Second Phase

Team of the Week: Big boys step up

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:56
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Test rugby returns again for the second week of exciting action and our selectors had a tough job to pick the Team of the Week.

Narrow escapes for the All Blacks and Wallabies made for some exciting matches, as Ireland and Wales were both left heartbroken that they couldn't complete the job.

The Springboks on the other hand too hold of their match early on, but England were able to fight back and make a fist of the game.

Following their victories both the Boks and Wallabies have four players in our team, while Ireland (three), New Zealand (two) Wales (one) and England (one) make up the numbers.

South Africa were the side to enjoy the most dominance and further rewarded with five spots in the bubbling under selection. Wales again are close, but just short with four payer narrowly missing out, while the other places are shared across the board.

Returning from last week's team are Wallabies duo David Pocock and Nathan Sharpe and Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis.

15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
The dependable fullback kicked well to steer his team into the lead and was solid under the high ball. The creative spark he adds to the Welsh backline is a major asset.
Bubbling under: Ben Foden (England)

14 JP Pietersen (South Africa)
The Springbok right wing was the only unanimous selection this week, with his incredible break through the middle of the field a decisive moment in the Test match. The powerful flyer was also superb on defence, making some crucial tackles to keep the English honest out wide.
Bubbling under: Alex Cuthbert (Wales)

13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland)
Captain courageous for the Irish was rock solid on defence and put his body on the line for the team. He took a heavy knock early in the second half and looked disorientated, but bounced back to play a big role. He just edges out Jonathan Davies, who had a great game for Wales.
Bubbling under: Jonathan Davies (Wales)

12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand)
Was closely watched by Ireland, but did produce a great break in the second half and carried the ball up strongly in midfield.
Bubbling under: Pat McCabe (Australia)

11 Digby Ioane (Australia)
Looked a threat every time he touched the ball, with a few breaks underlining just how dangerous he can be in some space. Got involved running inside the halfbacks often and covered his opposite number well.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)

10 Berrick Barnes (Australia)
A superb all-round performance, he varied his game very well, mixing some intelligent kicking with slick distribution and a few telling runs. He showed a touch of class drifting wide and throwing a dummy to create his team's only try and was dependable off the kicking tee before being hampered by the cramp that forced him off the field.
Bubbling under: Dan Carter (New Zealand)

9 Ben Youngs (England)
The English scrumhalf was feisty as ever, and scored two cheeky tries against the Boks and was England's best player.
Bubbling under: Francois Hougaard (South Africa)

8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
Strong work on defence, with his tackle count going into double figures - winning a few turnovers. he was also immense with ball in hand in his 50th Test.
Bubbling under: Pierre Spies (South Africa)

7 David Pocock (Australia)
The Wallaby captain is growing into his new leadership role and put Wales under serious pressure at the breakdown and gave everything right until the end.
Bubbling under: Tomas de la Vega (Argentina)

6 Willem Alberts (South Africa)
The Springbok bulldozer bust his way over the gainline on a regular basis to give important go-forward ball to his team and his absence in the second half made a big difference, with England able to get back into the match.
Bubbling under: Dan Lydiate (Wales)

5 Nathan Sharpe (Australia)
The veteran always does the basics well, and gave another whole-hearted performance. With James Horwill out for the rest of the year it will be interesting to see if he keeps playing beyond next week when he plans to retire from Test rugby.
Bubbling under: Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)
A far more confident performance from the big man, who produced a crucial line-out steal in first half and made a number of great tackles. He is a great young talent.
Bubbling under: Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

3 Mike Ross (Ireland)
The Irish tighthead helped sure up the front row after missing the first Test, and Tony Woodcock found life more difficult with a stronger adversary this time out.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (South Africa)

2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa)
Strong as an ox and a menace at the breakdown, the tough hooker was outstanding and score a great try through sheer power and determination.
Bubbling under: Rory Best (Ireland)

1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)
The Beast did a lot of hard work at the breakdown and scrummed strongly with a few ball carrier to boot in an excellent performance.
Bubbling under: Cian Healy (Ireland)

Team of the Week - June 16:

Paul Dobson XV:
15 Ben Foden (England), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12 Pat McCabe (Australia), 11 Bryan Habana (South Africa), 10 Dan Carter (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7 David Pocock (Australia), 6 Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Pascal Pape (France), 3 Mike Ross (Ireland), 2 Rory Best (Ireland), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales),  14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 Digby Ioane (Australia), 10 Dan Carter (New Zealand),  9 Ben Youngs (England), 8 Pierre Spies (South Africa), 7 Tomas de la Vega (Argentina), 6 Willem Alberts (South Africa), 5 Nathan Sharpe (Australia), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Cian Healy (Ireland).

Len Kaplan XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 Digby Ioane (Australia), 10 Berrick Barnes (Australia), 9 Ben Youngs (England), 8 Tomas Leonardi (Argentina), 7 Tomas de la Vega (Argentina), 6 Willem Alberts (South Africa), 5 Nathan Sharpe (Australia), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Adam Jones (Wales), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Cian Healy (Ireland).

Mike de Vries XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Jonathan Davies (Wales), 12 Pat McCabe (Australia), 11 Digby Ioane (Australia), 10 Berrick Barnes (Australia), 9 Francois Hougaard (South Africa), 8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7 David Pocock (Australia), 6 Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Mike Ross (Ireland), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Gethin Jenkins (Wales).

Warrick Austin XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (New Zealand), 11 Digby Ioane (Australia), 10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9 Ben Youngs (England), 8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7 David Pocock (Australia), 6 Adam Thomson (New Zealand), 5 Nathan Sharpe (Australia), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Mike Ross (Ireland), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).

Timmy Hancox XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14 JP Pietersen (South Africa), 13 Jonathan Davies (Wales), 12 Frans Steyn (South Africa), 11 Digby Ioane (Australia), 10 Berrick Barnes (Australia), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland), 8 Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7 David Pocock (Australia), 6 Adam Thomson (New Zealand), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa), 3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa).

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