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Team of the tournament: Big Chiefs

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 12:37
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We also listed the players who received most nominations in our weekly selections
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Winners are rewarded and so did we when we named our famous Team of the Tournament.

The Chiefs, who was the most consistent team this year and deservedly walked away with a maiden Super Rugby crown, make up more than half of our starting XV - eight.

The beaten finalists, the Sharks, are also rewarded for their impressive form in the latter stages of the competition - providing four members in the frontline selection.

The Hurricanes (two) and Stormers (one) make up the numbers in our starting XV.

The back-up squad is where you will find the individuals who stood out, but because of the sometimes erratic form of their teams did not always perform consistently.

The Sharks have four members in our Bubbling Under team, as reward for their form, followed by the Hurricanes (three), Bulls (two), Stormers, Crusaders, Reds, Brumbies, Highlanders and Chiefs (one each).

* We also listed, at the bottom, the names of the players who received most nominations in our weekly selections.

Team of the Tournament:

15 - Robbie Robinson (Chiefs):
It was a really tough call, as both have been way ahead of the rest. Robinson had the advantage of playing in the Final, where he again showed fine form.
Bubbling under: Andre Taylor (Hurricanes)

14 - JP Pietersen (Sharks):
He was a star for the Sharks, whether he played on the wing or in the centres.
Bubbling under: Louis Ludik (Sharks)

13 - Conrad Smith (Hurricanes):
Simply the premier outside centre in the competition, perhaps in world rugby.
Bubbling under: Paul Jordaan (Sharks)

12 - Sonny Bill Williams (Chiefs):
Rugby Union will miss his uniqueness and exuberance - even though his tackles often cross that fine line between illegal and legitimate.
Bubbling under: Jean de Villiers (Stormers)

11 - Julian Savea (Hurricanes):
At times he showed why he was once touted as the next Jonah Lomu.
Bubbling under: Bjorn Basson (Bulls)

10 - Aaron Cruden (Chiefs):
He was pivotal to the Chiefs' cause and it is not surprising they came out on top.
Bubbling under: Dan Carter (Crusaders)

9 - Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs):
It is a major surprise that he is not in the All Black team.
Bubbling under: TJ Perenara (Hurricanes)

8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks):
It is such a pity he has ruled himself out of Test selection by moving to Japan. He would have been close to a certain starter.
Bubbling under: Scott Higginbotham (Reds)

7 - Marcell Coetzee (Sharks):
Close to being the find of the season. He is going to be in Green and Gold for years to come.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Brumbies)

6 - Liam Messam (Chiefs):
He had to work hard to get back into the All Black frame and he should be a regular feature in the matchday 22.
Bubbling under: Adam Thomson (Highlanders)

5 - Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):
Another of the talented young players to leave their marks on the competition and as a result earn a Test call-up. He will be in Black for many years.
Bubbling under: Juandre Kruger (Bulls)

4 - Eben Etzebeth (Stormers):
He is still just 20 and to think people wondered where the Springboks will find their next 'enforcer'.
Bubbling under: Craig Clarke (Chiefs)

3 - Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs):
Still rough around the edges and sometimes a bit over the top with the physical stuff, but a real talent.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (Sharks)

2 - Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks):
Without doubt the premier hooker in world rugby.
Bubbling under: Dane Coles (Hurricanes)

1 - Sona Taumalolo (Chiefs):
The Chiefs will miss his infectious enthusiasm and try-scoring ability next year.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks)

Our Individual selections:

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11  Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Leonard Kaplan XV: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Peter Grant, 9 François Hougaard, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 David Pocock, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Most weekly nominations:
15 Robbie Robinson/Andre Taylor (both three times)
14 JP Pietersen/Cory Jane/Leila Masaga (all three  times)
13 Conrad Smith (seven times)
12 Sonny Bill Williams (seven times)
11 Bryan Habana (four times)
10 Frederic Michalak/Dan Carter/Aaron Cruden (all three times)
9 Francois Hougaard (five times)
8 Scott Higginbotham (five times)
7 Marcell Coetzee (four times)
6 Adam Thomson (seven times)
5 Juandre Kruger (six times)
4 Eben Etzebeth (nine times)
3 Ben Tameifuna (four times)
2 Bismarck du Plessis (10 times)
1 Sona Taumalolo (eight times)

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