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Saturday's autumn internationals

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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. A fierce physical challenge is guaranteed, but England should be confident of pulling away later on.

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. A few people, including our own Jonathan Davies, fancy Wales for this one.

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 Namibia 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 right here.

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?

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posted Nov 8, 2008

More than fair! Although Ireland have got a try just now.

1844: TRY Ireland 45-0 Canada<br />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.

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posted Nov 8, 2008

Nice pace from Boric to make up for his sin binning!

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posted Nov 8, 2008

I see that Australia scraped past Italy this afternoon. If only...


ÁCan you prestend that you've lost all contact with the outside world and just switch-off and go home? I mean, do something useful like watching grass grow or paint dry instead of watching this?

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posted Nov 8, 2008

Can someone please tell me why wayne barnes is an international referee? His performance today has to be up there with the shambles he delivered last year. Only difference being he is awarding penalties today (and a lot of them!)

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posted Nov 8, 2008

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<br />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.

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posted Nov 8, 2008

Phil, any idea what is going on with the video feed for Ireland?

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posted Nov 8, 2008

Absolute disaster for Scotland, outmuscled in every department and it doesn't get any easier with South Africa next Saturday

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posted Nov 8, 2008

dire match, fairly pointless altogether, okay score, but we're still not any good at beating bad teams. At least Scotland and italy lost.

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posted Nov 8, 2008

It's hard to avoid the feeling that the wooden spoon is heading to Scotland this season...

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posted Nov 9, 2008

Cricketing_stargazer,

If only I knew why you hated Australia so much...? But then I looked at your name and realised why, you're a cricket fan. <laugh>

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