Shock loss sets up epic struggle to qualify
He calls it as he sees it, Tokoroa’s Larry Sullivan rips into Pool B
Two games in Pool B this week can be used in some way as measuring sticks as to how the likely qualifiers are travelling.
England against Romania was always going to a onesided affair but the question as to how are England marching on was answered in their free running demolition of the East Europeans 67-3. Running in 10 tries showed us the Poms are amping it up as the tournament goes along; so far in the cup they have arrogantly gone about their business knowing this is a sixweek event and it’s not how but how many games you win that matters come Oct 23.
Both wingers scored a hat trick which exemplifies the slick hands and quick ball the English used all day.
The forwards scrumaged well and cleaned out the lineout which would have pleased the management as the Romanian forwards are an awesome unit.
The torrid exchanges go further to getting the English match hardened for the knockout phase. There have been no easy games in this pool.
Meanwhile on Sunday the most dramatic game of the cup so far was fought out by the Argies and the Scots in the rain and wind in Wellington. With the best lineout in the cup and an admirable scrum topped with some good territory kicking the Scotties were the better team on the night but could not gain enough ascendancy on the scoreboard to stay far enough in front to be undone with a late try by the fleet-footed Amorosini. Six-all with 20 minutes to play, two drop goals put Scotland 12-6 up only to see lost possession at the restart in the 75th minute end up in the hands of Amorosini, he evaded a tackle of fullback Patterson and three other average efforts as he jinked his way over. Chris Patterson will have nightmares about that tackle for the rest of his life. The master Contemponi slotted the conversion to make it 13-12 and that may just get the Argies a date with the All Blacks.
The Scots will have trouble figuring out how they lost the game; may be they can put it down to their inability to score tries ( 4 in 3 matches) and Robinson’s use of the bench. In a tight match he subbed two players that were controlling the game, Gray in the lineout and young No 10 Jackson.
The situation needed continuity and the subs disrupted the control they had.
Now the kilt-wearers have to get themselves up in an attempt to topple the Poms by more than eight points.
It will be an epic game in Auckland this weekend to ultimately decide the qualifiers in Pool B.
SHOCKING LOSS: Scotland may have lost due to the subbing that disrupted the play of Scotland’s Richie Gray against Argentina.