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Rugby Championship: Springboks vs All Blacks, great start

The tournament is in reduced form with only 3 rounds left for World Cup duty: a disastrous debut by Eddie Jones at the helm of Australia, they beat 43-12 in Pretoria, while in Mendoza New Zealand scored 7 tries and thrashed Argentina 41-12

The All Blacks and Springboks won the first day of the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship, and this year they played a schedule that has been reduced to three rounds for the current World Cup. Scoring 5 tries in 40 minutes and then 2 more tries, New Zealand destroyed Argentina 41-12 in Mendoza. In Pretoria, in the afternoon, Nightmare made Eddie Jones’ debut off the bench as Australia beat world champions South Africa 43-12. On the scheduled week between New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Argentina.

Argentina and New Zealand 12-41

At Mendoza, it started with excitement: Damien McKenzie, who was deployed on the opener, kicked wide just outside the goal area, and was saved by Pablo Matera, but with a flash managed to press the ball in before two opponents could reach. And from the goal that his net almost scored three goals in 12 minutes is lightning fast. From a very deep start, a big break by Riko Iwan who reached nearly 22 opponents, gave way to newcomer winger Imoni Narawa for a few extra metres, then Shannon Frizzell and Scott Barrett made way for Dane Coles. that it. Attacking from the 22nd deep, the Argentines managed to block an early effort from Scott Barrett, but were unable to tighten Ardi Savea’s short-range shot. and two. Then Beauden Barrett enters the scene as well, picking up the ball at 22 and running wide until just past the halfway point and then emptying the oval onto other brother Jordy, who can fly away on his own even to try. And there are three. In the 29th minute, in a game that started quickly from the left, it was McKenzie who made a short pass from Ewan, who broke up a tackle and cut through the goal. Mackenzie who missed the first two shifts and puts in the next two. It would be too early to tell, but with these selections by coach Ian Foster, after two very difficult years (4 defeats in 2022), it seems we could finally see the All Blacks playing in a more adequate style: it is true that everything cannot be reduced to Half an hour into the game and only one player to point, but to see him do it with Mackenzie instead of Richie Monga (on the bench) and Boden covering his back as a full-back would mean something. The fifth attempt also comes before the break: a scrum near the goal area, Pumas retreat, then Aaron Smith decides that it is enough to collect, parrying Santiago Carreras’s tackle with a feint and crushing without obstacles (conversion Mackenzie). The yellow card also reaches Argentine 8th seed Rodrigo Bruni, who leaves the group early. Argentina, who fought without interruption from the start, was satisfied in the 52nd minute, when defender Lucio Sordoni swooped in from close range after a series of failed attempts (but Emiliano Poveli did not change position). But 5 minutes in from somewhere outside on 22 minutes on the right, the All Blacks play quickly towards the other side with McKenzie, who first exchanges with a teammate and then tears vertically across the Argentine defense, bringing home a volley from Beauden Barrett. that the extreme end reaches the goal with a run that is out of reach. Mackenzie does not turn, and then moves to the full back because Monga replaces Beauden Barrett, while in the 65th minute the very complicated match ends for Gonzalo Bertrano, who was born and raised in Mendoza and today in his fiftieth hat with the Pumas. And on the 76th minute, the debutant’s attempt also arrived, caught on the right with a beautiful pass from McKenzie: the winger is free and can comfortably hit the flag (McKenzie still misses the conversion). With time running out, the second Argentine try arrived, signed by hooker Agustín Crevi, who collects the oval after a touch 5 meters out, stretching to reach (and Poveli turns).

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South Africa and Australia 43-12

Choosing to sack Dave Rainey and rely on Jones for the second time (after a 2001-2005 spell with defeat in the 2003 World Cup final on home soil), Australia have currently only the eighth defeat in the eight matches played against Loftus Versfeld. . Always looking for some trick to impress (or to talk about?), this time Jones decides to put two captains on the field, drawing inspiration from an established practice in rugby XIII: James Slipper joins Michael Hooper. “We want to do things differently and better,” Jones explained. It was a bust. And to say that the match started under excellent patronage for the guests: first the mistake from the field by Manny Leboc (in his first appearance as a regular player after the previous three as a substitute), then in the eighth minute an attempt by Marika Korobet, after an assist from the center of Lin Iketao, after Alan Alalatoa managed From recovering the ball Jan Klein (who made his debut for his country after wearing an Ireland shirt 5 times and being out for 3 years as an international) pulled out of his hands after stealing a streak. But within 3 minutes, South Africa takes the spotlight: first in the 13th minute, Lebbock hits the center from a group, then in the 16th minute with an advantage on the coast made by winger Kannan Moody, it is Andre Esterhuizen who opens the way for him. The other winger, Kurt Lee Arendsi, to practice running into the goal unhindered. And in the half hour Arendse scores twice: Marvin Urey comes down the touchline and fires the shot, Marco van Staden (also debuting as a starter after 10 substitute appearances) comes out and opens for Bongi Mbonambi, who first comes back with feints and then the winger needs a perfect ball on the closed side, Suliasi Vunivalu does not have time to close and the second attempt arrives (Libbok converts both). In overtime, Reece Hodge missed a 60-yard field goal and the break was up 17-5. The second half begins with Arendse’s hat-trick: the winger receives a dump from Lukhanyo Am, returns to the left and bypasses the defenders to crush them. This time Libbok is absent from the posts. In the 54th and 59th minutes, Australia collects two technical attempts and the largest number of yellow cards: the first for hooker Dave Borecki who deliberately sinks a direct hit over the line, and the second for Koroipet, who voluntarily interrupts a direct pass to Arendsi, the one in front of him no longer finds anyone. And in the 76th minute, a try from Peter-Steve du Toit, who was with the Australian defense open with a series of hacks, diving over the pile and crossing the line (converting Leboc) also arrived. With time running out, South Africa loses the ball in attack, debutant Carter Gordon recovers it, sees in front of him the opponent’s half of the field completely empty and flies into the goal, also turning it into the final 43-12.

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Earl Warner

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