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RUGBY WRAP: Boks overcome shaky start; ABs punish Ireland, Wallabies edge England and more

Shaun Goosen looks back at the weekend’s rugby which saw the Boks overcome a shaky start against Wales, the All Blacks steamroll Ireland and Australia edge England.

Springboks De Allende Am and Smith
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Shaun Goosen looks back at the weekend's rugby which saw the Boks overcome a shaky start against Wales, the All Blacks steamroll Ireland and Australia edge England.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Willemse seals late Bok comeback

Damian Willemse kicked a last-gasp penalty as the Springboks overcame a 15-point hal ftime deficit to record a thrilling 32-29 victory over Wales in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. The Bomb Squad again proved instrumental for the hosts, with their power and energy off the bench galvanising the side in the second half, while the introduction of Willie le Roux was another game-changer. Elton Jantjies, who had played frighteningly little rugby heading into the clash, had a day to forget at first receiver, and was hooked off at the break in a move that ultimately proved pivotal to the eventual Bok resurgence.

An understrength, underfire Wales lineup was phenomenal on the day, particularly in the first half. Captain Dan Biggar was the catalyst as the side that finished the Six Nations in fifth put up a helluva fight before ultimately coming undone after picking up a total of four yellow cards — three coming in the final 15-minutes.

All Blacks put Irish to the sword

New Zealand beat Ireland 42-19 at Eden Park on Saturday after making the most of their opponent’s errors in typical Kiwi fashion. Despite dominating the Test early on, Andy Farrell’s boys were punished for a series of mistakes in the second quarter as the All Blacks scored four tries in that period to take a 28-5 lead into the break and effectively put the match to bed. By the game’s end, the ABs had secured a resounding win, thanks in large part to Jordie Barrett’s personal tally of 19-points.

The visitors were dealt a massive blow when Jonathan Sexton came off with a head knock, and there remains skepticism around his availability ahead of the second Test this weekend. As good a backup as Joey Carbery is, he’s definitely no Sexton, and the Test centurion’s continued absence is certainly not what Farrell needs.

14-man Aussies end losing run against English

Australia recorded their first win over England since the 2015 World Cup pool stages thanks to a 30-28 win in Perth on Saturday. In an error-strewn encounter, Dave Rennie’s men overcame injuries to Quade Cooper (before kick-off), Tom Banks and Allan Alaalatoa, as well as a Darcy Swain red card to go 1-0 up in the series and heap even more pressure on Eddie Jones.

The visitors did well to score 14-points late on and reduce the deficit, but ultimately the sharks are still circling Eddie with just over a year until Rugby World Cup 2023. In even worse news, influential flanker Tom Curry has been ruled out of the rest of the series.

Elsewhere, Italy beat Romania 45-13 in Bucharest, France beat Japan 42-23 in Toyota and Michael Cheika’s Argentina saw off Scotland 26-18 in San Salvador.

Rugby Stunners

With the July international window having gotten underway on the weekend, check out some of the most stunning moments.

Ringrose nails Cane

Ireland midfielder executed this gem of a hit on All Black skipper Sam Cane at Eden Park on Saturday.

Willemse secures Bok win

Damian Willemse capped off a superb performance against the Welsh by nailing the match-winning kick late on. He knew it was over from the moment he struck it.

Doogz goes to the boot

Damian de Allende put a try on a plate for Cheslin Kolbe during the Boks’ won over Wales at Loftus thanks to this delicate grubber.

Savea as destructive as ever for ABs

Ardie Savea was at his barnstorming best and scored a thriller in the New Zealanders’ win over Ireland.

Itoje doing Itoje things

England second row Maro Itoje was up to his usual antics during the first Test against the Wallabies and had to be warned by referee James Doleman to stop distracting the Aussies from their lineout calls.

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