Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Best South African Super Rugby XV

Best South African Super Rugby XV

Sharks vs Stormers

Darry Worthington gives his opinion on which 15 South African Super Rugby players have impressed during the opening seven rounds of the tournament.

With Super Rugby 2020 set to be postponed for a number of weeks or possibly cancelled altogether, it's probably a good time to look back on the opening seven rounds of the tournament and see which of the South African players have impressed the most.

Darry Worthington does the above with his 'Best South African XV.' Lions fans be warned, none of your players feature in his best XV.

Fullback
Aphelel Fassi
Franchise: Sharks

The Sharks' fullback has been the standout South African player of the tournament. His amazing turn of pace and deft feet have seen him rack up 100 of metres on the counter.

While Fassi still needs to do a bit of work when it comes to his positioning, he's well on his way to becoming a Springbok.

Right-Wing
Madosh Tambwe
Franchise: Sharks

This may not be a very popular choice, but I have been very impressed by the form Golden Lions man. Having started the season as the Sharks' back up winger, Tambwe made his mark for the Sharks when he came in for the injured Sb'u Nkosi during the Sharks tour of Australasia.

While he did struggle on his debut against the Hurricanes, the flying winger followed that up with solid showings against the Rebels and Reds. He looks a real coup for the Sharks and could well form part of the next Springbok squad.

Outside Centre
Lukhanyo Am
Franchise: Sharks

Ruhan Nel and the Mannie Rass have had some decent moments for the Bulls and Lions but Springbok incumbent, Lukhanyo Am has been far more consistent than the former two.

His stats for the season aren't really great - he's made far fewer metres than Nel and hasn't been able to rack up as impressive a tackle count as Rass - but Am has still been the heartbeat of this impressive Sharks side both on attack and defence.

Inside Centre
Andre Estherhuizen
Franchise: Sharks

We have another Shark here in the backline in the inside centre berth. While Esterhuizen has been in fantastic touch, the truth is that he hasn't really been challenged for hi position with no other South African inside centre excelling thus far - Jamie Roberts of the Stormers has been solid but he's a Welshman.

Estherhuizen's brutal carrying and strong tackling have been crucial to seeing the Sharks top the log at the close of Round 7.

Left-Wing
Rosco Specman
Franchise: Bulls

One of the few shining lights in what has been a dire campaign for the Bulls. While Specman hasn't been able to bag as many tries as he did last season, he has been one of the few Bulls players to provide a real attacking threat.

If Specman was playing for a team with a more attacking gameplan and fly-half, then he would be up there with the top try-scorers in the tournament.

Fly-Half
Damien Willemse
Franchise: Stormers

This one should really go to Curwin Bosch but the Sharks' pivot has just been so porous on defence that I cannot give it to him. Willemse, on the other hand, has been rock solid on attack and defence while producing some quality moments of magic, particularly during the early rounds of this year's competition.

One area that Willemse needs to improve is his goalkicking, with the Stormers' youngster only kicking registering a 64% goal kicking success ratio in the opening seven round.

Scrum-Half
Herschel Janjties
Franchise: Stormers

Sanele Nohamba really does deserve a mention here but I feel last season's South African find of the year, Herschel Janjties, has been a cut above the rest of the South African scrum-halves.

The value that Janjties brings to the Stormers team has been evident this season with his franchise struggling for results while he was injured.

Eigthman
Sikumbuzo Notshe
Franchise: Sharks

Notshe move to the Sharks has reignited the loose forwards career. While doing his core duties well, the former Stormers man has also set up a number of tries for the sharks with some devastating ball carries and his electric feet.

He's by far and away been the best South African franchise signing of the off-season. And while Duane Vermeulen is set to return to South Africa very soon, Notshe may well start for the Springboks whenever they play their next Test.

Openside Flanker
Josh Strauss
Franchise: Bulls

Strauss has been a solid player for a very weak Bulls team. While he's lost a lot of the dynamism that made him a real force for the Golden Lions before he moved overseas, the veteran is still a solid flanker who gets through his core duties with aplomb.

He's also helped lead a very young Bulls that needs a lot of guidance.

Blindside Flanker
James Venter
Franchise: Sharks

I have been extremely impressed by Venter. While he hasn't made as many headlines as young Dyland Richardson or Sikhumbuzo Notshe, he has done a lot of dirty work for the Sharks at the breakdown. He's also been a handy lineout option as well as a bally carrying a weapon.

Lock
Hyron Andrews
Franchise: Sharks

This is turning into a real breakthrough season for Andrews who has seemingly taken on the lineout calling responsibilities for the Sharks. While his work at the setpiece has been great, Andrews has also got stuck in at ruck time. The one area where he needs to improve is his offload game, which has been non-existent at times this term.

Lock
Salmaan Moerat
Franchise: Stormers

Moerat has been tipped for big things ever since his days with the South African Under 20's and he is now starting to deliver on that promise putting in some solid displays for the Stormers.

He's been an excellent lineout option for his franchise and is one of the hardest working and most physical locks in the country.

Tighthead Prop
Thomas du Toit
Franchise: Sharks

The 2019 World Cup winner has been a key cog in the Sharks solid scrum this term. He's managed to come out on top in his battles with some of the best props the competition has to offer. He's also getting around the park well and has a solid tackle success rate.

Hooker
Scarra Ntubeni
Franchise: Stormers

It's actually worrying that Ntubeni makes this list as he has been extremely inconsistent. While he's delivered some solid displays, he's also had some shocking shifts. He is a more complete hooker than the rest of the number twos turning out for South African franchises, although, Sharks youngster Kerron van Vuuren does look a promising prospect.

Loosehead Prop
Steven Kitshoff

Perhaps he hasn't bee at his best this term but the ginger-haired prop has still been the pick of the bunch in South Africa. He's scrummed well this term but his loose play is what has impressed the most with the Stormers front ranker scoring a number of tries and gaining countless metres.

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