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Team of the Week: All black

Many reputations were destroyed in Auckland and Salta, many others were enhanced. It was a weekend of big statements.

The two teams that made the biggest statements and got the most reward in rugby365's famous weekly Rugby Championship selection were New Zealand's record-breaking All Blacks and the oh-so-close Pumas from Argentina.

As was to be expected New Zealand got the biggest chunk of our selection, following their 51-20 demolition of Australia in Auckland.

Not only did they get seven players in our starting XV, but another six found spots in our back-up squad – with just two positions where an All Blacks is not starting or bubbling under.

The Pumas, despite their heartbreaking 31-33 loss, was rewarded for their endeavour and entertaining performance in Salta.

There are five Pumas in the starting XV – including their entire front row – and another five in the back-up squad.

South Africa's blushes were saved by the performance of two flanks – Francois Louw and Marcell Coetzee, the latter in a match-saving half-an-hour off the bench. They are the only Springboks starting, while one other is bubbling under.

Australia have in fullback Israel Folau their only player in the starting XV and even then it was a marginal and debatable call in the minds of some of our selectors. Three more Wallabies are bubbling under.

Eight players return from last week – wings Cory Jane (New Zealand) and Julian Savea (New Zealand), flyhalf Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina), scrumhalf Aaron Smith (New Zealand), No.8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), flank Francois Louw (South Africa), lock Brodie Retallick (New Zealand) and prop Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Week Two:

15 – Israel Folau (Australia):

It was an interesting debate – with Folau having made 160 metres with his 10 runs, while Ben Smith made just 60 metres with the same number of dashes downfield. Smith made two more tackles than Folau, he made three clean breaks (Folau just two), while the All Black also beat five defenders (Folau just four).

Bubbling under: Ben Smith (New Zealand)

14 – Cory Jane (New Zealand):

He is beginning to find some frightening form.

Bubbling under: Lucas González Amorosino (Argentina)

13 – Conrad Smith (New Zealand):

Was there ever any doubt.

Bubbling under: Marcelo Bosch (Argentina)

12 – Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina):

He made life decidedly unpleasant for South Africa, especially with some astute out-of-hand kicking – not to mention the first-half drop-goal.

Bubbling under: Ryan Crotty (New Zealand)

11 – Julian Savea (New Zealand):

He may have scored just one try, but made enough metres to ensure future opponents will have nightmares.

Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)

10 – Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina):

There is a school of thought that his only 'blunder' – a restart directly into touch – was a deliberate ploy to set up a scrum for Argentina's dominant pack and secure a penalty that could have earned them an historic win.

Bubbling under: Aaron Cruden (New Zealand)

9 – Aaron Smith (New Zealand):

Unanimous!

Bubbling under: Tomas Cubelli (Argentina)

8 – Kieran Read (New Zealand):

After being criticised a week ago, he bounced back in spectacular fashion.

Bubbling under: Juan Manuel Leguizamón (Argentina)

7 – Marcel Coetzee (South Africa):

Did more work in 30 minutes than the other No.7s – including Michael Hooper – did in 80 minutes.

Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)

6 – Francois Louw (South Africa):

One of the few Springboks that emerged from Salta with his reputation intact.

Bubbling under: Liam Messam (New Zealand)

5 – Sam Whitelock (New Zealand):

Rock on defence and a tower of strength in the line-outs.

Bubbling under: Rob Simmons (Australia)

4 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand):

Very few will question the statement that he is the premier lock in the world.

Bubbling under: Mariano Galarza (Argentina)

3 – Ramiro Herrera (Argentina):

Pure power.

Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)

2 – Agustín Creevy (Argentina):

Played himself to a standstill.

Bubbling under: Dane Coles (New Zealand)

1 – Marcos Ayerza (Argentina):

Jannie du Plessis' reputation lies in tatters on the Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena turf in Salta.

Bubbling under: James Slipper (Australia)

Our individual selections:

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14  Lucas González Amorosino, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Juan Martin Hernández, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Juan Manuel Leguizamón, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy , 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Paul Dobson XV: 15  Israel Folau, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustín Creevy , 1 Marcos Ayerza.

Previous selection:

Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Week One: 15 Joaquín Tuculet (Argentina), 14 Cory Jane (New Zealand), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (New Zealand), 12 Matt Toomua (Australia), 11 Julian Savea (New Zealand), 10 Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand), 6 Francois Louw (South Africa), 5 Rob Simmons (Australia), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Sekope Kepu (Australia), 2 Nathan Charles (Australia), 1 Marcos Ayerza (Argentina).

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