Almanac Rugby: NZ Wins The Rugby Championship


All Blacks 40 Australia 14

Springboks 38 Los Pumas 21


In the end, this year’s championship had a familiar feel with its pecking order at completion. The high expectations that the Wallabies and Los Pumas would disrupt the natural order after the early rounds became a distant memory as the two Southern powerhouses took the quinella.

Final standings were:

  1. New Zealand
  2. South Africa
  3. Australia
  4. Argentina


While it was hoped that both the ABs and ‘Boks could be upset at home to maintain the sequence of drawn series we’ve seen through TRC 2022, it was clear those two were going to slug it out for the title by way of early home ground dominance in both games.


Unexpectedly, the Wallabies kept the Bledisloe champions scoreless in the first twenty minutes. In a scrappy affair, neither side got any rhythm. That all changed soon after for the ABs.


Will Jordan’s spectacular try in the 22nd minute presaged the onslaught. A penalty try in the 26th minute and relentless attacking raids before the break suggested the game style Foster had been craving in recent months was paying dividends.


A further three tries in the second half got the home team out to 40 points. The Wallabies got two consolation tries but were outclassed across all departments.


Almost 30 missed tackles by the Wallabies is just not good enough, especially in a graveyard like Eden Park. The two yellow cards didn’t help either.


Naturally, there are calls for heads to roll with the first target being, of course, Dave Rennie. His record ain’t flash, let’s not gild the lily. But I can see green shoots as he prepares a squad for the World Cup. I keep reminding people Cheika was tracking as badly prior to RWC 2015 and yet put together, what I believe, to be our best campaign ever that didn’t end with Bill in the trophy cabinet. It would be insanity to give him the flick a year out.


The Springboks were clinical in their match but the Argies showed remarkable fight to get within striking distance in the dying stages of the game. The men from the land of the Gauchos can be proud of their campaign. The World Champions, meanwhile, are looking as threatening as they were prior to the last RWC.


The November Tests are the next big stop of the roadshow. The Wallabies are playing five Tests while most of the other touring teams are only playing three. Not sure this sort of workload is a great idea but let’s see. After all, the show must go on.


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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

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