Johnny Sexton and Mike Lowry make Champions Cup Team of the Week
The veteran showing us how it's done.
Every week, we seem to be starting off with an apology. Gavin Coombes and Simon Zebo, we are sorry. Now, on to the lucky lads that made our Champions Cup Team of the Week.
This season is the first time that all four Irish provinces have reached the knock-out stages of the European Cup. Munster and Ulster both did so after going four wins from four. Leinster took a Covid forfeit on the chin to win the three games they had an actual say in, and Connacht finished fifth in their pool after one win, three close defeats and some hard-earned bonus points.
The line-up for the Last 16 has been confirmed, with Leinster's two-legged affair with Connacht set to be a cracker. Munster will face Exeter Chiefs while Ulster have been rewarded for coming second in their pool with matches against reigning champs Toulouse.
As for the team of the week, after the round four pool matches, Leinster and Ulster share 10 spots in the XV.
Leinster lead the way with six inclusions
Starting with the weekend's stand-out performers, Johnny Sexton rolled back the years, at The Rec, to tear Bath to shreds. The Leinster and Ireland captain pulled multiple strings and set up a few tries with slick passing and kicks in behind.
Mike Lowry celebrated his Ireland call-up by turning it on against Clermont, on Saturday. He may be small in stature but, just like Cheslin Kolbe, he is elusive, brave and a devil to get to ground. Hugo Keenan had another great game for Leinster, but Lowry is in the form of his life.
Elsewhere in the backline, Tom Farrell was immense for Connacht, against Stade Francais, and just shades the in-form Ulster centre James Hume. Jimmy O'Brien - with his four tries and a try-saving tackle - bumps Simon Zebo out.
In the pack, Rob Herring is scoring from rolling mauls like nobody's business while Michael Ala'alatoa stood in for the injured Tadhg Furlong and had a fine game. Kiera Treadwell and Tadhg Beirne make the second row for the second week running [in fact, Beirne has made ALL FOUR selections so far].
In the back row, Caelan Doris is in mighty form as we near the Six Nations, Jack O'Donoghue had a stormer for Munster and there is no way Jarrad Butler deserved to be on the losing side, with Connacht, on Sunday. He gets in ahead of Coombes, Jack Conan and Duane Vermeulen, who scored his first Ulster try at the weekend.
Our Champions Cup Team of the Week
15. Mike Lowry (Ulster)
14. Alex Wootton (Connacht)
13. Tom Farrell (Connacht)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)
11. Jimmy O'Brien (Leinster)
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
9. Nathan Doak (Ulster)
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster)
2. Rob Herring (Ulster)
3. Michael Ala'alatoa (Leinster)
4. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster)
7. Jack O'Donoghue (Munster)
8. Jarrad Butler (Connacht)