Team of the week: Standouts and stalwarts combine
Last Updated: 30/04/18 1:07pm
After an action-packed weekend of domestic rugby, the best from across the leagues combine to form our latest team of the week.
With a Tyrrells Premier 15s final, multiple derby fixtures and key contests taking place, it was a mesmeric weekend of rugby union.
Stalwarts across the leagues said farewell to their home fans and individuals impressed both in victory and defeat.
So, who has made the cut in our team and which player stood out for you? Take a look at the XV and select your standout performer below.
15. Alex Goode (Saracens)
Saracens secured a home semi-final in the Aviva Premiership after a resounding 51-14 victory over already-relegated London Irish and Goode, his usual productive self, delivered an excellent score.
The full-back collected Theo Brophy Clews' attempted chip before splitting the Irish defence with pace and power and his dancing feet.
Goode finished his afternoon's work as his team's joint top carrier - 13 alongside Brad Barritt - and their top metre-maker with 87.
14. Manasa Mataele (Crusaders)
At the GIO Stadium Canberra, Manasa Mataele grabbed a brace of tries when he replaced Israel Dagg.
Mataele first stuck from close range before neatly collecting a wide pass from Matt Todd for his second.
The Crusaders survived a strong second-half comeback from the Brumbies to secure their 21-8 victory and as a result they move to the top of the overall Super Rugby standings.
Elsewhere, Josua Tuisova's brace at the Stade Félix Mayol impressed as did Vereniki Goneva's at Welford Road.
Against his former club Goneva was entrancing and an instrumental part in Newcastle Falcons' first victory at Leicester in 20 years.
13. Juan de Jongh (Wasps)
Dai Young will be delighted to have the former Stormers man back to full fitness as the season heads towards the drama of the play-offs.
While countryman Willie le Roux is often singled out for praise at full-back, De Jongh's significance for Wasps, amid their undoubted attacking ability, is often understated.
The Rio Sevens bronze medallist was dependable once again both in defence and attack as he benefited from the Cipriani-Gopperth-Le Roux triumvirate's skill to go over for a try in their victory over Northampton.
12. Jackson Willison (Worcester)
The Kiwi has been a consistent performer for Worcester and once again starred at Sixways in a clinical dismantlement of Harlequins.
Willison has often been the player to break the opposition defences and set up his teammates for tries but the experienced centre managed to cross the whitewash twice - one in both periods - as they secured their Premiership status.
11. DTH Van Der Merwe (Glasgow)
The Canadian ran out for his 100th game in Glasgow colours and despite ending up on the losing side impressed with two tries of his own.
His first saw him collected a pinpoint kick-pass from Finn Russell and surge over the line and nothing was stopping him from marking the occasion with a second.
10. Danny Cipriani (Wasps)
At the Ricoh Arena, Wasps' departing fly-half made a statement with his performance in front of an on-looking Eddie Jones.
The 30-year-old pulled all of the strings for the home side as they booked a spot in the Premiership play-offs for a third consecutive season.
The performance certainly impressed our very own Stuart Barnes who hailed the outing as 'another subtle attacking masterpiece' in his latest Talking Points column.
Elsewhere a tip of the hat must be given to Ospreys' Dan Biggar who was instrumental in their second-half comeback against Cardiff Blues and held his nerve to hit the match-winning drop-goal.
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh)
The departing Edinburgh player was at the heart of everything in their 1872 Cup victory against Glasgow and he controlled their tempo excellently up until his substitution.
During the decisive 1872 Cup match he also proved his worth off the tee by slotting three conversions and as a result signed off from his last home game for Edinburgh with an all-around performance.
1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
Saracens Women secured the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s title, live on Sky Sports, with a 24-20 victory over Harlequins Ladies and their prop certainly caught the eye.
It was Botterman's offload that set up Sam Martinez Gion for Saracens' early tone-setting try after just four minutes. She also scored one of her own with a powerful finish after 18 phases in the second half.
At just 18 years old, and having made her international debut as a replacement against Canada earlier in the season, she's one to watch right now and in the future.
2. Stuart McInally (Edinburgh)
There is no doubt that McInally is thriving under the leadership of Richard Cockerill and will be pivotal to Edinburgh's chances of victory in their PRO14 play-off tie with Munster at Thomond Park next Saturday, live on Sky Sports.
Edinburgh are a club firmly on the up brimming with confidence. McInally's consistency this term reflects well on the job done by former international hooker Cockerill and there's no doubt that Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend will be delighted with the competition for places in the heart of the national side's front row.
3. John Afoa (Gloucester)
A 20-43 derby day defeat wasn't what Gloucester had planned for Round 21 of their Premiership campaign however their prop's work in defeat must be noted.
Afoa, playing in his last home game for the Cherry and Whites before he moves to Bristol next season, was bustling and busy throughout the encounter.
He made 11 tackles and missed none, a tally only bettered by Ben Morgan, and in broken play produced the most outrageous out-of-the-back offload that will certainly make his highlights reel.
4. Donncha O'Callaghan (Worcester)
Worcester gave the former lock the perfect send-off as he contributed to their emphatic bonus-point victory.
After walking out to a standing ovation the 39-year-old, who is highly regarded by all in the world of rugby, was influential in enabling the hosts' pack to gain a stranglehold over Quins.
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
One has to wonder how the vastly experienced Wales skipper continues to produce colossal displays at the latter end of another energy sapping season for both club and country.
The 32-year-old was a constant presence in the faces of their opponents. He showed his international class with fantastic offloads and passes and went over for the Ospreys' opening try.
6. Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets)
The flanker's two-try display in their 33-8 bonus-point win over Dragons ensured that he will run out at Parc y Scarlets for one more time this season.
Beirne's second try came after he stole the Dragons' lineout and then turned on the gas. Throughout his influence at the breakdown also shone and has now secured 37 turnovers, more than any other player in the PRO14 this season.
7. Olly Robinson (Cardiff Blues)
Cardiff Blues' Judgement Day ultimately ended in defeat however Olly Robinson's performance has been hailed by all that witnessed the encounter.
Robinson made 30 tackles and he missed precisely none. Yes, that number was 30!
The flanker was also a menace at the breakdown and duly delivered four turnovers for the Blues.
The 26-year-old signed a long-term contract with the region back in December and his signature is proving to be a golden one to ensure enviable depth in their back-row.
8. John Muldoon (Connacht)
Like O'Callaghan, John Muldoon enjoyed the perfect farewell as the durable leader helped his Connacht side to an emphatic victory against Leinster.
The 39-year-old, who will reunite with Pat Lam as Bristol defence coach next season, has made a record 327 appearances for Connacht.
The province won't be the same without him next season and his final act in front of the crowd at The Sportsground was to kick the conversion for their seventh try. A truly memorable way to mark 15 years with Connacht Rugby.