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Team of the Week: Handy spread

Mon, 02 Apr 2012 00:00
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Following a weekend of brutal arm-wrestles and blow-outs, we have a very handy spread our weekly selection.

No team dominates the landscape, with the Cheetahs Highlanders topping the numbers at three each in our starting XV. The Cheetahs have another two bubbling under, following their extraordinary come-from-behind win.

The Stormers, who edged the Bulls in a game of Test match intensity, sand Chiefs have two starters each - with the Sharks, Crusaders and Bulls making up the numbers.

The Sharks (with four) top the the bubbling under numbers game, while the Cheetahs and Chiefs have two members each in our back-up squad. The Crusaders, Waratahs, Highlanders, Bulls, Western Force, Lions and Stormers add to our reserve list.

Only one player return from last week - Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth.

Team of the Week - Round Six:

15 - Ben Smith (Highlanders):
He is showing why he displaced Joe Rokocoko in the All Black team in 2009. If he carries on in this vein, he will certainly add to his two Test caps.
Bubbling under: Riaan Viljoen (Sharks)

14 - Odwa Ndungane (Sharks):
He may have his detractors, especially those who mock him about his supposed lack of pace, but go have a look at Riaan Viljoen's second try - while most players will sprint headlong without looking, he knew the cover was coming and then cleverly headed back to his support, which ensured the opportunity was not lost. And please have a look at his workrate as well.
Bubbling under: Sean Maitland (Crusaders)

13 - Richard Kahui (Chiefs):
His combination with Sonny Bill Williams is working a charm for the Chiefs. Don't be surprised if they are the All Blacks' starting centres this year.
Bubbling under: Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs)

12 - Jean de Villiers (Stormers):
He's also had to cope with a lot of criticism in recent years, but the Bok veteran showed there is plenty of life left in his legs.
Bubbling under: Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs)

11 - Zac Guildford (Crusaders):
He has overcome all his demons and are playing the rugby that can make him a regular starter for the All Blacks.
Bubbling under: Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks)

10 - Johan Goosen (Cheetahs):
This young man may be raw, very raw, but he is the entire package.
Bubbling under: Aaron Cruden (Chiefs)

9 - Aaron Smith (Highlanders):
Keeping veteran Jimmy Cowan on the bench tackles some doing, but he is showing why he was talked about as a future All Black after playing for NZ Maori in 2010.
Bubbling under: Brendan McKibbin (Waratahs)

8 - Kane Thompson (Chiefs):
Plenty of carries and a high tackle count in a game where the Chiefs pack gradually wore down the opposition.
Bubbling under: Nasi Manu (Highlanders)

7 - David Pocock (Western Force):
At least this week he got rewarded with a win for putting his body on the line for his team's cause.
Bubbling under: Willem Alberts (Sharks)

6 - Adam Thomson (Highlanders):
Jamie Joseph will have to manage him carefully, because he is invaluable to the team. You could clearly see the difference between the previous week's defeat and the win at the weekend.
Bubbling under: Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs)

5 - Nathan Sharpe (Western Force):
Like Pocock, he was rewarded for another stand-out performance with a convincing win over the defending champions.
Bubbling under: Juandré Kruger (Bulls)

4 - Eben Etzebeth (Stormers):
Go measure your Springbok blazer young man!
Bubbling under: Toby Lynn (Western Force)

3 - WP Nel (Cheetahs):
There is no reward like a try for a hard-working prop.
Bubbling under: Patric Cilliers (Lions)

2 - Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls):
He made another emphatic statement about his Springbok aspirations this year.
Bubbling under: Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks)

1 - Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs):
This is a prop that has it all - he can scrum, turn over ball, cleans rucks and have a mean step ... when he doesn't run over the opposition.
Bubbling under: Steven Kitshoff (Stormers)

Our individual selections!

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Timmy Hancox XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 WP Nel, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Len Kaplan XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 David Pocock, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 WP Nel, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week, Round Five: 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes), 14 Mark Gerrard (Rebels), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Wynand Olivier (Bulls), 11 Bryan Habana (Stormers), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders), 8 Pierre Spies (Bulls), 7 Jacques Potgieter (Bulls), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Patric Cilliers (Lions), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Dean Greyling (Bulls).

Team of the Week, Round Four: 15 Riaan Viljoen (Sharks), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Tamati Ellison (Highlanders), 12 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 James O'Connor (Rebels), 9 Charl McLeod (Sharks), 8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes), 7 David Pocock (Western Force), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Arizona Taumalolo (Chiefs).

Team of the Week, Round Three: 15 Robbie Robinson (Chiefs), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Tim Whitehead (Sharks), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Gareth Anscombe (Blues), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Pierre Spies (Bulls), 7 David Pocock (Western Force), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Anthony Boric (Blues), 3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs); 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Arizona Taumalolo (Chiefs).

Team of the Week, Round Two: 15 Robbie Robinson (Chiefs), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Phil Burleigh (Highlanders), 11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 John Hardie (Highlanders), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Chris King (Highlanders), 2 Andrew Hore (Highlanders), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Team of the Week, Round One: 15 Isaia Toeava (Blues), 14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), 13 Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), 12 Tim Bateman (Hurricanes), 11 Gio Aplon (Stormers), 10 Elton Jantjies (Lions), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Waratahs), 8 Jerome Kaino (Blues), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).

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