Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Wallabies and Pumas improve, which wasn't that difficult really

 Bjorn Basson (picture

The Rugby Championship threw up another two exciting matches. The Wallabies didn’t stink this weekend – they didn’t get a win, but they restored a bit of dignity with a close loss to the All Blacks. New Zealand are an amazingly efficient team, taking all points on offer, and manufacturing tries at ease. Ben Smith won’t get 5 easier tries against the Aussies, ever, he’ll probably be lucky to get 5 more tries, altogether against anyone. Australia got stuck in at the breakdown, where Hooper really showed his mettle, and he can carry well too. Toomua was far more confident, making some good breaks and dictating play a bit. Genia looks out of sorts, they should rest him and look at their back up options. They won’t be far away from a win if they carry on playing like that. The All Blacks, meanwhile, don’t really look like they’ve been tested yet, and will probably only get that when they play in South Africa.

In Mendoza, the Springboks didn’t completely disgrace themselves as they scraped past the Pumas. When things are going well, they have their sacred Game Plan to stick to – when they aren’t they just defend and kick the ball away. I know there was a bit of luck at the start of Basson’s try, but when they can do that – why do they normally play such stodgy stuff. The Argentineans certainly turned themselves around in a week, but as ever, they need to watch discipline. I know it’s the Springboks, but even THEY object to being eye gouged and bitten. Argentina need to start developing their own style if they want to compete at this level, because they are still lagging behind the other three without that.

Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 24
New Zealand 27 - 16 Australia 
Argentina 17 - 22 South Africa 

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