What was once called the Tri-Nations tournament has now evolved into a competition currently called The Championship, with
being admitted to the Southern hemisphere’s rugby competition for the first
time this year. Argentina have distinguished themselves as contenders in the
last two Rugby World Cups, coming 3rd in 2007 by beating France, and
going out in the quarterfinals against New Zealand last year. Argentina
We scored tickets for the game early on, and headed down to watch them at the Westpac on what promised to be an evening of challenging weather conditions. The wind was blowing and more rain was promised. Fortunately we’d got tickets well up in the back of the stand, so should be away from the worst effects of the weather – although when the wind is driving the rain in horizontally, nowhere is safe. We were fortunate to be on the lee side of the stadium.
The first half was a bit of a mess. The All Blacks hadn’t scored any tries, and were lucky to be ahead by 6-5. The game wasn’t flowing and the ref was stopping the game constantly, in conditions which caused a lot of ball handling errors. Not a classic match by any stretch of the imagination.
|When weather goes bad|
As the teams came out for the second half…the lights went out. A momentary powercut in Wellington, but the floodlights have to be allowed to cool down completely before they can be restarted, which led to a 20 minute delay before the second half could begin.
|The lights went out (the last fuse blew)|
The second half didn’t really come alive until substitutions were made, and Piri Weepu and Liam Messam were able to inject a change of pace. Then the Pumas went down to 14 men after a sin-binning for a deliberate knock-down, preventing what looked like a certain try for Cory Jane. In the final 15 minutes there were two tries scored by Jane and Savea, and the scoreline finished a more respectable 21-5.
|McCaw rallies the troops|