Only Malcolm hit the Marx

Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx was the only South African player deemed good enough to crack Rugby World Magazine’s Team of the Year for 2018.

The renowned monthly rugby publication canvassed writers from 12 countries to select a team that features the top performers in 2018.

In line with the current World Rugby rankings, New Zealand accounted for the largest contingent of five players while Ireland checked in with four, two England players got the nod and the final four spots were filled by one player from each of Australia, Fiji, South Africa and Wales.

Despite being in the spotlight for an inconsistent Bok lineout this year, Marx’s worth in general play – as a rampaging runner and destructive force on defence, and his central role in a bulldozing scrum – was recognised by the panel of writers. The 2017 SA Rugby Player of the Year was almost joined in the front row by a familiar face, but Steven Kitshoff narrowly lost out to Mako Vunipola (England) in the race for the No1 jersey.

Packing down on the right side of Marx is Ireland tighthead Tadgh Furlong, the only unanimous selection to the team. Leone Nakarawa represents Fiji in a second-row partnership with 2014 World Rugby Player of the Year, Brodie Retallick.

While blindside flankers do the donkey work, the memory of openside flankers making vital steals often sticks in the mind. This may explain why the writers selected two ball-hawks in the back row, with Peter O’Mahony at 6 and David Pocock at 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit has reason to believe he did enough to warrant selection here.

It was also too difficult for the panel to choose between the flyhalf talents of Beauden Barrett, Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell as the voters picked the Ireland pivot at 10, found room for Farrell at inside centre and decided that Barrett’s cameo’s at fullback were ample to secure the 15 jersey.

Few would argue against Rieko Ioane lining up on the left wing, but it’s somewhat surprising that he won all but two of the 12 votes in the face of a stiff challenge from Aphiwe Dyantyi.

Rugby World Magazine: 2018 Team of the Year
15 Beauden Barrett (NZ)
14 Ben Smith (NZ)
13 Jonathan Davies (WAL)
12 Owen Farrell (ENG)
11 Rieko Ioane (NZ)
10 Johnny Sexton (IRE)
9 Conor Murray (IRE)
8 Kieran Read (NZ)
7 David Pocock (AUS)
6 Peter O’Mahony (IRE)
5 Leone Nakarawa (FIJ)
4 Brodie Retallick (NZ)
3 Tadgh Furlong (IRE)
2 Malcolm Marx (SA)
1 Mako Vunipola (ENG)

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Lunga

    Malcolm Marx didn’t have a bad season only 2 games where he didn’t perform well ,i think he deserve to be selected if you look the turnover ball he win for the Springbok also a try against All blacks where we win the game ,in a nutshell i give it to Marx

  • Barry

    As ever some really silly selections, influenced as ever by the old boys club.

    Both Murray and Vinipola were injured. Surely nominations should be based on player performance and not reputation?

    David Pocock played 8 for Australia, so how is it that he’s in the running for a position that he didn’t cover? Whilst Reid (a great player) gets the nod at 8, the NZ press would likely disagree. There were strong reports of Reid being too old and beyond his best!

    Is it right that Farrell finds his way into this elite list of players with two incidents of foul play in four matches?

    Then at 15, Barrett played 95% of his rugby at 10, so how is it that he cracks it as the best 15 of the year?

    In the forwards anyone of PSDT or Mostert are conspicuous omissions. Have a look at carries, meters made and tackle count. Similarly Willie Le Roux had an outstanding season and I am sure would be annoyed at being piped at the post by a player that didn’t don the 15 jersey!

    • Chris

      Can’t wait for Farrell to get his team knocked out of the WC with a red-card tackle.

    • albert Hoffmann

      Like the SA old boys club that only selects players for the boks from the grossly under performing bulls and stormers? that were bottom feeders in SR. Now that is an old boys club. Marx is the only bok that deserves it ( maybe only PSDT as well ) the others are all over rated( by SARU and rassie only )

    • John Comyn

      I agree. If the selection hold any cred then players need to be selected in their positions. Barrett may be the best or 2nd best flyhalf around but he is not a FB. The best FB by a country mle is Ben Smith with Hogg close on his heels. If my life depended on it I would also have gone for Sexton ahead of Barrett. Of the SA players my 3 best this season are Vermeulen, PSDT & Kitsie.

      • albert Hoffmann

        Vermulen? all he is a crash and bash specialist, the rest of the world has moved on from this boring 80’s style and that is why he is not there.

      • Barry

        Yes John, RW Mag should really clear these selections with us! Lol

    • Chris Mouton

      Spot on, Barry! I think Pocock should’ve been picked at 8 and Pieter-Steph at 7. To be honest, Marx was quiet ever since the SR Finals. I wouldn’t have picked him at all! Maybe Codie Taylor? Farrell doesn’t belong here. Would’ve picked Hogg at 15. Huw Jones should be on that list as well.

      • Jay

        I too agree, Hogg was definitely the fullback of the season with Jones shining at 13. Am also surprised not to see Stockdale.

      • Barry

        On the same page Chris, Hogg in particular had a really good season!

