Matt Talaese red carded at fulltime

Jerry Collins' club perform Haka

RWC Players to Watch: Anthony Watson

Rayno Benjamin's sneaky trip gets yellow

James Schrader's sensational try saver

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Sonny Bill Williams warned for big hit

Jerry Collins appearance for club 2nd XV

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Australia complete clean sweep against France with Sydney win

The Wallabies achieved a clean sweep in their three-Test series with France as they beat them 39-13 in Sydney on Saturday. The win takes Australia to seven consecutive Test victories for the first time since 2000.

The 43 188 fans set a record for the largest Test Rugby crowd ever to attend the Allianz stadium, and their side didn't disappoint as they dominated territory and possession and played some great rugby. Israel Folau was on the scoresheet yet again, scoring twice, as was debutant Will Skelton.

Skelton, who has had a prolific rise to international rugby, scored a powerful try but also set up fullback Folau with a neat little pass. He chatted to Nick Cummins post match, which you can see on page two (or below). It includes his Cap presentation and some nice moments within the team. 

The Wallabies scored five tries to one, which pleased coach Ewen Mckenzie after last weekend's dire encounter between the two sides in Melbourne. "We dominated possession and territory and while we didn't make the most of every opportunity, I was pretty happy with the intent," he said.

France now have a break but must pick up the pieces ahead of the end of year tours, Six Nations and then the Rugby World Cup. Coach Philippe Saint-Andre admitted that they had been outplayed by Australia, even though they did well to keep things close last weekend.

"Today Australia win all the contact areas, they go forward all the time, they had more urgency, more skill so congratulations to them. It was the end of a long season for our players but there is a game in Paris in November and they will see one French team that is completely different." 

Page: 12View All

Posted by Rugbydump at 9:25 am | View Comments (66)

Viewing 66 comments

larry June 22, 2014 1:44 pm

The Aussies sure know how to manufacture tries by using their backs. I really liked the second try, and the miss pass. Great ball handling skills. There's a legacy going back a few decades now of running flat back lines at the opposition.
Having said all that, I'm really tired of these swan dives into the in-goal. It's equivalent to that baseball player for the Guggenheim Mercenaries (and to whom I am referring you non-Americans can take a guess) flipping his bat after a homerun. And what's with the shirt tails not being tucked in? The ugly polyester shirts are bad enough as it is. At least France's jerseys look more or less like real rugby shirts.
With New Zealand beating England, South Africa Wales, and now Australia France it's quite obvious who is still dominant in world rugby. I'm wondering how many tests will happen when the seasons switch in the Northern Hemisphere fall. Will the Aussies, Kiwis, and Boks give their players a break a year out from the World Cup?

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DrG June 22, 2014 3:04 pm

I'm not suggesting that the Southern Hemisphere isn't on a whole probably the 'better' hemisphere, but what you stated was in effect:

A very good England vs NZ (depending on the test opinions will vary)
A very monotone Wales vs Boks
The most unbelievably inconsistent French vs Aus

I can only make the assumption that with England being the 'best' of the losing bunch, that perhaps they'd have faired better against the boks or Aus...

That being said, I pretty much agree with everything else you've said...

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dave June 23, 2014 1:35 am

England are better than Aus and are equal or close to the Boks

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Future_Is_Black June 23, 2014 2:22 am

Come on Dave old son, be serious now. England better than Australia and equal to the Mighty Springboks? Ireland won the Six Nations hahaha

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dave June 23, 2014 4:47 pm

England's beat Ireland in 4 straight, they've beat Aus in 3 of their last 4 games and the last win was with England rusty as hell we also kicked your ass once upon a time something no one has done since and france was fortunate with some lucky bounces in the six nations, of all recent losses that was the hardest to take.
With South Africa it's hard to say, they've beat us several games straight so you'd have to give them the edge but we haven't played them since november 2012 and we've been outplaying them since that draw in port elisabeth so with our growth since then I think we might be equal.
Hey did you watch the u 20 world cup?
Looks like the future is White, then Green and Gold but not Black

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Future_Is_Black June 24, 2014 2:29 am

I have a hard time agreeing with your comments, when the IRB rankings clearly show the BIG 3 in spots 1,2 & 3. Yes you did beat us didn't you Dave...actually to confirm that I checked the stats...England have beaten NZ 7 ever since time began...haha just 7 wins. Surely that is incredibly embarrassing for you Dave.
I'm not debating that England can get up for a win every now and then against the BIG 3, I'm just saying they don't do it often or consistently. I'll back the Boks and Aus every time!

