2008 end-of-year rugby union internationals

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The 2008 end of year rugby tests, also known as the Autumn internationals saw Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, the Pacific Islanders and Canada tour the northern hemisphere. The tour ended with the traditional 'final challenge' Barbarians match, against Australia, which was the first rugby union Test at the new Wembley Stadium. Also a Bledisloe Cup match was contested by New Zealand and Australia outside of either country for the first time; held in Hong Kong with the hope of raising awareness of rugby in China.

The test matches took on added significance, with seedings for the 2011 Rugby World Cup draw to take place on 1 December at stake. For the first time in the history of the Rugby World Cup, the International Rugby Board used the IRB World Rankings to seed teams in the World Cup draw. Teams will be assigned to four-strong seeding pots based on their rankings; each team within a pot will be drawn into a different pool for the World Cup finals.

New Zealand won their second straight grand slam tour.

Overview[edit]

Team/Tour Opponents
Argentina in Europe  France (lost) -  Italy (won) -  Ireland (lost)
Australia in Hong Kong and Europe  New Zealand (lost) -  Italy (won) -  England (won) -  France (won) -  Wales (lost)
New Zealand in Hong Kong and Europe  Australia (won) -  Scotland (won) -  Ireland (won) -  Wales (won) -  England (won)
South Africa in Great Britain  Wales (won) -  France (won) -  England (won)
Pacific Islands in Europe  England (lost) -  France (lost) -  Italy (lost)
United States in Japan  Japan (2 matches lost)
Canada in Europe  Portugal (won) -  Ireland (lost) -  Wales (lost) -  Scotland (lost)
Portugal In Ireland No test
NZ Heartland XV in United States No test
Georgia in Scotland  Scotland A (lost)

Week 1[edit]

1 November 2008
16:30 HKT (UTC+08)
Australia  14 – 19  New Zealand
Tries: Mitchell (2) 7' c, 27' c
Con: Giteau (2)
(Report) Tries: Sivivatu 42' m
McCaw 63' m
Pen: Carter (3) 14', 24', 32'
Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong
Attendance: 39,000
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

1 November 2008
17:00 WET/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Portugal  13 – 21  Canada
Try: Silva
Con: Leal
Pen: Leal (2)
Tries: Kleeberger
Pritchard
Con: Pritchard
Pen: Pritchard (3)

Week 2[edit]

4 November 2008
United States  XV 14 - 19 New Zealand New Zealand Heartland XV
San Francisco

8 November 2008
Pacific Coast Grizzlises 12 - 35 New Zealand New Zealand Heartland XV
Salt Lake City

8 November 2008
15:00 CET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
Italy  20 – 30  Australia
Try: Mi. Bergamasco 30' m
Pen: Marcato (2) 7', 12'
Orquera (2) 53', 60'
Drop: Marcato 26'
(Report) Tries: Turner 9' m
Cooper 73' c
Con: Giteau
Pen: Mortlock 3'
Giteau (5) 18', 39', 48', 51', 78'
Stadio Euganeo, Padua
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

8 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
England  39 – 13 Pacific Islanders
Tries: Sackey (2) 14' c, 75' m
Cipriani 37' c
Kennedy 44' c
Mears 68' c
Con: Cipriani (4)
Pen: Cipriani (2) 10', 32'
(Report) Try: Rabeni 15' c
Con: Hola
Pen: Hola 40'
Bai 56'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 55,427
Referee: Matt Goddard (Australia)

8 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Wales  15 – 20  South Africa
Pen: Halfpenny 29'
Hook (4) 57', 59', 63', 73'
(Report) Tries: Jacobs 6' c
de Villiers 52' c
Con: Pienaar (2)
Pen: Pienaar (2) 9', 37'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 74,119
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

8 November 2008
17:15 IST/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Ireland  55 – 0  Canada
Tries: Earls 3' c
Kearney (2) 13' c, 35' c
Heaslip 30' c
Bowe (2) 40' c, 80' m
D. Wallace 68' c
Quinlan 80' m
Con: O'Gara (5)
P. Wallace
Pen: O'Gara 7'
(Report)
Thomond Park, Limerick
Attendance: 21,500
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

8 November 2008
17:15 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Scotland  6 – 32  New Zealand
Pen: Paterson (2) 2', 22' (Report) Tries: Tuitavake 8' c
Weepu 26' m
Kahui 41' c
Boric 73' c
Con: Donald (2)
Carter
Pen: Donald (2) 5', 19'
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 51,511
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

8 November 2008
21:00 CET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
France  12 – 6  Argentina
Pen: Skrela (2) 29', 79'
Baby 32'
Drop: Skrela 11'
(Report) Pen: Contepomi (2) 27', 36'
  • Kaplan, who went into the match sharing the record for most Tests as referee (46) with Paul Honiss of New Zealand, took sole possession of the record. He replaced the injured Steve Walsh as referee for this match.

