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Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Saturday, 21 November 2009

Autumn international rugby as it happened


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By Tom Fordyces*

1912: And so the afternoon draws to a close. Enjoyed that. If you're about in the morrow, I'm at the wheel for the England v SA cricket one-dayer. What a weekend. Truly we are blessed.

1909: Extraordinary defensive effort from the Scots. Australia cannot understand how they've lost. Andy Robinson is actually smiling. Briefly.

1907: FINAL SCORE Ireland 41-6 Fiji

1907: FINAL SCORE Scotland 9-8 Australia Matt Giteau, Matt Giteau... 28 metres out, 10m in from the right touchline, he slices what would have been the winning kick wide of the uprights. Pandemonium at Murrayfield. Scotland beat the Wallabies for the first time in 17 attempts.


1904: TRY Cross Scotland 9-8 Heartbreak for the Scots, absolute heartbreak - they repulse wave after wave of drives, but Giteau spots a tiny gap and slips his centre in. Difficult conversion to win or lose the game...

1902: Last chance for the woozy Wallabies - they're five metres out...

1900: TRY Horgan Ireland 39-6 Fiji Scrum in midfield, sweetly through the hands of O'Leary and D'Arcy, and Horgan charges over in the corner. Sexton - guess what - lands the two for 41-6.

1859: DROP-GOAL Paterson Scotland 9-3 Australia There is, there is - three more drives, Chris P in the pocket - he's not missing from there...

1856: What a shift the Scottish forwards are putting in here. They drive deep into the Aussie 22. Is there a dropper on?

1853: Errors all over the place from the Wallabies. Giteau this time goes left and throws a pass to no-one in particular.

1851: Palu is stretchered off. Good luck, Big Cliffie. 13 minutes left. .

1848: TRY Kearney Ireland 32-6 Fiji Long pass out of midfield finds Kearney hitting the line, and with a bump and a slide and long reach he gets the ball down. Another ice-cool conversion from Sexton - 34-6.

1846: Palu on the deck. Looks bad, this - stretcher on.

1843: Australia are in danger of throwing this away. The Scottish scrum crumbles again, there are men out wide and Quade Cooper, with two men on, flings out a needless miss-pass that goes forward with the try-line winking.

1840: TRY Earls Ireland 25-6 Fiji Good hands from O'Driscoll and D'Arcy in the left-hand corner, and Keith Earls flings himself over inside the flag. Sexton adds from the touchline, and that's a comfortable 27-6.

1838: Australia pick and go, but it's slow ball and Scotland mass in defence. 17 minutes to go...

1835: Scotland have lost their last 16 games against the Wallabies. Just imagine. Could they?

1833: PEN Godman Scotland 6-3 Australia Replacement Dean Mumm is caught on the wrong side, and Godman has another chance from way out on the right. The ball is swirling in the Murrayfield mists, swirling - off the post and over! Scotland lead with 22 minutes left on the clock. They couldn't, could they?

1830: Skipper Elsom crashes down the left wing. He lobs the ball infield and Scotland smother the danger.

1826: At last, the Scots break free - kick through from replacement De Luca, Genia scampering back but carpeted, and that's a penalty for holding on. It's right out on the touchline, and Godman can't steer it home.

1823: What a defensive shift this is from the Scots. They've barely been in the match as an attacking force, but they're somehow holding the Wallabies out. How long can this last?

1820: TRY O'Driscoll Ireland 18-6 Fiji Heartbreak for Little - Bod spots a loose pass, juggles and then seizes the interception to race away under the posts. Sexton lands the extras for 20-6.

1819: PEN Little Ireland 13-6 Fiji Leamy in trouble. The man's being stretchered off, and Little sticks over the three-pointer to keep the tourists in touch.

1818: Elsom now, blitzing through - he's over the line, but will the video ref give it? Nope - another big let-off for the Scots.

1815: Crash bang wallop - the Scottish scrum is in pieces, and Australia rampage through as Sekope Kepu thunders onwards like a downhill dumper-truck.

1812: Under way at both venues - Giteau scragged high by Jacobsen, and the fly-half can have a pop from 41m out, straightish from the posts. Missed again!

1810 - from Cricketing_stargazer on 606: "What are the odds on Scotland winning 6-3 with a penalty in injury time?"

1800: HALF-TIME Scotland 3-3 Australia Quite how the Wallabies aren't in front I'll never know, but Scotland go into the break at level pegs. Another chance there at the death for Giteau, but he slices an attempted dropper wide of the sticks. Remarkable.

1757: PEN Sexton Ireland 13-3 Everything going through the hands in Dublin - some silky running, and Sexton slides over the subsequent three points. Half-time.

