Top 14 Team of the Week - Round One

Top 14 Team of the Week - Round One

The 2018/19 Top 14 season started with a bang this past weekend with three away victories and a draw.

A number of players also impressed on their debuts and subsequently made our Team of the Week.

1.Vincent Pelo - La Rochelle

Pelo had a busy game against Grenoble this past weekend making 15 tackles and 4 carries which sees him edge out Eddy Ben Arous for a place in the side.

2. Kevin Firmin - Castres 

Firmin was solid at set-piece time as Castres got a rare home victory over Montpellier.

Catres lost just one of their 17 lineouts while Firmin was also a menace at ruck time.

3. Jannie du Plessis - Montpellier

The former Springbok tighthead was especially effective at scrum time against Castres.

He caused a number of problems for Antione Tichit and made 8 tackles. 

He edges Arthur Joly for a place in the side.

4. Florian Verhaeghe - Lyon

The Toulouse youngster was exceptional at lineout time against Lyon and made an impact all over the park on Saturday.

Lyon lost 6 of their own lineouts largely down to the Verhaeghe's work in that department. 

He beats Clermont's Sebastien Vahaamahina to place in the side.

5. Alexandre Flanquart - Stade Francais

Flanquart put in a massive defence shift in the opening match of the weekend as Stade Francais went on to claim 46-15 win over Perpignan.

Boris Palu and Etienne Oosthuizen were unlucky not to earn a place in the side.

6. Peceli Yato - Clermont

The 25-year-old flanker had a fantastic 63 minutes for Clermont as they racked 67 points against Agen.

He averaged 10 metres per carry, beat 6 defenders and made 4 clean breaks. 

7. Sekou Macalou - Stade Francais

Macalou was a standout performer for Stade Francais this weekend scoring a brace for the side.

The 23-year-old flanker was one of the best players this weekend making 51 running metres from 6 carries, made 19 tackles and won a turnover. 

8. Afaesetti Amosa - Bordeaux Begles

The Samoan no.8 enjoyed a fantastic Top 14 debut for Bordeaux Begles following his move from La Rochelle.

He was crucial to his side's first win of the season making 13 tackles - missing just one - and made 46 running metres from his 20 carries.

9. Xavier Chauveau - Racing 92

Chauveau had an outstanding game for Racing 92 as they went on to claim an away win over Toulon.

He linked up brilliantly with Finn Russell and upstaged the debut of Rhys Webb. 

His performance also sees him edge Piet van Zyl and Ludovic Radosavljevic for a spot in the side.

10. Finn Russell - Racing 92

2 tries, 2 penalties, 2 conversions and 100% kicking success, it's hard to see how Finn Russell's Top 14 debut could have been much better.

He scored all but 5 of Racing 92's points as they claimed a 9-25 win over Toulon and made metres with relative easy making 83 running metres beating 2 defenders and made 2 clean breaks. 

11. Cheslin Kolbe - Toulouse

Kolbe just edges Clermont youngster Samuel Ezeala for a place in the side.

The South African was lively as ever in his side's draw with Lyon and set up an early contender for try of the season.

12. Apisai Naqalevu - Clermont

An all Clermont midfield makes our Team of the Week with Naqalevu featuring at inside centre. 

He beats off Charlie Ngatai and Pierre Aguillon for a place in the side after a stellar outing against Agen.

He beat a total of 10 defenders and made 7 defenders on his way to 116 running metres and formed a match-winning combination with Isaia Toeava. 

13. Isaia Toeava - Clermont

Toeava joins his centre partner Apisai Naqalevu in the side. Both players made metres with relative ease and scored 3 tries between them.

Toeva was directly involved in 6 of Clermont's 10 tries against Agen scoring 2 and assiting a further 4.

He beats Romain Lonca to place in the side. 

14. Alivereti Raka - Clermont

Raka was superb on his return to the Top 14 following his season-ending injury last year.

He topped the running metres gained for the weekend with 124, making 6 clean breaks and beat 4 defenders.

15. Scott Spedding - Castres 

Kylan Hamadaoui and Simon Zebo deserve mentions for their performances this weekend but Scott Spedding claims the no.15 jersey after a stellar performance against Montpellier.

He was solid on defence and with the boot but it was performance on attack that earned him a place in the side.

He joined the line at the right times and scored two tries on his first performance for Castres, immediately repaying the side for showing faith in him after Clermont didn't offer him a new contract. 

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