Champions Cup Quarter-Finals Team Of The Week

Champions Cup Quarter-Finals Team Of The Week
Leinster, Toulouse, La Rochelle and Bordeaux are through to the Champions Cup semi-finals following their respective victories this weekend. 
 
 
In the semi-finals, La Rochelle will host Leinster while Toulouse host Bordeaux.
 
 
We have picked our team of the week. 
 

1. Peni Ravai - Clermont



For the second week in a row, the Clermont loosehead finds a place in our team of the week. He did his key roles as loosehead well holding his own against the former All Black Charlie Faumuina. With ball in hand he was devastating making over 30 running metres while he was strong defensively. 

2. Pierre Bourgarit - La Rochelle 
 
Part of the La Rochelle pack that sent the Sale Sharks' pack tracking backwards. La Rochelle's lineout operated without any hiccups for the full 80 minutes while Bourgarit topped the tackle count in the clash with 12 and was only beaten by winger Dillyn Leyds with metres made as he racked up 63 from just six carries. He edges Ronan Kelleher, who was brilliant, to a place in the side. 
 
 
3. Uini Atonio - La Rochelle
 
Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Porter were excellent once again for Leinster but La Rochelle's tank of a tighthead nabs ahead of the Leinster pair after a standout performance against Sale Sharks. The Sharks were muscled off the ball twice in the clash against La Rochelle with Antonio dominating Bevan Rodd. 
 
4. Rory Arnold - Toulouse
 
 
Ran a tidy shift at the lineout in tough conditions. Toulouse had 16 in total and lost just one. Arnold was abrasive on defence and attack as well and cleared out the rucks well too. 
 
 
 
5. Cyril Cazeaux - Bordeaux
 
The clash between Bordeaux and Clermont can probably be best described as a dog fight, if so, Cazeaux was the biggest dog with the biggest bite. He was fantastic defensively for the victors topping the tackle count with 18 and carried strongly making 15 metres from his seven carries in a game where metres were extremely difficult to come by. 
 
 
6. Wenceslas Lauret - Racing 92
 
In a game where running metres were hard to come by, Laret made 50 the highest tally by a racing 92 player. He was also made the second-highest tackle tally for the Parisians and was a threat over the ball once again. 
 
 
7. Josh van der Flier - Leinster
 
22 tackles and two turnovers is just the surface of what was an excellent performance from Josh van der Flier at Sandy Park. Robbie Henshaw took the man of the match honours in the encounter but few would have argued had van der Flier claimed it. He was physical defensive driving players backwards and carried with the same intent. 
 
 
 
 
8. Victor Vito - La Rochelle
 
His assist for Gregory Alldritt just oozed class but that wasn't the only brilliant piece of play from the former All Black has he shone with ball in hand making eight passes, two offloads and made over 30 running metres. Sam Simmonds had some great moments for Exeter while Jack Conan was excellent but Vito was simply the standout. 
 

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9. Antoine Dupont - Toulouse
 
The best of the rest as few scrum-halves stood out this weekend. Dupont had a few nice darts around the rucks and kick well out of hand in wet conditions. His opposite Morgan Parra also had an excellent game could well have made the team had he steered Clermont to victory. 
 
 
10. Matthieu Jalibert - Bordeaux
 
Jalibert pretty much single-handily forced Bordeaux into the semi-finals of the Champions Cup with his accurate boot sending his side into the last four for the first time in their history. He missed just one of his 9 attempts at goal, slotted the winner from distance, made the most metres in the game and looked by far the most threatening player on the pitch in a truly dreary affair. Romain Ntamack did a similar job to Clermont that Jalibert did to Racing while Ross Byrne was superb in replacing Jonathan Sexton. 
 
 

 
11. Raymond Rhule - La Rochelle 
 
Raymond Rhule gets into the team as he proved to be the main driving force to steer La Rochelle to victory. At half time, La Rochelle led by just two points before Rhule tore through the defence and stepped his way to the try line. He quickly added a second as that two-point lead quickly turned into a 14 point advantage. That laid the ground for La Rochelle to take Sale Sharks apart with the speedster providing an assist for Geoffrey Doumayrou, who later scored another to seal the result. 
 
12. Robbie Henshaw - Leinster
 
Man of the match against Exeter, Henshaw trucked the ball into contact at key times for Leo Cullen's men while he also distributed the ball superbly close to the line. He did have a slip or two on defence but was otherwise solid in all facets. 
 
 

 
13. Rory O'Loughlin - Leinster
 
Some excellent reads on defence denying Exeter some clear chances but O'Loughlin's real impact came on attack as he made over 90 running metres and linked up with his passes.  
 
 
14. Tom O'Flaherty - Exeter Chiefs
 
Although O'Flaherty played on the left-wing against Leinster, we have made space for him on the right after his stellar outing where he scored two tries. He was slipping through tackles the entire game making over 100 running metres, a tally no other player reached this weekend. He edges Jordan Larmour to a place in the team despite the Leinster man's two excellent tries. 
 


 
15. Hugo Keenan - Leinster
 
An outstanding game from the Leinster fullback who was hugely involved in their victory over Exeter. Besides being excellent under the high ball, he assisted two of Leinster's try and ran some troubling lines for Exeter to make 83 running metres. He was heavily involved with ball in hand making 12 passes. 
 
 
 
 
 
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