I did watch the U20's, and it was a great comp (One that NZ has won 5 times before) luckily for the SH teams, U20's form is not an indication of the international game.

You chaps should try and focus on how to stop Ireland from winning the Six Nations before you get into these tough conversations about Southern Hemisphere dominance.

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DanKnapp June 24, 2014 7:55 am

I'm with Future_is_Black. England will only ever be better than Australia and South Africa when we beat them regularly. England are improving but Rugby does not stand still. I'm happy with our level in the world being measured every four years.

Until then, as we do not regularly beat the Souther Hemisphere teams, I'm happy letting them take the credit. We must be a team which bases its success on substantive results, not just hypothetical matches.

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Future_Is_Black June 24, 2014 2:57 pm

Dan the rankings are updated after every match

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perfectthirteen July 04, 2014 12:20 pm

Youre what everyone hates about Kiwis

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dave June 25, 2014 6:55 pm

We can all agree to disagree

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Gazza June 27, 2014 9:41 am

Come on Dave. Try to let evidence be a part of your argument.

England are on the up, no doubt but to suggest they are close to the Boks (who they haven't beaten in 11 games - or since 2006) is just ludicrous. To suggest they are anywhere near the All Blacks is delusional. The IRB rankings also suggest that Australia are better than England and to personally stack-rank these teams on the evidence over the last 12 months, I'd have to agree with the IRB.
I'm keen to follow England's progress leading up to the RWC2015 - for what it's worth, I see an England vs SA final with SA to shade it.
See you in the Autumn.

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kanpai June 22, 2014 3:26 pm

In my opinion these SH - NH confrontations means nothing except during World Cup.
Each time (whether it's in June or November) one of the team is either exhausted or unmotivated, and only New Zealand managed to stay in top form for both. This is just a way to gain money for the federations.
The only way to make this tests a little bit more decisive would be to have only one rugby calendar, but that's close to unthinkable for now.

About the game, well, exactly as expected : French were only thinking of vacations, and Australia had to show a better side than last time. Nothing new to learn from this tour unfortunately.

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Jon June 22, 2014 11:16 pm

kanpai, sorry but that's nonsense.
Why? Because when the Southern Hemisphere teams go north they still win, even though it's the end of their seasons and they're tired.
Northern Hemisphere come south and lose, and then they almost always lose up north against the Southern Hemisphere as well, even though they're fresh and the SH teams are tired.
Also, the Southern Hemisphere has historically dominated the World Cup too.

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4LC4TR4Z June 23, 2014 8:56 am

So what ? Let's say South is definitely better than North... Still those tours are meaningless and useless. They only exist for southern unions to make money.

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DrG June 23, 2014 9:47 am

....and here we go...

France should have won the last RWC, if not for diabolical refereeing; as noted by experienced players/pundits from many regions (not just France). So stick that one in the NH pile.

SH come up North and beats the NH, so Argentina is included in that racket? and Samoa/Tonga/Fiji etc? Nope, didn't think so...

Which means you're only talking about the 'big 3' - NZ, Aus, and SA...considering Aus has been extremely shaky the last few years, do you think they get comfort, or climb into bed with the Kiwi's and Boks, and enjoy the fact that both those teams won a few games when Aus lost?

I mean they lost to the Lions for crying out loud... only other team to do as badly against the Lions as Aus is Argentina...

I'm not saying that there isn't a gap, but when these teams get lumped into hemispheres it all goes a bit daft. To be honest, you cannot even do that in the NH - Scotland, Wales, Ireland and probably everyone else are cheering for any team playing against England...

