The rugby365.com ‘selectors’ got together on Monday and after a thorough assessment of the weekend’s games produced their All Star XV.
The key factors that came into play when making the calls were that New Zealand played against 14 men for almost an entire game (the Irish were down to 13 for 10 minutes); England dominated the rookie front row, but failed to make an impact on the rest of the game; while South Africa totally outplayed the Six Nations champions.
Argentina and Scotland were simply too boring and not worthy of consideration.
Not surprising then that the Springboks dominate the All Star XV.
rugby365.com All Star XV:
15 – Israel Dagg (New Zealand):
Continuing his dream year the Kiwi fullback showed the depth New Zealand have in the outside backs.
Bubbling under: James O’Connor (Australia)
14 – Gio Aplon (South Africa):
He made a mockery of the claims that size matters on the international stage.
Bubbling under: Digby Ioane (Australia)
13 – Conrad Smith (New Zealand):
He was, after all, facing the mighty Brian O’Driscoll and came through the test with flying colours.
Bubbling under: Jaque Fourie (South Africa)
12 – Berrick Barnes (Australia):
Tough choice between Barnes and Benson Stanley. Barnes got our vote because the opposition he faced was of a high quality.
Bubbling under: Benson Stanley (New Zealand)
11 – Drew Mitchell (Australia):
Part of a very impressive Aussie back three.
Bubbling under: Bryan Habana (South Africa)
10 – Quade Cooper (Australia):
Another player who has taken his superb Super form into the Test arena.
Bubbling under: Dan Carter (New Zealand)
9 – Luke Burgess (Australia):
Left Aussie coach Robbie Deans with a very pleasant headache – with Will Genia on the bench.
Bubbling under: Jimmy Cowan (New Zealand)
8 – Pierre Spies (South Africa):
Showed there is a lot more to him than just a speedy, athletic player who runs great support lines. His all round game was great.
Bubbling under: Kieran Read (New Zealand)
7 – Francois Louw (South Africa):
On this form he is going to be around for a very long time. South Africa is truly blessed with an abundance of world class loose forwards.
Bubbling under: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
6 – Thierry Dusautoir (France):
Tough call, but Dusautoir gets our vote because at times he was fighting a lone battle against the dominant South Africa loose trio.
Bubbling under: Rocky Elsom (Australia)
5 – Victor Matfield (South Africa):
Once again showed his line-out mastery and the rest of his game wasn’t too shoddy either.
Bubbling under: Nathan Sharpe (Australia)
4 – Danie Rossouw (South Africa):
If it wasn’t that he has been playing off the bench so much, you could call him a late bloomer. Classic case of a player biding his time and taking his opportunities.
Bubbling under: Sam Whitelock (New Zealand)
3 – Dan Cole (England):
If only the rest of England’s game was as impressive as their scrumming, then maybe they would have posed a real threat to the Aussies.
Bubbling under: Owen Franks (New Zealand)
2 – Steve Thompson (England):
Ditto for the scrumming.
Bubbling under: Dimitri Szarzewski (France)
1 – Gurthrö Steenkamp (South Africa):
In the form of his life and showed a nice turn of pace on the wing – nice birthday try.
Bubbling under: Tim Payne (England)
The individual selections:
Len Kaplan XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 François Louw, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Paul Dobson XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Tim Hancox XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Jan de Koning XV: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.Tweet