Monday, 26 November 2012

Autumn Internationals - round 3

Another weekend full of international games has gone past. Ireland had an impressive victory over Argentina 46:24. Italy, once again, proved that they should not be underestimated, especially when they play at home. Although after 40 minutes they were behind (6:22), they came back to scare Australia (19:22). In the 79th minute Italians had a chance to level the score but Luciano Orquera’s penalty kick was unsuccessful. England narrowly lost to South Africa 15:16. Rugby fans in Aberdeen witnessed a surprise. Scotland came second best to Tonga (21:15). After the defeat, Andy Robinson has resigned as Scotland's head coach. France completed a clean sweep with a 22:14 win over Samoa. Wales suffered sixth consecutive defeat after going down 10:33 to New Zealand. The World Champions secured the win in the first half, winning it 23:0. Apart from All Blacks’ amazing counterattacking, the Welsh try scored after 15-men lineout maul deserves a special mention. Something you don’t see very often, especially at the top level games.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the stake of the Autumn Internationals is high this year as the IRB ranking will be used for the RWC 2015 pool seeding. England is out of the top four, their spot has been taken by France. Situation seems to be even worse for Wales, which has to win with Australia next week to save the spot in the first eight. The biggest surprise was definitely Samoa, which secured the place in the 2nd band narrowly overtaking Argentina.

Below is the latest IRB ranking for the first 12 teams:
1. New Zealand - 92.91
2. South Africa - 86.94
3. Australia - 86.31
4. France - 85.07
5. England - 81.07
6. Ireland - 80.22
7. Wales - 78.95
8. Samoa - 78.71 (78.709)
9. Argentina - 78.71 (78.708)
10. Italy - 76.24
11. Tonga - 76.10
12. Scotland - 75.83