Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Big weekend test wrap

November 27, 2006

The Springboks utterly dismantled England and were far better than the scoreline of their 25-14 win suggested. England coach Andy Robinson's days are numbered.

Australia ran up a 44-15 score on Scotland and salvaged some pride and progress from their otherwise disastrous tour. Coach John Connolly believes his side now has the measure of the All Blacks. Spiro's not buying it.

In Paris, Serge Betsen blocked a last-minute Manuel Contrepomi drop-goal attempt to preserve a one-point 27-26 win for France and staunch their four-test losing string to Argentina. There were periods when France held onto the ball and recycled for long stretches, but Argentina defended fairly well; whereas France's defence was porous and the Argies opened up big holes through weak tackle attempts. Not a great campaigbn for France a year in advance of their hosting the World Cup.

New Zealand overcame another haka controversy, a delusional referee, and playing a man short for 20 minutes in the 2nd-half (McCaw's card was a farce; Hore's was warranted) and overwhelmed Wales winning handily 45-10. Three points-scoring records against three teams (England, France, Wales) in the space of a month... the All Blacks preparation looks pretty good right now. Expect a million more "peak between World Cup" choke & jinx stories between now and next October. The WRU can take a bow too, doing their team no favours motivating an energized All Black team with the best bulletin board material imaginable. See more reaction soon...

And yesterday Ireland brought down the curtain on Lansdowne Road and the annual Autumn EOYT international season by running the Pacific Islanders ragged 61-17.

Phew! Lots to discuss in the next couple days...


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