CRAIG LEWIS picks a South African XV based on performances in the fifth round of the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.
The Sharks and Vodacom Bulls were not in action this past weekend, but both the Stormers and Lions picked up important wins. The Cape-based side comfortably overcame the Jaguares, while the Lions produced a stunning second-half comeback to defeat the Rebels.
It does make it quite a difficult selection for this Team of the Week, especially considering that the Lions were so poor in the first half, before displaying immense character to overturn a 28-point deficit.
Lionel Mapoe and Andries Coetzee were particularly impressive off the bench, with the latter completing 98m and beating seven defenders to walk away with the Man of the Match award.
Interestingly, Coetzee came on for winger Ruan Combrinck, with Tyrone Green enjoying a standout performance at fullback and therefore earning selection there, while Courtnall Skosan was also highly impressive, scoring a try, making three clean breaks and completing 84m.
Wandisile Simelane also enjoyed another industrious outing, making 53m and 12 carries, and is picked at inside centre here to accommodate Mapoe at 13, while Kwagga Smith was outstanding in open play, racking up 89m and making eight tackles.
Although the Lions’ lineout was a shambles, they did largely enjoy increasing ascendancy at scrum time. Malcolm Marx will reflect on some difficulties with his lineout throwing, but it can’t be overlooked that he made 57m, 17 carries, scored a try and set up another with a crucial turnover.
The Stormers deserve due credit for the manner in which they dismantled the Jaguares on Friday, with Siya Kolisi particularly impressing as he scored a try, racked up 52m, 10 carries and completed nine tackles.
There was also some immense work done on defence, with Pieter-Steph du Toit completing 18 tackles, while JD Schickerling made 13 and didn’t miss one.
There was a welcome return for Steven Kitshoff, who made eight tackles in a solid all-round performance.
SA TEAM OF THE WEEK (ROUND 5)*
15. Tyrone Green (Lions)
14. Andries Coetzee (Lions)
13. Lionel Mapoe (Lions)
12. Wandisile Simelane (Lions)
11. Courtnall Skosan (Lions)
10. Jean-Luc du Plessis (Stormers)
9. Hershel Jantjies (Stormers)
8. Kwagga Smith (Lions)
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers)
6. Siya Kolisi (Stormers)
5. JD Schickerling (Stormers)
4. Ruan Vermaak (Lions)
3. Carlu Sadie (Lions)
2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
1. Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)
* The Sharks and Bulls had a bye in round five
SA TEAM OF THE WEEK (ROUND 4)
15. Warrick Gelant (Bulls)
14. Cornal Hendricks (Bulls)
13. Wandisile Simelane (Lions)
12. André Esterhuizen (Sharks)
11. Rosko Specman (Bulls)
10. Handré Pollard (Bulls)
9. Ivan van Zyl (Bulls)
8. Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
7. Tim Agaba (Bulls)
6. Marnus Schoeman (Lions)
5. Jason Jenkins (Bulls)
4. Hanro Liebenberg (Bulls)
3. Carlu Sadie (Lions)
2. Schalk Brits (Bulls)
1. Dylan Smith (Lions)
* The Stormers had a bye in round four
Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix