Patrick McKendry runs through the winners and losers from the recent Rugby World Cup clashes.

Back of the week: Jordan Petaia (Wallabies)

The highly-rated 19-year-old outside back had a debut to remember for the Wallabies against Uruguay. The Queenslander has attracted a fair bit of hype but it appears to be justified; he scored a try and set one up for Tevita Kuridrani as Australia subdued a Uruguay side who played with good intent and ambition. Boks wing Cheslin Kolbe also deserves a mention.

Forward of the week: Sam Underhill (England)


The 23-year-old flanker was adjudged the man of the match against Argentina and handed a defence lesson to the Pumas and everyone else at this tournament. You don't need to tackle high to kill an opposition's offloading game. Underhill is big for a traditional No 7 but he has pace and bit about him. Props too to Atu Moli for his 80-minute shift for the All Blacks against Canada.

Dropkick of the week: Tomas Lavinini (Argentina)

Lavinini's high tackle on Owen Farrell for which he received a red card wasn't too different to Piers Francis' high shot on a USA player, for which the Englishman was cited and let off – a curious inconsistency.

Regardless, the Pumas lock has form and presumably knows the rules. The Argentina v England game, only 17 minutes old when he made the tackle, was effectively over when he did it.

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Beers with Canada

The invitation to visit the All Black changing room after the test in Oita was apparently extended twice – once by coach Steve Hansen and then by skipper Kieran Read. Canada needed only one.

Peter Nelson of Canada and Angus Ta'avao of New Zealand pose for a photo in the New Zealand dressing room. Photo / Getty
Peter Nelson of Canada and Angus Ta'avao of New Zealand pose for a photo in the New Zealand dressing room. Photo / Getty

A tradition remains intact.

Argentina fans


The songs began as they climbed the steps out of Tobitakyu Station and they were loud, passionate, and incredibly restrained given their side's frustrating performance against England at Tokyo Stadium. The Pumas fans must be among the best and most loyal in the world.

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Massively disappointing. It was game over against England as soon as they lost lock Tomas Lavanini but the Pumas lacked ideas on attack and were shocking defensively at times. It's difficult to believe given how well the Jaguares played in Super Rugby this year. The biggest flops of the tournament.

Manu Samoa

Nearly as bad were Manu Samoa, who gave up a bonus point try to Japan five minutes after the final gong after winning a free kick on their line and then giving up one of their own with a crooked feed to the scrum. Much more was expected of them at this tournament given their giant-killing history at World Cups.