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The Rugby Championship – Week Three Review

rugby championship week 3
Credit: IMAGO / AAP

After a week’s break, the Rugby Championship roared back at the weekend with two more scintillating matches, including a history-making clash in Christchurch.

We’ve taken a closer look at all the action and talking points from week 3 of the Rugby Championship.

Springboks Stunned in Adelaide

Australia bounced back from their thrashing at the hands of Argentina in San Juan to stun South Africa in Adelaide, seeing off the Springboks 25-17.

However, the scoreline tells only half the story, as with five minutes to go, the visitors were down 25-3 before two late tries from Kwagga Smith put some respectability on the scoreboard.

This was a massive victory for a Wallabies side with a lengthy list of unavailable players, including captain Michael Hooper who continues to take an absence from the game.

Dave Rennie’s side dominated from the start, scoring the first try of the match inside two minutes, and they never looked back.

The match did see two huge talking points, though, both taking place at the end of the first half.

First up, Marika Koroibete pulled off a stunning try-saving tackle on Springboks wingers Makazole Mapimpi before the visitors lost scrum-half Faf de Klerk to a yellow card for striking Nic White in the face.

The theatrical reaction of White has attracted plenty of criticism, but by the letter of the law, de Klerk was right to be binned.

The ‘bomb squad’ was launched by the Springboks in the second half – but the Australian defence held firm to record a well-deserved victory, 

And the Wallabies will be hopeful of following up with another strong performance this Saturday in Sydney when the sides clash again.

Pumas Maul the All Blacks

Having put in an excellent performance in their second match against South Africa, the pressure had lifted slightly on the All Blacks and coach Ian Foster, but after this weekend, Foster is now clinging to his job.

Argentina blew the All Blacks away 25-18 in Christchurch, recording their first-ever victory on New Zealand soil and condemning the home side to their sixth defeat in their last eight test matches.

The Pumas victory was built on solid defence and firm discipline, and the win was also the first time that Argentina had recorded back-to-back Rugby Championship victories.

Michael Cheika has taken the Pumas to a new level this season, and they now top the Rugby Championship table after three matches.

For the All Blacks, this was one of their poorest performances in recent history and is a genuine concern with the World Cup just 12 months away.

The sides meet this Saturday again in Waikato, where the All Blacks will be hungry for revenge before they head into the Bledisloe Cup series against their trans-Tasman rivals Australia.

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