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    PR’s team of the AI’s

    <DIV =storyLayout>
    <H2>November's Team of the Tests</H2>
    <DIV =storydate>Monday November 27 2006</DIV>Easy choices as All Blacks dominate once again


    That was quite a month! Another irresistible clean sweep by the All Blacks, the plunge of England from average to downright mediocre, the emergence of Argentina as a top-six rugby nation, and of Ireland as genuine Rugby World Cup 2007 contenders.


    @@@@SPAN id=intelliTXT>Plenty to talk about, but much of it about the future. For now, picking a dream team of performers from the last month was childishly easy. New Zealanders dominate our World XV!


    15 Chris Latham - As Australia's backs faltered behind the shaky pack, so Latham gave the rest of his team a timely reminder of just what strength and adrenalin means. The number of people bouncing off Latham in the tackle this November was nothing short of phenomenal, as was that try to give Australia back the lead in Cardiff.
    Back-up: François Steyn


    14 Joe Rokocoko - Proved once again that he is no ordinary Joe, giving three matches of all-round finery from his wing, rounded off with tries at Twickenham, Lyon and Paris. He is in the middle, covering at full-back, hanging wide for the kick... every wing-game dimension possible has been added and worked on, and it makes for a fearsome weapon.
    Back-up: Rico Gear


    13 Stirling Mortlock - Truth be known, outside centre was a tough call. We had four different choices between us, and in the end, Mortlock won not only because of his belligerence, leadership and goal-kicking skills in adversity for much of the series, but also because he was the better of the two from our chosen four who played in the middle nearly all the way through! Just pips Brian O'Driscoll to the posts as BOD was overshadowed somewhat by his own Irish colleagues.
    Back-up: Brian O'Driscoll


    12 James Hook - Stood out as one - some might say the only - Welsh back who was able to consistently get over the gain-line in even the tightest of situations, and also one - again some might say the only - Welsh back to put boot to ball at the right moments and with the necessary accuracy and authority. Read the game superbly at every turn. A big future beckons for the young Osprey.
    Back-up: Gordon D'Arcy


    11 Sitiveni Sivivatu - Keeping it in the family on the wing, Sivivatu joins cousin Joe on the opposite side of the field. This series exploded the myth that he might only be about power and pace; some moments of timed running and sleight of hand, especially in Lyon against France, were mesmerising. Finished off with a hat-trick against Wales, testament to his skill and work-rate that he was in position every time.
    Back-up: Christophe Dominici


    10 Dan Carter - It seems that he can do no wrong. Barely a mistake from hand or boot all month. He still thinks he can improve. We don't.
    Back-up: Stephen Larkham


    9 Agustín Pichot - As the years have gone on, so those daring tap and goes from penalties and breaks from the scrum have decreased and the mane has got shorter, but Pichot rolled back the years like he rolls back his sock-tops this November with three outstanding performances, none better than that at Twickenham where he inspired his team to their most famous victory ever.
    Back-up: Dwayne Peel


    8 Denis Leamy - Ireland are spoilt for choice in the back-row, but Leamy is a cut above the rest. A relentless charger with ball in hand, and a relentless supporter/tackler without it. Has risen to the top of his game just in time...
    Back-up: Elvis Vermeulen


    7 Richie McCaw - The one everybody generally mentions when the words 'breakdown' and 'cheat
    The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
    - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

    #2
    James Hook instead of D'Arce? Mortlock instead of BOD? No thanks. Apart from those two not sure what other changes I would have made. ROG probably back up to Carter, DOC would be in with a shout. Not that surprised by that team personally.

    Comment


      #3
      Smith as back up openside when he is a blindside flanker. Its a load of w**k pay no attention

      Comment


        #4

        Originally posted by epaddy
        Smith as back up openside when he is a blindside flanker. Its a load of w**k pay no attention
        to me
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        \'For he that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart\'.
        Henry V - Battle of Agincourt 1415

        Comment


          #5
          Are you sure Smith wasn't playing 7? I'm 99% sure he was against England one of the games anyway.

          Comment


            #6

            Originally posted by danthefan
            Are you sure Smith wasn't playing 7? I'm 99% sure he was against England one of the games anyway.


            The South Africans play their flankers the wrong way round. Floors was
            the OS with 6 on his back smith the BS with 7. French do something
            similar, some say they all play left and right but try telling me that
            Betsen(open_ and Harinordiqy(blind) are not specialists

            Comment


              #7

              Originally posted by epaddy
              Originally posted by danthefan
              Are you sure Smith wasn't playing 7? I'm 99% sure he was against England one of the games anyway.


              The South Africans play their flankers the wrong way round. Floors was
              the OS with 6 on his back smith the BS with 7. French do something
              similar, some say they all play left and right but try telling me that
              Betsen(open_ and Harinordiqy(blind) are not specialists
              Hardinorquy is more of an 8 if you ask me. Again it really only matters
              at the scrum time Paddy &amp; as we know from Wallace even there they
              can switch around. Nothing prevents a 6 from doing a job of a 7 in open
              play or an 8 from being the 1st to the breakdown.

              Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again (like picking Gordon D'Arcy) and expecting different results.
              Albert Einstein

              Comment


                #8
                I don't overly disagree with any of the selections except that D'Arcy really should be ahead of Hook. However any pundit who thinks either Muliaina or Ma'a Nonu were the best 13s on show need their heads examined. Another case of NZ bias? I'd take Noon ahead of Nonu and Mils is a brillant FB but not centre.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Oh and how is Larkham back up ten ahead of O'Gara???? Did these guys see the Ireland v Australia game? Didn't Larkham play mostly at 12 anyway? I'd call that a lazy selection. But sure it's only a bit of fun...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I thought there should be one or two Pumas in the FR, I thought Darcy should have got in ahead of Hook. Otherwise it is a fairly accurate selection although ROG should be back up to Carter instead of Larkham.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Wonder how the Chav is feeling now that the Welsh have a new golden boy! At leastHook has actually done something tojustify the hype.

                      Comment

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