Team of the Week: The chasm widens

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 21:23

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP, WEEK TWO: New Zealand's superiority over the rest of the world was again put on display in glorious fashion this past weekend.

There is no doubt that the chasm between the world's best team and a rather ordinary chasing bunch is widening.

And that dominance reflected in rugby365's famous weekly selection.

There are 11 All Blacks in our starting XV and just four Argentineans.

In fact, the only non-Kiwi in the backline is Pumas wing, Manual Montero.

Up front, there is a better reflection of Argentina's impressive display in securing a first-ever home win over South Africa.

There is more acknowledgement for Argentina in our back-up squad - with nine members of the Los Pumas squad bubbling under.

New Zealand have another three players in our back-up squad, with two South Africans 'bubbling under'.

Seven players return from last week - flyhalf Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), scrumhalf Aaron Smith (New Zealand), flank Sam Cane (New Zealand), locks Sam Whitelock (New Zealand) and Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), prop Ramiro Herrera (Argentina) and hooker Dane Coles (New Zealand).

Team of the Week - Rugby Championship, Week Two:

15 - Ben Smith (New Zealand):
Relished the chance to play at fullback again and made life very difficult for the Australian defenders.
Bubbling under: Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina)

14 - Israel Dagg (New Zealand):
Near flawless performance and made a seamless switch from fullback to wing.
Bubbling under: Santiago Cordero (Argentina)

13 - Malakai Fekitoa (New Zealand):
Beginning to run into a rich vein of form.
Bubbling under: Matias Orlando (Argentina)

12 - Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand):
You could not have asked for more from a player on debut.
Bubbling under: Juan Martin Hernández (Argentina)

11 - Manual Montero (Argentina):
He caused considerable trouble for an already leaky Springbok defence.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)

10 - Beauden Barrett (New Zealand):
Busy establishing himself not just as the All Blacks' premier flyhalf, but also the best No.10 in the world by some distance.
Bubbling under: Nicolas Sánchez (Argentina)

9 - Aaron Smith (New Zealand):
His tactical appreciation and sublime skills put him well ahead of his rivals.
Bubbling under: Martin Landajo (Argentina)

8 - Facundo Isa (Argentina):
Been on the Test scene since 2014, but this is truly his 'break-out' season.
Bubbling under: Kieran Read (New Zealand)

7 - Sam Cane (New Zealand):
Showing there is life after Richie McCaw.
Bubbling under: Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Argentina)

6 - Pablo Matera (Argentina):
Part of a Los Pumas loose trio that laid the platform for a historic victory.
Bubbling under: Jerome Kaino (NewZealand)

5 - Sam Whitelock (New Zealand):
He did not just bring his physicality, but sublime line-out skills as well and won a few crucial turnovers.
Bubbling under: Lodewyk de Jager(South Africa)

4 - Brodie Retallick (New Zealand):
He added some great breakdown skills to his physical game.
Bubbling under: Matias Alemanno (Argentina)

3 - Ramiro Herrera (Argentina):
He was under pressure in the scrums, but his all round game was from the top shelve - despite the set-piece issue.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (NewZealand)

2 - Dane Coles (New Zealand):
It was a tough choice, but Coles' greater mobility and impressive workrate gave him the edge.
Bubbling under: Agustin Creevy(NewZealand)

1 - Joe Moody (NewZealand):
Made the best of his start, after missing the opening round.
Bubbling under: Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Argentina)

Our Individual selections:

Tauriq Ebrahim XV: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Manual Montero, 10 Nicolas Sánchez, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Brodie Retallick,  3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Joe Moody.

Paul Dobson XV: 15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Juan Martín Hernández, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Will Genia, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.

Warren Fortune XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Manual Montero, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Martin Landajo, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Joe Moody.

Jan de Koning XV: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Manual Montero, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Ramiro Herrera, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.

Previous selections:

Team of the Week - Rugby Championship, Week One: 15 Israel Dagg (New Zealand), 14 Ruan Combrinck (South Africa), 13 Matias Orlando (Argentina), 12 Ryan Crotty (New Zealand), 11 Waisake Naholo (New Zealand), 10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), 9 Aaron Smith (New Zealand), 8 Kieran Read (New Zealand), 7 Sam Cane (New Zealand), 6 Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Ramiro Herrera (Argentina), 2 Dane Coles (New Zealand), 1 Francisco Chaparro (Argentina).

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