The dust has settled on the historic series win for England, and the equally historic computer will now give its verdict on this an plenty other things besides
JP Pietersen – Ten years of international rugby experience distilled into a fetid, clueless liquid and poured back into a Springbok jersey to play like a lobotomised Dalmatian
Jules Plisson: France Captain – No, it’s not a joke. He is apparently the best man for the job in Guy Noves’ alternative reality.
Wales’ wider squad – “People have been knocking on my door asking to be selected” Warren said before the Chiefs game, and made it clear that this was the opportunity for these players to force their way into the test squad. Warren probably has a sign on his door now that says, “Don’t Bother! Piss Off!”
Australia’s Gameplan – England’s win was made all the sweeter due to the fact that, in many ways, the win was mostly the Wallabies’ fault. The England defence was heroic, of course, but the home team had plenty of ball, plenty of territory and plenty of time to win the game; what they didn’t have was an abundance of clear thinking or structure. Unless you count pointless running at the defence in an utterly predictable manner as structure.
New Zealand’s bench – Wales bravely fought in the test on Saturday, but if any of their players had glanced at the sidelines as the All Black subs warmed up then it would have taken all the fight out of them. “What is the point?” they would have said, because the NZ bench is like a cross between the Marvel Avengers and the Army Of The Dead, ready to smash, dance around and devour all they encounter. In contrast, the Wales bench was a bit like the burglars from Home Alone.
Chris Robshaw – Outstanding performance within an outstanding performance. He was shellacked from all angles after the World Cup and throughout it remained what he is: a decent human being and a hardworking and lest we forget very good player. Deserves every accolade coming his way
Kieran Read – For a little while Kieran Read hasn’t really been Kieran Read, but Kieran Read Lite. Kieran Read Lite was still one of the best eights in the world, but he wasn’t as good as Kieran Read. Kieran Read is back now.
Liam Williams – Played out of position and still looked the business, cutting lovely angles and making New Zealand miss tackles with that elasticated boomerang running style of his.
Ruan Combrinck – Doesn’t so much have an elastic running style, more an infuriated ram. And it works.