Saturday, July 27, 2019

THE Rugby Championship - Round Two WRap


THE Rugby Championship
An 80-minute touch down by recent Springbok appointee, Herschel Jantjies, avoided defeat to All Blacks, but only just as the additional deuce driven true the sticks by Jantjies halfback partner, Handré Pollard, drew the visitors level at 16s for the house and South Africa remain atop the Quad Nations after the sis-kiss in Wellington.
On the other side of the Tasman, each side grounded one try, but it was Wallabies 10, Chris Lealiifano, on three-threes from the penalty tee against a lone three-pointer by Pumas 10, Nico Sanchez, and 16-10 the record. A brace of penalties by Lealiifano early in the second stanza had Aussie up, 16-3, but a 74th minute grounding by Argentine and Toulon 8man, Facundo Isa, kept the crowd in its seats at Suncorp, Brisbane.
Though these matches are surely for the win, the coaching staffs of each nation are manipulating their rosters, trying out different combinations, blooding newbies and working potential 2019 RWC patterns to see what functions and how best; expect to see maybe not new things per say, but different, on occasion as plans are made and laid for the Big Dance come fall.
So it is yet a South African table after two rounds and the only ones off and out of the running are Pumas, but that is not to say they are not a critical determinant re the eventual winner as they’ll host Springboks next weekend and that outcome may well tell the tale of the final tape... as may the other result in far Western Australia!


Next up: Last Round
                Australia (4) v (6) New Zealand at Optus Stadium, Perth;
                Argentina (2) v (7) South Africa at Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta
ed note: if you’re thinking that World Rugby are not going, “Ohboy-ohboy-ohboy!” after the SA-NZ result, then you’re wrong, they’re ecstatic with the prospect of (maybe) the top two teams in the Rugby Championship firing off first in their pool in September, and having a decent chance of those fellas being the finalists as well: Be still, thy beating (if cold!) World Rugby heart.

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