Planet Rugby

Rugby Championship: XV of the Week

01st October 2012 14:46

Share:

Bryan Habana SA v Aus RC 2012

Back to his best: Bryan Habana

Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby looks at the players who stole the show in the Rugby Championship.

15 Zane Kirchner (South Africa): Even Pat Lambie supporters can't argue that Kirchner had a solid outing - and not for the first time - at the back for South Africa. He ran hard and his positional play was sound. His try in front of his home crowd was just reward for a job well done, while he was exceptionally unlucky not to have bagged a brace.

14 Bryan Habana (South Africa): Habana is like a fine red wine - he just keeps getting better with age. Whilst not fully satisfied with one try, he crossed for two more to take his tally of Test tries to 46 as the veteran flyer picked Australia's defence apart. Superb!

13 Marcelo Bosch (Argentina): Things didn't go according to plan for his team, but Bosch did his reputation little harm and made the most of his chances with ball in hand whilst he was very busy on defence.

12 Ma'a Nonu (New Zealand): Exposed some poor Pumas defence on multiple occasions. Nonu powered through to set up Aaron Smith, before crossing for one himself in one of his better outings for NZ.

11 Cory Jane (New Zealand): Played on the right, but there was no way we were going to leave the All Blacks' hat-trick hero out of this team. Jane simply reconfirmed his class out wide for the world champions. Magnificent!

10 Dan Carter (New Zealand): He's baaack! It was a clinical performance from Carter, who missed the last two rounds of the championship due to a calf injury. Slotted three conversions and two penalties, but his precise option taking is what really stood out. Mention too for Johann Goosen who, in his first start for the Boks, turned in a thrilling display at Loftus Versfeld.

9 Ruan Pienaar (South Africa): It was a toss up between Pienaar and Aaron Smith, but in the end we went for the Bok number nine who was full of sniping breaks and proved to be an annoying thorn in the Wallabies' side. Also shouldered much of the kicking responsibilities (for goal and tactical).

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand): It's official: Read is without a doubt the best number eight in the business. There's not much else we can add to that!

7 Francois Louw (South Africa): If everyone thought replacing Morne Steyn with Goosen was Heyneke Meyer's best decision yet as Bok coach... you're probably right. But another good decision was sending an SOS to England-based Louw, who has answered his country's call with aplomb. It was one of Louw's finest performances in a Bok jersey.

6 Liam Messam (New Zealand): A demon on defence. Messam also affected some important breakdown turnovers, and was successful in slowing the Pumas' ruck recycle to the point where the hosts battled for any significant attacking momentum. In his best display in the black jersey so far.

5 Andries Bekker (South Africa): Much, much better from Bekker who made up for his dismal outing in Mendoza. Got stuck in from start to finish, smothering would-be Wallaby attackers on defence while produced some nice handling touches as well. Australia's tall timber struggled to scale South Africa's man-mountain, who won all of his own line-out ball.

4 Luke Romano (New Zealand): Prominent in the set-pieces, and covered plenty of ground on defence, whilst got the ball over the advantage line on attack. Also instrumental in support play.

3 Jannie du Plessis (South Africa): Anchored South Africa's scrum and impressed in the tight-loose. His general play has also improved considerably since the start of the tournament.

2 Adriaan Strauss (South Africa): Good darts in the line-out from South Africa's vice-captain and held up well at scrum-time. Got through a mountain of donkey work at ruck time too, and helped SA to dominate the breakdown.

1 Tony Woodcock (New Zealand): As usual, he did his basics well and also impressed with his defensive work - especially around the fringes of the rucks and mauls.

By Dave Morris

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs WaspsExeter vs Wasps Preview
London Irish vs BathLondon Irish vs Bath Preview
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Preview
Scotland vs TongaScotland vs Tonga Preview
Ireland vs AustraliaIreland vs Australia Preview
Wales vs New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Preview
England vs SamoaEngland vs Samoa Preview
France vs ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Preview
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720