Amazing comebacks by New Zealand and Australia, a Twickenham tribute for Rob Horne, and epic wins for Connacht and Worcester. A lot to discuss on Twitter…

Amazing comebacks by New Zealand and Australia, a Twickenham tribute for Rob Horne, and epic wins for Connacht and Worcester. A lot to discuss on Twitter…

What a weekend in the Rugby Championship, with New Zealand and Australia both achieving astonishing away wins from seemingly hopeless situations.

The All Blacks twice trailed South Africa by 17 points at Loftus Versfeld, 23-6 and 30-13, but struck back almost instantly each time.

The gap was still 12 with five minutes to play but Scott Barrett crossed from a pick-and-go before replacement Ardie Savea, who made two crucial turnovers, got over in similar fashion in the final minute for a try that Richie Mo’unga converted.

So, from 6-6 at the break, it finished 32-30 to New Zealand, leaving the sides level on 66-66 over their two championship meetings.

“One of the great second halves of international rugby,” said Stuart Barnes, and what a delight that Sky Sports chose to fly him and co-commentator Miles Harrison out for the match in Pretoria.

“Hell, what a team they are,” said Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus. “I can talk about all the things we did wrong in the last ten minutes, but what about the things they did right.”

As well as a couple of dubious calls by TMO Graham Hughes, which allowed tries by Aaron Smith and Cheslin Kolbe to stand, the match showed that the Springboks are truly back as a major world force. And it prompted further talk of selection possibilities, with speculation that Mo’unga could see more game time at ten, as Beauden Barrett is able to switch so effortlessly to full-back when required.

The wooden spoon decider, Argentina v Australia in Salta, was never going to trump that – but it came close. From the depths of a 31-7 half-time deficit, the Wallabies hit back to win 45-34 with a five-try second-half blitz. Bernard Foley converted the lot to seal the greatest comeback in Rugby Championship history.

It was the most points Argentina have ever scored against Australia and, despite their capitulation, the Pumas have become a dangerous team once again after looking a shambles earlier in the year.

Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu escaped a red card late on after striking a prone Puma in the face – seemingly with his forearm. TMO David Grashoff told referee Jaco Peyper that it was made with “medium force” and Peyper deemed that Latu had used an “open hand” and so flourished a yellow card. Mmmm…

After losing a home series to Ireland, finishing bottom of the Rugby Championship might have led to head coach Michael Cheika being sacked. You get a feel for his anger by watching the footage from his half-time rant at the team (below).

Instead, Argentina were left to prop up the table and who knows what might spring from such a fightback by Australia? Next up for them is the All Blacks in Japan on 27 October.

Exeter had kicked the weekend off with a 39-24 win at Bath on Friday night. Bath led past the 50-minute mark but tries by Dave Ewers, Ian Whitten and Jack Nowell brought a bonus-point win for the Chiefs and they lead the Gallagher Premiership on points difference from Saracens – the two are already ten points clear of the rest after six rounds.

Gareth Steenson had a fabulous match, at one point tackling the giant Joe Cokanasiga, flinging himself on a loose ball, and setting up Don Armand for a try with a perfect grubber all within the space of about 60 seconds.

The Chiefs fly-half also passed 1,500 Premiership points, joining Charlie Hodgson, Andy Goode, Stephen Myler, Nick Evans and Olly Barkley in reaching that milestone.

There was desperate news from Bath as we learnt that Steve Ojomoh, their England flanker of the Nineties, has had a stroke and was being treated in intensive care.

Ojomoh, 48, who owns children’s nurseries in Bath and Corsham, is a fantastic guy who won a heap of domestic trophies and played in a Grand Slam-winning team in 1995. Our thoughts are with him, his wife Lisa and their children Max and Ava.

On the same night that Exeter were returning to the top of the Premiership, Connacht did something special in the Guinness Pro14 – they won in Belfast for the first time in 58 years.

Matty Rea’s red card right at the start of the second half left Ulster an uphill battle and Bundee Aki’s intercept try five minutes from time ensured the points went Connacht’s way.

“It was really gutsy, the guys should be really proud,” said Connacht coach Andy Friend.

Poor weather on Saturday undermined the 241st East Midlands derby, Northampton v Leicester, which proved a disappointing spectacle. Two pieces of clinical Jonah Holmes running proved decisive as Tigers won 23-15.

The game was moved from Franklin’s Gardens to Twickenham to raise money for former Saints and Wallaby centre Rob Horne, 28, who was left with paralysis in his right arm after a collision in the fixture in April.

He received a standing ovation when he brought the ball out for kick-off, in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.

That evening’s Harlequins-Saracens match across the road was the first Premiership match screened free-to-air in the USA. After one or two duds previously for the American market, this London derby was much more like it.

It took until the last ten minutes for Sarries to settle the issue, Billy Vunipola – who, combined with brother Mako, carried some 50 times – crossing to finally quell a Quins side that made 201 tackles.

Read about a couple of unusual incidents in the match here.

Plaudits for Gloucester and Worcester, two West Country sides, for terrific wins. The Warriors bagged seven tries in their 52-7 rout of Bristol and set a new club record for their biggest Premiership win, surpassing the 51-10 win over Newcastle in 2008.

Josh Adams and Bryce Heem both scored to draw level-top with Miles Benjamin on 20 Prem tries for Worcester, who sit seventh in the table as we take a break for European competition. “Our conversion rate was outstanding today,” said Chris Pennell, another of the try-scorers.

Gloucester’s 35-21 victory at Wasps, in which Danny Cipriani was a key figure on his return to his former club, was no less impressive and sees them squeeze into the top four. Coach Johan Ackermann said: “There were some marvellous individual performances, some guys I felt really had their best games of the season.

“One can highlight Danny; to come back to your old ground, you can always put a bit of pressure on yourself because you want to do well. He was outstanding the whole week, he was very calm, very positive.”

In France, former Ulster and Ireland centre Stuart Olding was sent off for a dangerous tackle just 12 minutes into Brive’s ProD2 clash with Soyaux Angoulême.

Olding, who had his Ulster contract revoked in April, was given a straight red card for the reckless challenge.

Finally, two of England’s best wingers incurred worrying injuries. Jonny May damaged his shoulder running into Saints forwards Teimana Harrison and Alex Waller and left Twickenham with his arm in a sling. And Marland Yarde, more of a fringe England player these days but who had started the season strongly, suffered a serious leg injury in Sale’s 20-7 defeat of Newcastle. Have a speedy recovery, lads.

The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions start next week. Who knows what they will bring…

Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.