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Autumn internationals - as it happened


Ireland 55-0 Canada

Scotland 6-32 New Zealand

England 39-13 Pacific Islanders

Wales 15-20 South Africa

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By Phil Harlow

1928: Right then, that's that. Thanks for your company, and hope you enjoyed the action. We can do it all again next week. Happy days.

1925: And to wrap things up from today's rugby, here's a few lines from Ireland man of the match Stephen Ferris:

"We got off to a great start in the first half hour but then the Limerick heavens opened.

"The rain tightened the game up a bit. It was very tough to hold onto the ball.

"I felt like i gave everything for 60 minutes but maybe I just slipped off a bit mentally late on. I just hope I've done enough to be in the reckoning for next week."

1915: Some more reaction from Murrrayfield:

"We defended pretty well most of the time. There was some question marks there too but they didn't score a try and we were under pressure a lot. But we didn't retain the ball on attack so we've got a lot to work on

"We're satisfied but we didn't play as well as we hoped we'd play. Scotland played well, particularly at the breakdown and got a lot of ball and we infringed there so we've got a lot of work to do."
New Zealand coach Graham Henry

"It was extremely frustrating. We put a massive amount of work in. We had a lot of territory and possession and the line breaks were 9-6 in our favour but they had a touch of class in the opportunities they took.

"There's never a problem with our effort, or the pride and passion in playing for our country. We just need them to be a bit smarter when key opportunities come along and I don't think we're too far away."
Scotland coach Frank Hadden

1908: "We did some good stuff, they were just more clinical than us. We were able to build pressure for certain parts of the game but weren't able to come up with the points.

"If we are to compete with teams like New Zealand, the chances you get you've got to take.

"The feeling, from my point of view, was whenever they got a clear-cut chance they made the most of it and we didn't."
Scotland captain Mike Blair

1905: "Absolute disaster for Scotland, outmuscled in every department and it doesn't get any easier with South Africa next Saturday..."
richie4eva1 on 606

1901: FULL-TIME Ireland 55-0 Canada
Ireland get the post Eddie O'Sullivan era off to a winning start, but they were not really tested against a brave but limited Canada.

With games against New Zealand and Argentina to come, Ireland know this was effectively a warm-up.

1900: TRY Ireland 55-0 Canada
That should be the final try of the night, and it's a decent way to end things as some classy play by Shane Horgan sees him delay the pass just long enough to allow Tommy Bowe to get on the outside of his opposite man and score in the corner. Paddy Wallace misses the conversion and that is indeed that.

1856: FULL-TIME Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
The final whistle goes at Murrayfield and it is a pretty straightforward win for the Kiwis. The Scots have never beaten the All Blacks and on this showing they are going to have to wait til the Kiwis field a C or D team before they even get close.

New Zealand just had too much power and class for their opponents - not much you can do about that.

1855: TRY Ireland 50-0 Canada
Ireland finally show what they can do as Alan Quinlan finishes off arguably the try of the match to bring up the half-century.

The ball sweeps through the hands out wide, with Tommy Bowe and Shane Horgan showing great skill in the wet conditions before Quinlan powers over.

Paddy Wallace gets the conversion wrong though, making a bad contact.

1851: A useful Scotland break away sees winger Thom Evans beat Isaia Tovea's tackle and sprint up the touchline before passing inside for Hugo Southwell to take it on. But the move runs out of steam with Southwell lacking support after being tackled, and New Zealand regain possession.

1847: TRY Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
A classy try from New Zealand as Anthony Boric benefits from a great piece of skill by replacement fly-half Dan Carter. This boy has a future in the game, I'd say.

Carter gets the ball at first receiver and puts in a delicate grubber which he collects himself before offloading off the floor for Boric to amble over the line next to the posts. Carter kicks the simple conversion.

1844: TRY Ireland 45-0 Canada
Ireland finally break down Canada's resistance as Tommy Bowe makes an incisive break through the middle before linking up with David Wallace, allowing the replacement flanker to slide over.

