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Irish B team turns tables on Maori All Blacks, Springboks make 11 changes for Wales decider, Cheika’s injury crisis


Winger Jordan Larmour scored two tries as Ireland’s midweek side backed up the Test team with a breakthrough of their own on Tuesday, beating the Maori All Blacks for the first time with a 30-24 victory in the final tour match in Wellington.

Three days after the Test side earned a first victory over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil, the second stringers rebounded from a 32-17 defeat two weeks ago for a maiden win in their fourth clash with the Maori.

Flanker Nick Timoney and No.8 Gavin Coombes also crossed and flyhalf Ciaran Frawley contributed 10 points with the boot as the tourists largely contained the free-running Maori in a highly disciplined performance.

The Maori opened the scoring through Shaun Stevenson in the third minute and were awarded a penalty try just after half-time when Connor Garden-Bachop was tackled early.

ordan Larmour of Ireland, left, is congratulated by teammates Cian Prendergast, centre, and Keith Earls after scoring his second and their side's fourth try during the match between the Maori All Blacks and Ireland at the Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Jordan Larmour of Ireland, left, is congratulated by teammates Cian Prendergast, centre, and Keith Earls. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The hosts scored the best try of the game 10 minutes from time when replacement back Ruben Love broke down the left flank and exchanged passes with Cullen Grace before touching down.

Another Love break in the closing seconds resulted in a try for replacement scrumhalf Brad Weber try but Larmour had already scored his second try two minutes from time to seal the victory.

The Test team take on the All Blacks on Saturday at the same Wellington Stadium, where victory would give them a 2-1 series win.

Boks make 11 changes

South Africa have returned to something resembling their first-choice selection for the series decider against Wales on Saturday, handing a 100th cap to lock Eben Etzebeth in Cape Town.

The Springboks have made 11 changes for the third Test, bringing back a number of Rugby World Cup winners after they were beaten 13-12 by the visitors in Bloemfontein at the weekend, a first ever home defeat by the Welsh.

That side had 14 changes from the first Test win as coach Jacques Nienaber tried to give his wider group of players a run, and he suggested afterwards it was the right call despite the defeat with one eye on their title defence at the World Cup in France next year.

Etzebeth will become the seventh Bok player to reach 100 caps as he forms a second row pairing with Lood de Jager. They will be behind props Trevor Nyakane and Frans Malherbe, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi.

The back row of the scrum sees captain Siya Kolisi return, with Pieter-Steph du Toit keeping his place and Jasper Wiese back in the mix.

Handre Pollard has been retained at flyhalf alongside rookie scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, who keeps Faf de Klerk on the bench.

Damian de Allende and Lukanyo Am make up the midfield pairing, with Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe on the wings, and Damian Willemse at fullback.

“We selected a team and player combinations that we think will be the best for this specific game,” Nienaber said in a media release from South African Rugby.

“We had an honest discussion with the players, telling them what we require from them this weekend and what we would like to see in terms of their performance and hopefully they can produce the goods and we can get the desired result.

“We have high standards as a team, and we would like to maintain that and build momentum with a challenging season lying ahead.”

The loss at the weekend meant the world champions slipped to No.3 in the latest rankings.

South Africa: Damian Willemse, Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi, Handre Pollard,  Jaden Hendrikse, Jasper Wiese, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt), Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith, Elrigh Louw, Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux.

Huge blow for Cheika

Argentina have lost five more players to injury ahead of their decisive Test against Scotland on Saturday, including captain Julian Montoya.

The home team already had to do without their first choice halfback pairing of Tomas Cubelli and Nicolas Sanchez after both tore muscles in the first Test win over the Scots in San Salvador de Jujuy on July 2.

Now they must do without Montoya, Santiago Cordero, Domingo Miotti and Felipe Ezcurra, all hurt in last Saturday’s 29-6 second Test loss in Salta.

Benjamin Urdapilleta is also out after failing to recover from a leg injury, the Argentine Rugby Union said on Tuesday.

Hooker Santiago Socino, prop Eduardo Bello, wing Mateo Carreras and the uncapped pair of Tomas Albornoz and Eliseo Morales have been added to the squad as cover for Saturday’s third Test at Santiago del Estero.

Albornoz is a flyhalf with Italian club Treviso while Morales, a scrumhalf, has just returned from Argentina’s B team tour to Europe.

A new captain will only be announced when the line-up for the third Test is decided on Thursday by coach Michael Cheika, the former Wallabies mentor. 





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