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Week three of the 2014 autumnal test matches witnessed plucky Ireland winning its second big game against a top Southern Hemisphere XV, triumphing in Dublin 26-23 against Australia in the match of the day. It confirmed Ireland’s last week promotion to third in the World Rugby rankings, and the loss dropped Australia to fifth, its lowest placement since 2003.
The upset of the day occurred in Paris where Argentina beat France 18-13, after a try was disallowed at the last minute without even a TMO. France had won the last two games. Of note is that Argentina’s Nicholas Sanchez kicked three drop goals. The record is five for a test match, jointly held by South Africa and Portugal.
New Zealand had an easy day, beating Wales in Cardiff 34-16. The All Blacks and Ireland are the only 3-0 fifteens in the current tour season.
Scotland triumphed 37-12 against Tonga. Georgia surprised Japan 35-24, breaking the skein of 11-test wins in a row for the Brave Blossoms.
England finally achieved a test win after five defeats, beating Samoa. Romania beat Canada in Bucharest, dropping Canada to 18th world wide, its lowest placement ever.
And Fiji held on 20-14 to defeat the USA Eagles.
The buzz in Europe is whether Ireland, after victories in the Six Nations Cup, and wins against South Africa and Australia can, finally, achieve a semi-final placement in the RWC 2015, an advancement which they have failed to do in the past seven tournaments.