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Springboks hit back in style with bonus point win



The Springboks have won their first Test in Australia since 2013 when they beat the Wallabies by 24-8 at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, outscoring the hosts by four tries to one for a bonus point and to keep alive their hopes in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

The victory, after leading 12-3 at halftime, was the perfect way to bounce back after last week’s defeat in Adelaide. The bonus point victory was not only the Boks’ first in Australia in nine years, but in fact their first win in Sydney since 1993.

The Springboks dominated territory and possession and scored two tries and a conversion in the first half, while the Wallabies could only reply with a sole penalty goal. The visitors then added 12 more points in the second stanza through two more five pointers and one conversion, while interestingly, they never attempted one penalty kick at goal for a gutsy and convincing win.

In wet and slippery conditions, the Springboks made a positive start with several promising forays into the Wallabies 22m area.

The Boks got onto the scoreboard in the 11th minute following a huge amount of pressure on the Wallaby try-line, which resulted in three penalties in a row. Lock Eben Etzebeth did well to pass the ball to midfielder Damian de Allende, who went over under the posts, with an easy conversion by No 10 Damian Willemse to give them a 7-0 lead.

Canan Moodie scores on debut.

Canan Moodie scores on debut.

A couple of unforced errors gave the Wallabies some much breathing space, especially with lock Matt Philip in the sin bin, and the home side did well to keep the scoreboard quiet during the period when they were down to seven forwards.

The Boks showed more accuracy and composure at the breakdown, but they had very little reward from their early kicking game, with Wallaby fullback Reece Hodge handling the arial bombs particularly well in the tricky conditions.

The Wallabies finally made their way into the Bok half and earned a penalty for a high tackle, which flyhalf Noah Lolesio easy steered through the posts for their only score of the opening half.

Canan Moodie, who became the second youngest Springbok debutant in the professional era at 19 years old, had a good game and scored the Springboks’ second try on the stroke on halftime when he gathered another high ball in front of Marika Koroibete to run in for his try out wide, which took the halftime score to 12-3.

Franco Mostert went over for a crucial try early in the second half.

Franco Mostert went over for a crucial try early in the second half.

The Boks opened the second half with a brilliantly crafted try by flanker Franco Mostert, who went over inside the corner flag following some splendid handling between backs and forwards, with Bok skipper Siya Kolisi featuring prominently.

Although Willemse missed the conversion, the Boks managed to increase their advantage 17-3 with almost a full half of play to come.

However, the Wallabies came back during a determined period and the men in green and gold were this time relieved to escape from a passage of huge Aussie pressure when prop Allan Alaalatoa was penalised for foul play.

The rest of the second half was a huge arm wrestle between the two teams and the Springboks did well to ride out several Wallaby attacks, while they themselves fell short at regular intervals.

Another brilliant finish by Makazole Mapimpi.

Another brilliant finish by Makazole Mapimpi.

Deon Fourie – SA’s oldest debutant at 35 years old a few months ago – replaced Kolisi with 10 minutes to go, with the skipper having put in a good shift with ball in hand as well as some crunch tackles at crucial times.

Makazole Mapimpi, denied a certain try by a desperate Koroibete tackle last week in Adelaide, got his try this time when he raced away after Willie le Roux put the speedster in space to score a crucial fourth Bok try in the corner.

However, the wing was yellow carded for his action after the try, which led to some pushing and shoving involving both teams. Utility replacement back Frans Steyn added the extras from the touchline to put the Boks in a commanding position at 24-3 with less than 10 minutes to go.

Replacement flanker Pete Samu scored a try on the hooter in a passage of play that saw Le Roux sin-binned for foul play while the Aussies were on the attack, which meant the Boks finished the game with 13 players.


Springboks 24 (12) – Tries: Damian De Allende, Canan Moodie, Franco Mostert, Makazole Mapimpi. Conversions: Damian Willemse, Frans Steyn.

Australia 8 (3) – Try: Pete Samu. Penalty goal: Noah Lolesio.

Content & Images from – South Africa Rugby

6 Nations

Stewart Joins Ireland Squad In Portugal As Wales Prep Intensifies



Ulster hooker Tom Stewart has joined the Ireland squad in Quinta do Lago to provide additional cover following a hamstring issue picked up by Ronan Kelleher. Kelleher will be managed by the Ireland Medical team over the coming days.

The uncapped Stewart is a former Ireland U20 international who played twice for Emerging Ireland in the Autumn, starting in the victories over the Griquas and the Cheetahs. The Ireland coaching group also included him in the match day preparations for the Ireland ‘A’ game against the All Blacks XV in November.

Stewart’s addition brings the number of Emerging Ireland tourists in the Senior squad to five – Jack Crowley, Joe McCarthy, Jamie Osborne and Cian Prendergast.

