South Africa recently reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings following a 31-29 victory over New Zealand in the final game of the Rugby Championship. They left it late, as Elton Jantjies’ penalty kick just after the hooter was enough to seal the win. Continue reading “What’s Next For South Africa To Achieve?”
A heavily changed Springbok side, fresh from beating the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town, got their Rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start as they beat Argentina 32-12 in Port Elizabeth. Here are our talking points from the clash.
Poor Damian Willemse game at full back
He is a very talented player, but this was one game Damian Willemse would like to forget in a hurry. Given the No.15 jersey- he had a disappointing game with knock ons, getting isolated and turned over, and even conceding penalties. Perhaps the poorest of the Springbok players on show. Is Aphelele Fassi a more natural option at 15 for the Boks?
Two fantastic tries for Aphelele Fassi vs Argentina
The rising Sharks star showcased some lovely handling skills to bag two tries here as he played on the wing. The first was particularly impressive as he latched on to a crossfield kick from Elton Jantjies, but the second wasn’t bad either. His aerial skills were also decent- is it time to give him a shot at full back?
Argentina struggle in the air
Argentina were very poor in the air and struggled to deal with the Springbok aerial bombardment all evening. It would’ve been noted as a matter of real concern for Los Pumas.
Jaden Hendrikse South Africa debut try wearing 25 jersey
Hendrikse was a late addition to the Springbok lineup after Herschel Jantjies withdrew and was given the No.25 jersey here. Scored a try on debut- the youngest player in the squad latching on to a pass from Morne Steyn (the oldest) after a nice run from Marco Van Staden.
Joseph Dweba debut at hooker
The former Cheetahs hooker’s face was full of emotion at national anthem time, and he gave a fairly good account of himself in a little over a half of rugby before being replaced by Malcolm Marx.
Here is the South Africa 23 vs Argentina for their 2021 Rugby Championship opener in Port Elizabeth. As expected, it’s changes galore for the Springboks after their successful win over the Lions. There is a Springbok test debut for Joseph Dweba at hooker and multiple changes in the backline where Cobus Reinach and Elton Jantjies will be paired at half back, Frans Steyn & Jesse Kriel at centre, Aphelele Fassi and Sbu Nkosi on the wings and Damian Willemse at full back.
The only pair constant from the 3rd Lions test is the locking one of Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager.
The first Bledisloe Cup test of 2021 went the way of New Zealand, who beat Dave Rennie’s Wallabies 33-25 at Eden Park earlier today (August 7, 2021). Here are our talking points from this NZ v Australia Rugby Union Test.
Early lineout issues hurt Wallabies
New Zealand made a slow start- they conceded four penalties before earning their first one. Unfortunately for the Wallabies, they were simply not able to take advantage because of their lineout functioning poorly, with knock ons, crooked throws and other errors hurting in the opening quarter of the game.
Wallabies lineout improves later in the game
Following their early lineout woes, the Wallabies, to their credit, attempted to mix and match up things. Two of their tries actually came from moves following a lineout- the first one with a long throw to centre Hunter Paisami, who evaded the tackle of Richie Mounga and found Andrew Kellaway on his shoulder, and the second to replacement hooker Jordan Uelese following a decent maul.
But to beat the All Blacks, you need to be at your 110% throughout the game- especially in the basics, and the Wallabies unfortunately werent.
Noah Lolesio kicking doesn’t help Wallabies cause
Lolesio came into this game with the reputation of a fairly solid kicker, but struggled here at Eden Park, only nailing 2 of his 7 attempts. A couple could be put down to the gale at Eden Park in the first half, but an international kicker has to be better. In the end, both New Zealand and Australia scored four tries each- the difference was due to Mounga’s superior goal kicking.
All Blacks superior before and after interval
NZ lead 9-8 at the interval, but kicked for the sideline just before the interval after earning a penalty, and were able to rumble over from close range. They also scored a fabulous end to end try after the interval, initiated by Mounga from his own 22, which was ruled out because of a forward pass from Aaron Smith to Brodie Retallick in the buildup. Mounga however had the last laugh with a crucial intercept pass as the Wallabies were attacking to make it 23-8, and two more quickfire tries afterwards ended the game as a contest.
All Blacks concede three late tries
Australia scored thrice at the end after the All Blacks had emptied the bench, twice through Tom Banks and once through Uelese. The game was done and dusted at that point, but the nature of those tries would’ve been a matter of mild concern to the All Black coaches and one they’ll look to rectify next weekend. Continue reading “All Blacks 33-25 Wallabies | Talking Points & Analysis from first Bledisloe Test 2021 (Aaron Smith 100th test) at Eden Park August 7”