All blacks and boxers shoot in the rugby tournament

Time for our Monday dossier on who has his name in the limelight and who is making headlines for all the wrong reasons after the weekend.

They are on fire!

New Zealand hit their belts: That was much better than the All Blacks. They dominated the set-piece battle last weekend but had no creativity as Argentina were strong in defence, which led to a surprise defeat at home. However, there was plenty of variety in the game on Saturday which kept the visiting back guard honest. This, even at the expense of their victory over South Africa at Ellis Park, was their best performance of the year, simply because they produced a style that could serve them well in the long run. You can see the impact that Joe Schmidt has and the fact that he has definitely succeeded is a positive sign, with a profit margin of 50 pips something to be proud of.

Springboks end barren spell against the Wallabies: Nine years later, South Africa I finally beat the Wallabies in Australia and it was done in style for sure. Similar to the All Blacks, they dominated the set-piece battle last weekend, but it was about expanding their game and becoming effective in other areas of play. The addition of Willy Le Roux certainly helped the back line as they showed far more in attack than they did earlier this year. As a result, the hosts couldn’t handle the sheer strength and skill of the Springboks as they once again threw their names in Rugby Championship Title mix. The home and away matches against Argentina conclude the tournament.

Greatest Rugby Championship: With only two rounds left, one point separates the four sides in the closest rugby tournament ever. The All Blacks are now in the lead and, for many, may be the favorites as South Africa take on the so-called “weakest” team on paper in Argentina, so it makes sense that it would be between those two teams. But when did logic dictate this year’s championship? Los Pumas was great against Australia and New Zealand Over the course of back-to-back rounds, the Wallabies dominated Adelaide’s Springboks. The All Blacks and Boks are probably the most complete outfits, but you certainly can’t cross off the other two. It’s set to be a thrilling finale.

New Gloucester Arrival in 2023: The Cherry and Whites may have to wait until 2023/24 but when this season comes they will have a fantastic signing Zach Mercer join the club. It was announced last week that the eight-ranked Montpellier player, who has been excellent in the top 14 and Europe over the past 12 months, will return to England to join the Kingsholm squad. It is not only good news for Gloucester but England fans as well as it will make him available for the Rugby World Cup, should manager Eddie Jones wish to include him in his squad. In its current form, it would be foolish not to do so because Mercer is a great talent whose mission in France has succeeded so well.

cold as ice!

Argentina plays as if it spent a week playing eyelashes: Maybe a little rough, but Los Pumas surely didn’t have the same intensity or organization as they did last week. You can certainly understand that, given the emotional investment of the Christchurch game and how they were going to celebrate next, but this performance will disappoint coach Michael Chica. However, South Americans have improved significantly this year and have also learned a lot about their situation. Hopefully their rugby tournament doesn’t end with a wet kick and they do well against the Boks because it would be very disappointing if they go down to two sure-footed losses in the second round.

Australia is soaked in Boks: Boklash was expected and that’s exactly what arrived at the door of the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday. Australia couldn’t live with a strong South African game while the visitors also played some high-octane offensive rugby that proved they weren’t just one pony. For the Wallabies, though, this defeat puts them completely down to earth, as their 6-2 gamble on the bench backfired, as Jake Gordon had to fill in the wing and the long injury list was evident. They are by no means out of the title race yet and fortunately have time to recover before their next match, against New Zealand on Thursday, September 15th. They must get better.

The situation in Worcester Warriors: What a nightmare period for the players and staff at the Premier League. One story on Friday revealed that half-scrum young Oli Wayne became homeless before one of his teammates offered him a place to stay, giving insight into the number of rugby players living on paycheck by paycheck. Despite all the positive talk from Warriors rugby manager Steve Diamond at the launch of the Premier League season, wages were unfortunately not paid on Friday and this understandably angered players like Finn Smith, who wants answers from Worcester’s senior officers. Several players later issued breach notices that will enable them to leave if they do not receive their August salaries within two weeks. On Sunday, a report said wages had now been paid (65% to staff) but it was difficult to become positive about the future at Sixways, especially with the new Premier League taking off this weekend.

Double Hit for the Springboks: Handry Pollard and Lujanio AM injuries after a third-round procedure knocked out the crucial defensive line duo for the rest of the rugby tournament in a major blow to the Springboks. While Damien Willems played well at 10-years-old last weekend and Jesse Creel was strong, losing both Pollard and Mum would leave a huge gap in Bock’s leadership group. Both have returned to their club – the Leicester Tigers and the Sharks – for medical care, and while we saw I had knee surgery, the severity of Pollard’s injury is unknown, with one report suggesting he may be out for six weeks. South Africa and its clubs hope to recover well.

Read more: Sunday Social: Rugby field breakdowns, touching moments and clean changing rooms