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Page last updated at 13:44 GMT, Saturday, 6 November 2010

Autumn Tests as they happened

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By Ben Dirs

1942: Right, that's me for now. There are highlights of England-New Zealand on BBC Three now, and again on BBC Two and online tomorrow at 1130 GMT. Night.

ulster on 606: "Note to Declan Kidney - please, please, please pick Tom Court next time, the difference in the scrums after that was immense. Paul O'Connell, we need you back badly my friend..."


bloodredstag on 606: "Sexton is not ready, simple as that. The boy has yet to grow into an international talent."

1924: Spirited effort from Ireland in the closing stages, but that can't mask an overall performance that was decidedly mediocre. Too many mistakes, not enough grunt and, surprisingly, not a great deal of passion until O'Gara and Stringer were thrown on from the bench. South Africa's forwards were formidable, but it's a limited game they play and I can't see them pulling up any trees at next year's World Cup.

FULL-TIME: Ire 21-23 SA Irish tails up but it's all too late by the looks of things... indeed it is, Lambie pumps the ball into touch, and the Aviva Stadium is baptised with a South Africa victory.

79 mins: Ire 21-23 SA Free-kick Ireland after Du Plessis and Matfield are penalised for playing silly beggars at the line-out. South Africa running the clock down at the breakdown but eventually Ireland poke the ball through and Pienaar is forced into a box kick on the turn...

77 mins: Ire 21-23 SA What was that I said about O'Gara and Stringer being the defensive option? I didn't account for experience in tight situations. Ireland pinged for coming in from the side and Pienaar it is with a good kick deep into Irish territory.

75 mins: Ire 21-23 SA Stringer goes quick and Ireland batter away like waves on a defensive wall. Healy goes, then it's Mick O'Driscoll... Ireland look to go right, Basson almost intercepts, but the ball flicks off his fingers and into the hands of Kearney, who scores in the corner. O'Gara's effort from out wide comes back off the stick, Ireland still two short...

72 mins: Ire 16-23 SA O'Gara has lit something under this Ireland team and he gets the crowd going with a thumping kick for territory. Bismarck du Plessis finds Matfield, again, and South Africa put phases together... Aplon grubbers down the line before Ireland manage to bring it clear - Heaslip brings it clear and there's a chance for Ireland... Heaslip with the ball again, but he doesn't know whether to go inside or outside and is finally hauled down... the Aviva jumping, at last...

69 mins: TRY Ire 16-23 SA Try for Ireland, the first at the Aviva Stadium - O'Gara with a bit of class, nipping the ball in behind the South Africa defence, and Bowe takes it on the hoof and scores under the sticks. O'Gara with the extras, it's a seven-pointer again...

65 mins: Ire 9-23 SA O'Gara and Stringer of Munster on for Sexton and Reddan of Leinster. A more defensive-looking Ireland, who of course are chasing the game. Jean de Villiers replaced by Adrian Jacobs in the centres for South Africa.

64 mins: TRY Ire 9-23 SA Aplon with the Garryowen and Basson is underneath it, unopposed. Ireland just not getting any possession and all this tackling will be taking its toll. Aplon scores! Kirchner cutting across the Ireland defence and Aplon takes the ball on the scissors and runs in unopposed. All too easy for the visitors and Lambie pops over the extras, his first points in international rugby.

62 mins: Ire 9-16 SA Brian O'Driscoll desperately trying to light some fireworks but it's just not happening in the Dublin drizzle. Lambie with his first touch and he breaks through the first tackle. Penalty South Africa, debutant Patrick Lambie to kick for goal, and he tugs it left...

59 mins: Ire 9-16 SA Healy, I believe, is on the deck having taken a knock. It's an Ireland throw and the locals have found their voice. Steyn replaced by Lambie at fly-half, this kid's only 20. Another messy line-out, Matfield causing havoc on the opposition throw...