1755: Oh, that's a super move from the Wallabies, scything through, quick ball, burrowing on. Penalty - which Giteau misses, and scratches his scrum-cap in disbelief.

1751: Kick, kick, kick, kick. Heavy sigh. Kick, kick, kick. Hold on - that's more like it from Godman, a little dinker into space and almost a dash 'n' gather.

1748: PEN Godman Scotland 3-3 Australia Decent rumble onwards from the Scottish forwards, and the Aussies bring that down. Godman has the chance to bring his side into a slightly fortuitous tie and he slots in dead-eyed Paterson fashion.

1746 - from eirebilly on 606: "Scotland will have to have better control of the ball if they are going to push the Aussies."

1745: PEN Little Ireland 10-3 Fiji

1743: Near-constant Wallaby pressure. The rain is coming down again, and slippery hands cost them points.

1740: Big pressure again on the Scotland line. Elsom goes from five metres but there's a spill in the tackle, and Scotland can clear.

1738: Wonderful move from Australia, Giteau slipping the ball casually to the rampaging Moore. He looks certain to score, but Rory Lamont fells him a yard shy of the line and Chris Cusiter somehow holds the ball off the turf. He's hurt himself in the process, the no.9, and Rory Lawson will come on.

1736: TRY Earls Ireland 8-0 Fiji Earls comes in off the left wing to crash through the despairing Fijian line. Sexton snags the additionals from under the sticks for 10-0.

1733: Grove decides to chip over the blitzing Aussie line - he almost gathers, but Adam A-C gathers and the Wallabies snuff out the menace.

1729, Dublin: Kearney almost over in the left corner after good work from Earls off Sexton's cross-kick. The full-back is bundled into touch, but that was mighty close.

1728: Meaty defence again from Andy Robinson's braveheart battlers. The mulletted Danielli is waiting outside but Grove is smashed man and ball by Peter Hynes. Ouch.

1726: Meaty defence again from Andy Robinson's braveheart battlers. The mulletted Danielli is waiting outside but Grove is smashed man and ball by Peter Hynes. Ouch.

1724: PEN Sexton Ireland 3-0 Fiji

1722: Super defence on the Scottish line as the Wallabies smash onwards. Holding on, says the ref, and that's well played. After the initial error from Morrison.

1720: PEN Giteau Scotland 0-3 Australia Johnnie Beattie pinged for lineout shenanigans, and MatGit doesn't miss those.

1719: ... and under way at the Royal Dublin Society. Soggy like a saucy sausage sandwich out there.

1716: We're under way in Scotland. Simon Danielli gives chase to a cunning grubber, and this is a lively little start.

1710: Whole lot of rain in that Murrayfield pitch, plus a swirler of a wind. Sing-songs in Dublin.

1700: That do the trick? Open your eyes and hey presto - you're at Murrayfield. Lights out in Edinburgh, the pitch lit with lasers. I'm half-expecting Jean-Michel Jarre to start at openside.

1639: Still to come: Scotland vs Australia at 1715, and Ireland-Fiji simulcastedly. Get yourself a refreshing beverage, maybe a snack on the side, stretch the old legs en route and we'll reconvene in 20.

1638: This from Martin Johnson: "The breakdown was probably the biggest difference. They have players on your side of the ball. It was one of those games when the conditions caused mistakes. The try was the big difference, and you're disappointed to concede a try like that. The effort was there from the whole 22 - a little bit more composure at the end and we could have run a try in. As a group of players, and with the injuries we've had, we've gone forward."

1635: Look - it's Shane Williams! "We are creating things, so it's nice to score a couple of tries." And Stephen Jones! "We were fortunate that Argentina switched off, and we were able to capitalise. We had a good victory - we need to up our skill levels, and we need to be more accurate. We're looking forward to the Australia test next week."

1623: Quick heads-up for terrestrials - you can watch England v New Zealand highlights on BBC Three at 1900 GMT on Saturday or BBC 2, 1130 GMT, on Sunday.

1620: A little pundit chat for you from the BBC comm-box in Cardiff. Jiffy Davies first: "Wales will be happy with the result, but when Argentina are involved they are usually messy games. Argentina will be upset at the mistakes they made which led to Welsh tries." And now Jeremy Guscott: "There isn't a better player in the world at taking those opportunities like Shane Williams. He was the catalyst for the whole Wales team."

1619: So, three matches, two defeats, one try. Not the autumn England would have wanted - they were better today than last weekend, but there's still a mighty gap between them and the best teams in the world.

