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Thread: Super Rugby Pacific 2024 TOTW: Looking at the best Australian performers from Round 1

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    Super Rugby Pacific 2024 TOTW: Looking at the best Australian performers from Round 1

    Mon, May 13, 2024, 12:06 PM
    Nathan Williamson


    Round 12 of Super Rugby Pacific saw the return of the Australian derbies as teams battled it out with the finals approaching.

    The Queensland Reds held off the Melbourne Rebels as the ACT Brumbies outclassed the NSW Waratahs in crazy conditions.

    However, the Western Force were the big winners with their second-largest victory in club history against the Fijian Drua.

    With this in mind, Rugby.com.au has selected the best from the Australian sides for round 12.

    1. Marley Pearce (Western Force)
    It was a strong defensive night for the young Force prop as he continued his gradual development in the west.

    Pearce was busy in his 55-minute stint, making 15 tackles to keep repelling the Drua attackers as they started to build momentum.

    2. Tom Horton (Western Force)
    Horton pressed his case for a Wallaby call-up further with an excellent night of action across the park.

    He was busy in defence whilst setting up Bayley Kuenzie’s try after running a great supporting line in what would be his final touch of the game.

    The hooker was perfect at lineout time, going eight from eight with his throws.

    3. Sam Talakai (Melbourne Rebels)
    Talakai impressed in a testing situation for the Rebels.

    Coming on after just nine minutes, he held his own against a fierce Reds pack and ended up covering as a hooker midway through the second half when Jordan Uelese had to undergo HIA protocol.

    He didn’t stop trying all night (despite the throwing issues) and set up Macui Nabolokasi’s late try to give the Rebels a sniff.

    4. Jeremy Williams (Western Force)
    Williams did it all for the Force in a true captain’s performance.

    The lock set the tempo early with a great gallop through the defence to set up Chase Tiatia’s early try, followed by soft hands from the ruck base to put Michael Wells over.

    He also had two turnovers to go with a plethora of strong tackles and lineout wins.

    5. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies)
    Frost worked hard across the 80 minutes in a productive night for the towering lock.

    He was everywhere in attack and defence, stepping up against a physical Waratah pack.

    This just saw him edge out Izack Rodda, who is back at the form that saw him a Wallabies regular.

    6. Rob Valetini (ACT Brumbies)
    Valetini was a bruiser in attack and defence as he powered the Brumbies home in the wet.

    He delivered some crunching tackles, including a lovely shot on Waratah Tane Edmed late in the game.

    His carries were strong, warding off the Waratahs' comeback to secure the win.

    7. Carlo Tizzano (Western Force)
    Tizzano was a monster all night in Perth as he tormented the Drua around the ruck.

    His work-rate is a massive point of difference, making a perfect 19 from 19 tackles on top of two turnovers as he hunts down Fraser McReight on top of the turnover table.

    The backrower dived over for a deserved try when he spotted space around the ruck and dived over.

    8. Harry Wilson (Queensland Reds)
    Wilson was tireless in the victory over the Rebels until his broken arm derailed his season.

    He battered through the Rebels defensive line with every carry whilst aiming up physically in defence.

    9. Jake Gordon (NSW Waratahs)
    Gordon was inspirational as he rallied his side all night.

    His try in the 15th minute sparked the Waratahs after a slow start as he backed up Dylan Pietsch’s break.

    He threatened all night with his carries whilst his delivery never wavered even as the rain came down.

    10. Ben Donaldson (Western Force)
    Donaldson delivered his finest game in the blue jersey as he powered the Force to victory.

    His night and stat line was reminiscent of his haul against Georgia at last year’s World Cup, recording 23 points in a perfect night of kicking.

    This was coupled with two line breaks, seven tackle busts, two offloads and a try in a statement game with Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt sitting in the stands.

    11. Dylan Pietsch (NSW Waratahs)
    Pietsch has been damaging for the Waratahs since his brief Shute Shield stint and Saturday was no different.

    He set up the Waratahs opening try with a great burst at the side of the ruck.

    Pietsch finished with a trio of line breaks to go with the try assist and four tackle busts.

    12. Hamish Stewart (Western Force)
    Stewart was everywhere for the Force as he dominated the midfield game.

    The inside centre is a defensive weapon and his 19 tackles accurately reflect his influence in limiting the explosive Drua attack to just one try.

    But his playmaking was the shining element of this game, creating chances across the 80 minutes to spark the runaway second half victory.

    13. Len Ikitau (ACT Brumbies)
    Len Ikitau continues to show why he is one of the best outside centres in the world.

    Ikitau oozes class whenever he touches the ball and he sparked the Brumbies' second-half surge with a lovely grubber to Ollie Sapsford, forcing the five-metre scrum that led to Valetini’s try.

    He then finished perfectly in the corner as he beat a hobbling Charlie Gamble to slide over.

    14. Tim Ryan (Queensland Reds)
    Ryan’s dream stint in Super Rugby continues as he once again added to his try-scoring tally.

    He is an excellent finisher but also showed the poise to put Campbell over for a crucial five-pointer after absorbing the contact milliseconds before handing it off to his fullback

    15. Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds)

    Campbell continues to shine at the back for the Reds.

    He was lethal in attack, beating defenders at will to score a great try that put them back in front.

    His strong night saw him just edge out Kurtley Beale, who has been one of the signings of the year for the Force.

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    (Previously WFDS) WFDom's Avatar
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    Can Mr Schmidt please come every week?

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    Great game, Fucken battled right through to the 80!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WFDom View Post
    Can Mr Schmidt please come every week?
    Haha! They sure picked the week to click, or him to be there, whichever

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgs View Post
    Haha! They sure picked the week to click, or him to be there, whichever
    I think they all brought out the best in each other, good forward momentum from the pack gave the backs the space to work their brilliance - when they shine its bloody bright!

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