With the dust having settled on Round 3 of the Rugby Championship, we have gone through the action to pick the best players from the weekend.
The All Blacks lead the way with five representatives in our side while the Wallabies are next with four players while the Springboks and Pumas each have three.
Without further ado here’s our Team of the Week for the Rugby Championship. Make sure to leave your comments at the bottom of the page.
15 Israel Folau (Australia): In our team for the second successive week, Folau made several powerful carries for his side (10 in total) for 95 metres, with two defenders beaten and a couple of excellent offloads freeing his team-mates in space. New Zealand’s Damian McKenzie scored a try, created another, beat five defenders and made two clean breaks.
14 Henry Speight (Australia): The Wallaby flyer did an excellent defensive job on opposite number Courtnall Skosan, nullifying the speedy winger completely and winning the defensive duel. Israel Dagg beat three defenders and scored a try while gaining territory for his side with that big boot of his.
13 Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand): What a finish it was from Lienert-Brown when he chased down Beauden Barrett’s chip over the top to dot down just within the field of play. He also made 12 carries for 43 metres, beating five defenders in the process. Tevita Kuridrani also put in a typically robust performance for the Wallabies.
12 Kurtley Beale (Australia): Beale’s man-of-the-match performance earned the plaudits of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. He scored his third try in as many games, against the Boks and was heavily involved with 12 kicks, 13 passes and nine carries for 43 metres. Sonny Bill Williams also put in a solid shift for the All Blacks.
11 Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina): That monster boot of Boffelli’s earned six points for his side as he produced a masterclass of long-range goal-kicking. Boffelli also beat two defenders. Meanwhile, Reece Hodge was good for the Wallabies, making 75 metres, three clean breaks and beating four defenders.
10 Nicolás Sánchez (Argentina): The Pumas’ chief playmaker ran the show well during a spirited team effort against the All Blacks. He displayed his versatility by scoring in numerous ways and eventually finished with a 16-point haul. His performance played a big part in giving Argentina a one-point lead at half-time against the world champions.
9 Ross Cronjé (South Africa): The Lions man made a solid return from injury for the Boks in Perth. Made a slow start but got into the swing of things as the match progressed. Delivered a speedy and accurate service to his outside backs. Argentina’s Tomás Cubelli kicked well and was a constant threat around the fringes.
8 Kieran Read (New Zealand): The world champions’ skipper performed well once again in a tough encounter against Argentina in New Plymouth. Read worked tirelessly on attack and eventually gained 38 metres from 10 runs with two defenders beaten and also managed an offload. Also impressed in his defensive duties and finished with nine tackles.
7 Michael Hooper (Australia): Was by far the most effective ball carrying forward for the Wallabies with 66 running metres from 13 runs and beat one defender. The Wallaby captain led by example and also made ten tackles, more than any of his team-mates, including a crucial one which prevented Jan Serfontein from scoring a try. Siya Kolisi also had a fine outing for the Boks.
6 Vaea Fifita (New Zealand): The Test rookie was immense in his first All Blacks start. Fifita displayed his power on several occasions with massive carries but it was his speed which caught the eye. He rounded a Pumas wing to score a 40-metre try and eventually gained 113 metres from 11 carries with three clean breaks and 11 defenders beaten. Jaco Kriel had a few solid runs and made 15 tackles for the Boks.
5 Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa): Came into the Springbok side for Franco Mostert and the Stormers lock delivered a brilliant all-round performance. Du Toit gained 57 metres from five carries, with three clean breaks and three defenders beaten. Also claimed five lineouts – including one steal – made six tackles and won a turnover. Edges out New Zealand’s Brodie Retallick.
4 Luke Romano (New Zealand): Made a rare start for the All Blacks and delivered a superb performance in the tight exchanges against a fired up Argentina side. Romano did his bit with ball in hand, gaining 19 metres from nine carries with two defenders beaten. Bok captain Eben Etzebeth also played well.
3 Coenie Oosthuizen (South Africa): Delivered a superb performance for South Africa in Perth especially at scrum-time where he looked solid throughout. Also caught the eye on defence and eventually made 16 tackles which was the most by any player in that match. Suffered a broken arm for his efforts and will be sorely missed by the Boks.
2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina): The Pumas captain was one of his team’s standout performers after a superb showing in New Plymouth. Led from the front and was a constant threat on attack and eventually gained 59 metres. This, after making 15 runs with five defenders beaten. Also did his bit on defence with six hits and comes in ahead of Malcolm Marx of South Africa.
1 Joe Moody (New Zealand): Another prop who fractured his arm but like Oosthuizen, Moody played superbly before sustaining his injury. The Crusaders stalwart impressed in his core duties especially his scrummaging and cleaned the rucks out with great intensity. Also caught the eye on attack and gained 41 metres from two carries with one clean break and a defender beaten.