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Aisle be Back: Women's World Cup and NPC Week two

Club Rugby | 31 August 2017 | Kevin McCarthy

Aisle be Back: Women's World Cup and NPC Week two

I enjoyed three games of rugby this past weekend, but the Bledisloe only makes number 3 on the list.

Number 1 by a big margin was the Women's Rugby World Cup final.

What an excellent advert for the game. Male or female. Drama, lead changes, and of course, the right result.

It was test match with what you want in a test. A clash of styles, and great intensity - and no clear ending until late in the piece.

Especially enjoyable was the way the Black Ferns turned their perceived weakness on its head and made pick and go the key to unravelling the English. I always enjoy it when our teams think their way to victory.

Game Two was in the sunshine at the stadium on Saturday. I felt like the Donald having to peer into the glare of the sun.

The eclipse of course was on the park. The Dompost really needs to write more articles writing off the Lions' chances before kick-off.

I'm sure the Naki didn't see or believe that, but they knew it afterwards. Great to see the Lions attacking with purpose and not going  into their shells.

As we always joke, Wellington (Lions or Canes) are one team you always worry about when they blow out to big early leads. No such worries this time.

If the team can navigate the crowded immediate fixture list, then we could see something special. But one match at a time please.

And match three, well, that Bledisloe. Obviously it wasn't the Dunedin demo job that many, myself included, thought might happen.

The All Blacks sure dug themselves a hole with poor play in the opening 20. After that it felt like a very long stern chase – you know the chaser is going to get there in the end and take the lead.

Albeit that it took one of those magnificent hold-your-nerve tries to get them home.

However since the All Blacks effectively – once they got going – scored 35 points to the Wallabies’ 12, is it really a case of an Australian renaissance? Put me in the doubters’ column.

Anyway, except for the last 10 minutes or so, it wasn’t for me a patch on the drama of the women’s world cup final.



Thank heavens the Bus isn’t driving off to the Chiefs.

Maybe, as he’s indicated, the spell with the Lions could be the trick in getting him firing again and challenging for his old test spot.

A small case in point was the centring kick that he made and regathered on Saturday to score.

Would old Savea have tried that? Would old Savea have been rewarded with it sitting up freakishly for him? It’s a funny game.


Anyone else watching the women’s final think their telly’s sound had gone bung?

I had to look up to realise it was a penalty kick, and the Belfast crowd had gone silent for the goalkicker.

If only we could get back to that culture here.

And why not, if there was a will.

Lifelong All Blacks supporter Kev has followed the Hurricanes since they began. Last year his faith in them was rewarded when they won the title – they've missed out in 2017, but he'll be back!

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