Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere is still a thing, and November is when this global rugby rears its head most obviously.
Sure, the NH teams go south in June, but maybe because those games are spread out over so many different time zones, the juxtaposition isn't quite the same. In November, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Argentina all play in Europe. Everyone can see everyone close up.
How's it going? Let's take a look at the Tier 1 cross-equator games of 2018:
Wins and Losses
Having just said November is a bigger deal for this rivalry than June, we're still going to compare June with November. Here goes:
In June, Southern Hemisphere teams played 13 games against Northern Hemisphere opponents (all but one hosted by SH teams, with South Africa vs Wales in Washington DC). Final tally: NH 7 wins, SH 6.
So far in November, it's even, 3-3.
Closer Than That
That seems about right. In June, Argentina losing all three matches dragged down the Southern Hemisphere record, but it's worth noting that of the 19 games we're looking at, seven were decided by a try or less, including three games just this past weekend.
So bragging rights are still up for grabs ... or maybe the question is settled. It's kind of even, now, with the All Blacks and Ireland battling for supremacy, and the likes of South Africa and France and England almost there.
This week, it's still all on. as more countries want to make a statement for their style of play.
LIVE on FloRugby
Scotland vs South Africa
South Africa has won on the last play (over France and lost on the last play. Scotland, meanwhile, warmed up quite nicely against Fiji, but is yet to play a Tier 1 SH nation. That changes this weekend, and we've got Scotland vs Argentina live on FloRugby a week later.
France vs Argentina
Harken back to 2007 when the Rugby World Cup opened at Stade de France and Argentina shocked the hosts. Could this be the same thing? France could be close to hitting its stride, while the Pumas have knocked off top teams already this year.