Monday, October 01, 2007

World Cup - Pre Quarter Finals

A few changes in this week's World Cup dream XV. Some players keep their place simply because there were no commanding performances by players in equivalent positions. Its a new look midfield. First change on form is Matthew Tait who comes in for Stirling Mortlock. Tait was great on defence for England against Tonga and showed some nice touches on attack. I don't think we have seen any truly great centre play at this cup so far - even Mortlock who is in most people's estimation the best centre of display, is a journeyman compared to world cup greats of the past like Sella and Bunce. Francois Steyn also gets the nod ahead of Contemponi at second five (I know Contemponi only played one game at second five this tournament). I think Steyn and Giteau are now head to head for second five, unless McAlister can bring some consistency on defence and control on attack to his game. Lauaki edges out Leguizamon - again there are no amazing number 8's on display at this RWC - Lauaki impressed on attack and defence, although he needs to work on his scrum control. He edges out Soialo as well in my NZ team for the quarter finals this week.

And in the final surprise change - Brian Habana is out. Takudzwa Ngwenya is in (USA via Zimbabwe). In a head to head contest Ngwenya displayed an awesome in and out against Habana and then blitzed past him on the outside. He has all the skills and is clearly the quickest player in the tournament. In a losing side, he was a standout player.

1. Tony Woodcock
2. John Smit
3. Carl Hayman*
4. Ali Williams
5. Victor Matfield*
6. Jerry Collins
7. Richie McCaw*
8. Sione Lauaki
9. Fourie Du Preez*
10. Dan Carter*
11. Doug Howlett
12. Francois Steyn
13. Matthew Tait
14. Takudzwa Ngwenya
15. Chris Latham

1 comment:

Rhett said...

My team is up.

Sione Lauaki as your form number 8!? I know there haven't been standouts but I thought he was woeful!