Team of the Week, Guinness Pro 14 League. Week 3
A much more difficult decision for Y Ddraig to make this week. The team of the week has been predominantly top heavy with Scarlets players, but this week a few more players from the other pro-Welsh sides put in some sterling performances, so much more options to choose from.
Congratulations to the Dragons for picking up a win. Unfortunately, only the one victory attained by the Welsh sides this round of games, which is disappointing for the second week on the trot.
So here are our choices with a brief rationale as to why and mentioning a few others who came very close to selection this week.
15/ Rhun Williams – Cardiff Blues. The young fullback showed what a danger he is with the ball in hand on Saturday night, and is a real talent. Reminds us a lot of another ex Cardiff player and Welsh international, Justin Thomas. A similar type of build and acceleration into gaps. Special mention also to Hallam Amos of the Dragons, who due to injuries had to slot into fullback and played very well in that position, scoring a try also.
14/ Johnny McNicholl – Scarlets. Really close call for this position this one. Ashton Hewitt and Alex Cuthbert also put their hands up for selection but for the third consecutive week, McNicholl is our choice, elusive runner and again, scoring a try.
13/ Hadleigh Parks – Scarlets. Has been excellent all season to date, and has been close to selection a few times. However, this time gets the nod. An outstanding footballer, who allows players to play off him, creates many opportunities.
12/ Jack Dixon – Dragons. Young Welsh centre put in a very strong performance on Friday night. Carried strongly and also made his tackles. Good to see him back to form. Mention also for James Hook, who showed great awareness and skill to score an outstanding try on Saturday afternoon in a poor Ospreys showing against Munster.
11/ Tom James – Cardiff Blues. Welsh winger scored an excellent try with an outstanding handoff on Scottish international, Alex Dunbar in the build up. Was up for work all evening. A mention also for Steff Evans who yet again put in another excellent performance gaining 79 metres with the ball in hand.
10/ Rhys Patchell – Scarlets. For the third consecutive week, Patchell gains selection to the team of the week. In outstanding form igniting the backline, also made 16 tackles for his team. In a rich vein of form. A mention also for Gavin Henson, who showed real leadership skills in the Dragons win.
9/ Sarel Pretorius – Dragons. Excellent display from the scrum-half. Busy all evening and led his backs and forwards with real purpose.
1/ Brok Harris – Dragons. Part of a Dragons front five that looks really promising for the first time in a while. Normally has played tight head but this season has moved over to the other side and on this display, in particular, could prove to be very successful. Mention also for Rob Evans who also played very well.
2/ Elliott Dee – Dragons. An outstanding display from the hooker who was rewarded with the man of the match award from the official sponsors. A mention also for Matthew Rees who put in a great shift again for Cardiff Blues on Saturday night. Has started the season very well.
3/ Kieron Assiratti – Cardiff Blues. The young prop was very good on Saturday evening. Scrummaged well and was very prominent in the loose, one for the future. A mention also for another young promising Welsh prop, Leon Brown, who again, was to the fore for the Dragons.
4/ Seb Davies – Cardiff Blues. Young Welsh international really showed his potential on Saturday evening. A real athlete with a tough rugged approach. Could be a real star in the second row in the coming years.
5/ Tadhg Beirne – Scarlets. For the third consecutive week, the Irishman gets selected for the team of the week. Was immense Friday against Ulster, what a find the Scarlets have. A mention also for Cory Hill who also was outstanding for the Dragons.
6/ Aaron Shingler – Scarlets. To the fore yet again for the Scarlets and yet again, gets the selection to the team of the week. The form blindside flanker in Wales right now.
7/ Josh Navidi – Cardiff Blues. Carried strongly and made his tackles for Cardiff Blues on Saturday night, and also showed has a kicking game with a great left foot kick. Very strong performance. A mention also for Will Boyde, who yet again, put in a strong performance for the Scarlets.
8/ John Barclay – Scarlets. Again the Scottish international gains selection. Makes very few errors and a real leader in the Scarlets group. A mention also for James Benjamin who had a strong showing for the Dragons.
So there you have it our team of the week. Do you agree/disagree?
Please remember to listen to our friends at The Attacking Scrum’s podcast tomorrow where they will discuss the games and also run through our selections and give you their selections from the matches. Always a great listen.