April 15, 2021, 7:28

Team of the week: Ireland dominate after bashing Boks

Team of the week: Ireland dominate after bashing Boks

Ireland dominate our team of the week after their demolition of South Africa in Dublin on Saturday.

15. Soso Matiashvili (Georgia)

Stuart Hogg and Kurtley Beale were contenders but Matiashvili was outstanding for Georgia as they beat Canada 54-22 in Tbilisi on Saturday.

His blistering pace brought a real attacking edge to their backline and he came away with two superb tries and added five conversions and four penalties.

14. Waisake Naholo (New Zealand)

Ireland’s Andrew Conway was really unlucky to miss out but Naholo was superb for the All Blacks against France. Scored two great tries and was also very good in defence and won some big turnovers as well.

13. Ryan Crotty (New Zealand)

Had a good partnership going with Sonny Bill Williams in the midfield against France. Read SBW’s intentions well to get on the end of his grubber and score the All Blacks’ 2000th Test try.

12. Bundee Aki (Ireland)

Highlights of Ireland's opening Guinness Series clash against South Africa

A massive defensive display from Aki who set the tone with a big tackle on Coenie Oosthuizen which unfortunately ended the Bok prop’s comeback. He was second on the tackle list – one behind CJ Stander and the big Bok forwards certainly felt his power. Typically he carried hard and direct but also showed some good hands to get the ball out wide on occasion.

11. Jacob Stockdale (Ireland)

A great debut from the Ulster man who fully deserved his try. Showed lovely movement with ball in hand to challenge the Bok defence and was always looking for work. Showed the Springbok back three how to handle the high ball and carved them up with a fantastic run off the inside ball from Sexton that resulted in Ruddock’s try.

10. Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

A masterclass in how to run the show with his usual intelligent game management. His kicking was exemplary and caused chaos for the Boks, who could just not handle it. Missed a few tackles but knew when to kick and when to run and opened up the Bok defence on several occasions.

9. Antoine Dupont (France)

A nod to Conor Murray and Will Genia, but what a debut from the 20-year-old against the All Blacks. He showed why he is so highly rated and has a bright future. Explosive pace from a standing start had the Kiwis stretched and inspired his troops to a real fightback in the second half.

1. Mako Vunipola (England)

Mako Vunipola collects the man-of-the-match award for his performance against Argentina

A man-of-the-match performance from Vunipola, who was excellent for England. Had to work very hard in the set-piece and did well to fight back in that area after initially being under some pressure. Tackled like a demon – 20 tackles in all – and was England’s go-to man in terms of carries and also showed lovely hands with some subtle offloads.

2. Stuart McInally (Scotland)

Guilhem Guirado was good for France but it’s not often a hooker scores twice as Scotland held on to beat Samoa 44-38 on Saturday. McInally’s arrows were excellent and his powerful drives helped Scotland get on the front foot.

3. Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Totally dominated his opposite number at scrum time and, like Iain Henderson, relished taking on the physical Boks. Made some huge tackles in defence, ending the game with 11 tackles.

4. Iain Henderson (Ireland)

When the Ireland pack matched the Bok forwards in terms of physicality, the visitors had no idea what to do. Did we say matched? The likes of Henderson dominated the physical battle and steamrolled over the likes of Bok enforcer Eben Etsebeth and Lood de Jager. A superb performance from Henderson.

5. Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)

Another huge display from the Wales skipper who tackled his heart out – especially in the first half. Competitive around the ruck and maul and carried well too.

6. Piula Faasalele (Samoa)

A very solid performance from Faasalele who also got on the scorecard after he powered over from short range. Really disrupted Scotland’s ball and was competitive at the ruck and maul.

7. Sam Underhill (England)

Highlights of England's opening Autumn International clash against Argentina

A very strong display from Underhill who impressed with his superb tackling technique. Was given the task as one of England’s defensive leaders and led from the front with 21 tackles. Gave away a couple of daft penalties but this could be the start of a long career for him in the No 7 jersey.

8. CJ Stander (Ireland)

Nathan Hughes was on the shortlist but Stander had a stormer against the country of his birth, who claimed he was too small to be part of their back-row plans. He certainly made a mockery of that assumption with some big tackles, bigger carries and massive turnovers – including one that ended South Africa’s best try-scoring opportunity.

Source: skysports.com

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