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Team of the tournament: Our bolters

Mon, 29 Oct 2012 13:29
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Two players clearly stand out
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Western Province claimed South Africa's most prized trophy, the Currie Cup, but their extraordinary march through the play-offs was not enough to dominate our famous Team of the Tournament.

While some members of our panel based their selections almost exclusively on the play-offs, the Sharks managed to provide the bulk of our starting XV due to their consistent form through the league stages of the competition.

In fact our selection mostly reflects the final standings on the league table, rather than Province's extraordinary bravery and fine performances in the semifinal and Final.

The Sharks have six members in our starting XV, followed by the Lions (four), WP, Griquas (both two) and the Free State Cheetahs (one).

There is some reward for Province in our back-up squad, but even there they also don't dominate.

The Lions have five players bubbling under, followed by WP (four), Griquas (three), Bulls, Sharks and Cheetahs (one each).

We also did our sums and came up with a team of players who earned the most weekly nominations throughout the 10 rounds of league action and the play-offs. In some positions two players had the same number of weekly nominations and are listed together.

Two players clearly stand out - Lions captain JC Janse van Rensburg and Griquas lock Martin Muller, who had seven nominations each. Next best were three Sharks - fullback Louis Ludik, centre Paul Jordaan and No.8 Keegan Daniel (all with five).

Most weekly nominations: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Akona & Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elton Jantjies & Butch James, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jaco Kriel & Jean Deysel, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Lourens Adriaanse & Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Team of the tournament:

15 - Louis Ludik (Sharks):
He has played himself into some serious form and while the Final may not have been his best game, he was consistently the best this season.
Bubbling under: Andries Coetzee (Golden Lions)

14 - Odwa Ndungane (Sharks):
He may have been moved to the bench when JP Pietersen eventually returned from injury, but along with brother twin Akona they were the most consistent players to wear No.14.
Bubbling under: Akona Ndungane (Blue Bulls)

13 - Paul Jordaan (Sharks):
There is no doubt he was the standout in the outside centre channel this season. He may have had senior competition in Lionel Mapoe was not called up to the Springboks.
Bubbling under: Lionel Mapoe (Golden Lions)

12 - Tim Whitehead (Sharks):
He had serious competition from Western Province rival Marcel Brache, but according to our panel managed to just pull ahead in the end.
Bubbling under: Marcel Brache (Western Province)

11 - Raymond Rhule (Free State Cheetahs):
Needless to say his Springbok call-up was just reward for a brilliant season.
Bubbling under: Rocco Jansen (Griquas)

10 - Elton Jantjies (Golden Lions):
He may have had a very bad semifinal, but throughout the season he showed some real class.
Bubbling under: Demetri Catrakilis (Western Province)

9 - Cobus Reinach (Sharks):
One of the finds of the season and certainly a future Springbok.
Bubbling under: Nic Groom (Western Province)

8 - Keegan Daniel (Sharks):
His performance in the Final was well below the standards he set throughout the season.
Bubbling under: Warren Whiteley (Golden Lions)

7 - Jaco Kriel (Golden Lions):
He was the epitome of the Lions' season - even when they were down they kept playing with verve and determination.
Bubbling under: Don Armand (Western Province)

6 - Deon Fourie (Western Province):
He may prefer hooker, but as a flank he was invaluable to the WP cause.
Bubbling under: Marnus Schoeman (Griquas)

5 - Martin Muller (Griquas):
In years to come he can look back on 2013 as the turning point in his career. He may still challenge for higher honours.
Bubbling under: Anton Bresler (Sharks)

4 - Michael Rhodes (Golden Lions):
Another of the numerous Lions players who are equally at home in the second and back row.
Bubbling under: Rynhardt Landman (Griquas)

3 - Lourens Adriaanse (Griquas):
It was a close call between him and brother Jacobie.
Bubbling under: Jacobie Adriaanse (Golden Lions)

2 - Siyabonga Ntubeni (Western Province):
It is called 'taking your chances'. He benefitted from an extraordinary number of loose forward injuries, which saw Deon Fourie moved to the flank.
Bubbling under: Callie Visagie (Golden Lions)

1 - JC Janse van Rensburg (Golden Lions):
Probably one of the unluckiest players not to get a Bok call-up.
Bubbling under: Marcel van der Merwe (Free State Cheetahs)

Our individual selections:

Quintin van Jaarsveld XV: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Leonard Kaplan XV: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Don Armand, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.

Michael de Vries: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

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