Tri-Nations Team of the Tournament 2010

One year until next year’s World Cup. Yess!!! Will the Southern Hemisphere teams dominate? If this year’s Tri-Nations is anything to go by, then at least two of them will.

The Bokke have been decidedly average this year. The refusal to admit that anything is wrong by the management team is perhaps more worrying than anything else. Not to mention strange team selections and the seeming inability to properly use the replacements bench. Things are not looking good but there is still time.

The Aussies finally managed to win on the Highveld and looked sublime for periods of their games this year. Massive brain farts and the failure to close out games hampered their season but with experienced players coming back into the team, the Aussies may well be one of the favourites in New Zealand next September.

The All Blacks are well and truly on top of the rugby world at the moment. Their only fault seemingly is that they may be peaking too early but to quote my Gran “I would rather be winning than losing”. Worryingly it looks like they have learnt to win matches regardless of venue, crowds or the fact that they have been trailing for the first 70 minutes of the match. The only question is whether they will be able to do the same in a crucial World Cup knock out game…

There were some incredible individual performances this year with that in mind, let’s look at the Tri-Nations team of the tournament.

15. Mils Muliaina – Back to his best and no mistake. Solid under the high ball and deadly on the counter attack. He may not be the best kicker but with a step and turn of pace that makes most opposition look like they are running in jelly; that seldom seems to matter. Special mention: Kurtley (Mexican tache) Beale

14. James O’Connor – the young whippersnapper has matured beyond his years. Scored some great tries this year and his ability to play fullback should he need to makes him invaluable in the Aussie set up. Worryingly is only 20 years old. Special mention: Corey (awesome beard) Jane

13. Jaque Fourie – the legend. One of the few Bok back line players to excel this year. His renewed partnership with Jean De Villiers, could well be the difference next year. One of the first names PdV should write down when choosing any Bok team. Special mention: Conrad Smith

12. Ma’a Nonu – Put in some big hits on defence this year. Not the most skilful inside centre but hard to stop. Not to mention fantastic dreadlocks. Special mention: Jean de Villiers

11. Bryan Habana (hahahah, just kidding). Drew Mitchell – Skilful to the max, with a booming left boot and pace aplenty. Slipped the tackle of Juan Smith at Loftus but instrumental on attack and always dangerous. Special mention: Israel Dagg

10. Dan the man Carter – The best flyhalf in the world by a huge margin. Everything the guy does is spot on. His decision-making, positional play, defence and kicking are all second to none. His kicking for goal was not up to his usual standard but with him in the team, the All Blacks look unbeatable. Special mention: Quade Burglar Cooper

9. Francois Hougaard – this was a bit of a tricky decision. Will Genia played well in parts and Piri Weepu looked good and kicked some valuable conversions. Hougaard seems to have that something special though and his cover defence, quick passing and speed to the rucks was instrumental in the Bokke scoring most of their tries. Special mention: Piri Weepu

8. Kieran Read – One of the players of the tournament. Superb positional play and solid in every aspect of play. Special mention: Pierre Spies, I guess.

7. Juan Smith – The guy was immense. Missed the overseas leg but his presence on the field was certainly felt in every game he started. A lot of the work he does is unseen but it was obvious the impact he made as the loose trio were far more effective with him back. Played fewer games than most of the other players this season and it showed. Special mention: Rocky Elsom

6. Richie McCaw – Possibly the best player in the world at the moment and fast becoming the best captain the All Blacks have ever had. His ability to read the game and play to the ref is unreal. Has instilled a belief in this team that may well take them to RWC victory next year. Special mention: David Pocock

Ever wonder whether rugby players have attractive girlfriends? Check out Richie’s ex …

5. Victor Matfield – Some say he is getting on and past his best but to see him dominating and stealing the Aussie line-outs almost at will was one shining light in an otherwise dark tunnel of poo that was the Springbok’s season. Brings a lot of calm and experience to the team and is a must for next year. Special Mention: Nathan Sharpe

4. Brad Thorn – The All Black’s enforcer. Puts in the big hits and cleans out rucks with a big grin on his face. Could teach Bakkies a thing or two about playing hard, within the laws. Special mention: Danie Rossouw

3. Jannie Du Plessis – No one really dominated at tighthead but Jannie seemed to have the upper hand in most scrums, especially against the Aussies. Special mention: Owen Franks

2. Kevin Mealamu – Was solid without being sublime. Steven Moore had a cracking game against the Boks at Bloem and John Smit had some great games back home. Special mention: Steven Moore

1. Gurthro Steenkamp – My Bok player of the tournament. Scored a couple of great tries and never stopped tackling or looking for work. Solid in the scrums and carried his great Super 14 form to the 3N. If he is properly managed, he will be crucial next year. Special mention: Ben Franks

Well there it is. Disagree? Want to add something. Send us your team and we will slam it up.

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~ by bowlphilosophy on September 15, 2010.

One Response to “Tri-Nations Team of the Tournament 2010”

  1. I wonder how many times a night Richie turns her over.

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