Champions Cup TOTW - Round One

Champions Cup TOTW - Round One

An enticing opening round of the Champions Cup has come to an end and it's time for us to pick our Team of the Week.


15. Gareth Anscombe - Cardiff Blues

An outstanding performance by the Welsh international sees him beat the likes of Thomas Ramos (Toulouse) and Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh) for a place in our team of the week.

He was excellent off the tee and scored a sensational try from about 60 metres out. 

He also scored more points than any other player this round. 

14. Cheslin Kolbe - Toulouse

The fleet-footed Springbok winger was a nightmare for the Bath defence this weekend.

He made metres with relative ease and finished the round with a joint high of 8 defenders beaten.

His opposite number Semesa Rokoduguni (Bath) is unlucky to miss out after making well over 100 running metres.

13. Garry Ringrose - Leinster Rugby

Ringrose is joined by his midfield partner in our team of the week as the pair well and truly took Wasps apart.

Ringrose ran intelligent lines and linked up brilliantly with Henshaw with both players being involved in just about every try Leinster scored.

Manu Tuilagi was exceptional for Leicester Tigers in a losing effort Jonathan Davies was solid for Scarlets. 

12. Robbie Henshaw - Leinster Rugby

As mentioned before Henshaw was involved in just about every single try that Leinster scored against Wasps.

He put a number of players into gaps and ran clever lines off Sexton and Ringrose that kept the Wasps' defensive line guessing throughout the game.

He also threw a great skip pass out to Lowe in the build-up to Luke McGrath's first try and was solid defensively.

He was rivalled by his fellow Irish international Stuart McCloskey for a place in the side.

11. James Lowe - Leinster Rugby

Lowe was simply sensational against Wasps and picks up our Player of the Round.

The New Zealander scored twice for the Irish province in their 52-3 bonus point win and the former Hamilton Chief caused havoc throughout with his game-breaking ability in attack which has quickly made him become a fan favourite.

Maxime Medard deserves a mention but Lowe was by some distance the best left winger of the round.



10. Finn Russell - Racing 92

Russell has quickly settled in Paris and enjoyed a fantastic performance in his European debut for his new side. 

He was quick to make the offload and exploited a number of holes in the Scarlets defence.

He racked up 77 running metres beating 4 defenders in the clash as he steered his side to victory.

  

Jonathan Sexton was also outstanding for Leinster and is another player who is unlucky to miss out, while Ruan Pienaar impressed in a relatively unfamiliar position.

9. Tomos Williams - Cardiff Blues

The young halfback scored a try and assisted another as his side went on to ruin Lyon's debut in the competition.

He made 70 running metres and ran great support lines throughout the game.

His distribution was on point as too was his footwork and speed that kept Lyon guessing throughout.

Gloucester's Calum Braley and Leinster's Luke McGrath both had superb games and came close to beating Williams to a place in the side.

8. Louis Picamoles - Montpellier

A man of the match performance by Picamoles as he continues to merit a recall to the test squad. He was brilliant on attack and defence making 20 tackles and 8 carries. 

He scrambled well a few times to stop a few threating attacks by Edinburgh and linked up well on attack.

His opposite number Viliame Mata was just as influential for his side while Matt Kvesic and CJ Stander stood out as Exeter and Munster shared the spoils. 

7. Ellis Jenkins - Cardiff Blues

Another captains' effort by the international openside who has truly settled in the role for his side.

He was excellent over the ball and made a crucial turnover in the dire minutes of the game inside the Lyon 22 when Lyon were looking to get their last score but instead conceded 3 points.

He also made a great interception in the build-up to Wiliams' try.

Francois Louw was another standout openside flanker as he put on a breakdown masterclass against Toulouse.

6. Maro Itoje - Saracens

Itoje, on the back of his first start following injury, slotted perfectly into blindside flanker.
 
 
Saracens were dominant up front with a functioning lineout out and stable scrum giving Owen Farrell a strong platform to work off.
 
 
The English International was in his element in an abrasive match against Glasgow and impressed enough to pick up the man of the match award.
 
 
Another Leinster player is unlucky to miss out with Rhys Ruddock staring for the Champions.
 

5. James Ryan - Leinster Rugby

Another strong performance by the young Irish international as he got Leinster on the front foot with a number of clever runs.

He is showed off his ability to offload in contact and was a nightmare to defend against. He made 37 running metres from his 12 carries but it was the number of defenders he attracted everytime he got the ball that was simply unbearable for Wasps to counter.

4. Nico Janse van Rensburg - Montpellier

A strong performance by the busy second-rower as he made the second highest number of tackles in the game.

He was aggressive at the ruck and tackle areas and showed a superb turn of pace to break through the Edinburgh defence in the build-up to Ngandebe's try.

3. Tadhg Furlong - Leinster Rugby

A dominant display at scrum time by Tadhg Furlong as he continued to prove why is widely regarded as one of the best tightheads in the business.

He was handy in the loose as well and showed off some stellar footwork in the build-up to one of his side's 8 tries. 

Samson Lee impressed for Scarlets but Furlong enjoyed the best game of the weekend out of all the tighthead.s

2. Luke Cowan-Dickie - Exeter Chiefs

A straight shootout between Cowan-Dickie, Rory Best and Sean Cronin.

The Englishman gets the nod after a busy performance in an intense clash with Munster that ended all square.

He hit double digits in the carries and tackles made departments and scored his side's only try of the game.

Cronin scored a blinder that he will tell his grandchildren about while Rory Best was his usual accurate and hard-working self.

Tom Taylor's insane round high of 27 tackles deserves a mention as well. 

1. Tudor Stroe - Castres

An astute scrummaging performance by the 25-year-old loosehead against a tough customer in Fraser Balmain.

Stroe put in a massive 76-minute shift and weighed in with 12 tackles and one turnover as his side fell to 19-14 loss to Gloucester.

Ollie Kebble continued his fine form for Glasgow Warriors against one of the best tightheads in the game, Vincent Koch, while Mikheil Naraishvili was solid for Montpellier.

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