Johannesburg: Australian coach Michael Cheika conceded his side did not take their opportunities in a 35-17 loss to South Africa but said Taniela Tupous second-half yellow card was absolutely the wrong call as former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns labelled the decision "disgraceful" and questioned the overall standard of elite referees.
The replacement Wallabies prop was given his marching orders in the 54th minute for a hit that referee Paul Williams deemed to be a dangerous clean-out.
Australia had just been awarded a scrum feed but right as the whistle blew Tupou belted South African back-rower Rynhardt Elstadt with a forceful hit. The TMO said he believed it was "clearly a shoulder charge to the chest", while Williams said on the field: "The guy is sitting there and he's come running in with the shoulder. It's clearly dangerous, it hit him in the chest after the whistle. Away you go."
Many thought a penalty would suffice but Australia were reduced to 14 men and it proved to be a pivotal moment in the game as South Africa ran away with the result to continue an eight-year winning streak on home soil against the Aussies.
"I make it as the wrong call," Cheika said. "The other guy should have been sent to the sin bin. The fourth official said he focused on the green player who came in with a shoulder charge. Taniela then came in after that to get him with his arms wrapped at the right height.
"Im not sure if big contact is a penalty these days but thats a wrong decision."
Fox Sports commentator Kearns certainly did not hold back, saying after the match how shocked he was Tupou was sent from the field.
"It was a disgraceful decision," Kearns said. "So many times we put referees that are out of their depth into these games.
"Weve all talked privately about the World Cup referees and theres a whole bunch of guys there that are totally out of their depth. In big games like that, that is a game-changing moment. Some of these guys are out of their depth."
"It was late but it was a legitimate clean-out. I could understand a penalty."
Cheika admitted his men squandered first-half chances that proved significant in the context of the match as Australia began their 2019 campaign on a losing note.
Samu Kerevis forward pass to Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was pulled up after a try had been awarded, while there was also Dane Haylett-Pettys knock-on when all he had to do was plant the ball over the line.
It was a shame for Haylett-Petty, who moments earlier had scored an excellent individual try before falling away throughout the rest of the match with a number of other errors.
"We created a lot of good opportunities and we gave a couple away as well but sometimes youve got to be able to react," Cheika said. "A lot of small things went against us in that period as well that turned the momentum away. I was happy that a lot of the things weve been working on we were able to bring out there.
"I know [they scored] five tries but our defence was good in a lot of the phase plays as well. In that second half when we didnt have a lot of the ball, we were just a bit loose with it when we did have it and that gave the momentum back to the other team."
The Wallabies had just 29 per cent possession and 29 per cent territory in the second half.
Asked if the 18-point margin was a fair representation of the match, Cheika replied: "The scoreline is irrelevant, there is a winner and a loser. We lost, they won.
"[It is] difficult to use the word happy when you lose a Test match. I believe we showed a lot of good signs tonight."
Captain Michael Hooper said he was impressed with the skill set of Australias forwards, who had to navigate their way through a Springboks line that regularly rushed up.
"We created a lot of opportunity in that first half even from deep in our own zone that was really pleasing," Hooper said. "We capitalise on that and it looks a bit different. We couldnt get those [forwards] into the second half.
"To go down a man was unfortunateRead More – Source
New Zealand 18-25 Argentina: Pumas create history with victory in Christchurch
Argentina beat the All Blacks for the first time in New Zealand to move top of the Rugby Championship.
Winger Emiliano Boffelli kicked 20 points as the Pumas won 25-18 in Christchurch to pile the pressure on All Blacks coach Ian Foster.
The Pumas triumphed over the All Blacks two years ago in Sydney in another Rugby Championship match.
Earlier, two tries from flanker Fraser McReight helped Australia get past world champions South Africa 25-17.
In Christchurch, the All Blacks had led 15-6 early on thanks to tries from Samisoni Taukei’aho and Caleb Clarke and, after going in at the break 15-12 ahead, Richie Mo’unga’s second penalty extended their lead.
But Boffelli’s boot kept the Pumas in the game and flanker Juan Martin Gonzalez scored an opportunist second-half try.
New Zealand’s ill-discipline throughout the match cost them dearly and they played the last nine minutes with 14 men after a yellow card for Shannon Frizell as they suffered a sixth loss in their past eight Tests.
The victory gives Argentina successive wins in the Rugby Championship for the first time, after their impressive 48-17 thrashing of Australia two weeks ago.
