Sunday Social: Morne magic and Smith’s milestone

Colin Newboult

It is time for Planet Rugby’s Sunday Social, your quirky recap of the serious and not so serious talking points from the past week’s action.

We, of course, start with the deciding Test between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions. The hosts claimed a dramatic 19-16 triumph with the hero of the 2009 tour, Morne Steyn, repeating his efforts from 12 years ago.

Some think it’s bad news for Steyn, though, as there’s only one man who can rescue them in 2033.

There are just things that simply go on and on.

It was a slight surprise to see Steyn replace the excellent Handre Pollard in the second half, but the World Cup winner struggled with his footing throughout and it all started in the warm-up.

Continuing with the fly-half theme and ex-Lions playmaker Ronan O’Gara was providing punditry on Sky Sports, and some questioned where he was reporting from.

Although much of the focus was on the Lions, the first Bledisloe Cup Test of the year took place on Saturday and the All Blacks claimed a comfortable 33-25 victory over Australia. New Zealand had a difficult start but soon found their rhythm and almost scored one of the great tries, only for it to be ruled out for a forward pass.

It was Aaron Smith’s only blemish in what was a fine display on his 100th cap.

There was also a nice touch from the Wallabies as their skipper, fellow centurion Michael Hooper, presented the scrum-half with this gift to mark the milestone.

The game didn’t go Hooper’s and Australia’s way, and this incident rather summed up the clash for the visitors, although to Tom Banks’ credit he did respond superbly in the second half.

At least Banks hasn’t stolen the Queen’s drink, unlike Drew Mitchell in this classic story.

Finally, there was big news in the roundball game following the announcement of Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona, but it didn’t stop rugby giving it the meme treatment.

The Chiefs also got in on the act. We reckon Messi would make a pretty decent scrum-half or fly-half.