PRO14/Aviva Premiership - Team of the Weekend

PRO14/Aviva Premiership - Team of the Weekend
  1. Alec Hepburn – Exeter Chiefs

The Chiefs came away with a fantastic 1-point win over Northampton Saints on Saturday to stay up the top of the table. Their loosehead put in a fantastic shift while on the field, managing to get over for a try and making 14m from his 5 carries. He also was able to apply some pressure to the Saints scrum, giving his teammates good ball to play with at the set-piece.


  1. Brian Byrne - Leinster

The young hooker has leap-frogged much competition in the Leinster front row to become the side’s 3rd choice number 2. He managed to get over for a brace of tries on Friday as he ran some intelligent running lines to cut through the Kings defence.

  1. Logovi Mulipola – Leicester Tigers

The Tiger’s tighthead seems to have been around for years, negating opposition’s effect at the set-piece. Again, he was immovable, even up against an international calibre Sarries pack. He played 60 minutes which is quite a shift for a player of his size. He contributed in the loose as well, making 8 carries and 8 tackles.

  1. Tadhg Beirne - Scarlets

The Munster-bound Leinsterman picked up another MOTM award this weekend, as his Scarlets side thumped Ulster to remain at the top of Conference A in the Pro 14. He managed to get over for another try and linked play well between the forwards and backs, giving them opportunities to expose Ulster frailties out wide.

  1. Billy Holland - Munster

Munster know what they’re going to get from the workhorse second row, but even by his standards 17 tackles and 15m from 5 carries is quite impressive. Oftentimes Munster deploy others as their main ball carriers but the lock didn’t shirk that responsibility on Friday night.

 

  1. Zach Mercer - Bath 

The young English flanker was absolutely immense this weekend as his side narrowly edged past Sale. He was relentless in attack, carrying 18 times for a total gain of 55 metres. He made an impressive nine tackles and got through a huge amount of work at the breakdown. He capped off his excellent performance with a brace of tries.

  1. Brendan O'Connor - Leicester Tigers

The Australian flanker put in man of the match performance this weekend as his side recorded an impressive victory over Saracens. He was rock solid in defence, making 12 tackles and missing none. He also looked to get his hands on the ball as often as possible, carrying 8 times for a total gain of 22 metres.

  1. Thomas Waldrom - Exeter Chiefs 

When Exeter were chasing the game, the New Zealander got the Chiefs rolling maul going yielding several crucial penalties. He was also rock solid defensively and even managed to cross the whitewash with the last play of the game. 

  1. Faf de Klerk - Sale Sharks

As always, the Springbok was one of the standout performers for Sale. He marshalled his backline expertly, dictating the tempo of the Sale attack masterfully. He box kicked accurately, passed very well and was immense from the tee, slotting 6 out of 8 and scoring 17 of his side's 32 points. 

  1. Ciaran Frawley – Leinster

The 20 year old seized his chance on his first start for Leinster with a resounding performance. Frawley controlled the game convincingly and showed great decision making in key areas. He showed his class with a neat cross field kick for James Lowe to score and stepped his way over for his own try as well.

  1. James Lowe - Leinster 

Yet again, the Kiwi winger was simply outstanding for Leinster as they demolished the Southern Kings in The RDS. He made 4 clean breaks for a total gain of 104 metres, beating 4 defenders and managing to get over the line for a try. He was also very dogged in defence, making 5 tackles and securing a whopping 4 turnovers.

  1. Rob Horne - Northampton Saints

The outside centre looked really dangerous whenever he had the ball in hand. The Aussie got the visitors off to a flying start with a superb finish inside 15 minutes as well as assisting the scores from Mallinder and Foden. 

 

  1. Manu Tuilagi - Leicester Tigers

Tuilagi has been improving week on week since returning from a long spell on the sideline with an injury and this weekend showed flashes of his top form of old. He made two clean breaks, beating 7 defenders for a total of 51 metres gained, set up a try for Jonah Holmes and even managed to bag himself a try to cap off an all round excellent performance.

  1. Sinoti Sinoti - Newcastle Falcons

The Samoan winger was one of the key players in a really impressive away win for Newcastle against Harlequins this weekend. He posed a constant threat with ball in hand, making countless clean breaks for a total of 56 metres gained. He was also rock solid in defence and capped off his stellar performance with a try.

  1. Telusa Veainu - Leicester Tigers

The Tongan full-back was excellent for his side this weekend as they recorded an impressive bonus point win over Saracens. He was rock solid in defence, recording a 100% tackle success rate and securing two crucial turnovers. As always he was menacing in attack, his blistering pace and mesmerising footwork were on show when he danced through the Sarries defence to score a wonder try.

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