Rugby union team of the week

Last Updated: 17/02/20 3:15pm

John Hodnett enjoyed a dream debut for Munster against the Southern Kings
John Hodnett enjoyed a dream debut for Munster against the Southern Kings

There are four hat-trick heroes and three World Cup winners in our team of the week as the club scene came back into focus in both hemispheres…

15. Jordie Barrett (Hurricanes)

Barrett beats Telusa Veainu and Stuart Hogg to the full-back slot after a dazzling display against the Sharks.

Hurricanes vs Sunwolves

February 29, 2020, 3:40am

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The All Black provided three try assists and kicked 13 points as the Canes made it two wins on the bounce.

14. Nemani Nadolo (Montpellier)

Nemani Nadolo bagged a treble against Bayonne
Nemani Nadolo bagged a treble against Bayonne

The Fiji powerhouse helped himself to a hat-trick as Montpellier returned to winning ways against Bayonne.

Nadolo’s third try on 51 minutes extended their lead to 16 points and it proved a crucial score. Montpellier didn’t trouble the scoreboard again as Bayonne rallied, only to fall narrowly short as the hosts held on for a 31-29 win.

Nadolo edges out Newcastle Falcons wing Adam Radwan, who crossed for two tries in front of the Sky Sports cameras as the Championship leaders thumped Cornish Pirates.

13. Semi Radradra (Bordeaux-Begles)

Semi Radradra turned from villain to hero against Lyon
Semi Radradra turned from villain to hero against Lyon

Nadolo’s international team-mate returned from the sin bin to score two crucial tries as Bordeaux beat Lyon to leapfrog their opponents at the Top 14 summit.

Radradra gave Bristol fans a taster of what they can expect next season. He raced onto a pop pass to crash over from close range before half-time, and then showed great wheels as he turned on the gas on halfway and sped past the Lyon defence to dot down underneath the posts.

Curtis Rona also deserves a mention after his two-try display for London Irish, who continued their impressive away form with victory at Harlequins.

12. Jack Goodhue (Crusaders)

Jack Goodhue offloads to George Bridge for a try
Jack Goodhue offloads to George Bridge for a try

Goodhue scored a try and created another as the Crusaders returned to winning ways against the Blues.

The New Zealand centre threw an audacious offload to put George Bridge over in the corner for the Crusaders’ first try at Eden Park.

There was an element of good fortune for Goodhue’s try, his chip over the top ricocheting to Richie Mo’unga, but he reacted quickly to take the fly-half’s pass and put his side on course for victory.

11. Ben Lam (Hurricanes)

Lam joins his Hurricanes team-mate Barrett in our back three after a devastating attacking display.

Crusaders vs Highlanders

February 21, 2020, 6:00am

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The former sevens star racked up 119 metres from just four carries, which includes three line breaks.

Lam scored two tries after the interval, exhibiting dazzling footwork and speed to tear the Sharks defence open.

He edges out Shane Daly, who also bagged a double in Munster’s crushing of the Southern Kings.

10. George Horne (Glasgow Warriors)

George Horne scores his second try against Zebre
George Horne scores his second try against Zebre

Horne shone on his return to club action by scoring two tries in a 20-point haul against Zebre.

The Scotland fly-half crossed at either end of the first half and was denied a hat-trick midway through the second when he broke downfield, only to be denied by a high tackle which resulted in a penalty try.

Elsewhere, Callum Sheedy did his chances of a Wales call-up no harm with a man-of-the-match display in Bristol’s brilliant comeback against Northampton.

9. Brad Weber (Chiefs)

Brad Weber scores a try against the Sunwolves
Brad Weber scores a try against the Sunwolves

The Chiefs maintained their 100 per cent start to the season in Tokyo, where Weber skippered Warren Gatland’s side to victory over the Sunwolves.

The scrum-half combined well with No 10 Kaleb Trask and found his fly-half in space in the lead-up to the Chiefs’ opening try.

Weber brushed off three tacklers to score the Chiefs’ third and his subtle pass teed up Damian McKenzie for a try. He also made a try-saving tackle at the other end.

1. Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)

The Stormers have also made a dream start and their last-gasp win away to the Lions made it three victories in succession.

Stormers vs Los Jaguares

February 22, 2020, 1:00pm

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Kitshoff shone in the scrum, where he forced three penalties. He was also a menace at the breakdown, winning three defensive turnovers, while chipping in with seven tackles and five carries.

2. Folau Fainga’a (Brumbies)/Julian Montoya (Jaguares)

Folau Fainga'a scored a treble but still ended up on the losing side
Folau Fainga’a scored a treble but still ended up on the losing side

The No 2 shirt is shared between two hat-trick-scoring hookers, and they should also be sharing the plaudits with their respective packs given all of Fainga’a and Montoya’s tries came off lineout drives.

Montoya was a late inclusion in the Jaguares starting line-up after Agustin Creevy suffered a bicep injury and starred as they defeated the Reds, but there was late heartbreak for Fainga’a and the Brumbies as the Highlanders clinched victory on the final play in Canberra.

3. Vincent Koch (Saracens)

Koch has been linked with a return to South Africa at the end of the season but for now he remains fully committed to the Saracens cause.

The tighthead made 13 tackles and 10 carries in the superb win over Sale, while putting in his usual shift at the scrum.

4. Anton Bresler (Worcester Warriors)

Bresler recovered from an early fumble to make a lung-busting 27 tackles against Bath. The lock also won five lineouts as the Warriors fell agonisingly short of victory.

5. Franco Mostert (Gloucester)

Franco Mostert breaks upfield against Exeter
Franco Mostert breaks upfield against Exeter

The third Springbok World Cup winner in our line-up, Mostert impressed in both defence and attack on a frustrating night for Gloucester at home to Exeter.

Mostert made a team-leading 24 carries, 12 tackles and won four lineouts – including one steal.

6. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys)

The former Wales and Lions flanker produced a typical all-action performance as the Ospreys to beat Ulster to snap a 13-game losing streak.

Lydiate made 22 tackles and was a pest at the breakdown as the Welsh side claimed only their second win of a testing season.

Mention also for Nick Isiekwe, who won 13 lineouts in Saracens’ win over Sale.

England Women vs Ireland Women

February 23, 2020, 12:15pm

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7. John Hodnett (Munster)

Will Connors is unfortunate to miss out after his brace against the Cheetahs but Hodnett takes the openside slot after a debut to remember.

He made 92 metres from just nine carries against the Southern Kings while also putting in a shift in defence, and finished off a team move early in the second half to bag his first Munster try.

8. Arno Botha (Munster)

Arno Botha ran riot against the Kings
Arno Botha ran riot against the Kings

Botha is the fourth and final hat-trick hero in this week’s XV, excelling alongside Hodnett in the Munster back row.

Botha was a ball-carrying threat throughout against his fellow South Africans, making 66 metres from 15 carries. He also chipped in with 11 tackles.

Source : Sky Sports