All Blacks 33-25 Wallabies | Talking Points & Analysis from first Bledisloe Test 2021 (Aaron Smith 100th test) at Eden Park August 7

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”

Womens Rugby World Cup 2021 Draw Result | Pools & Qualified Teams

Here is a look at the pools for the 2021 Womens Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand.

Womens Rugby World Cup 2021 Draw Result

How many teams will be participating at the Womens Rugby World Cup 2021?

12 teams will be participating in the Womens 2021 RWC (divided into three groups of four teams)

Which group are England Women in for Rugby World Cup 2021?

England Rugby Women are in Pool C for RWC 2021 alongside France, South Africa and Fiji

Which group are the Black Ferns (NZ rugby women) in for the 2021 Womens World Cup?

The Black Ferns are in Pool A alongside Australia, Wales and a to be decided qualifier.

Which group are Springbok women in for the 2021 RWC?

South Africa women are in a tough group alongside England, France and Fiji. Their men’s team are the reigning RWC holders, having beaten England 32-12 in the 2019 RWC final.

Asian qualifiers: Japan, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan (one qualifies, runner up goes to repechage tournament)
European qualifiers: Russia, Netherlands, Spain (one qualifies, runner up goes to repechage tournament)

Final Repecharge tournament: Asian runner up, European runner up, Samoa, Winner of Colombia v Kenya

Bledisloe Cup 2020 Crowds | Attendance Stats for 2020 Tri Nations/ Rugby Championship

Here is a look at the official attendance statistics for the 2020 Bledisloe Cup and the Tri-Nations (Rugby Championship) this year. Owing to Covid-19, South Africa will not be participating in the RC, and all games will be held in Australia only.

Bledisloe Cup 2020 Attendances

New Zealand 16-16 Australia Wellington 2020 Attendance 31,020 (11 October)
All Blacks 27-7 Wallabies Eden Park Auckland 2020 Attendance 46,049 (18 October)
Australia 5-43 NZ Sydney ANZ Stadium 2020 Crowd 25,689 (31 October)
Australia 24-22 All Blacks Suncorp Brisbane Attendance 36,626 (7 November, 2020)

Total Bledisloe Cup 2020 attendance: 139,384
Average Bledisloe Cup 2020 Crowd: 34,846

Tri Nations/ Rugby Championship 2020 Attendance Statistics

Australia vs NZ 5-43 ANZ Sydney 2020 Crowd 25,689 (31 October)
Australia vs All Blacks 24-22 Brisbane Attendance 36,626 (7 November, 2020)
New Zealand 15-25 Argentina Bankwest Stadium Sydney 2020 Attendance 9,063 (14 November, 2020)

Total Rugby Championship 2020 attendance: 71,378
Average Tri Nations 2020 Crowd: 23,793

All Blacks 15-25 Argentina | Talking points from Los Pumas’ historical win over New Zealand

Argentina produced one of the greatest performances in their rugby history as they defeated New Zealand for the first time ever, upsetting Ian Foster’s men 25-15 in Sydney. Here are our talking points from the Tri Nations clash.

Nicolas Sanchez excellent: Argentinian teams in the past have had issues with goalkickers- a reliable one with the boot is often the difference in tight games. Sanchez was excellent here, scoring all 25 of Argentina’s points and nailing penalties from near the half way line to keep Los Pumas ahead of the All Blacks.

Argentina do not miss a single tackle: In past Rugby Championship games, Argentina have often been able to keep pace with the All Blacks for 50 odd minutes, only to fall away in the last quarter as New Zealand’s superior fitness and quality off the bench turned the game in their favour.

Here though, Los Pumas ensured they didn’t miss a single tackle in the game. With New Zealand struggling to break the line, the All Blacks’ attack looked toothless. Dominating NZ’s tight five and winning the forward exchanges with quality defence has proven to be an effective template against the All Blacks in recent years, and Argentina adopted it perfectly here.

Richie Mo’unga misses touch late in the first half against Argentina: New Zealand are often said to be at their most dangerous in the ten minute period just before and after the interval. They had an excellent opportunity here too just before the break, but Mo’unga missed touch with his penalty, and Argentina escaped. A good kick would’ve set up a maul close to the Los Pumas line, and a try to the All Blacks at that stage could’ve been a killer blow to the Pumas.

All Blacks 15-25 Argentina

Sotutu missed pass to Damian McKenzie: Hoskins Sotutu was excellent off the bench, and one key second half movement had him come off the back of the scrum close to the Pumas line. He attempted to pass to Damian McKenzie, but it ended up going into touch instead. Had that pass been executed, it would’ve been try time for the All Blacks.

It’s small things like this that the likes of Kieran Read and Richie McCaw were excellent at doing, and the lack of execution hurt New Zealand here.

Pablo Matera a warrior for Argentina: Right from his fifth minute talk to Angus Gardner demanding “respect” and his brilliant 74th minute turnover penalty, flanker Matera was a warrior for Los Pumas. The Argentine back three dominated New Zealand and were key to the South Americans’ stunning victory.

As captain, Matera has probably already cemented his legacy in Pumas history- the first in his country to beat the All Blacks.