Australia vs. New Zealand – Sydney Football Stadium, 19 August 2017
After a scintillating start to the annual powerhouse competition, we saw New Zealand put on a dream first-half performance against the Australians. The Aussie team was desperate to get off to winning start, but it could not have gone worse for Michael Cheika’s men from down under.
They conceded a point per minute in the first half by surrendering six tries and missing 18 of their tackles while conceding eight line breaks to the All Blacks in the process. A record margin was scored in the first 40 minutes of the game against the Australian outfit, and the match also ended as a top score record for New Zealand against Australia.
It seems there is still some work left for Cheika and his troops before the reverse fixture in New Zealand this coming weekend.
South Africa vs. Argentina – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 19 August 2017
The Springboks seems to have shrugged off the torrid 2016 season by continuing their unbeaten run for 2017. Moving up the rugby world rankings to fourth, it seems that the South African culture is back in the Bok squad.
Producing one of the more powerful performances in the reign of Allister Coetzee, the Springboks overpowered the Argentine team at scrum time, the historical strength of the Pumas. Argentina kept infringing as the South Africans applied the pressure at scrum time and kept the momentum firmly away from the Pumas for the duration of the match.
Physicality was expected by both teams as they defended like Trojans. The Pumas were especially impressive as they kept the Springboks to one try in the first half even though the Boks had over 70 carries, accumulating over 450 running metres. Argentina scored against the run of play on an error from the rebirthed Jan Serfontein, but that didn’t halt the Boks in starting their Rugby Championship campaign with a well-deserved victory.
Will the Boks be able to rub some salt in the wounds in Salta Argentina this coming weekend?