Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ireland dominate, while New Zealand and the Springboks fail to fire!

 Richardt Strauss on Off The Ball- “I’ve cut all my bonds with South Africa”
 Richardt Strauss ( picture

Well shocking predictions from me, 0 from 3, but three great games all the same.

Don’t know why I doubted Joe Schmidt, Ireland looked as well prepared as ever, in a game where the score really flatters Wales. Reddan was the MOTM for me, controlling the game superbly, but Jackson is no slouch either. The whole pack was mighty, Strauss was a revelation, and the centres Earls and Cave were awesome. Again, Schmidt is the man, Earls has always  been good, but it looks like he just need a bit of direction. Jones was excellent at the back too. Let’s hope that neither Trimble nor the workaholic Tommy O’Donnell are seriously injured.

There was an upset in Sydney, where the Wallabies claimed the Rugby Championship with a good win over the All Blacks. The key area for me was the breakdown, where Pocock, Hopper and Fardy ruled. McCaw did a bit, but were Reid and Kaino even playing? Very average day for Dan Carter too, he’s under serious pressure now. What a turnaround for Australia, hats off to Cheika for what he’s done.

Finally, Argentina were as excellent as South Africa were woeful. Again, they ruled the breakdown, probably not always legally, but play to the ref. They also ruled the scrums, and disrupted the lineouts. Fair play to them, great win, they seemed to score tries with ease. No need to panic for the Boks, but it just shows how you have to be mentally prepared for each game.

Ireland 35-21 Wales
Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 08
Australia 27 - 19 New Zealand   
South Africa 25 - 37 Argentina

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