Virtual Tri-Nations: You decide the winner
THE high demand for some ‘real’ rugby during these testing times moved the @rugby365com team to produce an equally amusing alternative – a virtual Tri-Nations tournament!
And the best part is, YOU, the readers, get to decide the winner.
We have gathered some of the most sharp-witted, analytical and accomplished names in the game to help us select South African, New Zealand and Australian teams.
Our ‘coaching panel’ include Adriaan Kennedy (the well-respected Christchurch-based former Stormers assistant coach), Eugene Eloff (a two-time World Junior Championship winner), Paul Delport (who captained the Baby Boks to two World Junior Championship victories), Richard Graham (a former Reds coach and Wallabies assistant coach) and Andre Pretorius (a World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf who famously kicked the Boks to victory over the All Blacks in 2006).
The panel is completed by the relatively ‘inexperienced’ @rugby365com editor Jan de Koning.
Seven teams have been assembled for this outré and phenomenal tournament – four from South Africa, two from New Zealand and one from Australia.
The tournament will be played on a neutral ground, the ‘famous’ Rugby365 Stadium in cyberspace. As it is an ‘indoor’ stadium, conditions will not be a factor.
In this ignis fatuus of our cerebrum we have a few other ‘laws’ that are anomalous.
If two teams from the same country face each other and they both have the same player, that player is – in this preternatural environment – two separate players of equal quality.
And, because we live in an decorous and noble virtual world, we don’t require a referee.
Each team will play the others once and the team finishing at the top of the standings win the famous @rugby365com trophy!
So there you have the rules.
Below are the teams.
Let us know who wins this tournament!
Adriaan Kennedy All Black XV One: 15 Christian Cullen, 14 Brian Williams, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Sid Going, 8 Zinzan Brooke, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Ian Kirkpatrick, 5 Colin Meads, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sean Fitzpatrick, 1 Ken Gray.
Paul Delport Springbok XV: 15 HO De Villiers, 14 Jacques Fourie, 13 Danie Gerber, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Naas Botha, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Andre Venter, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (captain), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Os du Randt.
Richard Graham Wallaby XV: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Brendan Moon, 13 Daniel Herbert, 12 Tim Horan, 11 David Campese, 10 Steve Larkham, 9 George Gregan, 8 Toutai Kefu, 7 George Smith, 6 Simon Poidevin, 5 John Eales (captain), 4 David Giffin, 3 Ewen McKenzie, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Tony Daly.
Eugene Eloff Springbok XV: 15 Andre Joubert, 14 Ray Mordt, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Danie Gerber, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Andre Pretorius, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Ruben Kruger (captain), 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Hempies du Toit, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Os du Randt.
Adriaan Kennedy All Black XV Two: 15 Fergie McCormick, 14 John Kirwan, 13 Frank Bunce, 12 Walter Little, 11 Inga Tuigamala, 10 Andrew Mehrtens, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Wayne Shelford (captain), 7 Josh Kronfeld, 6 Michael Jones, 5 Ian Jones, 4 Gary Whetton, 3 Olo Brown, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kevin Skinner.
Andre Pretorius Springbok XV: 15 Andre Joubert, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Japie Mulder, 11 Pieter Hendriks, 10 Hennie le Roux, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Juan Smith, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Willie Meyer, 2 Uli Schmidt (captain), 1 Os du Randt.
Jan de Koning Springbok XV: 15 Gysie Pienaar, 14 Ray Mordt, 13 Danie Gerber, 12 Michael du Plessis, 11 Carel du Plessis, 10 Naas Botha (captain), 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Theuns Stoffberg, 6 Schalk Burger; 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Frik du Preez, 3 Hempies du Toit, 2 Uli Schmidt, 1 Os du Randt.