Paddy Wallace kicks the straightforward conversion.

1842: Scotland are hanging onto New Zealand's coat-tails, but the Kiwis are far too physical in the tackle to give them much of a chance. Still, at least their defence has tightened up a bit.

1840: The scoreline hasn't moved in for Ireland at all, and that will be a concern for their coaching team. I'm sure the half-time team talk would have basically been "more of the same please boys - let's put this lot away". But it just hasn't happened and this match is petering out.

1833: The rugby equivalent of missing from in front of the goal with no goalkeeper to beat. New Zealand rip through Scotland's defence and number eight Liam Messam gives what looks to be the scoring pass about two feet short of the tryline.

But with nobody in front of him and under no pressure whatsoever, replacement Cory Jane somehow knocks on. Scotland are grateful for small mercies.

1832: Changes galore for Ireland with Peter Stringer, David Wallace, Paddy Wallace and Shane Horgan all on from the bench. Whether that will kick-start things or not, we'll have to see.

1829: Ireland just haven't got going so far this half with Canada content to finally stop the scoreboard numbers whizzing round. No rhythm in their game as yet, and Canada are defending bravely.

1825: As if Scotland weren't in enough trouble, All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is now on the sidelines warming up. Just what you want to see when you're trailing by 19 points at home.

1820: Some rare possession in attack for Canada, but they ship it out sloppily and give winger Justin Mensah-Coker nowhere to go.

1816: We're back under way in Limerick as well. It's just a case of how many over there.

1812: TRY Scotland 6-25 New Zealand
Disastrous start to the second half as some atrocious Scottish defending is punished by New Zealand's Richard Kahui.

Stephen Donald sends up a high kick and no Scottish defender takes responsibility for it. The ball bounces kindly for the onrushing Kahui to score under the posts, soon followed by Donald's conversion. I remember my school's second XV team conceding a try like that and our teacher going bananas on the touchline. You couldn't blame Frank Hadden if he did the same. Detentions all round, I would say.

To add injury to insult, Sean Lamont pulls his hamstring in the chase and limps off to be replaced by Hugo Southwell.

1808: Olympic hero Chris Hoy is the guest of honour at Murrayfield, and he is asked whether he might have played rugby for Scotland if he hadn't become a cyclist.

"Having seen the size of some of these Kiwi boys it might not have been a good idea," he tells BBC Sport.

"It's just amazing to be here and to go on and give them the match ball was unbelievable. It's a day I'll remember for the rest of my life.

"There's no doubt that facing the haka would be an awesome task but fair play to the boys, they've played well so far. It's a big ask but if they can keep it going and get an early try in the second half, who knows?"

1802: HALF-TIME Ireland 38-0 Canada
There's not an awful lot you can say about this one. Ireland are head and shoulders above their opponents in virtually every facet of play and will just be looking for more of the same after the break. A nice introduction for new coach Declan Kidney.

1802: HALF-TIME Scotland 6-18 New Zealand
Scotland have a last dash with winger Thom Evans kicking ahead and getting to within three yards but All Blacks scrum-half Piri Weepu clears up.

The players jog off the pitch and Scotland have a mountain to climb if they want to get close to a second-string New Zealand.

1801: TRY Ireland 38-0 Canada
Ireland are ending the half firmly in the ascendancy and they go another score clear as Tommy Bowe runs in an easy chance after the Canadian defence finds itself overstretched out wide. Ronan O'Gara kicks another conversion with the last action of the half.

1757: Following on from Anthony Boric's sin-binning, Scotland choose a scrum and after a couple of attempts they lose the ball. But Kiwi scrum-half Piri Weepu is trapped on his line and Scotland get another go.

After yet another scrum, the ball comes out on Scotland's side but skipper Mike Blair spills it. New Zealand get the put-in but in turn, they knock on, and Scotland get another chance. The Scottish pack isn't up to a push-over try and when they give the backs a go, the All Blacks defence stands firm and they break away down field to release the pressure.

