Team of the week: Scarlets and Exeter dominate
Last Updated: 29/05/17 3:55pm
Our team of the week is dominated by Scarlets and Exeter players after they triumphed in the PRO12 and Premiership finals.
15. David Havili (Crusaders)
Great to see Ben Smith back in action but Havili was superb as he helped the Crusaders to a record-equalling 13th game unbeaten in Super Rugby this season.
Havili was devastating with ball in hand against the Rebels - beating 10 defenders including an outrageous sidestep that saw him going over for a try. Also set Manasa Mataele up for his try with some lovely hands.
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter)
Not even a knock to his ankle could slow him down as his work rate was excellent. Scored a great try to open up Exeter's account and challenged the Wasps defence for the full 100 minutes. Put some excellent tackles in too - especially to stop Dan Robson going over.
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
Stuart Barnes says that Davies is back to his brilliant 2013 form which will delight Lions coach Warren Gatland. Davies cut through the Munster defence at every opportunity with some quality running lines, showed accurate passing, and was very solid in defence.
12. Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)
He dropped the ball on attack early on but recovered well and was superb for Wasps. Scored 15 of Wasps 20 points and made some excellent decisions on attack. A big defensive display as well.
11. George North (Northampton)
Another Lions to step up this weekend as he starred for Saints against Stade Francais. Went looking for work at every opportunity and was top of the table for carries and metres made.
10. Gareth Steenson (Exeter)
Plenty of competition for the No 10 jersey with the likes of Rhys Patchell, Richie Mo'unga and Harry Malinder pushing Steenson hard. His out-of-hand kicking may not have been to his usual standards but he marshalled his troops well and bossed the game. Took his two pressure kicks in his stride - the first to take the game into extra time and the second to win the Chiefs their first Premiership title. A classy performance.
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
A nod to Stade's Will Genia but Davies put a huge dent in Conor Murray's reputation with an excellent display. Scored a try from his support play plus his out-of-hand kicking was spot-on. His distribution and on-field decision making had the Scarlets backline purring.
1. Ben Moon (Exeter)
Gave Wasps No 3 Phil Swainston a real going over in the scrum and made sure the Chiefs were on the front foot here. Not flash or goose-stepping his way to the try-line for Moon, who is happy doing the hard work in the scrums and mauls.
2. Malcolm Marx (Lions)
A fierce battle from Wasps No 2 Tommy Taylor and Exeter's Luke Cowan-Dickie but Marx gets the nod with his performance for the Lions. Marx came on for the 14-man Lions when Robbie Coetzee was sent off in the first half and let loose with explosive runs with ball in hand that earned him a try. Was influential at the breakdown and in defence when the Kings tried to make the most of their extra man.
3. Coenie Oosthuizen (Sharks)
A very strong performance from Oosthuizen who helped the Sharks to a win over fierce rivals the Stormers in their Super Rugby clash. Put in a huge shift at the scrum and also one of their go-to ball carriers. Was excellent in the loose as well.
4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes was outstanding for Northampton but we could not ignore Launchbury's contribution to the most exciting Premiership final in years. Really stepped up at the lineout and had a tremendous battle with Geoff Parling. Made some crucial turnovers and led from the front in defence and was one of their top tacklers.
5. Geoff Parling (Exeter)
Sam Whitelock threw down the gauntlet for the Lions with his performance for the Crusaders but this was a colossal display from Parling who will leave a big hole at Exeter when he heads for Japan. Once again dominated the lineout and managed to put plenty of pressure on Wasps - stealing two of their throw-ins. Carried with intent and got the Chiefs on the front foot every time he carried.
6. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)
A nod to Kwagga Smith who was excellent in the Lions win against the Kings, despite playing the second half with 14 men. But we cannot ignore Shingler who put in a man-of-the-match performance against Munster. He was everywhere putting in tackles, cleaning out the rucks and big in the mauls - very good at the lineout, too.
7. Don Armand (Exeter)
Just a fabulous operator who is in the form of his life. Was excellent at the breakdown and put in some big defensive work - especially in extra-time where he really stood out.
8. Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
For 79 minutes he was immense putting in some huge tackles and making massive carries - including a break that sent Elliot Daly over. Beat nine defenders and made 18 tackles. Will have nightmares about the penalty he gave away in the final minute that led to Exeter levelling the score and allowed them to go on and win it, but Wasps would not have been in that position if it wasn't for his performance.
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