  • SweetAz

    Yeah, I would pick Augustin Creevy before Marx any day, he brings something extra to the game, Marx tends to go missing at times, his defense is suspect (see Wales game-lol) and he can only throw lineouts to Mostert,—-very limiting for a hooker. The Ginga Ninja should be there as well as PSDT

    • Barry

      On balance Creevy was probably more consistent, with Marx having pretty much a hot and cold EOYT. Though we do need to be mindful of his outstanding performance earlier in the year, which earned him the WR nomination. Perhaps a little overplayed!

      • SweetAz

        Creevy is a real warrior and he has some guile and subtle variations to his game, he also lifts the team with his sheer force of personality. I always groan when they replace him with Montoya towards the end of the game because I know the Argies lose a lot without him. Marx seems to be a little immature still, -just my 2 cents. I don’t know what form Bissie is in at present but personally, I would pick even him ahead of Marx.

        • Herman Schroder?

          Yes and Matfield should have made the cut as well, lol. Forget these overrated overseas pallooka’s
          they added nothing to the Bok cause except tp muddy the waters.

          The rest of the world obviously doesn’t agree with you on Marx. Reminds me of Johnny’s mom watching him march past in a parade and saying ‘Look everyone is out of step except my Johnny’ Cheers.

  • John Comyn

    My side to take on this world 15.

    15 Folau
    14 Smith
    13 Jonathan Davies
    12 SBW
    11 Naholo
    10 Pollard
    9 Youngs
    8 Vermeulen
    7 du Toit
    6 Hooper
    5 Alun Wyn Jones
    4 Etzebeth
    1 Laulala
    2 Coles
    3 Kitshoff

    Apologies to Herman for not picking at least 10 Lions players. They all came close!

    • Herman Schroder?

      We had three in the WR awards nominations and won one of them. Marx picked in this World XV scuppers your argument as well. Jantjies saving Rassie’s bacon against Argentina vs BB’s match with pure BMT. Mostert a standout ALL season. If we had 10 Lions including our recent overseas departures in this Bok team from day one we wouldn’t still be sucking hind tit against the rest of the world. True story.

      As for your Pollard pick, what a joke. It ruined your credibility for the rest of the team. Polly easily the worst flyhalf of the top 10 ranked teams. When finally asked by Rassie to show some creativity in the Baa Baa’s match he floundered ( together with most of the Boks on the day ) and showed his inability to play smart fast paced skilled rugby. His lack of BMT off the tee clearly on show as well.

      If you want to handicap a team to play the World XV then yes Polly is the guy. Good luck with that. Cheers.

      • SweetAz

        Dont you ever get tired of being wrong, it must be incredibly tiring repeating the same rot over and over? I think there is a psychological term called confirmation-bias. Look it up, it describes the way you reason perfectly. When added to your extreme cognitive dissonance I think its pretty much a terminal thing for you.

    • John Comyn

      Okay I’m swapping Hooper for Siya and making him cappie:-)

    • SweetAz

      lol,-and get the nandrolone boy to coach them.

      • albert Hoffmann

        lol thats so funny!

  • Albert

    Here is my XV to take on the World XV:

    15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

    I am pretty certain that Herman and Hoffman will agree whole heartedly. LOL

    • Herman Schroder?

      Albert, What a wonderful team that is, lol. Not a domkragger in sight. A team used to winning and playing in finals regularly. They even have a flyhalf who plays real rugby. Wow.

      Here’s a thought. Why not pick this side to play the bumbling Boks ( aka the Dom Krag XV ) in a trial match of sorts. Bring in Ackers to coach the side for this one off and the result in my opinion would be a hearty meal for the Lions. Rassie can even use disco lights to help his boy’s with the decision making on the field if it would help. Something tells me they would need more help than that. Cheers.

      • SweetAz

        Sheeshhhh,-With “Ackers” at the helm the entire team would be suspect of drug cheating. Makes you wonder about the Lions “success”

    • Barry

      It would simply not be permitted by SARU, there always needs to be a Stormers majority. Surely you knew that? Lol

      • Herman Schroder?

        Good one old chap. Cheers.

  • Lunga

    That’s the reason i trust Rassie Erasmus,if we didn’t have Rassie who will know Aphiwe Dyantyi,Bongi Mbonambi ,Cheslin kolbe ,Steven Kitshoff ,Handre Pollard

    • Herman Schroder?

      Rassie’s win ratio a miserable 50%. It’s all smoke and mirrors my friend he is actually quite clueless. Cheers.

      • SweetAz

        At least he’s never been banned for steroid abuse

  • Dean

    Mako Vunipola? He got dominated in the 2 tests in SA and was injured on the EOYT. Kitshoff instead. As for the loose trio. Kieran Read had a very poor year and Pocock missed some of the big games. Based on performances over the course of this year, PS du Toit at 7 and CJ Stander at 8. His performances for Ireland during the 6 Nations and against NZ contributed massively to the results. Jacob Stockdale also unlucky to miss out.

    • Herman Schroder?

      Fair comment. Cheers.

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