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Team of the Week: Wallaby whacked

Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:24
Adam-ashley-cooper-wallabie
Individually they were not good enough
Quote-end

The entertainment of the first weekend of June Tests was provided by the men from Down Under.

And it is thus not surprising that Australian dominate rugby365's famous weekly selection - following the Wallabies' 50-point demolition job on the French.

The Aussies have five players in our starting XV - with England, South Africa and the World XV each getting three spots. The 15th place goes to Ireland.

And, for those who wondered why no All Blacks made it - they simply did not impress as a group or individuals, hung on through some good fortune and the relied on a single moment of brilliance to win the match. Yes, that is how good teams win big games - they find a way to succeed even when having a bad day at the office, but that doesn't mean individually they were better than another player.

There is some consolatory reward for the New Zealanders, with four Kiwis making our back-up squad - the same number of Springboks that are bubbling under.

Our back-up squad has further reward for the victorious Wallabies - with three spots going to the Aussies.

Ireland (two), the World XV and France (one each) make up the numbers.

Teams of the Week - June, Round One:

15 - Israel Folau (Australia):
Simply sublime and caused havoc in the French defensive lines almost every time he touched the ball.
Bubbling under: Willie le Roux (South Africa)

14 - Adam Ashley Cooper (Australia):
He has taken his game to a new level this year and is deserved of the leadership role in the team.
Bubbling under:  Andrew Trimble (Ireland)

13 - Manu Tuilagi (England):
He was up against an All Black legend and did his growing reputation no harm.
Bubbling under: Rene Ranger (World XV)

12 - Wynand Olivier (World XV):
While most of the focus was on the brute force of Rene Ranger on his outside, the Springbok quietly went about his business - making more tackles than most (he slipped just one) and making as many metres as the best on the weekend.
Bubbling under: Wesley Fofana (France)

11 - Nick Cummins (Australia):
He is known for his try-scoring, but it was on defence where he was most effective this past weekend.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)

10 - Jonathan Sexton (Ireland):
Showed why he is now ranked among the best in the game currently.
Bubbling under: Morne Steyn (South Africa)

9 - Fourie du Preez (South Africa):
It is not a surprise that the Bok backline started operating more smoothly after he took to the field.
Bubbling under: Nic White (Australia)

8 - Duane Vermeulen (South Africa):
Powerful with ball in hand, making good metres, didn't slip a single tackle and featured in the line-outs.
Bubbling under: Jerome Kaino (New Zealand)

7 - Chris Robshaw (England):
One of the key players in an England team that came close to an upset.
Bubbling under: Michael Hooper (Australia)

6 - James Haskell (England):
Caused all kinds of problems for the All Blacks, especially on defence where he kept knocking them back.
Bubbling under: Robbie Diack (Ireland)

5 - Sam Carter (Australia):
He made more carries, ran more metres with the ball in hand and made double the number of tackles that his main rivals - Victor Matfield and Sam Whitelock - did combined.
Bubbling under: Victor Matfield (South Africa)

4 - Bakkies Botha (South Africa):
The spark that fired up the Bok pack when it seemed the World XV would take complete control.
Bubbling under: Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

3 - Carl Hayman (World XV):
Plenty of fight left in this old Kiwi dog. Monstered the highly-rated Bok scrum.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)

2 - Tatafu Polota-Nau (Australia):
He wasn't going to feature much and ended up playing 75 minutes - recklessly putting his body on the line, especially on defence.
Bubbling under: Dane Coles (New Zealand)

1 - Sona Taumalolo (World XV):
The Tongan torpedo sunk a couple of Bok reputations.
Bubbling under: James Slipper (Australia)

Our individual selections:

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Nick White, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 James Haskell, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 James Haskell, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Sona Taumalolo.

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