Tuesday, October 13, 2015

RWC2015 Team of Round 4

After another weekend of #RWC2015 drama

Mark Jackson selects his team of the round…


Click here for his team from week 1

Click here for his team from week 2

Click here for his team from week 3

And so the dust settles on the group stage of the Rugby World Cup, and for me easily the most enjoyable group phase of any RWC so far . This weeks side has more than a tinge of Green and Gold with some other colours thrown in for good measure

15. Rob Kearney (IRE) - Welcome back Rob , dropped a couple of high balls which he would usually easily take but he gets in the side for his best game in at least 2 if not 3 years. Ran hard , tackled better than he has in an age now let's see same in Cardiff this Sunday.

14. Nehe Milner-Skudder (NZ) - Class. This guy was just waiting to explode , possibly tried too hard in his first couple of outings. Footwork is best in the world and his season just gets better. A diamond in the Super XV, where do the Kiwis keep finding these players.

13.Robbie Henshaw (IRE) - Immense game from the Athlone man. Defended like a rock and everytime he ran he made precious yards , still think his future is in the 13 shirt but doesn't matter if it is 12 , vital for Ireland going forward.

12. Ray Lee-Lo (SAM) - The stand out player in a revived Samoan effort , has attributes to be a world class performer ,hands allied with power in the tackle and another with excellent footwork.

11. Bryan Habana (SA) - Looked hungry vs the USA. Still a bit short of his electric best but another player growing into the tournament .

10. Ian Madigan (IRE) - Might be accused of green tinted viewing here but his 55 mins saw him properly come of age. One loose kick aside a very controlled performance . Kept the ball in hand a lot brought his runners outside him into play nicely and was a constant threat running too.

9. Greig Laidlaw (SCO) - Another great effort from Scotland's captain . Brought his team back into the game after a shaky start and finished the Samoans off wth some gutsy calls at the end.

8. Renaldo Bothma (NAM) - The Namibian back row have been immense this RWC and Bothma put in a great effort against another monster back row versus the Georgians . Heaslip had a strong outing too as did Louis Picamoles in a losing effort but Bothma gets the nod. Nick Easter almost became the first and only Englishman to make the team but just couldnt bring myself to it considering the opposition.

7. Sean O Brien (IRE) - Immense. His belly tickler to Paper might cost him a 1/4 final place but this game will live long in the memory. A thorn in French side both in attack and defense where he must be up there with the hardest people to clean off the ball . Fingers crossed we haven't seen the end of his World Cup.

6. Scott Fardy ( AUS) - The most underrated player on the planet . Doesn't get the headlines like Pocock and Hooper but his workrate is off the charts and his physicality allows others to shine . Definitely one of first names on Cheika's teamsheets.

5.Leone Nakarawa (FIJI) - Another stellar week of second row performances but Nakarawa gets the 5 shirt for some great running and offloading. A nightmare to tackle his upright style looks ungainly but is effective in getting the ball away in contact situations.

4. Kane Douglas (AUS) - If you read certain papers apparently Douglas was the worst 2nd row on the pitch in game versus the Welsh . Simply wrong. For 2nd huge game in a row the former Leinster man was huge in all aspects especially with Fardy when down to 13 men. Cheika is getting the best out of him for sure.

3.Sekope Kepu (AUS) - Mike Ross was very close but Kepu keeps his place for another strong game especially in the scrum when down a man.His set piece work gets better and better and allied with his carrying a very good example of a modern prop.

2. Stephen Moore (AUS) - A great choice for skipper . Very smart talking the time down with the referee during the sinbins and his darts were excellent too allied with his efforts in the scrum. Rory Best gets high praise too.

1. Mikheil Nariasvili (GEO) - A great series from the Georgian loose-head , a destructive scrummager and many tightheads in the Tier 1 happy they don't see him too often.

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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Taken by JLP from RDS press box on Nov 16, 2019