Premiership Rugby Cup Individual Player Watch: Malins and Segun lead the way as Saracens and Northampton Saints secure final berth
A thrilling weekend of Premiership Rugby Cup action saw Saracens and Northampton Saints book their places in next month’s final.
On Friday evening, an inspired Max Malins helped Saracens overcome Worcester Warriors at Sixways, while Northampton ran in nine tries on home turf as they joined them in the inaugural final of the competition.
Here’s a round-up of the standout individual displays and key moments from the weekend’s rugby.
Player of the Week
Saracens fly-half Max Malins continued his fine Premiership Rugby Cup form at Sixways, orchestrating attack after attack with metronomic precision as Mark McCall’s men swept to victory.
The youngster powered his way through the hosts’ defence for a powerful score just before the hour, and then turned provider shortly after in another glimpse of his obvious potential.
Seizing on possession in the back three, Malins dummied past a tackle before speeding through a gap and putting Sione Vailanu clear.
It was the crowning moment of a superb individual display that adds to the 22-year-old’s burgeoning reputation.
❤️ @max_malins7 is one hell of a talent 🖤
Sells the dummy 💰
Slices open the defence 🗡
Slips in the support runner 👐
Sits back and watches Sione Vailanu crash over 😍
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) February 9, 2019
Replacement of the Week
As introductions go, Heinrich Brussow’s 20-minute cameo for Northampton Saints against Newcastle takes some beating.
Entering the fray with the game still evenly poised, Brussow scored his first of two tries just five minutes after coming on, before doubling his tally close to the final whistle.
The telling intervention means Saints now have a viable chance of scooping silverware on their own turf next month with the final being played at Franklin’s Gardens.
Skill of the Week
It’s rare to see a winger display the kind of subtlety with the boot that Vereniki Goneva exhibited on Saturday for Newcastle.
Coming after an early score of his own, the Fijian’s grubber-kick for Zach Kibirige’s try was weighted to perfection, and showed the startling depth of his all-round game.
With Falcons struggling in the league, Goneva remains as important as ever to their hopes of survival.
🇫🇯 @VGoneva using a new tool from his box of tricks 🤹♂️
Doing his best fly-half impression with the gentlest of nudges 👟🏉 through for @ZachKibirige to touch down 💨
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) February 10, 2019
Young Player of the Week
Outside-centre Rory Hutchinson was at the heart of just about all that was good about Northampton’s attacking play on Saturday, with a fantastic try assist sparking Saints’ comeback.
At 21-0 down, Hutchinson’s show-and-go released George Furbank for what proved to be a hugely important score, while his combination play with midfield partner Luther Burrell also helped power the hosts to victory.
He also made key breaks on the way to two of Northampton’s second-half scores – one for Lewis Ludlam and one for Burrell.
Powerplay of the Week
A free-flowing move that started with a dominant scrum and culminated with a crashing finish in the corner, Rotimi Segun’s first-half try had it all.
Taking possession on the right-wing, Ali Crossdale weaved his way inside, with the ball finally finding its way to the opposite side for Segun to crash over.