Almanac Rugby: The Rugby Championship Concludes

The final round of the Rugby Championship on the Gold Coast produced one of the great contests of recent times. The Springboks, facing the prospect of leaving our shores without a victory, played out of their skins to snatch a last gasp win over the All Blacks.


In the earlier game, the Wallabies notched up their first-ever four-game winning streak of TRC. With Rennie experimenting more with the lineup, it has left many fans salivating at the notion of what this team can do in the upcoming tour of the Northern Hemisphere.


Australia 32 Argentina 17


In a dominant performance, the Wallabies crossed for five tries including a hat-trick to Andrew Kellaway. The wily carrot top is having a great run and is on track to beat Israel Folau’s record of ten tries in a debut season.


Despite it taking a while for the Wallabies to get their rhythm, it was obvious they always had their opponent’s measure. Their defensive structure was clean and disciplined allowing them to capitalise on turnovers.


In the second half, Greg Holmes, at 38, became the oldest player to take the field since WWII. Prodigal son, Sean McMahon, also got some valuable game time.


This squad has a very different complexion from what many imagined just a month or so ago. The shrewd selection decisions that defined Rennie’s success with the Chiefs are inspiring his boldness with the Wallabies. The overall campaign he has overseen in this TRC suggests his approach should get backed in and embraced.


South Africa 31 New Zealand 29


Both sides spent a fair bit of the first half feeling each other out. While it seemed the Sprongboks could match the ABs in most facets, the sublime rugby that led to two late tries in the back end of the half seemed to presage a dominant second-half Kiwi performance.


The men in green, however, had a few tricks up their sleeve. The tempo of the game got raised considerably as the Boks decided to throw caution to the wind. Their expansive, high-risk game took the ABs by surprise. Scoring the only try of the half, the Boks looked on track for an upset.


Those hardened warriors in black, nonetheless, know how to close out games. Clever territorial play got them two penalties in the last 10 minutes. The desperation of the Boks resulted in a drop goal in the 76th minute and the game-winning post-siren penalty.


The quality of rugby in the second half was out of this world. Watching the two best teams in the world go hammer and tongs was a joy to behold. It was a fitting finale to a great tournament.


At the conclusion of six rounds of TRC the final table ended up as;


New Zealand 25pts


Australia 18


South Africa 15


Argentina 0


The All Blacks deserved the trophy and the Wallabies can walk away with a lot of pride. While it wasn’t a great trip down under for the Springboks, they at least have a win they can talk about for years to come. As for Argentina, a disappointing campaign but muchas gracias, amigos!


Another domestic season of test rugby comes to an end. It has produced some memorable moments. To get so many games played in a pandemic is a testament to all involved. So far as I am aware, to play the game from heaven we didn’t have to send a forwarding party.



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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.


  1. Nice concluding summary ruminator! Qld were rewarded for their pandemic management as were the rest of us through the tv. Wallabies & Rennie have given us new optimism. Stan’s increasing influence means I’ll have to bite the bullet.

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