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Old 2004-11-24, 17:39   Link #61
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This weekend's international fixtures (including my tips):

Friday

Wales v Japan

Saturday

Scotland v South Africa
England v Australia
Italy v United States
Ireland v Argentina
France v New Zealand (Draw. Too close to call.)
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Old 2004-11-27, 20:24   Link #62
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England v Australia

Australia win Twickenham thriller

Australia retain the Cook Cup

Australia weathered an England fightback to win an epic encounter at Twickenham, retaining the Cook Cup on the strength of a 21-19 win.


The Wallabies celebrate their narrow victory /AFP

In an incredibly hard-fought encounter, Australia wrought their own revenge 12 months on from the day at the Telstra stadium when Martin Johnson and company lifted the Webb Ellis trophy - and it was abundantly obvious how much it meant to them.

In losing, England failed to avenged the humiliation of their 51-15 defeat in Brisbane during the summer, but even the most avid England would have have to concede that Australia deserved their triumph.

In many ways this match was just as intense as the 2003 RWC Final - it was easily just as thrilling. England almost snatched an unlikely victory with three tries from Lewis Moody, Josh Lewsey and Mark Cueto in 17 scintillating second-half minute - but they were ultimately undone by some early errors.

Fly-half Charlie Hodgson missed two easy penalties, scrum-half Andy Gomarsall missed a conversion from in front of the posts and England had to resort to centre Mike Tindall for kicking duties.

This was also the match which could have seen the short England career of Henry Paul come to an ignominious end after he was hauled off after just 24 minutes, unable to cope with the sharp Wallaby defence.

Will Greenwood came on to take his place in an England side with just four starters from the team which lifted the World Cup.

But for England there were too many missed tackles, too much spilled ball, too much indecision, too much indiscipline, too little organisation.

The demolition of Canada and the panache with which South Africa were dispatched last week had given Robinson's reign the perfect start.

But this was the big one, the match which told Robinson exactly where his revamped side reside in world rugby.

As it was Australia took the lead after 15 minutes and the video will make painful watching for England centre Paul.

There were those who said the former Rugby League man might struggle in the tightness of the most intense internationals and his early work was littered with handling errors.

It was his knock-on which led directly to the break which saw Aussie centre Matt Giteau galloping through the England defence before timing his pass perfectly to send hooker Jeremy Paul stepping inside Josh Lewsey for the first touchdown.

Elton Flatley added the conversion and there was a noticeably jauntier spring in the step of the men in gold shirts.

Paul's demise was symptomatic of an England side which was surrendering far too much possession. They needed the solidity of the more reliable Greenwood but it was not immediately forthcoming.

Indeed, the brilliant Giteau was beginning to demonstrate his full range of skills and it was his break again which allowed fullback Chris Latham to power his way to the line, smashing through the tackles of Lewsey and Tindall along the way.

Half an hour gone and Australia led 12-0 and England were being made to look distinctly average.

It got even worse when Hodgson, the 27-points hero the week before against the Springboks, had another of those kicking days he will want to forget.

Two penalties in quick succession would have put England back in contention, but Hodgson made a hash of both kicks from slap-bang in the middle of the "red zone" which kicking coach Dave Alred is so fond of telling us his benchmark for unmissable penalties.

England, in fact, will want to forget that entire first half and the second did not start much better, bad decisions and ill-discipline allowing Giteau to slot over a penalty after 43 minutes to extend the lead.

Never mind the new vision of creativity, this was a match which demanded a rock-solid forward foundation and to that end England finally went back to basics to score their first try.

They spurned a couple of penalties, opting to go for the line-outs to pile pressure on the Aussie pack. It is what England under Sir Clive Woodward always did when in trouble - and it worked, a heaving, squirming maul on the Australian line finally seeing flanker Lewis Moody burrow over for the try.

With Hodgson's confidence shot to bits, the conversion was handed to scrum-half Andy Gomarsall, who promptly missed the easiest of kicks from almost directly in front of the posts.