58 mins: Ire 9-16 SA Smith is upended in midfield and Ireland turn it over before Ferris blasts clear. Wallace hit hard before Sexton goes long and Habana hooks his clearance into touch, under pressure from Bowe.

56 mins: PEN Ire 9-16 SA Sexton's kick flirts with the right upright but goes through, the hosts back to within a try and a conversion...

55 mins: Ire 6-16 SA Ireland win a penalty from a scrum and Sexton will kick for goal, from range...

53 mins: PEN Ire 6-16 SA Steyn's kick looks to be going left but it corrects itself mid-flight and goes sailing through... South Africa not really playing that well, Ireland making it easy for them so far with countless mistakes.

52 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Matfield again at the line-out and new cap Stegmann takes the ball on at the rear of a maul... Ireland coming in from the side, twice, and Steyn will kick for goal from out wide...

50 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Tony Buckley on the deck and receiving treatment and he's replaced by Ulster's Tom Court in the boiler room. Steyn kicks for territory...

50 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Another Irish line-out malfunction but Bowe gets it back and sticks in the Garryowen, which South Africa don't deal with. Ireland look to go left but the visitors win it back and eventually win the penalty, Healy coming in from the side.

48 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Ragged line-out again, but Buckley mops up at the back. Heaslip looks to make ground but it's turned over and 'The Beast' romps clear. South Africa make a hash of the clean-up job, however, Steyn finding touch on the full.

47 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Not straight from Ireland at the line-out, Rory Best going awry. Awfully frustrating for the Irish fans, and it gets worse, Ireland with an early engage at the scrum. Steyn puts in a Garryowen and it comes back South Africa's way. Poor kick from Sexton and Aplon takes the mark.

44 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Bowe under the high ball before Sexton puts a probing kick into the corner. Matfield takes, however, and Pienaar clears his lines.

42 mins: Ire 6-13 SA STOP PRESS! STEYN'S MISSED ONE! That's his first miss in 42 and a let-off for Ireland. Sexton punts for territory and Aplon returns the ball, finding touch on about halfway.

41 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Dreadful restart for Ireland - the man thrown in the air and the ball goes sailing over his head. Resulting penalty for South Africa, Ireland taking a man out in the air...

41 mins: Ire 6-13 SA Players are back out after a well-earned break, Ireland need to up their game and, as Keith Wood points out on the telly, find some composure. Steyn gets us under way...

40 mins: PEN Ire 6-13 SA Sexton unerring and that's a potentially big moment, still a seven-point game at the break... not a classic - Ireland, living off scraps, struggling to find any kind of cohesion, South Africa dominant up front and managing to keep hold of the ball in tricky conditions. This crowd needs to find its voice in the second half.

39 mins: Ire 3-13 SA Ireland scrum after a turnover in the South Africa 22 but Pienaar snaffles Reddan at the back of the scrum. South Africa pinged for being off-side and Sexton steps up...

38 mins: PEN Ire 3-13 SA Penalty for South Africa as Ireland collapse the scrum and Steyn makes it 41 goal-kicks in a row from right in front.

36 mins: Ire 3-10 SA Spies picks and goes but Ferris makes the tackle. Bowe very nearly makes the intercept after a risky pass from De Villiers and Ireland win the scrum - early engagement from Ireland, South Africa opt for the scrum. Spies knocks forward, not easy in these conditions...

33 mins: Ire 3-10 SA Sexton clears but Ireland make a hash of the line-out. Mtawarira makes ground before Ireland win it back and David Wallace comes away with it - before kicking it away. Matfield claims at the line-out but Steyn misses touch, before Kearney is guilty of a rather lazy forward pass. Just not happening for Ireland, and it's muted in the rain at the Aviva Stadium.

29 mins: Ire 3-10 SA Steyn shows and goes but is eventually hauled down by Mick O'Driscoll. Pienaar snagged at the breakdown but South Africa keep the ball. Neat back-play before Aplon comes into the line, but it's slow ball for South Africa and they eventually lose it - off their feet, Ireland penalty.

