Each week, Living Rugby picks out the guys that held their nerve under pressure. These are the players that win you games, the ones you want in your side, the undoubted, calm and collected 'Cool Cats' of the Aviva Premiership.
Dudes - we salute you.
Cool Cats #1
Gareth Steenson (Exeter)
In a game that the Chiefs simply had to win if they were to have any hope of retaining their Heineken Cup spot next season, Gareth Steenson stuck his chest out, took the bull by the horns and put in his best performance of the season away from home at The Stoop. His 17 points with the boot were important but his line breaks and game management were straight out of the top drawer.
Tom Heathcote (Bath)
The Bath fly-half was up against the current darling of the national media in Freddie Burns as his team locked horns with West Country rivals, Gloucester. And the young Scottish 10 survived the pressure of a full house at a noisy Rec and a live television slot to hold his nerve, kick 16 points in an almost faultless display of kicking off the tee and lead his side to another big victory.
Jamie Elliott (Northampton)
Hat-tricks in the Aviva Premiership are tough at the best of times. So to run one in against a London Irish side desperate for points and sporting a host of big-named backs made it even more special for Saints’ winger Jamie Elliott who is a try-scoring machine at the minute after two against Bath the previous week.
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
For a man to miss nine months of rugby with bolts in his neck and then make the sort of impact Croft did in Tigers’ 48-10 win over Sale on his first consecutive start since returning was almost impossible to believe. The former British & Irish Lion was great over the ball, great in the line-out and great with ball in hand. In summary - pretty good.
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