One week and 12 matches in the Rugby World Cup and we have our first rest day, which seems a natural time to take stock ahead of a jam-packed weekend.
Uruguay have produced one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history by beating Fiji, while New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and England have all underlined their statuses as contenders, with South Africa and Australia suffering stuttering starts.
Among all that, there have been some outstanding individual performances as the world’s best players have collided with awesome ferocity in Japan.
World class players have enhanced their reputations, while several new faces have burst on to the scene with the world watching.
There’s a blend of both in Sportsmail‘s team of the week…
England rounded off week one with a 45-7 win over the United States in Kobe
15 Cheslin Kolbe (South Africa)
Showcased his dazzling footwork on the wing with three clean breaks in the Springboks’ defeat by New Zealand – but is equally adept at full-back. Rested from the starting XV for Namibia, expect plenty more from the Toulouse flyer as the tournament goes on.
Cheslin Kolbe wriggles free of the despairing dive of New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett
14 Kotaro Matsushima (Japan)
A hat-trick on opening night against Russia makes him the leading try-scorer after week one. Half Zimbabwean and half Japanese, Matsushima has plenty of Super Rugby experience from time spent in South Africa and Australia – and it shows in his lethal finishing.
Kotaro Matsushima goes over to score the second of his three tries against Russia
13 Manu Tuilagi (England)
England were below-par in the opener against Tonga but not Tuilagi, whose power and support lines brought him two first-half tries. Rested for the United States win, he’ll be raring to go for Argentina and France having quickly become the England player opposition sides fear most again.
Manu Tuilagi goes over for his second try in England’s opening win over Tonga
12 Gael Fickou (France)
It was a tale of two halves for France as they nearly threw away a well-earned lead against Argentina in the World Cup opener, but Fickou was at the centre of most things good they did, gliding across the turf and helping himself to a try.
Gael Fickou scores against Argentina in France’s narrow Pool C win last Saturday
11 Josh Adams (Wales)
Carried his brilliant Six Nations form into the World Cup with a try and five clean breaks in the emphatic win over Georgia. Impressive under the high ball and is becoming one of the world’s best wingers.
Josh Adams continued his brilliant form with a try against Georgia in Toyota
10 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
Somehow enhanced his standing as the world’s best fly-half without actually playing there. Stepping in as first receiver from full-back – where Barrett is operating to allow Richie Mo’unga to wear No 10 and place-kick – he coaxed the All Blacks back into the game after a slow start against South Africa and created George Bridge’s try.
Barrett dictated the game for New Zealand despite being played out of position at full-back
9 Santiago Arata (Uruguay)
Uruguay’s semi-professionals caused the biggest – and only – upset at the World Cup so far as they edged out Fiji, and 23-year-old Arata typified their vibrant display while scoring a slaloming solo try.
Scrum-half Santiago Arata scores Uruguay’s first try in their shock win over Fiji
1 Joe Moody (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s pack more than stood up to the fearsome Springboks and their 2015 World Cup-winning loosehead was at the heart of that, helping to win all nine scrums on their own feed.
Joe Moody (right) packs down for the All Blacks as their scrum held strong against South Africa
2 Tolu Latu (Australia)
Australia took a while to get going against Fiji but a rampaging performance from Latu helped them stretch clear in the end. With two tries, 10 carries and zero missed tackles the 26-year-old Waratahs hooker rightly took home the man of the match award.
Australia hooker Tolu Latu scored two tries to claim the man of the match award against Fiji
3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
Ireland’s pack was back to its dominant best in their impressive opening win against Scotland and no-one epitomised that more than loosehead Furlong. Solid at the scrum, powerful at the breakdown and a threat with ball in hand, as his try showed.
Tadhg Furlong powers over to score as Ireland make light work of Scotland in Yokohama
4 Scott Barrett (New Zealand)
It says a lot about Barrett’s performance that the injured Brodie Retallick was not missed. Part of the heroic forward effort that repelled the Springboks and laid the platform for his brother Beauden’s brilliance, Barrett also helped himself to a try after a lung-busting support run that belied the number on his back.
Scott Barrett gallops clear to score New Zealand’s first try against South Africa
5 James Ryan (Ireland)
What a player. Ryan’s performance level rarely drops, even throughout Ireland’s sticky 2019, and he was once again outstanding against Scotland. Seems to always be involved yet rarely makes a mistake.
James Ryan (centre) helps drive on a rolling maul in Ireland’s win over Scotland
6 Maro Itoje (England)
For Itoje: read Ryan above. Squeezed in here as a blindside to accomodate three outstanding lock performances in the opening week, Itoje is England’s engine room and never seems to have a bad game.
Maro Itoje was a standout performer in England’s hard-fought win over Tonga
8 Josh Navidi (Wales)
Played out of position at No 8 but you wouldn’t have thought it. A late bloomer in international rugby, Wales’ rise to the top of the world rankings has coincided with Navidi establishing himself in the XV and that is no coincidence. Highest tackle count on the pitch against Georgia and a nuisance at the breakdown.
Josh Navidi topped the tackle count for Wales against Georgia on Monday
7 Zane Kapeli (Tonga)
Selected almost solely for THAT hit Billy Vunipola. The openside flanker also helped to disrupt and frustrate England as Tonga put up an admirable fight.
Tonga flanker Zane Kapeli makes a thunderous hit on England No 8 Billy Vunipola
Coach: Esteban Meneses (Uruguay)
The Argentine was the orchestrator of the result of the tournament so far.
Uruguay coach Esteban Meneses masterminded their unlikely win over Fiji