Team of the week: Super Rugby stars and European title winners
Last Updated: 16/05/16 2:39pm
Saracens and Montpellier lifted European silverware at the weekend, but which of their players made our team of the week?
There was plenty of rugby action over the weekend as two English sides went into European finals against French opposition. It was a win for Saracens who dominate our team of the week, but there is also room for some of the Montpellier players who lifted the Challenge Cup after beating Harlequins.
Elsewhere there were some big performances from the star individuals of Super Rugby, while some of their former team-mates also impressed in Lyon...
15. Jesse Mogg (Montpellier)
Mogg came on as a first-half replacement for the injured Benjamin Fall and scored two tries in Montpellier's Challenge Cup final win over Harlequins.
Fall's selection ahead of Mogg was described as a surprising one by Dewi Morris ahead of the final, and Mogg's performance showed why - in a game where the forwards wrestled it out for every inch, Mogg made an average of 10.5 metres per carry.
14. Waisake Naholo (Highlanders)
Another brace of tries for the Highlander as his side cruised to a 34-26 win against the Crusaders. It was a top-class encounter and Naholo was the beneficiary of some superb passing skills from No 10 Lima Sopoaga, but take nothing away from his ability to finish.
Naholo also put in seven tackles, while carrying the ball 10 times during the New Zealand derby that puts the Highlanders in a good position to qualify for the play-offs.
13. Lionel Mapoe (Lions)
Matt Faddes of the Highlanders was excellent but Mapoe stuck up his hand for Springbok selection with an eye-catching display against the Blues.
The 27-year old showed great hands in the pouring rain to claim a hat-trick against the Kiwi side as the Lions announced their Super Rugby ambitions with a 43-4 victory in Johannesburg.
12. Reece Hodge (Rebels)
Hodge may have been on the losing side against the Brumbies but it was an impressive performance from the youngster. He ran some excellent lines and finished off an excellent team try.
A nod to Brad Barritt, one of the often unsung heroes of the Saracens side. The No 12 led bravely against Racing to cap off a hardworking season.
11. Jason Woodward (Hurricanes)
At the end of the Hurricanes' match against the Reds, the Australia side was chasing a losing bonus point. A kick for poles would have brought them within three, but when they were awarded a kickable penalty they opted to kick for the corner instead.
The decision backfired in the worst possible way, as they patiently built through the phases before Woodward plucked a pass from the air to run the length of the field and score a try for the home side and hand the Hurricanes a 29-14 win. The try was the second for Woodward, who also made an impressive 17.3 metres-per-carry in Wellington.
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens)
The Farrell v Carter battle did not quite unfold as we expected but Farrell was the key man to help Saracens lift the Champions Cup. He kicked all Sarries' 21 points and did not miss any of his opportunities from the tee.
His tactical kicking in poor conditions was superb too; the atrocious weather dictated the game plan and Farrell rose to the occasion. Along with Barritt, he shored up the midfield to ensure that Racing were unable to penetrate the defence.
9. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
A close call between Wigglesworth and Waratahs' Nick Phipps, who played a high-tempo game against the Bulls. Phipps' speed of thought and excellent distribution ran the Bulls ragged, but Wigglesworth provided the complete No 9 performance in Lyon.
If Farrell was able to guide the Saracens attack he benefited from crisp delivery off his half-back partner despite the rain. The kicking out of hand was pin-point from Mark McCall's men, and it was led by the first-choice scrum-half.
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
The Saracens scrum came under some intense pressure from Racing in the early stages of the final, but Vunipola held his own and helped his side get the better of their opponents up front as the game went on.
But it wasn't just in the set piece that he made an impact. The prop was his usual rampaging self with the ball, carrying the most of all the Saracens players on the day with 11 hit-ups, and put in an unbelievable 20 tackles on Racing 92 runners.
2. Bismarck du Plessis (Montpellier)
The Springbok hooker was excellent on Friday night. Quins were going to need to play a fast-paced game to try and run the giant Montpellier pack of their feet, but Du Plessis made a nuisance of himself at every ruck to deny them quick ball.
He also hit 13 out of 13 jumpers in the lineout and carried and tackled with purpose. An all-round performance from the 31-year-old.
3. Jannie du Plessis (Montpellier)
While Bismarck du Plessis caused havoc in the loose, older brother Jannie was the rock of the scrum. The pair have been playing together for club and country for years - mainstays of the Sharks and Springbok front rows - and that experience told in Lyon.
The tighthead prop had an influential day at the office against the Quins front row, and won his individual battle against England's Joe Marler which laid the platform for victory.
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens)
Another excellent performance from Itoje, which was rewarded with the Champions Cup final man of the match award to add to the accolades he won in the quarter-final and semi-finals.
On top of that the 21-year-old was also voted European Player of the Year. Those achievements, to go with a Grand Slam Six Nations in his first season with England, makes for worrying reading for the rest of world rugby as the second rower is only in the fledgling stages of his professional career.
5. Paul Willemse (Montpellier)
A nod to Itoje's second-row partner George Kruis and Lions lock Franco Mostert, but Willemse earns himself a spot in our team.
The South African added grunt and power in the set-piece and in the loose, and his superb break set up Mogg's first try, and his offload ensured play went on before the Quins defence could set.
6. Elliot Dixon (Highlanders)
Dixon is seen as a serious threat to Jerome Kaino's All Black No 6 shirt and was in stellar form for the Highlanders when they beat the Crusaders.
In an intense contest against opposite number Jordan Taufua, Dixon's defence was superb, leading the tackle stats with an incredible 16 hits on Crusaders ball-carriers.
7. Will Fraser (Saracens)
The battle of the breakdown was going to be key against Racing 92 and Fraser ruled the roost. The flanker was always on hand to challenge for the ball in the loose, causing trouble for the Racing half-backs who were trying to get their team into the game.
Fraser also linked well with his own runners, and tackled to a standstill as he put in 14 hits in Lyon - joint third for Saracens in the final.
8. Warren Whiteley (Lions)
Another strong performance from the Lions skipper. Led from the front and put in a big shift to inspire his troops after their humiliating loss to the Hurricanes the week before.
The three-Test international pried open the Blues defence in the first minute, and kept hammering the line throughout the encounter.