Four Springboks have cracked the nod in Super Rugby’s ‘Team of the Decade’ based on home performances.
As was the case with last week’s Away Team of the Decade, New Zealand enjoys the biggest representation with seven players, while South Africa and Australia boast four apiece.
The four South Africans picked are all Springboks and all forwards, namely prop Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), hooker Malcolm Marx (Lions), lock Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers) and flank Jaco Kriel (Lions).
Kitshoff and Marx, as well as tighthead prop Alan Alaalatoa (Brumbies), flyhalf Beauden Barrett (Crusaders/Blues) and fullback Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) also featured in the away team.
Kitshoff and Marx both impressed with their carries and metres gains at home, while the latter scored a position high 16 tries at Ellis Park.
Du Toit is more of a flank nowadays but cracked the nod in the second row alongside the Rebels’ Luke Jones. They averaged 3.3 and 3.6 lineout wins respectively per match at home and contributed strongly in defence and ball carrying.
Kriel was prominent is his team’s success in reaching three consecutive finals between 2016 and 2018 – he beat five-plus defenders on home turf 11 times in the last decade – one of only two forwards to reach double figures in this category, the other being Hurricanes flank Ardie Savea with 11 as well.
Reds centre Samu Kerevi was named Home Team Player of the Decade. He beat 4.7 defenders per game at home, the most of any player in that time (a minimum of 10 games). He’s also made 10-plus carries on 31 occasions, and gained an average of 59 metres per game.
Super Rugby home team of the decade:
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 George Bridge, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Will Genia, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Home Team of the Decade!
Last week we announced the Away Team of the Decade… this week we have punched the numbers and selected a Home Team of the Decade! https://t.co/UwoIQpwYc9#SuperRugby25years pic.twitter.com/3QK0cyHGJo
— Super Rugby/TRC (@SuperRugby) May 5, 2020