SA Team of the Week (Round 8)

JON CARDINELLI picks a form South African XV based on performances in round eight of Super Rugby.

What a difference a week makes. Last week, as many as 10 Stormers were in our form XV on the back of the Cape side’s impressive win against the Chiefs. This week, in the wake of the Lions' resounding victory at Newlands, nine Lions have cracked the nod while only one Stormer has been included.

Ross Cronjé provided the Lions with more attacking and kicking options at No 9 on Saturday. Indeed, the pass that put Harold Vorster away for a try in the first half was a game-changer. Cronjé has been favoured in the XV ahead of Bulls scrumhalf Piet van Zyl, who was a greater individual running threat against the Jaguares.

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Flyhalf Elton Jantjies is favoured ahead of Bulls counterpart Handré Pollard. The latter scored 16 points in the Bulls’ win at Loftus (seven more than Jantjies did against the Stormers). However, Jantjies made some telling contributions as a distributor and tactical kicker at Newlands. Significantly, he completed 11 of his 12 tackle attempts as the Lions defence dominated the Stormers attack.

SP Marais produced a mixed bag for the Stormers at Newlands. While Marais racked up the kicking and running metres and contributed two long-range penalties, his performance was marred by several errors. Meanwhile, Jesse Kriel looked to be in fine attacking form for the Bulls. The fullback also got stuck in on defence.

Andries Ferreira was the star of the Lions’ lineout at Newlands. While Franco Mostert made a strong contribution in this department, Lood de Jager produced a superior all-round performance against the Jaguares at Loftus Versfeld. Apart from winning seven lineouts, De Jager completed 15 tackles.

15. Jesse Kriel (Bulls)
14. Raymond Rhule (Cheetahs)
13. EW Viljoen (Stormers)
12. Harold Vorster (Lions)
11. Makazole Mapimpi (Kings)
10. Elton Jantjies (Lions)
9. Ross Cronjé (Lions)
8. Warren Whiteley (Lions)
7.  Ruan Ackermann (Lions)
6. Jaco Kriel (Lions)
5. Lood de Jager (Bulls)
4. Andries Ferreira (Lions)
3. Ruan Dreyer (Lions)
2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)

1. Pierre Schoeman (Bulls)
*The Sharks had a bye in Round 8

JON CARDINELLI COLUMN: Lions remain a cut above

15. SP Marais (Stormers)
14. Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers)
13. EW Viljoen (Stormers)
12. André Esterhuizen (Sharks)
11. Dillyn Leyds (Stormers)
10. Lionel Cronjé (Kings)
9. Cobus Reinach (Sharks)
8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers)
7. Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
6. Chris Cloete (Kings)
5. Chris van Zyl (Stormers)
4. Eben Etzebeth (Stormers)
3. Wilco Louw (Stormers)
2. Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers)
1. Thomas du Toit (Sharks)
*The Lions had a bye in Round 7

CRAIG LEWIS: Five takeaways from past weekend

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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Jon Cardinelli