It’s time for Planet Rugby’s weekly round-up of who has their name in lights at the moment…and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.
They’re on fire!
England: After winning the first Test in Brisbane, Eddie Jones’ charges were well prepared for the onslaught from the Wallabies in Melbourne and delivered a superb defensive display which restricted the hosts to just one try during the 80 minutes. The period just before half-time deserves special mention, when the visitors repelled several Wallaby attacks with an heroic defensive effort and there was more of that in the second half when Australia failed to score any points.
Spain: Amazing scenes in Monaco as Spain stunned Samoa to clinch that 12th spot for the Mens Sevens at this year’s Olympics in Rio. What a moment for Spanish rugby.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) 19 June 2016
Springboks replacements: The Boks’ first half display against Ireland on Saturday left lots to be desired and they looked dead and buried at half-time amid loud boos from their “supporters” at Ellis Park. Allister Coetzee’s decision to bring on Lions duo Warren Whiteley and Ruan Combrinck after the break, along with another local favourite in Franco Mostert midway through the half, proved a masterstroke with the former two leading the fightback with deserved tries.
Guido Petti: You don’t see that good a try from a second row everyday! Amazing effort from the Argentina lock and his score sealed the win over France in Tucumán.
— Fran Capizzi (@Fran_Capizzi) 19 June 2016
All Blacks attack: Although Wales deserve credit for the way they fought back in the latter stages of their Test in Wellington, Steve Hansen’s charges showed why they are the world champions as they went over for five scintillating tries in their 36-22 victory.
Racing 92 and Toulon: This week’s final at the Nou Camp will be very special, and we’ll be getting a rematch of this year’s Champions Cup quarter-final after Racing defeated Clermont in extra time and Toulon had too much quality for Montpellier.
Gordon McRorie: The Canada scrum-half was in fine form in his side’s one-sided victory over Russia, contributing 26 points via a brace of tries, five conversions and two penalties as the Canucks returned to the victory trail after last weekend’s defeat against Japan.
Stranded in an igloo
AAMI Park pitch: Although this wasn’t used as an excuse by the Wallabies for their defeat the Australian Rugby Union are seething at the condition of the turf during their hosting of the second Test in Melbourne. Scrums were reset on several occasions as large chunks of divots were dislodged during the Test. The same thing happened during some of the Rebels’ home matches in Super Rugby and the venue could lose the chance to host future Wallabies Tests.
Lwazi Mvovo under the high ball: The Boks were under the cosh for most of the first half and the Springbok flyer was in the firing line as Ireland’s Paddy Jackson launched several bombs in his direction. Mvovo was all over the place when fielding those kicks, knocking on on a couple of occasions and one of them led to Devin Toner’s opening try.
Clermont: Another season, another Top 14 failure for Les Jaunards. Despite a remarkable squad and finishing the regular season first place, ensuring a bye into the semi-finals, they’ve fallen short once again.
Wallabies: Although England deserve plenty of credit for their win in Melbourne, the home side battled to get going and their form at last year’s Rugby World Cup – where they finished as runners-up – is a distant memory. Michael Cheika’s troops head into the third Test in Sydney with the ignominious record of being the first Wallabies side to suffer a series defeat on home soil to England.