Rugby World Cup!

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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 17 Sep 2011, 03:11

Massive loss for Australia to Ireland.

Always on the card at some point in the tournament. England have twice shown in the last 18 months that it is possible to bully Australia up front, and that is exactly what Ireland did. Granted, Australia were missing a few key men, most notably Stephen Moore up front, who would have solidified the lineout it nothing else; Polota-Nau had a really poor game. Ioane and Pocock were missed as well, but the fact is that you can't hope to win consistently at international level without a solid set piece, or strength in depth in the front five.

In the wider context, it means that we are almost guaranteed a Northern Hemisphere team in both semi finals, with two of the quarters being France vs England and Wales vs Ireland, providing everything else goes as expected.

Edit: correction, I misread the draw, providing all goes as expected, we will have an all-northern hemisphere semi-final and, providing Scotland don't so something unexpected, an all-southern hemisphere semi-final .

Ireland could be a surprise Semi-finalist if they keep going the way they are going. They'll need to keep key players like O'Driscoll and D'Arcy fit though.

Also, if we're talking facial hair, Australia have some interesting additions.

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TPN

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Ben McCalman

I couldn't find a picture of Ben Alexander's notable contribution.

but the porno mustaches are the best

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Kurtley Beale

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Pat McCabe

they even have a player who probably can't even grow a beard

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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby WBAGNR » 18 Sep 2011, 01:40

Canada giving a good account of themselves against France.

22-16 to France
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 18 Sep 2011, 02:50

Final score 46 to 19.

Sad to see France get those couple late tries.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby aeric90 » 18 Sep 2011, 07:38

That was really disappointing to watch the Canadians collapse late in the 2nd half. I'm really proud of what they accomplished for 60 minutes but the game is 80 and those tries were embarrassing. Missed tackles and an overlap so big a garbage truck could have scored that try. Part of me blames the way they schedule the tier 2 games though. France had the luxury of benching their best and had a whole week off when Canada has to come back with the same team 4 days after playing Tonga.

There's another thing I wanted to start a discussion here cause it's going on on Facebook with some of my rugby palls. The put-ins in scrums at this level are all pretty much straight into the 2nd row, in clear violation of the law however it is rarely if ever called. Someone noted that it was called once during this RWC so far and the announcers and players were sort of baffled. In my mind it's a degradation of the sport since there really is no skill contest to the scrums besides the sheer strength, and despite the refs claims that it reduces reset scrums, I think it causes more collapses as Props are more concerned with keeping their feet out of the way then holding up the scrum and hooker (who is essentially now a slightly smaller prop). Wondered what you guys think.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby I X » 18 Sep 2011, 10:18

Ireland is a cool place to live sometimes.

That is all.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 18 Sep 2011, 13:19

@aeric the feed into the scrum has not been straight for as long as I've been playing and watching the game. It's a great shame that the ball is not really competed for at the hook. That being said, the Ireland game shows that power at the scrum is still a legitimate way of disrupting opposition set piece ball.

There is certainly one ref who has been penalising it about once a game, but he's fighting a one man battle at the moment.

As for Canada fading away in the last 20. I don't know the state of Canadian Rugby and how many of the players are full-time professionals, but I can tell you that every single player in the french squad plays rugby for a living. They are incredible athletes who play 80 minutes week in, week out. The Canadian players probably don't have the time to put into getting their fitness levels up that little bit more to last the full 80 against such strong opposition, especially if they've been defending for most of the game, which is much harder than attacking. It's a fact of professionalism that weaker sides are bound to fade as the game goes on. You have played enough rugby to know that games tend to get less structured and less coherent towards the close, as players on both teams begin to flag. With a team as incisive and with as much flair as France, I think a few late scoredsare inevitable. It shouldn't detract from a decent Canadian performance too much.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 18 Sep 2011, 14:46

Another difference between France and Canada is that the French play more high level tests each year. Canada played England A, Uruguay and France A last year. France played England, Italy, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Argentina twice, Fiji and South Africa in the same year.

There is no professional league in Canada. Only 9 players on the 30 man world cup squad play for overseas clubs.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 19 Sep 2011, 01:32

thanks Chrusher, I didn't know the exact facts.

I think, given those stats, it's easy to understand why the Canadians can't compete with France for the full 80 minutes.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby rustak » 19 Sep 2011, 15:13

iamafish wrote:thanks Chrusher, I didn't know the exact facts.

I think, given those stats, it's easy to understand why the Canadians can't compete with France for the full 80 minutes.


Yeah, it's just frustrating to see them compete extremely well for the first 60-70min (though the 3 missed penalty kicks were... less than ideal, as were the penalties they gave away), and then collapse right at the end. Still, it was a great showing; it wouldn't have taken a lot for that to be a Canada win, but as in a lot of things it's that last 10% that takes the most effort.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby LackingSanity » 20 Sep 2011, 01:12

At least they get a nice long break now before playing Japan. Hopefully they'll take that one, but it's hard to judge without having seen Japan play Tonga yet.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 20 Sep 2011, 06:17

more beards on show from Italy

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our old friend, Martin Castrogiovanni

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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby aeric90 » 20 Sep 2011, 08:23

LackingSanity wrote:...it's hard to judge without having seen Japan play Tonga yet.


