Internationals 2012: Year in Pictures
No matter where your allegances lie, it would be difficult not to acknowledge the stunning victory of England over the All Blacks as the highlight of the international year.
- THE YEAR IN PICTURES
While it must be said it was an average year by international standards, the consistency and potency of the All Blacks that continued their unbeaten run through the international season was more than just an average concern for every rugby fan across the globe.
But England’s demolition, coming at the end of the season, has given the rugby world renewed vigour and muted talk about global domination – at least for now.
While 2012 will not be remembered for being a year of classics, there were those moments. Other than the Twickenham smash, Scotland’s mud and fog victory over Australia reminded us the folly of scheduling two tests in one week and dealt a body blow to those who continue to sandwich more fixtures into an already congested season.
Argentina’s entry into the Rugby Championship, and their narrow losses in New Zealand and Australia, reminded us all they were a force, especially after their draw in Mendoza with the Springboks. It was a lowlight for Heyneke Meyer, but for Los Pumas, there was everything to be proud of.
Ireland got smashed in New Zealand but for one fleeting test showed the All Blacks are vulnerable there. The Boks got close too in Dunedin and could have, should have won if they had a kicker. But for the most part the Southern Hemisphere continued its domination over the Northern Hemisphere on the international front.
England may be riding the wave of the win over the All Blacks, but the reality is that against a battered Bok side with many injuries, they could only draw one in four contests.
On the Sevens front New Zealand continued to dominate, but the Blitzbokke fell off the pace and had one of their worst seasons ever, underlining the fact that without Super Rugby quality players, the task of world domination will always be a harrowing one.
In both formats of the game, the All Blacks continue to be the team to beat, but there were enough cracks to give hope that they are beatable. They end the year at number one, but not as confident as they would had Twickenham not renewed hope for the rest of the globe.
To review the Springboks' year in pictures, click on the link below (web and mobi only):
- CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR IN PICTURES - INTERNATIONALS 2012