The Rugby Championship got off to a thrilling start at the weekend with over 100 points being scored in the two games. Here's the best of the action...
The Rugby Championship got off to a thrilling start. Just hours after a bugging device was said to have been found at the InterContinental hotel on Sydney’s picturesque waterfront, the All Blacks wasted no time dousing any thoughts that the Wallabies had worked out their gameplan.
In a first half they dominated a low-on-confidence Wallaby side by plundering four tries through Ryan Crotty, the outstanding Beauden Barrett, Waisake Naholo and Jerome Kaino. Michael Cheika was seen berating his team at half-time but it seem to make little difference as the All Blacks continued to dominate after the break, with Dane Coles, who’d had several painkilling injections on a rib injury just to make the squad, crashed over.
The sixth and final All Blacks score came through replacement Julian Savea, who crossed in the corner, only the fifth All Black to reach the 40 try landmark and in just 44 appearances. A late consolation score from Nick Phipps did little to console a shellshocked crowd at the ANZ Stadium.
Later in the day in Nelspruit, the South Africa faced Argentina. It was an altogether tighter affair, as the Springboks came from behind to nick the match in the 78th minute through a try from No 8 Warren Whitely who crashed over for a barely merited win, this after Johan Goosen has finished off a neat switch-move with Faf de Klerk to give the Boks hope after trailing 23-13 with less than ten minutes on the clock.
Early in the game Ruan Combrinck had shown his power to crash over after a slick Elton Jantjes break, but it was Argentina, who scored the game’s outstanding try through Matias Orlando, when the Pumas were down to 14-men after having Manuel Montero yellow carded for a tip tackle.
When the livewire Santiago Cordero outsprinted the Bok defence to touch down on 67 minutes, an upset looked on the cards before Goosen and Whitely saved the blushes of the hosts with a late rally to win 30-23. The return in Argentina promises to be a humdinger.