Wales thrash Tonga in Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales convincingly defeated Tonga 74-24 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Millennium Stadium (Principality Stadium) in Dublin. The competition between Welsh team and Tongans resulted in record win for home side. Wales beaten Ikali Tahi earning their biggest victory in terms of points difference since Namibia match in RWC 2015. Welsh side has now all three matches of the End Of Year Rugby Union Tests played so far. A win against South Africa in next round will result in clean sweep for Wales. Dan Biggar was main contributor for Welsh team and earned man of the match award for his performance. Wales have won their last eight matches. Tonga have lost in all nine matches played against Welsh team to date. This game offered preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both Wales and Tonga.

Wales Vs Tonga Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Wales Vs Tonga – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales attacked right from the match start with a 2′ penalty try. Dan Biggar hit a 5′ try, that he converted himself on 6′. Sonatane Takulua of Tonga opened account of his team with a 8′ penalty. Liam Williams smashed a 10′ try for Welsh team that Biggar converted on 11′. Dan Biggar upped the ante for Wales with 21′ penalty. Tongan player Leva Fifita responded with a penalty on 31′, that Takulua converted on 32′. Steve Mafi hit a 38′ penalty that Takulua converted on 39’. Wales were in front with 24-17 on half time and had controlled the first half in terms of possession and territory. Tonga had reduced the Welsh lead despite committing several errors and being one player short due to sin bin.

Tonga erased the Welsh lead quickly in the second half by a Sione Vailanu try on 42′, that Sonatane Takulua converted on 43′. Scorecard read 24-24 and Tonga hoped for maiden win over Wales for a brief time. But then Welsh side went on a rampage scoring 50 points in the second half. Steffan Evans kicked a 45′ penalty that Biggar converted on 46′. Dan Biggar hit a penalty on 55′. Tomos Williams smashed a try on 57′ that Biggar converted on 59′. Tyler Morgan joined the party with a 62′ try. Cory Hill and Aled Davies hit tries on 64′ and 69’; which Rhys Patchell successfully converted. Patchell kicked own try on 71′ that he also converted. Liam Williams hit his second and overall tenth try of Welsh side on 77′ with Patchell converting. Wales finished match with 74-24 score against Tonga, thus winning handsomely by 50 points. This victory boosted their confidence as Wales get plentiful preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan. World Rugby tier 2 team Tonga will have to improve the Tongan preparations for RWC 2019 by tweaking strategy and establishing team combinations.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “We started off exceptionally well and then we had 20 minutes where we put ourselves in a bit of a hole. We dug ourselves out of it in the second half with some outstanding rugby. That group of players would have learned a lot from that experience. There were a couple of things we needed to tidy up at half time and we did that. We spoke at half-time that in previous games in the autumn we’ve started well against teams and allowed them to score points. That group of players did a fantastic job. We knew in Test match rugby sometimes it just does not happen. It can take 50 or 60 minutes to wear a side down and we were able to capitalise on that.”

Tonga head coach Toutai Kefu is confident that Tongan preparations for RWC 2019 are going in right direction. He said: “We’ve got potentially 16 to 18 people missing out of this group of 30. Out of this group of 30 I could see only five or 10 people going to the World Cup. We get our talent back and sufficient time to prepare, and those two things would hugely increase our chances at the World Cup.”

Wales Vs Tonga 74-24
17 November 2018 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wales: 74
Try: Penalty try (2′), Biggar (5′), L. Williams (10′, 77′), S. Evans (45′), T. Williams (57′), Morgan (62′), Hill (64′), A. Davies (69′), Patchell (71′)
Con: Biggar (6′, 11′, 46′, 59′), Patchell (65′, 70′, 72′, 78′)
Pen: Biggar (21′, 55′)
Tonga: 24
Try: Fifita (31′), Mafi (38′), Vailanu (42′)
Con: Takulua (32′, 39′, 43′)
Pen: Takulua (8′)

Ireland stun New Zealand in Autumn Internationals 2018

Ireland have beaten New Zealand 16-9 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The contest between World champions and The Rugby Championship winner All Blacks and Irish team was closely fought. Number 2 ranked side Ireland won against World number 1 team New Zealand, earning first ever home victory in 113 years. Previous 16 home games in Dublin had resulted in All Blacks wins and a single draw. Jonathan Sexton was main contributor for Ireland with Jacob Stockdale also hitting a try. Beauden Barrett tried his best to revive All Blacks but he was the lone fighter. This game also served as preparation of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both Ireland and New Zealand.

