Tri Nations Rugby – All Blacks beat ‘Boks…

15 07 2007

Richie McCaw avoids a tackle…So the scoreline ended up at 33-6 with New Zealand winning, but the win was anything but convincing. In a game wrought with handling errors, no other nation watching this game saw anything to fear. Verily, I don’t think South Africa are too worried – having left a massive 20 players back home on their Antipodean sojourn. They’ll be thinking that with a full-strength team at the World Cup in France, NZ are beatable.

To be fair, there were times when the All Blacks team looked fantastic, but oh-so-often the passage of play would be marred by an errant pass. All 3 tries were scored late in the game, when the NZ bench came on strong.

Still, not a particularly pretty match to watch, as it was a game beset by mistakes – in attack & defense – by both teams.

Scorers…

  • NZ – Tries: Leonard, Evans, Carter (Carter – 3 conversions); 3 penalties converted by Carter
  • SA – 2 penalties converted by Hougaard

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‘Boks give Wallabies a scare…

8 07 2007

‘Boks vs WallabiesDespite all the talk of the South African’s only sending a ‘B team’ to Australia/New Zealand, it didn’t stop them from storming out to an early 17-0 lead against Australia in Sydney last night. Two tries within the first 8 minutes, and it looked like it was going to be a torrid affair for the Australian unit. However, after scoring off a penalty, the ‘Boks wouldn’t score for another 65 minutes.

Gradually the more experienced Wallaby side worked their way back into the game, and asserted their will on the game, and ran out eventual winners 25-17.

Still, the local Australian crowd in Sydney gave the visitors a warm welcome, and the respect shown was well-deserved too. The supposed B team gave as good as they got – and despite fears of the game getting dirty, the Springboks played good, hard, clean rugby. George Gregan & Stephen Larkham – two Australian stalwarts for many, many years – played their last game on Australian soil last night, and this result was a fitting end to two great careers (they will still be playing in both New Zealand & in the World Cup in France later this year).

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Wallabies win over All Blacks!!!

1 07 2007

wallabie.jpg

Rugby…

First game on home-soil, and Australia beats the team that everyone thought could not be beaten: New Zealand.

The Tri-Nations (and the Bledisloe Cup!) is officially ‘game on’.

The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) rocked last night, as led by a super-human effort by skipper Stirling Mortlock, the Wallabies played hard to a man. From down 6-15 down at the half, Australia fought back and kept the All Blacks scoreless in the second half – eventually running out winners 20-15.

So, apparently there ARE chinks in the previously impervious All-Black armor! Only the 4th loss in as many years, the other losses (all to South Africa) ultimately counted for little. But with the World Cup just around the corner, this was a telling defeat. Yes, the vaunted Kiwi team is beatable, and Australia just schooled the world in ‘how’.

Perhaps in a telling lack of disrespect, the All Blacks performed the vicious-looking ‘Kapa o Panga’ Haka rather than the more traditional ‘Ka Mate’. Probably in a response to the add campaign waged in Australia.

The ABs then took the game right to the Australians, the first few minutes displaying the rugby they are both famous & feared for. The first half was all New Zealand, but there were signs that Australia had the ability to trouble them, with the mercurial Stephen Larkham showing speed off the defensive line.

Staniforth scores the winning try…The second half could not have been more diametrically opposed, and it was Australia who came out after the break looking to run. Adam Ashley-Cooper was fantastic – in one passage of play both out-gunning the lightening-quick Rico Gear, and fooling the NZ captain, Richie McCaw with a beautiful side-step, then beating gargantuan Chris Jack for the try. Both Lote Tuqiri & Matt Dunning also shone.

But the true hero of the hour was the Aussie captain, Stirling Mortlock. Mortlock was fantastic in both defense & attack, and was paramount to the Australian win.

A win that sent reverberations around the world – the World Cup is not a foregone conclusion.

Highlights from YouTube…


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