A Good Year for Rugby
2016 has been a fantastic year for international rugby. The Six Nations had an unexpected Grand Slam, the summer had some nail biting games, The Rugby Championship saw Argentina steal another win from South Africa while New Zealand rampaged through everyone and now the year has been capped off by a month of high calibre rugby.
The Autumn Internationals this year were of special importance for the home nations as everyone tried to raise their hand for a Lions jersey. The effort paid off in some spectacular games with the Northern Hemisphere hitting back after a disappointing Rugby World Cup. We’ve had upsets, historic victories, last minute/second wins and tries galore.
In our Autumn International Round Up, we’ve boiled everything down to the key numbers and tried to choose 3 of our top moments from a fantastic month of rugby. Read on and let us know what your best moment from the Internationals was in the comments below.
The rugbystore.co.uk Autumn Internationals Infographic
Top 3 Moments from the Autumn Internationals
1. Ireland beat the All Blacks
Undoubtedly the biggest moment from the Autumn Internationals and one of the biggest moments in rugby this year was Ireland’s win over New Zealand in Chicago. They managed to hold onto a four point lead, beating the All Blacks 40-29 and burying the memory of that game for good.
It’s a moment fans have been waiting a long time for. 111 years to be exact. After years of heart break, fans rejoiced on the streets to celebrate the historic victory. A mark of respect for the best team in the world when one win means so much to a team and it’s nation.
While it wasn’t part of the Autumn Internationals, the Maori All Blacks tribute Haka to Anthony Foley when they played Munster in the lashing rain in November is worthy of a mention on this list. You’ll have spine chills for days.
2. Scotland Close Out Argentina
Scotland managed to create two nail biters during their Autumn Internationals. The first, against Australia, ended in tears as Scotland had flash backs to the Rugby World Cup as Foley’s last touch of the game beat them once again.
It was clearly something to work on. And they did. And it paid off against Argentina.
Seeing Scotland manage to achieve the reverse of the result against Australia was satisfying and shows the continual growth the team has seen in the last few years. While spots for the Lions are going to be fierce next year, a number of Vern Cotter’s men must be in serious contention.
3. England Unbeaten
It’s hard to believe that at the start of this year, England were coming off a humiliating knock out of their own Rugby World Cup and had just secured a new Coach in Eddie Jones after Stuart Lancaster was forced to leave. They then went on to win a Grand Slam in the Six Nations. Then they beat Australia three times in a row in Australia. And in the Autumn Internationals, England not only beat Australia again, but bested South Africa, Argentina and put on a fantastic show against Fiji.
While the game against Australia wasn’t the prettiest (the first 20 minutes are best avoided by all England fans), the fact they still managed to bounce back to finish the year undefeated shows how far they’ve come since their shock exit from RWC2015.
It’s been an incredible year for England Rugby. We can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for 2017 and if English success can spell victory for the Lions in New Zealand.
What were your top moments from the Autumn Internationals? Let us know in the comments!