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  1. #1
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    Rugby World Cup 2011

    Hey all you rugger buggers

    World Cup kicked off in New Zealand over the last couple of days and the hosts showed they mean business by tearing Tonga apart 41-10. Not their sternest test of the tournament but they have laid down a marker.

    Not looking forward to this from an England perspective. Every tournament in every sport we seem to sail from triumph to tragedy, we never seem to be at ease with our play, and the showing against Argentina today was no different. Really made hard work of it, as did Scotland against Romania.

    England never looked confident on the ball and our normal get-out of Wilkinson's penalties didn't give us the boost we needed. No evidence of width, no control from our centres, hopeless kicking from all our backs and the forwards proved ineffective.

    The team won 13-9 but it was nervy, edgy and terrifyingly bad in places. Argentina bossed the game without really creating too much, and England escaped with a useful win. Room for improvement all round. Incentive to win the pool, second place is lined up to play New Zealand in the quarters. On this evidence, it'll be a massacre

    I see New Zealand as favourites, as they are every tournament, and Australia as well. If these two don't meet in the final, I think one of either South Africa (though they're defending champs, they're nowhere near where they were four years ago), France or England being in the final with the All Blacks come the end of October.

    Room for plenty of surprises along the way though

    Come on England!

    Quote Originally Posted by Crono View Post
    [...]pretty epic in terms of epicness

  2. #2
    With Ayaka Rasberry's Avatar
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    We are definately ready for a challenge, our experts are divided heart and head for who they go for, at this we see this tourney as 50/50, but as far as the bookies are concerned, it is more like Aus having a 1 in 9 chance.

  3. #3
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    couple of monsterings from the All Blacks so far, they've not had a real test yet but they've acquitted themselves well enough. Aussies? Wow, that loss against the Irish will really dent them... for a little while. I still reckon they'll advance from the pool, but can only see Ireland winning the pool now. South Africa and France haven't hit stride, so far as I've seen, but have pulled out wins (SA especially lucky to have won against Wales). England given a stern test by Georgia for the opening half. This has been a theme in many of the games I've seen, or seen highlights of. "Minnows" run a cracking game for a half and then wither away. If Rugby was played only over 40 minutes, this tournament would have thrown up some more interesting results

    Australia seem a bit dependent on one or two of their stars. Keep your best fit and you'll be right

  4. #4
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    It's amazing how well some of the second-tier rugby nations are performing. Argentina and Italy have both pulled out strong showings against higher-ranked opposition and have been good value for their wins against third-tier opponents like Romania and Russia (respectively).

    England beat Georgia 41-10, but there's still definite room for improvement. If we sit and wait for a breakthrough like we did against the Lelos when playing a team who've made it through their pools, let alone a power house like Oz, NZ or the French, then we're in for a world of hurt.

    Pool's secured though, I think. Just need to whip the Scots to be sure Hope we don't get too bruised against the Romanians...

  5. #5
    With Ayaka Rasberry's Avatar
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    Australia has a bad history in sport at times in chocking and lacking in some others, Read: multi cricket losses.

    If we get it together we can go far!

  6. #6
    Hinata-Sou Resident
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    Naah, that's just cos your cricket team's gone a bit shite, mate

  7. #7
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    things tend to go in cycles. I mean, look at England's cricket. Perenially crap, but top of the world at the minute. Australia are just occuying England's normal place in the pecking order.

    Things may look a bit bleak for you Oz folk, but the way I see it, I think you've got qualification, just remains to be seen where you finish your group. The other two qual hopefuls are playing each other this weekend... if Ireland win, you're through, if Italy scrape a narrow win, you're through. Just get the bonus point to be sure.

    England's hopes were give a big boost by thumping Romania, but our situation isn't quite sorted yet. We're in better shape though. We need to avoid a humiliation by Scotland and we'll be through, along with Argentina.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crono View Post
    [...]pretty epic in terms of epicness

  8. #8
    Hinata-Sou Resident
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    I might actually start watching the games if we get through to the knock-outs. I'm one of those fans.

  9. #9
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    you goit knockout rugby isn't interesting, its a slog! Group stages everything's more free-flowing and watchable. I tend to only watch knockout stages through my fingers

    Well...France were abject against Tonga but qualified, Wales crushed Fiji, Ireland made Italy seem like a walkover, and England laboured and made hard work of the Scots. That half of the draw looks tight.