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Jon June 23, 2014 10:39 am

Mate, seriously. Everyone knows the SANZAR teams are the three best teams in the world. They just win more than they lose. And you're right, that doesn't include Argentina, Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.
You say Australia is shakey but they've beaten Six Nations teams seven times in a row, four of those away from home at the end of a long season.

I wouldn't have started the debate, but it's annoying the whinging and excuses you hear every time the NH teams come south and get beaten, and NH fans say, "oh, it doesn't matter, the players are tired and at the end of a long season". It's dumb. When the SANZAR teams go north in November it's the end of their season, and you don't hear SH fans whinging about how tired our teams are when we lose.
When France beat Australia two years ago in Paris, the Aussies didn't moan about how tired they were and how the players didn't care so it didn't count. The French beat us fair and square. We just weren't good enough, and the French played very well. After that Aus just got on with it, and beat England, Italy and Wales.

When England beat Australia last year in November, none of the NH fans came out and said it didn't matter because the Australian team was tired. They were rightly proud that their team had played well and won.

It's just excuses and whinging.

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DrG June 23, 2014 8:46 pm

I cannot be bothered, but can you point me to any of the comments saying "we only lost because it was the end of the season and we're tired?" or words to that effect?

Personally I think they're bullshit comments and I wouldn't read too much into them, but to draw out summaries of NH v SH is not only pointless, it's also incorrect or ill informed when you only pick and choose the teams you want.

Have you taken note how Japan (a Northern Hemisphere team) has just leap frogged 2 Southern Hemisphere teams and got itself into the Top 10?

I'm no Japanese fan, nor do I know (m)any Japanese people, but "hell yeah, go Northern hemisphere".... I might start yelling "Murika rules!" at the same time in order to sound like a complete prat...

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Future_Is_Black June 24, 2014 2:38 am

You are right DrG, when we say Southern Hemisphere, we obviously mean the BIG 3 and when we say Northern we obviously mean the best of the Home Unions. Compare these (Tier 1 nations) and it is very easy to see why SANZAR is considered to be ahead.

We are not talking about current form. Sure Aussie has had a few shaky years, and the Boks and ABs certainly have their slumps. We are talking about the hard stats which cannot be argued with. SANZAR teams beat the NH Tier 1's a lot more than they beat SANZAR.

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Jon June 24, 2014 2:56 am

On a lighter note, Japan are actually becoming a pretty good team.
They've won ten in a row, including beating Samoa, USA, Canada and a full strength Italy.
I'm claiming them as spiritually Southern Hemisphere until they start losing again for the purposes of this conversation.
Seriously though, I'm talking about SANZAR vs the Six Nations.

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DanKnapp June 24, 2014 8:05 am

The SANZAR teams are leading the world in terms of excitement. Nobody can match them for speed of play and clinical finishing. At the same time the Northern Hemisphere has slightly more competitive leagues because of the threat of relegation. The two styles of game are different considering the weather that prevails for most of the playing year.

I love Rugby. I love England. I am still happy to enjoy watching matches involving the Big 3 and enjoying their immensely entertaining style of play. I would desperately like the Northern Hemisphere teams to play the same way, because I find it entertaining, but ultimately I just want all national teams to represent their nations well:

- bleed for their jersey
- fight for the win
- show the best of Rugby values
- entertain

Why the hell would I hate the All Blacks when they play with such pride in the shirt. I don't think there is another country in the World which matches them for passion in the shirt. Why would I hate the South Africans with their unbelievably tough version of the game. Those guys are hard as brass tacks. Why would I hate the Australians? Those guys represent a small nation in terms of population, they are behind Rugby League, NRL and cricket in terms of popularity, and they still put together such an awesome team.

Why would I hate the Welsh? They bring such passion to the game. For every Mike Phillips there is a Leigh Halfpenny. How can anybody hate the Irish, a team pulled together from across the sectarian divide, which sings an anthem based on unity? How can anyone hate the Scottish, full of pride and a rich history?

How can you not want to see Japan, Argentina, Canada and the USA improve and get better? They're entertaining and they play with determination.

I'm so fucking tired of these bullshit NH/SH arguments. I love this sport and I believe everybody else here does. We all get drunk together after the game, and enjoy the spectacle. This is not fucking soccer.

