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Team of the Week Warm up games

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Post by maestegmafia Tue 20 Aug 2019, 7:39 am

A look at the teams of the week during the warm up games

Five international matches were played as warm up games to the RawC last weekend with only the Bledisloe Cup being handed as reward in any of the five game.


New Zealand 36 v Australia 0

Wales 13 v England 6

South Africa 24 v Argentina 18

Italy 85 v Russia 15

France 32 v Scotland 3

Planet Rugby has offered their suggestions of who the good and the great were and it a brilliantly wide selection of nationalities chosen.

15 Maxime Medard (France): Scored two but was unlucky not to have a hat-trick as he had one chalked off in the 12th minute due to a forward pass. The 32-year-old enjoyed one of his best games in the international shirt, forming a superb trio alongside two outstanding France wings.

14 S’bu Nkosi (South Africa): A hotly contested position as Sevu Reece and Damian Penaud were outstanding for New Zealand and France respectively. That pair could take the Rugby World Cup by storm in Japan along with Nkosi, whose two tries were breathtaking as he continues to grow in confidence. That second solo effort was a joy to watch as Argentina could not bring the Springbok to ground.

13 Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand): Mr Consistent for the All Blacks and Chiefs, Lienert-Brown pushed his case for the Test starting 13 spot with this performance against Australia at Eden Park. The calm centre finished with a whopping 17 carries for 90 metres, beating seven defenders and also set up a try in an accomplished showing that will have pleased head coach Steve Hansen no end.

12 Wesley Fofana (France): Another consistent midfielder who oozes class, Fofana was at his silky best in Nice as he got France off and running with a nice inside ball to Alivereti Raka for his try on two minutes. With the Rugby World Cup his farewell on the international stage, the global rugby following will be hoping that he enjoys a strong campaign as when fully fit he has been a top class 12.

11 George Bridge (New Zealand): Chance given, chance taken by Bridge as he impressed for the All Blacks over the weekend. He scored one and set up another try in a hungry display that looks to have pushed him ahead of Rieko Ioane in the left wing pecking order. France wing Alivereti Raka gets a mention for a try-scoring debut while Matteo Minozzi grabbed a hat-trick for Italy against Russia.

10 Dan Biggar (Wales): Criticised earlier in the week by a former Welsh international, Biggar responded in the best possible way as he inspired his country to a victory over England. His tactical nous and game-management came to the fore as the absence of the injured Gareth Anscombe was not felt. Biggar edges Richie Mo’unga, who was also on song as he retained New Zealand’s 10 shirt.

9 Antoine Dupont (France): Aaron Smith impressed with a support-line try and assist for Sonny Bill Williams later on, barking the orders throughout his time on the field. However, Dupont earns the nod here as he also scored and set up one in a performance that saw him make 74 metres from 11 carries. If France can have him on top form in Japan next month they will be a serious challenger.

8 Gregory Alldritt (France): Has enjoyed a superb couple of years at La Rochelle, leading to a call-up to the national team in the Six Nations, and he carried on his form in their opening World Cup warm-up. Comfortable at either flanker or number eight, the back-rower was dynamic against Scotland, making 54 metres from 13 carries and scoring the team’s third try. Will play a huge role in Les Bleus’ campaign in Japan.

7 Jake Polledri (Italy): It was only against Russia, but the powerhouse Gloucester flanker was excellent on Saturday and was deservedly man of the match. Polledri has shown glimpses of his club form in an Italy shirt and will surely be a crucial component of that Azzurri back-row in the World Cup. He is a big call-carrier and incredibly difficult to stop, which he displayed at the weekend by making 68 metres. Elsewhere, Francois Cros impressed in France’s victory over Scotland.

6 Aaron Wainwright (Wales): Wainwright had plenty of competition, with Charles Ollivon (France), Ardie Savea (New Zealand) and Pablo Matera (Argentina) all playing well but, in a tight and defence-orientated encounter, the slightly built Dragons back-row was the most effective ball-carrier during their victory over England. Only made 20 metres but that was the best of any forward in the game with the exception of Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje, who had a couple of runs in the open spaces.

5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales): Was surprisingly quiet in the reverse fixture at Twickenham but was back to his inspirational self in the win which took Warren Gatland’s men to number one in the rankings. Sebastien Vahaamahina showed up well against Scotland but Jones was an absolute workhorse, running for 18 metres from 12 carries and making 12 of his 13 tackles.

4 Guido Petti (Argentina): The lock has been one of Los Pumas’ better performers this season and once again impressed on Saturday, despite their narrow defeat to South Africa. Petti particularly excels in the loose and displayed his pace to intercept a stray pass in his own half and touch down unopposed. The second-row also showed his worth in the lineout and did his bit on defence, making six hits.