27 mins: PEN Ire 3-10 SA Chance for Ireland, O'Driscoll with the inside pass to Fitzgerald, but it all comes to nil. Scratch that, Sexton's got another chance, and this time he hammers the ball through. Ireland's first points at the new Lansdowne Road.

24 mins: Ire 0-10 SA Jonny Sexton from the 10m line, just off centre, but he pushes it wide...

22 mins: Ire 0-10 SA South Africa make ground with their maul, but it's a turnover at the end of it. Early engagement and Heaslip taps and goes. Ireland penalty for South African hands on the ground...

20 mins: Ire 0-10 SA Long throw from Ireland at the line-out and it misses everyone. Very bitty so far from Ireland, no evidence of any game-plan. They win the scrum but are shoved off the ball, trying times indeed.

18 mins: TRY Ire 0-10 SA Ireland fling the ball wide and Fitzgerald kicks ahead behind the South Africa defence - clearance, and it's an Ireland line-out on the 22. INTERCEPTION! Juan Smith it is who picks the ball up on the Ireland 22 and the flanker has enough licks to make it all the way. Morne Steyn simply can't miss, he slots the extras from out wide.

15 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Not straight from Pienaar and it's an Ireland free-kick. But South Africa win the ball back and that's nice from their scrum-half, Pienaar slipping the ball inside. That's a penalty for Ireland, however, and Sexton punts clear...

13 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Ireland trying to force things a little too much at the moment and the errors are flowing. O'Driscoll just needs to clam things down a little out there and marshal his troops into enemy territory. David Wallace receives treatment, but he's OK.

12 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Fitzgerald looks one way and flips the ball outside to D'Arcy, who is cut down by Pienaar. Matfield with the safe take and Pienaar clears, but it's straight down the middle...

11 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Du Plessis finds Matfield before things fall apart and Healy hacks through. Aplon mops up but is caught by Brian O'Driscoll - the Springbok full-back appeared to hang on to that, but is given the benefit.

9 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Eighteen Irish tackles in the opening five minutes as Ireland burgle the line-out. South Africa, however, win a scrum, before Fitzgerald bangs into touch.

7 mins: Ire 0-3 SA Remember this South Africa side have only been in Ireland for two days - many of the team were playing in the Currie Cup final last weekend. Don't expect too much flair from them, but they'll be difficult to dispossess. Steady scrum from South Africa before Spies' grubber ricochets into touch.

5 mins: PEN Ire 0-3 SA Steyn from bang in front and through it goes, first blood South Africa.

5 mins: Ire 0-0 SA Steyn has a drop at goal but doesn't middle it. Good tackling from Ireland before Reddan cocks the hammer and sends the ball down-field. Spies with a flat pass in midfield and it's grunt and grid down the centre from the visitors. Phase after phase but the defence is good - that said, Ireland are off-side and it's a Springbok penalty...

2 mins: Spies recovers a slippery ball from a Kearney boot. Ireland with the ball again and they look to go wide, but Brian O'Driscoll's pass goes awry.

1 min: Spits and spots of rain in Dublin as referee Nigel Owens sounds his whistle and Jonny Sexton gets the game under way...

1732: Anthems done and dusted - it took a while, remember there are basically four when Ireland play South Africa - time for some rugby...

1724: The Springboks are out and here come Ireland - the crowd may be patchy, but it's a warm welcome nonetheless. Ireland led out by O'Driscoll and centre partner D'Arcy, who's winning his 50th cap today.

1720: Here's a stat for you: Springboks fly-half Morne Steyn has kicked 38 consecutive goals and has kicked 132 points this year, second only to Dan Carter of New Zealand.

1717: Impressive-looking new stadium, although I should add it's 30,000 shy of Croke Park's capacity - and it will not be full tonight. In short, the Irish union made a hash of their pricing and the fans have voted with their feet, just as they did in Cardiff this afternoon. Shame.

