Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2015 Contents A49
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
RUGBY WORLD CUP
TEDDINGTON---Australia s squad is
holding up well after a grueling Rugby
World Cup semifinal against Argenti-
na, with coach Michael Cheika saying
there are no fresh injuries ahead of
Saturday s final against New Zealand.
Inside center Matt Giteau came off
with a groin injury against the Pumas
on Sunday and fullback Israel Folau
lasted only 60 minutes of the 29-15
win because of a nagging ankle prob-
lem, which was exacerbated when he
was caught under a tackle.
Cheika said yesterday his injury con-
cerns are "probably much better than
we expected" and he also had encour-
aging news about prop Scott Sio, who
missed the semifinal win with an elbow
"Scott Sio will be back on the training
paddock this week," Cheika said of
arguably the best scrummager in the
Australia team. "He s been running
already and he s got movement back
in his elbow.
"We ll see how that applies to some
of his specialities such as scrummaging
and mauling, and we ll take it from
Sio was missed against Argentina as
the Wallabies were dominated in the
scrum, conceding four penalties for
different reasons. James Slipper, the
replacement for Sio, struggled in par-
ticular and will likely drop back into
the reserves should his fellow loosehead
come through this week.
"We ll perhaps have to be more dis-
ciplined on the engagement," Cheika
said of the scrum as he looked ahead
to the All Blacks.
New Zealand s players may be fresher
for the final. They ll have had an extra
day s rest---their semifinal win over
South Africa was on Saturday---while
the Springboks game was their first
real test of the World Cup.
The Wallabies, meanwhile, have been
playing "knockout footy," as Cheika
called it, since the pool stage, where
they played Fiji, England and Wales in
consecutive weeks. Australia has also
been seriously tested by Scotland in
the quarterfinals and Argentina in the
"Obviously they ll be a bit fresher,"
Cheika said. "But we knew those were
going to be the dates so we tried to
plan accordingly with our training all
the way through, so we d have a training
plan that we prepared for this situation
and now we will bring that out." (AP)
Scott Sio is
but will return
LONDON---Welsh referee Nigel
Owens will referee the Rugby
World Cup final between New
Zealand and Australia at Twick-
enham on Saturday.
The appointment was no sur-
prise, after he wasn t picked for
His assistants will be the semi-
final refs, Jerome Garces of France
and Wayne Barnes of England.
The Television Match Official is
Shaun Veldsman of South Africa.
"This is a huge honor and a
privilege for me," Owens said.
"This is my third World Cup, and
it has been the best. It has been
inspirational. The quality of rugby
on display has been incredible."
Owens controlled three pool
matches, and the marquee quar-
terfinal matchup between New
Zealand and France in Cardiff,
where the All Blacks won 62-13.
The third-place match on Fri-
day between South Africa and
Argentina at the Olympic Stadi-
um will be whistled by John
Lacey of Ireland.
His assistants are New Zealan-
ders Glen Jackson and Chris Pol-
lock, with England s Graham
Hughes the TMO.
LONDON---There s nothing left
for New Zealand to glean from
the two tests against Australia in
August that will be of use in their
Rugby World Cup final on Satur-
Australia won the first in Sydney
27-19 to clinch the Rugby Cham-
pionship, and New Zealand won
the second 41-13 in Auckland to
retain the Bledisloe Cup.
"It s a total clean sheet," All
Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster
said on Monday of their third
match-up of the year, and biggest
"The lessons we ve learned from
Sydney and Eden Park we ve
already applied into our game and
put them into practice. They (the
Wallabies) are the same."
That includes the dual threat of
Wallabies openside flankers David
Pocock and Michael Hooper.
They were employed for the first
time in Sydney to revelatory effect.
They weren t so great in Auckland
when they came together from
In that match, the All Blacks
started Victor Vito on the blindside
instead of regular Jerome Kaino,
and replaced the powerful Vito in
the second half with Sam Cane
beside Richie McCaw, giving New
Zealand two opensides on the field.
By then, they were up 34-6.
Asked how much the All Blacks
still considered Pocock and Hooper
a threat, Foster s evasive answer
suggested they still did. The All
Blacks wouldn t be sending more
people into the breakdowns to pre-
vent their ball being turned over
by Pocock and Hooper, Foster said.
More pertinently, "It s not a matter
of us changing what we do. We
just got to do stuff better."
"For us, it s pretty simple," he
said. "If we get our ball carries right
and focus on the urgency of our
cleaners ... that s all we can control,
and that s just what we ve got to
do to the best of our ability.
"If we get that right, hopefully
we ll nullify the amount of time
he gets on it (the ball)."
Pocock leads the tournament
with 14 turnovers won, the only
player with more than nine. The
All Blacks best in the category was
No 8 Kieran Read, with eight. All
Blacks skipper McCaw, usurped
this year by Pocock as the world s
premier flanker, had six.
Scumhalf Aaron Smith said they
meet the Wallabies so regularly
that its more than about stopping
them, but having plans for what
they might and might not do.
"In the end," he said, "it s about
what we do, but we have to make
sure we have most of the scenarios
covered: Wherever the scrum is,
what can they do? How can we
stop it? We ll be trying our best in
that moment." (AP)
Wallabies in good
shape ahead of finale
All Blacks: 'Pooper'
threat reduced if we
do our job better
Owens to referee final
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