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

OPINION: Richie Mo'unga has sealed my Super Rugby Aotearoa Player of the Season, after perfectly conducting the red-and-black orchestra to another title.

The first-five was on song against the Highlanders this week, making breaks, creating chances and scoring tries to lead the Crusaders to another win.

Here are some others that stood out in the penultimate round:

1-Ayden Johnstone (Highlanders)

Another fantastic game from the young prop. 

2-Dane Coles (Hurricanes)

By his own admission, he's throwing better at the lineout and this week was a testament to that, scoring a nice try and missing no tackles either. 

3-Tyrel Lomax (Hurricanes)

Scrummed well, a solid game from the prop. 

PariPari Parkinson contests against Sam Whitelock.
PariPari Parkinson contests against Sam Whitelock. Photo credit: Getty

4-PariPari Parkinson (Highlanders)

Putting his name in the mix for an outside chance of making the All Blacks with another solid performance 

5-Scott Scrafton (Hurricanes)

His calling has been a big reason for the Canes' lineout improvement, playing very well at the moment. 

6-Shannon Frizell (Highlanders)

A beast of a performance from the loose forward, tackling hard, running over Mo'unga with ball in hand and making 12 big tackles. 

7-Dillon Hunt (Highlanders)

A monster on defence, making 16 tackles, and very good with ball in hand too. Great game. 

8-Marino Mikaele Tu'u (Highlanders)

A solid game, tackling hard and running the ball well too. 

TJ Perenara.
TJ Perenara. Photo credit: Getty

9-TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)

Just pips mate Aaron Smith this week - very vocal, great pass for the opening try, a huge cog in the Hurricanes backline. 

10-Richie Mo'unga (Crusaders)

Another very good match from the best first-five in the country, leading his side around the park with purpose, scoring a nice try and setting up what should've been a Bryn Hall try.

Shout out to Highlander Josh Ioane, who had a great game too. 

11-Jona Nareki (Highlanders)

A fine game from the winger, showing enough gas to hold off Sevu Reece for his try and a constant threat - a great contest with Reece. 

12-Sio Tomkinson (Highlanders)

One massive hit on his opposite, was a menace on attack and defended well. 

Peter Umaga-Jensen scored two tries against the Chiefs.
Peter Umaga-Jensen scored two tries against the Chiefs. Photo credit: Photosport

13-Peter Umaga-Jensen (Hurricanes)

Without Ngani Laumape, he's really starting to shine in the centres, playing very well and scoring two more tries. 

14-Sevu Reece (Crusaders)

A glimpse of Reece at his best, with more than 100 running metres, seven defenders beaten and a constant danger with his quick feet. 

15-Will Jordan (Crusaders)

Another superb game, running more than 100 metres, beating defenders, setting up tries and was influential in the second-half comeback. 

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

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