1714: Springboks skipper Victor Matfield equals the national record of 102 caps today, a record currently held by Percy Montgomery and John Smit. If Ronan O'Gara comes off the bench it will be his 100th Test for Ireland. Only O'Driscoll and John Hayes are ahead of him.


1711: Ireland have been in mixed form of late, winning three of seven Tests in 2010, as have the world champions, who have won half of their 10 matches this year. South Africa lost five of their six Tri-Nations matches this season.


1700: Right, to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, where Ireland are looking to build on their good recent form against world champions South Africa - Ireland may be 14-4 down overall, but Ireland have won the last three Tests, all in Dublin.


Wales head coach Warren Gatland: "I thought we played pretty well but a couple of turnovers cost us points and we missed a couple of crucial shots at goal. We really wanted to take it to them at scrum-time, we wanted to be very direct against them. But there were a couple of costly turnovers and they have scored points from them. In a game that close, if we had been a bit more accurate and kicked our goals, it could have been different."

England boss Martin Johnson: "When we got tempo into the game we looked pretty good. We had good chances before half-time but we didn't take them, then we got ourselves back into the game twice and conceded penalties at the kick-off. Fundamentals of the game is what it's all about. There was lots of good stuff - we created opportunities, we scored a try, we were millimetres away on the second one and we had other opportunities. We put them under pressure and they made mistakes. But we looked rusty, and those little errors at this level get compounded."

OldGumby on 606: "Beale was unBEALEivable and probably that chip, retrieve, grubber, retrieve was the best try that never was..."

SB on 606: "I think England had a decent day at the office, and to a degree have shown that they are trying to play a different game than the usual. Tempo around the fringes and a midfield who want to use the ball was a welcome sight to frequently disappointed eyes."

Steffan on 606: "Yet again Wales had a game-plan and boy did they stick to it - like robots. Where's the rugby brains? When did we mix it up? When did Phillips take it on? When did we do a rolling maul? When did we think?"

1632: Right, decent fists from England and Wales, but it's an all-too familiar story - southern hemisphere 2-0 northern hemisphere. Ireland might have a chance against South Africa, though - stick around, that match kicks off at the brand, spanking new Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 1730 GMT.

mckay on 606: "There were a lot of good things from Wales. The pack was utterly dominant, Richie Rees looked pretty good when he came on and Martyn Williams didn't look out of place. We missed Hook in midfield but weren't that far away. Need a bit more pace and when we get players like Roberts and Halfpenny back Wales will be a threat."

MFC on 606: "England will take massive heart from their second half. Easter was tremendous in the last 20 minutes, the subs all made an impact, and hopefully England can build on this for the rest of the autumn."

1632: Right, decent fists from England and Wales, but it's an all-too familiar story - southern hemisphere 2-0 northern hemisphere. Ireland might have a chance against South Africa, though - stick around, that match kicks off at the brand, spanking new Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 1730 GMT.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw: "The win was really important, the guys were hurting after last week. We knew we were in for a big challenge and that's how it turned out, we had to defend pretty hard at the end and dig deep. We were guilty of giving them too many chances through our own mistakes and England were good enough to put us under pressure. They wanted to use the ball whenever they had opportunities and we knew if you give them ball in space they'd try and use it."

FULL-TIME Eng 16-26 NZ Ashton kicks into touch and the final whistle blows at Twickenham - England threw everything at it, but the All Blacks were just too good.

78 mins - Eng 16-26 NZ England again, Hape with the half-break and offload to Tindall, but Hartley knocks-on. That should be New Zealand's game...

77 mins - Eng 16-26 NZ Easter from the back of a scrum and Foden comes flying into the line like a cannonball through the side of a galleon. He pops it wide but there follows a knock-on.

FULL-TIME Wal 16-25 Aus Wales searching for a breakaway try in Cardiff but the Aussie defence is impervious. All over, it's a hard-fought Wallaby win - but Wales had their chances.

