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Team of the Week: All four nations

The Rugby Championship was again dominated by New Zealand and Australia in Round Two after they made it two wins from two.

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Although the accolades were dominated by New Zealand and South Africa, all four nations manage to claim at least a single spot in the side.

The highly anticipated clash between two old foes – All Blacks and the Springboks – was up first and did not fail to deliver. It was 80 minutes of high octane rugby, with spectacular tries from both teams and no margin for error. The game once again snatched from the Boks finger tips with minutes to spare. 

Big performances from Charles Piutau, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith and Dane Coles made it a no-brainer on the selection committee. 

No.8 was not so easy where Kieran Read and Schalk Burger battled out for a place. Burger this time slipping onto the bench.

All the way across to South America where Australia made the long trip back to Mendoza, a place they lost at last year to the Pumas. 

This time it would be different as Australia emerged victors, although two late tries by the Wallabies blew out the margin and flattered a scrappy performance.

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David Pocock was instrumental and his usual self on the field, while Will Skelton made his way into the team this week.

Some players that just missed the cut and were given a place on the bench were – Richie McCaw, Handré Pollard, Schalk Burger, Liam Messam, Ruan Pienaar and Rob Simmons. 

Team of the Week: Rugby Championship, Round Two:

 

15 – Santiago Cordero (Argentina): A three way split in the office, but Los Puma's No.15 claims the honours with a vintage display at the back. He ran over 100 metres, didn't miss one tackle and beat seven defenders.

Bubbling under: Israel Dagg (New Zealand)

 

14 – Ben Smith (New Zealand): Some say he is best at the back, but he delivers just as much on the wing. Scored a crucial try for the All blacks on the stroke of half-time.

Bubbling under: Cornal Hendricks (South Africa)

 

13 – Jesse Kriel (South Africa): Claims outside centre two rounds in a row and continued his try-scoring run with a perfectly sliced gap between the two best midfielders in the world.

Bubbling under: Conrad Smith (New Zealand)

 

12 – Damian de Allende (South Africa): Continuing his form from Super Rugby by completely overshadowing his opposite number. De Allende beat six defenders and was really tough for New Zealand to bring down. 

Bubbling under: Juan Pablo Socino (Argentina)

 

11 – Charles Piutau (New Zealand): A class act on the wing with a thumping left boot. Piutau was tough as ever for the Boks to bring down making 100 plus running metres.  

Bubbling under: Joe Tomane (Australia)

 

10 – Lima Sopoaga (New Zealand): The Highlander couldn't have asked for a better debut. Dictating the All Blacks to a victory at Ellis Park with a class showing off the tee.

Bubbling under: Handré Pollard (South Africa)

 

9 – Aaron Smith (New Zealand): Linked up well with his Super Rugby halfback partner. Smith provided the smooth service we all know him for and the Boks had to keep an eye on him at all times around the fringe.  

Bubbling under: Ruan Pienaar (South Africa)

 

8 – Kieran Read (New Zealand): A massive contest with his opposite number, but the Kiwi pulled through with a huge display – 16 bruising tackles, 10 carries, and a sweet line-out steal from the veteran All Black. 

Bubbling under: Schalk Burger (South Africa)

 

7 – David Pocock (Australia): Pocock certainly made a case to start for the Wallabies. He was all over the paddock making 18 tackles, winning ruck penalties, carrying well and beating defenders. An all-round perfect flank performances.  

Bubbling under: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)

 

6 – Heinrich Brussow (South Africa): A beast comeback after four years without wearing a Bok jersey. Brussow was his usual best at the breakdown giving clean ball to the Springboks for 80 minutes. He also managed to put in 14 tackles.  

Bubbling under: Liam Messam (New Zealand)

 

5 – Lodewyk de Jager (South Africa): A pillar of strength in the line-outs calling the shots and getting them spot-on. The burly lock was a demon on defence again.

Bubbling under: Rob Simmons (Australia)

 

4 – Will Skelton (Australia): He was enforcing at his best making tackles, hitting rucks and carrying well. 

Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (New Zealand)

 

3 – Jannie du Plessis (South Africa): Continuing to proves his critics wrong, Du Plessis, when on the field, scrummed extremely well, got around the park for a big man and made a couple of healthy carries. 

Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)

 

2 – Dane Coles (New Zealand): Simply because how he burned Willie le Roux – he looked like a centre busting a gap, then stepped the Bok fullback to score a try. Don't forget he also put in 14 tackles. 

Bubbling under: Stephen Moore (Australia)

 

1 – Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa): Tight call here, but the Beast pipped Slipper because he actually made metres with the ball, opposed to Slippers zero.

Bubbling under: James Slipper (Australia)

 

Our individual selections!

 

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 David Pocock, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Dane Coles, 1 James Slipper.

 

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Liam Sopoaga, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 James Slipper.

 

Andrew Duncan XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 David Pocock, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

 

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 David Pocock, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. 

 

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Santiago Cordero, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 David Pocock, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

 

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 David Pocock, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.

Previous selections:

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Team of the Week – Rugby Championship, Round Two: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Charles Piutau 10 Daniel Carter, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Tony Woodcock.

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