And the mutter which drifted around Twickenham inevitably appeared to contain the name Wilkinson.

If England were to win they would have to do so with the ball in hand and on the hour they spurned another penalty opportunity to send their forwards foraging.

It worked again, this time Lewsey breaking from the pirouetting maul to charge over. Cue Tindall, England's third goal-kicker, to add the conversion.

England were on a roll and when Cueto finished off a flowing move to add England's third to give England the lead it seemed an unlikely victory was on the cards.

It would have been but for two acts of indiscipline, the second one a needless shoulder barge by Gomarsall, which allowed Giteau to notch two penalties to ease Australia back in front.

A stirring finale ensued and England might have nicked it right at the end. It would not have been deserved.

Man of the match: Jason Robinson and Joe Worsley lead the charge for England, with the skipper making some serious yardage for the hosts. For the winners, George Smith had a stormer (as always), Daniel Vickerman had an imperious day in the line-out, and Chris Latham had a brilliant match in both defence and attack. But our award goes to Matt Giteau whose vision, dexterity and all-round genius was central to his side's victory.

Moment of the match: Plenty of wonderful moments in 80 minutes of awesome rugby, but Matt Giteau's break that lead to Paul's try was out of this world, and made a big dent in England's confidence.

Villain of the match: Plenty of moments of niggle, but nothing to write home about. We could point at George Gregan for ratting on Graham Rowntree, signaling to the touch-judge that the England prop was pulling down Bill Young at the scrum. But we'll let the Wallaby skipper off this time, he may have had a point...

The scorers:

For England:

Tries: Moody, Lewsey, Cueto
Conversions: Gomarsall 0/1, Tindall 2/2
Penalty Goals:
Drop Goals:

For Australia:
Tries: Paul, Latham
Conversions: Flatley 1/2
Penalty Goals: Giteau 3
Drop Goals:

The teams:

England:
15 Jason Robinson (captain), 14 Mark Cueto, 13 Henry Paul, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Josh Lewsey, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Martin Corry, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Steve Borthwick, 4 Danny Grewcock, 3 Julian White, 2 Steve Thompson, 1 Graham Rowntree.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Ben Kay, 19 Andy Hazell, 20 Harry Ellis, 21 Will Greenwood, Ben Cohen.

Australian Wallabies: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Wendell Sailor, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Elton Flatley, 9 George Gregan (captain), 8 David Lyons, 7 Phil Waugh, 6 George Smith, 5 Daniel Vickerman, 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Bill Young.
Replacements: 16 Brendan Cannon, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Radike Samo, 19 Stephen Hoiles, 20 Matt Henjak, 21 Drew Mitchell, 22 Mat Rogers.
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Old 2004-11-27, 20:31   Link #63
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France v New Zealand

All Blacks roll over France in Paris

Carter the man to take ABs forward

The All Blacks produced the performance of the November Tests on Saturday as they demolished France 45-6 at the Stade de France in Paris. ABs fly-half Daniel Carter, playing only his third Test in the No.10 jersey, weighed in with a personal tally of 25 points to stamp his mark on the international stage.


While the All Blacks were superb, France were abysmal as they failed to ever truly threaten the visiting team's hold on the game. Les Bleus went into November looking the team to beat, but coach Bernard Laporte will now need to venture back to the drawing board once more.

If the fans came looking for champagne rugby the first half would have left them feeling parched. There were moments of brilliance - from both teams - but the attacking play on a whole could be described, at best, as sparkling wine.

But what it was full-blooded. With both the French and the All Blacks competing for all they were worth, the breakdown in particular resembling a dog-fight that left broken bodies in its wake.

The passion was evident from the anthems - Tony Marsh's tears as 'La Marseillaise' betrayed exactly where the New Zealand-born centre allegiance now lies, while Tana Umaga embodied all that the Haka holds true.

The All Blacks looked the more dangerous of the two teams early on, but it was the French who were first on the scoreboard with a Frédéric Michalak penalty in the second minute of play.

