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Team of the Week: Shark infested

Mon, 09 Jul 2012 11:57
Marcel-coetzee-v-bulls-630 Dan-carter-crusaders-pass63 Sona-taumalolo-charges-630

The Bulls were bullied out of the game

Quote-end

The Sharks made a statement of intent with their 32-10 demolition of the Bulls at the weekend and they were richly rewarded.

Not only did the men from Durban keep their play-off hopes alive, but they dominate our weekly selection - six members in our starting XV.

The Crusaders (three) and Chiefs (two), New Zealand's two most impressive teams, are next best - while the Blues, Western Force, Lions and Waratahs (one each) are making up the numbers.

There is a good mix bubbling under - the Highlanders, Stormers, Crusaders and Cheetahs with two each, while the Brumbies, Reds, Sharks, Lions, Blues and Chiefs are also represented.

Not a single player returned from last week's selection.

Team of the Week - Round 17:

15 - Charles Piutau (Blues):
This elusive runner is now beginning to reproduce the form that made him such a menace to opposition teams for New Zealand Sevens and Under-20 teams last year.
Bubbling under: Ben Smith (Highlanders)

14 - JP Pietersen (Sharks):
He seems so much more at home on the wing than when he was shifted to midfield earlier in the season.
Bubbling under: Dom Shipperley (Reds)

13 - Tim Whitehead (Sharks):
He may well have benefitted from the experience of having seasoned Springbok Frans Steyn on his inside, but it was his most commanding performance of the season.
Bubbling under: Waylon Murray (Lions)

12 - Francois Steyn (Sharks):
The big Bok is back! Yes, he is indeed a special star and now a far more mature player to boot. And we forgave him the one or two shockers (like kicking the ball into the back of his own teammate).
Bubbling under: Ma'a Nonu (Blues)

11 - Napolioni Nalaga (Western Force):
Having watched him at the weekend it is not surprising that this utility back often appears on the flank as well for Fiji. He is going to be missed when he heads to Clermont at the end of the season.
Bubbling under: Hosea Gear (Highlanders)

10 - Dan Carter (Crusaders):
He is still the master and the rest are just pretenders.
Bubbling under: Peter Grant (Stormers)

9 - Andy Ellis (Crusaders);
It caused some considerable debate. However, we went for Ellis on a majority vote. He is beginning to regain his best form, which will no doubt please the All Black selectors.
Bubbling under: Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs)

8 - Ryan Kankowski (Sharks):
Some pundits feel he may well have produced the best game of his career. It may be stretching it a bit, but he was indeed impressive.
Bubbling under: Kieran Read (Crusaders)

7 - Marcell Coetzee (Sharks):
He showed exactly why he is so highly rated by Bok coach Heyneke Meyer - fast, strong and a real livewire.
Bubbling under: Richie McCaw (Crusaders)

6 - Derrick Minnie (Lions):
He was still penalised at times, but managed to make some adjustments in the game and was a real menace ... the Lions' most influential player in a rare win.
Bubbling under: Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs)

5 - Kane Douglas (Waratahs):
Not many may know this, but he comes from a Rugby League background, having played his junior rugby with the Yamba Buccaneers. Is he Australia's version of Brad Thorn?
Bubbling under: Andries Bekker (Stormers)

4 - Luke Romano (Crusaders):
He showed why he was drafted in to make his Test debut against Ireland - he is the future of the All Black second row.
Bubbling under: Cadeyrn Neville (Rebels)

3 - Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs):
This young man is going to have a huge future in the game if he continues with the form he has produced this year.
Bubbling under: WP Nel (Cheetahs)

2 - Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
Master poacher and the Sharks' muscle. He literally bullied the Bulls.
Bubbling under: Stephen Moore (Brumbies)

1 - Sona Taumalolo (Chiefs):
It was a sight to behold when he outpaced All Black captain Richie McCaw, but that was not the only reason we selected him.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks)