    New Zealand's serene progress to the quarters wasn't going to be stopped by Canada, Aussies got dented for a few more points than anyone thought in their final game against Russia, Saffas were shaken playing a valiant Samoan side, and Argentina needed a point against Georgia and breezed it.

    Quarters shaping up to be intriguing, especially since the standout Kiwi Dan Carter is now expected to miss the rest of the tournament.

    A. New Zealand vs Argentina
    B. England vs France
    C. Ireland vs Wales
    D. South Africa vs Australia

    Semis are A vs D and B vs C. Pick the bones out of that lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Crono View Post
    [...]pretty epic in terms of epicness

  10. #10
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    well, well, well

    Sorry its been an age since I posted in this. England capitulated against France and never really established a foothold, so we're out of the tournament. Appears we're going through the motions familiar to any knockout tournament aftermath: blame-setting, self-loathing, kicking out the manager and getting in some major rebuilding work ahead of the next big competition. Dull, awful match.

    New Zealand made hard work of the Argies, looking like they were bossing the game but only kicking on when the Pumas tired around the hour mark. Then the Kiwis secured their win with two tries, but again, if there's an easy way and a hard way, in a World Cup New Zealand will never look for the easy way out.

    Oz scored a narrow win over the Boks. South Africa were clearly the dominant team and never made their superiority tell. 76% territory in the match and no victory? That might well be the mark of champions, winning when not playing anywhere near your best.

    but the story of the finals so far has got to be Wales. Ireland were on a real tear and they were crushed as the Welsh made their first semi-final since the inaugural 1987 Cup. The match was probably the pick of the quarters in my opinion. Whenever the Irish threatened, Wales seemed to have enough numbers and commitment to drive them back.

    Semi finals are:

    Wales vs France (tomorrow)
    Australia vs New Zealand (Sunday)

    Aussies with a better chance than I thought of making the final, if the pressure tells on the Kiwis? Wales seeming the best Northern hemisphere bet? New Zealand to finally deliver on the big stage? France going to raise their game and actually make an impact on the tournament?

    Who can tell? Whatever happens, I'll be watching it recorded, this weekend, but watching all the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crono View Post
    [...]pretty epic in terms of epicness

  11. #11
    Aniki is my King hinarei's Avatar
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    sorry its taken me an age to reply in this again. Not exactly at the forefront of rugby journalism, and if I was I would be booted

    France overcame Wales after the influential Welsh captain Sam Warburton was dismissed after only 18 minutes of the first semi final, following what was deemed to be a dangerous tackle on French wing Vincent Clerc. Facing an uphill battle for three quarters of the match, Wales did exceptionally well not to buckle, and France never really sought to press home their numerical advantage, in the end narrowly avoiding defeat. Wales pushed hard toward the end of the game and but for a few excruciating missed chances including a fluffed conversion of the only try of a lacklustre match. Had that gone over, they would have won by a point. As it was, France won 9-8. Not exactly good value for it, but the French reach another World Cup final. To play...?

    ...the winners of the second semi, of course This was most people's idea of the final before the tournament kicked off, I don't doubt. Australia versus New Zealand and a clear chance of bragging rights in Oceania. Would the Kiwis choke under enormous pressure once again, or would they finally show that the expansive, free-flowing running game played since the late 80's would bear fruit on the biggest stage for the first time since 1987. Australia had stuttered slightly in the tournament. Not to such a great extent as France, but hadn't steam-rollered all their opposition in the manner of past teams. NZ made all the running and looked simply unstoppable at times. Piri Weepu barely missed a kick, and Israel Dagg launched several lung-bursting runs and set up the only try of the game for Ma'a Nonu in the first few minutes. Australia fought hard but in the end were overpowered by New Zealand. On paper they had the edge up front and they duly smashed the Wallaby pack to reach their first World Cup final since 1995.

    Replay of the first RU World Cup final from 1987 then France versus New Zealand. Who's the favourite for this one, you think? The French with their dumbfounded coach and silly infighting, or the Kiwis with the whole nation's hopes resting on their shoulders?

    The tournament ends tomorrow morning (UK time). Been an intriguing, very interesting tournament in several ways

    Quote Originally Posted by Crono View Post
    [...]pretty epic in terms of epicness

 

 

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