There were wins for Ireland, France, Scotland, Italy, Argentina and New Zealand as the autumn internationals kicked off on Saturday. A look at how the weekend went and the talking points after week one.
It makes for some intriguing reading to quickly scan the statistics provided on the Autumn Nations Series website. In comparison to their opponents, winning teams kicked more, had less penalties, and won more lineouts.
Try of the Round, nay try of the year
Australian centre Lalakai Foketi, scored what was unquestionably the round's best try. This length of the field effort may even be try of the year.
— Wallabies (@wallabies) November 7, 2022
Rassie’s ranting again
Rassie Rasmus keeps teasing World Rugby through his online engagements. His most recent cryptic post revealed a lot about his feelings regarding why South Africa lost against Ireland on Saturday. The footage emphasised several instances that the referee might have overlooked and that helped Ireland score their second try.
Tough test match, thanks for all the support from 🇿🇦, also thanks to the Ireland supporters at the Aviva, you definetly understand the game and its great to play in an atmosphere like yesterday ! Surely was a game of big battles,but small margins 👇🏿 pic.twitter.com/Jcjci2Jlvo
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) November 6, 2022
What happened to South Africa’s kicking game?
On Saturday, the South Africans' once-famous and-feared kicking game self-destructed as they committed error after error. On Saturday, a strategy they typically utilised to tighten the noose and put their opponents in a vice-like grasp failed them. The loss of Pollard, who could have steered the ship for them, has caused them much problems in this department.
— Brett Igoe (@brettruganalyst) November 6, 2022
All hail the Centurions
What a fantastic achievement it was on Saturday for both Conor Murray and the official Wayne Barnes. Both men have given so much to the game, and their excellent accomplishments were rightfully recognised.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 5, 2022
A day that’ll stay with me forever. It’s not often your kids can walk you to work.
Thank you to the @WelshRugbyUnion for making them feel so welcome and to Sam whitelock and the @AllBlacks for your amazing gesture and kind words yesterday. https://t.co/Aq4XddAvaY
— Wayne Barnes (@WayneBarnesRef) November 6, 2022
Smart Set Piece Attack Thinking
The set piece strike play, a skill that had been lost in recent years, has made a comeback in the last 12 months in international rugby. Finally, attack coaches have realised that the set piece is when there is the greatest open space on the field. The strategy used by Emiliano Boffelli was directly taken from the Leinster playbook that Felipe Contepomi brought to Argentina.
— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 6, 2022
Rio Dyer marked his debut with an epic starter play try against New Zealand. The Dragons player showed great pace and timing to get his first international try.
— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 5, 2022
Ben White scored one of the easiest tries you will see which looked like an unopposed training run try. Fiji struggled to deal with the sniping scrum half
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) November 5, 2022