6 Nations kicked off, The Hamilton 7s continued in the same entertaining vein that has come to characterise the Sevens World Series and amongst the drama of Allister Coetzee’s sacking, the South African Super rugby warm ups started too (not that these were quite as exciting). Here our our top 3 talking points of a great rugby weekend.
TEDDY THOMAS’ TRY
At 71 minutes, Teddy Thomas struck on the counter attack from the half way line, blistering past the opposition fullback and centre and beating two defenders to score a try that would be converted and see France strip Ireland’s 12-6 lead just 9 minutes before the final whistle. Whilst Ireland’s thrilling 41-phase build up to Sexton’s match winning drop goal would see them emerge final victors (15-13), Thomas’ try added urgency and excitement to the remainder of what was a brilliant display of 6 Nations rugby on it’s opening weekend.
One man down after just a minute and trailing 17-5 at half time to World Series Champions, the Blitzbokke, Fiji looked set to go down in the final of the Hamilton 7s. However an impressive display of catch up rugby and try scoring heroics from Hamilton’s player of the tournament Alosio Naduva, saw Fiji come back with two tries and beat the Blitzboks 24-17. Of Fiji’s four tries Naduva scored three, the last one of the game seeing him capitalise on a ridiculous no-look pass from team mate Kaoline Nasoko.
On Friday morning an agreement was reached between SA Rugby bosses and Allister Coetzee that would see him fired with immediate effect as Springbok coach, whilst new director of rugby Rassie Erasmus would take over for the remaining duration up until the 2019 World Cup. After Allister’s aggressive letter to SARU, he managed to still walk away with a 1,8 million rand payout for 6 months. And, if reports are correct, Coetzee received a total of 9 million rand from SARU for the duration of his 25 tests in charge. To be noted again is the fact that only 11 of these 25 were wins.