So we're almost done with the Tri-Nations, who would people pick as the FORM XV - emphasis on form, not on reputation.
1. Woodcock - little competition from either camp. Humiliated Baxter and gave Smit a good working over.
2. Du Plessis - Hore was out of form and Moore's just sh!t. Du Plessis is a quality player though, good enough to push Smit out to prop...
3. Mtawrira (can never spell it right...) - again with little competition, but throws his weight around in more ways than one.
4. Botha - closely followed by Thorn, but Botha has just been that much more dominant, albeit in a largely dominant squad.
5. Matfield - leagues ahead of the rest.
6. Brussouw - OK so technically he's an openside but this is the only way I can put both him and McCaw in the same XV. As for the man himself - let's put it this wasy: Burger who?
7. McCaw - is a way off his best but still makes the team for 2 reasons - his leadership and onfield persona, and the fact that the likes of Smith and Smith (George and John) aren't playing to full potential either. Both could push for the spot though...
8. Spies - hasn't reached the form heights he scaled in the Super 14, but like McCaw - makes the squad because the alternatives (Richard Brown, Rodney So'oialo and Keiran Read) aren't hitting form either.
9. Du Preez - any arguments...no?...didn't think so
10. M. Steyn - now this could be contentious...when you have the likes of Giteau, Carter, and Pienaar all contesting as well. But where they have all dropped in form (or only played 1 game in Carter's case - but THAT drop goal puts him out of real contention
) Steyn has been consistent every since he got a shot.
11. Turner - the only Aussie I'm putting in the team. Due to Pieterson and Sivivatu both blipping along the way, while Turner has been trying, trying, trying the whole time.
12. Nonu - I'm a HUGE Jean de Villiers fan, but he's been out for a couple of games with injury, as has Barnes (who I think's a tosser). While Nonu has been there the whole time and played well under the circumstances - it's no coincidence that opposition backline plans involve the strategy "nullify nonu".
13. C. Smith - has been arguably the ABs best back player all season and his injury is a big blow. Superb solo try in SA and did everything asked of him and more. Boks have chopped and changed their midfield, while Mortlock has been injured and AAC is a twat.
14. Habana - absolute workhorse. His kickoff chases and hits on Mealamu (like 3 in a row) were so incredible I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
15. F. Steyn - another case of "who's left?". Muliaina is well off his best this season and, as state above, AAC is a twat. O'Connor only had 1 or 2 games there and was average at best, while Pienaar had 1 - albeit good - game.
So thoughts? Other teams?