Ireland Vs New Zealand Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Ireland Vs New Zealand – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

Jonathan Sexton of Ireland made first scoring of the match with a 11′ penalty. Beauden Barrett of New Zealand equalized the score with a 17′ penalty of his own. Jonathan Sexton put Irish side in front with 27′ penalty. Jonathan Sexton responded with a drop goal on 29′. Jonathan Sexton completed hat-trick of penalties on 39′. Ireland were leading with 9-6 on half time and also battered All Blacks in terms of possession and territory.

Ireland tightened screws in the second half on New Zealand. Jacob Stockdale hit a try on 48′ and Jonathan Sexton converted it on 50′. Irish side were way ahead of All Blacks with 16 points. Beauden Barrett smashed his second penalty on 69’ to take his team’s tally to 9 points. New Zealand could not score any more in last 10 minutes. Ireland finished as winners with 16-9 against the world champions All Blacks. This win will boost their confidence as Ireland get perfect preparation for RWC 2019 by beating last two times world champions New Zealand. Steve Hansen, the All Blacks coach will have to boost New Zealand preparations for RWC 2019 in Japan by tweaking strategy, controlling indiscipline and trying new team combinations.

Ireland captain Rory Best said: “To stop New Zealand scoring a try shows what a fantastic effort it was. The boys are very tired in there but it’s amazing what a win like that can do to give you a little bit more energy. It’s a big result for us no matter what the context is. Yet again, we’ve raised the standard of what we expect. The problem is Joe and the team and going to expect that and more [from now on].”

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: “I am so proud. I thought it was a fantastic Test. It was billed as 1 v 2 and was definitely a heavyweight contest. Andy Farrell is delighted because it’s so seldom the All Blacks don’t score a try. We were at home, and they were on a back of a long series of games around the world. The crowd were phenomenal tonight. There were a lot of things that went in our favour. It was an incredibly collective and hard-earned win and I’m really proud of it.”

Ireland Vs New Zealand 16-9
17 November 2018 – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Ireland: 16
Try: Jacob Stockdale (48′)
Con: Jonathan Sexton (50′)
Pen: Jonathan Sexton (11′, 27′, 39′)
New Zealand: 9
Pen: Beauden Barrett (17′, 69′)
Drop: Beauden Barrett (29′)

England beat spirited Japan in Autumn Internationals 2018

England defeated Japan 35-15 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Twickenham Stadium in London. Danny Care, George Ford, Elliot Daly, Mark Wilson, Joe Cokanasiga and Dylan Hartley scored for English side. Japanese team scored with Ryoto Nakamura, Michael Leitch and Yu Tamura. This game was part of preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019 for national rugby union teams of both England and Japan.

England Vs Japan Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
England Vs Japan – Rugby Union – Autumn Internationals 2018

England scored first in the match with Danny Care smashing a try in 4’ that Red Roses captain George Ford converted in 5’. Japan answered with Yu Tamura kicking a penalty in 17’. Ryoto Nakamura hit a try on 22′ that Tamura converted. Elliot Daly of Red Roses responded with a 28’ penalty. Brave Blossom’s skipper Michael Leitch kicked a try in 31’. Scoreline on break time was 15-10 with Japan leading. It was a remarkable performance by Brave Blossoms, and hinted they may be on mission of another giant slaying.

England had to field co-captain Owen Farrell in the second half to take back the control. George Ford started English attack after break with 56’ penalty. Mark Wilson upped the ante with 59’ try that George Ford converted in 60’. George Ford scored second penalty of his own in 65’. Joe Cokanasiga hit a 71′ penalty that George Ford converted in 72’. England regular captain Dylan Hartley scored a try in 76’ to make team total 35. Japan could not score in the second half unfortunately. England have won two matches in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This match served well in English preparation for RWC 2019. Japan will pride in taking Red Roses to the limit in first half. Being the host of 2019 Webb Ellis Cup means that Japanese preparation for RWC 2019 should also be on song.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “We wanted Japan to be at their best so we’re so pleased with that game; it’s the sort of game we needed. They had a few things go their way and got back into the game and it became an arm wrestle for a while. We had a team with 11 changes and there wasn’t a lot of cohesion, but Owen Farrell made a difference for our team because he’s an influential player.”

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph said: “We gave sloppy penalties away and allowed England back in which was a little bit disappointing, but I’m proud of the players all the same. Comments in the media helped our motivation. Eddie Jones’ comments fired me up a bit but at the end of the day we still prepare how we prepare. Our mentality is slowly changing, we’re starting to believe that we can take these bigger teams on and that’s going to help us next year.”