1618: This from a knackered Lewis Moody: "I'm desperately disappointed we lost, but I'm very proud of the boys. Jonno leads with his passion and that rubs off on us. I'm just gutted we couldn't get over the try-line."

1614: From man-of-the-match Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe in Cardiff: "We gave the ball away cheaply too often, and we are very disappointed because we gave away 21 points through mistakes."

1612: FULL-TIME England 6-19 New Zealand

1610: Three metres left on the clock at Twickenham, and England desperately dart and dive eight metres out. It's all too frantic, though, and the All Blacks clear. The visitors haven't been vintage, but they've been a class above in the final reckoning.

1608: FULL-TIME Wales 33-16 Argentina

1607: Cunning dink ahead from Geraghty - Monye is a boot-lace away from making it and kicking through.

1605: England scrum five metres out. Could there yet be a try? Ach, Haskell goes for a flashy pass back to Care between his own legs and there's a knock on.

1603: Croft snaffles a loose pass and sprints for the corner - knees pumping, arms thrashing, but Carter's just snagged him. In Cardiff, four minutes left.

1602: Danny Care on for Hodgson, Tait coming on for Banahan. Nine minutes left; huge ask now.

1601: FULL-TIME Italy 10-32 South Africa

1600: PEN Halfpenny Wales 33-16 Argentina

1558: PEN Carter Eng 6-19 NZ England are tiring, and Carter gives his side daylight. 12 minutes to go at Twickenham.

1556: Wilko slips in midfield and Muliaina dashes free - draws the man, slips to Conrad Smith and The Snake is mongoosed by Hodgson and Banahan as he goes for the corner. Pressure growing.

1554: TRY S Williams Wales 28-16 Argentina That's the Shane we know and love - weaving, jinking run, scything through the snarling Pumas for a splendid solo score. Over go the extras for 30-14, and Wales can breathe again.

1551: Oh, Wilko - what was that? England have numbers out wide, 20m out, but Jonny goes for a hurried dropper and misses it. Waste. Erinle off, Geraghty on. Solid enough from the big unit.

1550: More on the Argentine try - the clearing kick is charged down, and Rodriguez runs free to cross for a big, big score. Nervous times now.

1548: CONV Rodriguez Wales 23-16 Argentina And suddenly it's game on in Cardiff...

1547: TRY Rodriguez Wales 23-14 Argentina

1546: CONV Carter England 6-16 Class from the visitors - quick hands from McCaw from a scrum 10m out, Siv carries on, McCaw is there for an inside ball and then the pass outside to his scrum-half for the try in the left-hand corner. Wonderful extras slipped over from out side.

1545: TRY Cowan England 6-14 New Zealand

1544: Run, Danny Hipkiss, run... argh, straight into contact, and if you can understand him wanting to hang onto the ball after all this time without it, that's an obvious pen.

1542: PEN Halfpenny Wales 23-9 Argentina Monstrous leather from the Blues tyro, landing a beauty from just inside his own half. Paul Thorburn v Scotland revisited.

1541: Still sloppy in Cardiff. Brian Moore's chewing his microphone with frustration. Stand clear.

1539: Chorus of Swing Low at Twickenham, and Carter is kicking like a lame mule - straight out of play with that one, and it's a scrum to England on halfway. Slow through hands out to the right and the ball is flung into touch by a hurried Cueto.

1536: PEN Rodriguez Wales 20-9 Argentina

1534: It's like Sevens with a slippery soap at Twickenham - passes tossed casually into no-man's land, and both sides are behaving like panicked grannies.

1531: PEN Carter England 6-9 New Zealand The All Blacks go again and again just outside England's 22. They're going nowhere, but Shaw goes off his feet in the ruck and Carter has another chance to stick his side in front - oof, another ropey contact, but that one skids over.

1529: Splendid start from England - Shaw is all over Cowan from the scrum, and if Hartley's throw had been straight from the subsequent lineout, there were points there for the taking.

1527: PEN Rodriguez Wales 20-6 Argentina

1525: TRY S Williams Wales 18-3 Argentina Disastrous start to the second half for the Poomas - the clearing kick is charged down, Shane gathers and wriggles through two half-tackles to dive over under the sticks. Stephen Jones slots the extras for 20-3.

1519: It's not been a great half in Cardiff - lots of errors, and Warren Gatland has stormy weather all over his chops. Argentina have only themselves to blame for the Jones try - they all turned away, expecting the pot at the posts, and Jones was able to scoot into the corner. Schoolboy.

1516: HALF-TIME England 6-6 New Zealand Martin Johnson will be delighted with that - level at the break, and if Dan Carter has missed two pens that will haunt him till Christmas, England deserve to be level. Huge improvement on last week.

