Autumn Internationals – Argentina Sneak Italy Whilst Scotland Let It All Slip


Much like Ireland last week, Scotland allowed Australia an early lead on Saturday that should not have happened, yet they still stayed in the game up until the break. Scotland, through Laidlaw, found themselves trailing by only a point at half time and having had no response to South Africa last week looked like a team rejuvenated. Australia were of course missing five players to match bans over their antics in Dublin and the Scots should have been able to make that count. Alas, the Aussies pressed on.

In the opening ten minutes of the second half Australia secured the try that would make a crucial difference to the outcome. With the visitors reduced to 14 shortly after however, Scotland should have been able to at least press on through the boot, but Australia to their credit held firm.

It’s a fantastic wrap up to the year for Australia and new coach Ewan McKenzie, whilst for Scotland it is certainly a better performance to close out on than last week. But both sides are capable of more. In short, a mixed game, with pros and cons in equal measure for both.

Scotland 15 – 21 Australia

An under-Strength Welsh side overcame a tough Tongan side in the Millennium Stadium. Wales were very strong in the opening half an hour building up a 17 point lead courtesy of tries from Beck and Williams. They were looking comfortable to pull further ahead, but were held out due to excellent defending by the Tongans. A superb try by Helu kept them within touching distance of Wales, who led by 17-7 at half time.

The second half was a dour encounter as the Welsh completely dominated possession but failed to turn this into scores due mainly to decisions of the TMO and some ferocious defending by the Pacific Islanders. Wales didn’t seem like losing and neither side managed any scores in the second half. Wales will be happy with their dominance of possession but will be annoyed at their missed opportunities in the second half. Wales need to improve for next weekend’s clash with the Australia.

Wales 17 – 7 Tonga

This was an excellent game of rugby by both sides. Nicolas Sanchez was the main orchestrator behind the Argentine victory.

Italy started this game brightly when Allan opened their account with two early penalties. Argentina soon responded when some good line breaks and passing movements setup Juan Imhoff to score a try, Sanchez follow this with the conversion. Both sides traded penalties to leave the half time score Italy 9 – 10 Argentina.

The second half was again a close encounter with some excellent scrums being displayed. A try by Campagnaro for Italy gave them some chance of reaching the winning penalties, but two penalties and a drop goal by the on form Nicolas Sanchez helped Argentina overcome the Azzurri in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Argentina win on a score of 19 points to 14.

Italy 14-19 Argentina

Colm O’Shea

Image courtesy of BBC Sport

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