Star Men
Super Rugby round 17 team of the week
Brett McKay
June 11, 2013
The Brumbies' Clyde Rathbone scores a try against the Rebels, Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels, Super Rugby, Canberra Stadium, June 7, 2013
Clyde Rathbone turned back the clock in Canberra © Getty Images
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The Brumbies' demolition of Melbourne Rebels made them the base for the Super Rugby Team of the Week for the Australia-only round 17, and from there it was just a matter of how many Waratahs and/or Force players could supplant them. As always, you can have your say on my selections in the comments below, or by using the #ScrumFive and #TOTW hashtags on Twitter.

15. Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)

Melbourne Rebels found themselves trying to engage Mogg in old-fashioned kicking duels at times on Friday night, which was always going to be an exercise in futility. The more the Rebels kicked to Mogg, the more he put it back over their heads in reply - averaging more than 41 metres for his 14 kicks for the match. And when he got bored kicking and ran it, he tore the Rebels open, averaging more than 10 metres from his 15 runs.

14. Cam Crawford (Waratahs)

Holds his place from the round 16 TotW on the back of a great performance in Perth that bumped out Henry Speight's display against the Rebels. Scored yet another try, and has perhaps become the best finisher in Australian rugby over the past month, well and truly repaying Michael Cheika's faith in his talents.

13. Tom Kingston (Waratahs)

The Tahs' No.13 jersey also holds its TotW place, but this time it's not Adam Ashley-Cooper. Kingston made a great fist of the position after moving in from the wing. Kingston and Crawford combined really well down the right-hand side, way better than you'd expect from two guys playing together for the first time. Kingston's versatility wouldn't have gone unnoticed by the Rebels, his new employers from next year.

12. Pat McCabe (Brumbies)

A very typically solid game from Pat McCabe on Friday night, and Robbie Deans would've left Canberra Stadium content with what one of his long-favoured players displayed. Showed an excellent turn of speed when he found space on several occasions, and defensively, he ensured the Rebels' midfielders looked for other avenues of attack.

11. Clyde Rathbone (Brumbies)

Jagged his first double in more than nine years, with his last coming way back in round seven, 2004, against the Crusaders. Rathbone has quickly re-established his canny ability to sniff out an opportunity for points, after a three-year break from the game, and his positioning for both of his tries against the Rebels made the play as much as did Matt Toomua's cut-out passes.

10. Matt Toomua (Brumbies)

A superb yet calm display of game management not at all dissimilar to the way Aaron Cruden has played this year. Threw some exceptional long passes to create chances, including those for Rathbone's double. His running game and short passing was just as good, and created many an opportunity for McCabe to get going in the clear. Wouldn't look out of place against the British & Irish Lions if injuries hit the Wallabies squad.

9. Ian Prior (Brumbies)

It's a real credit to Prior that he could come on for the injured Nic White in the ninth minute and, despite limited opportunities in 2013, not set the Brumbies back at all in the way they played. So seamless was his transition into the game, that I didn't realise he'd gone on until more than 20 minutes later.

 
I couldn't help but think of big Coenie every time he charged forward into the Rebels defenders at full pace ...
 

8. Peter Kimlin (Brumbies)

Maybe there's something in the Brumbies No.8 jersey that's bringing out the best in players? This was Kimlin's best game of an already impressive 2013 season, with outstanding work in contact leading to tries for Henry Speight and Colby Faingaa. Kimlin admitted to enjoying the space and freedom that came with the new position, which certainly showed, and he was checking into the Wallabies' camp on the Sunshine Coast by Sunday afternoon. His ability to cover lock, blindside, and now No.8 could be very handy for Robbie Deans.

7. Colby Faingaa (Brumbies)

After just missing this spot last week, I had the feeling before half-time on Friday night that Faingaa wouldn't be missing out this week. His breakdown proficiency is well known, and is a major reason why Melbourne Rebels snapped him up for 2014, but he showed on Friday night that he's a more than handy ball-carrier, too, showing some great footwork to score the Brumbies fifth try under the posts.

Remind yourself why the Brumbies dominate this Team of the Week (video available only in Australia)

6. Scott Fardy (Brumbies)

Another barnstorming performance from Fardy, which just confirmed my long-held belief that as good a lock as he's been this year, he might just be an even better blindside flanker. Gets through a mountain of work at the breakdown, in general defence, and in attack. Comparisons with Owen Finnegan would be apt, and that's the importance of Fardy to the Brumbies' pack this year.

5. Oli Atkins (Waratahs)

Did it all in his run-on debut for the Tahs: ran hard, tackled harder, upset the Force lineout, got a yellow card, and scored a try as well. A more-than-worthy option for the Waratahs going forward, in the absence of Sitaleki Timani, with the added benefit of being a genuine lineout option.

4. Will Skelton (Waratahs) Skelton is so big that he took up a Scrum Five talking point all on his own. It's really easy to get carried away when describing raw talent (witness the "future Wallaby" online commentary about him already), but it's a bit hard to miss said raw talent when it comes in such an enormous package. And now that his game is developing to match his size, he really is someone to watch over the next few years.

3. Ruan Smith (Brumbies) You'll all know by now that I've become something of a Coenie Oosthuizen fan this year; watching Smith on Friday night, I couldn't help but think of big Coenie every time he charged forward into the Rebels defenders at full pace. Jake White has joked in the past about bringing more big boppers to Canberra from the Republic, and Smith is already looking the goods.

2. Siliva Siliva (Brumbies) A great game from the young hooker, who looks to play a similar style to Highlanders hooker Andrew Hore, who on his day also doubles as one of the best breakdown exponents in the competition. Siliva is similarly mobile and proficient around the ground, and already a more than capable back-up for Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore.

1. Scott Sio (Brumbies) After having to ignore props scoring tries for TotW in round 16, this weekend I was blessed with loose-heads getting over the line in both games! Sio gets the nod over Force prop Pek Cowan in the end, just reward for an excellent game in a good season for the young Brumbies front-rower. Confirmed his rise when named among the six extras added to the Wallabies squad for the Lions series.

Notable mentions: Jason Woodward (Rebels fullback), Drew Mitchell (Waratahs fullback), Kyle Godwin (Force inside centre), Bernard Foley (Waratahs flyhalf), AJ Gilbert (Waratahs openside), Jordy Reid (Rebels blindside), Ged Robinson (Rebels hooker).

Would you have made room for Western Force players and more Waratahs? (video available only in Australia)
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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