Wednesday, November 04, 2015

RWC Tier 2 Team of the Tournament

Throughout RWC2015 Mark Jackson

has been offering his “Teams of the Week”

Click these links for his teams from...

week 1 week 2 week 3 week 4 QF SF Tournament

later today….the “flop” team of the tournament

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This world cup threw up some epic performances from Tier 2 nations none more so memorable than Japans defeat of the Springboks in Brighton. The gap is certainly closing and World Rugby can take a bow for that but now is the time to increase funding further to make sure the gap is closed even further before we hit Japan for RWC 2019. Below is the selection of the best performers from the Tier 2 nations at this RWC.

15. Ayuma Goromaru (JAP) - Fantastic goal kicker but Goromaru offered so much more than his boot .

14. Nemani Nadolo (FIJI) - A beast on the wing , caused untold problems for England  and Australia and a half decent kicker too.

13. Ciaran Hearn (CAN) - A player who impressed throughout , excellent defender and powerful with ball in hand , a real handful.

12. Rey Lee-Lo (SAM) - Samoa were along with England the big disappointments of the tournament but Lee-Lo gave one of the best individual performances of the entire tournament vs Scotland. A nightmare to tackle and like great Samoan centres of the past loves a big hit.

11. DTH Van der Merwe (CAN) - 4 great games , 4 great tries would be a household name if in a Tier 1 side. Impressive all around game huge workrate , the Scarlets have a gem .

10. Lasha Malaguradze (GEO) - A tidy fly half who kept his mammoth pack going in the right direction and showed some glimpses of running too.

9. Fumiaki Tanaka (JAP) - A smaller version of Aaron Smith , no surprise they play at the same franchise, similar in playing style both buzz around both excellent passers. His speed to the ruck was vital to Eddie Jones' gameplan.

8. Renaldo Bothma (NAM) - Good enough to play with the Boks says it all, another player who Tier 1 sides would love to have.

7. Michael Leitch (JAP)- Captain Fantastic for the Blossoms. A huge workrate,, excellent at the breakdown and brave in the tackle and with his decision to go for the win vs South Africa . A great overlall effort.

6. Mamuka Gorgodze (GEO) - Just couldn't leave him out. A monster in all aspects , the pride he plays the game with when wearing his national jersey is what the game is all about .

5. Leone Nakarawa (FIJI) - Loves an offload , awkward running style makes him hard to take down , some backs would love his skill set

4. Luke Thompson (JAP)  - A naturalised Blossom , Thompson won vital lineout for a team short on skyscrapers and tackled like a demon . His breakdown work was excellent too .

3. Davit Zirakashvili (GEO) - A rock of a tighthead , laid platform for 2 Georgian victories.

2. Shota Horie (JAP) - A rare commodity , a hooker who actually hooks the ball.

1. Campese Ma'afu (FIJI) - A great tournament for the Fijian loose head , aggressive at the set piece allied with slick handling for the much improved prop.

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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