After a blockbuster begin to the Rugby World Cup, week two supplied an opportunity for the smaller nations to check themselves towards some of the greatest — with various outcomes.
The Pacific nations of Samoa and Tonga additionally performed their opening matches of the match — with various outcomes.
Here’s your Rugby World Cup week two spherical up.
On me ‘ead, son
England needed to labour to victory over Japan in the closing match of the spherical — and acquired a vital rating due to a major strike of luck.
George Ford’s move to Will Stewart deflected again off his hand and straight onto the mohawked head of Joe Marler, after which it floated into Courtney Lawes’s palms and he went via untouched to attain beneath the posts.
“It was a decent head wasn’t it,” Lawes mentioned after the match.
“It was a bit of luck, sometimes it falls in your favour.”
England solely led 13-12 at that stage so the rating was essential as England went on to file an essential 34-12 bonus-point victory.
Wales additionally acquired an enormous win in Pool C to stay unbeaten and arrange an enormous conflict with the Wallabies, who misplaced to Fiji, subsequent weekend.
Sticking with the soccer theme, Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit celebrated a kick and chase attempt by doing a Cristiano Ronaldo-style celebration, later admitting that he wears the footballer’s model of boxer shorts and clothes like him.
Portugal’s contribution to the soccer theme wasn’t fairly so comical, given Vincent Pinto by accident kicked Josh Adams in the face when contesting a ball.
New Zealand’s ‘unbelievable’ gesture, France’s ‘unacceptable’ self-discipline
New Zealand bounced again completely from their opening evening defeat with a complete 71-3 win towards Namibia that featured a surprising harm to Le Roux Malan.
The centre suffered a fracture and dislocation of his ankle and was left needing oxygen on the discipline after a sort out from Beauden Barrett.
He went on to have surgical procedure but additionally obtained a signed All Blacks jersey as a get nicely quickly current from the New Zealand squad.
“It says a lot about the sportsmanship of this World Cup, it’s a good gesture from the All Blacks,” Namibia coach Allister Coetzee mentioned.
“That is not only saying the ethos and the tradition and the values of rugby, however really dwelling and feeling it.
“That to me is unbelievable of the All Blacks to do one thing like that.”
Meanwhile, France was bought back down to earth by a Uruguay team that poured everything into their opening contest of this World Cup against the hosts.
The final result, a 27-12 victory to France, does not tell of the troubles the French had as their much-changed side conceded a whopping 15 penalties.
“It’s an enormous quantity. It’s unacceptable at worldwide stage. We’re fortunate to win this match with 15 penalties,” France lock Cameron Woki said.
“I believed we’d executed rather a lot of work on self-discipline. Today, we had been undisciplined and that is an actual disgrace.”
Los Teros led early and trailed by just a single point at the 53-minute mark as they threatened to pull off a seismic shock.
“The gamers confirmed at this time that Uruguay is rising,” coach Esteban Meneses said after the match.
Their subsequent opponent, Italy, has been warned.
Ireland ‘buzzing with nerves’ forward of South Africa take a look at
The two powerhouses of Pool B continued their inexorable march towards a meeting in Paris next week with comprehensive victories.
Ireland demolished Tonga 59-16 on a night where Johnny Sexton become Ireland’s all-time leading points scorer.
Then, South Africa laid into Romania to record a 76-0 victory, holding a team scoreless for the first time at this World Cup.
It’s all arrange for a possible Pool B decider subsequent Sunday morning (AEST) in Paris.
Scrum half Conor Murray said the team will be “buzzing with nerves” however that was regular.
“You’d be apprehensive if you did not have any nerves. Playing the world champions in Paris, if that does not get you excited … you have to embrace the problem.”
South Africa, meanwhile, said the bigger picture meant next week’s game was not as important as some were making out.
“You should all the time get pleasure from rugby. We do it as a result of it is enjoyable and we find it irresistible,” South Africa’s coach Jacques Nienaber said.
“It will probably be a very good sport to see who finishes one and two in the pool, however there’s nonetheless video games to play,
“I don’t want to get too far ahead. If it’s Italy, if it’s France, New Zealand, it’s going to be a tough quarterfinal, it doesn’t matter who we play.”
No equipment clashes to help colourblind followers
Ireland in white? Wales in black? Has rugby gone down the route of soccer the place second-kits prevail even when there isn’t a clear color conflict?
Simply put, no.
Ireland performed their sport towards the red-clad Tonga of their white shirts, whereas Wales and Portugal each wore their change kits of black and white respectively on this spherical of matches to assist these with color blindness.
World Rugby says an estimated 300 million folks reside with some kind of color imaginative and prescient deficiency (CVD), which suggests they’re unable to see or differentiate sure color combos — together with World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.
All the means again in September 2021, World Rugby revealed its Colour Blindness in Rugby pointers, which included interested by equipment clashes that may not be apparent to everybody who doesn’t reside with CVD.
“World Rugby has worked closely with the participating unions and CBA to encourage certain kit combinations in an effort to avoid kit ‘clashes’ — where kit colours appear too similar to colour blind people due to a lack of sufficient colour contrast or designs,” World Rugby mentioned in a press release.
In the case for the Portugal v Wales match, the Welsh alternate equipment (black) would have clashed with Portugal’s main equipment (darkish crimson), which led to each groups agreeing to put on their various equipment.
World Rugby examined all the equipment combos earlier this yr to see how it will look on TV and in stadiums for each spectators and referees.
Familiar faces as Samoa makes its bow, and an odd request
Wallaby followers can have seen a well-known face take the discipline for Samoa as they opened their marketing campaign with an enormous win towards Chile in Bordeaux on Saturday evening.
Christian Leali’ifano, who performed 26 occasions for the Wallabies and was Australia’s high scorer at the final World Cup in Japan, lined up at 10 towards Chile.
He is one of three Samoa gamers at this World Cup who has earned caps for an additional nation, with capped All Blacks Lima Sopoaga and Steven Luatua additionally in the squad.
“Obviously the eligibility laws have helped grow the pool of players I can select from, which is a real positive, and we’re getting high-quality players in that group,” Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua mentioned pre-game.
Samoa’s large win was offset barely by an emotional plea for a sentimental piece of gear from Lima Sopoaga.
Sopoaga requested the return of a kicking tee he has owned since he was 14, which went lacking after Samoa’s 43-10 victory over Chile on Saturday.
The 32-year-old former All Blacks fly half, who got here on as a second-half alternative and transformed Samoa’s closing attempt, mentioned he had left the tee by the pitch with some eye drops which had been left the place they had been.
“Could whoever took my goal kicking tee from the field please give it back to me,” Sopoaga mentioned in a submit on X, previously Twitter.
“I’ll even pay you for it. I’ve had it since I was 14 years old.”
More head clashes
It was a speaking level in the first week of the match — and the second week began in the identical means.
France lock Romain Taofifénua appeared to guide together with his shoulder and smash Uruguay scrum half Santiago Arata in the face in the first half.
He was proven a yellow card and the Foul Play Bunker was known as upon to adjudicate additional, ultimately ruling that the contact was solely worthy of a yellow card — complicated loads of observers.
That confusion grew when New Zealand’s Ethan de Groot had his yellow card upgraded to crimson in the All Blacks’s large win over Namibia for an additional similar-looking offence.