Scotland are living in scraps but Chris Paterson adds to the famine when he misses with a penalty chance. Hooker Ross Ford hungrily charges back upfield, though, and the crowd roar on their men.

Just yards from the line, All Black lock Anthony Boric is sin-binned for coming in from the side. Can Scotland take advantage of their one-man advantage?

1752: TRY Ireland 31-0 Canada
A clever Ronan O'Gara kick out to the right wing is collected by Keith Earls who instantly takes the tackle and feeds Rob Kearney to slide in at the corner for a classy try. And O'Gara curls in a fine conversion to stretch the lead even further.

1750: "It's much too easy for New Zealand, this is going to end up a massive rout if Scotland don't tighten up..."
richie4eva1 on 606

1748: TRY Ireland 24-0 Canada
Ireland's forwards are all over their opponents at the scrum, and number eight Jamie Heaslip is the beneficiary as he picks and goes off the back to squeeze over. Ronan O'Gara adds the conversion.

1747: TRY Scotland 6-18 New Zealand
All Blacks lock Ali Williams turns over Scottish ball and feeds the backs waiting to his right. Outside centre Richard Kahui chips through and a black wave engulfs the Scottish defence. The bouncing ball could have been gathered by any one of half a dozen Kiwis but it falls to scrum-half Piri Weepu to touch down. Stephen Donald misses the conversion but it's already looking ominous for Scotland.

1745: Canada are their own worst enemies at the minute. James Pritchard takes an age to make a clearing kick and has it charged down by Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris.

The visitors eventually get it back and an ambitious long pass puts Adam Kleenberger in space inside his own 22, only for the flanker to knock it on.

1742: PEN Scotland 6-13 New Zealand
The ever reliable Chris Paterson hits back straight away for Scotland with the boot after New Zealand upset the referee at the breakdown.

1740: PEN Scotland 3-13 New Zealand
There was some degree of optimism among Scottish fans before the game, but that is quickly evaporating as a silly infringement allows Stephen Donald to kick the All Blacks 10 points clear.

1736: Brian O'Driscoll makes a break for Ireland but decides to kick ahead when keeping the ball in hand would probably have been the better option. Canada winger Justin Mensah-Coker puts it down in-goal and we have a 22 drop-out.

1733: All of a sudden it's raining cats, dogs and probably the odd killer whale in Limerick. The rain is absolutely pelting down, while swirling winds are not going to make anybody's life easy. If anything, Canada will probably be slightly happier about that.

1730: TRY Ireland 17-0 Canada
As you'd expect Ireland are well on top here, but Canada are not doing themselves any favours.

Ronan O'Gara puts a kick in behind but winger Ciaran Hearn fumbles it when he should have fallen on it to guarantee possession. Quick as a flash, Rob Kearney is onto the loose ball and the video referee decides the Ireland winger just got to it in front of a desperate Canadian hand. O'Gara adds the extra two and it's more than a point a minute so far.

1727: TRY Scotland 3-10 New Zealand
The first try of the game goes to New Zealand and it's all a bit too easy.

Kiwi fly-half Stephen Donald kicks into the right corner and winger Anthony Tuitavake takes advantage of the extra man as he gathers cleanly to touch down. Donald converts and Scotland's bright start is already a distant memory.

1724: PEN Ireland 10-0 Canada
With barely a thought for the hard-pressed text commentator Ronan O'Gara adds another three points for Ireland as he slots a penalty after Canada infringe at the scrum.

1722: YELLOW CARD & PEN Scotland 3-3 New Zealand
No sooner have they scored than Scotland are hit with the loss of centre Nick de Luca who earns a yellow card for kicking the ball away preventing New Zealand from getting quick ball.

All Blacks fly-half Stephen Donald levels the score with a straightforward kick.