74 mins - Eng 16-26 NZ Easter's had a good game today, he goes on another surge before the ball is sent right. Huge hit on Fourie, but the ball does go left, eventually ending up in the hands of Ashton - but what a hit that is from Toeava, smashing the Northampton man into touch and the ball out of Ashton's hands. Can't really blame Ashton, that ball should have gone earlier.

73 mins - Eng 16-26 NZ Kaino is sin-binned at Twickenham - not sure what that was for, but he's been a little bit naughty at times today. Can England make it count - Croft wins the line-out, Easter rumbles, but Croft coughs up the ball. England win the ball back from a clearance and Foden skips through a couple of tackles on the counter. Wide open now, England really having a go...

70 mins - PEN Eng 16-26 NZ Carter makes the lead 10 points again from wide out right after a high tackle from Armitage, who is on for Cueto... apologies, England only have the 16 points...

74 mins - PEN Wal 16-25 Aus Martyn Williams volleys the ball out of defence but Dan Biggar was slightly in front and Australia have a penalty bang in front - O'Connor slots it...

70 mins - TRY Wal 16-22 Aus Australia concede two penalties at scrums five metres out and from the third scrum Australia wheel but Wales get the ball out and replacement scrum-half Richie Rees dives over from close range. Dan Biggar, on for Stephen Jones, slots the conversion.

66 mins - PEN Eng 16-23 NZ Flood didn't middle it, but he's managed to wobble his penalty attempt between the posts... Hartley actually swung his arm at the previous ruck, England lucky to get away with that...

65 mins - Eng 13-23 NZ Croft with another solid take at the line-out and England's forwards go on the peel - rumble! Hartley gets blind-sided by Kaino and the England hooker ends up in a heap amid a gaggle of black shirts. After chats all round the referee awards England a penalty...

67 mins - Wal 9-22 Aus Wales think they've got a try in Cardiff, with Alun Wyn Jones burrowing over, but he's held up short. Wales with the scrum though...

62 mins - Eng 13-23 NZ Replacement Toeava carves through England's right flank after a very lackadaisical clearance kick from Cueto, right into the breadbasket of Muliaina. The Sale wing makes up for it with a good tackle into touch.

65 mins - TRY Wal 9-22 Aus Shanklin is sin-binned for an early tackle on Pocock and O'Connor sweeps the penalty through the uprights. Game over in Cardiff, surely...

59 mins - Eng 13-23 NZ Muliaina scythes through the England midfield but Ashton manages to get his finger-tips to the ball to prevent Carter from romping over...

58 mins - PEN Eng 13-23 NZ Carter bangs over a penalty at Twickenham, for what I'm not sure...

60 mins - TRY Wal 9-19 Aus Bradley Davies is dispossessed by Quade Cooper, the ball is moved right to Genia and eventually O'Connor pops inside to Ben Alexander, who dives over in the corner for his first Test try. O'Connor, from out wide, misses the conversion.

58 mins - Wal 9-14 Aus More magic from Aussie full-back Beale - a chip and take followed by a grubber past Hook, but he isn't able to gather before the line.

54 mins - TRY Eng 13-20 NZ England dominating the scrum, but that often seems to be the case in northern v southern hemisphere games nowadays, but the results remain largely the same. Williams breaks through midfield and offloads, one-handed, basketball style, but England win the ball back - Ashton flies clear, Tindall takes up the baton and Hartley seems to touch down - it goes upstairs... yep, tremendous stuff from the Northampton skipper, it's rocking at Twickers, even more so when Flood knocks over the extras...

50 mins - Eng 6-20 NZ Carter under the high ball and he's quick to offload inside. Easter drifts off-side in an attempt to snag Carter, but the All Blacks knock-on. England captain Moody's taken a knock to the head, looked like Mealamu knew what he was doing there. Hartley on for Thompson at hooker...

53 mins - PEN Wal 9-14 Aus Fourth penalty of the day for Wales at the scrum and Jones makes it from just outside the 22 - the hosts within a try of the Aussies, it's fag paper stuff over there...

