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Rugby World Cup 2023: What we realized from the second week of matches

After a blockbuster begin to the Rugby World Cup, week two provided an opportunity for the smaller nations to check themselves in opposition to a number of the finest — with various outcomes.

The Pacific nations of Samoa and Tonga additionally performed their opening matches of the event — with various outcomes.

Here is your Rugby World Cup week two spherical up.

On me ‘ead, son

Joe Marler is effectively versed in utilizing his head…(AP Photograph: Pavel Golovkin)

England needed to labour to victory over Japan within the last 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 arms and he went via untouched to attain below the posts.

“It was an honest head wasn’t it,” Lawes stated after the match.

“It was a little bit of luck, typically 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 a giant win in Pool C to stay unbeaten and arrange a large 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 strive by doing a Cristiano Ronaldo-style celebration, later admitting that he wears the footballer’s model of boxer shorts and attire like him.

Portugal’s contribution to the soccer theme wasn’t fairly so comical, given Vincent Pinto by accident kicked Josh Adams within 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 in opposition to 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 sector after a sort out from Beauden Barrett.

He went on to have surgical procedure but in addition obtained a signed All Blacks jersey as a get effectively quickly current from the New Zealand squad.

“It says so much concerning the sportsmanship of this World Cup, it is a good gesture from the All Blacks,” Namibia coach Allister Coetzee stated. 

Le Roux Malan holds up his arm

Le Roux Malan wanted seven minutes of therapy on the sector earlier than being carted off.(Getty Photographs: Paul Harding)

“That isn’t simply saying the ethos and the tradition and the values of rugby, however truly dwelling and feeling it.

“That to me is unbelievable of the All Blacks to do one thing like that.”

In the meantime, France was purchased again right down to earth by a Uruguay workforce that poured every little thing into their opening contest of this World Cup in opposition to the hosts.

The ultimate end result, a 27-12 victory to France, doesn’t inform of the troubles the French had as their much-changed aspect conceded a whopping 15 penalties.

“It is an enormous quantity. It is unacceptable at worldwide stage. We’re fortunate to win this match with 15 penalties,” France lock Cameron Woki stated.

“I assumed we would carried out a variety of work on self-discipline. At present, we had been undisciplined and that is an actual disgrace.”

Los Teros led early and trailed by only a single level on the 53-minute mark as they threatened to drag off a seismic shock.

“The gamers confirmed at the moment that Uruguay is rising,” coach Esteban Meneses stated after the match.

Their subsequent opponent, Italy, has been warned.

Eire ‘buzzing with nerves’ forward of South Africa take a look at

The 2 powerhouses of Pool B continued their inexorable march in the direction of a gathering in Paris subsequent week with complete victories.

Eire demolished Tonga 59-16 on an evening the place Johnny Sexton change into Eire’s all-time main factors scorer.

Then, South Africa laid into Romania to file a 76-0 victory, holding a workforce scoreless for the primary time at this World Cup.

It is all arrange for a probable Pool B decider subsequent Sunday morning (AEST) in Paris.

Johnny Sexton slides and smiles

Johnny Sexton is now Eire’s all-time main factors scorer.(Getty Photographs: Sportsfile/Brendan Moran)

Scrum half Conor Murray stated the workforce will probably be “buzzing with nerves” however that was regular.

“You would be fearful if you did not have any nerves. Taking part in the world champions in Paris, if that does not get you excited … you have to embrace the problem.”

South Africa, in the meantime, stated the larger image meant subsequent week’s sport was not as essential as some had been making out.

“You should at all times take pleasure in rugby. We do it as a result of it is enjoyable and we adore it,” South Africa’s coach Jacques Nienaber stated.

“It will likely be a great sport to see who finishes one and two within the pool, however there’s nonetheless video games to play,

“I do not wish to get too far forward. If it is Italy, if it is France, New Zealand, it should be a tricky quarterfinal, it would not matter who we play.”

No equipment clashes to help colourblind followers

Portugal plays against Wales

Wales and Portugal each agreed to put on a change strip.(Getty Photographs: Cameron Spencer)

Eire in white? Wales in black? Has rugby gone down the route of soccer the place second-kits prevail even when there isn’t any clear color conflict? 

Merely put, no.

Eire performed their sport in opposition to 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.

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