But the scores were level two minutes later as Carter found the middle of the uprights with his first attempt at goal.

The two kickers exchanged another penalty apiece, before Carter surged put over two more to put the ABs 12-6 ahead. But neither side was taking charge, although the visitors came close when winger Doug Howlett overcooked a chip into the dead-ball area.

But despite the score, it was the ABs who looked more likely to make the breakthrough and it was finally realised one-minute before the break when scrum-half Byron Kelleher, who had threatened all evening, broke round the fringes to put flanker Rodney So'oialo away for the opening try.

It was exactly what the hosts did not need. Before So'oialo brushed off winger Aurelien Rougerie to cross over, Les Bleus were holding their own against the ABs, but it was a sign of things to come.

The second half began much the same as the first had left off. The ABs came surging up in attack and the French were immediately put under pressure. The visitors drove it up and bashed the French pack back for flanker Jerry Collins to drive over for the second try.

Carter, meanwhile, continued to add the extras.

For the All Blacks, the cork had been popped and the champagne soon began to flow, but for Les Bleus it all fell apart.

Clement Poitrenaud embodied the mood of his team when he bobbled a ball into touch - drawing on images of the Heineken Cup Final - although thankfully it did not cost him so dearly this time.

The ABs were relentless and continued to stretch the defence to breaking point as the dangerous backline was put to full use. Carter was next to cross for the visitors, trotting over in the corner with no French in sight.

Kelleher followed soon after, breaking through the biggest of gaps as the French lost the plot. The try-line beckoned and the nuggety scrum-half went to meet it.

Carter did away with his 100 percent record with the boot, but for France it was long over. They continued to look for a way through the visitors' defence, but despite the odd break, they seldom came close.

When they did, the bounce of the ball did them no favours, and the All Blacks' defence smashed them backwards with an almighty thud.

The game began to lose its shape when both coaches sent on their replacements. But ABs utility back Ma'a Nonu had the final say when he charged over for his side's fifth try in the final minute of play. And Carter hammered home the final nail of France's coffin with yet another successful kick.

Man of the match: Daniel Carter was superb once again, while Tony Marsh never stopped trying for France. But Byron Kelleher was a constant threat with his play around the fringes. His defence was also unforgiving and his combination with Carter could prove a useful one in the future.

Moment of the match: There were many for the All Blacks, not so many for the French, but it was Jerry Collins' try that change the course of the game in the end. The ABs never looked back as they went into overdrive.

Villain of the match: It was relatively clean other than the odd flashpoint. But then Clement Poitrenaud's petulance and hanging lower lip after he fumbled the ball into touch was not pretty.

The scorers:

For France:

Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty Goals: Michalak 2
Drop Goals:

For New Zealand:
Tries: So'ialo, Collins, Nonu, Kelleher, Carter
Conversions: Carter 4/5
Penalty Goals: Carter 4
Drop Goals:

The teams:

France:
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Aurelien Rougerie, 13 Tony Marsh, 12 Brian Liebenberg, 11 Cedric Heymans, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Frédéric Michalak, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Olivier Magne, 6 Serge Betsen, 5 Fabien Pelous (captain), 4 Jerome Thion, 3 Pieter De Villiers, 2 William Servat, 1 Sylvain Marconnet.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Olivier Milloud, 18 Pascal Pape, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Mathieu Barrau, 21 Yannick Jauzion, 22 Christophe Dominici.

New Zealand All Blacks: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tana Umaga (captain), 11 Joe Rokocoko, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Byron Kelleher, 8 Rodney So'oialo, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Chris Jack, 4 Norm Maxwell, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Anton Oliver, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Mealamu, 17 Greg Somerville, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Mose Tuiali'i, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Mauger, 22 Ma'a Nonu.
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Old 2004-11-27, 20:35   Link #64
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Ireland v Argentina

O'Gara boots Irish to victory over Pumas

Last-minute drop-goal seals win

Fly-half Ronan O'Gara slotted a late 40-metre drop-goal to give Ireland a fortuitous 21-19 win over Argentina at Lansdowne Road in Dublin on Saturday. The Pumas scored the only try of a match dominated by O'Gara's boot.