England Vs Japan 35-15
17 November 2018 – Twickenham Stadium, London
England: 35
Try: Care (4), Wilson (59), Cokanasiga (71), Hartley (76)
Con: Ford (5,60,72)
Pen: Daly (28), Ford (56,65)
Japan: 15
Try: Nakamura (22), Leitch (31)
Con: Tamura (23)
Pen: Tamura (17)

Wales defeat Australia 9-6 in Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales beat Australia 9-6 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Millennium Stadium (Principality Stadium) in Cardiff. Welsh team finally ended 13 match losing streak against Wallabies. It is first win for Wales in a decade versus Australia. Stephen Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar scored for Welsh side. Australian team scored with Bernard Foley and Matthew Toomua. This game was important for national rugby teams of both Wales and Australia in their preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Wales Vs Australia Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Wales Vs Australia Rugby – Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales scored first in the match with Leigh Halfpenny hitting a penalty in 21’. Australia responded with Bernard Foley smashing a penalty on 33′. Halfpenny missed two penalties in the first half. Scoreline on break time was 3-3 with honours equal. Halfpenny put Wales in front with 67’ penalty in second round. But then Halfpenny had to leave pitch following a high tackle by Samu Kerevi which hit his head. Wallabies player Matthew Toomua equalized the score with 74′ penalty. Dan Biggar sealed the game for Welsh team with 76′ penalty. Wales have been victorious in two matches played in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This will serve good in Welsh preparation for RWC 2019. Both teams are scheduled to play in Japan 2019. Australia have lost eight matches of the last ten played recently. Wallabies coach and team will have to bring their End of Year Rugby Union Tests 2018 campaign on track. Australian preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan also needs a fresh start.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said: “It has been a long time coming. Someone reminded me I was the sole survivor from the win in 2008 and that shows how old I am. This is sweeter. Dan is a competitive animal and he probably wouldn’t have wanted it any other way that for it to come down to the wire and then come on and do his job.”

Australia captain Michael Hooper said: “It has been a long-time jinx playing us and you could see how happy they were to get on top. It was a real grudge match. Congratulations to Wales, but it really hurts. We will re-group. We have got two more games to play on this trip and a hell of a lot to play for each week.”

Wales Vs Australia 9-6
10 November 2018 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wales: 9
Pen: Halfpenny (21′, 67’), Biggar (76′)
Australia: 6
Pen: Foley (33′), Toomua (74′)

New Zealand win against England in Autumn Internationals 2018

England came close to toppling New Zealand in 2018 Autumn Internationals match at London’s Twickenham Stadium. Red Roses ended agonizingly one point short at 15-16 as World champions All Blacks won the game. England attacked from the start and had 15-0 lead early in the match. Chris Ashton, captain Dylan Hartley and co-captain Owen Farrell scored for English side. New Zealand staged a counter-attack with Damian McKenzie and Beauden Barrett. Scoreline on break time was 15-10 with Red Roses in front. All Blacks have won two matches in Autumn Internationals 2018 so far. This win is a boost for New Zealand national rugby team in their preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

England Vs New Zealand - Autumn Internationals 2018
England Vs New Zealand Rugby – Autumn Internationals 2018

England were outstanding early on in the game. They regularly attacked the New Zealand side with opponents offering little challenge. Try by returning Chris Ashton in 2’ signaled that Eddie Jones’ side is up for a battle with All Blacks. Co-captain Owen Farrell hit a drop-goal on 10’ to carry on the good form against Springboks. Red Roses skipper Dylan Hartley kicked a try in 24′ which Owen Farrell successfully converted. New Zealand started attacking England line after going in deficit of 15 points. Damian McKenzie opened scoring for All Blacks with a try in 39’ which Beauden Barrett converted. Barrett shooted a penalty in 40’ to make scoreboard read 15-10 thus reducing English lead to just 5 points. This performance showcased that England preparation of RWC 2019 is on the right track.

Second half saw New Zealand dominate in attack and equally solid defense. Beauden Barrett scored a drop-goal in 46’ to narrow the gap further. Barrett smashed a penalty in 60’ to make All Blacks score 16, hence taking one point lead. English flanker Sam Underhill attempted a try in closing minutes, but match referee Dan Jones (Wales) asked television match official Marius Jonker (South Africa) to have a look. Try was ruled out as Courtney Lawes was judged offside. Farrell made last attempt before close, but it failed. All Blacks won by a point, but England also gave a super performance. This game is good for the New Zealand preparations for RWC 2019. English team with coach Eddie Jones and co-captain Owen Farrell were happy on Red Roses’ fight against world champions All Blacks.

