Luke Robinson: Super Rugby Aotearoa Team of the Week, Round Five

OPINION: After being overlooked for last year's Rugby World Cup, Hurricanes second-five Ngani Laumape has a point to prove to critics this season.

On Saturday, he seemed to target Beauden Barrett - arguably the world's best player - as his own personal whipping boy - running around and then through his rival early in the win over the Blues.

This was a performance that put Laumape squarely back in the selectors' consideration, if or when the All Blacks take the field this year.

Other standout performers this week were:

1-Ayden Johnstone (Highlanders)

The youngster is playing some great rugby at the moment, scrumming well and not missing a tackle all game. 

2-Bradley Slater (Chiefs)

Scored two tries, threw reasonably well - solid match for the Chiefs hooker. 

3-Ofa Tuungafasi (Blues)

The picture of consistency, another classy outing, scrumming pretty well and making 13 tackles, without missing one.

4-Jack Whetton (Highlanders)

Solid outing from the 'Landers lock, jumped very well and didn't miss a tackle. 

5-Mitch Brown (Chiefs)

Was very good for the most part, jumped well too, and a game-high 12 tackles. 

6-Lachlan Boshier (Chiefs)

Great battle with Shannon Frizell, but the Chiefs flanker gets the nod, beating more defenders, opening the scoring and missing no tackles - won two massive turnovers in the final 10 minutes. 

7. Dalton Papali'i (Blues)

Once again, was the best player in the park for the Blues - he's everywhere around the ruck and loves making tackles. 

8-Ardie Savea (Hurricanes)

Beat defenders with ease, unleashing a couple of storming powerful runs, and made 12 bruising tackles without a miss. 

Ardie Savea on the burst against the Blues
Ardie Savea on the burst against the Blues. Photo credit: Photosport

9-Aaron Smith (Highlanders)

Absolutely vintage from Smith, scoring tries, getting assists and providing world class ball throughout the match - sneaky good defence too.

10-Mitch Hunt (Highlanders)

Backs up after another superb week with a classy game against the Chiefs, scored a very nice try, kicked well and took the ball to the line, beating a couple defenders. 

11-Mark Telea (Blues)

Changing wings wasn't a problem, still ran with intent and provided great support running. 

12-Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes)

One of the best games I've ever seen him play, running through and around Beauden Barrett, scoring a beast of a try and running for more than 150 metres - easily Player of the Week. 

13-Peter Umaga-Jensen (Hurricanes)

Played very well outside Laumape, sliced through defenders too, beating four of them. Big threat with ball in hand. 

14-Josh McKay (Highlanders)

A must-have for the Highlanders moving forward, the youngster was everywhere on attack, 

15-Michael Collins (Highlanders)

The glue in that back three for the Highlanders was super solid all game - didn't miss a tackle and had a nice battle with Damian McKenzie.

Luke Robinson is a Newshub sports reporter. Join us next weekend for live updates of Super Rugby Aotearoa.