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Argentina handed new coach Mario Ledesma a wonderful gift with a splendid win over South Africa 32-19 at Estádio Malvinas in Mendoza. It was Ledesma’s first home Test victory. The win represented the third Puma success against the Springboks in the last three-years and was their fourth victory in 35 games of their southern hemisphere Rugby Championship history.
A rugby nomenclature trivia question to be answered here is what is the term for a player who scores a try, a conversion, a penalty kick, and a drop goal in one game? The answer is a “full house,” and all credit to Argentina’s Nicolas Sanchez who accomplished this unusual feat. He tallied 17 points in the contest.
The loss dropped the Springboks to seventh in World Rugby rankings, their lowest placement ever. These are dark days for South African rugby and a loss like this does not bode well for Rugby World Cup 2019 prep.
Meanwhile, at Eden Park in Auckland, the All Blacks made mincemeat against Australia in the second leg of the annual Bledisloe Cup, trouncing the Wallabies 40 to 12 with two-time Player of the Year, Beauden Barrett, notching four tries. Highlights of the best team in the world demonstrating overlap brilliance can be seen on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0s3aY_sGh4. The third match of the Bledisloe Cup will be played in Japan in November.
The Rugby Championship continues in mid-September when New Zealand meet Argentina and Australia play South Africa home and away,
Finally, New Zealand Women enjoyed an easy victory against Australia, also at Eden Park, winning 45-17. Whereas the Wallaroos play the Black Ferns competitively in Sevens, they are not up to the standard in fifteens. For the Black Ferns, the win represented back to back wins against their Down Under rivals.