“I’m very proud of our team – we are starting to believe what we can do,” said captain Julian Montoya. “I’m very, very happy and very, very proud. It’s a very special moment for us.”
In Adelaide, after slow starts in their first two Championship games, the Wallabies were on top from the start against the Springboks, McReight barging over in the opening minute.
Noah Lolesio converted and added a penalty as Handre Pollard missed two kicks before getting South Africa on the board.
The Wallabies lost Tom White to a yellow card after half an hour but the defence held firm, both McReight and Marika Koroibete making try-saving tackles.
South Africa then started the second half with 14 men after Faf de Klerk was sin-binned a minute before the break and the Wallabies took advantage with Koroibete finishing off a smooth move before McReight dived over for his second try.
Kwagga Smith replied with two tries for the Springboks in the final five minutes but Australia continued their nine-year unbeaten streak on home soil against the world champions.
“We started the game well and that put us in a good position,” said Australia captain James Slipper. “There were parts of that game where we had to show a lot of character, and we did that.”
Also in Adelaide, New Zealand’s women ran out 22-14 winners against Australia as both sides continued their Women’s World Cup preparations.
Debutant Bienne Terita scored a pair of tries for the Wallaroos, who had lost 52-5 to the defending champions in Christchurch last week.
But the Black Ferns were too good again with Luka Connor, Joanah Ngan-woo and Kendra Reynolds all crossing for tries.
The sides meet again in their World Cup opener on 8 October.
Freddy Rincón: Former Colombia captain in critical condition with severe head injuries after car crash
Former Colombia soccer captain Freddy Rincón is in critical condition with severe head injuries after being involved in a car crash in Cali, the hospital treating him said in a statement.
World Cup glory
Fantasy Premier League tips gameweek 19: Cristiano Ronaldo, Son Heung-min, Bukayo Saka and more
The news of Liverpool vs Leeds’ postponement leaves a lot of managers in the lurch. Most of us have at least three players who will not be playing on Boxing Day, with captaincy favourite Mohamed Salah one of them. Where do we turn with our most reliable points-scorer suddenly wiped out?
It requires a bit of restructuring and probably a -4 hit but moving to Ronaldo, who travels to Newcastle, may not be a bad idea. Though Salah could return quickly against Leicester and Chelsea, the Africa Cup of Nations is fast approaching and Manchester United’s fixtures are strong, with an expected double gameweek on the horizon.
A more straightforward move is Salah to Son. Many managers could do it with their weekly free transfer and there is good reason to back the Tottenham winger, who scored against Liverpool last time out and has an enticing run of fixtures coming up and a likely double in gameweek 22.
Crystal Palace’s defensive numbers are still among the more impressive this season but are stronger at home than away and have faltered slightly of late, while Tottenham’s attack is gradually picking up under Antonio Conte. After the visit from Patrick Vieira’s side, Spurs face back-to-back trips to Southampton and Watford.
After three consecutive impressive wins, Arsenal assets are all the rage this week, with heavy investment in the band of young, exciting attacking players at Mikel Arteta’s disposal. Gabriel Martinelli was a late call-up to our picks last time around and duly delivered, while Emile Smith Rowe keeps on scoring even as a substitute.
If we had to pick one for this weekend’s trip to Norwich though, it would still be Saka. He has a better chance of starting long-term than Martinelli and he has more impressive underlying numbers than Smith Rowe. In fact, those numbers have gradually ticked up after a slow start to the season, with an average of 0.6 non-penalty xG+xA over the last six games.
While Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe are all popular picks this week, one thing to look out for is an unusual split coming up in Arsenal’s fixtures, where their schedule is a lot better from a defensive perspective than an attacking one.
With that in mind, 4.8m-rated Tierney offers a slightly more adventurous route into Arsenal’s backline than either goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale or the cheaper Ben White. The concern with Tierney, as ever, is injury and whether he can be trusted to start games during a tight schedule, but at a low ownership of 6.4%, he may be worth the risk.
With all these heavy hitters to swap around and squad restructuring to do, it can be useful to leave money in the bank for flexibility. But at the same time, we need a deep squad in order to cope with the postponements and rotation. It is difficult to find players in the cheap but reliable sweet spot.
Broja is one of the better budget options. He carries a rotation risk himself and can get substituted early but, with Che Adams and Adam Armstrong still making their way back from injury, the 5.1m-priced Southampton striker should get enough minutes going forward to earn points, while freeing up funds to spend elsewhere.
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