2007 end-of-year rugby union internationals

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The 2007 end of year rugby tests, also known as the 2007 Autumn internationals were a series of rugby union matches played in November and December 2007 in Europe. Because of the timing of the 2007 Rugby World Cup, most teams chose to take a break after that tournament and the end of year series consisted of just two matches (and only one Test match), both involving the 2007 World Cup winners South Africa.

Although the matches had been arranged well in advance of the World Cup,[1] the mini-tour was seen as an opportunity for the world cup winners to showcase their talents and to say farewell to their outgoing coach, Jake White, who retired after the second game.[2] In the event, several members of the world cup squad were unavailable for either game, because of retirement (Os du Randt), injury (Percy Montgomery, Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha), club commitments (Butch James), or other reasons (Victor Matfield), and the captain, John Smit, who had just joined French club ASM Clermont Auvergne, was released to play only in the first match.[3]

Week 1[edit]

The first match, and the only one with full Test status, was against Wales, on 24 November 2007, at the Millennium Stadium. Although Wales had more possession and dominated territorially, they managed to score just two tries, both from kicks. The first was scored by Welsh full-back Morgan Stoddart, who was making his Test debut. The second, the result of a bad mistake by Springbok full-back Ruan Pienaar, was scored by Colin Charvis; it was his 22nd Test try, a new record for a forward in Test rugby. South Africa made better use of their more limited possession, scoring five tries, including one by Ryan Kankowski, also a Test debutant, as the world cup winners won the match 34–12.[4][5]

24 November 2007
14:45 GMT
Wales  12–34  South Africa
Try: Charvis 39' m
Stoddart 53' c
Con: Hook (1/2)
Report Try: Smith 20' c
Fourie (2) 28' m, 31' c
Pietersen 44' c
Kankowski 67' m
Con: A. Pretorius (3/4)
Pen: F. Steyn (1/1) 3'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 56,000
Referee: Chris White (England)
Wales
FB 15 Morgan Stoddart Substituted off 69'
RW 14 Mark Jones
OC 13 Sonny Parker
IC 12 Gavin Henson
LW 11 Tom Shanklin
FH 10 James Hook Substituted off 76'
SH 9 Dwayne Peel Substituted off 53'
N8 8 Jonathan Thomas
OF 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor
BF 6 Colin Charvis (c) Substituted off 61'
RL 5 Alun Wyn Jones
LL 4 Ian Evans Substituted off 53'
TP 3 Gethin Jenkins
HK 2 Huw Bennett Substituted off 53'
LP 1 Rhys M. Thomas Substituted off 69'
Replacements:
HK 16 T. Rhys Thomas Substituted in 53'
PR 17 Duncan Jones Substituted in 69'
LK 18 Luke Charteris Substituted in 53'
FL 19 Alix Popham Substituted in 61'
SH 20 Mike Phillips Substituted in 53'
FH 21 Ceri Sweeney Substituted in 76'
FB 22 Tom James Substituted in 69'
Coach:
Wales Nigel Davies
South Africa
FB 15 Ruan Pienaar
RW 14 JP Pietersen Substituted off 75'
OC 13 Jaque Fourie
IC 12 François Steyn
LW 11 Bryan Habana
FH 10 André Pretorius Substituted off 59'
SH 9 Ricky Januarie Substituted off 78'
N8 8 Ryan Kankowski Substituted off 78'
OF 7 Juan Smith
BF 6 Schalk Burger
RL 5 Johann Muller
LL 4 Bakkies Botha Substituted off 40'
TP 3 CJ van der Linde Substituted off 75'
HK 2 John Smit (c)
LP 1 Jannie du Plessis Substituted off 64'
Replacements:
HK 16 Bismarck du Plessis Temporarily suspended from 77' to 80' 77' to 80' Substituted in 75'
PR 17 Heinke van der Merwe Substituted in 64'
LK 18 Albert van den Berg Temporarily suspended from 48' to 58' 48' to 58' Substituted in 40'
N8 19 Hilton Lobberts Substituted in 78'
CE 20 Wynand Olivier Substituted in 59'
WG 21 Akona Ndungane Substituted in 75'
FB 22 Conrad Jantjes Substituted in 78'
Coach:
South Africa Jake White

Week 2[edit]