Gagged: Horgan is caught by the Pumas

After beating France last weekend, the Pumas came to town believing they could pull off another big win, and they came within 70 seconds of doing so, but O'Gara - as he did against South Africa a fortnight ago - scored all Ireland's points and was again the darling of Dublin.

It was a game of stark contrasts.

The Pumas relied on their powerful forwards to set up the scoring opportunities for some enterprising backs - with fly-half Felipe Contepomi the undoubted star.

The Irish looked out of sorts for most of the game and scrapped their way back to within striking distance when their cause looked lost.

But the Pumas forwards were simply too powerful for the Irish. Even when their scrum was reduced to seven men - through the sin-binning of No.8 Gonzalo Longo - the Pumas pushed the Irish back at will.

And with very little possession on the front foot, the Irish were always going to struggle to get some continuity.

It was a first half of much bravery and some brutally solid tackling by the Argentines - tactics which knocked the Irish completely off their stride.

To say the visitors dominated the half would be an understatement. In fact they should have been 20 points clear at half-time, not just 10.

A third minute Felipe Contepomi penalty, the result of some very heavy pressure by the visitors, was followed by a brilliant try two minutes later.

It came from a brilliant break by centre Manuel Contepomi, who made Irish star centre and captain Brian O'Driscoll look rather second rate, and Contepomi off-loading to midfield partner Federico Martin Aramburu.

The latter raced away from the cover to score, with fly-half Felipe Contepomi converting for a 10-0 lead after just five minutes.

That set the tone for the rest of the half.

The Irish finally managed to get onto the scoreboard with a ninth-minute Ronan O'Gara drop-goal, but another Contepomi penalty three minutes later kept the gap at 10 points.

O'Gara and Contepomi exchanged penalties late in the half to make it 16-6 at the break and the Argentineans still 10 points clear.

The Irish had their moments, but some brilliant cover defending and great work at the breakdown by the Pumas saw that all come to nought.

O'Gara opened the scoring in the second half, with a penalty in the 46th minute.

But almost immediately the Pumas received a penalty right in front of the Irish posts, when Johnny O'Connor gave a silly penalty - under pressure at a ruck. Contepomi made it a 10-point margin again when he slotted the penalty - 19-9.

After about 10 minutes of Irish mistakes and Argentinean pressure, the Irish were rewarded with a penalty and O'Gara managed to narrow the gap to seven points again - 19-12.

O'Gara, who started taking control of proceedings and kept the Pumas pinned back through some brilliant tactical kicking, slotted another penalty in the 67th minute to narrow the gap to just four points - 19-15.

In the 72nd minute the game suddenly turned Ireland's way when referee Tony Spreadbury flashed a yellow card at Longo and O'Gara slotted the resultant penalty to make it 19-18.

But with a man down, the Pumas were going to be stretched to hold out the last eight or so minutes.

With barely a minute remaining on the clock O'Gara found himself in some space and slotted his mammoth drop-goal - a kick that turned out to be the winning score.

Man of the match: The Irish would claim Ronan O'Gara's boot deserves the award, but they would not recognise the brilliance of one Felipe Contepomi. The Pumas fly-half shredded the Irish defence to bits in the first half and his defence never wavered. His tactical game was also out of the top drawer and Felipe Contepomi gets our vote. Maybe he'll get a few more starts with Leinster now...

Moment of the match: For importance it has to be the yellow card, since that is when Ireland got the advantage they needed. But in terms of rugby it goes to Federico Martín Aramburu's try - a moment that made even the highly rated Irish backs look ordinary.

