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Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week two

So close: Stuart Hogg very nearly sparked a winner against the All Blacks Rugby World

Scotland almost pulled off a miraculous win over New Zealand, England capitalised on their luck against Australia while Wales and Ireland just inched to wins – we look at the big talking points from the second week of autumn Internationals


Wales 13-6 Georgia

A single highlight: Hallam Amos of Wales( far right) celebrates his score Rugby World
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  • Milton Haig, the Georgia coach, was confident his team would have scored had a contested five-metre scrum in the closing minutes gone ahead given that Wales were a man down and said: “We would have backed ourselves for sure.” After all, ten minutes earlier they had a series of scrums five metres out from the Wales posts and looked close to being awarded a penalty try, before Wales won the penalty at the fourth scrum.
  • The whole series of events raised several questions. Aside from the uncontested scrums, Georgia changed their decision as to what they wanted to do from that final penalty after the referee had signaled for a scrum, which is another issue altogether. World Rugby said: “All matches are reviewed, including match official, performance reviewer and coach feedback. It would be inappropriate to comment until the facts have been obtained and the review has been undertaken.”
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    Happy chappy: Danny Care of England scores a a try to punish Australia Rugby World

    England 30-6 Australia

    On the hoof: Jonny May breaks clear Rugby World

  • Owen Farrell has been credited with talking round referee O’Keefe as the TMO was showing replays of Koroibete’s grounding. The fly-half was heard asking about Moore’s line, and despite frame after frame of new angles on the grounding, O’Keefe finally made the call of obstruction. Mind you, several Australian spectators were left questioning whether Robshaw had actually been offside a few phases before anyway.
  • England’s locks were incredible. Joe Launchbury buzzed with activity and Courtney Lawes was a punishing force. With Maro Itoje an early substitution for Sam Underhill, seeing him charge around only highlighted the frightening competition for places in the English boiler house.
  • Almost there: The Scotland players realise they won't win at the end Rugby World

    Scotland 17-22 New Zealand

    Moment of brilliance: Beauden Barrett finishes a breathtaking move Rugby World

  • The All Blacks discipline was lacking. Waisake Naholo benefitted from leniency from the officials when a yellow card for tackling Hogg in the air was downgraded to just a penalty as Price initially stood in his way. But they received two yellows – one for Sam Cane and one for Wyatt Crockett – for murdering Scottish ball near the line. If they hadn’t done it, Scotland could have manufactured more than one burrow-over score like Jonny Gray’s, but they did what they could to cling on.
  • After this one some were wondering if the close nature of this game had a greater significance. Asked about that, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: “Rugby’s in a good place. Everyone back home was telling us that they were getting bored of us being dominant. Well, they’ll just have to go away and have a cup of tea and think about that.”
  • Back to form: Cian Healy was one of a few standouts against Fiji Rugby World

    Ireland 23-20 New Zealand