Second Phase

Team of the Week: Last Crusade

Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:19
Nemani-nadolo-crusaders-try
Three players return
Quote-end

The Crusaders are beginning to find some impressive form as Super Rugby heads into the home stretch.

It is thus not surprising that they dominate rugby365's famous weekly selection.

There are five Crusaders, all key players in their final push to the play-offs, in our starting XV.

The Lions, following their record demolition of the Cheetahs, are next best represented - with three starting members.

The table-topping Waratahs, the Chiefs (two each), the Highlanders, Sharks and Brumbies (one each) make up the numbers.

Our back-up squad also reward the inform teams.

The Lions (four), Brumbies (three), Sharks, Chiefs, Bulls (two each) and Waratahs (one) all won this past weekend.

Three players return from last week - centre Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), wing Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders) and lock Brodie Retallick (Chiefs).

Team of the Week - Round 19:

15 - Israel Dagg (Crusaders):
He was in sublime attacking form. Now, if only, he could be more consistent.
Bubbling under: Jesse Mogg (Brumbies)

14 - Lionel Mapoe (Lions):
He seemed to relish playing on the wing again, breaking the line almost at will at times and scoring a hat-trick.
Bubbling under: Henry Speight (Brumbies)

13 - Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders):
Did his reputation no harm, despite his team being on the wrong end of a hiding.
Bubbling under: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)

12 - Kurtley Beale (Waratahs):
Certainly increased his profile and asking price, now that contract negotiations are on the table.
Bubbling under: Alwyn Hollenbach (Lions)

11 - Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders):
After years of trotting the globe the big Fijian has found a team where his power and pace are used to the full.
Bubbling under: Francois Hougaard (Bulls)

10 - Matt Toomua (Brumbies):
It was his distribution and running skills that made him stand pout, but his defence was not too shabby either.
Bubbling under: Aaron Cruden (Chiefs)

9 - Charl McLeod (Sharks):
Still one of the best No.9s when he is on song.
Bubbling under: Piet van Zyl (Bulls)

8 - Kieran Read (Crusaders):
Again showed why he is regarded as the world's best No.8.
Bubbling under: Warren Whiteley (Lions)

7 - Matt Todd (Crusaders):
The amount of work he gets through - both in terms of ball carries and defence - ensures there will be life after Richie McCaw.
Bubbling under: Warwick Tecklenburg (Lions)

6 - Liam Messam (Chiefs):
He is key to the Chiefs' cause as they chase a hat-trick of Super Rugby titles.
Bubbling under: Jaco Kriel (Lions)

5 - Brodie Retallick (Chiefs):
Simply the best lock in the competition.
Bubbling under: Stephan Lewies (Sharks)

4 - Dominic Bird (Crusaders):
Gets through an enormous amount of work for such a big man.
Bubbling under: Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs)

3 - Julian Redelinghuys (Lions):
One of the finds of the season. Won't let the national team down.
Bubbling under: Ben Tameifuna (Chiefs)

2 - Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs):
Reckless may be his second name, but he is good value to the team.
Bubbling under: Josh Mann-Rea (Brumbies)

1 - Schalk van der Merwe (Lions):
Not surprising to see Bloemfontein journalists bemoaning the fact that the Cheetahs allowed this one to slip away - given the way he demolished an established Springbok. as they say, Cheetahs' loss; Lions' gain.
Bubbling under: Thomas du Toit (Sharks)

Our individual selections!
 
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.

Michael de Vries XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.

Darryn Pollock XV: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Dean Greyling.

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Bismarck Du Plessis, 1 Thomas Du Toit.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.

Previous selections:
 
Team of the Week - Round 18: 15 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 14 Gio Aplon (Stormers),  13 Samu Kerevi (Reds), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Phillip van der Walt (Cheetahs), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg (Lions), 6 Nizaam Carr (Stormers), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), 1 Jamie Mackintosh (Chiefs).

Team of the Week - Round 17: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Richard Buckman (Highlanders), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Nick Frisby (Reds), 8 Wycliff Palu (Waratahs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Steven Luatua (Blues), 5 Blade Thomson (Hurricanes), 4 Jacques Potgieter (Waratahs), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Brayden Mitchell (Highlanders), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).
 
Team of the Week - Round 16: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Will Genia (Reds), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Luke Braid (Blues), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Kane Douglas (Waratahs), 4 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Scott Sio (Brumbies).
 
Team of the Week - Round 15: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Henry Speight (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes), 7 Lubabalo Mtembu (Sharks), 6 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Dominic Bird (Crusaders), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Ben Franks (Hurricanes).
 
Team of the Week - Round 14: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Cheslin Kolbe (Stormers), 10 Bernard Foley (Waratahs), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Johannes Prinsloo (Cheetahs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Luke Jones (Rebels), 4 Will Skelton (Waratahs), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round 13: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Marcel Brache (Western Force), 12 Jan Serfontein (Bulls), 11 Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Francois Hougaard (Bulls), 8 Warren Whiteley (Lions), 7 Ardie Savea (Hurricanes), 6 Tanerau Latimer (Chiefs), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Paul Willemse (Bulls), 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders)
 
Team of the Week - Round 12: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Bryn Hall (Blues), 8 Liam Messam (Chiefs), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Franco Mostert (Lions), 4 Paul Willemse (Bulls), 3 Marcell van der Merwe (Bulls), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Tony Woodcock (Blues).
 
