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For the most part, the Men’s summer test match series have ended. But, with the exception of New Zealand’s three victories over Wales, it was not the same old, same old results.
Foremost in the surprise column, were England’s three wins away against Australia (44-40, 23-7, and 39-28), marking the Red Roses first away test victory against the Wallabies. These fifteens met in the RWC a scant seven-months ago when Australia predominated. For England, a change of coach brought with it a change of attitude and now, a skein of nine straight test victories.
Ireland started out with its first ever victory against South Africa, an away win 26-20. In the second test, the Irish were up by a wide margin at the half, only to fail to a 22-point Springbok’s comeback, and a 32-26 loss. South Africa won the rubber match 19-10.
The All Blacks continued to dominate Wales with three wins, one a 46-6 rout. New Zealand also won 36-22 and 39-21, against a Welsh side that have not beaten the world champions since 1953.
France came back from a first match loss Argentina to win the second game 26-0. Les Bleus had not shown any winning strategy in a long time, finishing low in the Six Nations, and bowing out early in the RWC 2015.
Scotland won two against Japan 21-16 and 26-13, the latter continuing to improve off its 3-1 RWC pool play.
Georgia, which also enjoyed an excellent 2-2 RWC, journeyed to the Pacific Rim with fine results, beating Fiji 14-3, Tonga 23-20, and tying Samoa 19-19.
Finally, Italy scored two wins in North America with victories over the USA and Canada, but not by wide margins.