Toyota Park, Chicago - Friday 04 November 2016
KO: 19:00 HT: 0-28 Att: 18,007
THE Men's Eagles began their third assembly of the year at "The Rugby Weekend Presented by AIG" in front of a sold-out crowd of 18,007 fans at Toyota Park Friday, losing to the visiting New Zealand Māori All Blacks, 54-7.
Both teams tested out the waters in the opening minutes; Will Holder and Mike Te'o traded kicks with Damian McKenzie and Ihawia West as the pack warmed up in the middle, and it was the Eagles that found a front foot first. Debutant Matai Leuta found space in the attacking third to get within five meters of the try line in the fifth minute but lost possession before points could be scored.
The Māoris slowly began to win the aerial battle for territory, and took advantage of any gap the Eagles presented them. In the 10th minute, Te'o brought down Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Holder turned over the ball in the breakdown to prevent a score. A minute later, however, the visitors found their way into the try zone through wing James Lowe with quick hands to the corner. West converted the try from the touch line for a 7-0 score line.
Olympian Danny Barrett, in his first XVs action with the US since Rugby World Cup 2015, busted through the gain line in the 17th minute to put the Eagles across midfield, but a knock and penalty allowed the Māoris to attack. Akira Ioane dummied two passes to get around defenders near the touch line, doubling his team's lead to 14-0.
From the restart, the Māoris forced Holder into pressured kicks, hemming the Eagles in their own half. A quick tap a few meters in front of the try line gave the visitors a chance at a third try, but the defence of Todd Clever and prop Titi Lamositele troubled the Māoris. Tony Lamborn, who had spent the summer playing rugby in New Zealand, kept the familiar opposition from scoring again in the 25th minute with an interception. The Eagles could not benefit from a scrum caused by a kick too deep a minute later, not long before the All Blacks began to settle.
Approaching midfield in the 34th minute, West chipped a kick over the defence and into the hands of centre Matt Proctor, who barely waited a split second before popping it to Lowe for the wing's second try of the half. Unlike the first two tries, the third was scored beneath the posts for West to drop-kick the conversion.
James Hilterbrand kept Rieko Ioane, the younger of the brothers, from extending the lead in the 38th minute at the cost of a 10-minute trip to the sin bin. The Eagles held onto the 21-point deficit until the final minute of the half, when captain Ash Dixon dotted down from a lineout-turned-maul.
The 28-0 halftime score was not insurmountable by any means, but it turned to a 35-point deficit five minutes into the second half. Akira Ioane scored his second try from the back of a maul not 10 meters from the tryline.
The crowd at Toyota Park had been entertained by the attacking flair of the Māori All Blacks, but the loudest cheer up until that point came during the ensuing restart as Nate Brakeley raced into the try zone alone. The kick had bounced off of the hands of an Eagle prior to the second row grabbing it, resulting in a knock rather than a try.
The Eagles were buoyed by the return of their hooker before scrum time in the 48th minute, and Clever pointed to the corner when the Māoris were penalised. Holder kicked for the lineout and the Eagles drove the set piece forward for what they thought was a try. The match official conferred with the television match official, who confirmed the captain had grounded the ball on the line for the US's first points. Holder converted from an angle to bring the score to 35-7.
As much as the Eagles worked for their first score, the All Blacks quickly erased the seven points from the point differential with a full-field team try finished by prop Ken Hames who slid under the posts, 42-7.
The home side kept at it in the final frame with crunching tackles and line speed reminiscent of the first few minutes' defensive patterns, keeping the Māori All Blacks from just two tries in the final 30 minutes. Joe Royal’s 80th-minute try, which brought the final score to 54-7, came from a quick throw 10 meters from the try line that caught the Eagles looking the other way.
15 Mike Te'o 14 Martin Iosefo 13 Bryce Campbell 12 Folau Niua 11 Matai Leuta 10 Will Holder 9 Nate Augspurger 1 Titi Lamositele 2 James Hilterbrand 3 Chris Baumann 4 Nate Brakeley 5 Nick Civetta 6 TODD CLEVER (C) 7 Tony Lamborn 8 Danny Barrett 16 Joe Taufete'e 17 Angus MacLellan 18 Alex Maughan 19 Matthew Jensen 20 Al McFarland 21 Stephen Tomasin 22 Shalom Suniula 23 Madison Hughes
SCORERS T: Clever C: Holder Hilterbrand
15 Damian McKenzie 14 Rieko Ioane 13 Matt Proctor 12 Tim Bateman 11 James Lowe 10 Ihaia West 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow 1 Kane Hames 2 ASH DIXON (C) 3 Ben May 4 Jacob Skeen 5 Tom Franklin 6 Elliot Dixon 7 Kara Pryor 8 Akira Ioane 16 Joe Royal 17 Chris Eves 18 Marcel Renata 19 Leighton Price 20 Shane Christie 21 Brad Weber 22 Marty McKenzie 23 Sean Wainui
SCORERS T: Lowe (2), Akira Ioane (2), Ash Dixon, Hames, Weber, Royal C: Weir (6), Marty McKenzie
Referee: Matt Carley
Principality Stadium - Saturday 05 November 2016
KO: 14:30 HT: 3-25 Att: 55,776
THE Qantas Wallabies defeated Wales 32 to 8 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff getting their November tour off to a winning start. The Wallabies have now won 12 in a row against Wales, maintaining a perfect record against the Dragons from 2009.
