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This past weekend saw a continuation of Rugby World Cup tune up games, including the traditional Bledisole Cup between Australia and New Zealand. There were no changes in the World Rugby rankings from last week when South Africa dropped three places from second to fifth.
England 19 – France 14 (Twickenham)
England, second favorite to win the Webb Ellis cup at home, struggled to defeat a tenacious French side, scoring a five point victory. England led 12-9 at the half and held on for the win. These XVs will meet again August 22 in Paris.
Ireland 28 – Scotland 22 (Dublin)
The Scots surprised themselves and everyone else losing to second ranked Ireland by a close score. Ireland, winners of 14 out of their past 15 matches, had to come from behind three times in the second half to defeat their Celtic rival.
Argentina 12 – South Africa 26 (Buenos Aires)
As predicted, the Springboks bounced back after their first ever loss to Los Pumas last week. The Boks scored two tries to none for Argentina, an offense recharged that looked moribund last week.
New Zealand 41 – Australia 13 (Auckland)
Australia enjoyed their winning the Rugby Championship last week, defeating the All-Blacks. But reality hit them hard and fast, as New Zealand romped to a runaway victory 41-13, running in four, second half tries. Congratulations to the legendary All Blacks' flanker Richie McCaw who surpassed the NZ team record, achieving his 141st test cap.
Japan 20 – World Rugby XV 45 (Tokyo)
The Australia sensation, Tagele Naiyaravoro, scored a try hat trick for a superior World Rugby XV that crushed the Japanese. Japan are in the same pool as the USA.