Powering in Green
Ireland 20 - 20 Australia
Ireland snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat at Croke Park today and although they didn't win the game they can certainly take away a lot of positives away from their performance.
BBC commentator Eddie Butler perfectly summed up Ireland's approach in three words:
"Energised and confident."
Ireland fielded a strong side against the rampaging Wallabies, and after looking dead and buried, a last minute try from BOD himself (who else?) allowed O'Gara to bag two more points and seal a hard fought draw. (Seriously, who writes O'Driscoll's scripts? In his 100th test match appearance he scores the decisive try to help level the score. Praise be to BOD).
Australia should have won this game, but sadly for them they just couldn't manage it. Hurray! At least the smug Wallabies won't go home clutching an autumn international home nations whitewash to their puffed up green and gold chests.
The personification of the Irish performance today?
Strong running in the loose, confidence in his own abilities on his international debut and an all round gutsy performance from the Leinster prop. Cian's got work to do to get his scrummaging up to scratch, but other than that it was an excellent first cap performance.
Maurauded in Maroon
England 16 - 9 Argentina
England on the other hand might have beaten Argentina yesterday in their new purple change strip, but after a dismal performance they were quite rightly booed off the pitch at half time. The Argentina side contained four, yes four amateur players but despite this a dull and uninspiring England could only limp to a 16 - 9 win.
Jeremy Guscott's three word conclusion of England's performance?
"Slow and sloppy."
The personification of this?
Flaky at fullback, shocking under the high ball and slow to allay the fears of the disgruntled Twickenham crowd.
I feel like a broken record.
Martin Johnson: PLEASE bring Ben Foden in to play at full back next week as I think we can safely say that the Monye experiment has been deemed a failure.
If an idiot is defined as someone who repeats their actions yet expects to get a different result, then surely the time has come to show the world that you're not ready to take up residence in a remote village whilst wearing a dunce's hat.
Then again, I think it will take nothing short of a minor miracle to resurrect England's hopes of beating the All Blacks next Saturday. What is the game plan? Do the players know it? Does anyone care?
Still, even if the game's rubbish I can distract myself by looking at Dan Carter's biceps. Happy days.
The Shortball from Rugby HQ - Round 9
1 day ago