The Super Rugby chose the ideal Aotearoa team that ended last Saturday and that enshrined Crusaders as champion, for the fourth consecutive tournament and in a tournament where they lost only one game to Hurricanes and could not contest the final date against Blues due to the pandemic of the coronavirus.
Crusaders contribute five players to the tournament team as well as Blues who finished second, six points behind the winners after suffering two losses. Those from Auckland provide half the pack, including the impressive number 8 Hoskins Sotutu and his captain and second row Patrick Tuipulotu. Third is the Hurricanes, who have two players on the team, including Ngani Laumape, despite missing the last few rounds through injury.
New Zealand Rugby expects the North-South Island match to start on August 29, depending on COVID-19 and what the government decides in terms of restrictions in the coming weeks. It is shaping up to be a kind of test of the All Blacks, with most of the Aotearoa ideal team present in that game, with the exception of the injured (Laumape and Reece).
THE XV IDEAL OF THE AOTEAROA 2020
15- Will Jordan (Crusaders): Will Jordan scored more tries (6), gained more meters (724), made more breaks (15) and beat more defenders (39) than any other player.
14- Sevu Reece (Crusaders): No wing did more offloads than Reece (9); He also scored four tries, made 12 breaks and two try assists.
13- Anton Lienert-Brown (Chiefs): Lienert-Brown had 72 runs, only one center made more, as well as five breaks, six offloads and 55/67 in tackle ERA.
12- Ngani Laumape (Hurricanes): Laumape’s 13 breaks were the second most of any player in the competition; he also beat 28 defenders, made five offloads and scored one try of his 75 carries in six games.
11- Caleb Clarke (Blues): Clarke made 10 breaks, beat 18 defenders and performed seven offloads, in addition to gaining an average of 7.7 m per carry of his 45 portings of the season.
10- Richie Mo’unga (Crusaders) Mo’unga finished as the leading scorer with a total of 99; he scored three attempts and gave four assists, in addition to beating 35 defenders, the second-most of any player.
9- TJ Perenara (Hurricanes): No scrum-half beat more defenders (14) or made more offloads (7) than Perenara; He also made three try assists, nine breaks and scored a try.
1- Alex Hodgman (Blues): Hodgman was the only front row that provided a try assist; Additionally, his 61 tackles were the most combined of any prop, and he also had 33 carries and won two turnovers.
2- Codie Taylor (Crusaders): Taylor made 67 successful lineout pitches, the most of any player, in addition to making 64/71 tackles, 52 carries and nine clean breaks.
3- Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Blues): No pillar made more tackles than Tu’ungafasi (61); he also had 34 carries, beat two defenders and was the only mainstay to score a try.
4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Blues): No player stole more lineouts than Tuipulotu (3); he also had 61/67 tackles, five hits and beat five defenders, in addition to winning two turnovers.
5- Sam Whitelock (Crusaders): Whitelock won a total of 28 lineouts (including 3 steals), the second most of any player; He also made 56 tackles, hit five volleys and beat six defenders.
6- Shannon Frizell (Highlanders): Frizell’s 98 tackles were the second most of any player; she also beat 12 defenders, won five turnovers and scored four attempts.
7- Lachlan Boshier (Chiefs): No striker scored more than Boshier’s four tries; The Chiefs wing also made 67/71 tackles and won nine turnovers.
8- Hoskins Sotutu (Blues): Sotutu was the only Super Rugby Aotearoa player to average more than 10 carries and more than 10 tackles per game (10 carries, 10.5 tackles).