Villain of the match: Normally a yellow card, such as Gonzalo Longo's sin-binning, would win it. But we hand this dubious honour to English referee Tony Spreadbury. His incessant ear-piercing blabbering is what made the players so excitable and then there was that free-kick he gave to the Pumas when the Puma player never had the ball under control. But what made us go for him was the fact that five minutes after the final whistle he could still be heard blabbering away in that irritating girlish voice.

The scorers:

For Ireland:

Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty Goals: O'Gara 5
Drop Goals: O'Gara 2

For Argentina:
Tries: Aramburu
Conversions: F Contepomi 1/1
Penalty Goals: F Contepomi 2
Drop Goals:

Yellow card: Gonzalo Longo (Argentina, 72)

The teams:

Ireland:
15 Girvan Dempsey, 14 Geordan Murphy, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Shane Horgan, 11 Denis Hickie, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Peter Stringer, Anthony Foley, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Simon Easterby, 5 Paul O'Connell, 4 Malcolm O'Kelly, 3 John Hayes, 2 Shane Byrne, 1 Reggie Corrigan.
Replacements: 16 Frankie Sheahan, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Donnacha O'Callaghan, 19 Eric Miller, 20 Guy Easterby, 21 David Humphreys, 22 Kevin Maggs.

Argentine Los Pumas: 15 Juan Martín Hernández, 14 Lucas Borges, 13 Federico Martín Aramburu, 12 Manuel Contepomi, 11 Hernán Senillosa, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Agustín Pichot (captain), 8 Gonzalo Longo, 7 Lucas Ostiglia, 6 Martín Durand, 5 Rimas Álvarez, 4 Patricio Albacete, 3 Omar Hasan, 2 Mario Ledesma, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Federico Méndez, 17 Eusebio Guiñazu, 18 Pablo Bouza, 19 Augusto Petrilli, 20 Nicolás Fernández Miranda, 21 Juan de la Cruz Fernández Miranda, 22 Gonzalo Tiesi.
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Old 2004-11-27, 20:41   Link #65
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Italy v United States

Azzurri too strong for Americans

Still no US win on Italian soil

Italy beat the US Eagles 43-25 in an entertaining match at Stadio Lamarmora in Italy on Saturday.

The inexperienced Italian side were well on top in the first half but allowed the Americans to rally in the second. However, all three of the visitors tries came when Italy had virtually won the game with the hosts touching down five times in all.

It only took Italy seven minutes to get in front with Luciano Orquera and Andrea Lo Cicero creating the opening for Kaine Robertson who touched down.

Ten minutes later fly-half Orquera added a penalty and shortly afterwards Robertson touched down again with a breakaway try.

The Americans lost possession on the Italian 22 metre line and Azzurri scrum-half Paul Griffen launched a counter-attack with Walter Pozzebon.

Pozzebon fed Cristian Stoica who sprinted clear and offloaded to the supporting Robertson to take the score to 13-0.

Another Orquera penalty increased the margin to 16-0 and two minutes later Pozzebon scored Italy's third try, a fine solo effort. Orquera added the extra points to give the Azzurri a 23-0 lead.

Italy were rampant and then Griffen and Orquera created a try for Stoica to cap a memorable week for the Romania-born centre who became the father of a son, Matteo, a week ago.

Orquera slotted the conversion to take the score to 30-0.

Just before the interval, the Eagles got on the board with a penalty from Mike Hercus and at the interval the hosts still had a healthy 30-3 lead.

Italy appeared to be in slumber after the re-start and five minutes into the second period and Paul Emerick broke through a Fabio Ongaro tackle to score the visitors' first try.

It was a sweet moment for Italy-based Emerick who plays his club rugby for Sicilian club Catania.

Orquera landed another penalty as Italy increased their lead to 33-8.

Then the enterprising fly-half scored a brilliant solo interception try to touch down under the posts and the resulting conversion took the score to 40-8.

But Italy relaxed and then the Americans began to create more and replacement Albert Tuipulotu scored after a half-hearted tackle from Stoica with Hercus adding the extra points.