Team of the Week - Round 11: 15 Andre Taylor (Hurricanes), 14 Cory Jane (Hurricanes), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Ma'a Nonu (Blues), 11 Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), 10 Matt Toomua (Brumbies), Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Victor Vito (Hurricanes), 7 Matt Hodgson (Force), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Sam Carter (Brumbies), 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (Hurricanes), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round 10: 15 Jason Woodward (Rebels), 14 Damian de Allende (Stormers), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 TJ Perenara (Hurricanes), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Michael Hooper (Waratahs), 6 Heinrich Brüssow (Cheetahs), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Will Skelton (Waratahs), 3 Owen Franks (Crusaders), 2 Shota Horie (Rebels), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round Nine: 15 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 14 Joe Tomane (Brumbies), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Bundee Aki (Chiefs), 11 Nick Cummins (Western Force), 10 Colin Slade (Crusaders), 9 Nic White (Brumbies), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force), 6 Angus Cottrell (Western Force), 5 Luke Jones (Rebels), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Ben Alexander (Brumbies), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round Eight: 15 Jayden Hayward (Western Force), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs), 12 Pat McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Johnny McNicholl (Crusaders), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Sarel Pretorius (Cheetahs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jack Lam (Hurricanes), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Sekope Kepu (Waratahs), 2 Dane Coles (Hurricanes), 1 Chris King (Highlanders).
 
Team of the Week - Round Seven: 15 Jason Woodward (Rebels), 14 Alapati Leiua (Hurricanes), 13 Juan de Jongh (Stormers), 12 Mitch Inman (Rebels), 11 Julian Savea (Hurricanes), 10 Aaron Cruden (Chiefs), 9 Bryn Hall (Blues), 8 Steven Luatua (Blues), 7 Luke Braid (Blues), 6 Deon Stegmann (Bulls), 5 Victor Matfield (Bulls), 4 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round Six: 15 Ben Smith (Highlanders), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Malakai Fekitoa (Highlanders), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Robbie Coleman (Brumbies), 10 Quade Cooper (Reds), 9 Francois de Klerk (Lions), 8 Duane Vermeulen (Stormers), 7 Matt Hodgson (Western Force), 6 Seven Luatua (Blues), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Franco Mostert (Lions), 3 Kieran Longbottom (Western Force), 2 Tatafu Polota Nau (Waratahs), 1 Jean-Pierre Smith (Brumbies).
 
Team of the Week - Round Five: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 JP Pietersen (Sharks), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Tom Marshall (Chiefs), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Kieran Read (Crusaders), 7 Willem Alberts (Sharks), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Jeremy Thrush (Hurricanes), 3 Julian Redelinghuys (Lions), 2 Nathan Charles (Western Force), 1 Schalk van der Merwe (Lions).
 
Team of the Week - Round Four: 15 Jesse Mogg (Brumbies), 14 Roc Davis (Reds), 13 Jean de Villiers (Stormers), 12 Par McCabe (Brumbies), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ben McCalman (Western Force), 7 Schalk Burger (Stormers), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (Western Force), 4 Flip van der Merwe (Bulls), 3 Werner Kruger (Bulls), 2 Stephen Moore (Brumbies), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round Three: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), 13 Conrad Smith (Hurricanes), 12 Kurtley Beale (Waratahs), 11 Bjorn Basson (Bulls), 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Bulls), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (Chiefs), 8 Scott Higginbotham (Rebels), 7 Jacques du Plessis (Bulls), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Tom Donnelly (Blues), 4 Hugh Pyle (Rebels), 3 Charlie Faumuina (Blues), 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (Waratahs), 1 Benn Robinson (Waratahs).
 
Team of the Week - Round Two: 15 Israel Folau (Waratahs), 14 Lachie Turner (Reds), 13 Robbie Fruean (Chiefs), 12 Frances Saili (Blues), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Aaron Smith (Highlanders), 8 Nasi Manu (Highlanders), 7 Pieter Labuschagne (Cheetahs), 6 Jaco Kriel (Lions), 5 Brodie Retallick (Chiefs), 4 Sam Whitelock (Crusaders), 3 Jannie du Plessis (Sharks), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).
 
Team of the Week - Round One: 15 SP Marais (Sharks), 14 Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs), 13 Paul Jordaan (Sharks), 12 Frans Steyn (Sharks), 11 Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks), 10 Marnitz Boshoff (Lions), 9 Cobus Reinach (Sharks), 8 Ryan Kankowski (Sharks), 7 Derick Minnie (Lions), 6 Marcell Coetzee (Sharks), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Sharks), 4 Lodewyk de Jager (Cheetahs), 3 Coenie Oosthuizen (Cheetahs), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Sharks), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks).