Planet Rugby

Rugby Championship: Team of the Week

16th September 2013 15:04

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Impact: Folau and Barrett

Now that the dust has settled in the southern hemisphere, Planet Rugby hands out praise to the stars of the Rugby Championship's second round.

With the controversy in Auckland now put to bed and Australia finally winning under Ewen McKenzie, there is plenty of variation in this week's selections:

Team of the Week:

15 Israel Folau (Australia): The shining light in a dour Wallabies performance against the Pumas in Perth. Few chances in attack but still managed to get over the advantage line when the ball did come his way and was rewarded with a fine try for his efforts.

14 Ben Smith (New Zealand): Didn't have much to do on attack but hardly put a foot wrong in his core duties. Knew when to take on the defence and when to offload or kick and also put his body on the line with his defensive duties.

13 Conrad Smith (New Zealand): Another tireless display from the veteran midfielder, whose experience proved invaluable, particularly when Dan Carter was forced to leave the field. Smith's option-taking is one of his strengths and this aspect of his game was superb in the win over the Springboks.

12 Jean de Villiers (South Africa): Made a couple of line breaks and led his troops superbly despite playing most of the match with 14 men. Also impressed on defence with ten tackles made.

11 Julian Savea (New Zealand): Like Folau, he didn't see much of the ball but when he did he managed to get over the gain line quite easily. Beat three defenders, in the process, and impressed with his composure under the high ball.

10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand): Cometh the hour cometh the man. With Dan Carter forced off the field through injury the Springboks must have fancied their chances of securing victory in Auckland. But Carter was hardly missed as Barrett impressed with a fine allround effort, gaining 51 metres on attack and making seven tackles.

9 Nic White (Australia): Came into Australia's side under huge pressure as Will Genia's replacement but was arguably their best player against Argentina. Despite receiving plenty of ball on the back-foot, in atrocious conditions, White remained calm and delivered a solid display which will make it difficult for Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie to leave him out of his starting XV.

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand) - No Richie? No problem. Kieran Read seems to relish the All Blacks captaincy and backed up his showing against Argentina last weekend with another fine performance in Auckland. A double try scorer, with one either side of half-time, Read certainly had the easier night of the two captains but did also spend 10 minutes in the bin after New Zealand repeatedly infringed in their own 22. That aside, he was excellent.

7 Sam Cane (New Zealand) - Bloodied and filling McCaw's boots, Cane had an industrious afternoon when he wasn't off the field due to the crimson flowing down his face. Also bagged a try.

6 Juan Martin Fernández Lobbe (Argentina) - The great man continues to roll out big performances for Argentina when it matters, but no one will be stung more greatly than Fernández Lobbe after coming within a point of that first win in The Rugby Championship. No Puma beat more defenders.

5 Eben Etzebeth (South Africa) - Difficult to not pick two number fours in the second row after their performances over the weekend. Etzebeth first up weighed in with an impressive 13 tackles and seven lineout takes in Auckland.

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand) - Retallick enjoyed his best game in an All Blacks jersey thus far in his young career. Dove over for New Zealand's second try and carried 12 times for 33 metres, whilst making ten tackles. Good work.

3 Juan Figallo (Argentina) - A second nomination in a week for the man from Montpellier. Six tackles, six carries and three offloads, more than any other Puma, all illustrate what a fine all-round player Figallo is.

2 Agustin Creevy (Argentina) - Had he not only played 32 minutes against New Zealand after being sin-binned and then sent off, Bismarck would have waltzed into this spot. But, we couldn't include him, so Creevy gets the nod for his good work at the breakdown for Argentina, forcing two turnovers.

1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa) - Loosehead props did little to put their hands up over the weekend, although Tony Woodcock was a contender until his penalty count of three ruled him out. Instead the accolade goes to Mtawarira for the second week running, with five tackles and some good link play.

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
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Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00