The winners and losers from week five of Super Rugby.
Forward of the week:
Dan Pryor (Sunwolves)
The former Blues loose forward, now residing in Tokyo, was given a rare start against the Reds and took full advantage, although, almost inevitably, the Sunwolves didn't quite do the same when conceding a late try to lose 31-34. Pryor was good during his 80 minutes – scoring a try and setting up another.
Back of the week:
Damian McKenzie (Chiefs)
After his previous battles to exert his authority from first-five, McKenzie looked far happier at fullback against the Hurricanes and he played with a freedom and zest which suggests once again that that is his best position. He kicked well off the tee too and that proved to be crucial in his side getting back to level terms.
World Cup watch:
Quade Cooper (Rebels)
The Rebels look like a different team after reuniting the old firm of Will Genia and Quade Cooper. Cooper in particular looks revitalised after being kicked out of the Reds, and, although the Rebels lost to the Lions in a bizarre game at Ellis Park (SA referee Egon Seconds penalised them 20 times to the Lions' 1), Cooper must be right in the mix for the Wallabies in Japan.
In just one game, the Stormers almost double the number of points they've put on the board this season. Managing a 2-1 record in their first three games scoring just 38 points, the South African side finally found a way to fill up the score sheet against the Jaguares, with their four tries being twice the number they had scored in their first three games.
Chiefs: Sure the Chiefs remain without a win through five rounds, but there were plenty of positive signs for the struggling club in their 23-all draw against the Hurricanes. Damian McKenzie thrived in his return to fullback, and they were able to limit the number of points they conceded. Through the opening rounds, the Chiefs conceded an average of 43 points per game so to hold the Hurricanes to 23 should give them some confidence.
After an impressive road trip to New Zealand, the Sunwolves returned to home soil only to give away the points against the Reds. With a halftime lead of 21-5, the Sunwolves' defence opened up to allow the Reds back into the game and, before long, saw the Reds ahead. The Sunwolves took the lead back inside the final 10 minutes, only for the Reds to hit back in the final minute. Not a great example of how to play with a lead.
Rebels: Much like the Sunwolves, the rebels put on a clinical display in how not to play with a lead. The Melbourne club led the Lions – in Johannesburg – 33-5 early in the second half, before the hosts came storming back to score 31 unanswered points and take a three-point win. While the lopsided penalty count does raise some questions – with the Rebels being awarded just one penalty to the Lions' 20 – any side with a hope of competing for the title should be able to close out a 29-point lead.