Next to score for the USA was hooker Matt Wyatt who exploited a weak Italian defence and Hercus again converted to bring the score back to 40-22.

An off-side play by the Americans allowed replacement Andrea Scanavacca to increase Italy's lead to 43-22 but there was still time for Hercus to add another penalty.

Given the absentees and the fact that most American points came when the game was already won it was the second convincing win for Italy over North American opposition after they thrashed Canada 51-6 at L'Aquila in their first November Test.

It also helped somewhat to atone for their 59-10 mauling by the All Blacks in Rome.

The scorers:

For Italy:
Tries: Robertson 2, Pozzebon, Stoica, Orquera
Conversions: Orquera 3/5
Penalty Goals: Orquera 3, Scanavacca
Drop Goals:

For the United States:
Tries: Emerick, Tuipulotu, Fee
Conversions: Hercus 2/3
Penalty Goals: Hercus 2
Drop Goals:

The teams:

Italy:
15 Roland De Marigny, 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Walter Pozzebon, 12 Cristian Stoica, 11 Ludovico Nitoglia, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Paul Griffen, 8 David Dal Maso, 7 Silvio Orlando, 6 Enrico Pavanello, 5 Valerio Bernabo’, 4 Cristian Bezzi, 3 Salvatore Perugini, 2 Fabio Ongaro (c), 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Giorgio Intoppa, 17 Salvatore Costanzo, 18 Roberto Mandelli, 19 Antonio Mannato, 20 Pietro Travagli, 21 Andrea Scanavacca, 22 Matteo Barbini

United States Eagles: 15 Francois Viljoen, 14 Al Lakomskis, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Salesi Sika, 11 David Fee, 10 Mike Hercus, 9 Mose Timoteo, 8 Kort Schubert (captain), 7 Jurie Gouws 6 Brian Surgener, 5 Gerhard Klerck, 4 Alec Parker, 3 Jacob Waasdorp, 2 Matt Wyatt, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Mike Hobson, 17 Chris Osentowski, 18 Matt Kane 19 Fifita Mo'unga, 20 David Williams, 21 Matt Sherman, 22 Albert Tuipulotu.
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Old 2004-11-27, 20:45   Link #66
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Scotland v South Africa

Springboks smash Scotland at Murrayfield

Five tries to one for the visitors

South Africa beat Scotland 45-10 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on Saturday. The first half was dramatic, the second half progressively tatty.


Intercept specialist: Bryan Habana

South Africa looked to be cruising to victory as they made all the clever, incisive, effective play in the first half and then things fell apart in the last ten minutes - or so it seemed.

First Victor Matfield and then Bakkies Botha received yellow cards. Then Scotland received a penalty try. Then Scotland won a South African shortened line-out and Alistair Hogg was bursting away with head-up confidence. And then along came Bryan Habana and the Springboks kept a comfortable lead at 35-10

It was cold and dark and wet at Murrayfield, but the Springboks ran.

They had a simply chance to score, but Percy Montgomery hooked a kick from in front.

But attacking continued. Jaco van der Westhuyzen burst. Then Jaque Fourie burst off a bit of Joe van Niekerk crabbing, handed off Hugo Southwell and with sheer strength got the ball down just inside the corner post as two Scots did their best to stop him.

The television match official took his time and confirmed the try. Montgomery, so inaccurate with an easy kick, goaled this hard one. 7-0 after eight minutes.

A long penalty kick produced a five-metre line-out. The Springboks mauled and new cap Solly Tyibilika went over as low as a mongoose. 12-0 after 13 minutes.

There could have been another try as the Springboks attacked left and then right and Tyibilika fed inside to Fourie who lost the ball four metres from an open line. But the referee played advantage and Van der Westhuyzen dropped a goal. 15-0.

Chris Paterson kicked a simple penalty for Scotland as the half enjoyed a burst of scoring.