England Vs New Zealand 15-16
10 November 2018 – Twickenham Stadium, London
England: 15
Try: Ashton (2′), Hartley (24′)
Con: Farrell (25′)
Drop: Farrell (10’)
New Zealand: 16
Try: McKenzie (39′)
Con: B Barrett (39′)
Penalty: B Barrett (40′, 60′)
Drop: B Barrett (46′)

Ireland outclass Italy 54-7 in 2018 Autumn Internationals

Ireland defeated Italy 54-7 in Autumn Internationals 2018 at Soldier Field in Chicago, USA. 2018 Six Nations Champions Ireland outclassed Italian rugby side in all aspects of the game. Irish full-back Jordan Larmour made a hat-trick of tries. Scoreboard on break time was 14-7 with Ireland leading. Second half was all about Irish attack as 40 unanswered points closed game on 54-7. It is a perfect start to Ireland campaign in 2018 Autumn Internationals. With this win Ireland national rugby team have launched preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Ireland Vs Italy Rugby - Autumn Internationals 2018
Ireland Vs Italy Rugby – Autumn Internationals 2018

Ireland were outstanding in all aspects of the game. They regularly penetrated in the Italy side and there was little challenge the opponents could offer. Jordan Larmour scored a hat-trick of tries in his first test appearance. Irish lock Tadhg Beirne kicked two penalties. Luke McGrath, Garry Ringrose, Sean Cronin all touched down for Ireland. Joey Carbery added five conversions with Ross Byrne registering two. Ireland will look to capitalize on this victory for Irish preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan.

Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock said: “We’ve really enjoyed the experience of playing in Chicago and it was a tough Test match against Italy. We knew we were inaccurate at times and didn’t pick up the tempo. We knew we wanted to pick up the tempo in the second half and hold onto the ball for longer. We managed to do that and the scoreline maybe flattered us a bit.”

Ireland Vs Italy 54-7
3 November 2018 – Soldier Field, Chicago, USA
Ireland: 54
Try: Beirne 2, L McGrath, Larmour 3, Cronin, Ringrose
Con: Carbery 5, Byrne 2
Italy: 7
Try: Campagnaro
Con: Canna

Wales defeat Scotland 21-10 in Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales beaten Scotland 21-10 in the 2018 Autumn Internationals match at Principality Stadium (Millennium Stadium) in Cardiff, Wales. Stephen Leigh Halfpenny spearheaded much of the Welsh attack on Scottish side. Adam Hastings played a significant part in Scotland resistance. It is 10th victory in a row for Wales against regular opponents Scotland. Wales have won their opening match of End of Year Rugby Tests for the first time since defeating Romania 40-3 in Autumn Internationals 2002. This victory is perfect start for Wales national Rugby Union team preparations of Rugby World Cup 2019.

Wales Vs Scotland - Rugby Autumn Internationals 2018
Wales Vs Scotland – Rugby Autumn Internationals 2018

Wales full back Leigh Halfpenny scored 1st three penalties in first half. His hat-trick of penalties happened in 4′, 14′, 22′ respectively. Scottish fly half Adam Hastings scored a 25’ penalty. Welsh winger George North made a 29’ m try. Scotland captain Stuart McInally converted a driving line-out to grab a 34’ c try. Adam Hastings converted this to 36’ penalty. Wales were leading on 14-10 at the break time.

Welsh centre Jonathan Davies recorded a 47’ c try. Halfpenny was able to convert it on 48’ m. Scotland attacked continuously but Wales defence stopped their efforts. Scottish side could not score in the second half. Wales won the game 21-10 against Scotland. It was first opening win for Wales at the Millennium Stadium since defeating Samoa 50–6 in 2000. Wales national rugby team will look to carry this momentum in Welsh preparation for RWC in Japan.

Scotland team were heartbroken on the loss as it is setback to Scottish preparations for RWC 2019. Head Coach Gregor Townsend, said: “I think we didn’t start with the energy and the accuracy that is required in a game like this against a very good opponent. That was a game that we had enough pressure, territory and opportunities to win.”