3 Vincent Koch (South Africa): Since joining European champions Saracens, the tighthead has improved considerably and looked every bit a Test player in the Springboks’ victory over Argentina. Koch was solid in the set-piece but was especially excellent in the loose, carrying hard and helping his team on defence with an impressive 13 tackles.

2 Camille Chat (France): The Racing 92 front-rower is always a threat in the loose and that was perfectly demonstrated against Scotland as he made 23 metres, but the hooker has previously struggled in lineout. However, his throwing improved as the hosts dominated the Scots in every facet. Ken Owens was next best after a tireless performance against England in Cardiff, but Chat deservedly takes his position in the XV.

1 Jefferson Poirot (France): Following some criticism over recent weeks, Joe Moody answered them against Australia, while Joe Marler’s efforts off the bench almost got England into a position to win the game, but we’ve gone for the Frenchman. Named captain for their encounter at the weekend, Poirot put in an excellent shift as the hosts controlled the set-piece battle. The prop was also good in the loose as he carried eight times and made 12 hits on defence.

Last edited by maestegmafia on Mon 26 Aug 2019, 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total


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Post by maestegmafia Mon 26 Aug 2019, 10:16 pm

Unsurprisingly England lead the way here with nine representatives after their dominant win over Ireland so without further ado, here’s Planet Rugby’s XV.

Team of the Week: Rugby World Cup warm-ups

15 Elliot Daly (England): Stuart Hogg earns a mention after his busy shift as he made amends as the only survivor from Scotland’s starting XV that was hammered in France. However, Daly is our number 15 as he enjoyed one of his better games in white, scoring one try and setting up another with a brilliant catch and pass under pressure. He also made 13 carries for 79 metres to cap a decent day.

14 Joe Cokanasiga (England): An outstanding performance from the giant finisher as he mixed pace with power to cause Ireland countless problems at Twickenham. Damian Penaud performed well for France with two tries also to his name but Cokanasiga was a level above all wings on Saturday, making 80 metres from 10 runs and already looks to be developing into one of the game’s most potent wide men.

13 Manu Tuilagi (England): Man-of-the-match in their win over Ireland, Tuilagi looks in top form at the moment which is great news for English fans. His carrying ability, alongside Cokanasiga and several others, regularly got England on the front foot and he fully deserved his try. Chris Harris earns a mention for his try-scoring performance for Scotland as they bounced back against the French.

12 Owen Farrell (England): Another solid captain’s innings from Farrell and it seems wherever he is stationed he will put in top class showings. He combined beautifully with Tuilagi and one wonders whether Henry Slade’s starting shirt in midfield is now in doubt. Farrell finished with 15 points off the tee and also set up a try in another complete performance that also kept Bundee Aki largely quiet.

11 Sean Maitland (Scotland): From one Saracen to another, Maitland is our left wing after another assured showing. As always, he kept his depth and width and when given a sniff he was a difficult man to bring to ground. While his try was a walkover after a lovely pass out to the left, his movement played a big role in the score. In World Cups teams need cool heads and there are few cooler than Maitland.

10 George Ford (England): Ford is deadly when playing on the front foot, as he was against Ireland. Alongside the impressive Farrell and Tuilagi that trio ripped their visitors to pieces, unpicking the Irish defence and Ford took the right option on numerous occasions. At Murrayfield, Finn Russell had his swagger back, with a beautiful pass out for Maitland’s try standing out, but Ford gets the nod here.

9 Greig Laidlaw (Scotland): The second Scottish back to make our line-up is captain Laidlaw, who steadied the ship after that disappointing defeat in Nice. Laidlaw kicked two conversions and a penalty as he starred on a forgetful weekend for his rival scrum-halves, with no one else standing out.

8 Billy Vunipola (England): A linchpin in this England side, the Saracens man has been impressive over the past few weeks. Vunipola is evidently a big ball-carrier, given his size, but the number eight also has excellent footwork and a superb skill set. He draws in defenders and allows the Red Rose’s backline playmakers to weave their magic. With Tuilagi and Cokanasiga also in the side, it gives them plenty of options on and off the ball going into the World Cup. Elsewhere, Scotland’s Blade Thomson deserves a mention after a fine debut against France.

7 Hamish Watson (Scotland): Doesn’t seem to get mentioned alongside the best opensides in the world, but he really should be. Continually excellent for Scotland, Watson was once again their standout player in the narrow victory over France and was deservedly named man-of-the-match for his efforts. Sam Underhill showed up well for England but the Scottish flanker was simply top-drawer.

