Hurricanes’ Laumape is player of the week

FIFTEEN players from eight teams have been named in the team of the week for week 18 of the Super Rugby competition. Picture: SANZAAR

THE penultimate Super Rugby Team of the Week for the normal season before we head into the finals next week.

TOTW has players from eight teams with Hurricanes’ Ngani Laumape as player of the week.

Indeed the Hurricanes centre was clearly the standout player in Week #18 and made a huge contribution to the ‘Canes return to winning ways when they beat the Blues 42-24. Laumape scored four tries, assisted in another try, he beat 10 defenders, made three clean breaks and ran for 119 metres.

15 Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares)
– Beat a round-high 11 defenders and made a round-high four offloads, gaining 157m from 19 carries as well.

14 Akihito Yamada (Sunwolves) – Gained 96m, made three clean breaks, and crossed for two tries from just four carries.

13 Lukhanyo Am (Sharks) – Made a team-high 13 carries, gaining 115m and beating five defenders.

12 Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes) – Became just the fourth player in eight years to be directly involved in 5+ tries in a game (4 tries, 1 try assist), gaining 119m and beating 10 defenders from just eight carries.

11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs) – Gained 212m, the second most of any player in a single game in the last eight campaigns, as well as scoring two tries and assisting another.

10 Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) – Made a game-high four clean breaks, 13 carries for 133m gained, and finished with a tally of 14 points including a try.

9 Gonzalo Bertranou (Jaguares) – Was directly involved in four tries (2 tries, 2 try assists) in just 55 minutes of game time, the equal most ever by a Jaguares player.

8 Akira Ioane (Blues) – Made a team-high 14 carries, beating five defenders and crossing for a try.

7 Will Miller (Waratahs) – Was the only player in the Waratahs vs Sunwolves game to make 10+ carries and 10+ tackles and became the first forward to make 5 clean breaks in a game this season.

6 Pablo Matera (Jaguares) – The only forward to score two or more tries at the weekend, Matera also made the second most carries (15) or any forward.

5 RG Snyman (Bulls) – Made three offloads, a joint round-high for a forward, and made 18/24 tackles.

4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval (Jaguares) – Became the first player to steal 3+ lineouts in consecutive games since Eben Etzebeth did so in July 2016.

3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs) – Became the first prop forward to assist multiple tries (2) this season as well as scoring one himself.

2 Agustin Creevy (Jaguares)- Made 19 carries, four more than any other forward, beat five defenders, and made 6/8 tackles.

1 Pierre Schoeman (Bulls) – Made 15/16 tackles, a round-high for a prop forward, and gained 9m from as many carries

Opta Index: How does it work

The Opta Index allows genuine opportunities to compare and contrast both player and team strengths and weaknesses across Super Rugby, providing real insights pre-game as follows:

After every match Opta completes a video analysis of every touch of the ball. Each action in the match is awarded a points value depending on the relative importance of the action. So for example, a try scores more points than a tackle, but a player loses points for a missed tackle.

The points are then weighted against the score at the time when the action took place (higher points if the score is closer), the time in the match (higher points at the start of the match) and the position on the pitch where it took place (higher points for actions closer to the goal line).

The player is then given a score for the match by adding up all his actions while he was on the field. The total match score is then weighted to take account of the strength of the opposition so that performances across many matches can be judged fairly.

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