November Internationals - Team of the Week
November 21, 2010
Scotland fly-half Dan Parks kicked his side to a famous victory over the Springboks at Murrayfield © PA Photos
John Barclay Anthony Boric Mark Cueto Ross Ford Hosea Gear Richie Gray Shontayne Hape Jamie Heaslip Nathan Hines Allan Jacobsen Deacon Manu Mils Muliaina Dan Parks Morgan Parra Albert Vulivuli
Another round of cross-hemisphere clashes and another upset with Scotland claiming the scalp of world champions South Africa. As a result it will be no surprise to see more than a smattering of Scots in our latest Team of the Week - but who else made the grade?
15. Mils Muliaina (New Zealand)
The All Blacks veteran celebrated becoming New Zealand's most-capped international - alongside team-mate Richie McCaw - with a vintage display against Ireland at Lansdowne Road. The 30-year-old was full of running and a couple of eye-catching clean breaks left defenders flailing in his wake while he also had a hand in at least one of his side's tries.
14. Hosea Gear (New Zealand)
The All Blacks winger was another to produce a lively performance in Dublin where he was a constant threat on the left wing - although switched to the other wing for the purposes of our selection. Centre Sonny Bill Williams may be drawing all the headlines for his seemless transition to the Test rugby stage but Gear's development - albeit slightly slower - is also noteworthy.
13. Albert Vulivuli (Fiji)
The industrious Vulivuli proved a thorn in Wales' side throughout their clash at the Millennium Stadium. The Racing Metro centre grabbed a try to cap a superb personal display peppered with some crunching tackles and some nice lines and touches with the ball in hand. A special mention for Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll for a sublime piece of skill for his side's second try against the All Blacks.
12. Shontayne Hape (England)
The former Kiwi rugby league international is another player on an upward curve in terms of development. The 29-year-old was one of the few players to find some room in an otherwise water-tight Samoa defence. He may not have the off-load skills of former team-mate SBW but his ability to keep the ball alive in the tackle is a huge plus for England. Samoa's Seilala Mapusua and Scotland's Graeme Morrison pushed him for the No.12 shirt.
11. Mark Cueto (England)
The 30-year-old England winger may be enduring a try-drought having not scored in his last 16 Test appearances but he so deserves one after another action-packed performance packed with menace. He relished the opportunity to run with the ball in hand and ghosted through an otherwise resolute Samoa defence on more than one occasion whilst weighing in with his fair share of the tackle count.
10. Dan Parks (Scotland)
All Blacks No.10 Dan Carter may have produced a near-faultless display in helping to despatch Ireland but it is Parks' efforts against the Springboks that see him get the nod in our team. Six penalties and a drop goal in atrocious conditions at Murrayfield but he also mixed up his play to keep the Boks guessing.
9. Morgan Parra (France)
The Clermont scrum-half returned to the France No.9 shirt against Argentina and delivered an assured display whilst slotting four penalties to help see off the Pumas. A sterner test awaits against the Wallabies next weekend for whom Luke Burgess produced a lively display against Italy in Florence.
1. Allan Jacobsen (Scotland)
The Scotland loose-head produced a power-packed performance against South Africa with a couple of crowd-pleasing exchanges with giant Boks lock Flip van der Merwe and livewire scrum-half Francois Hougaard. He also drew a key penalty at a set scrum. The Scot did just enought to edge out England's Andrew Sheridan who delivered a dynamic display against Samoa.
2. Ross Ford (Scotland)
The Scotland hooker may not have had the best day in terms of lineout throwing but his work rate in the loose helped to blunt a much-vaunted Springboks pack.
3. Deacon Manu (Fiji)
The Scarlets tight-head arguably deserves selection for just steering his side to a draw against Wales in Cardiff but his hunger for the ball and an impressive tackle count see him make the grade on merit.
4. Anthony Boric (New Zealand)
The North Harbour lock earned a late call-up to the side to face Ireland afer Brad Thorn was ruled out through injury and he was a more than able deputy with the best Test performance to date. Boric scored the first of the All Blacks four tries with three defenders hanging off him as he reached out to plant the ball for the score.
5. Richie Gray (Scotland)
Gray was on the wrong end of a rugby lesson when he made his first Scotland start against the All Blacks last weekend but bounced back to form - like the rest of his side - with a strong showing against the Boks. His increases assuredness in the role is one of many reasons coach Andy Robinson may be smiling this morning.
6. Nathan Hines (Scotland)
The Aussie-born flanker was drafted into the Scotland back row with the aim of bringing some extra muscle and know-how to a demoralised pack and he repaid the favour by inspiring his team-mates and together they rose to the challenge of the Springboks.
7. John Barclay (Scotland)
The Glasgow openside relished the physical battle with South Africa at Murrayfield and was a near-constant presence in the loose. He dominated the exchanges in the loose and propelled himself into the thick of it from the back of the scrum.
8. Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
All Blacks No.8 Kieran Read may have grabbed two tries for the tourists in Dublin but he was outplayed by his opposite number Heaslip whose typically industrious display earns him a place in our side. The Leinster No.8 racked up over 100m with the ball in hand and an impressive 11 tackles while also providing a scoring pass to team-mate Stephen Ferris. Fijian giant Sisa Koyamaibole is also worthy of a mention for his showing against Wales.
Did we get our selection right? Let us know your thoughts!
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