The second match, at Twickenham on 1 December 2007, saw a Springbok XV facing a Barbarians side that included such big names as Jerry Collins, Martyn Williams, Matt Giteau, and the retiring Jason Robinson. The Barbarians' plans were disrupted when the English Premier clubs decided not to allow players to be released,[6] and the Irish provinces followed suit. As a result, Brian O'Driscoll, who had been named to captain the side, had to withdraw, as did Andrew Sheridan of Sale Sharks, but Mark Regan of Bristol defied the ban and led the Barbarians,[7] an act for which he was later sanctioned by his club.[8] The match itself proved to be somewhat one-sided affair, the lacklustre Springboks, who included just five World Cup final starters, losing 22–5 to a Barbarians side that played with flair and creativity. The Barabarians scored three tries, the South Africans only one, scored by Barend Pieterse, who was making his first appearance in a Springbok jersey in place of Schalk Burger, who had broken his nose in the game against Wales.[9][10][11]

1 December 2007
15:00 GMT
Barbarians 22–5  South Africa
Try: Giteau 18' m
M. Williams 40' c
Elsom 42' c
Con: Giteau (2)
Pen: Giteau 3'
Report Try: Pieterse 34' m
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 58,186
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Barbarians
FB 15 England Jason Robinson Substituted off 68'
RW 14 New Zealand Joe Rokocoko
OC 13 New Zealand Conrad Smith Substituted off 58'
IC 12 New Zealand Ma'a Nonu
LW 11 Fiji Isoa Neivua Substituted off 63'
FH 10 Australia Matt Giteau
SH 9 New Zealand Justin Marshall
N8 8 Samoa Jerry Collins
OF 7 Wales Martyn Williams
BF 6 Australia Rocky Elsom
RL 5 Wales Brent Cockbain Substituted off 51'
LL 4 Australia Justin Harrison Substituted off 63'
TP 3 Argentina Federico Pucciariello
HK 2 England Mark Regan (c) Substituted off 51'
LP 1 Australia Salesi Ma'afu Substituted off 51'
Replacements:
HK 16 South Africa Schalk Brits Substituted in 51'
PR 17 South Africa JD Moller Substituted in 51'
LK 18 New Zealand Troy Flavell Substituted in 51'
FL 19 Wales Michael Owen Substituted in 63'
FH 20 South Africa Peter Grant Substituted in 68'
CE 21 Wales Tom Shanklin Substituted in 58'
WG 22 England Ben Cohen Substituted in 63'
Coach:
Ireland Eddie O'Sullivan
South Africa
FB 15 Ruan Pienaar
RW 14 Akona Ndungane
OC 13 Jaque Fourie
IC 12 François Steyn
LW 11 Bryan Habana
FH 10 André Pretorius Substituted off 33'
SH 9 Ricky Januarie Substituted off 43'
N8 8 Ryan Kankowski
OF 7 Juan Smith
BF 6 Barend Pieterse Substituted off 66'
RL 5 Johann Muller (c)
LL 4 Johan Ackermann Substituted off 54'
TP 3 CJ van der Linde Substituted off 75'
HK 2 Bismarck du Plessis Substituted off 71'
LP 1 Jannie du Plessis Substituted off 43' Substituted in 75'
Replacements:
HK 16 Tiaan Liebenberg Substituted in 71'
PR 17 Heinke van der Merwe Substituted in 43'
LK 18 Albert van den Berg Substituted in 54'
N8 19 Hilton Lobberts Substituted in 66'
CE 20 Wynand Olivier Substituted in 33'
WG 21 Wayne Julies
FB 22 Conrad Jantjes Substituted in 43'
Coach:
South Africa Jake White

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hands, David (24 November 2007). "Match against world champions provides Welsh with chance to prove their point". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  2. ^ Kitson, Robert (22 November 2007). "South Africa captain calls for a White-hot farewell". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  3. ^ "Springboks name testing Cardiff line-up". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). 21 November 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  4. ^ Jones, Stephen (25 November 2007). "South Africa run Wales into submission". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  5. ^ Butler, Eddie (25 November 2007). "Wales are devoured by Burger with relish". The Observer (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  6. ^ Hands, David (27 November 2007). "Clubs refuse to let Mark Regan and Andrew Sheridan play for Barbarians". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  7. ^ Rees, Paul (29 November 2007). "Regan is Premier Rugby's Baa-Baa black sheep". Guardian Unlimited (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  8. ^ "Regan punished after Baa-Baas row". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 4 December 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  9. ^ Barnes, Stuart (2 December 2007). "Baa-Baas magic lives on". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  10. ^ Cain, Nick (2 December 2007). "World caves in on champions". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers). Retrieved 1 January 2008. 
  11. ^ Butler, Eddie (2 December 2007). "Baa-Baas laugh off the goodbyes". The Observer (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 1 January 2008.