Team of the Week. Guinness Pro 14 League. Week 4.
Some tough decisions on selections again this week. Ospreys were poor away to Benetton Treviso as were the Dragons, in a team that was full of inexperience and much changed for their game with Ulster. Scarlets and Cardiff Blues managed to get victories. Scarlets yet again set the standard, but Cardiff Blues will have gained much confidence from their win against Connacht in Galway.
Our selection for this week is as follows:
15/ Carl Meyer – Dragons. The fullback was one of the few shining lights. Made some great breaks and looked dangerous with ball in hand, making 149 metres in total with his breaks.
14/ Keelan Giles – Ospreys. Tough selection on the right wing this week, with nobody really standing out. Have gone for Giles, who the few times had the ball looked dangerous. Also showed some nice football skills with a few chips into space, showing he is more than just a sprinter.
13/ Jonathan Davies – Scarlets. The British and Irish Lions player of the series showed some great touches on Saturday night. Very solid performance.
12/ Willis Halaholo – Cardiff Blues. Two tries and showing nimble footwork that the judges on Strictly Dancing would have enthused about. Was physical in defence as well, making 22 tackles in the game. An excellent performance and much needed return to form. A mention also for Hadleigh Parks, who was excellent for the Scarlets yet again.
11/ Steff Evans – Scarlets. The young winger is having an outstanding season and continued this level of performance on Saturday. Has to be in the Welsh squad for the Autumn series and we would love him to be given a go in at least one of the games Wales will play.
10/ Rhys Patchell – Scarlets. Another star so far this season. Best 10 in Wales on current form. Has not always been given an opportunity for Wales, is this his time?
9/ Gareth Davies – Scarlets. Scored a try and was sharp all game. A mention also for Dane Blacker who in a 20-minute role for the Dragons, looked a real prospect. The young man is on loan from Cardiff Blues, and hopefully, he gets a few more outings.
1/ Rob Evans – Scarlets. Strong performance from the Welsh international. Carried well as always, and put up a strong scrummaging performance against renowned scrummager, WP Nel.
2/ Kristian Dacey – Cardiff Blues. Dynamic, robust performance on his return from injury. Carried really strongly and made 20 tackles in the game.
3/ Taufa’ao Filise – Cardiff Blues. Strong performance from the veteran. The one tackle he made on Kieron Marmion in open field was outstanding for a tighthead prop to make let alone a 40-year-old.
4/ Seb Davies – Cardiff Blues. The lock forward is a real prospect. Made 20 tackles in the game and had a great battle with Irish international, Ultan Dillane. A real star in the making.
5/ Tadhg Beirne – Scarlets. No wonder Munster and Ireland want to get him back to the Emerald Isles so he can progress onto international honours. In great form as he was last season.
6/ Aaron Shingler – Scarlets. A try for the athletic back rower. In excellent form. Has been questioned on his physicality against the very best, but in our view, is physical enough and look at all the other qualities he brings to a team. Form 6 in Wales. A mention also for Josh Turnbull of the Cardiff Blues, who put in a great shift on Saturday making 26 tackles and being a nuisance throughout.
7/ Ollie Griffiths – Dragons. In a match dominated by Ulster, Griffiths never stopped leading his team by example. Is all round game is outstanding, and yet another 7 in Wales who can play at the very top level. Mentions also for Will Boyde and Josh Navidi who both played very well for their respective sides. This position was the hardest to select.
8/ Nick Williams – Cardiff Blues. Nobody at 8 really stood out this week, but have gone for Williams, who in a battle royal in the forwards showed his toughness and was a real nuisance a the breakdown, and also always gave his forwards a target with his ball carrying.
So there you have it our team of the week. Please let us know your thoughts, and also please listen to The Attacking Scrum on Monday, who will discuss this team as well as all Welsh rugby matters from the previous week.