Rugby Championship: Team of the Week

Date published: August 29 2016

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Now that the dust has settled after Round Two of the Rugby Championship, we select the players that stood out over the weekend's fixtures.

Unsurprisingly there is a significant All Black and Puma flavour to this line-up and unfortunately for the Wallabies they have no representative.

Here it is…

15 Joaquín Tuculet (Argentina): Finished off a superb team try against South Africa and was solid throughout in a memorable victory for the Pumas. He also helped create that opening try by sliding to the outside of the defender which made the space for his team-mates to exploit. Tuculet sees off Ben Smith to this shirt, who was his usual consistent self at the back in the All Blacks' 29-9 victory.

14 Israel Dagg (New Zealand): Crossed twice against the Wallabies as his switch to the right wing saw the classy All Black get amongst the tries. He now goes joint top of the try-scoring chart in this year's Rugby Championship as the competition takes a break.

13 Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand): While he was inside centre we simply had to make space for this debutant. Lienert-Brown looked a proud and determined man before kick-off and expertly set up Dagg's first try. He was also strong with the basics in a solid bow.

 12 Juan Martín Hernández (Argentina): Alongside Lienert-Brown we go for a man at the other end of his international career. Hernández was excellent in Salta with his kicking from the tee and out of hand top drawer. In fact it was his cross kick that set up flank Juan Manuel Leguizamón for a crucial try. He also made seven carries and five tackles for Argentina in the 26-24 win over the Springboks.

11 Manuel Montero (Argentina): It was difficult to leave out Bryan Habana and Julian Savea of South Africa and New Zealand respectively as both did well. But Montero was extremely busy for Argentina and despite knocking on over the line, did enough to get the nod. A further mention for Habana is earned as his record breaking try came seconds after he was smashed in possession. What a competitor.

10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): The mercurial number 10 set Westpac Stadium alight on Saturday with another impressive all-round performance. Barrett balanced his running threat with a fantastic kicking game as he kicked nine times in New Zealand's clobbering of Australia. The pacy playmaker also ran the opposition ragged with a clean-break and five defenders beaten.

9 Martin Landajo (Argentina): The feisty scrum-half displayed his attacking acumen as he broke South Africa's defensive line three times and in the process beat three players during his electrical runs. The aggressive number nine's quick distribution was a vital cog in the well-oiled Argentine attacking machine as he completed 50 passes and also off-loaded twice.

8 Facundo Isa (Argentina): The young number eight seems to improve with every passing week and his outing in Salta was no exception. He displayed his versatility against the Springboks as he was strong on defence as he made eight tackles. Isa's running capability was his real strength as he physically overpowered the South Africans with some crashing runs, and showed his agility by beating four defenders.

7 Sam Cane (New Zealand): The New Zealand tear-away was once again phenomenal in a black jersey. Cane managed the breakdown superbly while also linking well with the rest of his side. The Chiefs loose forward was also able to bag himself a try after Aaron Smith gave him the ball close to the Australian line and Cane crashed over Israel Folau to score.

6 Jerome Kaino (New Zealand): The All Blacks' blindside was all over the park once again this weekend. The Blues veteran wasn't the flashiest player of the day but he did his job with aplomb by putting in a massive 12 tackles and running 95 metres.

5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa): Came off the bench early the second half in Salta and, once again, made an impact with a superb all-round effort. Du Toit did his bit as a ball carrier and was rewarded with a try for his efforts but also impressed on defence with six tackles. He should start when the Boks face the Wallabies in Australia on September 10.

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand): In our team for the second successive week after another impressive display at the coalface of the All Blacks' forward effort against the Wallabies. Retallick shone at his core duties and also impressed on defence with eight tackles made. Beats out Bok enforcer Eben Etzebeth.

3 Owen Franks (New Zealand): The veteran might be a controversial choice, for some, after he tried to put his hands near Kane Douglas' eyes but he played a big part in the All Blacks' forward effort in Wellington. Franks was solid in the scrums and also caught the eye on defence with six hits.

2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina): Another player who makes our team for the second week in a row after a superb showing in Salta. Although Creevy was on the field for just 60 minutes, he proved a handful on attack, gaining 14 metres from six runs and managed an offload. He also impressed with his accurate throw-ins at the line-outs and beats out New Zealand's Dane Coles.

1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Argentina): Was one of los Pumas' heroes in that memorable win in Salta after a solid effort against the Bok pack. Stood up well in the scrums, defended well – especially on the fringes of the rucks and mauls – and was a willing ball carrier.

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