Super Rugby 2019: Team of the week, Round 12

Round 12 was a weird old week in Super Rugby, with two draws coming in the four matches involving Kiwi teams.

The first match saw the Crusaders score a last-minute converted try to secure a 21-21 draw with the Sharks. 

On Saturday - in the first of three games - the Hurricanes got out to a huge lead, before allowing the Rebels back into the game, but held on for a 29-19 win.

The Highlanders and Chiefs produced the match of the round in a high-scoring 31-31 draw in Dunedin. 

Finally, the Blues were stampeded by a rampant Brumbies forward pack and lost 26-21.

Here are the best of the Kiwi players in each position this week.

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown (Highlanders): After being dropped, DLB is making every post a winner. Strong at the set-piece and showed some great skills too, with two offloads.

2. Asafo Aumua (Hurricanes): Remember this guy? Great to be reminded of the brilliant running game of this youngster, an excitement machine.

3. Angus Ta'avao (Chiefs): Was a big part of the Chiefs resurrection. Came on in the 50th minute and scored two tries.

A genuine option on both sides of the scrum.

4. Jackson Hemopo (Highlanders): This guy has gone nek level in recent weeks. We've always known about his defence, but he's turned into an offensive weapon too.

Made three clean breaks with three fantastic offloads.

5. Tyler Ardron (Chiefs): Started at number eight, but injuries forced him into the second row, where he was extremely industrious. The toughest Canadian since Bret 'the Hitman' Hart.

6. Luke Jacobson (Chiefs): NZ player of the week. This performance has thrust the 22 year-old's name into the All Blacks' picture.

A beautiful mix of aggression and finesse. An incredible stat line - three clean breaks, two amazing offloads and 15 tackles, including some bell-ringers.

7. Matt Todd (Crusaders): This game was made for a guy like Todd. Made a mountain of tough carries, hit a lot of rucks and generally, put his body in places you wouldn't dare go.

8. Kieran Read (Crusaders): Playing in his 150th game, you knew from the start, when his son cried running out onto the field, this was not going to be easy. Rolled up his sleeves and was one of few Crusaders who matched the Sharks intensity.

9. Aaron Smith (Highlanders): That pass is just so quick - what a weapon. Three try assists in a classic display that only he can produce.

10. Josh Ioane (Highlanders): The best goal-kicker in the country right now and doesn't mind having a crack with ball in hand either, with three clean-breaks and a try.

11. George Bridge (Crusaders): Played most of the game at fullback after Will Jordan's injury, making 81 metres against a Sharks team that were tough to break.

12. Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs): Starting to develop a strong crush on ALB. Another immense game, without missing a tackle and getting his team over the advantage line.

13. Rob Thompson (Highlanders): Was a constant threat for the Highlanders. A tough customer to put down, beating seven defenders in 12 runs.

14. Wes Goosen (Hurricanes): Continues to impress with his high work-rate and explosive pace off the mark. A try and a try-assist.

Starting to build an impressive resumé.

15. Ben Smith (Highlanders): Dear rugby gods, please make sure this guy is fit for the World Cup. He does so much for the Highlanders, popping up everywhere and making every touch count.

Copped a nasty blow.


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