International rugby returned at the weekend and we were treated to three exciting games Down Under on Saturday. The day started with England taking on the All Blacks in Auckland and this was followed by Australia’s match against France. In the afternoon, South Africa warmed up for their Test series against Wales by playing against a World XV side. In the NRL, the Sydney Roosters travelled to Melbourne looking to continue their winning streak and climb the league ladder.
There were a number of stand out individual player and team performances over the weekend and below we have taken a look at who and what caught the eye in the Lovell Rugby office.
Conrad Smith breaks English hearts
An under strength England side went toe-to-toe with the reigning World Champions on Saturday morning and nearly came away with a shock result. It took the All Blacks until the 75th minute to get over the try line but it was enough to extend their winning run at Eden Park to 20 years.
The Wallabies gave their new shirt the debut that it deserves
The Suncorp Stadium played host to our second featured Test match of the weekend with Australia going 1-0 up in their June Test series with France. The home side ran in seven tries in the 50-23 win. France will need to improve considerably if they don’t want to experience a series whitewash.
The match marked the first time that the home side had worn their new Asics shirt in competitive action. Stock is due in the UK in September 2014.
South Africa defeat a World XV
A squad of international superstars gathered in Cape Town last week to take on South Africa on Saturday. The score was close in the early stages but the Springboks eventually pulled away for a 47-13 victory. 11 of these points came from the boot of fly-half Morne Steyn.
The Stade Francias man was sporting a pair of the new Nike Mercurial Superfly boots – the first time that we have seen them on pitch.
Roosters up to 4th after win in Melbourne
The reigning NRL Champions made it three wins on the bounce after defeating the Melbourne Storm 12-32 on Sunday. The Roosters scored a total of six tries, two of those courtesy of captain Anthony Minichiello. There were also tries for Pearce, Casty, Tuivasa-Sheck and Williams.