Champions Cup Team of Round Six

Champions Cup Team of Round Six

The pool stages of the Champions Cup came to an end of the weekend with the eight teams now set to compete for the ultimate prize.


 

 
We select our team of the week from the final round of the pool stages.
 
 
 
 
1. Ben Obano - Bath 
 
Eddie Jones has kept an eye on the 25-year-old loosehead and his performance against Ulster is a great example of why he has the England boss' attention.
 
 
 
He was ferocious in the scrum, carried strongly and lent his weight on defence.
 
 
 
Aki Seiuli was brilliant and busy for Glasgow too while Mako Vunipola put in a trademark game against Racing 92.
 
 
 
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie - Exeter Chiefs
 
Jamie George was brilliant in Saracens win over Racing 92 as he set the platform for his backs with hard work in the breakdown and was accurate at the set-piece, with his side down a forward for the entire second half.
 
 
However, it was his fellow English International who makes our team of the week with Luke Cowan-Dickie edging the incumbent this week. The 26-year-old Exeter hooker made 16 carries, 52 running metres beat 5 defenders and scored a try in Exeter's comprehensive 33-14 victory.
 
 
 
Niall Scannell had a solid game for Munster as too did Rob Herring. 
 
 
 
 
3. Charlie Faumuina - Toulouse
 
Far from a clear cut pick with Rabah Slimani winning a crucial penalty in Clermont's win over the Harlequins, Owen Franks impressing against Lyon and Andrew Porter putting in a strong shift against Benetton.
 
 
 Vincent Koch also had a strong game with his work in the scrum with Saracens down a man. He also got around the park well clearing out rucks, running support lines and weighing in on defence. The Saracens pack was also excellent from the driving maul with Koch also setting a strong platform there.
 
 
 
However, Koch was outdone by former All Black Charlie Faumuina. The 33-year-old was a massive part of the Toulouse pack that smashed the Gloucester scrum. He was also brilliant with his carries and linked up well with one of his tries resulting in a try for Romain Ntamack.
 
 
4. Jonny Gray - Glasgow Warriors
 
 
 
Gray put in a massive shift in Glasgow's impressive 7-45 win over Sale Sharks on Saturday. The Exeter-bound second-rower made an incredible 22 tackles, without missing, and made 15 carries. 
 
 
He failed to miss a tackle, scored a try, made 38 running metres and completed five offloads in a performance that will do his hopes of a starting role come the Six Nations no harm.
 
 
Maro Itoje's two tries in the win over Racing 92 had him in the mix for a place in the side but he missed out to the Scotsman due his 6 missed tackles.
 
 
 
5. James Ryan - Leinster
 
 
Ryan was a standout for Leinster in a game that he is tailormade for. Leinster claimed a gritty 0-18 win over Benetton with both sides conceding little metres on defence.
 
 
The Irish second-rower topped both the carrying and tackle totals in the game making 16 carries and 18 tackles. He made 30 running metres and missed just a single tackle.
 
 
Alun Wyn-Jones put in a strong shift for the Ospreys which will ease Welsh fans' concerns as he looks fit and firing for the Six Nations and was well in the mix for a place in the side despite Ospreys' crushing defeat at the hands of Munster.
 
 
 
 
6. Fulgence Ouedraogo - Montpellier
 
The Montpellier blindside was called into the side at the last minute and was superb on defence and at the breakdown.
 
 
He did enough against Conncht to beat Leone Nakawara to a place in the side as well the impressive Max Deegan who starred once again for Leinster.
 
 
A special mention for Rynhardt Elstadt who did some excellent work stopping Gloucester's maul and Clermont's breakdown specialist Alexandre Fischer.
 
 
 
 
 
7. Jacques Vermeulen - Exeter Chiefs
 
 
Exeter's latest signing was excellent once more in their victory over La Rochelle. He carried the ball with intent beating 4 defenders and making 27 running metres against La Rochelle while he also forced a few turnovers and tackled well. 
 
 
 
His opposite number Zeno Kieft was just as impressive while Ben Earl was superb for Saracens.
 
