Team Of The Week

Israel Dagg New Zealand All Blacks Rugby ChampionshipIt was hard to find room for any Argentine players, but a couple managed to make the cut in the end. A little tough maybe on a mostly decent Australia?

1 – Wyatt Crockett (New Zealand) Quiet game around the ball, but prominent in the dirty work. Earned his battle scars and held up pretty well against Ramiro Herrera in the scrum.

2 – Adriaan Strauss (South Africa) Wayward throwing blighted Agustin Creevy’s outstanding loose effort, so Strauss gets the call. Accurate at the set piece and physical around the park.

3 – Sekope Kepu (Australia) Did well against the Beast and made plenty of tackles around the fringes. Ran himself to a standstill before Lambie’s dropgoal.

4 – Tomás Lavanini (Argentina) Another bruising effort against the All Blacks. Improving as a carrier, might have made a bigger impact had his teammates given him the ball.

5 – Victor Matfield (South Africa) Terrific all-action game, tackling and carrying and commanding the lineout. Even managed to play the last quarter in the back row.

6 – Jerome Kaino (New Zealand) Happy to be back in action. Powerful runs, big tackles, and a couple lineout takes.

7 – Marcell Coetzee (South Africa) Stepped into Francois Louw’s role nicely. Trademark defensive workrate and made some metres with ball in hand.

8 – Duane Vermeulen (South Africa) Immense at the breakdown, forced three turnovers before he came off at the hour mark. Hopefully his rib injury isn’t too serious.

9 – Aaron Smith (New Zealand) His usual self, quick service and kept the defense on their toes. His pass to Savea might have been slightly forward, but he got away with it.

10 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) Not as flashy as one might have expected but did everything asked of him. Executed the game plan to perfection.

11 – Julian Savea (New Zealand) What’s more to be said? A juggernaut in imperious form.

12 – Jean de Villiers (South Africa) Tough on the excellent Malakai Fekitoa, but given the context of the match the Springbok captain deserves his spot. Two tries and an outstanding all around match.

13 – Tevita Kuridrani (Australia) Another superb offensive performance, and some big tackles as well. Missed a couple hits but overall a big plus.

14 – Juan Imhoff (Argentina) One of the few Pumas who performed up to par. Made up for getting trampled by Savea with some brilliant running lines.

15 – Israel Dagg (New Zealand) Scored his first test try in nearly two years and set up another. Clearly enjoying his rugby again, can he maintain this form?

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