SARugbymag.co.za picks a team of players who stuck their hands up during the fifth and penultimate round of the Rainbow Cup SA this past weekend.
15 Damian Willemse
Together with flyhalf Tim Swiel, Willemse’s game management was one of the keys to keeping the Stormers in the game against the Bulls for so long. It was another pleasingly solid performance from Willemse, as he appears to finally have settled at fullback. Scored a try and was somewhat harshly yellow-carded in an eventful opening 10 minutes at Loftus Versfeld.
14 Edwill van der Merwe
The 25-year-old wing’s star keeps on rising as he scored an excellent brace against the Bulls in a man-of-the-match performance.
13 Werner Kok
Proved a more-than-capable replacement for Lukhanyo Am, who was among the Springboks rested against the Lions. Kok was very active on defence and made a couple of try-saving tackles and turnovers. Typically fearless when asked to carry as well.
12 Cornal Hendricks
Once again, Hendricks was the most effective Bulls back in a game where the home side struggled to break down a dogged Stormers defence. Made 11 carries and beat four defenders.
11 Makazole Mapimpi
The Springbok wing stole the show at Ellis Park in his first game for the Sharks since returning from his stint in Japan. Beat a massive 12 defenders, played an effective role in Phepsi Buthelezi’s first-half try and scored one himself in the second half.
10 Tim Swiel
Made his first start of the campaign, replacing Abner van Reenen, and brought some much-needed authority to the Stormers backline. Scored a second-half try after dovetailing excellently with Rosko Specman on the counter-attack.
9 Jaden Hendrikse
Constantly looked to speed the game up as the Sharks chased a bonus-point win over the Lions. His service from the base of the ruck was quick and effective.
8 Evan Roos
Made 21 tackles, the third-most of any player in the Bulls vs Stormers match, and won two turnovers. The 21-year-old keeps getting better and better at No 8.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
The Springbok flank made a massive 30 tackles and won a turnover as the Stormers nearly held on for a win at Loftus Versfeld. Most importantly, he completed 80 minutes and showed no signs of his previous leg injury.
6 Marcell Coetzee
Made a memorable debut for the Bulls, scoring a try in the first half and taking over the captaincy when Duane Vermeulen went off injured. Topped the carry stats with 26 in total, beating three defenders and making four offloads.
5 Ruan Nortje
Another authoritative lineout display by the youngster, while he was also active in open play, making 10 carries and 42 metres, while also passing four times. Scored the winning try after driving over from close range.
4 Marvin Orie
Showed why he was called into the Springbok squad with a workaholic effort against the Bulls, topping the tackle count with a huge 33 in total. Also made six carries and won a turnover.
3 Thomas du Toit
Originally named on the Sharks bench, but started after Wiehahn Herbst had to withdraw from the team. Did well in the scrums against a tricky opponent in Sti Sithole and made a good number of carries.
2 Johan Grobbelaar
Scored two tries as the Bulls snatched a victory in the last minute against the Stormers. Also made 15 carries and won two turnovers for his side.
1 Ox Nche
Had to replace Ntuthuko Mchunu in the first half, but handled the challenge of scrumming against Carlu Sadie effectively. Showed an impressive engine to get through around 60 minutes of rugby.
Photo: Gordon Arons/Gallo Images