Super Rugby Aotearoa Team Of The Week Round Eight

Super Rugby Aotearoa Team Of The Week Round Eight

Super Rugby Aotearoa heads into the closing stages of the competition with just two rounds remaining with the Crusaders leading the pack with 24 league points with the Blues hot on their heels with 22.

Round eight of the domestic competition once again did not disappoint with two thoroughly entertaining games with the Crusaders beating the Chiefs 19-32 with the Blues claiming a 21-32 victory over the Highlanders.

We have once again picked our team of the week with the Blues and Crusaders understandably represented well.


1. Karl Tu'inukuafe - Blues

A first start in Super Rugby Aotearoa for 'Big Karl' and the All Black loosehead did not disappoint as he went on the hunt with fellow front ranker Tu’ungafasi.

Scrummaged well, cleared out rucks and won a turnover with the Blues tighthead five affording Beauden Barrett and co a fantastic platform to attack from.


2. Codie Taylor - Crusaders

Kurt Eklund almost made it a full house of Blues in the front row but the Crusaders man just got the edge. 

The Crusaders set piece powered through the Chiefs with 100% success rate in both the scrums and lineouts with Taylor also grabbing a five-pointer.

He also assisted a try and made over 30 running metres from his 8 carries 


3. Ofa Tu’ungafasi - Blues

If the All Blacks starting XV later this year was picked purely on form, Ofa Tu'ungafasi would be the starting tighthead.

He has put in solid performances throughout the competition and the game against the Highlanders was no different. 

He made an excellent turnover in the lead up to the try for TJ Faiane try and grabbed one for himself after a bruising scrum.


4. Patrick Tuipulotu - Blues

Another player who seems to have the inside line to a starting All Black jumper. 

Another week and another great game from Tuipulotu. Hit the rucks superbly and was often the first man arriving to provide his backs with the goods.

He sent bodies flying backwards once again and completed a lovely offload to Eklund - with that particular part of his game becoming a real feature for the Blues.


5.Sam Whitelock - Crusaders

A standout in his 150th game for the Crusaders, the former captain led his side to victory with an excellent display in the set-piece. 

He grabbed five lineouts on the Crusaders own throw while also disrupting the Chiefs' lineout. His 10 carries, nine tackles and breakdown work was just as effective as his set-piece excellence. 


6. Shannon Frizell - Highlanders

Near impossible call to make with not much splitting the two blindside flankers on the losing ends this weekend with Dalton Papali'i also making a huge claim for a spot.

Frizell gets the nod, just, over Boshier with the Highlander's man grabbing a five-pointer and made 21 metres from his 8 carries.

Another hard as nails performance that included two turnovers with Frizell also making more tackles and carries than Boshier. 


7. Sam Cane - Chiefs

The new All Black captain's recent performances have come under some scrunity but he did well to silence those critics with a workmanlike performance against the Crusaders. 

Cane put in an enormous effort making 18 of his 20 tackles and won three turnovers in a monster effort to turn the Chiefs' fortunes around.

His opposite number on the day also had a huge game making 18 tackles with Tony Lamborn and Dillon Hunt both having great games too.


8. Akira Ioane - Blues

A complete display from the Blues' no.8 who was one of the best this weekend. A man of the match display saw Akira Ioane star on both sides of the ball making 10 carries and 12 tackles.

Ioane blew Highlanders' back Scott Gregory out of his tracks to score one try and set up fellow forward Ofa Tu’ungafasi for another to cap off a busy, industrious display that included 33 running metres, a clean break and eight passes.

View this post on Instagram

Akira Ioane doing Akira Ioane things, Scott Gregory the speedbump on this occasion

A post shared by Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) on

Honourable mentions for both Pita-Gus Sowakula and Tom Sanders who both had excellent games in Hamilton.


9. Finlay Christie - Blues

Aaron Smith continued his fine form for the Highlanders - despite picking up plenty of slack for his dive - but two tries from the Blues' red-head halfback sees him grab a place in our Team of the Week.

Christie ran an opportunistic line and was rewarded with his first try of the game thanks to the brilliance of Beauden Barrett and Caleb Clarke.

He finished his second with a similarly opportunistic line with his kicking and passing crisp throughout. 


10. Beauden Barrett - Blues

Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Cruden both put their hands up for a place in the side but in the end, the Blues' first five gets the 10 jersey.

Barrett put in a performance that Hurricanes' fans will know well with a well-crafted mix of running, kicking and passing. Just two of the Blues' five tries did not involve Barrett with Akira Ioane setting up a pair from the scrum. 

Barrett placed a pinpoint cross-kick into Caleb Clarke's breadbasket that led to Finlay Christie's first try. He put Clarke into space in the build-up to TJ Faine's try and threw a fantastic pass out to Tony Lamborn for Christie's second.


11. Caleb Clarke - Blues

Clarke received rave reviews for his blockbuster game against the Highlanders despite not even crossing the whitewash for a try himself.

The Blues' star racked up over 70 running metres, completed three offloads, made four clean breaks, beat three defenders and claimed a try assist.   

He showed off all his skills against the Highlanders and did his All Black chances no harm.  


12. Sio Tomkinson - Highlanders

A solid showing on both sides of the ball with minimal mistakes gets Tomkinson in our team of the week with TJ Faiane coming in a close second.

Tomkinson was efficient and effective with little reward with the Blues simply running away with the game.


13. Fetuli Paea - Crusaders

Paea carried with vigour and was extremely successful making 70 running metres from just nine carries before he left the pitch with half an hour to go.

The Tongan International's strong showing edges Rieko Ioane for a place in the side with Paea's carries and defence setting the platform for the Crusaders to surge to victory in the latter stages of the game.


14.Sevu Reece - Crusaders

Reece has been in excellent form throughout Super Rugby Aotearoa and the game against the Chiefs was no different as he grabbed another try and won a pair of turnovers.


15. Will Jordan - Crusaders

Jordan bounced backed from somewhat of an off game against the Hurricanes to inspire the Crusaders to victory over the Chiefs.

He topped the running metres in Hamilton with 101, made two clean breaks, three offloads, beat five defenders, scored a try with a well-run line and showed off his athleticism with his excellent take to keep the ball in after conceding a penalty. 

More News

Latest News