Richard Ferguson

Tri Nations – Team of the tournament

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, RWC 2011, Springboks, Tri Nations, Wallabies on 30 Aug 2011 at 12:09
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Tri Nations tournament for 2011 is a thing of the past with the Wallabies winning the title in spectacular fashion after beating the All Blacks in Brisbane. Here is the team that I think fairly represents the best players in each position taking into account the series as a whole:

1.Beast Mtawarira – Looked by far the best scrumming loosehead, and was the most active as a ball carrier. The Springbok front row is a different machine with him in it.

2.Stephen Moore – Of all the hookers that have taken part on a consistent basis during the competition, Moore is the most solid. Bismarck showed his worth in the home games for the Boks, but Moore played out of his skin for all the games.

3.Owen Franks – The best tighthead of the tournament by a long shot, kept the New Zealand scrum strong and will be a huge contributor in the World Cup for the home team.

4.Brad Thorn – The veteran is still playing like he used to back in the day, and his experience did the team a world of good.

5.Victor Matfield – Led the team with distinction in the victory over the All Blacks, and is a solid backbone of the Bok scrum.

6.Heinrich Brüssow – Isn’t is great to have this player back in form? He showed what the Boks were missing last year and will be so influential come World Cup time.

7.David Pocock – Bam-Bam showed the All Blacks how to poach ball without doing it illegally, and should be a star for the Wallabies in the upcoming tournament.

8.Radike Samo – Based purely on his last performance against the All Blacks, what a player he is at the ripe age of 35! Brilliant! Hope to see more of him during the World Cup.

9.Will Genia – There wasn’t ever going to be any other name in this position. He is on par to the Fourie du Preez of 2007. World class!

10.Dan Carter/ Quade Cooper – I couldn’t make the call. They both had fantastic games and they both had an average game. This head to head is a crowd pleaser!

11.Digby Ioane – Looked dangerous everytime he touched the ball, and is a very hard man to bring down. Could be one of the top try scorers at the World Cup, should he keep his form up.

12.Ma’a Nonu – Talk was that he would play second fiddle to Money-Bill Williams at this World Cup, but how great has his form been during this Tri Nations? He looks dangerous with ball in hand and takes a few tacklers with him.

13.Conrad Smith – Not the biggest player in the World, but sure as hell makes a huge impact on the park. He is the ideal feeder to run off the damage Nonu does.

14.James O’Connor – He might not have featured in the last game, but was part of an impressive double over the Boks. His speed and accuracy with the kicking boot at such a young age, this kid is a talent.

15.Mils Muliaina – The most senior backline player in the All Blacks team, he looks and runs like a spring chicken. Brilliant under the high ball, a good boot on him as well, the best all round full back around, closely followed by Kurtley Beale.


  • Dan Vickerman ahead of Brad Thorn.

    And your worst pick there has to be Mils. Kurtley Beale had an excellent Tri Nations I thought. Mils has become unreliable and shows no flair. Wouldn’t be surprised if Dagg took his place. Experience is worth sweet f all if you don’t play well.

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.08.11 12:17:40 by hendrikp Reply
  • Yeah imo Beale had a better TN than Mils had.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.08.11 12:22:40 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • The only changes id make would be James Horwill for Matfield and Israel Dagg for Muliaina-Daggs 1 game showed that he is the same attacking threat Muliaina used to be!

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.08.11 12:25:37 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 3) :

    Thanx for the inspiration, by the way..

    I am working on the other article as well, should be good!

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.08.11 12:27:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 4) : Do you know if James O’Connor has played 12 before? He would be very effective from that position for the Wallabies imo.

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.08.11 12:35:44 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I know he has played plenty of games at 10 so 12 shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.08.11 12:36:29 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Good one Richard!! 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.08.11 12:40:38 by wpw Reply
  • Oi Richard. What ever happened to the Windhoek SupeRugby team of the year competition…….did you and Rob drink all the beer already when he was visiting here? 😉

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.08.11 13:02:05 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Pokkel (Comment 8) :

    Yeah.. thought that would never surface again..

    It seems I now have a loan account with SW 😉

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.08.11 13:09:43 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • I’d also put Beale and Dagg ahead of Mils. The Bulls (and Boks) may have had their very own Dagg if they moved Gerhard van der Heever to fullback earlier in his career (and taught him how to tackle).

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.08.11 13:24:16 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 5) :

    He’s played a bit of 12 for the Force. Don’t think the Wallabies will play him there. Doesn’t fit with what Deans is trying to do.

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.08.11 13:24:31 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 11) : Pat McCabe is solid but doesn’t have that spark that the likes of O’connor, Beale and Cooper has.

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.08.11 13:27:34 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 12) :

    Exactly. Rather have that spark out wide. 12 is probably the most difficult position in the backline if you ask me, and statistically I believe a 12 is required to make the most tackles out of anyone in the backline? (if anyone would care to enlighten me) Why bother when you have such a great attacking weapon?

    He’s at his best with a bit of space on the outside. That means wing or fullback. Besides, he holds onto the ball too much to be playing in the inside backs.

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.08.11 13:55:01 by hendrikp Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 12) :

    Oh and I think Berrick Barnes might be the solution if they don’t like the way McCabe is playing. Either way he’ll be in the 22. Bit more structure right there.

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.08.11 14:16:45 by hendrikp Reply

  • @hendrikp (Comment 13) : That makes a lot of sense. My thinking was just to give him more ball. Him and Cooper next to each other could create havoc. But that’s only with attack in mind. Have to say that O’Connor has done pretty well for the Force at 10. He’s an exceptional talent. But his pace does go a little to waste when you play him so close to the rucks.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.08.11 14:30:54 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Good team Rich. I would make a few changes though. I’d have Horwill in there and definitely Beale who was sensational in all the games. Mils was also excellent but just edged by Beale.

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.08.11 14:33:19 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner
  • I’d also pick Jaque Fourie. Saved us on more then one occasion. Easily our best backline player.

    The rest of the squad, spot on.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.08.11 14:37:04 by hendrikp Reply

  • O’connor wasn’t that accurate.

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.09.11 14:47:03 by mikey Reply

  • O’connor wasn’t that accurate. Good article

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.09.11 14:47:27 by mikey Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.