1514: HALF-TIME Wales 13-3 Argentina

1514: PEN S Jones Wales 13-3 Argentina

1513: Rock-solid defence from England, just inside their own half. Cueto snags a steepler stuck up by Carter, and he's looking comfortable at 15.

1510: PEN Rodriguez Wales 10-3 Argentina

1509: Dylan Hartley's getting stuck into some fist sandwiches with Woodcock - forehead to forehead, jerseys grabbed, snarls in full effect. Payne is penalised for folding in, and surely this is the lead for the visitors - no no no! Carter has stuck another absolute sitter wide. Remarkable.

1507: Sweet timing on the pass from JW and Monye is galloping down the wing - inside to Haskell, but when the ball is spread England throw away possession. NZ attack from deep and Carter is almost through on the inside pass - stopped by a scrambled defence.

1504: PEN Carter England 6-6 New Zealand Behave yourself, James Haskell - hands in the ruck, 15m out, and Carter brings us level. Decent ding-dong, this.

1503: Wales well on top in Cardiff, camped in the Argentine half. In south-west London, Borthwick's having a near-blinder. Honestly.

1459: PEN Wilkinson England 6-3 New Zealand Cowan's the naughty boy this time, and the All Blacks are off-key here - Wilko steps up and nails a straightforward three points from bang in front and 25m out.

1457: PEN Carter England 3-3 New Zealand Tim Payne penalised for punching in a ruck, and Carter will slot this - he does, and in the process overtakes Andrew Mehrtens as his country's all-time leading scorer.

1454: More on the Stephen Jones try in Cardiff - quick tap-penalty and a dart through - splendid work from the fly-half.

1453: Carter slips out of a tackle like a greasy eel, offloads late and frees Muliaina to sprint into the right-hand corner - oh, fine covering tackle from Monye, and the NZ full-back is just about put into touch. Close.

1451: CONV S Jones Wales 10-0 Argentina

1451: PEN Wilkinson England 3-0 New Zealand Richie McCaw is offside at a ruck, 25m out from his own posts, and Wilkinson will stick that away sans sweat. England lead, and deservedly so.

1450: TRY S Jones Wales 8-0 Argentina

1449: Whisper it quietly, but England are edging this - decent ball, breaking the gain-line, not afraid to move it through hands.

1448: Half-time in Udine: Italy 7-12 South Africa.

1446: Big hit from Monye in midfield - the ball bounces free and the Quins winger gathers and dives over, only to be pulled back for the knock-on. Fair shout.

1445: Argentina going backwards in Cardiff. Good start from the Welsh.

1443: The All Blacks spread it right, but Cowan gets scragged by a speeding Borthwick as he dawdles at the base of the scrum. Did I just see that?

1441, Cardiff: PEN S Jones, Wales 3-0 Argentina

1439: Trouble for England - Moody is pinged for coming in at the side, and Dan Carter has a simple slot from 30 metres out. Lordy - he's pushed it left! Laughs around the spanking new stands.

1436: Yup - Worsley's off with just two minutes on the clock, and Tom Croft comes on in his place. That didn't last long.

1435, Cardiff: Shane Williams hacks the ball over the top and gets behind the Argentina defence but the cover gets across - just.

1434: Good early ball for England - Banahan smashes into Sivi, and the Barbour brigade roar their approval. Joe Worsley limping, though.

1432: Haka-time! I'm doing the BBC Sport one back. It's not that intimidating, to be honest - mainly consists of miming key-strokes on a laptop and fiddling with a wifi connection.

1429: Anthems at Twickenham and MillStad. Lewis Moody looks like his head might pop off. Wilko blinking nervously.

Hello - Argentina coach Santiago Phelan tells BBC Sport: "We are using this game for getting our young players used to the responsibilities of playing for the Pumas. It's a new team and although we had a very good World Cup we need games like this to see what we can do."

From BBC Sport's Bruce Pope at the Millennium Stadium: "Pitch looking good after being replaced after the bug infestation, no sign of the urban fox that sneaked onto the field midweek. Crowd very grateful for the closed roof as the rain is coming down in torrents outside. Brass band and Welsh voice choir giving it all and building the atmosphere nicely."

