The November Autumn Internationals Round 3 was highlighted by the All Blacks victory over England 30-22 which included Dan Carter's 100th test.
Unfortunately the rugby news we expected for Carter did not happen, as he was injured early on, but the depth of the All Blacks meant they brought on Aaron Cruden and they still won, despite a great effort by the home team.
One more victory next week for the All Blacks against Ireland would see them become the first All Blacks team to go a calendar year undefeated since 1997 and the first All Blacks team since 1989 to win every game in a calendar year. This season they have unearthed plenty of talent and created depth, while still putting strong teams on the field and winning every match.
England’s efforts were considerable in the 2nd and 3rd quarters with Hartley, Lawes and Robshaw standing out. Coach Lancaster was brave in sticking with his inexperienced centres for their 3 games but talk in the West Stand was that Farrell might be a better long term option - very interesting.
Other chat around the ground was the scrummaging and the "walking around" the outside that Marler was allowed to get away with; the overhead shots on TV did seem to back this up. The game should have been taken by England but the loss of Hartley turned the game. Tom Youngs is a good player but not on this performance a good hooker. The loss of 3 lineouts at the start of the 4th quarter gave the All Blacks the initiative and they are too experienced to miss out.
In the other ten games, the Springboks, Japan, Wales, France and the Wallabies all claimed comfortable victories. The most disappointing team this series has been Argentina who I thought may have put up more of a fight against Wales.
There were plenty of nail-biters to keep tipsters on their toes with USA, Uruguay, Romania, Italy and the French Barbarians pulling off close victories with margins under seven points.
Which team impressed you the most in the November Autumn Internationals Round 3?
In SuperBru, most matches were predictable, although given that there were 11 matches, there weren't many people that picked all of the winners, although I am happy to announce that The Chosen One did!
The French Barbarians win over Samoa was only predicted by 45 percent of tipsters, while a similar percentage of tipsters picked the USA to beat Georgia.
Japan 40 - 13 Russia
Georgia 23 - 25 USA
Italy 37 - 31 Fiji
French Barbarians 20 - 19 Samoa
Wales 40 - 6 Argentina
England 22 - 30 All Blacks
France 38 - 18 Tonga
Romania 21 - 20 Canada
Ireland 15 - 32 Wallabies
Uruguay 16 - 15 Spain
Scotland 0 - 28 Springboks