Controversy reigned in New Zealand's 29-15 win over South Africa in Auckland. Bismarck du Plessis was wrongly given a yellow card in the 15th minute for a clean tackle on Dan Carter. That card would come back to haunt as he was issued a second yellow shortly into the second half that had him banished for the rest of the game. Up until the red card the match had been fairly even. Kieran Read scored a try only three minutes in to give the all Blacks the lead and then Brodie Retallick would add another while du Plessis was in the bin to increase the score to 14-3. However, with du Plessis back on the field the Springboks came back through a try from du Plessis to make the score 14-10. Beauden Barret, who came on for Carter, hit a penalty before the half to make it 17-10. But after du Plessis's red card the All Blacks blew the match open with another try from Read and a try from Sam Cane. Pat Lambie would score a try for the Springboks late. The first yellow to du Plessis was clearly a clean tackle. After the match SANZAR changed their decision but unfortunately it couldn't change the events of the day.
Take the jump to read more.
Over in Perth, Australia picked up their first win of The Rugby Championship by beating Argentina 14-13. Nicholas Sanchez got the scoring started with a penalty in the 7th minute for Argentina. But then Australia took over. Christian Leali'ifano hit penalties in the 11th, 16th, and 40th minutes while Israel Folau scored a try in the 27th minute to give Australia a 14-3 halftime lead. Argentina came back strong with another Sanchez penalty and a try from Juan Manuel Leguizamon but it ultimately wasn't enough.
New Zealand are not firmly atop the table with 18 points followed by South Africa with 14. Australia now have 4 points while Argentina have 2.
After two rounds in the Premiership, Saracens are the only team to take away maximum points. The Sarries took full advantage of a foolish stamp and subsequent ejection from Nick Wood in the first minute to get a 44-12 win over Gloucester. David Strettle had two tries while Joel Tompkins, Schalk Brits, and Billy Vunipola each had tries. Northampton did their part to keep pace in the table with an important 13-6 win over Harlequins at the stoop. James Wilson scored the only try of the match while Stephen Myler hit two penalties for the Saints while Nick Evans did the same for the Harlequins. Bath pulled the first major upset of the season with a 27-20 win over Leicester. The Tigers actually had more tries (3 to 2) but five penalties from George Ford proved to be the difference. Besides Gloucester the two teams without a win on the season are London Wasps and Worcester. Wasps lost to Exeter 30-26 while the Warriors lost to London Irish 20-18. Lastly, Newcastle beat Sale 15-14. Click here to see the latest table.
It appears there is more parity in the Top 14 this season than last season. Clermont has endured a shaky--by their standards--start to the season but still find themselves at the top of the table after a 27-13 win over Grenoble. Clermont picked up a penalty try and a pair of tries from Damien Chouly in the win. They also benefited from a red card to Grenoble's Ben Hand. Castres are proving that last year's championship was no fluke after another solid win, this time 22-15 over Toulon. Jonny Wilkinson hit four penalties and drop goal for his team but he was matched by Rory Kockett and best by a Brice Mach try. Stade Francais are having a great season. They beat Brive 25-18 on the back of Jerome Porical's boot to climb to third in the table. On the flip side, Biarritz are enduring a terrible season and are now 1-5 after losing to Toulouse 31-7. Other weekend winner's include Perpignan 28-16 over Montpellier, Bordeaux 35-10 over Oyonnax, and Racing Metro 19-16 over Bayonne. Click here to see the latest standings.
Munster are the only team with maximum points in the RaboDirect Pro12 after thoroughly beating Zebre 43-21. CJ Stander scored two tries for Munster while Patrick Butler and Ian Keatley added a try a piece. For Zebre they are now 0-30 in all competitions over two years. Glasgow are second in the table and the only other team to have two wins. The Warriors narrowly beat Ulster 13-12 thanks to a dramatic 80th minute try from replacement James Eddie and conversion from Stuart Hogg. Ulster remains winless, along with the Italian teams. Benetton Treviso lost to Scarlets 26-10. Leinster and the Ospreys fought to a 29-29 draw in Dublin. Leinster scored three tries to the Ospreys two but Dan Biggar's boot helped earn the draw with a penalty in the 80th minute. In other matches Cardiff beat Connacht 21-10 and Edinburgh beat the Dragons 16-13. Click here to see the latest table.
Wellington continue to roll after earning their sixth straight win of the season. They beat Bay of Plenty 33-16 thanks to a trio of tries. Also undefeated in the Premiership but with one less win are Canterbury. Riding a five try effort Canterbury beat Otago 32-22. Auckland finally suffered their first defeat of the season going down to Waikato 42-24. Waikato finally got their offense going at full speed and put in six tries. Hawke's Bay are the top team in the Championship despite losing to Taranaki 23-10. Other winners include Counties Manukau 44-7 over Taranaki, Manawatu 27-17 over Southland, and North Harbour 23-12 over Tasman. Click here to see the latest table.
With only four weeks left in the competition Western Province are at the top of the standings, albeit narrowly. They beat the Blue Bulls 29-18. Each team scored two tries but Kurt Coleman and Gary van Aswegan combined to do enough for the win. What makes Western Province's win more convincing is the fact they played down a man for most of the match after Michael Rhodes was sent off in the 35th minute. The Sharks trail Western Province in the table by only a point after they narrowly beat the Griquas 25-24. A Wiehan Herbst try late in the match was the difference. The Cheetahs moved back into the top half of the table after they beat the Lions 26-23.
The unthinkable has happened as Suntory have suffered their first defeat in ages. They lost to the NEC Green Rockets 34-33 after Nemani Nadolo scored in the 79th minute and Yuu Tamura in what was an incredibly entertaining match. The loss, coupled with the Kobelco Steelers dominating 48-3 win over the NTT-Docomo Red Hurricanes, puts the Steelers at the top of the table in group 1. Other group 1 winners include Toyoto Verblitz 17-6 over Kyuden Voltex and the NTT Shining Arcs 28-26 over Toyoto Shokki Shuttle. In group 2 Toshiba Fuchu Brave Lupus stayed perfect thanks to a 22-20 win over the Kubota Sparks. Yamaha Jubilo are second despite a 13-13 draw with the Panasonic Wildknights. Other winners include the Ricoh Black Rams 25-20 over the Canon Eagles and the Kintetsu Liners 34-14 over the Coca-Cola West Red Sparks.
The RFU Championship kicked off last weekend with several teams putting in strong performances. London Scottish taught newly-promoted Ealing a harsh lesson with a 44-13 win. Rotherham did the same with Moseley 42-24. Other teams earning maximum points include Plymouth 41-27 over Jersey and London Welsh 23-14 over Bedford. Lastly, the Cornish Pirates beat Bristol 23-21.
Lyon and Pau still the two best teams in the Pro D2 after three rounds and are the only undefeated teams. Pau took care of Narbonne with a 25-15 win while Lyon beat Albi 30-10. Beziers pulled off a bit of an upset in beating Agen 30-24 while Colomiers did the same with a 33-24 win over Mont-de-Marsan. In other scores Bourgoin beat Aurillac 38-17, Carcossonne topped Auch 30-27, La Rochelle beat Dax 23-10, and Bressane beat Tarbes 23-16.
Currie Cup First Division
No one is stopping the Pumas as they made it 12 for 12 with a 28-27 win over the Eagles. The Bulldogs beat the Falcons 35-14, Eastern Province topped the Cavaliers 40-19, and the Leopards beat the Griffons 40-33.