8 November 2008
16:00 MST (UTC-07)
United States  43 – 9  Uruguay
Tries: Clever 3' c
Wyles 52' c
DeBartolo 56' c
Ngwenya 59' c
Emerick 76' c
Erskine 80+2' m
Con: Hercus (4), Malifa
Pen: Hercus 50'
Pen: Arocena (3) 10', 17', 21'
Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy
Attendance: 5,060
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

8 November 2008
Connacht 27 - 11 Portugal Portugal XV

Week 3[edit]

13 November 2008
Ulster 62 - 6 Portugal Portugal XV

14 November 2008
Scotland A Scotland 69 - 3  Georgia

14 November 2008
19:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Wales  34 – 13  Canada
Tries: Stoddart 24' m
Halfpenny (2) 39' m, 80' c
Penalty try (2) 58' c, 70' c
Con: Biggar (3)
Pen: Biggar 46'
(Report) Try: Smith 74' c
Con: Van Camp
Pen: Pritchard (2) 10', 31'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 59,326
Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)

15 November 2008
15:00 CET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
France  42 – 17 Pacific Islanders
Tries: Tillous-Borde 24' c
Szarzewski 27' c
Heymans 46' m
Picamoles 70' c
Médard 75' c
Con: Skrela (4)
Pen: Skrela (3) 7', 50', 60'
(Report) Try: Taione 77' m
Pen: Bai (4) 2', 9', 34', 40'
Stade Auguste Bonal, Montbéliard
Attendance: 19,645
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

15 November 2008
15:00 CET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
Italy  14 – 22  Argentina
Try: Masi 80'
Pen: Marcato (2) 31', 53'
Drop: Marcato 44'
(Report) Try: Carballo 49' c
Con: Contepomi
Pen: Contepomi (5) 26', 38', 40+1', 43', 74'

15 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
England  14 – 28  Australia
Try: Easter 36' m
Pen: Cipriani (2) 40', 52'
Drop: Armitage 22'
(Report) Try: Ashley-Cooper 69' c
Con: Giteau
Pen: Giteau (6) 3', 6', 28', 32', 54', 58'
Mortlock 64'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 80,688
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

15 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Scotland  10 – 14  South Africa
Try: Hines 39' c
Con: Godman
Pen: Godman 28'
(Report) Try: Fourie 57' m
Pen: Pienaar (3) 46', 55', 66'
Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Attendance: 36,037
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)

15 November 2008
17:15 IST/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Ireland  3 – 22  New Zealand
Pen: O'Gara 38' (Report) Tries: Penalty try 40+2' c
Nonu 47' c
Thorn 53' m
Con: Carter (2)
Pen: Carter 26'
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 77,500
Referee: Mark Lawrence (South Africa)

16 November 2008
15:00 JST (UTC+09)
Japan  29 – 19  United States
Tries Holani 33' c
Endo 45' c
Con: Nicholas (2)
Pen: Nicholas (4) 3', 43', 53', 77'
Webb 59'
Tries: MacDonald 9' c
Ngwenya 39' c
Welch 69' m
Con: Hercus (2)
Mizuho Rugby Stadium, Nagoya
Attendance: 5,111
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Week 4[edit]

18 November 2008
Munster 16 - 18  New Zealand XV


Going into Week 4, the main storyline was the battle for fourth place in the IRB World Rankings. New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia were entrenched in the top three. The team that stood in fourth place on 1 December would avoid being drawn into the same pool as one of the Tri Nations powers in 2011. Four teams could have ended the week in fourth place: Argentina, England, France, and Wales.[1]

22 November 2008
19:13 JST (UTC+09)
Japan  32 – 17  United States
Tries: Hatakeyama 7' m
Tomioka 28' c
Webb 31' c
Kikutani 63' c
Con: Nicholas (3)
Pen: Nicholas (2) 48', 68'
Tries: Wyles 1' m
Ngwenya 40+1' m
van der Giessen 50' c
Con: Hercus

22 November 2008
15:00 CET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
Italy  17 – 25 Pacific Islanders
Tries: Ghiraldini 16' c
Ma. Bergamasco 65' c
Con: Marcato (2)
Pen: Marcato 6'
Tries: Delasau 3' c, 29' m
Ratuvou 40' c
Con: Bai (2)
Pen: Bai 18', 42'
Stadio Giglio, Reggio Emilia
Attendance: 13,595
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
  • The Pacific Islanders defeat a Test team for the first time in nine attempts.