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DrG June 24, 2014 11:59 am

Of course the SANZAR teams are better than the 6N teams, that is what makes it so exciting in World cups when they play each other...

What I was referring to was the fact I do not have any particular allegiances to Japan, so a victory for them is a victory for THEM. I am happy and proud as a rugby fan to see a 'small rugby nation' improve and I can only hope for their sake that they get better. But throwing any victory they have into a NH pile and taking credit for it because it's "my hemisphere" not only waters down their victory it also remains pointless.. It's as if we have a bond that means we're not going to pull punches the next time we face, because we're in the same hemisphere....

There is a team a league above us which is literally 8 miles away from where I live, we play them on boxing day every year and it's horrific, one of the most hard fought matches of the season - but shouldn't it be a nice easy friendly match? Not only are we in the same Hemisphere, we're in the same country, county and same region of the county...

In other words, your neighbour is your worst opposition... I wouldn't be chalking up their victories as a sort of trophy count, because when it gets to you - NZ for instance; are not going to pull any punches..

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45678 June 22, 2014 1:53 pm

I've come to the conclusion that the rugby public don't mind swan dives unless it's Chris Ashton doing it

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stroudos June 22, 2014 7:02 pm

I've never boarded the anti-Ash-Splash bandwagon, however what I do dislike about his version is he always bottles it. He flies in with his arms outstretched, then drops his knee first to take the weight of his fall. Ruins the aesthetic.

Hooper's at 2:55 - now THAT is how to swan dive. Totally commits to it, got huge air, he was practically doing front crawl in mid-air at one point, like the opening credits of Bananaman, then nailed the landing. Wonderful execution. that for me is the difference.

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Pipo June 22, 2014 7:49 pm

I don't like swan dives, period. Doesn't matter if Hooper or Ashton does it. Difference is Hooper did it this weekend and Ashton does it every time, even when scoring tries that mean nothing as his team is still loosing (like very recently against the ABs, much like Shane Williams who in his final game celebrated his final try like if his team had won the game when in reality the Aussies beat them with ease).

Also, Hooper is a forward and Ashton is a back, worse of all a winger, so... :)

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larry June 24, 2014 8:33 pm

Rugby was once a sport in which one didn't rub great play or even winning into the opposition's face. Check old games on You Tube. Tries were hardly even celebrated back in the day. I few pats on the back and that was about it. And of course no one did a swan dive on purpose. It was done if it indeed bad to be done, like Ian Kirkpatrick's dive into the corner vs the British Isles in the second test in 1971.

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dave June 23, 2014 1:37 am

I thought he looked awkward doing the dive.
His was more like a prop's dream swan dive

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Jon June 22, 2014 11:18 pm

The fact is that the swan dive has a long history in the game. Players have been doing it for many decades.
It's kind of dumb, but it's harmless. I have no idea why anyone would care if a player doe sit or not.
The other thing is that sometimes it actually helps players to get the ball down under pressure.

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larry June 24, 2014 8:42 pm

Really? When necessary, yes. When not necessary, no. It really doesn't have much of a history. Plenty of players just fell over the goal line, thereby downing the ball. Heck, when very much in the clear running into the in-goal, the cool thing used to be smacking the ball into the ground without going to ground at all, a running into standing up try. No, these swan dives are nothing but show, and I'd rather keep the sport as it once was regarding how a try is scored. It's bad enough with the polyester collarless rugby shirts with enough ads on them that they could be bill boards, and the sport looking more and more like rugby league.
And I really like it when I see rugby played openly, like the Aussies seemed to do against France. The repetition of second phase passes to some forward only to run directly into opposition, only to repeat in third phase, to fourth phase, is just a rugby union version of the league ruck! Pass the ball out to the backs, for crissakes, and get going the game going is what I say, or reroute forwards to vertically forward rush at the opposing forwards and unload before the tackles can be made.

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Jon June 24, 2014 11:29 pm

Mate, not sure where you happen to be from, but in Australia people have been swan diving into tries for decades. It's just a bit of fun.
And also, if a tackler is coming to stop you putting the ball down, a swan dive actually makes it harder for them to tackle you.

