Australia v France, Wednesday 21 June 2006, (U21s)

On Saturday I mentioned that our U21s beat NZ (21-17), for the second year running in the last round of pool matches, although unlike last year, NZ progress to the semis anyway, to play South Africa, who beat France (14-10) on Saturday as well.   In their turn, the French are now our opponents in the second semi!   All very circular, especially given that the pool matches were drawn at random.  To close the circle, South Africa beat us in last year’s final – a cosy world, it seems, U21 rugby!  

Anyway, as those results indicate, there is not a lot between any of these teams, and it is fitting that they the last pool round turns out to have been an alternate semi-final, as the winner will actually have beaten at least two and possibly all three of the other four contenders.   Obviously, my sympathies are with Australia, even if, in an ominous sign for next years RWC, the matches are at 1 and 3 am respectively.   Hopefully the ARU can pull some strings to get us some lunchtime kick-offs!

I’ll link to the team here when announced, but finally, quick quiz: which team built their victory on Saturday on a dominant scrummaging performance?      

You (probably wouldn’t have in any other context) guessed it: Australia!   France, and eventuellement, South Africa, will test us in that department though.

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