Team of the Week: November Tests

Date published: November 7 2016

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After the first round of international matches this November, we select who stood out and choose our Team of the Week.

Three Test matches took place in Tokyo, Cardiff and Chicago and it will come as no surprise to see plenty of Ireland players feature after their historic win over New Zealand.

See who made our selection below.

November Tests: Team of the Week

15 Israel Folau (Australia):  The Australian full-back was outstanding against Wales, his ability to offload in the tackle creating all sorts of the problems for the Welsh defence. On attack Folau made 156 metres, beat four defenders, four clean breaks and made five offloads. Rob Kearney was also influential in Ireland’s historic win over the All Blacks, beating four defenders as well as a clean break.

14 Matías Moroni (Argentina): Moroni scored two tries in Argentina’s rout of Japan, beating five defenders in the process and making three clean breaks. Dane Haylett-Petty misses out but scored a try, carried the ball 17 times and made 123 metres while also managing three offloads.

13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia): Kuridrani had one of his best games in a Wallaby jersey against Wales, making an impressive 11 tackles while also beating four defenders and breaking the line four times as the Aussies completely dominated their Welsh opponents. While he didn’t score a try, Matías Orlando had an influential game against Japan. He made eight tackles and missed none while also contributing a try-assist and three clean breaks.

12 Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)Henshaw scored the try which sealed an historic win for Ireland over the All Blacks. The inside centre also made 12 tackles and won a turnover for his side as they completely outplayed New Zealand for their first victory in 29 Tests, spanning 111 years.

11 Simon Zebo (Ireland)The winger was on fire against New Zealand, scoring one of the second-half tries which piled the pressure on the All Blacks. Zebo was also forced to make five tackles while managing not to miss a single one, and made a remarkable take under the high ball in the second half that set the tone for Ireland’s win.

10 Johnny Sexton (Ireland)He was Ireland’s general with a commanding tactical kicking display which gave his team the upper hand in the territory stakes. Sexton had a try-assist, kicked 10 points and thanks to his forwards was able to spark some life into the backline which forced New Zealand into defensive mistakes.

9 Conor Murray (Ireland): Put it this way, Murray played well enough against the All Blacks for Warren Gatland to ink his name in for the first Test next June. His try was well-taken, but Murray’s calmness under pressure and direction of Ireland’s pack around Soldier Field deserves plenty of praise. Beats out TJ Perenara.

8 Facundo Isa (Argentina): We are starting to lose track of how many times Isa has made these XVs. The talented back-row ran riot in Tokyo, made a remarkable 124 metres from 13 carries as los Pumas put a half century of points on their hosts. Three clean breaks for the 22-year-old, as he gets the spot over Wales’ only positive performer from the weekend, Ross Moriarty.

7 Josh van der Flier (Ireland): Called on after just 25 minutes following Jordi Murphy’s injury and didn’t miss a beat, finishing with 13 tackles as the 23-year-old came of age in Chicago. He gets the nod ahead of more experienced campaigners Michael Hooper and Sam Cane.

6 CJ Stander (Ireland)Vital try for Ireland to keep the momentum going in the first half, muscling his way over the line from close range, but it was Stander’s all-round work across the field that wins him recognition, from the 14 tackles to the turnovers to the carries he made. In ahead of Liam Squire.

5 Adam Coleman (Australia): Played arguably his best Test, since his debut earlier this year, in his side’s one-sided win over Wales. Coleman gained 27 metres from 14 carries, did well on defence with an impressive 14 tackles and was the Wallabies’ go-to-man in the line-outs winning eight balls at the set-piece. Argentina’s Matías Alemanno also impressed.

4 Rory Arnold (Australia): Combined well with Coleman and, like his second row partner, emerged with his reputation enhanced at the Millennium Stadium. Arnold won three balls at the line-outs, carried with intent and also shone in defence with seven hits. Edges out All Black debutant Scott Barrett.

3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)Another hero in that memorable win in Chicago after a solid effort against the All Black pack. Stood up well in the scrums, against an experienced campaigner in Joe Moody, and also defended well – especially on the fringes of the rucks and mauls – with five hits.

2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina): Once again, Los Pumas’ captain led from the front in his side’s demolition of Japan in Tokyo. He impressed with his leadership and a solid effort at the coalface of his side’s forward effort. Creevy did his bit with ball in hand, gaining 16 metres from eight carries with one clean break and two defenders beaten. Comes in ahead of Ireland’s Rory Best.

1 Lucas Noguera Paz (Argentina)Was in fine form in the set-pieces, especially the scrums where he delivered a dominant display against the Brave Blossoms. Paz also did his bit with ball and caught the eye with a heroic defensive effort, making 10 tackles.

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