Five players fans will miss watching

D.T.H. VAN DER MERWE (CANADA)
D.T.H. VAN DER MERWE (CANADA)

They may be leaving the Rugby World Cup after the pool stage but these players made quite an impact:

D.T.H. VAN DER MERWE (CANADA)

The South Africa-born wing, 29, scored one of the tries of the tournament against Italy, starting the move himself well inside his own half and then finishing it off.

In scoring a try against all four pool opponents, he also joined an elite group to have achieved this feat, among them All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu.


NEMANI NADOLO (FIJI)

The lithe powerhouse deployed his statuesque physique to good effect against England, leaping high above Anthony Watson to take a cross-field kick and cross the line for the try.

His suspension against Wales was perhaps the crucial missing factor as the Fijians rattled the Welsh but could not win. He returned to devastating effect against Uruguay, scoring 17 points including a try.


MICHAEL LEITCH (JAPAN)

New Zealand-born and of Fijian descent, the flanker and captain's performances could be said to have put the Brave into the Brave Blossoms.

He was outstanding - from his opening gambit of a thunderous tackle on South African skipper Jean de Villiers to scoring a try against them and then his courageous decision to go for the winning try, not a penalty for a draw.

The 27-year-old also showed his pragmatic side against Samoa in the second half, when he shut up shop effectively so as to secure the win.


AYUMU GOROMARU (JAPAN)

The dynamic full-back popped up regularly to test opposition defences, scoring a memorable try against South Africa in a total haul of 24 points in the game.

The 29-year-old added another 16 points in the win against Samoa.


A.J. MACGINTY (UNITED STATES)

His displays showed he has plenty of creative skills, his superb run from deep inside his own half, setting up their first try in the opening defeat by Samoa being a prime example.

At 25, his entrance onto the international scene might be relatively tardy but the Americans could build an interesting backline around MacGinty.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Five players fans will miss watching'. Print Edition | Subscribe