Sunday 3 June 2007

Southern Hemisphere 7-0 Northern Hemisphere

At about ten o'clock on Saturday evening the final whistle echoed ominously around the stadium in Buenos Aires and and brought to a close the last game of the day. The outcome was quite a familiar one in relation to the earlier games. The Argentines handed yet another defeat to their northern hemisphere visitors bringing the countries south of the equators tally over the past two weeks to a total of seven wins, no losses over their northern compatriots.

New Zealand 42-11 France

A couple of things about this match. The French team on display was woefully weak. In fact in the grand scheme of under strength teams that headed south this summer this French outfit was arguably the weakest. Completely devoid of any real young talent and propped up by some of the old guard veterans of French rugby like Olivier Magne this team never really stood any kind of chance in Auckland.

The Kiwis were efficient in their dismantling of this shambolic group of Frenchies but didn't look anywhere near as powerful or commanding as they have done in recent years. They'll be looking for a much-improved performance next week and a bigger scoreline too I reckon

Does give me an excuse to put this little beauty up again though

Australia 31-0 Wales

Australia didn't seem to turn up for the first game of this series or the first half of this match either. But when George Gregan came on at half-time and Matt Giteau moved out to first centre suddenly the Wallabies looked very very good. The veteran Gregan lends more control and composure to the scrum-half position whilst Giteau brings a refreshing injection of pace, creativity and urgency to the Australian backline. Played at centre he has a lot more space to work in as well and compliments the battering ram style of play that Stirling Mortlock employs at 13. An unfortunate result for Wales given their heroics in the first test. For the Criminal Element, well their world cup campaign starts now, they're back on track

South Africa 55-22 England

Of all the games involving the tri-nations teams yesterday, if you had told me England would be leading the Springboks 19-17 at the break my head probably
would have exploded in disbelief. The Boks rallied after the break however and eventually put England to the sword, overpowering the English team and eventually running out 55-22 winners, surpassing last weeks tally of 7 tries with 8, including spectacular solo efforts from winger Bryan Habana and young number 8 Pierre Spies (I enjoyed that one: one, two, three, four English tacklers... they never had a chance)

Argentina 16-0 Ireland

Less said about this the better. I think the St.Andrews under 12s would probably have made less handling errors in this match than the Irish managed. To see so much ball spilt in the contact area was just sickening in the professional game. There was no excuse for it really, perfect conditions, and the boys played like shit. The Argentines didn't really have to do much other than sit back and wait for the Irish to make mistakes, which they did, and they kicked their points and then waited for another mistake. It was the most frustrating game of rugby ever. Argey Bargy never looked like creating anything and then whenever the Irish seemed to be on the verge of actually doing something they'd mess it up in spectacular fashion (special mention must be made of Jeremy Staunton in this case.. so many missed penalties)

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