The Rugby Championship Round 1 2014 saw two low scoring tight affairs with only one try scored in total, this is a far cry from the Super Rugby 2014 season and shows you that weather conditions can still affect play. Almost every tipster picked South Africa to beat Argentina, although the conditions were a great leveller and the margin was lower than most people anticipated as Argentina put up a brave fight before losing 13-6. In the other game, Australia broke New Zealand hearts with a 12-12 draw which broke the All Blacks string of 17 consecutive wins. A drawn match is said to be like kissing your sister, but it seems that this draw is like a win for the Wallabies and a loss for the All Blacks. There were plenty of questions to come out of the Rugby Championship 2014 Round 1.
1) What did you make of referee Jaco Peyper’s performance in the All Blacks vs Wallabies match? The All Blacks were on the wrong side of the ledger with the penalty count and received two yellow cards, but does this mean that Peyper had a shocker? I thought most of the penalties against the All Blacks were deserved, but I thought it was strange how Michael Hooper committed a professional foul and wasn’t yellow carded when two All Blacks were yellow carded. I also thought it was strange how Peyper told the players that there would be no scrum penalties in the last five minutes. Surely, a referee should be consistent throughout the eighty minutes. There were more than 25 penalties in this match with many claiming that Jaco Peyper was the Man of the Match.
2) Are the referees now onto Richie McCaw and Wyatt Crockett? It seems that Richie McCaw and Wyatt Crockett are getting penalised out of games more than they used to. Is it because they are losing their edge or because the opposition are talking to the referees before the game in order to stop these players.
3) Do referees make decisions to support the home team or is it simply a case of the referee calls supporting the team who has momentum in the game? The All Blacks dominated the start of their match against the Wallabies, but were then on the backfoot for most of the game.
4) Is this the round of the Rugby Championship with the least total points and tries across both games? 5) Was it a case of the All Blacks being bad and Australia good or was it that conditions were a great leveller? I am also thinking that the All Blacks were not at the top of their game and Australia were more up for it. It seems like the Wallabies think of this result as a victory, while the All Blacks see it as a defeat.
6) South Africa were far from convincing against the Pumas. Do you think the Springboks were bad or were the Pumas simply playing well or was it the conditions?
7) Nearly 100 percent of people picked the Springboks to beat the Pumas, but less than 0.1 percent picked the draw between New Zealand and Australia.
8) Did the Kurtley Beale experiment work for the Wallabies? It didn’t fail, but I wonder if Foley’s goalkicking is better.
9) Can the All Blacks cope without Ma’a Nonu and Jerome Kaino who were both injured. Liam Messam will probably replace Kaino, while Crotty and Fekitoa are in the running to replace Nonu.
10) Can Argentina remain competitive in remaining The Rugby Championship games in 2014?
11) Did anyone else feel empty after the Rugby Championship 2014 Round 1? Drawing is like kissing your sister. The Wallabies were probably more encouraged by the draw than All Blacks fans, while the Springboks won by only seven points against Argentina. Both games were affected by the weather, but were also hardly a glowing endorsement of Southern Hemisphere’s dominance.
After the Rugby Championship 2014 Round 1, who do you think will win the Rugby Championship 2014? I am thinking the All Blacks will probably still win it, but may lose another game and this doesn’t bode well heading in the Rugby World Cup 2015. The cracks are showing in the All Blacks armoury! These teams will all get a chance of revenge next week with the return fixtures.
Watch The Rugby Championship Round 1 Video Highlights here http://www.superrugbytips.com/2014/08/the-rugby-championship-round-1-video.html