Australia 14, South Africa 9 in Durban (Tri Nations; Mandela Trophy)
France 19, Ireland 12 in Bordeaux (World Cup Warm-up)
Wales 19, England 9 at Cardiff (World Cup Warm-up)
Italy 31, Japan 24 in Trieste (World Cup Warm-up)
United States v Canada in Glendale (World Cup Warm-up)-to come
Fiji 27,Tonga 12 in Lautoka (World Cup Warm-up)
Australia got the result they wanted, South Africa didn’t. This was the best side South Africa could field and it was the most experienced in their history. But as the weather conditions changed in the second half so did Australia’s grip on the game. This was not a good sign for South Africa as they are likely to encounter changable conditions in New Zealand. The Tri Nations will now be decided on August 27 when Australia face New Zealand in Brisbane.
France began their World Cup campaign with a win over Ireland but the French camp would be left with worries. The French dominated the first half and looked very much like a cup final contender. In the second half it all went wobbly for the French as their discipline and game plans went wayward and Ireland fought back.
Wales defeated an English side that dominated possession and territory for much of the game. How can a team win so much advantage and lose? The answer is-ineptitude! The English backline was simply dreadful. They wasted good ball earned whilst Wales defended brilliantly. Smiles for Gatland, woes for Johnson.
Japan led Italy 17-14 at halftime and looked a likely winner at that stage. Italy fought back in the second half to clinch the game but it was a very rusty Italian performance.
Fiji defeated Tonga 27-12 to avenge their earlier July defeat (21-45) in the Pacific Nations Cup. For a change the Fijian discipline did not let them down. They were calm under pressure and deserved the win. Tonga will be concerned about the amount of possessions and territory they had in the second half without capitalising.