Rugby Championship Team of the Week: Round One
OPINION: There were a number of standout performers in Round One of Rugby Championship 2019.
The Springboks got their campaign off to a perfect start with a 35-17 bonus-point win in Johannesburg, while the All Blacks were made to work hard for their 20-16 win over Argentina in Buenos Aires.
New Zealand leads the way with seven players in our Team of the Week, while Argentina and South Africa have four players each in our selection.
Australia is the odd one out with no players in our team.
Team of the Week – Round One:
15 – Ben Smith (New Zealand)
He always runs a good line and he did it a few times in Buenos Aires on Saturday, beating several defenders in the process.
Bubbling under: Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina)
14 – Sevu Reece (New Zealand)
He was a marked man, but he still caused Los Pumas some nervy moments with his pace and power.
Bubbling under: Sibusiso Nkosi (South Africa)
13 – Matías Orlando (Argentina)
He was a key defensive organiser against the All Blacks and he hardly put a foot wrong in that area of the game.
Bubbling under: Jesse Kriel (South Africa)
12 – Jerónimo de la Fuente (Argentina)
He worked tirelessly on attack and defence. He made more tackles than anyone else in his team and he got his team over the gainline with some strong runs.
Bubbling under: Samu Kerevi (Australia)
11 – Ramiro Moyano (Argentina)
He did a good job on defence out wide and had a couple of good runs to test the All Blacks’ defence.
Bubbling under: Jordie Barrett (New Zealand)
10 – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
He controlled play well in Buenos Aires and his decision-making got his team out of trouble more than once.
Bubbling under: Elton Jantjies (South Africa)
9 – Herschel Jantjies (South Africa)
It was a great Test debut for the scrumhalf. He was calm under pressure; his tactical play was up there with the best in the world and he scored two excellent tries.
Bubbling under: Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
8 – Francois Louw (South Africa)
His work at the breakdowns disrupted the Wallabies’ play and he was solid on defence as well.
Bubbling under: Ardie Savea (New Zealand)
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa)
It was another industrious performance from the big man. He was a powerful ball carrier and never stood back on defence.
Bubbling under: Sam Cane (New Zealand)
6 – Pablo Matera (Argentina)
Played out of his skin once again. Carried the ball more than anyone else in his team and took his team over the gainline in the process.
Bubbling under: Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Australia)
5 – Lood de Jager (South Africa)
He was outstanding in the line-outs and used his big physical frame to good use in open play.
Bubbling under: Tomás Lavanini (Argentina)
4 – Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
He was an important cog in the All Blacks pack and he scored a great intercept try.
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
3 – Angus Ta’avao (New Zealand)
He was solid in the scrums and did his fair share of work in a strong defensive display.
Bubbling under: Juan Figallo (Argentina)
2 – Dane Coles (New Zealand)
One of the stars in the turnover department and was just a nuisance at the breakdowns.
Bubbling under: Agustin Creevy (Argentina)
1 – Ofa Tuungafasi (New Zealand)
He was strong in the scrums and he put in a huge amount of work on defence.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)
Our individual selections:
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Jordie Barrett, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao-Matau, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi.
Warren Fortune XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi.
Leezil Hendricks XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Ramiro Moyano, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomás Lavanini, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ofa Tuungafasi