The RUGBY Thread
Onwards and upwards.
ABs picking a full strength side against the Pumas is same thing. Worry for them is that the Pumas will start wrecking the fragile kiwi first fives (fly half in old money) ;p
That Fijian wing is a monster and their scrum half had crazy pace when he got room to use it. Their defence was brilliant. But then, who wouldn't raise their game in an opening match against England at Twickenham.
The group remains a bitch. We aren't a sure fire qualifier, and nothing has changed about that tonight. But, five points on the board, and only two big games to go.
Looking forward to seeing if Wales can muster on Sunday...
Only saw the second half unfortunately but I should catch the first on replay later.
Thought it was a fun game from what I saw. A run against a side like Fiji who could put up some solid resistance but wouldn't tax the home team too much overall was probably just what England needed. I can easily see them picking up steam as the group phase rolls along and coming out of that group going into the quarters they'll be well battle-hardened.
Nadolo? You think he was a handful today, you should see him when he's not 10kg overweight from being out of the Crusaders camp for a few months.
Would be nice if he lost those 10 kilos in time for the next match! However, they only have a five day break before facing them, and I fear, therefore, that they might not offer quite the same test to Australia.
Yeah, we got the five points, so that's okay, but still sloppy. It was more just our fitness and our bench that got us through that game than any show of skill.
And good fucking lord do we really need to call on the TMO as often as they did in that game? I'm all for 'correct' decisions, but I'm also for a nice free flowing game. And arguing about the dodgy referee is half the fun anyway.
Still got to see it at Twickenham and my head is still pounding today, so good laugh. Nice to be howling out Jerusalem and Swing Low with 80,000 other fans. Fijian fans were good sports as well, they were getting mobbed outside the stadium, everyone was loving them.
And the main thing is we are through with the max points. We really need to beat Australia in the pool though to have any hope of a final shot and on that form, it isn't happening. England do a fair job of upping their game for the occasion though so maybe. Maybe.
Watching NZ vs Arg on Sunday at Wembley with the missus, my kiwi employee and her sister, so that should be a good giggle too. Seemed the best chance at a decent opportunity to watch the Kiwi's play properly as they clearly aren't going to take the Pumas lightly.
Yeah it got silly. There needs to be some balance (yes Matawalu lost it) but it seemed it like every decision needed pouring over.
Glad you were there, I read a lot of grumbling about the opening but itvmust have been electric.
Opening ceremonies are always a bit naff. No way it was going to be as slick as the Olympics, but it was a good laugh. Stadium erupted when Martin Johnson showed up.
You seeing any of the games Mike? I've got my Eng Wales tickets for next weekend and then I think I'm drawing the line there. Spent a lot of money on them this year, there comes a point where you think - It will be more comfortable at home on my HD telly and able to do beer and toilet without a queue... or the atmosphere will be just as good down the pub. :)
Edited by Mike's Pants - 9/19/15 at 12:01pm
The NZ betting agency are doing a "million dollar" bet. Costs nothing, but to win you have to get every correct winning result, and the correct margin. I imagine that result has cleared out 99% of the punters.
Anyone who was lunatic enough to predict that is going to not going to have sane choices for the rest of the games.
Georgia are pretty good for a Tier 2 nation. If Tblisi was more... inviting... I suspect they'd have found a place in the Six Nations by now. There was talk of it a few years back (like a relegation style system). And frankly, teams like Italy and Argentina only get better by getting to play the big boys regularly.
Incredible. Had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck seeing them refuse to believe they couldn't win.
If you saw that in a movie you'd laugh it off as contrived drama.
Jesus South Africa. First all the selection "issues" leading into the tournament, now this. I'm trying not to fall prey to knee jerk reactions and trust Meyer, Matfield and Berger to right the ship...but that's a tough loss to get over. All that being said, god bless Japan for giving two fingers to every hack who thinks this tournament should just be Tri-nations v. Six nations.
Next up - USA vs Samoa. Another upset on the cards? I went to watch Samoa play my club Wasps in a warm-up and they weren't particularly impressive, although every single player was markedly bigger than their Wasps equivalent! Hopefully they were just blowing out the cobwebs and today's game will be exciting stuff.
I usually like to see the underdog do well, but it's Argentina... So screw them. Plus I'm seeing it with kiwis so guess I'm on their side.
A great first weekend. A few personal thoughts:
1. I like the TMO and don't mind it's added intrusion. They need to sort out process for tries and penalties but overall I would rather than an interruption in dead play than an unfair try or decision down to human error. Human error in official decision making isn't a feature, it's a bug.
2. Great defensive preparation by the lesser teams is really opening up the early stages of the tournament. The overall fitness levels of the top teams is still a factor, though.
3. The big test playing teams may need to revisit their tournament preparation paradigm. It's a common trope that you want to hit your stride in the knockout stages, and that works when you can regard your group games as lesser challenges. If the development by the smaller teams remains on track, all teams will need to make sure they are on it from the off, and then the challenge becomes maintaining and building on form, rather than crescendoing later.
Overall though, I'm enjoying this World Cup much more than previous tournaments (bar forever the RWC 2003 final). Nice to see Jonny and Clive on the telly. The higher quality of group games has also meant that I haven't had to bank on individual matches for my two boys to get some exposure to how exciting the game can be.
Roll on this week.
Things can only get better from here on in for the Springboks, at least until we get knocked out. :(
Was disappointed that the Argies couldn't sustain their effort for 80 minutes, or is it that the ABs always just play too darn well to lose....
Really enjoy the smaller contests, e.g. Georgia vs. Tonga, as opposed to the one sided games so far (excepting SA vs. Japan).
A close game for ~60min before the ABs pull away is a familiar pattern against teams who sit around the 5-10 range in the rankings. There are no guarantees though, the gaps are closing.
You have my condolences.
Namibia v New Zealand next.
Watch out for Jacques Burger, the Namibian no. 6. He'll be one of the best players on the pitch even though New Zealand will probably win by 70 points. Apparently he once headbutted a lion for attacking his sister's baboon.
He basically tackles everything with his face:
"My wife thinks I'm good looking." - Jacques Burger - Sep 2011
Lots of nervous posts on my Facebook feed. I dont think Wales have a hope but it should be dramatic.