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 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
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Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
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Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
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Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
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Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
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Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
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ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
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Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
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Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
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ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
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Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39