Australia 20, Ireland 20 in Dublin
Japan 46, Canada 8 in Sendai
What a way to celebrate your 100th international test! In the last stanza of play, Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll scored a try that ended Australia's hopes of a Grand Slam tour. Yet another Australia-Irish test match was decided in the last minutes of play.
The great shock of the weekend for me was Japan's thrashing of Canada. My friend and writer of the RiJ newsletter featured on my web site www.rugbyinternational.net, Ian McDonnell sums up the play. "Japan put on a fine display of running rugby with three tries in each half to romp home 46-8. To put it mildly, Canada were disappointing and failed to be competitive with the home side. Canada struggled at scrum time and also succumbed to the constant Japanese pressure while letting in six tries was totally unacceptable. On the other hand, Japan were wayward at the lineout but this soft Canadian side let Japan control the game and so Japan were made to look good. Credit where credit is due though with halfback Tomoki Yoshida playing one of his best games for Japan, Shaun Webb is taking a stranglehold on the No.10 jersey and veteran wing Hirotoki Onozawa once again proved he is one of the best wings Japan has produced. No.8 Takashi Kikutani is improving as the leader to take Japan to the 2011 RWC, while young flanker Michael Leitch is proving he could very well be the captain of Japan come 2015 and even 2019".
Can Canada bounce back next weekend?