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Cooper hat trick sends Australia into final

October 26th, 2015 by · Features, Rugby

Argentina 15 – 29 Australia

Adam Ashley-Cooper’s hat trick powered Australia into the Rugby World Cup final in a 29-15 victory over Argentina marred by a controversial yellow card for Pumas lock Tomas Lavanini.

The nervous Pumas leaked two early tries to Rob Simmons and Ashley-Cooper, but were battling for equilibrium when Barnes showed no mercy for Lavanini’s misjudged low tackle on Israel Folau. David Pocock transformed Australia’s breakdown and defensive zeal, denying the ever-ambitious Pumas any tries before Ashley-Cooper’s late third score sealed a World Cup final meeting against New Zealand.

More at ESPN

Adam Ashley-Cooper scores three of Wallaby's four tries

Adam Ashley-Cooper scores three of Wallaby’s four tries

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Pumas take on Australia in second semi-final

October 25th, 2015 by · Features, Rugby

How Marcelo Bosch’s Argentina became contenders

Marcelo Bosch was aptly named phonetically when he made his debut for Argentina eight years ago, a bosher being a pejorative term for someone who prefers to go through opponents rather than around them. The Pumas were then a team where everything started at forward and almost always ended there with the backs required to kick and tackle.

Argentina are now the great entertainers having taken the opposite direction to France. They produced in the first 20 minutes of their quarter-final victory over Ireland some of the best rugby this tournament: everything done at pace, and the transition from 10-man rugby to everyman has been astonishingly rapid, taking little more than two years.

More at TheGuardian

Marcelo Bosch - 'Six Nations snub transformed Puma rugby'

Marcelo Bosch – ‘Six Nations snub transformed Puma rugby’

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New Zealand edge South Africa to reach final

October 25th, 2015 by · Features, Rugby

South Africa 18 – 20 New Zealand

It was typical of the British weather to arrive after the European teams had been knocked out of the World Cup. The result was a hard, uncompromising wrestling bout that was more Six Nations than Rugby Championship; the holders finding a way of winning ugly and keeping alive their ambition of becoming the first side to retain the trophy.

For all the talk in the past week about gaps and a right and a wrong way of playing, it is all about finding a winning way in tournament rugby and New Zealand, despite having their polish rubbed off by limited, but single-minded opponents, found something from deep within to reach successive finals for the first time.

More at TheGuardian

Beauden Barrett scores the second All Black try

Beauden Barrett scores the second All Black try

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Boys vs All Blacks is the ultimate – Zinzan

October 24th, 2015 by · Features, Rugby

Beating Boks is almost as good as winning the World Cup

As an All Black, playing South Africa is the greatest challenge, the game you want to win more than any other. It is the ultimate rivalry in rugby. Winning a World Cup will always be the pinnacle but beating South Africa is not far behind.

Steve Hansen was bang on the money when he said the Springboks “will want to rip our heads off” on Saturday. I know because I felt exactly the same way when I was playing against them.

More at TheTelegraph

Zinzan Brooke knows a thing or two about playing South Africa

Zinzan Brooke knows a thing or two about playing South Africa

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