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DirtyLittleScrumbag June 30, 2014 6:18 pm! That's what it's all about isn't it, unfortunately this seems to be lost on many in the rugby community, as we're seeing in these forums.

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Joaco June 22, 2014 2:35 pm

I strongly dislike Swan Dives, so it's always nice to see a plod fumbling his ball or getting hurt because of a swan dive. I think the individuals perpetuating these celebrations should be red carded, cited and banned.

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Joaco June 22, 2014 2:50 pm

+ I think 100 % cotton shirts should come back. All fluo shoes should be banned. No plastic studs allowed whatsoever. When one is lying on the wrong side of the ruck, shoeing should 100 % allowed and even encouraged by the referees. The entire IRB should be replaced with individuals that actually played. Or some fork of Rugby Union should be created called Rugby Union Before It Became Lame or something

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larry June 24, 2014 8:55 pm

Before it became a version of league? Well, things certainly changed with the game becoming professional some 19 years ago. And yet the cotton shirts, or cotton/polyester blend shirts stayed on until the very recent past, like last five years or so It started with the Henley collars, and now a t-shirt type collar. I know soccer gets a knock on this website, but really, these shirts look a lot like soccer shirts. As I posted, at least Scotland, France, South Africa, and New Zealand have shirts that more or less look like rugby shirts. Check out the WW1 Commemorative game played between Blackheath and London Scottish in early May on You Tube. The teams were kitted out in the same kit as 1914, and guess what, it didn't seem to affect play at all. No numbers on the back, long sleeved shirts rolled up by some players but not all, but the shorts weren't the really long ones, though. It looked really cool. And since this was a friendly, the games (there were three: juniors, seniors, and veterans) were wide open running rugby (though I would bet the 1914 match had much more kicking!).
I don't know about the shoeing, though. Anyway, here in America there's these baseball leagues in which players not only dress up but actually play with equipment and a ball that was used pre-1900. I'm not suggesting that rugby return to the laws that existed before say 1968 (no subs, no kick to touch rules), but I'd like to see some old laws returned, especially regarding line-outs (the original 1995 lifting laws), some changes in mauls and rucks and how they are reffed, and just what was wrong with drop outs that the laws were changed so they hardly happen now?

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DrG June 25, 2014 9:47 am

As much as I disagree with you on the laws of lifting etc, I am interested to see this WW1 commemorative game. I don't mind 'new shirts, new material' etc, if it at least resembles a rugby shirt, as you say, Sco, Fra, SA, NZ etc. Question though, what was the weather like in that commemorative match? Only I played a couple games in the past for 'the old boys' at school and those shirts were originally cotton - completely cotton and in the rain it was like running around carrying an extra me on my back...

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DrG June 22, 2014 3:06 pm

I assume Joaco is being sarcastic,... but I still agree with him :)

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larry June 24, 2014 8:57 pm

A bit of sarcasm, and a bit of truthful criticism.

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Joaco June 22, 2014 3:24 pm

No I am actually quite serious. Just finished watching Russia vs Uruguay, and some Russian was given a Yellow Card for a perfect tackle. Again some IRB agent (another slave on a power trip, to be more precise) saw something that he deemed naughty, made his gesture (the TV in the air) and declared it was a dangerous tackle afterwards (how many times have we seen that happen in the last 2 months, huh?). The guy on the receiving end landed on his shoulder. It was not a spear tackle, nor was it a tip tackle. So the question arises, how long will we tolerate the IRB molding Rugby Union into some travesty?

Btw I also think super slow mo, instant replays and crowd shots should be banned from Rugby games. Especially the crowd shots are so tiring. Want to know what a crowd is like? Give a monkey in a zoo a mirror. You'll see he reacts to it (he will wave to himself). That's what crowd shots are during games.

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DrG June 23, 2014 9:51 am

I'm not sure the world is quite ready us lot to wage war against the IRB like another Russia v Ukraine thing... but yes, I do see where you're coming from..

..Enjoyed your comment about a monkey in a zoo, made me laugh!