1421: And the line-ups in Cardiff:

Wales: James Hook (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts (both Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Gareth Cooper; Gethin Jenkins (both Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Paul James, Alun Wyn Jones (both Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Andy Powell, Martyn Williams (both Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt).
Replacements: Huw Bennett, Duncan Jones, Jonathan Thomas (all Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Dwayne Peel (Sale), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Tom James (Blues)

Argentina: Horacio Agulla (Brive); Lucas Borges (Albi), Gonzalo Tiesi (Harlequins), Martin Rodriguez (Rosario), Mauro Comuzzi (Pucara); Santiago Fernandez (Hindu), Agustin Figuerola (CASI); Rodrigo Roncero (Stade Francais), Mario Ledesma (Clermont Auvergne), Martin Scelzo (Clermont Auvergne), Mariano Sambucetti (Bristol), Patricio Albacete (Toulouse), Tomas Leonardi (San Isidro), Alejandro Abadie (Rovigo), Juan Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon, capt).
Replacements:Alberto Vernet Basualdo (Toulouse), Marcos Ayerza (Leicester), Manuel Carizza (Biarritz), Alejandro Campos (Montauban), Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish), Benjamin Urdapilleta (CUBA), Horacio San Martin (Tala).

1420: A reminder of our teams at Twickenham:

England: Cueto (Sale); Banahan (Bath), Hipkiss (Leicester), Erinle (Biarritz), Monye (Harlequins); Wilkinson (Toulon), Hodgson (London Irish); Payne (Wasps), Hartley (Northampton), Bell (Bath), Shaw (Wasps), Borthwick (Saracens, capt), Worsley (Wasps), Moody (Leicester), Haskell (Stade Francais).
Replacements: Thompson (Brive), Wilson (Bath), Deacon (Leicester), Croft (Leicester), Care (Harlequins), Geraghty (Northampton), Tait (Sale).

New Zealand: Muliaina; Guildford, C Smith, Nonu, Sivivatu; Carter, Cowan; Woodcock, Hore, Franks; Thorn, Donnelly, Thomson, McCaw (capt), Read.
Replacements: De Malmanche, Afoa, Boric, Kaino, Ellis, Donald, Ellison.

1413: From Cricketing_stargazer on 606: "Argentina will edge Wales, Ireland will swamp Fiji and Australia will run up the sort of score that Rickie Ponting would be happy with against Scotland. England were awful last week, but they did win and they can't play that badly again against a New Zealand side in transition."

1411: This from Martin Johnson in the TwickTunnel: "We want to go and play - we've been as frustrated as anyone else. Conditions are pretty good at the moment - we've got a plan, and now we've got to execute it. what we've gone through in the last two weeks has been pretty tough at times but the team has responded very well."

From BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer on Twitter : "Trains 2 Twickers horribly rammed. wd it b too much 2 xpect an increased service rather than reduced on match days like this?"

1357: Wales too could do with a lift after that squeaky win over Samoa the other night. For a while last Friday, it looked as if autumn might be a season of misses and yellow fruitlessness for Warren Gatland's men.

1350: Predictions for the arvo's scores? Feel free to throw some thoughts over via 606 , text and Twitter. Interesting team selection from Martin Johnson, of course - still in shock after that woeful first half against Argentina and the Wallabies walloping that preceded it, he's decided to erect the rugby equivalent of the Maginot Line across the Twickenham turf. And we all know how effective the original was it came to a proper ding-dong.

Will Ayoola Erinle play the role of Belgium? For his sake, you'd better hope not.

1345: *So then. You might notice that there's an extra 's' on the surname today. It's not an error, simply a reflection of the fact that there's so much rugby for me to watch and commentate on this afternoon that I've had to clone myself.

One of me will be viewing England v the All Blacks at Twickenham, another the rumblefest that is Wales-Argentina, and the final clone Italy v South Africa. Then, after a short break when all three will grab a cup of tea, Original Me will watch Scotland v Australia, Clone 1 concentrate on Ireland v Fiji and Clone 2 bob around in the background trying to look useful.

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see also
Scotland 9-8 Australia
21 Nov 09 |  Scottish
England 6-19 New Zealand
21 Nov 09 |  English
Wales 33-16 Argentina
21 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Ireland 41-6 Fiji
21 Nov 09 |  Irish
Coaches insist England are united
17 Nov 09 |  English
England call-up for Erinle & Shaw
18 Nov 09 |  English
All Blacks bring in star players
20 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
17 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Johnson losing patience with team
14 Nov 09 |  English
Rees on firm ground against Pumas
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Welsh try 'concern' for Williams
19 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Thomas called up to Wales bench
19 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Cooper admits scrum-half pressure
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Davies told to fill creative gap
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Pumas make two changes for Wales
18 Nov 09 |  Welsh
England 16-9 Argentina
14 Nov 09 |  English
Wallabies wallow in Scottish mud
19 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scots can beat Australia - Godman
18 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Scotland 23-10 Fiji
14 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Wales 17-13 Samoa
13 Nov 09 |  Welsh

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