Rugby Championship: The experts' view
Last Updated: 16/08/14 8:10pm
Australia suffered from a lack of belief and New Zealand were left to rue ill-discipline while the Pumas emerged with credit from their defeat to South Africa on the opening weekend of the Rugby Championship, according to our pundits.
Australia 12-12 New Zealand
The Trans-Tasman rivals fought out a 12-12 draw in pouring rain at the ANZ Stadium on Saturday, with Kurtley Beale matching Aaron Curden's four penalties.
The All Blacks failed to fire in Sydney as their ill-discipline, including a conceding a host of penalties and having two men - Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett - thrown in the sin bin, allowed Australia on to the front foot.
However, the Wallabies could not to capitalise on their numerical advantage and a sustained pressure on New Zealand's line in the second half as the game ended in a draw.
Here's the experts' view...
Former Wallaby Michael Lynagh on Australia
"It was a really tense and physical Test match, and quite a good one. But getting a draw like that is a bit flat. Now Australia have got to go to Eden Park where we have not won for what seems like a century. So it is tough to get that Bledisloe Cup back. That was a game that was there for them to win and unfortunately they did not get there.
"I think Australia are improving. They are on the upward slope that's for sure. But it is a bit of that self-belief. The All Blacks have got it in spades and they go on to the pitch and you get that feeling they are going to win and they have that belief not matter what time of the game. Australia have got to get there. I think the squad and the players playing tonight are starting to believe that they can do it and this was an opportunity missed."
Former All Black Ali Williams on New Zealand
"I think the All Blacks will be very frustrated. They did not achieve what they wanted to and I don't think they played well. They let their discipline determine the outcome of the game. They were probably lucky not to lose it.
"They did not get enough go-forward from an attacking point of view. They kicked the ball away a lot which the conditions asked for. But it comes back to those penalties. We have a phrase: dumb penalties. There were five or six penalties which changed the game and gave the Australians the chance to hold on. They will be very frustrated."
South Africa 13-6 Argentina
In similarly testing conditions at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa held on to claim victory over the Pumas.
Ruan Pienaar opened the scoring with a try in the first minute with Hendre Pollard adding the conversion and a penalty as the Springboks enjoyed a strong start.
But they were shackled by the soaking conditions and Argentina's aggressive defence. And despite Morne Steyn's second-half penalty, the Pumas rescued a losing bonus point thanks to two penalties from Nicolas Sanchez.
Here's the experts' view...
Former Springbok Thinus Delport on South Africa
"I think he [coach Heyneke Meyer] will be disappointed. He is in the third year of his tenure and I think he would have expected a bit more from his chargers to be able to adapt to the conditions. This is an experienced unit and I think that they should have made better decisions on the day. Yes, we weren't really expecting the rain - they would have prepared for an open playing game - but the wet conditions came and they had to change their mind set. You could see in the second half once Morne Steyn was introduced along with Eben Etzebeth and Andrew Strauss things settled a bit. But the first half and those conditions cost them.
"The Springboks must work on the set piece. The lineouts were not up to standards compared to last year's success rate. There is no lineout specialist at the moment in the Springbok set up and Bismarck du Plessis was under a lot of pressure with the wet weather and the Argentinian defence at the lineout. As much as we want to move towards an open playing game, it all depends on how the forwards perform and the forwards were put under a lot of pressure."
Former Puma Gonzalo Camacho on Argentina
"They [the Pumas] will be feeling pleased. It is a new set up bringing through the young kids so it is good experience for them and now are going back to Argentina so it is going to be a really good battle over there. And we will see really good rugby. The lineouts and opportunities were there for us to score but we couldn't score. We need a bit more accuracy but we can build on this.
"They have to be a bit more precise and create in the attacking zone . I know the weather was against us today. Salta will have a good atmosphere for Argentina and we will see a lot of people over there supporting Argentina. Obviously that will put some pressure on the referee and on South Africa."