1721: PEN Scotland 3-0 New Zealand
Scotland skipper Mike Blair takes the fight to NZ with a darting break down the middle. He offloads to Chris Paterson, who races into the All Blacks 22 and draws a penalty, which he slots over for the lead.

1720: TRY Ireland 7-0 Canada
Dream debuts don't come much more dreamy than that as full-back Keith Earls crosses for a try just two minutes into the game.

Ireland work a huge overlap and the Munster player cuts a great angle off Ronan O'Gara to crash over the line. Easy this international rugby, isn't it? O'Gara kicks the conversion for a 7-0 lead.

1719: Both games are under way. It's another definite hat-holding situation.

1717: New Zealand scrum-half Piri Weepu leads his side in their traditional pre-match Haka as Scotland look on. But fear not Scottish fans - there is psychological retaliation as triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy brings the match ball out to a standing ovation from the Murrayfield crowd.

1711: Some late team news from Murrayfield, with number eight Simon Taylor falling victim to a calf strain and being replaced by Ally Hogg at the base of the scrum.

1710: Brian O'Driscoll leads his Irish team-mates out of the changing room and jogs out onto the pitch at Thormond Park.

1705: The Murrayfield organisers are getting all creative on us with flashing spotlights and spurts of fire accompanying the players running out onto the pitch. It's almost pitch black inside the stadium, let's hope they turn some lights on at some stage.

1657: And over at Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland will start a new era of their own as Declan Kidney takes charge for the first time. Most people are expecting a comfortable win for Brian O'Driscoll and co, but what do you reckon?

"Keith Earls, Kearney, Drico, Fitzy and Tommy Bowe, should be mouth-watering stuff, hopefully the driving rain over here won't limit our running."
gstonesunited on 606

1653: So how do you see Scotland going against the All Blacks then, kids?

Scotland are up against New Zealand B. Harsh, but fair. Have New Zealand shown the Scots a fair bit of disrespect by the team they've selected or is just a pragmatic decision with tough games still to come?

To be fair, it's difficult for Scotland to take the moral high ground (or the high road) here, given the side Frank Hadden selected for his team's World Cup group game against the All Blacks last year. One of the most tedious games I have ever had the misfortune to watch.

All Blacks legend Zinzan Brooke certainly hasn't forgiven the Scots for that. He had some strong words on the fixture in his BBC Sport column this week.

1650: That is not strong stuff from Gatland (see 1628) - that is exactly how he should be handling it. If Wales want to improve then they shouldn't be patronised for competing and failing against the southern hemisphere teams.

"They need to win and they could have done that really quite easily today if they'd just been a bit sharper at crucial moments. Gatland should be furious and I hope the players are too."
Uninventivename on 606

1640: Well then, England keep Martin Johnson reasonably happy with an ultimately comfortable win, while Wales may well be kicking themselves after coming up just short against South Africa.

But don't think the excitement's over. Not at all. We've got Scotland taking on the All Blacks and Ireland up against Canada in about half an hour so stay with us here for all the thrills and spills of those games.

1632: "It was a pretty difficult game in wet conditions but we got there in the end.

"We played pretty well but there are lots of areas to improve on.

"We've got an exciting young team. There's not a lot of caps out there. We'll go on from here and we'll build through the year.

"I thought our back three were outstanding, and played with real assurance. I was really pleased with Delon Armitage - I don't think I've seen a better debut than that."
England manager Martin Johnson

1628: Strong stuff from Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"I'm furious. Big teams nail big moments and we didn't. If we want to get to where we want to be we have to do that.

"I've just had a real go at the players. We let ourselves down and it was a painful experience."

1622: "If Wales look at all their missed opportunities I am sure they will see that they should have won that one..."
Anon via text on 81111

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1620: "We knew it was going to be tough and Wales had a lot of passion. We're happy with the result - it's good to get a win on the board.

