I am back after taken last week off to discover a new sport. I traveled to Watkins Glen New York to see a Nascar race. I will tell you all about it in a different post. What I will say now is it was one hell of a weekend.
What I do want to talk about is rugby. There is only one problem. So much has happened in the last week it is hard to pick just one story. That is why I am going to pick 5 stories to tell you about in a shortened format.
A few weeks Argentina giving New Zealand a close game ending 16-20 to the All Blacks. That was followed by a draw with South Africa 16-16. That leads us to this weekend which saw Australia take on New Zealand in the final round of the championship. It was a very tight first half which saw Australia lead by only one point going into the final minute of the half. The whole game was about to change when Scott Barrett received a straight red for a dangerous tackle on the Oz captain Michael Hooper. Australia than came out the second half and dominated the game running out the winners 47-26.
South Africa have chosen the right time to find a run of good form only months out from the world cup. They put in a great 3 weeks performance. In week one, they beat Australia 35-17. In week two the draw with New Zealand 16-16 then in the final week of the championship they beat Argentina 13-46. This is putting up there with one of the teams to watch to win the world cup.
South Africa are also in New Zealands group in the world cup which will make for some very exciting rugby early on in the competition.
In the last world cup Japan came out of nowhere and shocked the world by beat South Africa (relive the last few minutes of the game here). Japan has gone from strength to strength since the day. This showed this as they beat USA, Fiji and Tonga. Top tear teams, Ireland and Scotland will have to have taken notice of the much improved Japanese side. This again is going to make for one of the best rugby world cups every.
With Ireland only 41 days away for the start of the world cup, they welcomed Italy to the Aviva. There was two new faces on the Irish team Jean Kleyn and Mike Haley. They were hungry to put the hand up for a place on the plan to Japan and gave a good account of themselves. Even though Ireland won the game 26-10 the big talking point was Joe Carbery being carried off the pitch with an ankle injury. At the time of writing this, Joe has had a x-ray and the ankle is not broken. It will be a race against time to see if he recovers in time for the world cup. In the mean time Sexton is looking to make his come back against England inTwickenham.
England put everyone on notice today as they put Wales to the sword today. England beat Wales 33-19 in there first worm up game before the world cup. This loss ended Wales 14 game winning streak it also stoped Wales from going into the world cup ranked as the number one team in the world. This also shifts the momentum of form from Wales to England just like South Africa took it from New Zealand by winning the Championship. I keep saying it but this will be the best Rugby World Cup Ever.
Thats it for this week thanks for reading. I will talk to ye all next week.