Team of the Week: World Cup

Date published: October 19 2015

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With the weekend's Rugby World Cup quarter-finals done and dusted we've sat down to selected our Team of the Week.

New Zealand and Argentina stole the show with their respective big wins over France and Ireland, while South Africa and Australia had to battle extremely hard to put away Wales and Scotland.

The Scots came so close to causing a massive upset and that's reflected with two players making our side, which is dominated by five All Blacks.

RWC Quarter-Finals: Team of the Week

15 Joaquín Tuculet (Argentina): The full-back who played in Cardiff last season was outstanding in the Millennium Stadium as Argentina’s back three tore Ireland to shreds. Tuculet made 80 metres and crossed the gain line five times and finished his try extremely well in the corner.

14 Juan Imhoff (Argentina): A brace of tries from the deadly Pumas winger as he went joint-second in the tournament ladder while helping Argentina into the semi-finals. Alongside Santiago Cordero, the South Americans have two outstanding in-form finishers, with Imhoff switched over to the right wing ahead of Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper and his aforementioned team-mate in our 14 shirt as we felt he deserved a spot alongside Savea.

13 Tevita Kuridrani (Australia): Try as they might Scotland couldn’t contain the powerful runs of Kuridrani, who crossed the gain line more than any other player with six carries. Having an excellent World Cup in a talented Wallaby backline. Good work set up Adam Ashley-Cooper for the first try on Sunday. A mention for rising star Mark Bennett.

12 Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand): Forget his late drop, Nonu was phenomenal as New Zealand thrashed France in Cardiff. 107 metres made, three clean breaks and nine tackles are Nonu’s numbers, but we love that he’s still a real force after so long in an All Blacks jersey. A mention for Wesley Fofana, the only Frenchman who seemed to care in the second half.

11 Julian Savea (New Zealand): Outstanding. Three tries to move three clear of Bryan Habana, Imhoff and Gareth Davies in the 2015 RWC chart as Savea showed his finishing class against the French. That finish for his second was something special as 'The Bus' sees off Wallaby Drew Mitchell, who added two tries to his own tally which moves him one score behind Jonah Lomu and Bryan Habana for overall RWC tries.

10 Dan Carter (New Zealand): It is a tough call to leave out Argentina maestro Nicolás Sánchez after another impressive outing for los Pumas. But Carter was on another level in Cardiff on Saturday as he rolled back the years with his attacking game. The offload for Savea's first try was out of the top drawer and Steve Hansen will be thrilled to see his fly-half in this kind of form at the business end.

9 Fourie du Preez (South Africa): Hailed as a rugby genius by Springbok coach after he scored the winning try in the Boks' epic win over Wales and with good reason as he came up with the move, which led to his matchwinning score, on the training ground. Du Preez has thrived since taking over the Bok captaincy and his calm leadership played a major role in his team's victory. Edges out Scotland's Greig Laidlaw who caught the eye against the Wallabies.

8 Duane Vermeulen (South Africa): This tournament has seen the Bok number eight slowly picking up momentum since returning from injury and he was back to his best against Wales with several barnstorming runs. Gained 90 metres with ball in hand, with two defenders beaten and a memorable offload in the build-up to Du Preez's crucial try but also impressed on defence with 12 hits. Scotland's David Denton also deserves a mention.

7 Sam Warburton (Wales): A close call on the openside given that Richie McCaw, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and John Hardie all put in great shifts. But the Wales captain has led his side admirably throughout this World Cup and that was the case once more against South Africa. 17 tackles and four turnovers sum up how well he performed.

6 Schalk Burger (South Africa): Was named man of the match against Wales after a tireless display, especially on attack where he made an incredible 26 carries with 59 metres gained, one defender beaten and two offloads. Also led the Boks' defensive effort with 16 tackles made and sees off challenges from Scotland's Blair Cowan and Argentina's Pablo Matera.

5 Jonny Gray (Scotland): The young Scottish lock had a whirlwind week – thinking he was out of the tournament and then having his suspension squashed on Saturday. Many are tipping Gray as a future British and Irish Lion and that’s no surprise when you see how well he performed against Australia, finishing with 18 tackles.

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand): France began the game pretty well but when Retallick charged down Frédéric Michalak's attempted clearance and scored from it, the wheels came off the Bleu machine. Yet another workmanlike showing from the reigning World Player of the Year.

3 WP Nel (Scotland): South Africa's loss is Scotland's gain as Nel's scrummaging makes him a shoo-in for the team of the tournament even though his side has been knocked out. Nel's dismantling of Scott Sio at the set-piece was impressive as it was the first time at this World Cup that the Wallaby scrum was under pressure. Also caught the eye on defence with six tackles.

2 Agustín Creevy (Argentina): Known as "Sonny Bill" to his los Pumas team-mates, Creevy did his nickname justice with a couple of outrageous offloads. Also carried well with 19 metres gained and led his troops in typically brilliant fashion before being replaced midway through the second half by the exciting Julían Montoya.

1 Joe Moody (New Zealand): Called up for the injured Tony Woodcock, Moody was then thrust from the bench on to the field against France after Wyatt Crockett limped off. Whilst being solid in the set-piece, his moment to savour was a superb offload assist for Tawera Kerr-Barlow. Yes, New Zealand will be concerned about another loosehead injury, but Moody showed plenty in his performance at the Millennium Stadium.

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