Conditions improved The Rugby Championship and the Round 2 returned to normality with wins for the best two teams in the world, the All Blacks and Springboks over the Wallabies and Pumas respectively.
The All Blacks thrashed the Wallabies 51-20 after coming under criticism following their previous performance. The Springboks much like Round 1 secured a scratchy win against the Springboks by 33-31. Most tipsters picked a smaller winning margin for the All Blacks and a bigger margin for the Springboks who were expected to improve this week.
The All Blacks blew away even the predictions of the most optimistic All Blacks fan as their tight five paved the way for them to make amends following their draw in the opening match. The All Blacks backline and loose forwards took advantage of the go forward ball the tight five provided to score a six tries to two victory despite having captain courageous, Ritchie McCaw yellow carded. He subsequently returned from the sinbin to score two tries. Aaron Cruden played well as you can expect from a dominant team, while it was great to see some young players blooded once the result was no longer in question. Continue reading
The All Blacks hell-bent on revenge following their sub-par draw in Sydney last week have put the Wallabies to the sword with an emphatic 51-20 win at the fortress of Eden Park in The Rugby Championship Round 2.
Maybe the draw last week against the Wallabies in Sydney was just the tonic for the All Blacks who thrived under improved conditions to steamroll the Wallabies. Their forwards paved the way for the victory with their lineout drive and scrummaging resulting in the majority of their six tries.
The All Blacks rumbled over for a penalty try, while McCaw twice and Read went over for tries from close range.
The All Blacks scored a couple of other long range efforts to Julian Savea and Steven Luatua.
It is an old adage, but the cliche that rugby is won upfront is true with the All Blacks tight five dominant allowing players like Aaron Cruden to dictate play and this nulified anything that either the referee or the Wallabies could throw at them. Continue reading
The potential candidacy of Argentina as the host nation of Rugby World Cup 2023 has been boosted following the announcement that the recent Rugby Championship warm-up fixture in Catamarca turned over a profit of over 1 million Argentine pesos. It further underlines what is on offer by ending the policy of Six Nations members hosting the Rugby World Cup every eight years. In 2015 Wales will host Rugby World Cup matches for a fourth time and England for a third. Argentina has never hosted a match but is demonstrating the ability of taking matches nationwide – an important piece of hosting a World Cup.
The president of the Unión de Rugby de Catamarca (URCA), Luis Salado has come out in great voice following his union hosting Argentina v Grenoble. In his own words the match ”changed the history of the sport in this province”. He described it as being ”absolutely positive, the visit, of Los Pumas to Catamarca, our rugby capitalized on the event that was a true luxury which enabled us to grow in many aspects and will allow us to grow even further, attract new sponsors and new players.”
Rugby authorities in Catamarca thought it was their opportunity to showcase their city and province to the rest of the country and they were extremely grateful to not only the union but also the coaches and players. ”of note was the solidarity of the players and staff who were always gracious to take photos and sign autographs at hotels, on the street and in schools that the team visited. The kids were really taken by this”. Continue reading