Team of the week: No contest

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 14:03
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OPINION: If the Rugby Championship was a boxing match, it would have been declared a 'no contest' a long time ago.

New Zealand, already crowned champions before they even started their match against Argentina at the weekend, continued to demonstrate their superiority - even with a below-par performance.

And they were rewarded for their performance in Buenos Aires at the weekend with nine players in the starting XV of rugby365's famous weekly selection.

Australia, with three, is next best - displaying the difference between the All Blacks and the rest.

Argentina (two) and South Africa (one) make up the numbers.

There is some reward for the Springboks in our back-up squad - with six players bubbling under.

Australia (five) have also been rewarded for their role in the draw with the Boks.

New Zealand (three) and Argentina (one) make up the numbers.

Six players return from last week - centre Kurtley Beale (Australia), wing Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), flyhalf Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), flanks Michael Hooper (Australia) and Pablo Matera (Argentina), as well as prop Nepo Laulala (New Zealand).

Team of the Week - Round Five:

15 - Damian McKenzie (New Zealand):
The magician mesmerised the opposition.
Bubbling under: Israel Folau (Australia)

14 - Waisake Naholo (New Zealand):
The big man is back and what a joy to watch.
Bubbling under: Dillyn Leyds (South Africa)

13 - Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand):
Another player who showed what we missed while he was injured.
Bubbling under: Tevita Kuridrani (Australia)

12 - Kurtley Beale (Australia):
The opposition may not have been such high quality, but he was one of the stand-out players in a rather mediocre encounter.
Bubbling under: Jeronimo De La Fuente (Argentina)

 11 - Rieko Ioane (New Zealand):
Imagine the damage he is going to do against South Africa's porous defence.
Bubbling under: Courtnall Skosan (South Africa)

10 - Beauden Barrett (New Zealand):
Some people north of the equator will argue, but he is the world's premier flyhalf.
Bubbling under: Bernard Foley (Australia)

9 - Will Genia (Australia):
There was some vigorous debating, but the majority ruled.
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (New Zealand)

8 - Kieran Read (New Zealand):
Was there ever any doubt?
Bubbling under: Sean McMahon (Australia)

7 - Michael Hooper (Australia):
Apart from his hard work on defence, he managed to keep his troops focused when it mattered most.
Bubbling under: Matt Todd (New Zealand)

6 - Pablo Matera (Argentina):
The hard-working Pumas flank was instrumental in his team's second-half fightback.
Bubbling under: Siyamthanda Kolisi (South Africa)

5 - Scott Barrett (New Zealand):
Again illustrated the amazing depth New Zealand has.
Bubbling under: Franco Mostert (South Africa)

4 - Eben Etzebeth (South Africa):
The majority of our panel members were willing to overlook his lack of composure.
Bubbling under: Luke Romano (New Zealand)

3 - Nepo Laulala (New Zealand):
And to think people were concerned that the All Black scrum might be a soft underbelly.
Bubbling under: Sekope Kepu (Australia)

2 - Agustin Creevy (Argentina):
The old warhorse was certainly very upset when he was yanked from the field in the second half. Another great fame from Los Pumas' captain.
Bubbling under: Malcolm Marx (South Africa)

1 - Kane Hames (New Zealand):
The best of a rather ordinary bunch.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Will Genia, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Kane Hames.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Kane Hames.

Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Damien McKenzie, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Will Genia, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Kane Hames.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Kane Hames.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - Round Four: 15 Israel Folau (Australia), 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand), 13 Ryan Crotty (New Zealand), 12 Kurtley Beale (Australia), 11 Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Tomas Lezana (Argentina), 7 Michael Hooper (Australia), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Samuel Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Nepo Laulala (New Zealand), 2 Dane Coles (New Zealand), 1 Scott Sio (Australia).

Team of the Week - Round Three: 15 Damian McKenzie (New Zealand), 14 Israel Dagg (New Zealand), 13 Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand), 12 Kurtley Beale (Australia), 11 Nehe Milner-Skudder (New Zealand), 10 Bernard Foley (Australia), 9 Tomás Cubelli (Argentina), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Jaco Kriel (South Africa), 6 Vaea Fifita (New Zealand), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen (South Africa), 2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina), 1 Joe Moody (New Zealand).

Team of the Week - Round Two: 15 Israel Folau (Australia), 14 Ramiro Moyano (Argentina), 13 Jesse Kriel (South Africa), 12 Kurtley Beale (Australia), 11 Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Will Genia (Australia), 8 Sean McMahon (Australia), 7 Ardie Savea (New Zealand), 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (South Africa), 5 Samuel Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen (South Africa), 2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).

Team of the Week - Round One: 15 Israel Folau (Australia), 14 Henry Speight (Australia), 13 Ryan Crotty (New Zealand), 12 Kurtley Beale (Australia), 11 Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Jaco Kriel (South Africa), 6 Liam Squire (New Zealand), 5 Samuel Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen (South Africa), 2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina), 1 Joe Moody (New Zealand).

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