A minute later Van der Westhuyzen kicked a 45-metre dropped goal and a minute after that Habana stood in the way of a long pass to his right by Hugo Southwell. The left-wing took off downfield in the manner of Syd Nomis of old, shoulder slightly hunched, legs far too fast for any opposition. 25-3 after 25 minutes.

Then came the yellow cards and the penalty try and it was 25-10 after 34 minutes. Back came the Scots and then Habana did his second intercept as Scotland attacked and Dan parks passed to his right and Habana caught it and set off for another long sprint.

Half-time came with the Springboks led 32-10.

The 13-man Springboks nearly scored at the start of the second half when they collected a high kick and attacked near the Scottish right corner. Big Gurthrö Steenkamp bullocked over through Paterson but the TMO decided that he had put his foot a fraction of millimeter on the touch-line and so it became a line-out to Scotland.

After 45 minutes Montgomery kicked a penalty and then, with advantage on and the play five metres from the Scottish line, Van der Westhuyzen kicked his third dropped goal.

The half petered out to full time as substitutions became the most active part of the game till replacement Michael Claassens broke off a line-out, fed replacement Gaffie du Toit who gave Van der Westhuyzen a jog to the posts.

Man of the Match: The Springbok forwards, who scrummed with increasing power, gave the halves greater comfort and Fourie du Preez and Jaco van der Westhuyzen enjoyed a fine afternoon. New cap Gurthrö Steenkamp did well while replacement Mike Blair, on after only 11 minutes, was full of life for Scotland. But our man of the match is Bryan Habana, who did more than could have been expected of him in his second Test, first start. He scored two tries when Scotland looked promising and he cut Blair in half when the Scots came off a five-metre scrum. He also did other strong things.

Moment of the Match: Take your pick of Jaque Fourie's strength in the try and any of Bryan Habana's three actions we have mentioned. We would go for Bryan Habana's second intercept which was harder, the situation was more dangerous and he shuffled off to score.

Villain of the Match: The locks - Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha who earned yellow cards for disregarding the laws of the game.

The scorers:

For Scotland:

Tries: Penalty try
Conversions: Paterson 1/1
Penalty Goals: Paterson
Drop Goals:

For South Africa:
Tries: Fourie, Tyibilika, Habana 2, Van der Westhuyzen
Conversions: Montgomery 4/5
Penalty Goals: Montgomery
Drop Goals: Van der Westhuyzen 3

Yellow cards: Victor Matfield (South Africa, 36), Bakkies Botha (South Africa, 36)

Teams:

Scotland:
15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Chris Paterson, 13 Ben Hinshelwood, 12 Andy Henderson, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Allister Hogg, 7 Donnie MacFadyen, 6 Jason White, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Stuart Grimes, 3 Gavin Kerr, 2 Gordon Bulloch, 1 Allan Jacobsen .
Replacements: 16 Robbie Russell, 17 Bruce Douglas, 18 S MacLeod, 19 Jon Petrie, 20 Mike Blair, 21 Gordon Ross, Graeme Morrison .

South African Springboks: 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 Jaque Fourie, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Joe van Niekerk, 7 Danie Rossouw, 6 Solly Tyibilika, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 G**rthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Danie Coetzee, 17 Os du Randt, 18 Gerrie Britz, 19 Jacques Cronjé, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Gcobani Bobo, 22 Gaffie du Toit.
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Old 2004-11-28, 00:18   Link #67
JERI
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Not a try for the French, boy they must be gutted.

A great game from the All Blacks, Tana Umaga's leading of the haka was great, I still prefer Carlos' though.
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Old 2004-11-28, 01:59   Link #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JERI
Not a try for the French, boy they must be gutted.

A great game from the All Blacks, Tana Umaga's leading of the haka was great, I still prefer Carlos' though.
Indeed; simply awesome play by the New Zealanders. No excuses for "Les Collaborateurs"; poor lacklustre defence & playmaking - must've been rattled after Argentina beat them last week.

England v Australia = Champagne rugby at it's finest! Fortunately the Cook Cup heads back to Australian shores as they managed to beat England at Twickenham for the first time since 1998.