"We stalled after our interception try and it was very frustrating. We were waiting for it to finish with 15 minutes to go and we made it a lot harder for ourselves than we needed to."
South Africa captain John Smit on BBC Sport

1616: FULL-TIME England 39-13 Pacific Islanders
The final whistle goes at Twickenham with England on the attack. Manager Martin Johnson will be happy enough with what he saw out there, but he will certainly see areas his side can improve in.

1615: "Great showing there by the Welsh boys, they can be all proud. What an excellent second half of rugby, a great advert for the good game."
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1613: FULL-TIME Wales 15-20 South Africa
Wales win a penalty in the dying seconds and James Hook boots it downfield.

But the ball is lost at the line-out and that is that. South Africa boot the ball off the pitch to seal a scarcely deserved win. Wales will not get many better chances than that to beat the world champions.

1610: TRY England 39-13 Pacific Islanders
Paul Sackey grabs his second try of the game as England add some late gloss to the scoreboard. He needs the help of the video referee, with some doubt about whether he went into touch.

Danny Cipriani misses the conversion, but it's largely irrelevant now.

1608: Five minutes to go in Cardiff and South Africa are hanging on. But a brilliant line-out steal by Victor Matfield relieves the pressure. And a horrible knock-on from Lee Byrne, who has barely put a foot wrong all game, gifts the Springboks position.

1605: "Wales could do this! SA are looking indisciplined and territory is all Welsh."
Anon via text on 81111

1604: PEN Wales 15-20 South Africa
Goodness me, could South Africa just be throwing this away? Yet another penalty goes against them and from 45m out, James Hook's penalty goes off the posts and creeps over. Game on with about seven minutes to go.

1601: TRY England 34-13 Pacific Islanders
More good work from winger Ugo Monye ends in a try for hooker Lee Mears that effectively makes the game safe for England.

Monye's break is eventually ended by a fine PI tackle, but the ball is quickly recycled to Danny Cipriani and the fly-half gives a clever pass to Mears to charge over.

Cipriani adds the conversion and England are home and hosed.

1600: After a nightmare few minutes for South Africa, they finally get their hands on the ball setting up camp in the Wales half, but the home side are defending stoutly. It goes without saying, but the next score is massive.

1555: Over at Twickenham, the game is losing its shape somewhat with the usual round of substitutions leading to a rather less thrilling encounter. Nevertheless, England are dominating territory and possession and look in little danger.

1553: PEN Wales 12-20 South Africa
After all that, Wales have the penalty and once again James Hook kicks the ball between the posts. The crowd are a massive factor in this game now and South Africa need to steady the ship.

All of a sudden everything is going Wales' way. They win a penalty out wide on the right and take it quickly to keep the pressure on.

The ball is swept out to the left and Jacque Fourie, who has only just come onto the pitch as a replacement, makes the tackle but then plays the ball while off his feet. The ref is as good as his word and sends Fourie back from whence he came.

1548: PEN Wales 9-20 South Africa
Another James Hook penalty gets Wales right back in the game. The referee is losing patience with South Africa's infringements at the ruck and gives captain John Smit an official final warning. Next man in the bin.

1546: PEN Wales 6-20 South Africa
Wales have been stung into action here, with a series of drives just short of the line ending with an easy penalty which James Hook kicks to narrow the gap.

1545: PEN England 27-13 Pacific Islanders
Seremaia Bai slots the kick for the PI boys after England are penalised at the scrum. England are still on top but there is no lack of effort from the PI players.

1543: TRY Wales 3-20 South Africa
Wales change their half-backs with Dwayne Peel and James Hook both coming on and they have an instant impact - but not the one Wales were hoping for.

Hook tries to send out a long pass to release his backs, but it's telegraphed and Springbok centre Jean de Villiers snatches it out of the air and cruises in for the try.

Ruan Pienaar kicks the easy conversion. A real shame, that's probably the game gone for Wales.

1540: Another half chance goes missing for Wales. Lee Byrne cuts a great angle to burst through South Africa's defence before trying to release Leigh Halfpenny.

But a superb JP Pietersen tackle from behind sees Halfpenny knock on. So frustrating for Warren Gatland and co on the sidelines.

