What a week it was for Pool A

He has lived and breathed Toko­roa rugby for decades. David Foote gives his per­spec­tive on Pool A

South Waikato News - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

IN A packed sta­dium, the All Blacks and Tonga met in the first game of the 2011 Rugby World Cup at Eden Park. The All Blacks soon took con­trol with a try to Is­rael Dagg.

Then our own Richard Kahui came into his own, scor­ing two tries and hav­ing a hand in an­other, earn­ing him the Man of the Match award.

Hav­ing the best of an en­ter­tain­ing first half, Tonga went into the sec­ond half and gave the home side some hurry up.

They took it to the All Blacks in the for­wards and the All Black scrums were not as ef­fec­tive as they were in the first half. This was es­pe­cially no­tice­able when Wood­cock came off and the Ton­gans seemed to have the ad­van­tage, se­verely test­ing the All Black scrum.

The fi­nal score 41-10 was a fair in­di­ca­tion of the game which was prob­a­bly pleas­ing for Tonga but left the All Blacks with plenty to think about.

The other game in pool A was a highly en­ter­tain­ing one – Ja­pan ver­sus France at North Har­bour Sta­dium.

Ja­pan played a fast game keep­ing the French busy but even with seven Ki­wis in the Ja­panese team the French even­tu­ally pre­vailed, win­ning 41-21.

The games to watch in Pool A this week are Tonga play­ing their sec­ond game against the Cana­di­ans, who are play­ing their first of the tour­na­ment in Whangarei at 5pm, Wed­nes­day.

The weather fore­cast looks good so a fast game should be on the cards.

The Ton­gans will be look­ing for their first win of the tour­na­ment but don’t write off Canada just yet.

The other games this week – in Hamil­ton on Fri­day the All Blacks take on Ja­pan. This will be All Black cap­tain Richie Mc­Caw’s 100th game so he will want to lead from the front and come away with a big win.

The big in­ter­est this week will be Sun­day’s match be­tween Canada and France in Napier. This should be a good game in the Hawke’s Bay and a big day for the Hawke’s Bay rugby fans.

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