Team of the Week: Two-horse race

Mon, 23 Jul 2012 09:56
Large marcell coetzee v reds 630 Large dan carter kicks 630 Large keegan daniel v reds 630 Large richie mccaw v bulls 630

The pickings were slim, so it was obvious that two teams dominated our weekly Super Rugby selection.

The pickings were slim, so it was obvious that two teams dominated our weekly Super Rugby selection.

Not only did the Sharks and Crusaders dominate in their respective play-off matches, but their players were also mostly superior.

There are eight Crusaders in our starting XV, with six Sharks and just a solitary Reds player.

The back-up squad also reflects their dominance - six each from the Sharks and Crusaders, two Bulls and one Reds player.

Three players return from last week - wing JP Pietersen (Sharks), flank Marcell Coetzee (Sharks) and lock Luke Romano (Crusaders).

Team of the Week - Play-offs:

15 - Israel Dagg (Crusaders):
Easily dealt with the Bulls' wayward kicking.
Bubbling under: Louis Ludik (Sharks)

14 - JP Pietersen (Sharks):
He may have featured in the midfield at times this season, but he remains one of South Africa's premier wings.
Bubbling under: Adam Whitelock (Crusaders)

13 - Paul Jordaan (Sharks):
He may not have been a regular starter earlier in the season, but he has firmly established himself in a vastly improved backline.
Bubbling under: Robbie Fruean (Crusaders)

12 - Ryan Crotty (Crusaders):
It was a close call, but the Crusader edged his Sharks rival after some heated debate.
Bubbling under: Tim Whitehead (Sharks)

11 - Digby Ioane (Reds):
One of the Reds who continued fighting to the bitter end.
Bubbling under: Zac Guilford (Crusaders)

10 - Dan Carter (Crusaders):
He again showed the chasm in class between himself and the rest.
Bubbling under: Frederic Michalak (Sharks)

9 - Andy Ellis (Crusaders):
By far the best on a weekend when most scrumhalves did not exactly cover themselves in glory.
Bubbling under: Francois Hougaard (Bulls)

8 - Richie McCaw (Crusaders):
He has so much class that he can play almost anywhere on the field and won't disgrace himself.
Bubbling under: Scott Higginbotham (Reds)

7 - Marcell Coetzee (Sharks):
Truly one of the finds of the season.
Bubbling under: Matt Todd (Crusaders)

6 - Keegan Daniel (Sharks):
He has grown in stature this season and should be a fixture in the Springbok team on form alone.
Bubbling under: Jacques Potgieter (Bulls)

5 - Samuel Whitelock (Crusaders):
He was at the heart of a Crusaders engine that steamrolled the Bulls.
Bubbling under: Anton Bresler (Sharks)

4 - Luke Romano (Crusaders):
If Whitelock was the engine that drove the vehicle, Romano was the spark that got it all going.
Bubbling under: Willem Alberts (Sharks)

3 - Owen Franks (Crusaders):
Showed up the Bulls' scrum deficiencies in a big way.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (Sharks)

2 - Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
Again showed why he is regarded as the premier hooker in world rugby.
Bubbling under: Corey Flynn (Crusaders)

1 - Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks):
The Beast was at his most destructive best.
Bubbling under: Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)

Our individual selections

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Len Kaplan XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw,
7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Richie McCaw, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - Round 18: 15 Charles Piutau (Blues), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Deon Fourie (Stormers), 7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Juandre Kruger (Bulls), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Jacobie Adriaanse (Lions), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (Lions).

Team of the Week, Round 17: 15 Charles Piutau (Blues), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Tim Whitehead (Sharks), 12 Francois Steyn (Sharks), 11 Napolioni Nalaga (Western Force), 10 Dan Carter (Crusaders), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 6 Derrick Minnie (Lions), 5 Kane Douglas (Waratahs), 4 Luke Romano (Crusaders), 3 Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Sona Taumalolo (Chiefs).

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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Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Force 16 3 0 13 19