Round 1 of Super Rugby AU finally got underway this weekend, bringing much relief to a rugby-starved Australian public.
The Reds enjoyed a rare victory over their rival Waratahs and the Brumbies came away victorious against the Rebels.
We take a look at the stand-out players from the first round:
Waratahs fly-half Will Harrison had a productive evening with the boot against the Reds, slotting 16 points. Matt To’omua contributed 13 for the Rebels and Noah Lolesio (Brumbies), James O’Connor and Bryce Hegarty (Reds) each bagged 6.
The Tahs were forced to defend hard for the majority of their game, rendering their players amongst the most prolific tacklers of the round. Tahs forwards Michael Hooper and talented youngster Angus Bell each made 15 tackles. Brumbies lock Murray Douglas also posted 15 while Lachlan Swinton and Rob Simmons (both Tahs) made 13.
Reds openside Fraser McReight was in fine form on the ground, winning an impressive four turnovers for his team. Richard Hardwick (Rebels) had the next highest with 2.
The Brumbies’ Mack Hansen efforts on attack were significant, the fullback managing to beat 9 Rebels defenders. Hansen’s teammate, the crafty fly-half Noah Lolesio found his way around 6 while James Ramm (Waratahs) beat 5.
Jack Maddocks (Waratahs) and Dane Haylett-Petty (Rebels) each carried the ball on 16 occasions while Harry Wilson (Reds) and Mack Hansen each executed a total of 13 carries.
With his 16 carries, Maddocks notched up a noteworthy 139 running metres. James Ramm managed the second highest with 97 and Bryce Hegarty banked 93.
Much anticipation surrounds Round 2 of Super Rugby AU where the Rebels take on the Reds and the Waratahs will host the Force.