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Bryan Habana’s three talking points from the Autumn Nations Series

Bryan Habana’s three talking points from the Autumn Nations Series

Bryan Habana’s three talking points from the Autumn Nations Series

The dust has settled over the Autumn Nations Series, which provided much entertainment in front of fully packed stadiums as the best sides from the north clashed with the best from the south for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Week four saw plenty of dramatic action, as France overcame New Zealand for the first time since 2009, England avenged their World Cup final defeat at Twickenham against the Springboks and Wales edged Australia in a thrilling Saturday of rugby.

It was the perfect end to a sensational month of top quality rugby and the former South African World Cup winning winger Bryan Habana certainly enjoyed it.

Here are his three talking points:

1. Northern hemisphere dominance

All six European sides were victorious over a weekend for the first time in rugby history, as Scotland overcame Japan, Italy ended their drought with a win over Uruguay and Ireland eased to a win over Argentina as well as the France, England and Wales wins.

But whilst it was a great weekend for the northern hemisphere, it certainly was not for the southern hemisphere, as they saw their top three sides all perish on the same day for the first time since 2002.

England's Raffi Quirke scores a try

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Habana saw it as the gap between the international sides narrowing, as his excitement grew for the Six Nations.

He said: “A clean sweep across the weekend, and a sign of an increasingly competitive international window in my personal opinion.

“I think the Six Nations has all of a sudden just got that much more exciting, intense and exhilarating.

“France and England are saying, we’re here to stay, but Ireland are saying don’t count us out and Scotland, with their captain Stuart Hogg breaking the all-time Scotland try scoring record, are not to be forgotten. I think it sets up the Six Nations just beautifully. “

2. Makazole Mapimpi

 Despite the Springboks 27-26 defeat at Twickenham, there was one Springbok who impressed Habana.

Fellow winger and try machine Makazole Mapimpi scored once again against England, as his incredible run of try scoring continued.

Makazole Mapimpi scores a try

Mapimpi scored his 20th Test try in just 25 caps, beating Habana’s previous record of 27 Tests.

“Over at Twickenham, a phenomenal player, who was the first Springbok to score a try in the Rugby World Cup final (I don’t know what that says about me) – Makazole Mapimpi became the fastest Springbok to 20 Test tries in only 25 Tests!” Said Habana.

“How good has he been for the Springboks side, a deadly finisher when he sniffs the try line and ranking up against some of the best wingers in World Rugby – Makazole Mapimpi has put his hand up”

3. Player of the Autumn Nations Series

 Habana also picked out his top performers from the Autumn Nations Series, with three players in particular catching his eye.

“Three players that really pop to mind for me are Antoine Dupont, Eben Etzebeth and Caelan Doris.” Said the 38-year-old.

“Eben showed why he has 97 caps and he is one of the best to have ever played the game and worn that number four jersey.

Eben Etzebeth Player of the Series

“Caelan Doris was the inspiration and the spark that Ireland needed to make sure that they levelled the opposition across the Autumn Nations Series.

“But for me Antoine Dupont was the reason that we saw this French side go from strength to strength, a cornerstone of everything that they did well, exuberance, physicality, pace, burst of skill, it was just phenomenal and he lit the engine that saw the French go on to win three in a row.”








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