The Chiefs and Hurricanes may dominate, in terms of numbers, our weekly selection. But the most noteworthy aspect is the number of young guns stepping up this week.
The Chiefs, with a 24-19 win over the Crusaders, have four members in our starting XV. They are followed by the Hurricanes (a 46-19 hammering of the Western Force) with three.
The Sharks and Blues, also impressive winners this week, have two each - while the Cheetahs, Bulls, Force and Highlanders make up the numbers.
The winning teams are also well represented in our back-up squad.
The Sharks (three), Chiefs (two), Highlanders (two) and Hurricanes (one) are again well represented. The Lions, Cheetahs, Rebels and Crusaders also feature here.
Only four players return from last week - three in the backline. Fullback Robbie Robinson (Chiefs), wing Cory Jane (Hurricanes) and centre Conrad Smith (Hurricanes) are all back, with flank Adam Thomson (Highlanders) the only forward.
Team of the Week - Round Three:
15 - Robbie Robinson (Chiefs):
He is really thriving in an environment where attacking rugby is at a premium.
Bubbling under: Andre Taylor (Hurricanes)
14 - Cory Jane (Hurricanes):
He may not be everybody's cup of tea, but there is no doubting his class and ability to create opportunities for his teammates by attracting extra defenders.
Bubbling under: Odwa Ndungane (Sharks)
13 - Conrad Smith (Hurricanes):
It is such a pleasure watching him dictate the terms of a game - how he creates for those around him, manipulate defences and the way he often does the simple things so well it looks sublime. In short, he is a very clever player.
Bubbling under: Richard Kahui (Chiefs)
12 - Tim Whitehead (Sharks):
The Sharks fans have been waiting all season to see this young import live up to his pre-season promise. There is no doubt it was one of their more astute buys.
Bubbling under: Phil Burleigh (Chiefs)
11 - Willie le Roux (Cheetahs):
Last year this time the young utility back was playing Vodacom Cup rugby (third tier in South Africa) with Boland. A good First Division (second tier) season in the latter half of the year earned him a contract with Griquas (a Currie Cup team) and a call-up to the Cheetahs (Super Rugby) ... a meteoric if ever there was one.
Bubbling under: Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks)
10 - Gareth Anscombe (Blues):
Not everybody will buy Pat Lam's explanation that he was 'holding him back' for the right moment. Many New Zealand pundits feel he could have helped the Blues to a few more wins this season.
Bubbling under: Patrick Lambie (Sharks)
9 - TJ Perenara (Hurricanes):
Having only turned 19 a couple of months ago, his stocks keep rising. Having captained and starring in the New Zealand Secondary Schools side and making his Wellington Lions debut the previous season, Perenara was a World Cup winner with the NZ Under-20 in Italy in June last year. As they say: Watch this space!
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (Highlanders)
8 - Pierre Spies (Bulls):
He seems to be growing into the captaincy role and produced what was his best game at any level in more than a year.
Bubbling under: Gareth Delve (Rebels)
7 - David Pocock (Western Force):
If ever there was a team that played like a one-man-band, the Force is it.
Bubbling under: John Hardie (Highlanders)
6 - Adam Thomson (Highlanders):
Coach Jamie Joseph will have to manage him very carefully, because he is the most valuable player in the team. He ran out of steam last year and runs the risk of again being played into the ground.
Bubbling under: Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs)
5 - Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):
Another of the young guns making an early statement in the competition. In his debut season of Super Rugby his is already being earmarked as a future All Black. But then again, it should not be a surprise. A year ago he was locking the New Zealand Under-20 scrum and comes from that famous second row factory Christchurch.
Bubbling under: Franco van der Merwe (Lions)
4 - Anthony Boric (Blues):
The Blues needed to 'muscle up' to the beefy Bulls and he showed the way - given that he was up against the muscular Springbok Flip van der Merwe. He showed why he was a member of the All Black World Cup-winning squad last year.
Bubbling under: Marius Coetzer (Lions)
3 - Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs);
He passed, with flying colours, the test of facing the all-international opposing front row of Corey Flynn and the brotherhood of Franks, Ben and Owen. The 20-year-old Hawkes Bay prop made his Chiefs debut against the Blues earlier this month.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (Crusaders)
2 - Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
He may not have been at the top of his game in the opening rounds (but then few Sharks players were). Du Plessis certainly re-established himself as the country's premier hooker. He is also the Sharks' most prolific turnover artist.
Bubbling under: Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)
1 - Arizona Taumalolo (Chiefs):
He seems to enjoy his rugby and he also provides plenty of joy to those watching him - unless of course you support the team he plays against. He may be of Tongan decent, but he is a New Zealand icon. He emigrated to New Zealand more than a decade ago, after being born in Tonga.
Bubbling under: Caylib Oosthuizen (Lions)
Our individual selections!
Timmy Hancox XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 David Pocock, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Len Kaplan XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 John Hardie, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Michael de Vries XV: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Heinrich Brüssow, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 James Horwill, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Will Genia, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 David Pocock, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Joshua Strauss, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anthony Boric, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Team of the Week, Round Two: 15 Robbie Robinson (Chiefs), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Phil Burleigh (Highlanders), 11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 John Hardie (Highlanders), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Chris King (Highlanders), 2 Andrew Hore (Highlanders), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).
Team of the Week, Round One: 15 Isaia Toeava (Blues), 14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), 13 Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), 12 Tim Bateman (Hurricanes), 11 Gio Aplon (Stormers), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Waratahs), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).
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