Super Rugby Star Men
Super Rugby round 13 team of the week
Brett McKay
May 14, 2013
The Blues had a tough contest in Auckland (video available only in Australia)

Which players most impressed you in Super Rugby round 13? Who makes your Team of the Week? Have your say in the comments below, or by using the #ScrumFive and #TotW hashtags on Twitter.

15. Charles Piutau (Blues)

It was very nearly Israel Folau again at fullback this week, but the display from the Blues No. 15, particularly in the first half, was too good to ignore. Piutau is not a player I've seen a lot of, but I expect to see a whole lot more of him in 2013, possibly even in a blacker jersey than his current Blues one.

14. Frank Halai (Blues)

It didn't work for Gareth Anscombe last week, but three tries before half-time gets the big man on the right wing. He produced more than just the three tries, with "Frank the Tank" living up to that moniker in a blockbusting display. Certainly took advantage of the opportunities his Rebels opposite, Cooper Vuna, presented him.

The Waratahs improved again in beating the Stormers (video available only in Australia)

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)

If James Horwill and Will Genia are the first two names Robbie Deans inks into his squad to face the British & Irish Lions this week, then surely Ashley-Cooper won't be very far down the list. Has relished playing in a single position in 2013, and he was excellent again on Saturday night against a pretty handy Stormers defensive midfield in Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh.

12. Anthony Faingaa (Reds)

Was massive in defence against the Sharks on Friday night, and is clearly the glue that holds the Reds line together. Scored a try in the same game as his brother for the first time for the Reds, and even had a sneaky hand - literally - in the turnover that lead to the bonus-point fourth try prior to half-time.

11. Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks)

Along with Pat Lambie, Mvovo was one of few shining lights for the Sharks as they slumped to a fifth straight loss. Presented so often as a constant inside threat, and seems to get to full pace so quickly. He'd be very dangerous if the Sharks could give him front-foot ball.

The Kings and the Highlanders rounded out the weekend (video available only in Australia)

10. Demetri Catrakilis (Kings)

It was going to be a coin toss between Quade Cooper and Pat Lambie for fly-half, and then 16 ½ minutes of quality in his 18-minute return swayed me toward Berrick Barnes. But the unheralded Kings No. 10 pipped them all. He kicked 6/7, and his superb all-round distribution led the Kings to their second victory in Port Elizabeth for 2013, consigning the Highlanders to yet more disappointment.

9. Will Genia (Reds)

The great players are consistently good, and Will Genia took his game to another level with the captaincy in James Horwill's absence. Hard to believe he's not quite seven games back from a knee reconstruction.

The Reds put the Sharks to the sword in the first half (video available only in Australia)

8. Duane Vermeulen (Stormers)

Looks to have picked up a nasty knee injury that may end his Australasian tour early, but Vermeulen was outstanding for the 70 minutes before that against a fast-finishing Waratahs side in Sydney. Plays with such an abrasive and imposing presence in both attack and defence.

7. Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs)

Might just be returning to his 2011 form, when he was genuinely rated one of the best openside "fetchers" in Super Rugby. He plays with a style closer to that of his Australian and New Zealand counterparts, but there's no question the Cheetahs' open style of attack benefits immensely from his canny ability to pilfer.

6. Faifili Levave (Hurricanes)

There really was only a whisker in it between Levave and Ed Quirk from the Reds for the blindside spot, but the Hurricanes man gets the nod for his powerful running game on top of his hulking presence at the breakdown. Was a major factor in the Hurricanes keeping the Cheetahs pinned in their own half.

5. Andries Bekker (Stormers)

Was the man responsible for so many of Tatafu Polota-Nau's and the Waratahs' issues at lineout time, to the point where the 'Tahs resorted to short-throw plays to negate Bekker's wingspan. Was never far behind Vermeulen when things got a bit willing, either.

4. Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes)

Tempting to pick him just because of the extravagant tour sideburns he's sporting, but Thrush led the way for the Hurricanes forwards with some bruising runs, brutal defence, and general nuisance value at the breakdown.

3. James Slipper (Reds)

Super solid all night against the Sharks, and it's always a measure of the stability he brings to the Reds scrum that you notice the lack thereof when he's not on the field. Looks a certainty to be one of the four required props on matchday during the Lions series.

We didn't see the Hurricanes win in Bloemfontein coming? (video available only in Australia)

2. Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs)

A quality player - as important to the Cheetahs as Jean de Villiers is to the Stormers, or Bismarck du Plessis is the Sharks - Strauss was excellent in a beaten Cheetahs side, and it's hard to see him not donning the Springboks jersey in June internationals or during the Rugby Championship.

1. Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs)

I set the precedent last week with Dean Greyling, and once again a big man getting over the line gets a berth. In big Coenie's case, he brings his own highlights reel to the equation, including one barnstorming run that left a Hurricanes player regretting his defensive positioning almost immediately.

Notable mentions: Israel Folau (Waratahs fullback), Willie le Roux (Cheetahs winger), Rene Ranger (Blues centre), Quade Cooper (Reds fly-half), Pat Lambie (Sharks fly-half), Victor Vito (Hurricanes No. 8), Michael Hooper (Waratahs openside), Ed Quirk (Reds blindside), Brodie Retallick (Chiefs lock).

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