Our individual selections

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Luke Romano, 3 WP Nel, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Len Kaplan XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Tim Hancox XV: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Warwick Austin XV: 15 Charlie Piutau 14 Mark Gerrard 13 Waylon Murray 12 Frans Steyn 11 Napolioni Nalaga 10 Dan Carter 9 Andy Ellis 8 Ryan Kankowski 7 Marcell Coetzee 6 Heinrich Brüssow 5 Hugh Pyle 4 Brodie Retallick 3 Ben Tameifuna 2 Bismarck du Plessis 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Francois Steyn, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Derrick Minnie, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Luke Romano, 3 WP Nel, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - Round 16: 15 Robbie Robinson (Chiefs), 14 Nick Cummins (Western Force), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Reds), 7 Jacques Potgieter (Bulls), 6 Liam Messam (Chiefs), 5 Juandré Kruger (Bulls), 4 Rob Simmons (Reds), 3 Ben May (Hurricanes), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders).

Team of the Week - Round 15: 15 Israel Dagg (Crusaders), 14 Rene Ranger (Blues),  13 Francis Saili (Blues),  12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs),  11 Zac Guildford (Crusaders),  10 Dan Carter (Crusaders),  9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders),  8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes),  7 Richie McCaw (Crusaders),  6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers),  5 Franco van der Merwe (Lions),  4 Scott Fardy (Brumbies),  3 Pat Cilliers (Lions),  2 Quentin MacDonald (Crusaders),  1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders).

Team of the Week, Round 14: 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes), 14 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 13 Tamati Ellison (Highlanders), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Frederick Michalak (Sharks), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Keegan Daniel (Sharks), 7 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (Bulls), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 WP Nel (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

Team of the Week, Round 13: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Adam Whitelock (Crusaders), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Frederic Michalak (Sharks), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Reds), 7 Michael Hooper (Brumbies), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 James Horwill (Reds), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs).

Team of the Week, Round 12: 15 Luke Morahan (Reds), 14 Mark Gerrard (Rebels), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Kurtley Beale (Rebels), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Reds), 7 Liam Gill (Reds), 6 Luke Braid (Blues), 5 Juandre Kruger (Bulls), 4 Rob Simmons (Reds), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).

Team of the Week, Round 11: 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Andries Strauss (Cheetahs), 11 Digby Ioane (Reds), 10 Morné Steyn (Bulls), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Reds), 7 Michael Hooper (Brumbies), 6 CJ Stander (Bulls), 5 Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), 4 Craig Clarke (Chiefs), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs).

Team of the Week, Round 10: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 10 Johan Goosen (Cheetahs), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Michael Hooper (Brumbies), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Dean Mumm (Waratahs), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Hika Elliot (Chiefs), 1 Arizona Taumalolo (Chiefs).

Team of the Week, Round Nine: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Andrew Smith (Brumbies), 12 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 11 Hosea Gear (Highlanders), 10 Peter Grant (Stormers), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Sam Cane (Chiefs), 6 CJ Stander (Bulls), 5 De Kock Steenkamp (Stormers), 4 Josh Bekhuis (Highlanders), 3 Ben Franks (Crusaders), 2 Mahonri Schwalger (Chiefs), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Team of the Week, Round Eight: 15 Joe Pietersen (Stormers), 14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), 13 Richard Kahui (Chiefs), 12 Pat McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Bryan Habana (Stormers), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Keegan Daniel (Sharks), 7 Matt Todd (Crusaders), 6 CJ Stander (Bulls), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Scott Fardy (Brumbies), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Craig Burden (Sharks), 1 Arizona Taumalolo (Chiefs).

Team of the Week, Round Seven: 15 Joe Pietersen (Stormers), 14 Lelia Masaga (Chiefs), 13 Robert Ebersohn (Cheetahs), 12 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 11 Bryan Habana (Stormers), 10 Morné Steyn (Bulls), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Reds), 7 Karl Lowe (Hurricanes), 6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers), 5 Andries Bekker (Stormers), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 WP Nel (Cheetahs), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), 1 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers).

Team of the Week, Round Six: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Odwa Ndungane (Sharks), 13 Richard Kahui (Chiefs), 12 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 11 Zac Guildford (Crusaders), 10 Johan Goosen (Cheetahs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Kane Thompson (Chiefs), 7 David Pocock (Western Force), 6 Adam Thomson (Highlanders), 5 Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), 4 Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), 3 WP Nel (Cheetahs), 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (Bulls), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs).

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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