NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – There were three games last weekend, with another being played mid-week. We had Scotland vs Australia, Ireland vs New Zealand, Wales vs Australia, and England vs South Africa. Of all of these games the Northern Hemisphere won one; Scotland upset Australia and nearly knocked themselves out doing so.
Let’s start with Scotland vs Australia: It was a match played in the worst of conditions; heavy rain and loads of wind. The final score was 9-6 with all points coming from penalty kicks. The teams just couldn’t handle the ball well, with deluge of knock-ons coming both ways. The scrums were a mess – once a team got a drive on the other would collapse it and often the ball was available. Jaco Payper indeed had his hands full. But my question is how much must we wait till there will be a change?
There was one fairly funny incident. I guess that you can’t blame jumping Scots, as it’s been around 25 years since their last win in Australia. Have a look:
Now onto the others…
New Zealand vs Ireland: It wasn’t the greatest of games, with the All Blacks winning convincingly by a 42-10 score. Nothing out of the ordinary with the officiating other than the usual comment that the SCRUMS NEED CLEANING UP! Nigel Owens could have done more… The game featured two packs who really weren’t into the scrums – though injuries to Ireland’s front row had a definite impact in that regard.
Wales vs Australia: Really didn’t have anything very noteworthy, except for the score – the Wallabies beat Wales 27-19. The game was played well but – here we go again – the scrums ought to be fixed! That and Wales really didn’t seem to adjust well to the referee, Craig Joubert. Yesterday, Wales beat the Brumbies, 25-15…
England vs South Africa: It was a good game (SA won 22-17) and I was very impressed with the refereeing at the tackle. However, the refereeing of the breakdown was interesting; Steve Walsh was very consistent but he just didn’t referee it very well. That didn’t impact the game, though, and in the end that’s what matters.
What did you think of the games?