Australia dominated possession and territory running in five tries to Wales’ one as the Wallabies dismantled the Welsh defence in the first half and finished well in the second.
Bernard Foley and Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny traded penalties in the opening ten minutes as the two packs jostled for superiority at the breakdown. The first try to the men in gold came off the back of a powerful rolling maul from the Australian forwards who rumbled over the line to score in the corner to take the score to 3-8 thanks to captain Stephen Moore.
The Wallabies dominated possession and territory in the opening quarter of the match, as Wales were barely able to escape their own half, but the defence from Wales made going tough for the Wallabies who rued missed opportunities to extend the lead.
Wales were reduced to 14 men with flyhalf Dan Biggar pulling down Dane Haylett-Petty, squandering what would have led to a try for the men in gold.
Back to back tries to Australia through Wallabies centre pairing of Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani gave Australia a commanding 20-3 lead where the score would remain at the interval.
A significantly improved Wales emerged from the Principality Stadium sheds in Cardiff, as Wales scrapped for every possible opportunity for possession, slowing down the Wallabies ball and creating a tough battle up front.
Wales capitalised on the swing of momentum with a brilliant individual try from centre Scott Williams who kicked in behind the Wallabies defence to regather and score in the corner. Dan Biggar could not add the extras taking the score to 8-25.
Tries to Foley and Haylett-Petty continued the good day at the office for the Wallabies backs, ensuring Australia continued its winning streak in Cardiff with a 8-32 score line.
15 Leigh Halfpenny 14 Alex Cuthbert 13 Scott Williams 12 Jamie Roberts 11 George North 10 Dan Biggar 9 Rhys Webb 1 Gethin Jenkins 2 Ken Owens 3 Samson Lee 4 Bradley Davies 5 Luke Charteris 6 Dan Lydiate 7 Justin Tipuric 8 Ross Moriarty BENCH: 16 Scott Baldwin 17 Nicky Smith 18 Tomas Francis 19 Cory Hill 20 James King 21 Gareth Davies 22 Sam Davies 23 Hallam Amos
SCORERS T: Williams P: Halfpenny Biggar
15 Israel Folau 14 Dane Haylett-Petty 13 Tevita Kuridrani 12 Reece Hodge 11 Henry Speight 10 Bernard Foley 9 Nick Phipps 1 Scott Sio 2 STEPHEN MOORE (C) 3 Sekope Kepu 4 Rory Arnold 5 Adam Coleman 6 David Pocock 7 Michael Hooper 8 Lopeti Timani BENCH: 16 Tolu Latu 17 James Slipper 18 Allan Alaalatoa 19 Rob Simmons 20 Scott Fardy 21 Nick Frisby 22 Quade Cooper 23 Sefa Naivalu
SCORERS T: Moore, Hodge, Kuridrani, Foley, Haylett-Petty C: Foley (2) P: Foley
Referee: Craig Joubert Asst Referees: Jérôme Garcès, Federico Anselmi TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon
Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, Tokyo - Saturday 05 Nov ’16
KO: 14:40 HT: 6-21 Att: 18,235
15 Kotaro Matsushima 14 Lomano Lava Lemeki 13 Amanaki Lotoahea 12 HARUMICHI TATEKAWA (CC) 11 Akihito Yamada 10 Yu Tamura 9 Fumiaki Tanaka 1 Satoshi Nakatani 2 SHOTA HORIE (CC) 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa 5 Samuela Anise 6 Uwe Helu 7 Yuhimaru Mimura 8 Amanaki Lelei Mafi BENCH: 16 Takeshi Kizu 17 Koki Yamamoto 18 Heiichiro Ito 19 Kotaro Yatabe 20 Malgene Ilaua 21 Shuhei Matsuhashi 22 Takahiro Ogawa 23 Timothy Lafaele
SCORERS T: Mafi, Lemeki C: Tamura (2) P: Tamura (2)
15 Joaquín Tuculet 14 Matías Moroni 13 Matías Orlando 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente 11 Santiago Cordero 10 Nicolás Sánchez 9 Martín Landajo 1 Lucas Noguera 2 AGUSTÍN CREEVY (C) 3 Ramiro Herrera 4 Guido Petti 5 Matías Alemanno 6 Tomás Lezana 7 Javier Ortega Desio 8 Facundo Isa BENCH: 16 Julián Montoya 17 Santiago García Botta 18 Enrique Pieretto 19 Leonardo Senatore 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamón 21 Tomás Cubelli 22 Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias 23 Ramiro Moyano
SCORERS T: Moroni (2), Sanchez (2), Cordero (2), Cubelli C: Sanchez (5) P: Sanchez (3)
Referee: Romain Poite Asst Referees: Craig Maxwell-Keys, Tim Baker TMO: Simon McDowell
