Well, last night’s Tri Nations match between South Africa and Australia went very much unlike I expected it to in my blog post on Thursday.
Playing at the grounds in Brisbane where a few years ago the Springboks lost with a massive 0 – 49 against the Aussies, the Boks once against suffered a defeat, albeit with a much smaller margin this time.
Whatever conditions conspired against the Boks to have reduced them to the unorganised-on-the-back-foot rugby that they played last night, the Aussies had… well, a ball.
This loss now puts New Zealand a little closer to the Tri Nations title, albeit still with a slim chance.
Things are suddenly not looking so rosy for the Springboks, and it’s now not just a question of waltzing to the title anymore. If they want to be crowned the winners of the Tri Nations Tournament and avoid being embarrassingly pipped to the post, the Boks will have to work for it. Hard.
With 2 games left in the 2009 Tri-Nations Tournament
Opportunities to score more points:
|Lose||1 (if score difference is 7 or less)|
|Bonus||1 (for scoring 4 tries or more in a game)|
|18 Jul||All Blacks vs Wallabies||Auckland, NZ||19:35||22 – 16||4 – 1|
|25 Jul||Springboks vs All Blacks||Bloemfontein, SA||17:00||28 – 19||4 – 0|
|1 Aug||Springboks vs All Blacks||Durban, SA||17:00||31 – 19||4 – 0|
|8 Aug||Springboks vs Wallabies||Cape Town, SA||17:00||29 – 17||4 – 0|
|22 Aug||Wallabies vs All Blacks||Sydney, AU||20:05||18 – 19||1 – 4|
|29 Aug||Wallabies vs Springboks||Perth, AU||18:05||25 – 32||1 – 5|
|5 Sep||Wallabies vs Springboks||Brisbane, AU||20:05||21 – 6||4 – 0|
|12 Sep||All Blacks vs Springboks||Hamilton, NZ||19:35||–||–|
|19 Sep||All Blacks vs Wallabies||Wellington, NZ||19:35||–||–|
So, as an update from my last post, here’s what can happen now:
- Australia are still sure losers, but ironically they could end up determining the winners of the Tri Nations tournament;
- New Zealand has a increasingly better looking chance of squeezing in a win if:
- they can win both their remaining games (4 x 2 = 8); and
- they can score 4 tries or more in each of those games (2 x 1 = 2); and
- they can prevent South Africa from scoring 4 tries; and
- they can ensure South Africa loses by more than 7 points;
- Australia managed to do 3 and 4 in their games last night, so it’s not impossible;
- South Africa, who still needs just 2 points to win the 2009 Tri-Nations Rugby Tournament, must
- win their game against New Zealand next week; or
- draw that game (but when last did you see a drawn rugby game?); or
- if they’re going to lose, score 4 tries in their last game; and
- lose by less than 7 points;
From being so sure on Thursday that the Boks were winners already, I’m now only cautiously optimistic.
Australia have redeemed themselves by handing the Boks their first loss. New Zealand will also love to get on the bandwagon so that they too can claim a defeat over the Springboks in this Tri Nations. And once they’ve beaten the Boks, they only have to beat Australia (again) to claim the trophy.
There will be blood (and if New Zealand succeeds in doing that, there will be tears too).