Team of the Weekend

Team of the Weekend

1. Cian Healy - Ireland

Healy made an instant impact for Ireland after coming off the bench 55 minutes in, earning a scrum penalty in his first act of the game. The prop then proceeded to make 43 metres from 7 carries, and beat an impressive 4 defenders in the process. Healy was also unfortunate to miss out on a try after a great display of strength against Fiji’s defense, as he was deemed to be held in a previous tackle.

2. Codie Taylor – New Zealand

The young New Zealand hooker has done a great job of deputising for the injured Dane Coles on this tour and he will certainly push the hooker close for the number 2 shirt if he keeps up this kind of form. He made a staggering 53m from his 7 carries and made 10 tackles in defence. He scored a magnificent try in the corner after he finished off a move that was started by his own clean break.

3. Levan Chilachava – Georgia

The Georgian scrum was a force to be reckoned with all day as it caused Wales problems right until the final whistle. The tighthead Chilachava was key to that as he got the shove on against the less-experienced Nicky Smith, winning a number of penalties for his side. He was effective in attack as well, making 16m from 7 carries with one clean-break, as the Lelos kept it tight.

4. Jonny Gray – Scotland

The talismanic second row really stepped up to the plate against the world champions today. As usual he worked tirelessly in defence to make hits behind the gainline, stopping New Zealand’s momentum. He made 7 big hits and a crucial turnover for the Scots. He showed great hunger to drive his way over the line to get a crucial 5 points which got his side back in the game. His 14 carries and two offloads highlight how active he was in the game, using his big engine to outwork the All Blacks second rows.

5. Joe Launchbury - England

Launchbury was exceptional in England's massive victory over Australia. England's lineout looked like clockwork with Launchbury climbing high on numerous occasions to secure the ball. Around the park, Launchbury was a workhorse offering himself as an attacking option and showed why he's rated so highly.
 
 
6. Pablo Matera - Argentina

Matera proved a vital element in ending Argentina’s losing streak today. In defense, the flanker was as reliable as ever, making 2 turnovers at the breakdown as well as making 7 tackles and maintaining a 100% tackle success rate. In attack, the robust no. 6 was called upon 11 times, gaining 51 metres for his efforts.

7. Siya Kolisi – South Africa

The openside had a very strong game which may have gone under the radar of many fans. He didn’t make any mistakes as he made 8 tackles, missing none, and 24m, beating 5 defenders from his 4 carries. It is a shame that the Springboks couldn’t get him on the ball more but his priority today was negating the threat of Guirado, Picamoles and Gourdon at the breakdown, which he did effectively until he was replaced.

8. Louis Picamoles - France

Another magnificent game for the Montpellier man who was recalled to the French XV this week after being absent in their midweek fixture against the All Blacks. He made 93m and beat 4 defenders in attack from his 14 carries. He was also a forceful presence in defence making 18 tackles and 1 turnover. Massive shift from the big man. Honourable mention must go to Beka Bitsadze who had a massive game for the Georgians and was unlucky to miss out.

9. Rhys Webb – Wales

What a shame it is that the scrum-half won’t be eligible to represent his country next season. In a less than impressive Welsh performance he was the shining light, as he threatened the Georgian defence throughout his time on the field. He looked to play a high tempo game to tire the big Georgian pack and managed to make a great clean-break from a quick tap, which led to the home sides only try. He made 49m and beat 4 defenders before being substituted for the young Aled Davies.

  

10. Joey Carbery - Ireland



While he was on the field, Carbery dictated play with his distribution and fast-paced attack. The outhalf really set the tempo for the fixture early on, as he jinked his way through Fiji’s defense with ease before throwing a beautifully weighted pass out wide for Sweetnam to finish off in the corner. The Irish international’s decision making was also on point today, putting Fiji under pressure with a few great touch finders in behind their lines.

11. Rieko Ioane – New Zealand

The winger justified his nomination for World Rugby Player of the Year today as he was the All Blacks standout player. Scotland really struggled to contain him all day as he made metres every time he touched the ball. It was quite a surprise that he didn’t manage to get over for a try but he will be happy with his days effort, with 87m, 5 clean-breaks and 8 defenders beaten from his 10 carries. He also threw a sumptuous pass to Taylor for New Zealand’s first try.

12. Sonny-Bill Williams – New Zealand

Again, the cross-code convert was a menace to the defence and looked to have added some fantastic new elements to his game. His deft grubber kick was put to use once more as he set up a try for Damian McKenzie. He also was key to Barrett’s five pointer as he gave a perfect offload out the back-door to McKenzie, who broke the line and delivered the killer pass to the out-half. As usual he didn’t shirk his defensive duties, making 11 tackles against a strong Scottish midfield.

13. Jesse Kriel – South Africa

Huw Jones had a great game in a valiant Scottish effort today but Kriel was the Springboks standout back in what was a hugely important victory for them. He scored a try and made 69m and beat 3 defenders from his 13 carries. He scored the decisive try when he popped up in the right place on the field to pick up Etzebeth’s spilled ball and dive over. He also made 8 tackles in defence and one turnover to lead the South Africans to a special win in the Stade de France.

14. Timoci Nagusa - Fiji

Nagusa showed what a threat he can be operating out on the wing against Ireland today. The winger made an impressive 96 metres from 7 carries, including 2 clean breaks. The Islander also showed just how well he can read a game as he shot out of his line for his intercept try. An special mention to Jonny May, who just missed out on a spot having scored a try before turning provider for Danny Care, all within 5 minutes against Australia.

15. Stuart Hogg – Scotland

A MOTM performance from a player who undoubtedly can be called the Northern Hemisphere’s best fullback at the moment. He made an astounding 131m in attack with 2 clean-breaks and 5 defenders beaten. He also had some lovely touches from the boot, pinning New Zealand back in their own 22 and putting a clever grubber in for Seymour, which led to Jones’ try. It looked as though he was going to round off his performance with a winning try which would have sealed a historic victory for the Scots. Unfortunately, Barrett had the pace to get back and force him into touch.

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