Wales Vs Scotland 21-10
3 November 2018 – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
Wales: 21
Try: North 29’ m, Davies 47′ c
Con: Halfpenny (1/2) 48′
Pen: Halfpenny (3/3) 4′, 14′, 22′
Scotland: 10
Try: McInally 34′ c
Con: Hastings (1/1) 36′
Pen: Hastings (1/1) 25′

South Africa dejected as England win 12-11 in Autumn Internationals

England beaten South Africa 12-11 in the End of Year Rugby Tests 2018 at London’s Twickenham stadium. South Africa had dominated much of the first half. Springboks made a string of errors which resulted in control shift in the second half. Red Roses capitalized on the opportunity to register a win coming from behind. Owen Farrell played a leading role in English charge. This defeat is a setback for Springboks campaign in Autumn Internationals 2018. South Africa preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup have also took a hit. Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus was very disappointed on the missed chance.

England Vs South Africa - End Of Year Rugby Tests 2018
England Vs South Africa – End Of Year Rugby Tests 2018

Red Roses were weakened by injury and had to field a number of young players. Owen Farrell scored three penalties out of four, with Elliot Daly landing one penalty. Handré Pollard of Springboks made two penalties out of three, while S’busiso Nkosi made one try. England coach Eddie Jones was overjoyed as his side overcame experienced South Africa who dominated much of the match. Springboks had kept 78% of territory and 67% of possession in the first half. Springboks made comedy of errors which gave Red Roses scope of resurgence. England made a remarkable turnaround from playing defensive game in first round, to dishing a commanding attack in second half, to snatch a victory from South Africa.

England were ahead with 12-11 lead in the closing stage of match. South Africa desperately tried to score before finish but Handré Pollard missed penalty in 77th minute. André Esterhuizen made a last minute charge towards England goal, but Owen Farrell made a tackle and ball was kicked dead. Referee Angus Gardner ruled the challenge fair after consulting television match official Olly Hodges. South Africa national Rugby Union Team and coach Rassie Erasmus are are left to work harder for Springboks preparation for RWC 2019 in Japan.

England Vs South Africa 12-11
3 November 2018 – Twickenham Stadium, London
England: 12
Pens: Farrell (3/4) 20′, 36′, 72′; Daly (1/1) 50’
South Africa: 11
Try: Nkosi 32’ m; Pens: Pollard (2/3) 6′, 67′

Owen Farrell stars as England beat South Africa 12-11

England defeated South Africa 12-11 in Autumn Internationals 2018 match at Twickenham in London. Owen Farrell played important role in the victory of injury-hit Red Roses. Farrell landed three penalties out of four, while Elliot Daly shooted one penalty. Eddie Jones’ men overcame experienced Springboks who dominated much of the match. Handré Pollard of visitors had knocked over two penalties, while S’busiso Nkosi made one try. This victory is important for England’s preparations for the 2019 edition of Rugby World Cup in Japan. South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus was left disappointed as his side ended on losing side despite dominating first half.

England Vs South Africa - Rugby Autumn Internationals 2018
England Vs South Africa – Rugby Autumn Internationals 2018

South Africa had took lead early in first half with a 6′ penalty by Pollard. Springboks had kept 78% of territory and 67% of possession in 1st half. NKosi scored a try on 32′ to make it 8 points for South Africa against 3 points for English side. Farrell hit a 36′ penalty to make it 8-6 signalling comeback of Eddie Jones’ side. England played a defensive game and ended just two points short on half time. South Africa also made comedy of errors which offered Red Roses a good chance of resurgence.

England started attack on South Africa side after interval. Daly smacked a 50′ try to give England 9-8 lead. South Africa responded with aggression to take control back. Pollard kicked a 67′ penalty to take 9-11 lead. A fighting back and forth ensued between both sides as the game neared ending time. Farrell landed a three-pointer penalty on 72′ to put England ahead with 12-11 lead. South Africa made desperate effort to take lead before closing time. Pollard missed a penalty in 77th minute. André Esterhuizen made a last minute charge towards England goal, but Farrell made a tackle and ball was kicked dead. Referee Angus Gardner ruled the challenge as fair after discussion with Television match official Olly Hodges. England celebrated a well-earned win for a weakened side with injury. England national Rugby Union Team and coach Eddie Jones are happy as this victory will serve well in English preparations for RWC to be held in 2019 in Japan.

England Vs South Africa 12-11
3rd November 2018 at Twickenham Stadium, London
England: (6) 12
Pens: Farrell (3/4) 20′, 36′, 72′
Daly (1/1) 50’
South Africa: (8) 11
Try: Nkosi 32’ m
Pens: Pollard (2/3) 6′, 67′