Waltz time: it's Australia day at the double
Normal service has been resumed, and Australia are showing us all how to play rugby again. At Twickenham yesterday the Wallabies edged a 21-19 win over England thanks, in large part, to a fine performance from their young centre Matt Giteau. Later, at Elland Road, the Kangaroos smashed Great Britain to smithereens, winning 44-4 to take rugby league's Tri-Nations title at an embarrassing canter. In London, England's union players bust a collective gut but fell agonisingly short against a determined Australian side who were hungry for revenge for last year's World Cup final defeat. In Leeds, in the rain, 15 Englishmen, a Welshman and an Irishman flapped and flagged as the men in green and gold ran in six first-half tries to turn a tide of British optimism into a particularly dispiriting puddle. In London, England's union fans mulled over a selection of "what-ifs" - what if Andy Robinson had not selected the struggling Henry Paul in the centre; what if Mike Tindall, who slotted two fine conversions as a stand-in goal-kicker thanks to Paul's problems and Charlie Hodgson's injury, had taken the conversion Andy Gomarsall missed after Lewis Moody's try; what if young Giteau had not been so good at creating tries and converting crucial penalties? In Leeds, Britain's shell-shocked supporters, when they weren't booing their floundering side or sneaking out early, had recourse to a couple of "if-onlys" - if only Terry Newton hadn't given away the silly penalty that gave Australia a flying start; if only the Kangaroo stand-off Darren Lockyer hadn't been born. Lockyer's first-half performance was even better than Giteau's three hours earlier and a couple of hundred miles further south. Back to the drawing board it is, then - in both codes.
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Match reports from every Premier League game: Heartbreak for Tottenham as Arsenal clinch fourth place
Arsène Wenger: 'We need stability and to strengthen in the summer'
Rafael Nadal is the Master again in Rome – like a Ferrari to Roger Federer's Fiat
Sam Wallace: The second coming of Mourinho will be a reunion that can only end in tears
James Lawton: For all Arsenal's dreams and prettiness there must be nagging sense of futility
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.