Argentina = From what we've seen so far on the November test matches; the cinderella team of world rugby. Get them in the Tri-Nations now!
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Old 2004-12-02, 19:11   Link #69
Scrumhalf
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My tips for saturday's final two international tests of the year.

Barbarians v New Zealand - 15+ points.

Argentina v South Africa - 3 points.
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Old 2007-09-07, 14:21   Link #70
Rahan
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Anyone interested in the Rugby World Cup ?

Teams participating :

Pool A : England, South Africa, Samoa, USA, Tonga
Pool B : Australia, Wales, Fiji, Canada, Japan
Pool C : New Zealand, Scotland, Italy, Romania, Portugal
Pool D : France, Ireland, Argentina, Georgia, Namibia

As usual, the kiwis are the big favorites, followed by South Africa and France.
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Old 2007-09-07, 15:58   Link #71
Rahan
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I guess not since it seems the one guy who posted most of the posts here isn't active anymore.

Well, we sucked big time in the first half and lost our 4th game out of the last 5 against Argentina. It probably means to play New Zealand in the quarters in Cardiff. There goes our dreams.
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Old 2007-09-07, 17:21   Link #72
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I have a passing interest in rugby, as I am more interested in Association Football, but I do watch the occaisional game, and am watching the world cup.

I saw the France v. Argentina match, and Argentina were very good. France were supposed to be on top of their game, and perhaps one of the favorites, but Argentina demolished them in the first half, and managed to contain them well for the second. They deserved the win.

As for England? I don't think we will be challenging this year. We may be the holders but we've had awful form recently, and I don't think we'll be able to get to the final.
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Old 2007-09-08, 14:30   Link #73
Rahan
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Well, I have not seen the game, but to only beat the USA by 18 and not take the offensive bonus point, England must have been really poor today.

On the other hands, the kiwis showed their were the best team on the planet, beating convincingly a semi-decent Italian side.
Japan (who has the record of the biggest loss in the tournament with a 145-17 loss in 95) has been once again stomped.

The results of the day :
New Zealand : 76-14 Italy
Australia 91-3 Japan
England 28-10 USA

I guess that if there are no more replies after tomorrow games, I'll just give up on this thread.
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Old 2007-09-08, 14:53   Link #74
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England were awful. Just awful. Again, with our recent form we won't be going too far.
Didn't see the other games, apart from the last 5 mins of the Australia game. Neither of the other results were really suprising.
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Old 2007-09-10, 10:58   Link #75
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My national team is playing tomorrow with Italy, first game, we need to make a good game
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Old 2007-09-10, 13:06   Link #76
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Hooray! Another person! The threads not dead yet!

Anyway, good luck against Italy. Our next game isn't untill Friday, we play South Africa. We could beat them, but the Springboks are playing well. We are anything but.
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Old 2007-09-13, 05:49   Link #77
arcadeplayer987
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My team made a good game against Italy buy unfortunately we lost 24-18
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Old 2007-09-14, 15:38   Link #78
Rahan
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That's not too bad. Italy is the weakest of the 6 nations from the Northen Hemisphere, but I thought they would have a bigger margin.

England is losing 33-0 to South Africa with less than 10 minutes left. Ugh ...
So much for the "the gap between the Southern Hemisphere Tri-nations and the european 6 nations is reducing". I don't see anyone able to beat the big 3 except themselves.

edit : final score : South Africa 36-0 England...

Last edited by Rahan; 2007-09-14 at 15:55.
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Old 2007-09-14, 16:01   Link #79
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36-0. 36-0!!
This is our worst ever world cup defeat. I said we played badly against the US. This doesn't even come close. This is a poor excuse for Rugby. Anyone remember who the reinging champions are?
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Old 2010-03-09, 06:05   Link #80
NinjaYali
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National Rugby League

Any Australians here?

Let's have a thread about Rugby League season 2010.

Firstly congrats on 100000 member.
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