The squad will continue to train at The Campus in Quinta do Lago this week before flying to Cardiff on Thursday ahead of the opening round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Ireland Squad, 2023 Guinness Six Nations:

Backs (17)

Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps
Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 14 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 7 caps
Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 98 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps
Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Marys College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 3 caps
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas)*
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 109 caps (c)
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (20)

Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 8 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 63 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 48 caps
Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) 1 cap
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Cian Prendergast (Connacht/Corinthians) 1 cap
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Tom Stewart (Ulster/Ballynahinch)*
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps

*denotes uncapped player

2023 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures

Saturday 4th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
VIRGIN / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

IRELAND v France
Saturday 11th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

Saturday 25th February 2023, KO 14:15 (IST)
RTE TV / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Scotland v IRELAND
Sunday 12th March 2023, KO 15:00 (IST)
RTE TV / BBC / RTE Radio / BBC Radi0

IRELAND v England
Saturday 18th March 2023, KO 17:00 (IST)
VIRGIN / ITV / RTE Radio / BBC Radio

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

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Savea back at the helm of the Hurricanes



All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea will captain the Hurricanes again for the 2023 DHL Super Rugby Pacific season.

Savea, who will have his 11th season in the side, will mark his first appearance in the competition by playing his 120th game.

The Hurricanes’ season opens against the Reds in round one.

Savea said: “I’m looking forward to the season, especially getting out to the communities, when we play in Levin against the Crusaders for our pre-season game and Palmerston North against the Western Force on Sunday, April 2.

“We’ve just moved into our new facility, and there’s something awesome about change; it’s brought in a lot of energy. It’s refreshing to come in and be in a new space alongside other professional teams. Hopefully, being here can help us move forward and prepare well for our games.”

The facility is part of the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport at what was the Central Institute of Technology at Trentham and houses, several Wellington-based teams.

Coach Jason Holland was delighted to be able to call on Savea’s leadership ability again.

“Ardie is a special leader. He’s the sort of guy you want to follow in whatever he does. He’s worked hard at his leadership around all the small details, around how to get the best out of the people around him.

“He’s been good at driving us as a group, players and management, about being well-planned and clear in our roles in what we’re leading.

“Ards has a great relationship with all the boys and cares about them and the team and that shows in the way he leads.”

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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Marshall primed for Crusaders coaching opportunity



James Marshall couldn’t escape rugby’s draw after retiring from playing and failed in his promised avoidance of the coaching ranks.

The former Super Rugby title winner with the Hurricanes has fitted into coaching so well that he will spend 2023 as backs coach for the Crusaders in Super Rugby Pacific.

Auckland-born Marshall started his rugby career with Tasman, but when missing a place in the Super Rugby structure, in a team or wider training group, he had a chance as a 20-year-old to play in Italy with Zebre.

It proved a stimulating experience in coping with playing a different style of rugby at a different level.

He returned to New Zealand six months later for another three seasons with Tasman before getting a chance in the Hurricanes’ wider squad. He had spent four years trying to get a place in the Crusaders.

“I could never crack it as a player but I’m here now as a coach,” he said.

“It is surreal to be here now. When I finished rugby, I promised my wife I wouldn’t get into coaching. We had moved around so many times during my career, even when I was playing for the Hurricanes moving to Taranaki every six months.

“We worked it out there were well over 20 houses we lived in throughout my career so when I got to the end of it I did say I wouldn’t be chasing the coaching dream, and I wouldn’t be moving the family around any more.”

However, back in Nelson, he got the chance to work with Andrew Goodman and Shane Christie, which gave him coaching work where he had decided to settle.

“Then a couple of years later,, I get a call from Razor [Scott Robertson] and it really throws a spanner in the works for my wife and when I got the opportunity, it was a no brainer. It’s such a good opportunity for me to learn and see where coaching can now take me.”

He contacted David Havili to see if he felt Marshall could do the job asked of him as backs coach and to see if he would have the backing of the players.

Havili got back in touch to say how much he thought Marshall could add to the environment. He also contacted some of his Hurricanes contacts and admitted being surprised at how supportive they were.

The Crusaders were one of the most successful sides in the sport’s history, and looking from the outside while playing, he had always wondered what went on and how they did it.

“It’s been impressive. It’s a well-run ship. Razor does a great job. Scotty Hansen, the detail he has on the rugby programme. Tamati Ellison, some of his coaching, it’s all world-class.

“It’s been awesome for me as a young coach to witness these guys at work and try and learn as much as I can off them.

“There’s also the players. It’s a pretty impressive squad when you look at it on paper and the chance to work with some world-class athletes and try and teach them as much as I can, but also try and learn from them,” he said.

Content & Images from – New Zealand Rugby

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