Super 14 2009; players on a roll

Sharks, Bulls and Chiefs have been the most competitive of the last three rounds. But who are the key players that are making the difference?

Halfback: Brendon Leonard. He's astonishingly better every week. How can he? He was impressive against the Western Force, but he did really kick the ass of the Blues last Saturday. Children in New Zealand must be watching him and wishing they will grow up as halfbacks just as he is.

First five: Sorry, Mr Giteau, but the in-form player of the tournament is Morne Steyn. Simply unbelievable with the Bulls, he (and not Mat Goddard) was the main cause of the Bulls win last week in Wellington; he must be in the mind of de Villiers, come Lions time.

Hooker: Aled de Malmanche. True, he has got to improve (and improve and improve and improve) his ball throwing at the line-out, but he's the best battering-ram in the competition by a whole lot. All of a sudden, Hika Elliot is his back-up and it is not for nothing.

Lock: Bakkie Botha. Oh, hell, yes. I know what I said just yesterday about him, but that does not mean that he is not both ruling the line-out in the absence of Matfield and powering everywhere in the field as he always did.

Wing: Sorry for this one, Sivi, but not even 4 tries in a game is enough to cast shadows over the great great great season of Lelia Massaga. He has produced some blistering game so far. I hope Graham Henry will have noticed.

Loose forward: Pierre Spies. Oh, please, I know I'm selecting almost every player of the Bulls here, but who wouldn't?

Prop: You can have two: Chris King and Clint Newlands. Is it a mere chance that they come from the same franchise where Jamie Mackintosh and Carl Hayman grew up?

Midfielder: It must be one of these: Adi Jacobs, Jaque Fourie and Richard Kahui. And... ok, we'll please Spiro Zavos by naming an aussie here, Stirling Mortlock.

Fullback: I see Isaia Toeava in his best Super 14 season.

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