6 Tom Curry (England): Just an outstanding athlete who combined superbly with Underhill and Vunipola in the back-row on Saturday. Curry is a nuisance at the breakdown, constantly slowing down opposition ball, but is also a very good ball-carrier and an excellent link option, which helped him touch down against Ireland. Ryan Wilson had a fine game for Scotland while Arthur Iturria was one of France’s better players, but they couldn’t usurp the Englishman.

5 Sam Skinner (Scotland): Has adapted superbly to international rugby after making his Test debut during the November series last year and continued his fine form against France to edge out England’s George Kruis. Similar to all the players that come through the Exeter Chiefs system, Skinner has a good understanding of the game, while his physicality and lineout skills shore up the set-piece. Hopefully the nasty-looking injury the second-row picked up will not threaten his World Cup chances.

4 Maro Itoje (England): After a slight dip in form in 2018, the 24-year-old looks fit and powerful, and will be crucial to the Red Rose in the World Cup. The Aki try aside, Itoje was excellent defensively, while the second-row helped dismantle the Ireland lineout. The Saracens man also carried more than he has done in the past and was rewarded for his efforts with a try after taking an excellent line close to the ruck.

3 Willem Nel (Scotland): The South African-born tighthead returned to the Scots’ starting line-up and immediately aided their ailing scrum as they controlled the set-piece battle against the French. There were a number of errors from both sides but that helped Gregor Townsend’s men, who, thanks to Nel, had the upper hand up front. His selection is perhaps tough on England’s Kyle Sinckler, who was solid in the set-piece and exceptional in the loose, but a prop’s primary job is in the scrum and the Scotland player did that superbly.

2 Jamie George (England): Dylan Hartley’s absence hasn’t been felt with George, and replacement Luke Cowan-Dickie, stepping up to the mark. George is a technically proficient hooker, with his lineout and scrum work both excellent, but he is also a threat with the ball and solid on defence; making eight tackles without missing any on Saturday.

1 Gordon Reid (Scotland): Another prop to be brought into the Scotland starting XV and make a positive impression in his time on the field. While Reid isn’t particularly prominent in the loose, he is a strong scummager and, alongside Nel and George Turner, they formed a potent front-row. After Reid and Nel went off, the set-piece struggles returned, so those two have put themselves in pole position going into the global tournament


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Post by Taylorman Mon 26 Aug 2019, 10:43 pm

Nice, some good selections in both sides.The english back row and backline are looking ominous....finally!

All, beware...


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Post by maestegmafia Tue 27 Aug 2019, 11:00 am

I’m sure there will be a few more antipode and in the mix in a week or so when the SH teams resume their warm up games.

After the last two weeks NH Teams (above) there are a number of top players missing, injury and form holding them back.

I expect to see. A few more Sexton, Tipuric, Furlong, Fickou, Penard, Williams, O’Conner etc up on those lists soon.


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Post by maestegmafia Mon 02 Sep 2019, 6:36 pm

Team of the Week: Rugby World Cup warm-ups

15 Will Addison (Ireland): Injuries have disrupted the former Sale player’s career but he is an outstanding talent and is unlucky not to get a chance to showcase his abilities at the World Cup. The 27-year-old showed up well against Wales, making 76 metres from 10 carries. His opposite number on Saturday, Wales’ Hallam Amos, also impressed while Maxime Medard was a constant threat for France, but Addison deservedly takes his place in the XV.

14 Andrew Conway (Ireland): Another Irishman to take a spot in the team after a thrilling attacking performance. Conway has enjoyed an excellent couple of years at Munster and has taken that form onto the international stage. Wales struggled to contain him, with the 28-year-old making 78 metres, which included five defenders beaten. Elsewhere, France’s Yoann Huget and Scotland’s Darcy Graham both played well but it wasn’t enough to displace Conway.

13 Sofiane Guitoune (France): Was one of Toulouse’s standouts during their fine 2018/19 campaign, which saw them lift the Top 14 title, and is starting to show it at international level. There were glimpses of Guitoune’s ability against Scotland last weekend when he set up Damian Penaud’s second try and he built on that performance against Italy. The visitors failed to deal with the talented runner as he made 92 metres in a superb effort which saw Les Bleus claim a 47-19 triumph.