47 mins - PEN Eng 6-20 NZ New Zealand immediately win a penalty back and it's Dan Carter from just off centre outside the 22... Carter, who needs five conversions today to be the first ever to 200 in international rugby, sweeps it through...

44 mins - PEN Eng 6-17 NZ England win a penalty at the scrum after the All Blacks front row pops up after being driven backwards - this time Flood makes no mistake, England still well in this.

48 mins - TRY Wal 6-14 Aus Pocock turns the ball over on halfway, the ball is shifted right, O'Connor blasts through a rather weak tackle from Shane Williams, pops inside to Beale and the Wallaby full-back is over in the corner. O'Connor slots the conversion.

41 mins - Eng 3-17 NZ Mathewson with a feed and England win the free-kick - England opt for a scrum, they need an early strike.

41 mins - Eng 3-17 NZ Under way at Twickenham. Muliaina with the chip from his own 22 and Cueto runs it back. A few phases from the hosts but the ball goes forward...

43 mins - Wal 6-7 Aus This Aussie full-back Beale can play a bit as well - naughty little chip and take over the Wales midfield. Australia delaying the scrum, they don't fancy it at all, even on their own put-in. Cooper stepping off the right peg, Australia on the rumble in Cardiff...

41 mins - Wal 6-7 Aus Cooper with the kick-off in Cardiff, they're back under way... Cooper with a sweet kick to touch, Wales with a line-out on their own 22...

HALF-TIME Eng 3-17 NZ Foden flies into the line on the right flank and is wrapped up. Sheridan on the trundle, it goes right again, Foden darts - but is held up and that's half-time. New Zealand's half, although there were signs that England were getting back into the game towards the end...

39 mins - Eng 3-17 NZ Nice build-up play from England but that's not great from Tindall, whose handling skills are rather being shown up by the All Blacks today - a rather nervy, poky little pass outside and the threat is extinguished.

37 mins - Eng 3-17 NZ England win a penalty from the scrum and Flood should have that on toast from almost flush in front - he doesn't, however, and that's a let-off, and the All Blacks don't do let-offs...

HALF-TIME Wal 6-7 Aus Jones kicks to touch to signal the end of the first-half in Cardiff - Wales dominating up-front but it's Australia with the slight cutting edge. If Jones had brought his kicking boots, the hosts would have been ahead.

39 mins - Wal 6-7 Aus Stephen Jones has now missed two out of four in Cardiff - penalty for a high tackle from Quade Cooper on Shane Williams, very makeable, and that would have given the hosts the lead at half-time.

33 mins - Eng 3-17 NZ Bit of handbags between the bloodied Moody and McCaw... England line-out five metres out and Tom Croft owns the throw...

36 mins - Wal 6-7 Aus O'Connor misses a penalty in Cardiff after a high tackle from Shanklin on Genia... Aussies looking dangerous every time their backs get their hands on it. Disallowed try for Australia - Genia double-movement and Wales clear...

32 mins - PEN Eng 3-17 NZ Sustained attack from England, a couple of sniping runs, but they couldn't breach the All Blacks defence - that should have gone right to Flood, who was in acres. New Zealand come back at them and Carter is handed another penalty attempt as England go off-side... it bobbles in the air but just ducks inside the right-hand upright.

31 mins - PEN Wal 6-7 Aus Wales win a penalty as Chisholm pulls the arm of Alun Wyn Jones at the line-out and this time Stephen Jones makes no mistake, striking it over from the 10m line...

27 mins - Eng 3-14 NZ Penalty for England at the scrum as New Zealand collapse it. Sheridan and Cole look to have the edge in that department...

25 mins - PEN Eng 3-14 NZ Boos all round at Twickenham as Foden is pincered by New Zealand props Franks and Woodcock - penalty, although I'm not sure anything was wrong with that. England win a penalty for off-side and Flood makes no mistake - England, having spent the first 25 minutes teetering on the cliff-face, finally have a foot-hold in the game.

