Rugby Championship: Team of the Tournament 2012

The All Blacks breezed through the Rugby Championship and won the tournament with a game to spare. Good job fellas. Choice display.

Not the kind of team to rest on their laurels or ease off on the ol’ pedal they then mustered cray cray depths of reserve strength and stamina by flying from Argentina to Joburg to come from behind and eventually smash the Boks in their own backyard (90,000 seater stadium) in Nasrec Soweto. Thanks! Way to rub it in. We get it, you guys are really really good.

It seems fairly obvious that the NZRU central contracting system has got to be the way forward for SA and is one of the reasons for the All Blacks’ success and distinct advantage in constantly fielding their strongest side for the duration of the Rugby Championship. The way they manage their players is something SARU should take note of and apply to SA rugby post-haste! Until our top 150 players in this country are all contracted to SARU first and then their respective provinces, we are going to continue having our best players out injured or badly fatigued due to over play. Sort your shitake out SARU, gosh!

Enough of that though, let’s get down and dirty to what we came here for:

The Rugby Championship: Team of the Tournament 2012

15 – Israel Dagg

Sheer fried quality from the All Black fullback. Massive kicks, solid positional play, superb off loads and blistering pace make this an easy choice. He is so good, he was nearly chosen as the man of the match in the SA vs Pumas game. Special mention: Zane Kirchener

14 – Bryan Habana

Great comeback from the Bok speedster after a disappointing 2011. Looks to have rekindled that need slash burning desire for the try line and equalled Christian Cullen’s record of 7 tries in the tournament (although that was a Tri-Nations record). Fantastic work rate and ‘charging off the line’ that once aside, SA’s best back by far. Special mention: Cory Jane

13 – Conrad Smith

Smith injured his eye at the end of Super Rugby and did not play for the first couple of games in the Championships but then slotted in like he had been there all along. The Hurricanes captain and part-time barrister brings a calmness to the AB backline and his centre partnership with Ma’a Nonu is the best in world rugby. Special mention: Marcelo Bosch

12 – Ma’a dreadlocks Nonu

The ‘built like a brick shitake house’ centre struggled a touch when playing outside centre but settled when he moved back inside with Smith back. Has lost none of his speed or explosive power and is massive presence on defense but looks pretty terrible as an avatar, it must be said. Special mention: Sonny boxer Williams

11 – Digby Ione

One of the few Wallabies to perform consistently well this tourny. Basically won them the game against the Pumas in Argentina with a superb try. Solid on defense and hard to stop if given any space plus he has tattoos on his neck, which must have been incredibly painful to get. Just saying. Special mention: Julien Savea

10 – Dan Carter

Bit of an obvious one this. Somehow manages to get better and better every season. Controlled the game brilliantly against the Boks in Soccer City and attacked gaps magically in Argentina. Very seldom misses a kick and the All Blacks almost never lose with him playing. All in all I want to be on him the best backline player in the world. Special Mention: Kurtely Tache Beale

9 – Aaron Smith

Got into a bit of poo by missing a team curfew but off field shenans aside, has proven to be an inspired choice since making his debut this year. Super fast service and Joost like eye for the sniping run. Scored a vital try in Dunedin to turn the game. Special mention: Martín Landajo

8 – Kieran Read

Compliments his size and strength with uncanny ball skills and silky offloads. Read dominates opposition forwards and is the vital link that gives the dangerous backline go forward ball. A solid wall on defense and a perfect partner to McCaw and Co. Special mention: Duane Vermeulen

7 – Richie captain charming McCaw

The best player to have ever come out of New Zealand? I would say so, yes. Some claim he cheats, others says he plays to the ref, sees what he can get away with and goes from there. I say the man is a genius. He commands respect and deservedly so. Is being rested for most of next year to preserve his career, love your moves NZRU. Special mention: Willem man mountain Alberts

6 – Francois Louw

Brought in late, almost reluctantly by Heyneke Meyer but made an immediate impact. Helped the Bokke get quick ball and his pilfering on the ground won the Boks penalties and opposition ball. An option in the lineouts and a powerful ball carrier, looks to have cemented his place and has even been mentioned as a possible future captain. Nicely done sir! Special mention: Liam Messam

5 – Nathan Sharpe

The Aussie work horse seems be playing better than he ever has. Rated by Matfield as one of the best locks he has played against and rightly so. Lifted his team when he took over the captaincy, excellent in the lineouts and mauls and made a nuisance of himself at ruck time. Has recently been talked into delaying his retirement by Robbie Deans. Special mention: Patricio Albacete

4 – Eben massive guns Etzebeth

The young Cape Town prodigy has taken to Test rugby like a duck shits in the forest, which is very comfortably. Was consistently the best forward for the Bokke and looks set to have a long illustrious career. A towering presence in the lineouts and good old-fashioned Bakkies style clean outs at ruck time. Special mention: Luke Romano

3 – Owen Franks

Powerful displays were the order of every game for the slightly better Franks brother. Immense in the scrums and a valuable asset on defense. Still relatively young which is fairly worrying for the rest of the world. Special mention: Jannie du Plessis

2 – Adriaan Strauss

Tough call this as Andrew Hore had a fantastic championship but Adriaan gets the nod for his incredible work rate. Stepped into some big Bismark sized shoes and did an impressive job. He does not quite have the poaching skills of Bismark but made the hard yards for the Boks and his support play was superb. Had some struggles with his throwing initially but got better and better. Special mention: Andrew Hore

1 – Dean Greyling (hahahah just joshing) Rodrigo Roncero

How terrible was Greyling?! Holy ball shitake!

Rodrigo is one of the reason for the feared Pumas scrum and enhanced his already impressive reputation with quality performances every game. A big tackler and a passionate player who sets a perfect example for the young guys in the side. Special mention: The Beeeaaast

Well there you have it. All in all a dominant All Black display.

Agree, disagree? Let us know. Leave us your thoughts, opinions or just pop in to say hi.


~ by bowlphilosophy on October 12, 2012.

One Response to “Rugby Championship: Team of the Tournament 2012”

  1. Not bad…

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