1536: Fair play to Shane Williams. he dances around like Austin Healey in Strictly Come Dancing, leaving three Springbok forwards clutching thin air - but JP Pietersen doesn't miss with the follow-up tackle.

The South Africa winger absolutely wallops Williams clean in the ribs, but the diminutive Welshman gets the ball back and then rises to his feet with what is usually described as "a wry grin" on his face. An occupational hazard for him, I should imagine.

1533: Wales get a welcome break as a South Africa move goes awry in midfield. The impressive Leigh Halfpenny latches onto a loose ball and then releases Tom Shanklin out wide.

The centre makes good ground before chipping ahead, but South Africa get back in numbers and defend the position well, eventually clearing their lines through Ruan Pienaar.

1532: TRY England 27-10 Pacific Islanders
It starts with a line-out with Nick Kennedy giving Danny Care quick ball off the top. The scrum-half darts straight through, just as he has been doing for Quins all season, and passes back inside for the supporting Kennedy to score.

Danny Cipriani kicks the conversion and England are 17 points clear. Nice.

1530: A stirring start from Wales with Gethin Jenkins skittling people out of his way with a thunderous charge. But it ends with Wales conceding a penalty for going off their feet at the ruck - another wasted opportunity to build some pressure.

1527: The teams are back out in London and Cardiff. A couple of changes to tell you about. England replacement James Haskell is on as a blood replacement for Tom Croft, while South Africa have replaced lock Bakkies Botha with Andries Bekker.

Got that? Good. So we'll get going again.

1522: "Warren Gatland has to leave their ears ringing with his half-time talk - we can't afford any more silly errors, and have to take our chances..."
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1519: HALF-TIME Wales 3-13 South Africa
With the last action of the half, Leigh Halfpenny's penalty from the halfway line goes just outside the right upright. With that they're off for a cuppa - or whatever they do these days - at the Millennium Stadium. Plenty of encouraging signs for Wales but they have to be much more clinical.

1518: HALF-TIME England 20-10 Pacific Islanders
Pierre Hola's penalty is the last kick of the half. England are in control but there is plenty of room for improvement after the break. One clear positive though, is the collective form of the inexperienced back three. Delon Armitage and Ugo Monye in particular have been excellent thus far.

1517: PEN England 20-10 Pacific Islanders
Just to slightly spoil Martin Johnson's mood going into his first half-time team talk, Pierre Hola slots a penalty to narrow the gap after an unidentified England forward tries to shovel the ball back with his hands.

1513: PEN Wales 3-13 South Africa
Another Ruan Pienaar penalty punishes Wales' indiscipline from long range. Wales are very much in the game and have enjoyed plenty of ball but they are not being clinical enough.

1512: TRY England 20-7 Pacific Islanders
Ugo Monye is certainly making the most of his chance in an England shirt as he scorches up the field, beating three would-be tacklers with ease before a simple short pass to Danny Cipriani gives the fly-half the space to go over and score with an extravagant dive.

Cipriani then slots the conversion. England in firm control.

1510: A near miss for South Africa as Ruan Pienaar's powerful run, with three Welsh tacklers hanging off him, takes him over the tryline. But as he tries to dot it down, the ball spills out of his possession.

1509: A naughty late tackle from Bakkies Botha on Ryan Jones goes unspotted by the referee. A cheap shot that, but Jones gets up and gets on with it. It's a man's game, as they say.

1507: PEN England 13-7 Pacific Islanders
From a close-range scrum, England's pack put in a big shove and spoil the PI ball. The scrum is reset and England win a penalty. Captain Steve Borthwick opts to scrum again and when the ball emerges England win another penalty. Danny Care takes a quick tap but runs into a brick wall. England are forced backwards and as the move breaks down they earn another penalty, which this time Danny Cipriani slots over for three points.

