Sunday, August 26, 2012

All Blacks purr, while the Sprinboks try to bore the Pumas into submission.

Get on the wing! (

There was a bit more urgency from Australia as they took on the All Blacks in Auckland. Not that it did them any good I’m afraid, as they were comprehensively thumped 22 – 0. Australia have suffered the least in terms of players retiring out of the four, but that continuity isn’t giving them any advantage. I can’t remember an Australian side which such little bite for ages, they just never seem to look threatening any more. The All Blacks are playing fairly within themselves, I don’t think they’ve got out of third gear yet, but they are a class apart in this year’s Rugby Championship.

The first Rugby Championship match in Argentina delivered a draw for the hosts against a flat Springbok team. The Pumas did a bit of homework, had a game plan, and played to it. The Springbok plan of boring the opposition into submission paid no dividends, and they may consider a rethink. I think Ruan Pienaar should start, and if Hougaard gets to play at all, it should be on the wing. His kicking is terrible, his passing is shocking, and his reading of the game takes half of the effectiveness of the big Bok pack out of the game. So the scrum half is infective, and then Morne Steyn, apart from his obvious services to hairstyling, doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do with the ball unless it’s on a kicking tee. Argentina need to work on their bringing their backs into play, not easy with fly halfs coming and going, but they aren’t going to get much change out of New Zealand and Australia with a completely forward based game, with the odd up and under to mix the game up. They played well though, physical, and niggled the Boks off their game, fair play to them, they deserved a win.

Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 25
New Zealand 22 - 0 Australia 
Argentina 16 - 16 South Africa 

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