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
England needed to labour to victory over Japan within the closing match of the spherical — and obtained an important rating due to a big 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 underneath the posts.
“It was a good 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 report an vital 34-12 bonus-point victory.
Wales additionally obtained 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 clothes like him.
Portugal’s contribution to the soccer theme wasn’t fairly so comical, given Vincent Pinto unintentionally 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 night time defeat with a complete 71-3 win in opposition to Namibia that featured a surprising damage to Le Roux Malan.
The centre suffered a fracture and dislocation of his ankle and was left needing oxygen on the sector after a deal with from Beauden Barrett.
He went on to have surgical procedure but in addition obtained a signed All Blacks jersey as a get nicely quickly current from the New Zealand squad.
“It says quite a bit in regards to the sportsmanship of this World Cup, it is a good gesture from the All Blacks,” Namibia coach Allister Coetzee stated.
“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 group that poured the whole lot 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 degree. We’re fortunate to win this match with 15 penalties,” France lock Cameron Woki stated.
“I believed we would executed a whole lot of work on self-discipline. At this time, we have 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 in the present day 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 check
The 2 powerhouses of Pool B continued their inexorable march in direction of a gathering in Paris subsequent week with complete victories.
Eire demolished Tonga 59-16 on an evening the place Johnny Sexton turn out to be Eire’s all-time main factors scorer.
Then, South Africa laid into Romania to report a 76-0 victory, holding a group 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.
Scrum half Conor Murray stated the group shall be “buzzing with nerves” however that was regular.
“You would be apprehensive if you did not have any nerves. Enjoying 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 recreation was not as vital as some have been making out.
“You need to all the time get pleasure from rugby. We do it as a result of it is enjoyable and we adore it,” South Africa’s coach Jacques Nienaber stated.
“It is going to be a superb recreation to see who finishes one and two within the pool, however there’s nonetheless video games to play,
“I do not need to get too far forward. If it is Italy, if it is France, New Zealand, it’ll be a tricky quarterfinal, it does not matter who we play.”
No equipment clashes to help colourblind followers
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 recreation 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.
World Rugby says an estimated 300 million individuals reside with some type of color imaginative and prescient deficiency (CVD), which suggests they’re unable to see or differentiate sure color mixtures — together with World Rugby chairman Sir Invoice Beaumont.
All the way in which again in September 2021, World Rugby revealed its Color Blindness in Rugby tips, which included excited about equipment clashes which may not be apparent to everybody who doesn’t reside with CVD.
“World Rugby has labored carefully with the taking part unions and CBA to encourage sure equipment mixtures in an effort to keep away from equipment ‘clashes’ — the place equipment colors seem too much like color blind individuals as a result of a scarcity of ample color distinction or designs,” World Rugby stated in a press release.
Within the case for the Portugal v Wales match, the Welsh alternate equipment (black) would have clashed with Portugal’s major equipment (darkish purple), which led to each groups agreeing to put on their different equipment.
World Rugby examined all of the equipment mixtures earlier this yr to see how it might look on TV and in stadiums for each spectators and referees.
Acquainted faces as Samoa makes its bow, and an odd request
Wallaby followers can have observed a well-recognized face take the sector for Samoa as they opened their marketing campaign with a giant win in opposition to Chile in Bordeaux on Saturday night time.
Christian Leali’ifano, who performed 26 occasions for the Wallabies and was Australia’s high scorer on the final World Cup in Japan, lined up at 10 in opposition to Chile.
He’s one in all 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 within the squad.
“Clearly the eligibility legal guidelines have helped develop the pool of gamers I can choose from, which is an actual optimistic, and we’re getting high-quality gamers in that group,” Samoa coach Seilala Mapusua stated pre-game.
Samoa’s huge win was offset barely by an emotional plea for a sentimental piece of kit 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 strive, stated he had left the tee by the pitch with some eye drops which had been left the place they have been.
“May whoever took my aim kicking tee from the sector please give it again to me,” Sopoaga stated in a put up on X, previously Twitter.
“I am going to even pay you for it. I’ve had it since I used to be 14 years outdated.”
Extra head clashes
It was a speaking level within the first week of the event — and the second week began in the identical means.
France lock Romain Taofifénua appeared to steer together with his shoulder and smash Uruguay scrum half Santiago Arata within the face within the first half.
He was proven a yellow card and the Foul Play Bunker was referred to 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 purple within the All Blacks’s huge win over Namibia for an additional similar-looking offence.