Mon 8 Oct 2018 | 03:26

RC Team of the Tournament: One-horse race

RC Team of the Tournament: One-horse race
Mon 8 Oct 2018 | 03:26
RC Team of the Tournament: One-horse race
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OPINION: South Africa may have closed the gap, dramatically, but the 2018 Rugby Championship was still a one-horse race.

It is not a surprise that New Zealand dominates the famous @rugby365com Team of the Tournament.

Not only do they have nine players in our starting XV, but there are another seven players in our back-up squad.

The Springboks are clearly now the second best team in the competition and their rewards come in the form of three players starting and another four bubbling under.

Argentina (two staring and two bubbling under) and Australia (one starting and two bubbling under) make up the numbers.

Team of the Tournament:

15 – Ben Smith (New Zealand):
Yes, he also featured on the wing a few times, but of the players who did feature at fullback, he was by far the most consistent. Dane Haylett-Petty and Willie le Roux were strong challengers.
Bubbling under: Dane Haylett-Petty (Australia)

14 – Waisake Naholo (New Zealand):
He was more than just a handful for the opposing defences – in defenders beaten (first place with 24 in six matches), clean breaks and metres carried.
Bubbling under: Bautista Delguy (Argentina)

13 – Jack Goodhue (New Zealand):
No doubt 2018 has been his break-out year on the international stage. He has forced Ryan Crotty to the inside centre position in our team, despite missing the last round with an injury. In fact, his absence enforces our view that he is a better No.13 than Crotty.
Bubbling under: Reece Hodge (Australia)

12 – Ryan Crotty (New Zealand):
Not at his best this past weekend, but he remains an integral part of the All Black midfield set-up.
Bubbling under: Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)

11 – Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa):
He will be tormenting defences for years to come. His defence still needs work, but he knows his way to the tryline.
Bubbling under: Ramiro Moyano (Argentina)

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10 – Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina):
Even when his team was poor, he remained the general that gave direction to the team.
Bubbling under: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)

9 – Francois de Klerk (South Africa):
It was one of the most competitive positions, but De Klerk edged Will Genia and Thomas Perenara – despite his sometimes iffy out-of-hand kicking game.
Bubbling under: Thomas Perenara (New Zealand)

8 – David Pocock (Australia):
Eighthman is probably not his best position, but such is his quality he is still better than the specialist No.8s.
Bubbling under: Kieran Read (New Zealand)

7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa):
When you feature near the top in carries and tackles – where he made a tournament-high 83 in six matches – you are doing more than your share of the work.
Bubbling under: Ardie Savea (New Zealand)

6 – Pablo Matera (Argentina):
One of the truly world class players in the Los Pumas set-up.
Bubbling under: Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

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5 – Sam Whitelock (New Zealand):
It was a tough call and a long debate, but Whitelock edge Franco Mostert in the final vote count.
Bubbling under: Franco Mostert (South Africa)

4 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand):
Sometimes the true value of a player is felt when he is out injured.
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

3 – Owen Franks (New Zealand):
Not his best tournament, but more productive than most of his rivals.
Bubbling under: Ofa Tu’ungafasi (New Zealand)

2 – Malcolm Marx (South Africa):
There were suggestions that Codie Taylor has overtaken Marx as the world’s premier hooker. He answered his critics with his performances on the field.
Bubbling under: Codie Taylor (New Zealand)

1 – Karl Tu’inukuafe (New Zealand):
What an amazing story. From an overweight security guard, to a lean and mean international player.
Bubbling under: Steven Kitshoff (South Africa)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Thomas Perenara, 8 David Pocock, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 David Pocock, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Our previous selections:

Team of the Week – Round Five: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (Australia), 14 Waisake Naholo (New Zealand), 13 Ryan Crotty (New Zealand), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa), 10 Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina), 9 Will Genia (Australia), 8 Ardie Savea (New Zealand), 7 Pieter Steph du Toit (South Africa), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Franco Mostert (South Africa), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi (New Zealand), 2 Codie Taylor (New Zealand), 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe (New Zealand).

Team of the Week – Round Four: 15 Willie le Roux (South Africa), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Reece Hodge (Australia), 12 Ryan Crotty (New Zealand), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa), 10 Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina), 9 Francois de Klerk (South Africa), 8 Warren Whiteley (South Africa), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Franco Mostert (South Africa), 4 Samuel Whitelock (New Zealand), 3 Frans Malherbe (South Africa), 2 Codie Taylor (New Zealand), 1 Steven Kitshoff (South Africa).

Team of the Week – Round Three: 15 Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina), 14 Bautista Delguy (Argentina), 13 Jack Goodhue (New Zealand), 12 Matt Toomua (Australia), 11 Ramiro Moyano (Argentina), 10 Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina), 9 Thomas Perenara (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Ardie Savea (New Zealand), 6 Shannon Frizell (New Zealand), 5 Scott Barrett (New Zealand), 4 Guido Petti Pagadizaval (Argentina), 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Argentina), 2 Codie Taylor (New Zealand), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta (Argentina).

Team of the Week – Round Two: 15 Jordie Barrett (New Zealand), 14 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 13 Matías Moroni (Argentina), 12 Ngani Laumape (New Zealand), 11 Waisake Naholo (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Sam Cane (New Zealand), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Juan Figallo (Argentina), 2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina), 1 Joe Moody (New Zealand).

Team of the Week – Round One: 15 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 14 Waisake Naholo (New Zealand), 13 Jack Goodhue (New Zealand), 12 Andre Esterhuizen (South Africa), 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 David Pocock (Australia), 7 Sam Kane (New Zealand), 6 Pablo Matera (Argentina), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Owen Franks (New Zealand), 2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa), 1 Joe Moody (New Zealand).

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Rc Team Of The Tournament: One-horse Race - Argentina | Rugby365