Rugby Championship News

Latham provides Wallabies’ silver lining



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They may have lost the match in Auckland, but there was plenty to smile about for Australia on Saturday.

For one, they showed that their win at home over the All Blacks was no fluke, pushing their illustrious rivals all the way with a good performance.

For another, one of their leading lights made a successful return from injury, some two months earlier than had been anticipated last January.

Chris Latham was not on his best form, but in your first match back from a knee reconstruction all you want to do is survive, and Latham did just that, giving just glimpses of the running and kicking that have made him the world’s number one full-back in many people’s eyes.

Unsurprisingly underdone over his 37 minutes, he still took high balls, beat tacklers and produced some trademark booming torpedo kicks.

He also believed he stopped the one try scored in the match, but the TMO had other ideas, awarding Tony Woodcock the try.

“I thought it was great to see Latho back and in particular he did a couple of his Latho-esque jinking runs and unleashed his magnificent left hoof as well,” said Stirling Mortlock to the AAP.

“He’s a world-class player and for a guy of his calibre who was obviously a little bit underdone he still had some good impact on the game.

“I have no doubt with another four or five weeks under his belt he’ll be chomping at the bit come World Cup time.”

Another pleasing aspect for the Wallabies is the injury-free physio report, meaning they have pretty much every player available for France.
365 Digital

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