The November Internationals Round 1 went as predicted with wins for the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks and the Wallabies, but these matches were more a celebration of rugby than the results.
The All Blacks thrashed the USA Eagles infront of 61,000 rugby fans in Chicago, but this game was more about spreading the rugby gospel than the result. It will be interesting to see if this game will help the game to grow in the USA and if the USA become more competitive or not? The USA has been playing rugby for over a century, but they still only rank 18th in the world despite having the second highest player numbers in the world and more money than most other countries.
The Wallabies survived a late comeback from the Barbarians to win an entertaining match at Twickenham. It is always tough for the Barbarians given it is a team thrown together from different countries playing against one of the top four countries in the world.
An understrength Japan was put to the sword at home by the New Zealand Maori All Blacks. This result was more one sided than most tipsters would have picked given that the Maori All Blacks team lacked experience and this was their first hitout while Japan is an improving nation, but were simply outclassed.
Most tipsters in the Super Rugby Tips conference picked all three winners, but the Wallabies won by less than expected, while Japan were beaten by more than most selected. It was difficult for tipsters to predict the magnitude of the All Blacks win over USA, with Super Rugby Tips being denied the maximum points in that game by the late try to the All Blacks.
November Internationals Round 1 Results
Japan 21 – 61 New Zealand Maori All Blacks
USA 6 – 74 All Blacks
Barbarians 36 – 40 Wallabies
There are far more challenging matches to come for the All Blacks and Wallabies, while there are also more difficult matches to pick for tipsters!