Soldier Field, Chicago - Saturday 05 November 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 25-8 Att: 62,300
SOLDIER FIELD prepared for a monumental game in Chicago as Ireland took on the mighty 18-consecutive times unbeaten, twice World Champions All Blacks. Ireland had never won against the New Zealand side in going back 111 years. Joe Schmidt’s determined gladiators took the history books and tore them up, thumping the New Zealanders 40 points to just 29 in 80 minutes of jaw-dropping action, relieving the pain that had sat with Irish fans since 1905.
As the Kiwis performed the Kapa O Pango haka in the glorious sunshine, the Irish team face them in a figure of 8, led be the Munster boys in tribute to legendary Ireland No8 Anthony ‘Axel’ Foley who recently passed away in Paris while head coach of Munster Rugby.
Johnny Sexton kicked off the match under the orders of French referee, Mathieu Raynal, and the resulting lineout was won by the ‘home’ side, promptly followed by the second, this time inside the 22. The All Blacks were fast pinged for not rolling away in the tackle, and Johnny Sexton struck over his first penalty and opening points just wide of centre on the 22.
The visitors replied quickly with a try from George Moala after Rob Kearney entirely missed the first tackle and CJ Stander’s was ineffectual. The TMO Rowan Kitt confirmed the score, but Beauden Barrett began his match with a missed conversion. The All Blacks were ahead 5-3 just five minutes in, but this would be their first and last lead in 80 minutes of frantic rugby.
The New Zealanders were visibly not comfortable from the outset, captain Kieran Read asking the referee to give them more time at breakdowns, but Raynal was far busier getting up the replay of Joe Moody’s dangerous tackle on Robbie Henshaw. Clearly a tip tackle, off the prop was sent for a ten minute rest on the naughty step in the eighth minute, and Ireland seized their moment of being a man up, not once but twice.
The first try came from Jordi Murphy after Ireland carried the ball well deep into Kiwi territory with a monster maul, won a five metre lineout and from the spinning drive, the TMO confirmed there was no knock on and there was no reason not to award the score. Sexton added the extras, and the Irish were 10-5 clear with just ten minutes gone.
Another lineout in the 22 and the Irish swept across the width of the pitch, drove up to the line again, and a quick recycle allowed Stander to pounce over despite three All Blacks attempting to prevent the score. Sexton, however, missed the conversion from out wide, and the visitors returned to their full complement of XV players. Ireland were 15-5 up and the second quarter had not yet begun.
Raynal is not from the breed of officials afraid of the All Blacks, and for a second time, warned Read about his team’s discipline. But an Irish knock on, and Barrett was handed an unmissable penalty outside the 22 in front of the uprights, to take the Kiwis a fraction closer, 15-8.
Sexton added another penalty, Josh van der Flier replaced Jordi Murphy after he twisted his knee and was stretchered off on the cart, while Malakai Fekitoa came on for Ryan Crotty as he limped off, as the Fields of Athenry rung round the stadium. And finally the Irish had their chance to frustrate the All Blacks again. The men in black eventually breached the Irish 22, but poor handling skills allowed the Irish defence -courtesy of a certain former England and British & Irish Lions defence coach, Andy Farrell- to kick them directly in the opposite direction.
Ten minutes to go and Read was back in the ear of Raynal, whinging about some technicality, but the Frenchman pandered to none of it, swatting him away like a fly. Ireland’s reply was swift as the Kiwis were a tactical mess, and Conor Murray saw his opportunity from the back of the breakdown, evaded tackle after poor Kiwi tackle & flew over the whitewash for try number three. Sexton’s conversion took Ireland ahead 25-8, where the score would remain for the final five minutes of the first half. The mighty All Blacks were almost nowhere to be found in the opening 40 minutes of the match.
