In Nelspruit the Springboks world champions in office beat New Zealand 26-10 (third consecutive defeat) with the goals of Arendse, the Roux and the foot of Pollard, in Mendoza the Wallabies beat Argentina 41-26 with goals from Petaia , McReight, Faingaa and Ikitau

    The Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship starts in the name of South Africa and Australia. In Nelspruit, the reigning world champions Springboks defeated the All Blacks 26-10. Then continues the negative streak of the New Zealand coach Ian Foster, who, after the two defeats in a row with Ireland, remedy the third, as well as the fifth in the last six games played: the All Blacks have not lost three consecutive games since 1998, when they even reached five (two with South Africa and three with Australia). In Mendoza, however, Michael Cheika’s joke fails, passing from the Australian bench to that of Argentina: Pumas always ahead until the 66th minute, then the Wallabies recover and go through 41-26.

    South Africa-New Zealand 26-10

    It does not start well for South Africa in Nelspruit, with Faf de Klerk who a few seconds after the kick-off remains unconscious after hitting Caleb Clarke’s knee with his head in an attempt to tackle: the game stands still for a long time to allow the medians to rescue the scrum half, later replaced by Jaden Hendrikse. In addition to the apprehension of de Klerk’s condition, the further problem is that coach Jacques Nienaber has chosen 6 forward and only 2 backs for the bench. The Springboks, however, do not seem to be affected by the loss and in a few minutes they touched the goal twice with the wings Kurt-Lee Arendse and Makazole Mapimpi, stopped by the decisive tackles by Beauden and Jordie Barrett. But at 8 ‘they hit the mark with Arendse, who received the offload from Lukhanyo Am and sprinted on the right to the goal, transformed by Handre Pollard. That at 22 ‘slips the place granted for Sam Cane’s foul in the ruck. An offside by Damian de Allende from a scrum in favor costs the South Africans the penalty that Jordie Barrett (from 38 meters) puts in for the 10-3 on which he goes to rest. At the beginning of the second half, however, it is the South African scrum that conquers the free-kick that allows Pollard to sign the +10 (from 42 meters). The South African opening also puts a great drop in the 58th minute. It is impressive, especially for those who for years had accustomed us to perfection, to witness a series of errors in the control of the oval by the All Blacks: before, at the origin of the action that will lead to the drop, there was an offload thrown away by Clarke, but it is even more impressive to see shortly after the oval escape from the hands of Dane Coles on the tackle immediately 10 meters from the goalposts. At 73 ‘Pollard slips the punishment, earned by Am that forces the held Beauden Barrett, for the 19-3 that definitively closes the accounts. At 75 ‘frightening aerial collision between Beauden, who takes the ball in the lead, and Arendse, who hits the New Zealander late: inevitable red card for the South African winger (who also seems to be the one who gets hurt most). At 78 ‘, after Clarke’s break who runs away for over 30 meters and is stopped by the extreme Damian Willemse, it is Shannon Frizell who picks up and crushes, with the transformation of Richie Mounga. But just when at least the contours of the defeat seem to be less harsh, it is precisely a lack of control by Frizell on the defensive 22 on the obscene passage of Cane to give Willie le Roux a comfortable run in goal (with the easy transformation of Pollard). This is the worst defeat of the All Blacks on South African soil in 94 years, since 17-0 in 1928. “In many ways it was our best performance of the year,” said Foster at the end of the match, startling the New Zealand reporters. Which in response they gave him 7 days: if the All Blacks do not win next Saturday in Johannesburg, they say, the coach will be sacked.

    Argentina-Australia 21-46

    The eve of Argentina-Australia revolves around the absence of Michael Hooper: the captain of the Wallabies announced to coach Dave Rennie and his teammates that he wanted to return home for personal reasons that would have prevented him from carrying out his task on the pitch. In his place in the third row plays Fraser McReight, the captain becomes the prop James Slipper. Argentina starts decisively and at 6 ‘is already in goal: touchout around 10 meters, fast ball out for Tomas Cubelli, inside pass for Emiliano Boffelli who digs a first break, then after a couple of possessions the ball comes out of the ruck and this time it is Santiago Carreras who offers the inside passage for Pablo Matera’s race in goal, in the middle of an immobile defensive line (Boffelli transforms). On the other hand Quade Cooper scores with an easy placement, but between 12 ‘and 16’ Boffelli slips through two. At 18 ‘the Australian goal arrives: touch at 5 meters, the maul does not make way and then Nic White opens quickly for the insertion of Hunter Paisami, then Cooper invents the hole where to put Jordan Petaia, who avoids two men and crushes ( Cooper transforms). At 22 ‘still Boffelli with a central place for 16-10. At 37 ‘the Pumas make their way with a good attack, enter the 22, get a penalty, instead of placing they choose the touch, but the Australians defuse the maul and regain the ball. At the end, an Australian infraction from the touchdown launched on 10 meters, this time Boffelli goes for the poles and signs the 19-10 on which he goes to rest. At the beginning of the recovery of Cooper hurts, there are only two backs on the bench (and no opening) and Reece Hodge takes over. In the same action there is a free-kick for the Wallabies, Hodge goes into touch at 5 meters, the maul is perfect to reach out and crush it’s McReight (Hodge transforms). The Argentine response arrives in the 56th minute: Juan Cruz Mallia collects a liberation kick in his 22 and starts the attack again, when he arrives in the middle of the field he finds the support of Matera on his left, who can advance further until in the two against one offers the assist for the sprint in goal to the flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez (Boffelli transforms). At 62 ‘Australia can again go into touch on 5 meters, the maul leads the way, the backs are added and the Pumas are forced to bury it irregularly: technical goal, -2 and a yellow card for Matias Alemanno. In the 66th minute, a placing by Hodge gives Australia the first advantage of the match (27-26). With the numerical superiority, Australia returns to the attack and forces the Pumas to a desperate but irregular defense, with Matera risking another yellow card and a capitulation only postponed: touche, maul apparently stopped, but then it is the hooker Folau Faingaa to resolve the situation emerging from the open side. Hodge turns for +8 with 8 minutes left. At the end of time the two teams bounce possession: Argentina chases the defensive bonus, but from a lost ball forward in his half the action that leads to the goal of Len Ikitau is born (even if the pass that frees him seems forward), transformed by Hodge, who gives the guests the offensive bonus point that is also worth the solitary command of the ranking.

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