New Zealand 42, Ireland 10 in Auckland
Australia 27, Wales 19 in Brisbane
South Africa 22, England 17 in Durban
Argentina 37, Italy 22 in San Juan
Canada 28, United States 26 in Kingston (Can Am Trophy)
Georgia 33, Ukraine 3 in Dnepropetrovsk (ENC 1A)
Denmark v Slovenia in Odense ENC 2B Playoff)-Forfeit Slovenia
Bahamas v Bermuda in Nassau (WCQ Americas; NACRA North R2)
England Counties 39, East Africa XV 5 in Kampala (Test status TBD)
Cyprus 52, Finland 5 in Helsinki (ENC 2D)
Romania 29, Uruguay 9 in Bucharest (IRB Nations Cup)
Italy ‘A’ 33, Russia 17 in Bucharest (IRB Nations Cup)
Argentina Jaguars 41, Portugal 9 in Bucharest (IRB Nations Cup)
Briefly so far
New Zealand got their 3 test series against Ireland off to a flyer. I predicted a win to NZ by 15 but said 30 when at their best. They played very well for their first outing and won by 32! Ireland didn’t finish their opportunities and struggled to cover defence against a lethal attack.
Australia went up another gear mid way through the second half to overcome a determined but, I thought, rather flat Welsh outfit. Wales did lift to get close at 19-20 but then Australia pushed out to 27 points late in the half. Wil Genia had a great game. I expect Wales to take their play and passion up a notch next weekend.
South Africa played better in the second half to edge out the touring English. England ran out of puff. Second test will be equally close.
Argentina pulled off the surprise of the day. What was well short of their strongest outfit, they were too good for a very disappointing Italian side. Italy, on paper, should have won. This is a wake up call for the Azzuri who now face Canada and the USA on tour.
Canada retained the Can Am trophy in a thriller in Kingston.
In other test rugby, Georgia, playing a team without many of their top players, easily accounted for Ukraine in Tblisi winning 33-3. This Georgian side may well struggle against Canada and the USA on tour this month.
England Counties won their ‘test’ against the Elgon Warriors, or East Africa if you like 39-5. The second test will be played in Nairobi next Saturday.
Cyprus, as predicted, were too good for Finland winning comfortably. Apart from a couple of promotion-relegation playoffs that just about wraps up the European Nations Cup programme for both 2011-12 and 2010-12.