CRAIG LEWIS picks a South African XV based on performances in round 19 of Super Rugby.
The Lions were the big benefactors in round 19 of Super Rugby as they claimed a comfortable win over the Bulls to finish in second place on the overall standings, while the Sharks also snuck into the playoffs after overcoming the Jaguares.
The Lions’ pack impressed once the Johannesburg-based side had seen off an early onslaught from the Bulls, with flanker Cyle Brink looking particularly promising as he made 64m from 13 carries and completed two turnovers.
Franco Mostert also demonstrated his enduring work rate as he made as many as 17 tackles, while Ruan Combrinck continued his timely return to form with two tries, 58 run metres and three clean breaks.
The Sharks’ win was based on an immense defensive effort, with Philip van der Walt (27 tackles), Thomas du Toit (16) and Lukhanyo Am (nine) all making an important impact in this regard.
Although it wasn’t a match to remember for the Bulls, stand-in flyhalf Manie Libbok scored a superb solo try on his way to racking up 147 run metres, while flankers Thembelani Bholi and Marco van Staden produced industrious performances, with the latter completing five turnovers.
Playing out of position, Warrick Gelant also deserves a special mention for his gallant effort at inside centre, which saw him complete 18 tackles and miss just one.
SA TEAM OF THE WEEK (ROUND 19)
15. Andries Coetzee (Lions)
14. Ruan Combrinck (Lions)
13. Lukhanyo Am (Sharks)
12. Warrick Gelant (Bulls)
11. Courtnall Skosan (Lions)
10. Manie Libbok (Bulls)
9. Ross Cronje (Lions)
8. Warren Whiteley (Lions)
7. Cyle Brink (Lions)
6. Marco van Staden (Bulls)
5. Franco Mostert (Lions)
4. RG Snyman (Bulls)
3. Ruan Dreyer (Lions)
2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
1. Beast Mtawarira (Sharks)
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images