Team of the Week: Leinster dominate after beating Munster; Antoine Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert the half-backs
Leinster recorded a narrow victory over Irish rivals Munster in the Guinness PRO14, while Antoine Dupont and Matthieu Jalibert are our half-backs after masterminding respective victories for Toulouse and Bordeaux-Begles in the Top 14
Last Updated: 25/01/21 3:39pm
Leinster dominate our team of the week after their Guinness PRO14 derby victory over Munster, while a couple of French stars make up the half-backs.
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster)
It was an old-school Irish derby as Leinster beat Munster 13-10 on Saturday, and no player on the pitch made more ground with ball in hand than Hugo Keenan, who carried 13 times for 69 metres - more than double the 34 metres made by his counterpart Maike Haleu, who topped Munster's stats in that department.
The full-back beat seven defenders and made two clean breaks at Thomond Park, putting his side on the front foot in a game where space was limited due to solid defence from both sides.
14. Jordan Larmour (Leinster)
It was Jordan Larmour's try that won the game for Leo Cullen's side, scoring in the 69th minute to deliver a victory that put Leinster within a point of Conference A leaders Ulster, who have played one game more.
Larmour made 42 metres with the ball - second only to Keenan - and beat six defenders in red, as well as making seven tackles in Limerick.
13. Owen Watkin (Ospreys)
Ospreys recorded a come-from-behind 26-20 win against Connacht on Sunday to claim their first victory in Ireland since September 2016.
Owen Watkin led the way for the Welsh region with carries (13) and was second for metres made with 59. He was tied at the top with midfield partner Kieran Williams for defenders beaten with eight, and made an impressive four defensive turnovers as well.
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw was tied at the top with Keenan for defenders beaten by a Leinster player, and made the most carries for his team with 17.
The centre, named in Andy Farrell's Six Nations squad on Monday, was a sizeable presence in midfield for the PRO14's defending champions.
11. Alivereti Raka (Clermont Auvergne)
Connacht's Alex Wootton had an impressive shift at the Sportsground, scoring a try and beating four defenders as well as making three clean breaks.
However, with a mammoth 184 metres made from his ten carries, as well as beating five defenders on his way to scoring two tries for Clermont in their 59-19 demolition of Castres, Alivereti Raka gets the nod on the left wing this week.
10. Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Begles)
Matthieu Jalibert's international coming-of-age at Twickenham in December put him in the headlines, and his performances in the Top 14 since then have kept him there.
In Bordeaux-Begles' 33-32 victory over Racing 92, the fly-half scored a try and slotted six of his seven kicks at goal for 20-point haul, as well as making the most carries (13) and metres (84) for his team.
9. Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
While Jalibert has some strong competition for France's No 10 jersey, Antoine Dupont is his country's best scrum-half by some distance, and in Toulouse's 59-0 hammering of Agen, he showed why.
Nobody in the game made more carries than the playmaker (16) or made more ground with ball in hand (100m). Dupont also beat five defenders and made two clean breaks, and scored one of his side's nine tries.
1. Cyril Baille (Toulouse)
While Dupont and the backs roamed free, the tone for Toulouse's dominance on Saturday was set by the forwards, led by Cyril Baille in the scrum.
Baille and his team-mates kept the Agen forwards going backwards in the set piece as well as the loose, which resulted in a comfortable victory for the Top 14 title contenders.
2. Pierre Bourgarit (La Rochelle)
Pierre Bourgarit was successful with 11 of his 13 lineout throws in La Rochelle's 40-3 victory over Bayonne, so it was a mixed day in the set piece for the hooker, but there was nothing mixed about his performance in the loose.
Bourgarit carried 11 times to make 43 metres in possession, and scored two tries for his team as well as putting in four tackles and a turnover in defence.
3. Andrew Porter (Leinster)
It's not often that you will see a tighthead prop play all 80 minutes in a big game these days, but Andrew Porter did exactly that for Leinster against an imposing Munster front row.
Porter did not have it all his way at the scrum, but to shore up the set piece for the entirety of the encounter and put in a staggering 21 tackles is a remarkable feat.
4. James Ryan (Leinster)
Only one player at Thomond Park made more tackles than Porter, and that was James Ryan with 28 hits on Munster ball-carriers.
The second rower also carried 16 times - bettered only by Henshaw - and stole two lineouts along with the five takes on the Leinster throw.
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
Tadhg Beirne wasn't as prolific for Munster at lineout time, but carried 10 times and scored a try for the home side.
The 29-year-old also put in 19 tackles - second only to lock partner Jean Kleyn for Munster with 20 - and turned the ball over twice.
6. Eben Etzebeth (Toulon)
Toulon had some pretty handy second rowers to aim for at the lineout in the form of Brian Alainu'uese and Romain Taofifenua in their 35-13 victory over Stade Francais, and their options were boosted by switching Eben Etzebeth to the side of the scrum.
The World Cup winner took four of his own team's lineouts and stole two off the Parisians, as well as contributing eight carries and eight tackles in the loose.
7. James Botham (Cardiff Blues)
James Botham has made three appearances for Wales so far, and will surely add to that tally if he keeps up his good form.
The flanker beat two defenders in his four carries, but it was his work in defence that gets him into the team - 25 tackles on Scarlets runners and two turnovers as the Blues ran out 13-10 winners.
8. Viliame Mata (Edinburgh)
Edinburgh were 26-10 victors against Zebre on Saturday, and Viliame Mata was the man to get them on the front foot.
The No 8 carried 23 times for 85 metres, beating four defenders, and added a lineout take to round off a complete performance in Italy.