• Home
  • /
  • Rugby
  • /
  • The Balls.ie Team Of The World Cup Pool Stages

The Balls.ie Team Of The World Cup Pool Stages

The Balls.ie Team Of The World Cup Pool Stages
Jeremy Fullam
By Jeremy Fullam
Share this article

What a three weeks of rugby it's been. We've witnessed the biggest upset in the tournaments history when Japan beat South Africa. We saw the hosts get eliminated at the group stage. We've seen Joe Schmidt's men maintain a 100% record as they hope to achieve their best Rugby World Cup to date.

Now that the dust has settled on the pool stages we think it's time to deliver our team of the pool stages featuring some of the competitions unsung heroes from Japan, Fiji and Geogia.

15. Ayumu Goromaru (Japan)

The Japanese full back has been one of the players of the tournament so far, converting more penalties than any other player and amassing the second most amount of points with 58 behind Scotland's Greig Laidlaw. He was pivotal in the win against the Springboks getting 24 of his sides 34 points himself, including a try.

He's also capable of making try saving tackles like this one against Scotland.

14. DTH Van Der Merwe (Canada)

The powerful South African born Canadian winger has been in scintillating form for the Canucks in this years tournament. He's made more metres (389) than anyone else in the tournament, picking up four tries in the process including this beauty against the Italians.

13. Mark Bennett (Scotland)

The young centre has quickly become one of Scotland's key players following a string of impressive performances during his 12 caps so far. He was in scintillating form against the Japanese, showing good footwork to pick up two tries in just 13 minutes


12. Matt Giteau (Australia)


Giteau's form at this years tournament has been so good it's hard to believe he may have missed it as a result of playing his club rugby away from Australia. The experienced centre has been a mainstay of the Australian back line which decimated the English and kept out the Welsh when it was down two players.

11. Santiago Cordero (Argentina)

The 22-year-old back three flier will be one of the biggest thorns in Ireland's side next week. Cordero has been primed for big things since starring at the Junior World Cups in the last few years. His feet and trickery will be a tough assignment for Bowe or Kearney.


10. Bernard Foley (Australia)

Foley came into the tournament somewhat under the radar but the Waratahs outhalf has undoubtedly been the best no. 10 in the competition. His two tries against England were of the highest quality and he proved he can tackle as well when he cut down George North metres away from his own line. His 56 points so far is the third highest in the Tournament.

9. Gareth Davies (Wales)


Davies has been given his chance to shine for Wales after Rhys Webb suffered an unfortunate injury in the warm up games. He's taken his chance with both hands and has scored four tries so far, only Bryan Habana and Julian Savea have scored more. He's also made seven clean breaks from scrum half which makes him very unpredictable  at the base of the ruck and scrum.

8. David Pocock (Australia)

Although he's more recognised as an open side Pocock he's slotted in seamlessly at number 8 in order to help Michael Cheika's side dominate the breakdown along with Michael Hooper. Pocock has won a staggering 10 turnovers so far which is higher than anyone else in the tournament and he also chipped in with two tries against Fiji.


7. Mamuka Gorgodze (Georgia)

Nicknamed "Gorgodzilla" by his team-mates, Gorgodze has had an immense tournament for a Georgian side who exceeded many peoples expectations. He managed a massive 7 turnovers and covered almost every blade of grass he played on, completing 95% of his tackles in the process.

Gorgodze was named man of the match against tournament favourites New Zealand despite losing the game.


6. Peter O'Mahony (Ireland)

His tournament may have come to an end but if Ireland are to progress to the semi finals or further they will have Peter O'Mahony to thank for some massive performances in the pool stages. The Munster captain put in a crucial try saving tackle at a time when Ireland were struggling against the Italians and he has stolen 3 opposition line outs.

5. Leone Nakarawa (Fiji)

The Fijian second row has lit the tournament alight with a string of incredible performances. He made more offloads than any other player, amassed 9 turnovers which was second only to Pocock, and he's stole two line outs. His ball carrying ability and soft hands make him a real threat in the loose. One of the stars of the tournament.

4. Iain Henderson (Ireland)



As one great second row is coming to the end of his Ireland career it seems another one is just getting started. Iain Henderson has shown that he's ready to be Ireland's next great second row after a series of dominant displays. His aggression and all round ball carrying make him a serious threat in the loose and although he's been unlucky not to be an automatic starter, his impact of the bench is massive.

3. Hatakeyama Kensuke (Japan)

When the Japanese scrum gets the better of the world-renowned South African pack then you know they must be good. The transformation of the Japanese scrum has been amazing, and despite their small stature - the technique they employ is the best in the world.


2. Shota Horie (Japan)

Another one of Japan's heroes was hooker Shota Horie. He led their dominant scrum and threw the second most successful line outs (37) behind Wales' Scott Baldwin. Horie also comleted an impressive 88% of his tackles and managed a turn over during the  impressive Japanese campaign.

He also possesses the type of handling you'd see on an outhalf, as demonstrated by this clip from their win over South Africa. The stereotypical ball-handling hooker.

1. Scott Sio (Australia)

If you had said just six months ago that the best scrum of a pool containing England and Wales was the Australian scrum then people would have laughed at you. Right in your face. But that's what scrum coach Mario Ledesma has done, and in no small part down to 23-year-old prop Scott Sio. Sio had a breakout season in Super Rugby this year, and his elevation to the starting lineup has given the Wallabies another weapon in their arsenal.

See Also: The Australian View On Whether They'd Rather Ireland Or Argentina

See Also: Heroism Worth Fuck All If Ireland Lose To Argentina

See Also: Ireland's Likely Lineup Against Argentina With All Of Those Injuries

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com