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Team of the RC: Blackwash

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 10:28
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The closest any other team came to beating New Zealand was when the Wallabies finished eight points behind them
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The All Blacks swept all before them in the inaugural Rugby Championship, so it is no surprise that they dominate our Team of the Tournament.

The closest any other team came to beating New Zealand was when the Wallabies finished eight points behind them in the opening game, and that perfect record saw the All Blacks form the majority of our weekly selections throughout the competition.

With all of that conseidered it should come as no surpise that there are nine All Blacks in our overall Team of the Tournament, with the other three nations left to make up the numbers.

This year also saw the introduction of the Pumas to the competition, and although they did not manage to win a match in their debut season, the Pumas were competitive in most of their games and as a result there are two of them in our final team.

The Springboks ended in third position on the standings after an erratic campaign, but there were a few signs of promise which earned them three spots in our team, whilst the Wallabies managed just one.

Things were a little more evenly spread in the bubbling under team, with the Boks leading the way with five players, and New Zealand and Argentina coming in with four each, whilst the Wallabies brought up the tail again with just two.

Rugby Championship Team of the Tournament:

15 Israel Dagg (New Zealand)
He was simply in another class altogether, which is backed up by the fact that he was the only player in the tournament to make our team of the week every week.
Bubbling under: Zane Kirchner (South Africa)

14 Bryan Habana (South Africa)
Signalled his return to top form by equalling the record for most tries in a tournament. His work-rate has never been in doubt, but this year he got his attacking potency back and made the opposition pay regularly.
Bubbling under: Cory Jane (New Zealand)

13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand)
Made a late entry due to injury, but did not miss a beat and showed his class by making those around him look great. One of the coolest customers in the game.
Bubbling under: Marcelo Bosch (Argentina)

12 Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand)
Showed impressive veratility by playing in both centre positions, but was at his destructive best when running hard off the shoulder of Dan Carter in the No.12 jersey.
Bubbling under: Frans Steyn (South Africa)

11 Digby Ioane (Australia)
One of the few players in the Wallabies backline that managed to break the line consistently, he never stopped pushing, even when those around him were dropping like flies.
Bubbling under: Julian Savea (New Zealand)

10 Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
If there was doubt in anyone's mind before the tournament about who the best flyhalf in the business is, Carter sorted that one out in typically efficient style.
Bubbling under: Juan Martin Hernandez (Argentina)

9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand)
Took his opportunity to establish himself at the base of the All Blacks scrum where he looks set to enjoy a long career. Between his bullet pass and dangerous running he poses a constant threat.
Bubbling under: Martin Landajo (Argentina)

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand)
Another All Black who seems to deliver more consistently than any other player in his position. Played with incredible intensity and showed why he has a reputation as one of the hardest players around.
Bubbling under: Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (Argentina)

7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
The legendary skipper was a talismanic presence for his side once again as they proved that they deserve the title of world champions. His game has developed even further and he is now a more rounded player who is guaranteed a legacy as an all-time great.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)

6 Francois Louw (South Africa)
The most effective player in a No.6 jersey, regardless of which side of the scrum he packed down on. Louw added some vital balance to the Bok pack and showed that he is more than a 'fetcher'.
Bubbling under: Liam Messam (New Zealand)

5 Patricio Albacete (Argentina)
A consistent operator in the line-outs who also gave the Pumas engine room the grunt they needed to take the other sides on up front.
Bubbling under: Nathan Sharpe (Australia)

4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)
The 20-year-old took to the highest level with ease, delivering some characteristically powerful performances in an impressive debut season.
Bubbling under: Luke Romano (New Zealand)

3 Owen Franks (New Zealand)
The rock around which the formidable All Blacks scrum is built, Franks is incredibly reliable in the tight phases and works as hard as any other front row forward around the park.
Bubbling under: Jannie du Plessis (South Africa)

2 Andrew Hore (New Zealand)
Established himself as the starting hooker ahead of Keven Mealamu with some determined performances. He poses a threat at the breakdown on top of his high work rate which makes him doubly valuable.
Bubbling under: Adriaan Strauss (South Africa)

1 Rodrigo Roncero (Argentina)
The veteran bowed out of the Test arena by earning the respect of all of his opponents with a remarkably energetic campaign. Put his heart and soul into every exchange and held a vital leadership position in the Pumas pack.
Bubbling under: Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Len Kaplan XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 François Louw, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.       

Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Adriaan  Strauss, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Samuel Whitelock , 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Weekly selections:

Round One: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.

Round Two: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ma'a Nonu, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Eusebio Guiñazu, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Round Three: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Will Genia, 8 Juan Martín Fernandez Lobbe, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Round Four: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Julio Farias Cabello, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

Round Five: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Martín Landajo, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.

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