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larry June 24, 2014 9:17 pm

All these changes seem to have come after the game went professional. It all became about money very quickly. And along with that was indeed changing the laws of the game to make it more TV watchable. I think Australia had a lot of influence on this (Rupert Murdoch!), as rugby league had always been more popular there, and union has had to compete for the best rugby players over the decades. By changing the game somewhat it meant that league watchers might be attracted to watching union, and union players would remain in union and not switch codes if paid to play.
The genie has been let out and there's no going back to the old days of shamatuerism, as there always were players getting money under the table for wearing certain shoes, and getting some expenses paid. As the IRB was stupid to not allow players to make money off books and promoting sporting goods then, and getting paid to do so (as though that were any sort of breach of amatuerism!), they have been stupid in the last twenty to have allowed so many law changes that the essence of how the game has been played is different from before. It is over-reffed, and in trying to make the game less dangerous, it seems to only have encouraged the type of play that brings about more head to head clashes instead of more open rugby with more passing and strategic kicking, and by that I mean this tactic of second phase repeat/recycle play: pass off to a forward who runs straight into opposition, ball rucked back, repeat, repeat, repeat! Off the ball shenanigans, thankfully, are more and more rare, and one would be stupid to punch or kick a player off the ball today, as it is going to be seen (all the cameras) and the player cited.

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DrG June 25, 2014 9:51 am

The difficulty is that we want to see more and more and more, but as a result we are seeing less and less and less... As you said, off the ball incidents, brawls etc (which I'm not saying are what we want to see as such, but they are exciting) are becoming less because the players know they cannot get away with anything.

Then of course as you said, becoming professional means winning. How often is it, that the most boring matches (in terms of the rugby played) are sometimes the RWC matches... Look at Baabaa matches, they're great fun, because nothing in particular is at stake. But when the difference is you progress further in a competition or you go home, players take less risks, close up the gaps and the game is then decided by the boot and who can kick the ball over the defence and through the sticks a la drop goal...

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finedisregard June 22, 2014 6:11 pm

A) Joaco, we're with you!
B) I'm not French, but am I only the only person that thinks a wildly inconsistent wild card team that looks like world beaters one week and amateurs the next is kind of cool? You never know if a French team will show up, and I think that makes test rugby all the more interesting. The French sportsmen's psychology is really something I don't understand.

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Facepalm June 22, 2014 6:25 pm

France's inconsistency is down to the coach not the players. If faith were to be shown to their best players week in week out they'd be world beaters every game. How can a player be psychologically motivated in the current French setup? Great for an England fan, a terrible shame for the game of rugby.

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kanpai June 22, 2014 6:33 pm

About b)
That could have been right a few years ago, but now we start being regular : we're always on amateur level (a bit hard, but not that far from the truth).

I know it's a common cliché, and even if i think it's kinda true (and it leads to some of the most exciting games), this inconsistency doesn't apply to every sport. In handball french teams are always at top level, and in football it's more a matter of good/bad time than pure inconsistency. In rugby, it's closer to pride reaction, and you can't build professional teams on that.

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Vladimir June 22, 2014 6:33 pm

You known, french players are just players like the others. But they live in a country sooooo inconsistent and complicated in itself: society, federation, ligue, coaches, supporters, trends, etc. They would to play freely, but frankly they can't.

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DrG June 23, 2014 9:56 am

I think Frances' inconsistency is only 'cool' to all us non Frenchmen.... I'd imagine if I was French and donned my supportive t-shirt, Le Coq hat, flag cape and french horn, trundled down to the stadium tooting away on my horn and got my face all painted up and sang La Marseillaise at the top of my voice I'd be thoroughly disappointed to watch my team play like a bunch of headless Coq's - or cocks...

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larry June 24, 2014 9:21 pm

There's a history of France being world beaters and beatable. New Zealand knows quite well how France can ruin their day. Who would have thought that France could have knocked out New Zealand in 1999 WC, with a 5'8" winger marking a 6'5" winger.

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Joaco June 22, 2014 11:42 pm

@ Jon, alright maybe the World Cups wins were dominated by SH teams, but what on earth was the WC11 final huh? Also let's not forget France not being awarded a try in the 95 semi-final and then the match being finished too early whilst the French had an 5m attacking scrum.

