Tuesday, October 20, 2015

RWC2015 Team of the Quarterfinals

After another weekend of #RWC2015 action

Mark Jackson selects his team of the weekend…

 

Click these links for his teams from... week 1 week 2 week 3 week 4




Well that certainly wasn't a set of games that would be good for anyone suffering from heart issues. Some performances were simply sublime (ABs, Pumas) some bordered on the ridiculous (Craig Joubert) some were glorious in defeat (Scotland and Wales) and some see teams going home tail between their legs (France and unfortunately Ireland). The team of the round certainly is cloaked in Black with more than some sky blue tinges.

15. Joaquin Tucelet (ARG) - A complete full back. Excellent under the high ball  , is a great counter attacker , hits the line hard and always solid in the tackle . Ben Smith had a fantastic outing too for ABs but Tucelet has had an exceptional World Cup.
14. Juan Imhoff (ARG) - Slightly out of position as he prefers the 11 shirt . A thorn in the Irish defence , makes serious yards everytime with the ball in hand, strong powerful and quick to boot and a great finisher when the try line is in sight , if Nehe Milner-Skudder played the 80 he would probably be in the side just for that step.
13. Ma'a Nonu (NZ) - Another not in his usual position , Nonu played his best total game in a while despite butchering a potential 10th try vs the hapless French.
12. Juan Martin Hernandez (ARG) - A different game this time around from El Mago. Excellent defensive effort and probed the Irish line at times whilst also bringing his dangerous colleagues out wide into the game at every opportunity. Always has time on the ball , a special talent
11. Julian Savea (NZ) - Monster game from the rejuvenated Hurricane. Aggressive in contact , ragdolling Frenchmen left and right en route to a hat trick.
10. Dan Carter (NZ) - Obviously stole Stewie Griffin's time machine and found his Lions '05 tour self. When he runs onto the ball flat and hard still the best around . Offloads came off , kicking  was improved too , a man on a mission to play in a RWC final to top off a stellar career.
9. Fourie Du Preez (SA) - The first non Puma/AB in the team. Not the player he was in' 07, the breaks are not as electric but drove his pack on excellently and broke the hearts of the Welsh nation with his finish in the corner. Has done more than anyone to turn around the Boks RWC after the Japanese defeat.
8. Duane Vermeulen (SA) - The hardest positions to fill this week were the back row. In defeat the Welsh and Scottish back rows had huge games and the Bok , AB and Puma back rowers can all put their hands up for selection. This selection at 8 for me comes down to impact . When on the back foot Vermeulen is the man you want carrying the ball. His power is back to pre injury , and as his speed gets back watch out. Sat Alun Wyn Jones down hard on his backside a few time , no mean feat on its own but when on the backfoot even more special. His combination with Burger Louw and Du Preez is vital for SA's chances on Saturday
7. Richie McCaw (NZ) - Gets a bad rap from other countries for being a cheat but you know what , who cares ?? , not his fault if refs don't catch him . A total performance from McCaw , slowed down every French attack , linked well and carried as hard as ever. Just remember how good he is when he is finally gone .
6. Pablo Matera (ARG) - Immense performance . Totally dominated Irish back row both in the tackle and ball in hand . A great line out option also . This guy is just 22 , scary future ahead.
5. Sam Whitelock (NZ) - Scrum , Lineout , Tackle , Offload , Carry, Restarts does everything to a world class level
4. Brodie Retallick (NZ) - See above .
3. Owen Franks (NZ) - Not the biggest tighthead but gets the job done , NZ's scrum stats don't lie and his mobility and handling are that of a world class backrower.
2. Augustin Creevy (ARG) - Knockout rugby sees the cream rise to the top and the Puma skipper certainly rose to the occasion . Excellent set piece and another front rower with great handling , the best hooker in the world for me. Bismarck had a very strong game also.
1. Joe Moody (NZ) - 3rd AB loosehead and if given the chance will be a great All Black, makes the side just for that offload but keep an eye out for this guy in the future . As his scrummaging improves will be a destructive force .

Some players who were very close to this week's side but just missed out, Ben Smith, Schalk Burger, Sam Warburton, Aaron Smith, Nicolas Sanchez, Tomas Lavanini, Leonardo Sanatore. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Dan Biggar, Adam Ashley Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Drew Mitchell .

Mark Jackson (@markusjacksonus) An Irishman in London....lover of rugby , NFL and family n friends not always in that order..consumer of meat , best friend to Wayne Barnes . All views my own and always open for a lively debate . Ireland , Leinster and the New York Giants fanatic. 

*****

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