Super Rugby is underway for another year. After an opening round that served up few surprises, Christopher Reive brings you the team of the week.
1. Aidan Ross (Chiefs)
An 80-minute stint in the front row in the heat of summer is an achievement in itself, but Ross was a physical, imposing presence on both sides of the ball throughout the contest against the Blues and was rewarded with a try late in the piece.
2. Samisoni Taukei'aho (Chiefs)
Given the first opportunity in the No 2 jersey with incumbent Chiefs hooker Nathan Harris ruled out for the year, Taukei'aho's impact was felt early and often with tries either side of half time. He tackled well and was reliable at set pieces.
3. Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)
Playing a strong part in the Brumbies' hard-fought win over the Reds, Alaalatoa started the season well across the park in a fine 77-minute performance. The Brumbies prop worked hard around the breakdown and made plenty of takes, while he put his hand up to carry the ball into contact when required.
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4. Guido Petti Pagadizaval (Jaguares)
Strong at set pieces, unblemished on defence and a willing ball carrier, Pagadizaval put in a strong shift in the pack for the Jaguares to help provide the platform for an impressive win against the Lions.
5. Mitchell Brown (Chiefs)
The only player to make 20 tackles or more during the opening round of the season, Brown muscled up and took every opportunity to make his mark on the game. While he had a quiet attacking game by his standards, he was everywhere on the defensive side of the ball, working hard at the breakdown and making tackles. He was also impressive at the set piece, bringing down three lineouts while stealing another two off the Blues' throw.
6. Lachlan Boshier (Chiefs)
What an absolute menace this man was at the breakdown against the Blues. Boshier put in a huge defensive stint, securing four turnovers and making double digit tackles. He had a huge influence on the result, with a solid body of work over an 80-minute performance.
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers)
At 2m tall, du Toit is one of the tallest openside flankers in the game but his size doesn't affect his mobility and he is another Stormers player to carry his World Cup form into the Super Rugby season. The powerful du Toit was hugely influential in his team's big win and wasn't fazed by a push in the face from Canes opposite Du'Plessis Kirifi.
8. Isi Naisarani (Rebels)
While the Rebels came out on the wrong side of the ledger in Japan, Naisarani was a force throughout the contest. Working hard at the breakdown to secure turnovers, tackling well and running the ball with force, Naisarani did his part for a team who at times struggled with their execution.
9. Herschel Jantjies (Stormers)
Set up his team's first try against the Hurricanes at Newlands with a perfect cross-kick and scored one himself from 40m out following yet another mistake from the visitors. He has vision and real pace. One to watch.
10. Garth April (Sunwolves)
One for the 'who the heck is that guy?' list, April announced himself to Super Rugby by orchestrating the first upset of the season. The South African, who played one game for the Sharks in 2018, looks like found money for the Sunwolves, with a terrific all-round kicking game and solid playmaking vision.
11. Mark Nawaqanitawase (Waratahs)
The 19-year-old rookie made some important plays in his Super Rugby debut, including an intercept try which, at the time, kept the Waratahs in the game. Nawaqanitawase found ways to get involved throughout the game and went looking for work on both sides of the ball.
12. Ben Te'o (Sunwolves)
While his running game was well contained by the Rebels, the former England international found plenty of ways to help his team on both attack and defence. With a try assist and a couple of turnovers won, as well as double digits tackle numbers, Te'o impressed in his Super Rugby debut.
13. Braydon Ennor (Crusaders)
Ennor is one of those guys you can give the ball to, say 'make something happen', then sit back and watch him do just that. A constant presence in the Crusaders attack, Ennor steamrolled through the defence on his way to scoring two tries and assisting on another. He also secured three turnovers, just for good measure.
14. Will Jordan (Crusaders)
In the same vein as Ennor, Jordan had his way with the Waratahs. Running for more than 140m on 18 carries and scoring a double, Jordan's influence on the attack was undoubted. He also secured a few turnovers and worked hard defensively.
15. David Havili (Crusaders)
Havili impressed in taking over place kicking duties, while his running game was phenomenal. He beat defenders across the park, breaking the line four times for more than 110m and flashed his offloading abilities.