That wouldn't necessarily be indicitive. Tonga's coaches are unlikley to make the mistake of substituting as many players as they did for the Canada game now that they're running the risk of not making 3rd place in the pool.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby WBAGNR » 20 Sep 2011, 15:44

Just noticed Canada have moved up from 14th to 11th in the World Rankings. Well done guys!
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 20 Sep 2011, 18:20

Only the Tri Nations, Six Nations and Argentina ranked above us! I guess this will change over the next couple weeks though as the rest of the pool games are played.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby LackingSanity » 23 Sep 2011, 00:11

Well, we are only 0.14 points behind Italy, ranking wise, so if Italy does poorly in their upcoming games, we could conceivably make it up into the top 10, which would be pretty neat.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Dempsas » 23 Sep 2011, 00:51

Tomorrow I go to England v Romania, I too live in Dunedin but I have been watching the rugby allot latley, Im not usually the biggest fan. GO THE ALL BLACKS! Awesome to have the world here in our backyard. Please dont get sick of the Haka, We do like to welcome/challenge visitors.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 23 Sep 2011, 01:09

I went to the South Africa Namibia game last night. It was likely one of the most lopsided games of tournament with South Africa winning 87 - 0. A lot of Springboks fans there - South Africans have cool accents.

I think the All Blacks would have to play every night for us to get sick of the Haka.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Elomin Sha » 23 Sep 2011, 02:33

How can you get sick of the Haka?
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 23 Sep 2011, 02:45

The Haka is awesome.

shame the USA couldn't provide more resistance against Australia. When given a platform, those backs just run riot. I would have liked to have seen the full USA team, rather than something of a reserve team because they were resting players for their next game against Italy. Still, pretty brave performance, especially in the first half.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 24 Sep 2011, 02:48

England showed good form defeating Romania 67 - 3. At least is was more even than the last time the two played - England won 134 to 0.

New Zealand should be happy as they defeated France 37 - 17. Unfortunately there were a lot of All Blacks injuries in the final minutes but they have plenty of time to recover before facing Canada next Sunday.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 24 Sep 2011, 03:24

all blacks looked like world cup winners today. Hard to see them losing, but then again, you can bet that teams will lift their games for the knockout stages, Northern Hemisphere teams especially. I can tell you now that the game this morning would have been a hell of a lot closer if it had been a QF.

Northern Hemisphere rugby is all about the knockout stages or relegation battles, so players are really good at lifting their games. In Super Rugby, there's far fewer do-or-die games, so Southern Hesiphere players aren't as good at them.

that being said, this all black team looks very clinical. I can't see them not getting to the final.

England played pretty well this morning. Their campaign is starting to gain some momentum and they're looking like Six Nations champions. The test will be next week against Scotland, but if they keep improving then watch out, because they could be dark horses. France in the QF will be tough, but I think they can win that one, they have done in the past at World Cups.

As for other teams at this stage, South Africa are starting to look really good as well. I didn't think they had much of a chance at the start of the tournament, but they're played some really good rugby. They do have Australia and the All Black to beat, which will not be easy, but they could be dark horses as well.

Australia look like a spent force, peaking just before the world cup. They are still dangerous and could upset South Africa in the QF, but that loss to Ireland probably puts them on the wrong side of the draw to really made a serious bid for the final, especially with the long injury list.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby aeric90 » 26 Sep 2011, 11:09

Big game for Canada tonight against Japan. A win would all but guarantee them a qualifying spot in the 2015 World Cup (baring a severe upset in Tonga vs France). Hopefully that'll also mean some increased funding and interest in the rugby programs in this country.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby aeric90 » 27 Sep 2011, 06:07

A TIE!? AGAIN?! Ties are so rare in this sport and for Canada and Japan to tie in back to back World Cups is baffling. WTF? :P Oh well. At least that still puts Canada narrowly in 3rd. Yikes :P
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby Lord Chrusher » 27 Sep 2011, 14:01

We did not play well in the first half.

Now we have to hope that France beats Tonga so we hang on to third place in our pool.

What is going on in Pool B is a bit more interesting. Argentina beat Scotland 13 to 12 in a nail bitter so Scotland needs to beat England to advance while Argentina only needs to get past Georgia to advance.
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Re: Rugby World Cup!

Postby iamafish » 27 Sep 2011, 14:13

it's a bit disappointing that none of the tier 2 nations have managed any upsets apart from Argentina (and they're hardly tier 2). The only real surprise has been Ireland beating Australia. It means that who does and doesn't advance from each pool isn't really in doubt. The rest is just the smaller nations vying for position. The knockout stages promise to be really interesting.

I thought the USA played really well this morning against Italy. Shame they let in those two soft tries in the first half, otherwise it could have been a really interesting game. I've managed to see almost all of their matches and have been impressed with how they've played. I didn't managed to see any of Canada's games, but I've heard mostly good things from their games as well.
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