After a pulsating opening round of the Champions Cup, we have selected our team of the week.
1. Jeremy Loughman - Munster
A tough call on Connacht's Denis Buckley who was superb in an 80 minute performance against Montpellier but Munster's Loughman was incredible.
He threw a lovely skip pass out in the build up to Andrew Conway's try, scored one himself, dominanted in the scrums and made 14 carries and all 5 of his attempted tackles.
2. Camille Chat - Racing 92
Ronan Kelleher continued his fine run of form having become somewhat of a regular in the Leinster starting XV. He hit his jumpers at the lineout, scored a try, made all 12 of his tackles and was strong with ball in hand.
But Camille Chat's performance against Saracens gets him the nod. He made a brilliant 32 running metres from 18 carries, beat 2 defenders, made all 8 of his attempted tackles and was solid at the set pieces.
3. Harry Williams - Exeter Chiefs
Held his own against a powerful La Rochelle scrum. Tackled well and a few excellent carries on attack, including a barnstorming run into the La Rochelle 22.
4. Dave Dennis - Exeter Chiefs
The Chiefs lock was part of the Exeter pack that dominated up front and regularly got front football and even grabbed a try.
Dennis was accurate in the lineouts, a menace at the breakdown and strong all round.
A mention for the likes of Marvin Orie and Jean Kleyn.
5. James Ryan - Leinster
At his usual best doing just about everything around the park and some. 12 Carries, 19 tackles (0 missed) and a flawless day in the lineout optimises his work rate against Treviso.
Exeter's Jonny Hill was also excellent on defence in their win over La Rochelle as was Ultan Dillane in Connacht's win over Montpellier.
6. Rhynhardt Elstadt - Toulouse
Elstadt had an incredible game in the opening fixture of the 2019/20 Champions Cup season. He was the man lineout man as Toulouse managed to steal 7 lineouts off Gloucester.
He was also the top carrier with 18 carries and was solid on defence.
Rynhardt Elstadt had some night 🙌— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) November 15, 2019
Made more carries than any other player (18) 💪
Took Gloucester's lineout apart 😲
Translated for Romain Ntamack 🗣️
And was named man of the match in a titanic performance 👊 pic.twitter.com/eqLT3jMFO2
7. Peceli Yato - Clermont,
Jacques Vermeulen was brilliant for Exeter making 13 carries and 17 tackles but his efforts were well overshadowed by the brilliance of Clermont's Peceli Yato.
The Fijian flanker was simply sensational. He and Alivereti Raka tore the Harlequins defence apart as Clermont cruised o 53-21 victory.
The flanker made an insane 132 running metres from 11 carries, beat 6 defenders and made 3 clean breaks on his way to scoring a brace.
And just to show that he isn't perfect he produced this hilarious attempt at a chip and chase.
8. CJ Stander - Munster
Back to some of his best form against Ospreys this weekend as Stander put in a superb all round performance and edges the likes of Sam Simmonds and Marcell Coetzee for a place in our side.
He was great on the carry, in the tackles and won a few penalties at the breakdown.
9. Joe Simpson - Gloucester
Simpson may have been on the wrong end of the result in the opening game but he makes our team of the week, beating numerous stellar performances with two outstanding tries.
Simpson scored two sensational solo tries for Gloucester, made 145 running metres and beat 6 defenders.
French commentary makes Joe Simpson’s try even better 🔥👏 pic.twitter.com/b7iV61Dd1r— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) November 16, 2019
Elsewhere, both John Cooney and Caolin Blade put in man of the match performances in their side's victories while Cobus Reinach was sublime for Northampton Saints.
10. Camille Lopez - Clermont
Jonathan Sexton may have scored a blinder and put in a superb shift for Leinster while Adam Hastings and Dan Biggar starred for their sides but in the end, Camille Lopez's masterclass was just too good to ignore.
One of the best performances this weekend pic.twitter.com/mRZzbnBE8O— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) November 17, 2019
Lopez lost his starting role with the French test side during the World Cup but he made a statement with a sublime display against the Harlequins.
He was sensational with ball in hand and orchestrated a fantastic attack that ran in seven tries. His kick passes and passes from hand where pinpoint as was his clearances and decision making in an incredible performance.
11. Aliverti Raka - Clermont
Along with Yato and Lopez, Raka was sublime. The Harlequins defence had no answers for the French International as he made over 100 running metres, scored a brace and assisted another.
Jacob Stockdale put in a match-winning tackle while Kieth Earls finished off a great try and Arthur Retiere had a great game, the trio couldn't displace the excellent French International.
12. Sam Johnson - Glasgow Warriors
Johnson had a near-flawless game against Sale Sharks in a tight encounter.
He made his tackles, without missing, carried strongly and produced a super pass to put DTH van der Merwe through for their only try of the game.
Tom Daly was excellent for Connacht, despite being called up at the last minute to start. George Moala was also unlucky not to make the side.
13. Virmi Vakatawa - Racing 92
It was going to take some performance to knock Garry Ringrose out of our side of the week and Virmi Vakatawa did just that...
Garry Ringrose with an excellent performance for Leinster.— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) November 16, 2019
✅ 3 tries
✅ 4 clean breaks
✅ 5 defenders beaten
✅ 11 carries
✅ 49 metres run
✅ 9 tackles
✅ 1 kick pass pic.twitter.com/TrB2P9i5g7
The centre was at the point of everything brilliant Racing did against Saracens. He scored a try, made over 64 running metres, beat 7 defenders and even had neat little offloads and moments of excellence throughout in a performance where he hardly put a foot wrong.
Just look at this from Vakatawa 😳 pic.twitter.com/lUx05DKaQH— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) November 17, 2019
14. Andrew Conway - Munster
Conway brought his PRO14 form into the Champions Cup with a stellar performance against Ospreys.
He was excellent in the air, solid defensively and had another moment of magic as he burnt the Ospreys defence on the outside.
Teddy Thomas came close to knocking the Munsterman out of side after a strong showing against Saracens.
15. Brice Dulin - Racing 92
The final game produced the player that completes our team of the week with Brice Dulin producing an excellent performance in his side's victory.
He made well over 100 running metres, beat defenders with ease and entered the line at just the right times.