Rugby Championship | Page 3 Loop Vanuatu
 

Rugby Championship

Wallabies secure important win as All Black challenges loom

The Wallabies' scrum dominated the Pumas' and player of the match Will Genia, Kurtley Beale and comeback king Christian Leali'ifano put on an assured kicking display not seen for a long time from an Australian Test team.

Most pleasing was Australia's defence, keeping the Pumas try-less until the 74th minute with disciplined, patient defence in front of an appreciative 31,559 crowd at the iconic Brisbane ground.

"Really pleasing, we love coming up here ... really pleased with our play and how we bounced back from a short week's turnaround," captain Michael Hooper said.

Lealiifano, O'Connor named for Wallabies returns

Lealiifano, 31, is set for his first Australia appearance since June 2016, having returned to form with the Brumbies after a battle with leukaemia.

While Lealiifano was named to start at fly-half for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship clash in Brisbane on Saturday, O'Connor is among the reserves.

O'Connor has played 44 Tests for the Wallabies, but the last of those was in September 2013, also against Argentina.

Prepare for fiery All Blacks-Springbok clash

The tactical cat and mouse that comes with most lead-in Tests to the showpiece tournament in Japan won't apply on Saturday at Westpac Stadium as the two heavyweights get set to field teams at close to full strength.

Hanging over the contest is last year's result at the same venue which the Springboks won 36-34.

Retallick says there's no way he could forget that result, one of just four losses he has experienced in his 76 tests in an All Blacks jersey.

Springbok test no guide to World Cup

The Rugby Championship Test in Wellington on Saturday is the only meeting of the old rivals ahead of their clash in Yokohama on September 21st, a match that should set the World Cup alight on day two of the tournament.

Hansen says both teams are in a building process and plenty can happen in two months, stripping this week's match of a bragging rights element.

"I guess it will give whoever wins it a little confidence going in to the World Cup, but it won't mean whoever wins this one will automatically win the one in the World Cup," he said.

Springboks name strong squad

The Springboks beat the Wallabies 35-17 on Saturday despite Rassie Erasmus leaving out a string of key men at Ellis Park.

Director of rugby Erasmus' decision to make changes did not backfire, as scrum-half Herschel Jantjies scored two tries in an impressive debut.

Erasmus flew out to New Zealand soon after the victory along with his coaching staff and eight players - including the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Jesse Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Argentina make All Blacks sweat

After South Africa's earlier resounding victory over Australia, this was a match of a different nature and the All Blacks were clinging on at the end for their success on Saturday.

First-half tries from Ngani Laumape and Brodie Retallick looked to have put the visitors in control, but New Zealand went scoreless in the second 40 minutes.

Emiliano Boffelli pulled a try back and, come the closing stages, Argentina were camped close to the New Zealand line.

Five All Black debutants to play Argentina on Sunday

Crusaders winger Sevu Reece has been named on the right wing, while Chiefs prop Atu Moli, Chiefs loose forward Luke Jacobson, Highlanders first five Josh Ioane and Crusaders back Braydon Ennor are all in the reserves.

Ngani Laumape and Anton Leinert-Brown form the midfield with Jordie Barrett on the left wing.

With most of the Crusaders missing the trip to Argentina, the front row is made up of Ofa Tuungafasi, Dane Coles and Angus Ta'avao.

Flanker Sam Cane will captain the side for the third time.

 

Jaguares dominate Pumas team to face All Blacks

Thirteen members of the starting XV for the Test in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning started for the Jaguares in the final of the Super Rugby two weeks earlier. The reserves bench is comprised entirely of Jaguares.

Ledesma is banking on the same chemistry at international level after the Jaguares exceeded all expectations by making a maiden final appearance, losing to the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The only changes to a team captained by world-class flanker Pablo Matera are the introduction of two experienced European-based stars.

A lack of Crusaders gives others a chance to shine for All Blacks

The Crusaders beat Argentine side Jaguares to claim a 10th Super Rugby title earlier this month and the national players in their squad were allowed to miss the long trip to Buenos Aires because they already face a punishing season that includes the World Cup in September.

"Those guys had a busy schedule and I think the rest will be good for them but we have got absolute confidence that the guys who are here can step up and do a job," Coles said ahead of Saturday's game.

New All Black thought he'd missed selection

The Chiefs flanker is one of four uncapped players in the 39-strong group for the first two matches against Argentina and South Africa.

"I didn't really see this coming at all," Jacobson said.

"I thought I'd missed out on the selection because someone told me that you're meant to get a call before.

"I was like 'oh well, sweet as I'm a bit gutted but I'm still young so I've still got plenty of time' sort of thing, so getting named was pretty cool."