12 Rory Hutchinson (Scotland): Really tough on Bundee Aki, who arguably produced his best display in an Ireland shirt on Saturday, but we had to get the Northampton man into our team. Can play either 10, 12 or 13 and his playmaking abilities were evident against Georgia in the dominant win. Took a couple of superb lines for his tries and was a threat throughout the game, meaning that Gregor Townsend must surely take him to the World Cup. Is reportedly on the fringes of the selection debate but, with Huw Jones’ recent struggles and Chris Harris not exactly impressing at international level, Hutchinson should go to Japan.

11 Jacob Stockdale (Ireland): Like Samson in reverse, the star wing had his hair cut and was immediately back on form as the Irish claimed an important win against Wales. Stockdale was criticised following their Twickenham horror show due to a number of defensive lapses, but the focus was back and the wing touched down twice to continue his impressive scoring record. It now stands at 16 in 21 matches and the Ulsterman will look to maintain that try-scoring ability heading into the global tournament.

10 Finn Russell (Scotland): Yes, we may have had Jack Carty in hot and not but we know what Russell can do and he did it superbly well against Georgia. Carty’s World Cup audition was one of the best you will see from an inexperienced player but the Racing 92 man had all the tricks in Tbilisi. He struggled in the early exchanges but soon got into his stride and produced some outstanding moments to help guide Scotland to victory. It was a competitive position, however, as both Carty and Romain Ntamack (France) ran him close.

9 Antoine Dupont (France): Another impressive display from the talented 22-year-old as the French ended their World Cup warm-ups in ideal fashion. Dupont’s service was sharp from the base while he is always a threat around the fringes and was rewarded with a try against Italy. The Toulouse player duly fends off competition from Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw, whose decision-making was typically sound in the victory over Georgia.

8 Louis Picamoles (France): Spent time on the sidelines after receiving a yellow card midway through the first half of his side’s win over Italy, but the veteran back-row improved as the match progressed especially on attack. Eventually gained 72 from 17 carries with seven defenders beaten and also managed two offloads. Was also busy on defence where he made 11 tackles.

7 Jake Polledri (Italy): Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony and James Davies of Wales both played well in their duel in Cardiff but it’s Gloucester stalwart Polledri who gets the nod after a superb all-round display in Italy’s defeat to France in Paris. The 23-year-old gained 40 metres from 15 runs which included one clean break, six defenders beaten, an offload and a well-taken try, but also shone on defence with 10 hits.

6 Braam Steyn (Italy): Like his back-row partner Polledri, Steyn also put in a big shift in a losing cause and was at the forefront of the Azzurri’s onslaught on both attack and defence. The South African-born flanker made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and did well with ball in hand, gaining 36 metres from 12 runs with one defender beaten. Also completed seven tackles.

5 Grant Gilchrist (Scotland): Scotland faced a tricky test away to Georgia but passed it with flying colours and Gilchrist was one of their star performers. The Edinburgh man caught the eye with his lineout work and was very good in the execution of his defensive duties. Comes in ahead of Ireland’s James Ryan, who impressed in his side’s excellent triumph over Wales in Cardiff.

4 Iain Henderson (Ireland): The Ulsterman came to the fore with a strong performance as Ireland got the better of Wales in Cardiff. Henderson shone at the coalface of his team’s forward effort with his defensive work particularly impressive as he made a game-high 16 tackles. Also did well in the lineouts and beats out Scotland’s Ben Toolis, who had a good game in his side’s triumph over Georgia.

3 WP Nel (Scotland): Although Scotland registered a comfortable 44-10 victory over Georgia in Tbilisi, it wasn’t always plain sailing, especially in the scrums where the Lelos gave a good account of themselves. Nel stood up well in the set-piece, however, and handled the threat posed by the home side pretty well. He also put in a busy shift around the park.

2 Camille Chat (France): The 23-year-old started in his side’s triumph over Italy at the Stade de France and delivered an excellent performance before being replaced after 52 minutes. The Racing 92 man did well in his core duties and was rewarded with a well-taken try for his efforts. Also made a big impact on defence with 14 tackles.

1 Dave Kilcoyne (Ireland): He only played for 45 minutes in Cardiff – before leaving the field for a HIA – but was one of his side’s top performers against Wales up to that stage. Kilcoyne was a willing ball carrier, gaining 34 metres from seven carries which included two clean breaks, five defenders beaten as well as a couple of offloads. Also made nine tackles and scrummed well.


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Post by Cyril Mon 02 Sep 2019, 7:06 pm

England and Wales will both be disappointed not to have a single player selected in the team of the week.


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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 02 Sep 2019, 7:21 pm

Especially England, who didn't score a single point this weekend.


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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 02 Sep 2019, 7:30 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Especially England, who didn't score a single point this weekend.

Not bad, drawing with Wales without even playing. Player selection wise anyway,

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