The Rugby Championship 2013 Round 1 featured two high scoring matches with the All Blacks and Springboks winning high scoring matches. The All Blacks downed the Wallabies in Sydney, Australia with a 47-29 victory, while the Springboks thrashed Argentina 73-13. Why were so many points scored?
It is difficult to know why there were so many points scored in the Rugby Championship Round 1 with a combined total of 162 points scored. Is the increase of points scored because of the new scrum engagement laws? I found the scrums to be far more clean than in the past and there was less time wasted with resets. This cleaned up the set pieces and allowed more time for the ball to be in play. The referees seem far more strict on the non straight feeds.
Fine weather probably helped fast flowing rugby and the scores to mount and I think that so much depends on how much the referee lets the game flow.
The All Blacks didn’t hit their straps until the second half, but showed Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie that he will have his work cut out in the future.
The Wallabies kicking game was disappointing and they may struggle unless they learn to sustain the necessary intensity for 80 minutes. The jury is still out on some of their new players.
The Springboks completely annihilated the Pumas and it is difficult to know if the Pumas were rubbish or the Springboks were amazing? It is important that the Pumas are competitive in the Rugby Championship, so it is disappointing to see them thrashed by such a big margin. It will now be intriguing to see how the Pumas vs Springboks return game goes next week. This thrashing could be the wake up call the Pumas need or it could destroy their confidence for the rest of the competition. This victory could also be the victory to springboard the Springboks into Rugby Championship contention.
For those tipsters playing SuperBru, 99 percent of tipsters picked the Springboks, with almost everyone assuming it would be a closer game than it was. 87 percent of tipsters picked the All Blacks, but most loyal All Blacks fans didn’t expect such a big win!
Which team impressed you the most in the Rugby Championship 2013?
For me, the All Blacks are still the team to beat, but ir is difficult to know how much to read into winning margins. If the Springboks can back up last week’s win with another convincing win in Argentina then winning they will be a decent chance of winning the Rugby Championship.