impeccable in defence (5/5 tackles) and won five lineouts.|
|5||James Broadhurst||Hurricanes||80||342||Made 14 carries and all nine of his tackles found the mark.|
|6||Jaco Kriel||Lions||68||567||Won two turnovers and beat seven defenders for a personal haul of 86 metres gained from nine carries.|
|7||Boom Prinsloo||Cheetahs||68||473||Made 23/23 tackles, at least four more than any other player this week.|
|8||Scott Higginbotham||Rebels||80||500||Scored a brace of tries, produced three clean breaks and beat seven defenders. In defence he missed just one of 10 tackles.|
|9||Will Genia||Reds||80||437||Made four offloads and beat five defenders. The Wallaby also assisted a try.|
|10||Quade Cooper||Reds||68||515||Scored two tries and assisted another, recording a personal haul of 22 points, a round-high.|
|11||Nemani Nadolo||Crusaders||80||541||A try-scorer and assister that beat seven defenders and broke the line three times.|
|12||Damian de Allende||Stormers||61||511||Beat a massive 10 defenders and mustered four clean breaks.|
|13||Adam Ashley-Cooper||Stormers||80||361||Scored a try and made three clean breaks to take his average gain over eight metres from nine carries.|
|14||Ruan Combrinck (c)||Lions||80||627||The two-try man made four clean breaks and beat six defenders.|
|15||Dane Haylett-Petty||Force||72||409||Touched down for a try and beat four defenders across his 13 carries.|
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.