Winners and losers from the latest round of Super Rugby.

Back of the week: Richie Mo'unga (Crusaders)

The Armchair Coach is running out of things to say about the Crusaders first-five who appears destined to be a major force for the All Blacks at the World Cup. He was provided with quality ball in Christchurch, but his vision and skill on attack was extraordinary, and he just keeps improving.

Richie Mo'unga. Photo / Getty Images
Richie Mo'unga. Photo / Getty Images

Forward of the week: Scott Higginbotham (Reds)

The big loose forward never seemed to get the rewards his talents deserved for the Wallabies but he was pure quality in his final match at Suncorp Stadium before he leaves for an overseas deal. His converted try with three minutes remaining effectively shut the door on the Blues' season.

World Cup watch: Braydon Ennor (Crusaders)

Ignore for a moment if you can Ennor's hat-trick of tries for the Crusaders against the Rebels because there was a tackle he made in the second half that will excite the All Blacks selectors just as much – a hit on opposite wing Jack Maddocks when Ennor was beaten and had no right to get back to make. He's a very exciting talent.

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Ups

Augustine Pulu:

Deserved a hat-trick of tries against the Reds in Brisbane, but had to settle for just the two. Halfback Pulu was very good and will perhaps be wondering why he didn't get the opportunity to start more often this season. His running threat around the ruck sets him apart.

Augustine Pulu scored two tries against the Reds. Photo / Getty Images
Augustine Pulu scored two tries against the Reds. Photo / Getty Images

Jaguares:

The Argentines are the big movers this year and their big victory over the Sharks in Buenos Aires allowed them to qualify for a home quarter-final. They will be difficult to beat at home and showed with their win over the Hurricanes they can now win big games away too.

Downs

Rebels:

The Crusaders have made a few good teams look poor in Christchurch over the years – in particular when putting 96 points past the Waratahs in 2002. This was nearly as bad, because some of the defending was atrocious and the Crusaders left a few points out there.

Highlanders: They needed a win over the Bulls in Dunedin in order to stay on track for a playoffs place but now they need to beat the Waratahs in Invercargill to have any chance. This was a strange performance from the Highlanders. In the past they would have found a way to win – even by holding the ball in the final minutes and winning a kickable penalty. They seem to have lost that knack.