Planet Rugby

November Tests: XV of the Week

26th November 2012 11:35

Share:

Jonathan Sexton try Ireland v Argentina

Edging it at 10: Jonathan Sexton

Now that the dust has settled in the northern hemisphere, Planet Rugby looks at the guys who stole the show in week three of the November Tests.

Victories were picked up by France, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Tonga and Ireland in an entertaining round of international action.

So without further ado, here comes our offering - be sure to send in your own 15-1 team line-ups.

15 Andrea Masi (Italy) - One of the Azzurri's finest during their narrow defeat against Australia, the Wasp was a huge attacking threat - making over 100 metres with the ball in hand. Credit to Simon Zebo, who grabbed his first score for Ireland against the Pumas, and also Israel Dagg.

14 Fetu'u Vainikolo (Tonga) - Straight into the side after scoring a try his country will not forget for a long time. The Connacht wing's burst of pace left Tim Visser flat-footed and ultimately played a part in the sacking of coach Andy Robinson.

13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand) - 'Snake' was at his imperious best in Cardiff, his pass leading to flank Liam Messam's try on another dominant Saturday for the world champion All Blacks.

12 Jonathan Davies (Wales) - A positive note amidst the dross - Davies did his Lions chances no harm despite the heavy defeat against New Zealand, beating a handful of defenders. His effort in midfield when Jamie Roberts hobbled off sees him slot in here.

11 Craig Gilroy (Ireland) - The rise continues. Three tries against Fiji last week and now one on his senior Test debut against Argentina, whispers of the Lions are starting to increase.

10 Jonathan Sexton (Ireland) - A narrow race to this spot with Aaron Cruden and Frederic Michalak, but Johnny Sexton against Argentina looked like the Sexton from Leinster we have come to admire. Great distribution and kicking, plus two tries in an impressive shift.

9 Kahn Fotuali'i (Samoa) - Now seen as arguably the world's best scrum-half, Fotuali'i was always prominent, backing up a strong showing in Wales by constantly threatening France.

8 Duane Vermeulen (South Africa) - Was a colossus for the Boks and one feels that Pierre Spies will have a real task displacing the Stormers number eight when he returns from injury. Vermeulen never shies away from the physical and looks to have cemented his spot.

7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand) - Simply outstanding. 21 tackles to go with streetwise work at the breakdown. He anticipates so much before his opponents and was a cut above his rival sevens over the weekend. One more game to go until he can put his feet up for a bit.

6 Taiasina Tuifua (Samoa) - This positional shift is due to a blend of a lack of blindsides shining and the impressive form of the Samoan. He was superb against Wales the week before and backed that up against France as the islanders came mighty close to winning.

5 Luke Romano (New Zealand) - We almost handed our five jersey to the ever-improving Donnacha Ryan after another big effort from him. But Romano was a carrying machine for the All Blacks and finished his try well in Cardiff. Mention for Samoa's Joe Tekori.

4 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa) - Has been on the receiving end of a fair share of criticism of late and was once again in the thick of it against England, notably with scrum-half Ben Youngs. However, the physicality of the young lock was a key reason why the Boks won.

3 Census Johnson (Samoa) - Toulouse's star prop was one of the first names down on our teamsheet this week after an all-action performance that was highlighted by his nice chip kick that set up David Lemi's score. Owen Franks earns a mention as does Dan Cole.

2 Richardt Strauss (Ireland) - It was slim pickings in the hooking department this weekend but Strauss edges his cousin as our number two. Got 74 minutes in a strong team effort.

1 Cian Healy (Ireland) - Alex Corbisiero got the better of Jannie du Plessis at scrum-time while Sona Taumalolo put in another Herculean performance. But in Healy, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions arguably have the number one loosehead in the world game right now.

By Ben Coles and Adam Kyriacou
@bencoles_ and @PlanetRugbyAK

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki vs TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615