1505: PEN Wales 3-10 South Africa
Wales turn to young winger Leigh Halfpenny with the boot and he makes absolutely no mistake with a cool effort for his first ever points in Test rugby. Wales badly needed that.

1501: What a missed chance from England. A loose ball is recycled to Paul Sackey who kicks ahead into the wide open spaces. The chasing Danny Care, with no defenders in sight, is odds on to score the easiest try of his career but the scrum-half makes a horlicks of it as the ball squirms out of his grasp in the act of scoring.

He didn't take much "Care" there as one of my colleagues just amusingly noted.

1459: Ugo Monye makes a sharp break down the middle for England. England's back three - two of whom are making their Test debuts - have all made a bright start at Twickenham.

1455: Shane Williams gets the Millennium Stadium crowd off their seats with a trademark jinking run, turning JP Pietersen this way and that before the ball goes wide to Tom Shanklin. Wales win the penalty but Stephen Jones's effort misses the target. Wales really have go to start taking some chances.

1452: Brilliant break by debutant Wales number eight Andy Powell as he goes straight up the middle of the field before linking up with Alun Wyn Jones. He gives it on to the supporting Ryan Jones, but the flanker finds himself tackled and Wales end up going off their feet and conceding the penalty - a wasted opportunity there.

1448: TRY England 10-7 Pacific Islanders
Who'd have thought it? Danny Cipriani, the highest profile player in the game, makes an amateurish mistake as his attempted clearing kick is charged down.

Straight from the kick-off, Cipriani's kick off his left foot is stopped by centre Seru Rabeni and the Fijian gathers the loose ball to crash over. Pierre Hola converts.

1447: TRY England 10-0 Pacific Islanders
A snappy half-break from Danny Care sets up Tom Rees to take on the move. England release Delon Armitage out wide and the full-back throws an overheard ball back inside to the supporting Paul Sackey who races over.

Danny Cipriani kicks the conversion and it's a healthy lead for the home side.

1445: PEN Wales 0-10 South Africa
A long-range penalty from Ruan Pienaar punishes a Welsh indiscretion well away from their tryline. It's a point a minute for the Springboks so far.

1443: PEN England 3-0 Pacific Islanders
After a Delon Armitage up and under puts the PI team under pressure, they infringe at the ruck and Danny Cipriani slots the resulting penalty to get the Martin Johnson era up and running.

1441: TRY Wales 0-7 South Africa
First blood to South Africa as some lovely handling out wide from the forwards sets up the position for Adrian Jacobs to crash over.

Fly-half Ruan Pienaar kicks the easy conversion, and that is a deflating start for Wales.

1438: Early chance for the PI side at Twickenham as Danny Cipriani concedes a penalty 40m out in front of the posts. Pierre Hola lines up his effort but it falls short of the target.

1437: Not the sexiest start to proceedings at the Millennium Stadium (and I don't mean the absence of Katherine Jenkins) with a prolonged bout of aerial ping-pong getting everybody's necks moving first one way and then the other.

1435: And South Africa kick off to get things started at Cardiff. Hold onto your hats.

1433: We're under way at Twickenham.

1432: England, decked out in a changed red strip, stand up for the Pacific Islanders' haka. I think these PI boys are up for this.

1426: Wales prop Adam Jones has the honour of leading out the teams in Cardiff on the occasion of his 50th cap.

The teams line up ahead of the anthems and we get a rendition of The Last Post to mark this weekend of Remembrance of the First World War. Similarly at Twickenham, we get an immaculately observed minute's silence.

1423: There's a harp player plucking away on the halfway line at the Millennium Stadium. I've nothing against the harp, but is it really the best instrument for pre-match entertainment? I'd prefer a theremin myself...

1418: Shall we all remind ourselves of the men in action today? It's all about them after all.

Wales: Byrne, Halfpenny, Shanklin, Roberts, S. Williams, S. Jones, Cooper, Jenkins, Rees, A. Jones, A. Jones, Evans, R. Jones, M. Williams, Powell.
Replacements: Hibbard, D. Jones, Gough, D. Jones, Peel, Hook, Andrew.

