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Igoe's Analysis: What We Learned From Week 2 Of The Autumn Nations Series

Igoe's Analysis: What We Learned From Week 2 Of The Autumn Nations Series
By Brett Igoe
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The Northern Hemisphere teams dominated their Southern rivals in Week 2 of the Autumn Nations Series with victories for Ireland, France, England, and Wales as well as Italy's first victory over Australia. Here's an overview of the weekend's events and the hot topics from week two.

Stats Alert

Winning teams spent less time with the ball in their own half, according to a second review of the statistics available on the Autumn Nations Series website. The most successful teams have determined that field position is now the priority, and they have implemented a high kicking strategy in that area of the field, doing so in fewer phases and less time.

For offensive coaches, achieving ruck speeds of under 3 seconds is the goal, while for defence coaches, coming up with ways to stop it is the holy grail. Italy created 85.1% of their possessions in less than 3 seconds, much to Australia's dismay, while France struggled with South Africa's delaying strategies.

ANOTHER Rassie’s Rant  

This week, Rassie Erasmus definitely went too far when he made yet another attempt to criticise match officials and voice his complaints on social media. In his tweets following the game, he highlights several events that Wayne Barnes and his officials "missed." Given that World Rugby has processes in place for coaches to get clarity for all teams after games, it is difficult to understand how the South Africa Rugby Football Union and World Rugby see this. Following football's lead, it would benefit the game to put an end to these post-match social media rants and implement a zero-tolerance policy for attempts to publicly humiliate match officials.


Play of the round

Scotland was very close to defeating New Zealand for the first time in their history. They produced an excellent play to crack open the New Zealand defence after a difficult start. Hogg was tackled without the ball to prevent him from scoring, so he was given a penalty try for his efforts.

Red Card Week


Week 2 proved to be a different tale after Week 1 went without a red card. Three red cards caused all of the victims to be forced off the field of play due to their injuries. Due to a head-on head collision with Jonathan Danty, Pieter-Steph du Toit was given his marching orders, leaving the French centre with a broken cheekbone and an extended time on the side-lines.

French scrumhalf left the field after his badly timed attempt to catch the ball and taking out his former Toulouse team mate Cheslin Kolbe



After 45 minutes, after this high shot on Joey Carbery, Albert Tuisue received his red card. While the majority of the rugby community supported the referee's ruling, Fiji coach Vern Cotter found it difficult to understand the uproar.

Italy storm to victory v Austraila (28-27)

What a victory for Italy in Florence, where wonderkid Ange Capuozzo of Toulouse scored two outstanding tries. The Breakthrough Player of the Year award in World Rugby is unquestionably going to Capuozzo.

In preparation for their matchup with New Zealand the following weekend, Eddie Jones' England cruised to a 53-17 victory over Japan. Guy Porter added two more tries to his increasing reputation, and the selection discussion next week will be interesting.

Taulupe Faletau celebrated his birthday with a try and a man of the match performance as Wales beat a physical Argentina side 20-13. 

This weekend's fixtures

England vs. New Zealand and Ireland vs. Australia are two of the most fascinating games in Round 3.

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