Early in the second half, Steve Hansen began making changes to his squad in the hope that fresh legs would change the momentum of the match, which was the expectation of every rugby fan watching across the globe. That would be every rugby fan, except the host country, where NBC Sport bought the exclusive broadcast rights for North America, and promptly decided to show the match on delay, which obviously defeated the object of taking rugby to a new audience in its entirety! But back to live coverage, and TJ Perenara was joined by debutant lock Scott Barrett (younger brother of Beauden, though they had never played together professionally), replacing Aaron Smith and Jerome Kaino. But the Irish had other ideas, and from a penalty courtesy of Moody dangerously tackling this time Kearney, the five metre lineout was again perfectly executed and Simon Zebo dotted down in the corner. Sexton’s acute conversion missed badly, but the Irish were beating the All Blacks 30-8.
Half an hour left on the clock, this was the All Blacks after all, so Ireland knew they had to stay strong and fit for the full 80 minutes, despite being clear four tries to one. And the fight back came hard and fast through a sharp break from Dane Coles who offloaded smartly to Perenara who sprinted over to score. Beauden Barrett could not have missed the conversion, and suddenly that 22-point deficit was reduced by seven points.
As Aaron Cruden replaced Waisake Naholo on the wing, Andrew Trimble swooped into touch to stop Julian Savea scoring in the corner, but the All Blacks stole the ensuing Irish lineout and Ben Smith flew over in the opposite corner. Trimble and Zebo were right on top of the fullback, and it took a few replays from the TMO before it was confirmed that the ball was grounded before Smith’s foot was in touch. Barrett the Elder perfectly struck the awkward conversion and within four minutes, two converted tries brought he score to a far more manageable 30-22 with 25 minutes remaining.
The benches were steadily emptied on both sides heading into the final quarter, including Joey Carbery for Sexton, so it was Murray who struck a penalty well enough to take the count back into a two-score requirement for the opposition, 33-22. Meanwhile, Ardie Savea joined his brother Julian, making it the first time since 1961 that a pair of siblings were on the field simultaneously for the All Blacks.
The New Zealanders regrouped, refocused, and with 15 minutes remaining, they returned to form, winning an attacking scrum just outside the Irish 22; it was Scott Barrett who found the gap in the Irish defence to score his first try for the All Blacks on debut. Big bro Beauden converted, and from 30-8 down, the visitors were just four points short of equalising, 33-29.
Over the next ten minutes, both sides were defensive warriors, keeping the opposition at bay, preventing their adversaries from the tryline. Moala was forced from the pitch with a hand injury, and despite being on the attack, the All Blacks could get no closer to scoring than the Irish 22-marker.
Where Ireland would be flagging in previous matches from lack of stamina in the last ten minutes, Strength & Conditioning Coach Jason Cowan had quite obviously changed up his gameplan, and the boys in green looked as spritely as they had in the first half with just six minutes left, and huge hits still left in them. From a defending scrum just inside halfway, Zebo chipped ahead deep into the All Blacks 22, Julian Savea got to it over the tryline but Murray bundled him magnificently clear into touch for a five metre scrum. Super quick ball and from the heel of the scrum and Jamie Heaslip reverse passed out to Henshaw who with all his might, stretched over the whitewash for a final damning score, despite two All Blacks using all their might to stop him. Leinster’s Joey Carbery added the extras on his Ireland debut, and the Irish just had to hold on for three minutes.
Never say never when the All Blacks are involved, but they needed two scores to beat Ireland at 40-29. However, with less than two minutes remaining, a knock on in their 22, the penalty went to Carbery, who took his time, though missed from wide on the 22. One final opportunity for the men in black to attack and maybe save some face, they reached the halfway line from the defensive scrum and the siren had gone, Maynal’s whistle blew for a final Irish penalty after the All Blacks were caught crossing. The ball found touch and Ireland savoured their well-fought historic victory.
