Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ireland's autumn rivals finish on losing note

Rugby Championship round-up

Ireland's November opponents finished their Rugby Championship campaign in defeat as South Africa lost 32-16 to unbeaten title winners New Zealand, while Argentina were defeated 25-19 at home to Australia.

To add to Argentinian worries, Puma out-half Juan Martin Hernandez came off injured five minutes into the second half after keeping his side in the contest with three first-half penalties.

A late try from replacement Juan Imhoff was not enough to propel the Pumas to a historic first win in the competition as their hopes were dashed in the second half by a resolute Wallabies defence who held on for a morale-boosting win. Iconic Argentina prop Rodrigo Roncero retired after the game.

New Zealand had secured the title with victory over Argentina the previous weekend but there was no let-up in Johannesburg against South Africa, who were determined to deny them a clean sweep in the tournament. A Bryan Habana try gave the Springboks an early lead and the hosts were four points up at half-time. But the All Blacks responded in the second half, notching up 20 points, 11 from the boot of Dan Carter.

Meanwhile, the prospect of Brad Thorn returning to Leinster for another stint appear to be receding as the All Black legend is nearing a deal with former club Highlanders for 2013.

Irish Independent

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