Will Greenwood picks his moments from Round Six of the Heineken Cup
Ulster, that man Pienaar, Charlie Sharples and seeing red over yellow make Will Greenwood's picks.
Last Updated: 21/01/14 11:27am
Ulster are top seeds after going unbeaten in the pool stages and will take on Saracens at Ravenhill. The winners of this quarter-final will get a home semi-final against either Clermont or Leicester - it's no secret as to who is favourite for that one!
In the other quarter-finals, Leinster face an almost impossible task of travelling to Toulon to take on the defending champions. However if one side can go to the south of France and get a result it is Leinster! The winner of that quarter-final will host the winner of Munster v Toulouse, with the French side no doubt kicking themselves for failing to get the bonus point in Zebre and have a home quarter-final.
Will Greenwood watched all the action from Round Six; here are his Heineken Cup picks of the week...
Team of the week: Ulster
Ulster's performance against Leicester has put them right up there as worthy contenders for this year's title. It was a complete team effort and to come back from 10 points down at Welford Rd, well that is something special. Ruan Pienaar was absolutely brilliant for them but the likes of Jared Payne, Luke Marshall and Chris Henry were also pure class. Can they go all the way? They still have so much to do but that win against Leicester will have given them enormous confidence.
Player of the week: Ruan Pienaar
A close to perfect performance from the Springbok. Pienaar kept his cool and controlled the game for Ulster. What set him apart was that he has the space, the time and the awareness of who is around him and he makes decisions based on that. He knew when to kick the ball and when to run it - when Pienaar runs it you know something is on. Not only does he bring real composure to this team, but also a cutting edge.
Try of the week: Charlie Sharples
There were some great tries this weekend - Sarries scored some beauties but I have to go for Charlie Sharples' try. Perpignan have an imposing record at Stade Aime Giral but Gloucester went there looking for a bonus point win for a Challenge Cup quarter-final berth. Jonny May's effort was superb but Sharples rounded off a super effort that started in Gloucester's 22. The ball came out wide to No.8 Gareth Evans who weighed up his options and then cut inside the Perpignan defence. He raced up the touchline while Sharples cut inside him; it looked like Evans could have gone all the way but he took stock of the covering defence and pooped the ball inside to Sharples who went over for a lovely try.
Moment of the week: Toulouse not getting the bonus point
The French giants really missed a trick against Zebre and blew the chance of getting a home quarter-final. They will now have to travel to Thomond Park to take on Munster who benefited from their slip-up. Toulouse have been guilty of not taking the likes of Zebre and Connacht seriously, but in their pomp they can be absolutely scintillating - just ask Saracens.
Villain of the week: Nathan White
I cannot believe Nathan White was only shown a yellow card for making contact with Brad Barritt's face with his boot. It was a disgrace and the TMO and ref bottled it after the review by not showing him a straight red. You cannot take the law into your own hands and he should not have been allowed back on the pitch.