25 mins - Wal 3-7 Aus Wales on the attack but that's a turnover courtesy of the irrepressible Pocock... penalty to Australia after Warburton flies in from the side, Cooper kicks for territory...

21 mins - TRY Eng 0-14 NZ It's Carter now waltzing through a non-existent England midfield - not sure what's happening there, although it was nice work from Nonu - and once again Ashton is called into last-ditch action in defence. Another All Blacks try, this time Kieran Read picking up from the back of a ruck and burrowing over. Cracking body position, but it's men against boys at the moment. Carter buries the conversion, England being monstered...

18 mins - TRY Eng 0-7 NZ Sonny Bill Williams slices through midfield, sucks in two defenders, offloads to Kaino, who slings it wide to Gear - it's Gear against Ashton, Ashton puts the tackle in, but the man upstairs decides - after several minutes - that Gear's left foot wasn't in touch... Carter bangs over the extras...

19 mins - Wal 3-7 Aus ... Jones misses that gilt-edged penalty chance in Cardiff, back to Twickenham for a possible New Zealand try...


18 mins - Wal 3-7 Aus Big trouble at scrum time for the Wallabies in Cardiff and the hosts win a penalty as the Australian scrum is driven back 10 yards...

15 mins - Eng 0-0 NZ Quick tap from Youngs, Easter and Ashton make ground, but eventually Foden is bundled into touch. All very nice, but you could argue Flood should have kicked for goal...

15 mins - Wal 3-7 Aus Wales attack inside the Aussie 22 but Warburton gets isolated and is penalised for hanging on to the ball. Fifteen phases before that infringement...

12 mins - Eng 0-0 NZ Poor throw from Steve Thompson at the line-out, not straight and the All Blacks win the scrum. Sonny Bill with ball in hand and every time the All Black backs get their hands on the ball they make at least 10 yards. England too narrow and every time the visitors swing it wide England defenders are clutching at thin air...

12 mins - Wal 3-7 Aus Wales win a penalty from the first scrum of the afternoon in Cardiff, the Aussies deemed to have collapsed it. Jones bangs into touch on the halfway line...

9 mins - Eng 0-0 NZ The All Blacks win a penalty - they're wearing out that left wing, Rokocoko this time, taunting the England defence with ball in one hand, making ground. England win the ball back but they're pinged for hanging on to it - All Blacks penalty from the left touchline... Carter pulls it...

7 mins - Eng 0-0 NZ Back at Twickenham we've just seen another break from Gear down the left flank and it was Chris Ashton of Northampton who managed to get back and scrag him. England being sucked in, allowing the All Blacks space on the wings...

7 mins - TRY Wales 3-7 Australia A wave of attacks from the Aussies but Wales turn them over inside their own 22. The Wallabies win it back, however, and full-back Beale is held up just short... the defiance doesn't last long as Pocock burrows over for the first try of the match. O'Connor pings over the extras from bang in front...

3 mins - England 0-0 NZ Carter got the game under way at Twickenham. Scrum-half Mathewson with the half-break before Nonu slides outside Tindall and offloads to Muliaina, but the full-back has a foot in touch.

2 mins - PEN Wales 3-0 Australia Wales have a penalty as hooker Faingaa is caught off-side - Stephen Jones slots it.

1433: A mere 55,000 in the Millennium Stadium, which is about 18,000 down on capacity. Still plenty of revs on the home anthem. Here's the haka - drowned out by Swing Low, which I like... Wales have kicked off...

1429: Anthems under way in Cardiff and London, we'll have play in a few minutes...

1428: Right, I will be watching England v New Zealand while other people will be shouting at me Wales-Australia-wise. It might get complicated... the All Blacks are out, here come England. "Let's enjoy it boys," says Lewis Moody in the tunnel. Mike Tindall's response was inaudible.

