The Australia Wallabies ended the New Zealand All Blacks’ world record run of 17 consecutive wins with a 12-12 draw at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.  It was the first match of the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup.

New Zealand made the most of their opportunities in the first half and went to the break with a 9-3 advantage.  The Wallabies, however, started to show signs of life and a more consistent attack late in the half and this continued at the start of the second period.

Australia fought back to tie the match at 9-9 before the two sides traded penalties to take the score to 12-12 and despite their best efforts and the urging of the home fans the game ended deadlocked.

Kurtley Beale kicked the 4 penalties for Australia while Aaron Cruden matched those for New Zealand.

In horrible conditions, heavy rain and hail, South Africa opened their Rugby Championship campaign with a 13-6 win over Pumas at Loftus Road.  Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar scored the game’s only try in the first half and with poor conditions both teams had difficulty building a consistent attack.

England defeated first-time finalist Canada 21-9 to claim the Women’s Rugby World Cup at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris on Sunday. The teams played to a 13-13 draw in the group stage but England’s experience showed in the final.

The match was open from the opening kick with both teams committed to playing a running style.  England built an 11-0 lead before Canada hit a penalty to end the half.  Canada used that momentum to their advantage in the second half cutting the lead to 11-9 but England responded and ran away with the title late.

“So many great legends that have gone before us haven’t won (a World Cup) in an England shirt and that was for all of them that were here today and for all of the England rugby family,” England captain Katy Mclean said after the match.

Canada’s wing Magali Harvey was named the IRB Women’s Player of the Year following the loss.

The host nation, France, took third place with a 25-18 win over Ireland, New Zealand capped off their far-from-memorable tournament with a 55-5 pounding of the U.S.A. for 5th place, Australia defeated Wales 30-3 for 7th place, Spain was a 36-0 winner over South Africa for 9th place, and Samoa downed Kazakhstan 31-0 for 11th place.

Buenos Aires clinched the World Club 7’s title with a 26-22 win over Auckland, who had to settle for second place for the 2nd year in a row.

Cardiff Blues defeated the Blue Bulls 28-12 to win the Plate.  New York had the best finish for a U.S. side claiming 7th place by beating RC Enisei 34-7.  The Big Apple side lost to the Blue Bulls in the Plate semifinal.  Seattle, brought home the Shield with a 28-14 win over Harlequins.