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Monday, November 19, 2012

End of Year Tours 2012 - Week Two - Highlights wrap

With the seedings draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup not far off, these Autumn International results are more significant than ever. To make sure you're up to speed, we've archived highlights and full match replays of the main games.

Today the latest IRB World Rankings were released and as you can see below, New Zealand occupy top spot for the third year running, but a little further down we saw some changes as Wales dropped two places following their loss to Samoa.

Come two weeks time, the top four sides will avoid each other in the draw, and the three sections would be as follows: Band 1: New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, France; Band 2: England, Argentina, Ireland, Wales; Band 3: Samoa, Scotland, Italy, Tonga.

View the full rankings on the IRB website here

Featuring highlights of all of the weekend's games wasn't feasible, so instead we've provided a short recap, followed by links to quick highlights and archived full matches.

Wales vs Samoa
On Friday night Wales slumped to their fifth successive defeat as Samoa brought dominated physically after scoring early on. Kahn Fotuali'i marshalled his troops superbly as the Millennium Stadium sat in stunned silence. Wales face the All Blacks next.
Highlights | Full Match

RFU Championship XV vs New Zealand Maori
The New Zealand Maori side are touring the UK and following on from their midweek loss to Leicester, they took on a RFU Championship XV in Doncaster. The game was closely fought for a long period, before the tourists let loose and ultimately came away with a big win.
Highlights | Full Match
Scotland vs South Africa
Scotland hosted the Springboks in a game that wasn't thrilling by any stretch of the imagination, but resulted in a good win for the visitors, bouncing back from the 2010 defeat. Scotland suffered their second loss in a row, albeit to the number one and two ranked teams.
Highlights | Full Match

England vs Australia
England were in buoyant mood following their big win over Fiji a week earlier, while the Wallabies needed to bounce back from their loss to France. They did so thanks to a Nick Cummins try and some good kicking from Berrick Barnes. England host South Africa next.
Highlights | Full Match
Italy vs New Zealand
The All Blacks were made to work hard for their 42-10 victory over Italy in Rome. While the first half was a fairly tight affair (the All Blacks led 13-7 at the break), in the last fifteen minutes of the game they let loose, scoring three tries, as Julian Savea picked up a brace.
Highlights | Full Match

Ireland XV vs Fiji
A strong Ireland XV side ran riot  at Thomond Park, scoring eight tries against Fiji in a non-Test cap match. Speedy winger Craig Gilroy picking up an impressive hat-trick. Ireland face a far sterner test this coming weekend, when they host Argentina in Dublin.  
Highlights | Full Match

France vs Argentina
France are looking good value for their top four placing on the world rankings following the good showing against Argentina in Lille. Wing Vincent Clerc scored twice, while flanker Yannick Nyanga scored a fantastic solo effort.
Highlights | Full Match

Elsewhere, Tonga beat the USA 22-13, while Canada beat Russia 35-3. You can view full match replays of those two games on the official IRB website here.

If you spotted anything in particular that you think should be featured on RD, please get in touch by sending a quick message on Twitter, Facebook, the requests section, or by email.

On a sidenote, our live video stream of the Italy vs New Zealand match was a huge success. The feedback was great and the quality of the video was excellent. If all goes well, we'll do the same for Italy vs Australia this coming weekend.

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