15 Rob Kearney 14 Andrew Trimble 13 Jared Payne 12 Robbie Henshaw 11 Simon Zebo 10 Johnny Sexton 9 Conor Murray 1 Jack McGrath 2 RORY BEST (C) 3 Tadhg Furlong 4 Donnacha Ryan 5 Devin Toner 6 CJ Stander 7 Jordi Murphy 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 Sean Cronin 17 Cian Healy 18 Finlay Bealham 19 Ultan Dillane 20 Josh van der Flier 21 Kieran Marmion 22 Joey Carbery 23 Garry Ringrose
SCORERS T: Murphy, Stander, Murray, Zebo, Henshaw C: Sexton (2), Carbery P: Sexton (2), Murray
15 Ben Smith 14 Waisake Naholo 13 George Moala 12 Ryan Crotty 11 Julian Savea 10 Beauden Barrett 9 Aaron Smith 1 Joe Moody 2 Dane Coles 3 Owen Franks 4 Patrick Tuipulotu 5 Jerome Kaino 6 Liam Squire 7 Sam Cane 8 KIERAN READ (C) BENCH: 16 Codie Taylor 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi 18 Charlie Faumuina 19 Scott Barrett* 20 Ardie Savea 21 TJ Perenara 22 Aaron Cruden 23 Malakai Fekitoa
SCORERS T: Moala, Perenara, Ben Smith, Scott Barrett C: Beauden Barrett (3) P: Beauden Barrett YC Moody
Referee: Mathieu Raynal Asst Referees: Luke Pearce, Ben Whitehouse TMO: Rowan Kitt
Wembley Stadium - Saturday 05 November 2016
KO: 15:30 HT: 17-12 Att: 46,646
THE Springboks were denied a morale-boosting victory at the start of their Autumn tour as a 10-try thriller at Wembley Stadium against the Barbarians ended 31-31 with the Killik Cup shared by the sides.
The Springboks came into the game on the back of a 57-15 defeat to New Zealand and looked to be heading for another defeat only for two tries in the closing minutes to salvage a draw in a clash that had the 46,646 fans at Wembley on their feet.
The Barbarians had beaten the Boks in 2007 and 2010, and this was another classic demonstration of fearless and skilful attacking play that is synonymous with the famous invitation club.
The Baa Baas took the game to the Springboks and opened the scoring after just five minutes when full-back Melani Nanai touched down. The tourists levelled on 12minutes when Pieter-Steph Du Toit rose high at the lineout and as the cover defence dissipated, he had a free run to the line.
All Blacks World Cup winner Andy Ellis lit up Wembley with a length of the field try before the Boks levelled when Roelof Smit found himself with space at the front of a lineout.
On half time, the outstanding man of the match Taqele Naiyaravoro was on the end of some fantastic handling to power over in the corner to give the Barbarians a 17-12 lead at the break.
Sergeal Petersen picked up on a loose ball in midfield to race home to score and Pat Lambie’s conversion gave the Springboks the lead for the first time in the match just after the interval.
But that was short-lived when a flowing length of the field move ended with Luke Morahan touching down in the corner for a try that revived memories of Barbarians games of old. Morahan touched down again minutes later for his second of the match.
The conversion put the Barbarians 31-19 ahead but the Boks came fighting back. First Francois Venter crossed the line, and when Rohan van Rensburg went over in the corner, it levelled the scores with three minutes remaining to spare South Africa’s blushes.
15 Melani Nanai 14 Matt Faddes 13 Seta Tamanivalu 12 Richard Buckman 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro 10 Robert du Preez 9 ANDY ELLIS (C) 1 Reggie Goodes 2 Akker van der Merwe 3 Paddy Ryan 4 Martin Muller 5 Michael Fatialofa 6 Brad Shields 7 Jordan Taufua 8 Luke Whitelock BENCH: 16 Andrew Ready 17 Schalk van der Merwe 18 Toby Smith 19 Sam Carter 20 Ruan Ackermann 21 Nic Stirzaker 22 Richard Mo’unga 23 Luke Morahan
SCORERS T: Nanai, Ellis, Naiyaravoro, Morahan (2) C: du Preez, Mo'unga (2)
15 Jesse Kriel 14 Sergeal Petersen 13 Francois Venter 12 Ruan Janse van Rensburg 11 Jamba Ulengo 10 PATRICK LAMBIE (C) 9 Rudy Paige 1 Tendai Mtawarira 2 Malcolm Marx 3 Lourens Adriaanse 4 Rudolf Snyman 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit 6 Roelof Smit 7 Teboho Mohoje 8 Nizaam Carr BENCH: 16 Bongi Mbonambi 17 Lizo Gqoboka 18 Trevor Nyakane 19 Eben Etzebeth 20 Jean-Luc du Preez 21 Piet van Zyl 22 Tiaan Schoeman 23 Ruan Combrinck
SCORERS T: du Toit, Smit, Petersen, Venter, Janse van Rensburg C: Lambie (3)
Referee: Mike Fraser Asst Referees: Paul Williams, Shuhei Kubo TMO: Graham Hughes
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