South Africa: Jantjes, Pietersen, Jacobs, de Villiers, Habana, Pienaar, du Preez, Mtawarira, du Plessis, Smit, Botha, Matfield, Burger, Smith, Spies.
Replacements: Mujati, Steenkamp, Bekker, Kankowski, Januarie, Steyn, Fourie.

And over at Twickenham:

England: Armitage, Sackey, Noon, Flutey, Monye, Cipriani, Care, Sheridan, Mears, Stevens, Borthwick, Kennedy, Croft, Rees, Easter.
Replacements: Hartley, Vickery, Palmer, Haskell, Lipman, Ellis, Flood.

Pacific Islanders: Ratuvou, Tagicakibau, Rabeni, Mapusua, Delasau, Hola, Rauluni, Va'a, Lutui, Johnston, Levi, Leawere, Naevo, Latu, Maka.
Replacements: Koto Vuli, Pulu, T-Pole, Stowers, Martens, Bai, Taione.

1408: "The roof is closed at the Millennium Stadium, despite the fact that it's positively bright and balmy outside.

"I've already spotted two white Hummer limousines parked up, a clear indication the 'Valley Commandos' are in town.

"The mood is mixed on the street with some Wales fans predicting another miracle result from the Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards coaching team, but others expecting defeat."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Millennium Stadium

1359: We've got some of our best men out in the field today, with Tom Fordyce on the case in Cardiff and James "Stando" Standley at Twickenham for England's game.

Here's the opening offering from Stando down at HQ:

"A heavy downpour at Twickenham has eased off and there is even some blue cloud overhead. Whatever happens the ball will definitely be slippery today because the ground is very wet.

"For all that, the pitch looks in superb condition. Don't be surprised to see players losing their feet and the ball squirming from grasping hands as the greasy conditions take effect.

"With their superior power up front this should benefit England rather than the Pacific Islands, who may struggle to play the wide game with finger-tip passing they prefer in attack.

"The conditions mean tactical kicking is likely to be even more important than ever, and with Riki Flutey, for all his undoubted qualities, not renowned for his boot, that puts a lot of pressure on fly-half Danny Cipriani, who is officially no longer a boy wonder now he is a full week into the grand old age of 21.

"In the other half, the Wasps trio of Cipriani, Flutey and Paul Sackey have been going through their paces - if England's brave new world is to get of to a flying start today all three, and especially the first two, will need to see plenty of the ball."

1355: Afternoon all. Are we in for a treat this afternoon or what? (that's a rhetorical question, by the way...)

All four home nations are in action as the autumn internationals get under way, with England starting the Martin Johnson era with a tester against a useful-looking Pacific Islanders side made up of the best players from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Over in Cardiff, Six Nations winners Wales get another crack against world champions South Africa after losing both Tests against the Springboks on their summer tour.

Those two games kick off at 1430, but the fun doesn't stop there with Scotland up against - let's be honest here - New Zealand's second-string side at 1715. Can Frank Hadden's men take advantage of the absence of the likes of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter from the starting XV?

And last but not least Ireland start their own, slightly less hyped, new era under former Munster coach Declan Kidney against Canada. The bookies think it should be a comfortable stroll for Brian O'Driscoll and co, but then we all thought that ahead of the Georgia game at the World Cup, didn't we?

Let us know your thoughts, predictions, where you are watching the game etc - you know the routine by text on 81111 or on our 606 site. Join the debate on 606

And one incidental thought for you. A nameless colleague here at BBC HQ questioned whether the now regular series of Tests at this time of year should be called autumn internationals or not.

So, what do you reckon? Is November autumn or not?

see also
England 39-13 Pacific Islanders
08 Nov 08 |  English
Wales 15-20 South Africa
08 Nov 08 |  Welsh
Ireland 55-0 Canada
08 Nov 08 |  Irish
Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Scottish

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