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Jon June 23, 2014 5:16 am

Hey France are a good team. And when they are motivated, they can beat anyone. They just have trouble getting motivated.
But that's got nothing to do with the them being tired.
Frankly, that's just an excuse for poor performance.
You don't hear the Southern Hemisphere teams complaining that they are tired when they go north in November. If we lose, it's because we weren't good enough, complaining about being tired is just mental weakness.

And I don't hear the European teams downplaying their wins in November tests against Aus, Sa and NZ, because the SH teams are tired.

It's just an excuse for not being good enough. The fact is that the SH has pretty much always won more games against NH teams than the other way round for over 100 years. That's not down to tiredness.

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kanpai June 23, 2014 10:21 am

I think you misunderstood what we said.
Being tired is in no way an excuse to the poor games shown this summer (at least for france, england did pretty well), and we're not looking for external causes to explain the defeat, if NH teams lost it's because they weren't good enough.
What i'm trying to say is that these tour are not something you could use as a "ranking tool", because the conditions for the two teams are not the same.
And i think that except for New-Zealand, SH teams doesn't perform that well in NH tour. And personnally, i don't think that because we beat a SH team during November we've suddenly became insanely good : it's great for team spirit, but this means nothing more. I remember when Australia were beaten by France in 2012, everybody in France were saying that it was a good performance but that Australia did not bring there A-game.
And about World Cup, i do remember that NH teams do really well during this competitions (last 3 WC, 2 teams of each Hemisphere in semi-final, 1 of each in final, so it's not that unbalanced).

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Jon June 23, 2014 10:48 am

Kanpai, all goo mate. I'm really not trying to be a prick, but I just disagree with fundamentally.

I mean take your 2012 example. Australia lost convincingly, and they definitely didn't bring their A game. But it had nothing to do with it being the end of the season, or them being tired, or them not caring. They just got outplayed. The made a bunch of mistakes, they failed in the scrum, and they gave away too many penalties.

I mean if what you're saying is true, and they were too tired to play well in November 2012, how come they went on to beat Italy, England and Wales?

You never hear SA, NZ or Aus complaining the way the NH teams do. Honestly, it just sounds like excuses for bad performance.

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kanpai June 23, 2014 11:44 am

Well, i think i kinda start understanding your point of view. Of course, saying we lost only because we're tired is an insult to the other team performance, and that should never be used as an excuse, but I still think it's part of a game elements, and if you're not in optimal conditions, winning against top teams is much harder.
I don't know what it's like in SANZAR, or even is some other European nations, but in France the player condition is considered one of the main point to improve, as they are way too much solicited. They play too many games where they need to be at 100%, and the way the championship is doesn't let young talent play enough to replace the top players.

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Jon June 24, 2014 2:57 am

kanpai, fair enough mate.
The French do seem to play a hell of a lot of games.

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Ando June 22, 2014 11:47 pm

Enjoyable behind-the-scenes look at Skelton's cap presentation and the team post-match.

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Future_Is_Black June 23, 2014 2:18 am

Nice win series whitewash to the Aussies, well deserved. I have to laugh at suggestions that the NH are tired at the end of their seasons. The SH teams head north at the end of their long seasons and as history shows they do the majority of the winning. There is a reason the SH hold the top 3 spots in the rankings.

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Jake June 25, 2014 7:03 pm

I'd suggest that the nature of european rugby is more physically demanding than super rugby, so when teams arrive in the southern hemisphere they're more likely to be injured and tired than sh sides. Not to take away anything from the SH your sides are rightly better than the majority of ours

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Jon June 25, 2014 10:54 pm

So how come European teams also lose when they are at the start of their season, and the SH teams are at the end of theirs?
If what you were saying was true the trend would be reversed in November. The SH would be all battered and tired and the european teams would be fresher and ready to go.
But they still lose. It doesn't stand up to reason. It's just an excuse.

When Australia beat Ireland last year, one of the Irish commentators started talking about how the reason was that the SH teams were "battle hardened" and the NH teams just hadn't played enough rugby at the highest level.