22 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
England  6 – 42  South Africa
Pen: Cipriani (2) 2', 29' (Report) Tries: Rossouw 15' c
Pienaar 19' c
Jacobs 51' c
Fourie 77' c
Habana 80' m
Con: Pienaar (3)
F. Steyn
Pen: Pienaar (3) 6', 25', 63'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 81,113
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

22 November 2008
14:45 IST/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Ireland  17 – 3  Argentina
Try: Bowe 77' m
Pen: O'Gara (3) 39', 50' 75'
Drop: O'Gara 69'
(Report) Pen: Fernández 36'
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 68,352[2]
Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)

The missed conversion by Ronan O'Gara on Ireland's only try of the match proved huge for Argentina. With the other results on the day, the Pumas would have dropped to fifth place, behind England, if O'Gara had converted, as it would have given Ireland a win by more than 15 points. As it turned out, Argentina retained fourth by a narrow margin.[3]


22 November 2008
14:45 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Scotland  41 – 0  Canada
Tries: Walker 2' m, 70' c
Cairns 37' c
Barclay 42' c
Strokosch 56' c
Lamont 73' m
Con: Godman (3)
Parks
Pen: Godman 34'
(Report)
Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Attendance: 17,651
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

22 November 2008
17:15 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Wales  9 – 29  New Zealand
Pen: S. Jones (3) 2', 14', 23' (Report) Tries: Nonu 55' c
Kaino 80+1' c
Con: Carter (2)
Pen: Carter (5) 17', 40', 42', 64', 74'

22 November 2008
21:00 WET/GMT+01 (UTC+01)
France  13 – 18  Australia
Try: Penalty try 39' c
Con: Skrela
Pen: Skrela 48'
Drop: Medard 51'
(Report) Tries: Moore 31' c
Hynes 57' m
Con: Giteau
Pen: Giteau (2) 28', 74'
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Attendance: 79,231
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Week 5[edit]

The battle for fourth place in the IRB World Rankings finished this weekend, with Argentina remaining in fourth place without playing as England lost and Wales failed to achieve the 15-point winning margin required. Argentina therefore took top seeding for the following month's 2011 Rugby World Cup draw along with the three Tri-Nations teams.

The other major news of the week was New Zealand's trouncing of England, completing a successful Grand Slam tour for the All Blacks. This was the All Blacks' third such successful tour, with the previous ones being in 1978 and 2005.

29 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
England  6 – 32  New Zealand
Pen: Flood 17'
Armitage 49'
(Report) Tries: Muliaina 58' m, 66' m
Nonu 72' c
Con: Carter
Pen: Carter (5) 15', 27', 36', 39', 62'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 81,180
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

29 November 2008
14:30 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Wales  21 – 18  Australia
Tries: Sh. Williams 4' m
Byrne 32' c
Con: S. Jones
Pen: S. Jones (2) 28', 78'
Drop: S. Jones 68'
(Report) Tries: Chisholm 14' c
Ioane 79' m
Con: Giteau
Pen: Giteau 46'
Drop: Giteau 25'
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 74,314
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

3 December 2008
19:45 BT/GMT+0 (UTC+0)
Barbarians 11 – 18  Australia
Try: Collins c
Pen: Montgomery (2)
(Report) Tries: Tuqiri m
Turner c
Con: O' Connor
Pen: O'Connor (2)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 43,600
Referee: Chris White (England)

Effect on World Cup seeding[edit]

Following the 29 November tests, the twelve teams who qualified automatically for the 2011 Rugby World Cup were seeded thus:

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Four still in contention to claim fourth spot". International Rugby Board. 21 November 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Ireland End Series With Crucial Win Over Pumas". Irish Rugby Football Union. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008. 
  3. ^ "Wales climb one place on back of French loss". International Rugby Board. 24 November 2008. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "All Blacks secure Millennium Stadium win". Welsh Rugby Union. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.