 
 
 
8. Sam Simmonds - Exeter Chiefs
 
Alex Dombrandt made the headlines for his impressive game against Clermont where he was named man of the match despite the Harlequins losing to the French club. Leinster's Caelan Doris was just as impressive as too was Marcell Coetzee but Sam Simmonds grabs the #8 jersey. 
 
 
The Exeter man is likely to earn a recall to the England squad with his game against La Rochelle illustrating why. He made 14 carries, 7 tackles and scored two tries in just 64 minutes against La Rochelle.
 


 
With Billy Vunipola out, Eddie Jones could turn to Simmonds to fill the hard ball-carrying role. He showed his strength in this department making 52 running metres from his 14 carries beating 3 defenders. 
 
 
 
9. Antoine Dupont - Toulouse
 
Ali Price, Conor Murray and Luke McGrath could have easily made the side with both players putting in man of the match performances for their sides while Morgan Parra also had a solid game.
 
However, Dupont was simply incredible in Toulouse's win over Gloucester. He orchestrated just about everything Toulouse did well.
 
He sliced through the defence wonderfully in the build-up to Romain Ntamack's first try and continued to produce some excellent breaks, passes and kicks as Toulouse marched on to victory.
 
 
 
 
 
10. Billy Burns - Ulster
 
 
 
Billy Burns could make his debut for Ireland during the Six Nations if he continues in this vein. He varied his game well against Bath and guided his side to a 22-15 victory securing them a place in the quarter-finals where they will face Toulouse. Speaking of Toulouse, their excellent youngster Romain Ntamack helped Toulouse finished as third placed seed heading into the quarters and just missed out to the Ulster outhalf.
 
 
 
Finn Russell had flashes of brilliance against Saracens as too did Owen Farrell in the same game but Burns just got the edge even beating the impressive performance from Dan Biggar.
 
 
 
 
11. Cheslin Kolbe - Toulouse
 
 
 
 
The livewire Springbok was sublime for Toulouse on Sunday. He was caught out early on defence as Louis Rees-Zammit went over to score but the Springbok fought back and was one of the stars in the win over Gloucester.
 
 
He beat defenders with ease, combined outstandingly to set up a try for Julien Marchand and came up with an outstanding cover tackle to deny Ollie Thorley.
 
 
Montpellier's Yvan Reilhac also had a great game scoring a brace against Connacht while DTH van der Merwe was a thorn in the Sale Sharks defence beating 7 defenders and scored a 5 pointer.
 
 
Finally, Jacob Stockdale just misses out after he made over 100 running metres against Bath.
 
 
 
12. Brad Barritt - Saracens
 
 
 
Brad Barritt is not shy to put everything on the line for Saracens and his game against Saracens on Sunday was a great example of that. He was solid on defence making 16 carries, filled in at flank after Will Skelton's red card.
 
 
He acted as another flanker for the side while not forgetting his duties in the centres. He did well to hold out Finn Russell and Virmi Vakatawa at times and lead his side to victory even when they looked dead and buried.
 
 
Charlie Ngatai put in a man of the match performance in defeat for Lyon and was close to cracking a nod in the side while Pita Ahki and Bundee Aki also had strong games for their respective sides.
 
 
 
 
 
13. Virmi Vakatawa - Racing 92
 
Vakatawa is the only Racing player to make the side after he starred on attack. He scored two tries against Saracens and was a real threat each and every time he touched the ball. 
 
 
 
He also made 86 running metres beat 9 defenders and made two clean breaks. Peter Betham also had a strong game for Clermont when he moved into the centres with Luke Northmore enjoying a strong game on the other side of the pitch. 
 


 
14. Robert Baloucoune - Ulster
 
The Ulster speedster made 69 running metres and scored a nice try from an incredible offload from Will Addison. He had a solid overall game for Ulster and could push further into the Irish squad if the performances continue.
 
He beats the likes of Gabriel Ngandebe and Kyle Steyn to place in the side.
 
 


 
 
15. Johan Goosen - Montpellier
 
 
 
Starting for the first time at fullback this season for Montpellier, Johan Goosen put in a strong performance for the French side. He entered the attack at the right times, cleared well and countered even better.
 
 
 
He nudges out a blockbuster 40-minute performance from Will Addison to make the team while Thomas Ramos was also superb for Toulouse.
 


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