Phil Vickery on Courtney Lawes: "He's still a baby. When he grows into that frame he's going to be an absolute monster."

1423: Gabby Logan: "Can you see Gavin Henson in a Wales shirt in the Six Nations?" Jonathan Davies: "I'd like to see Gavin Henson in a shirt..."

1420: Ben Youngs could be key for England today - he was like a Swiss Army Knife against Australia in Sydney, with a variety of methods of opening up the opposition defence. Jeremy Guscott reckons the line-out could be key today, with Leicester's Tom Croft a potential safe-cracker.

1417: Interested in seeing Australia skipper Rocky Elsom in action today, he's up against Sam Warburton of Cardiff Blues in the Welsh back-row, and the former school-mate of Spurs superstar Gareth Bale also has the task of keeping the inspirational David Pocock in check. Elsom and Pocock have started all 11 Australia Tests this year.

1411: There seems to be this perception that England's win over Australia in the summer was a watershed for Martin Johnson's team, but surely that is only the case if they can follow it up with some decent performances this autumn. It's going to be tough: the All Blacks have won 15 of their last 16 Tests and haven't lost an autumn international in Europe since 2002, when they went down 31-28 at Twickenham. That constitutes a winning streak of 20 matches...

1403: To be fair, Wales' recent record against the Wallabies isn't too shabby: they won in Cardiff in 2008, drew in 2006 and won again in 2005. A try from Shane Williams today would give him the Welsh try-scoring record against Australia - he currently shares the record of four with Gerald Davies. Williams v the 20-year-old James O'Connor could be a great little battle within the battle.

1359: Wales have played Australia on 29 occasions with the Wallabies leading 18-10, with one draw. However, the Aussies have won 13 of the last 16 matches, while the score in Cardiff is 8-10 to Australia with one draw - and Australia have won eight of their last 11 in Wales. In short, Wales haven't had a great deal of success since those glory, glory days of Edwards, JPR and Co.

1355: Ticket problems at the Millennium Stadium: only 53,000 sold before today, meaning there were 20,000 up for grabs. So if you're in Cardiff you might want to try your luck. Meanwhile, over in Dublin, there is the real prospect that Ireland's first match at the new Lansdowne Road (against South Africa, kicking off at 1730 GMT) could be watched by a less-than-capacity crowd: the Irish public might like the idea of a shiny new stadium, but it seems they're not going to pay through the nose for the privilege of sitting in it, and more power to them in these murky economic times.

BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "I'm saying All Blacks by eight (after decent ding-dong), Wallabies by 15 (Wales touch undercooked), Saffas by five (in BOD we trust)."

1350: England have played New Zealand 33 times and have won only six matches, with the All Blacks winning the last eight and 13 of the last 16, starting with the 'Jonah Lomu' World Cup semi-final in 1995, when Lomu scored four tries and England were smashed 45-29.

1347: England v New Zealand kicks off at 1430 GMT, at the same time as Wales start their game against Australia. The Wallabies are coming off the back of a stirring victory over the All Blacks last week and the Welsh boys are going to have their work cut out: tackling a backline which includes Quade Cooper, Matt Giteau and James O'Connor is going to be like herding sharks. And remember, Wales are missing backs Lee Byrne, Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies. Make that hammer head sharks.

1340: Afternoon all. Excited? You should be, if only at the prospect of seeing the beast that is Sonny Bill Williams make his All Blacks debut against England at Twickenham. Martin Johnson's side turned a corner in Sydney in the summer - or did they? Today we'll find out just how far they've come since some truly undigestible Six Nations displays earlier this year.



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see also
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Line-out ace Croft can rule skies
05 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Eager England set for All Blacks
05 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England warned of Williams threat
05 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-26 New Zealand
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Gatland faith in Jones leadership
05 Nov 10 |  Welsh
Wales 16-25 Australia
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Tickets unsold for autumn games
05 Nov 10 |  Welsh
De Villiers fit to face Ireland
05 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 21-23 South Africa
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union


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