Australia finally got off the mark in the Rugby Championship with a strong win against South Africa after much criticism following their two defeats to New Zealand.
Showing a determined and powerful side to their game that has perhaps not been in evidence recently, the Wallabies demonstrated why they are Number 2 in the world, coming from 13-6 behind at the break to run out as the 26-19 victors.
In a tense encounter, the duel between the two kickers, Steyn and Barnes, was looking like it was going to be the decided factor. With ten minutes left to play though, the Wallabies swept into the opposition half to go over in the corner with Quade Cooper, looking back to his best, putting Ben Alexander in.
The only real negative for Australia was the loss of Will Genia to what looks like a cruciate ligament injury, which will keep him out for at least six months. His loss further depletes the Wallaby leadership group after previously losing captain and vice captain James Horwill and David Pocock to injury.
For South Africa it is two poor results in a row, and they will desperately need a win in the next match if they are to prevent the All Blacks from running away with this Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks meanwhile beat Argentina 21-5 in a match that was far closer than the scoreline suggests. In atrocious conditions, the game was entirely at the mercy of the wind throughout the first half, which the All Blacks just managed to edge 6-5.
Looking rattled, the New Zealand side looked like they could use a break, and they were granted their wish as a power failure in the stadium due to the weather saw the break extended.
The second half though was much like the first with a solitary penalty from All Black fly half Aaron Cruden the only addition. With just over ten minutes left though the weather died down, and the All Blacks began to exert their authority and superior fitness on the game, scoring two late tries to make the score a little more flattering.
For the All Blacks it is one to move on from, the freakish weather meaning it is hard to learn from the game. They can be safe in the knowledge that they have extended their lead at the top of the Championship and look likely to run out as easy winners.
For Argentina, they can reflect on a beginning to life in the Rugby Championship that while without any victories, has probably been beyond most peopleâ€™s expectations. They have not looked remotely out of place and have much to be proud of. Do not be surprised if they sneak a win when Australia come to visit.
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