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Team of the Tournament: One-pointer

The Waratahs claimed their first Super Rugby crown with a one-point win and that is exactly the margin in rugby365's famous Team of the Tournament.

As was to be expected, the champions have a healthy representation in our selection after 125 matches and more than five months of conception – including the June break.

It was a tough selection, having to look back over so many matches to find the best individuals in each position. It made for an interesting mix.

The Waratahs just edge the Highlanders (four to three) for the biggest selection in our starting XV.

The Sharks (two) are the only other outfit with more than one player – the losing finalists, Crusaders, Brumbies, Western Force, Lions, Chiefs and Blues all got a look-in.

Our back-up squad has an even bigger spread, three teams with two each – the Waratahs, Brumbies and Lions.

The Crusaders, Cheetahs, Blues, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Sharks, Force, Stormers and Bulls each have one player Bubbling Under.

Team of the Tournament:

15 – Ben Smith (Highlanders):

He was key to the Highlanders' resurgence, which ended in the play-offs.

Bubbling under: Israel Folau (Waratahs)

14 – Henry Speight (Brumbies):

Worked his way into the Wallaby squad, only for injury to delay the inevitable first Test cap.

Bubbling under: Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders)

13 – Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders):

He stepped his way into the All Black frame and is set to stay there for a long time.

Bubbling under: Adam Ashley Cooper (Waratahs)

12 – Kurtley Beale (Waratahs):

It is difficult to understand why he is not a regular starter for the Wallabies.

Bubbling under: Ma'a Nonu (Blues)

11 – Nick Cummins (Western Force):

We are going to miss his chirps, but – more importantly – the quality of his game.

Bubbling under: Julian Savea (Hurricanes)

10 – Bernard Foley (Waratahs):

He may not have been the best when the season got underway, but grew in stature and delivered the tournament-clinching play.

Bubbling under: Matt Toomua (Brumbies)

9 – Aaron Smith (Highlanders):

Arguably the best No.9 in the world at the moment.

Bubbling under: Cobus Reinach (Sharks)

8 – Kieran Read (Crusaders):

It was a tough call, but Read just edged the willing Lion from Johannesburg.

Bubbling under: Warren Whiteley (Lions)

7 – Michael Hooper (Waratahs):

Was there ever any doubt?

Bubbling under: Matt Hodgson (Western Force)

6 – Jaco Kriel (Lions):

He is so much more than just a physical specimen, a forward with the skills and vision of a back.

Bubbling under: Nizaam Carr (Stormers)

5 – Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):

Another player who towered over his rivals.

Bubbling under: Victor Matfield (Bulls)

4 – Will Skelton (Waratahs):

He may have played off the bench in the latter stages, but his impact was immense.

Bubbling under: Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs)

3 – Charlie Faumuina (Blues):

One position where the options seemed plentiful, yet the quality limited.

Bubbling under: Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs)

2 – Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):

He had his moments where his composure let him down, but he is still the best hooker in the world.

Bubbling under: Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

1 – Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks):

He was truly a Beast.

Bubbling under: Schalk van der Merwe (Lions)

 

Our individual selections!

 

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Adam Ashley Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Matt Hodgson, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Weekly selections:

 

Team of the Week – semifinals: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Jacques Potgieter (Waratahs), 4 Dominic Bird (Crusaders), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Corey Flynn (Crusaders), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

Team of the Week – Round 20: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Bundee Aki (Chiefs), 11 Patrick Osborne (Highlanders), 10 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), 9 Nic White (Brumbies), 8 Ben Mowen (Brubies), 7 Jean Deysel (Sharks), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Sam Carter (Brubies), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Thomas du Toit (Sharks).         

 

Team of the Week – Round 19: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Lionel Mapoe (Lions), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), 9 Charl McLeod (Sharks), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Matt Todd (Crusaders), 6 Liam Messam (Chiefs), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Dominic Bird (Crusaders), 3 Julian Redelinghuys (Lions), 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), 1 Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).

 

Team of the Week – Round 18: 15 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 14 Gio Aplon (Stormers),  13 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Phillip van der Walt (Cheetahs), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg (Lions), 6 Nizaam Carr (Stormers), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), 1 Jamie Mackintosh (Chiefs).

 

Team of the Week – Round 17: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Richard Buckman (Highlanders), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Nick Frisby (Reds), 8 Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Steven Luatua (Blues), 5 Blade Thomson (Hurricanes), 4 Jacques Potgieter (Waratahs), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Brayden Mitchell (Highlanders), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

 

Team of the Week – Round 16: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Luke Braid (Blues), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Kane Douglas (Waratahs), 4 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).

 

Team of the Week – Round 15: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes), 7 Lubabalo Mtembu (Sharks), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Dominic Bird (Crusaders), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Ben Franks (Hurricanes).

 

Team of the Week – Round 14: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), 10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Johannes Prinsloo (Cheetahs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Luke Jones (Rebels), 4 Will Skelton (Waratahs), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round 13: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Marcel Brache (Western Force), 12 Jan Serfontein (Bulls), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Tanerau Latimer (Chiefs), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Paul Willemse (Bulls), 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)

 

Team of the Week – Round 12: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Bryn Hall (Blues), 8 Liam Messam (Chiefs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Paul Willemse (Bulls), 3 Marcell van der Merwe (Bulls), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Tony Woodcock (Blues).

 

Team of the Week – Round 11: 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes), 7 Matt Hodgson (Force), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round 10: 15 Jason Woodward (Rebels), 14 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Will Skelton (Waratahs), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Shota Horie (Rebels), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round Nine: 15 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 14 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Bundee Aki (Chiefs), 11 Nick Cummins (Western Force), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Nic White (Brumbies), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force), 6 Angus Cottrell (Western Force), 5 Luke Jones (Rebels), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round Eight: 15 Jayden Hayward (Western Force), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Pat McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jack Lam (Hurricanes), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Chris King (Highlanders).

 

Team of the Week – Round Seven: 15 Jason Woodward (Rebels), 14 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Mitch Inman (Rebels), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Bryn Hall (Blues), 8 Steven Luatua (Blues), 7 Luke Braid (Blues), 6 Deon Stegmann (Bulls), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round Six: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Robbie Coleman (Brumbies), 10 Quade Cooper (Reds), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force), 6 Seven Luatua (Blues), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Kieran Longbottom (Western Force), 2 Tatafu Polota Nau (Waratahs), 1 Jean-Pierre Smith (Brumbies).

 

Team of the Week – Round Five: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Tom Marshall (Chiefs), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes), 3 Julian Redelinghuys (Lions), 2 Nathan Charles (Western Force), 1 Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).

 

Team of the Week – Round Four: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 Roc Davis (Reds), 13 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 12 Par McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ben McCalman (Western Force), 7 Schalk Burger (Stormers), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (Western Force), 4 Flip van der Merwe (Bulls), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round Three: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Bjorn Basson (Bulls), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jacques du Plessis (Bulls), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Tom Donnelly (Blues), 4 Hugh Pyle (Rebels), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

 

Team of the Week – Round Two: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Lachie Turner (Reds), 13 Robbie Fruean (Chiefs), 12 Frances Saili (Blues), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

 

Team of the Week – Round One: 15 SP Marais (Sharks), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks). Team of the Week – semifinals:

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