Speed Reads

Ireland seal historic series win against the All Blacks in New Zealand

On the big ‘decider’ weekend England beat Australia, but Wales and Scotland lost

It was a huge weekend of international rugby union with four Test series going to the deciding match on Saturday. In the battle between southern and northern hemisphere nations, Ireland and England secured series wins over New Zealand and Australia respectively. But for Wales and Scotland they were defeated by South Africa and Argentina.

Ireland “created history” by becoming the first northern hemisphere team to win a series against the All Blacks in New Zealand, said Dylan Coetzee on Planet Rugby. In the 32-22 third Test victory in Wellington, Andy Farrell’s team “stunned the locals into silence” as they held off the inevitable “Black-lash”, said Peter O’Reilly in The Times

With the Rugby World Cup taking place in France next year, Ireland will be considered one of the favourites to lift the trophy. Captain Johnny Sexton has, however, warned his team-mates against complacency and urged them to “just keep getting better”.

England also secured a 2-1 series victory in the southern hemisphere, winning 21-17 against Australia in the third Test in Sydney. The victory was “scruffy in places”, but it could prove “psychologically valuable”, said Robert Kitson in The Guardian. The two sides may meet in the quarter-finals at next year’s World Cup. 

While Ireland and England were celebrating series wins, Wales and Scotland were left to rue defeats in their deciding tour Test matches. In Cape Town Wales “bravely failed” in their bid to win a first series against the Springboks in South Africa, with the hosts triumphing 30-14 in the decider, said Gareth Griffiths on the BBC. In Santiago del Estero, Edinburgh winger Emiliano Boffelli scored a dramatic late try for Argentina to deny Scotland a tour series victory. The Scots were 15 points ahead with half an hour left, but the hosts fought back to win 34-31.

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