So if it's June, the NH teams lose because they are tired and the SH teams are fresh. If it's November the NH teams lose because they are TOO fresh and not battle hardened, and the SH teams have played TOO MUCH rugby for them.

It's all just excuses. At the end of the day you've XV professional rugby players against XV professional rugby players. Whoever plays better on the day wins. All the rest is just meaningless talk.

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DrG June 23, 2014 10:01 am


Scotland beat Argentina...

Scotland in NH - Argentina in SH....

...oh wait, no one counts Argentina do they, or Tonga, or Samoa, or Fiji...unless of course they pull out a win, and then of course it's another victory for the SH...

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Jon June 23, 2014 10:51 am

DrG, if it makes you feel better, the Six Nations teams, with the exception of Italy and Scotland (most of the time), are obviously better and more consistent than Argentina, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
And of course different teams are better and worse, depending on the season.
Personally I think England are currently the toughest NH team, especially at home, and I think Aus will do very well to beat them at the World Cup at Twickenham.

But overall, I'd argue that Aus, the worst of the SANZAR three in the last couple years, is still better and more consistent than England. Historically, it's not really debatable.

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DrG June 23, 2014 8:52 pm

Doesn't make me feel one way or the other, because frankly I prefer not to get too involved in cheering for a hemisphere....

I mean for crying out loud most of the world is in the Northern Hemisphere including the "Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea" otherwise known as North Korea and if they had a rugby team I'm hardly going to cheer for them against a Southern hemisphere team.....

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Future_Is_Black June 24, 2014 2:42 am

As I said on your comments above DrG, we are obviously referring to SANZAR Vs the best of your Home Unions. Jon is right...go to and compare the stats...there is no debate

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Jon June 24, 2014 2:53 am

Even against New Zealand?
What if the Great Leader played fullback?

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DrG June 24, 2014 12:01 pm

Would probably be one of the funniest games I've ever seen - would love to see him end up with a 1v1 with Savea...

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Jon June 25, 2014 8:55 am

He's the Great Leader, he'd score ten tries and hammer the opposition back with mighty tackles.
Did you know he can control the weather? He really is something.

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DrG June 25, 2014 9:59 am

Well considering his dad invented hamburgers, I wouldn't be surprised if when facing the All Blacks all his team lay broken and bloodied, Kim picked up the ball and fiercely beat the All Blacks who had to bring on all their subs and play 22 vs 1, yet he still beat them all, in the scrums, in the lineouts, and converting from his own try line...

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Colombes June 24, 2014 2:13 pm

Good news for Australia, they seem in a great form before the Tri-Nations... Sorry the Rugby Championship!
Bad news: They beated a tired and unmotivated french team. St-André should really wake up and pick the right players at their right positions!
Others bad news: Forgetting the stupid debate 'SH teams are tired in november' VS 'NH teams don't give a shit of these summer tours' ... The world cup will be played in... november.

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kadova June 24, 2014 11:49 pm

Colombes, RWC in November ????

The issues in French rugby:
The powers-that-be don't care about the international players, only Top14 counts: Top 14 is forward play, kicking, defense, boring rugby.
Then the international players are asked to actually play at international level, namely the opposite way of the Top14 way of playing, hence the children at rugby schools learn defense and tackles instead of focusing on skills, so to be formatted to be future Top14 players.
You watch a match at children/teenagers level and then you compare with ta match at the same level at the same age in New Zealand for instance. if you're French you cry, children are not at the same level at all.
You can also watch the U20 at RWC this year and compare, if you're French you cry again (or scream in fury).
In number of matches or number of minutes played, French players and English players game time is similar (this is on French website Le Rugbynistere).
Then you watch NZ-England this June and compare with Australia-France. If you're french, you cry (or scream).
Then you compare the way rugby is played in Top14 matches and in Premiership matches, and you understand.
The way the Top14 matches are played is at odds with the way international matches have to be played. And that situation is killing the French national team.
In France, supporters are wondering when the French powers-that-be will realise that, wake up and act accordingly.

For RWCs, players have 2 months together before starting, hence their best results at there.

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