Rugby World Cup 2019 is up and running and already some cracking games. Heart says England, head says New Zealand.
England have a hard route, will have to beat NZ and SA. I think SA might be a threat.
Sad to read of Chester Williams death earlier this month.
Some interesting results so far.
I thought Russia's defence yesterday was very good for such an undeveloped team, and Japan didn't look as much of a threat as they did last rwc but job doen on a nervy day - hopefully they'll cut out the errors
Now for the biggest match of the weekend!
Great match unfolding now between Saffers and All Blacks
As a Wales supporter I'm worried. Hopefully Fiji tired themselves out!
Of the three matches today, all were good, but two were great.
When they are on form, as they were much of the game today, who would not want the Argentinian forwards?
The All Blacks v South Africa - it is early days but I think the rest have to rise to this standard.
All four matches have been entertaining enough so far but I'd like some deviation from the script; it all seems so predictable. How long will we have to wait for the first upset? Argentina came closest but Lopez made the right decision at the right time with his DG. I can't see anything unscripted happening tomorrow: Wins for Italy, Ireland, England. ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
I wonder what the odds were on that happening? The Ireland v Scotland game being the most closely matched?
England won’t have worried the stronger sides with that performance. Some great talent and good depth but not particularly cohesive or disciplined.
> Early days!
Perhaps. But, on several occasions, England failed to come away from the Tongan line with any reward to show for it. Compare that with Ireland, who were ruthlessly efficient every time they breached the Scots' 10m line. A tougher ask in theory. Although Scotland were very poor today.
Radical difference in game seriousness - and I saw the all blacks knock on a few balls in slimey conditions just like England did today.
The Slade/Daly butchering was bad though.
> Radical difference in game seriousness - and I saw the all blacks knock on a few balls in slimey conditions just like England did today.
Slimy conditions? England played under a closed roof!
And what was the RH?
Scotland were particularly poor. The only player who lived up to his usual standard was Stuart Hogg. Having said that Ireland were particularly efficient and a very different team to the one that was walloped by England a few weeks ago.
I'm not too disappointed with England's performance. They did what they had to do and need to iron out a few wrinkles in their ball handling and reduce the penalty count against them. The next game will be the more of a test but will provide a clearer picture of where England are heading in this tournament.
England did score tries but their performance wasn't that great. Did NZ put 90 points+ past Tonga a while back?
Thought both the All Blacks and Springboks looked good and the two best teams so far.
> Thought both the All Blacks and Springboks looked good and the two best teams so far.
I was impressed with Ireland. They don't do pretty rugby but the pack was outstanding.
Yes, I agree. They did what was needed very well. I can't remember how matches pan out but Ireland v NZ or SA would be a great game to see.
A much better performance by England. Especially in the second half. Much bigger tests to come of course. The France game in 2 werks will be a good measure of where England really are.
Japan love a green shirt, think they might get blue as well?
The World Cup has certainly come alight today. What a performance!!
Wow, superhuman discipline and work rate.
Very similar to their performance against the Boks - love the way they play.
And an even better match this morning. Fantastic effort by both sides.
It was a great game but somewhat spoiled by the referees having to check every tackle to determine if legal or not. I'm all for protecting the players against head injuries but the penalty against Australia when Patchall went down was a poor decision. I thought Australia were unlucky to lose but having said that, Foley was awful for Australia.
Yes. I agree on all points. Australia unfortunate to lose. Hooper magnificent and well supported by a very mobile front row.
Yeah, game of the tournament so far.
Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)
> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.
> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)
And so you should be. You wait 13 odd years for a win against the convicts and then 2 turn up in less than 12 Months!
> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.
> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)
I'm currently living the wrong side of the bridge and am also happy.
> Yeah, game of the tournament so far.
> Quite happy this side of the bridge ;-)
Nail biting second half, well done boys, especially Alun who is hardly a boy anymore.
Having drawn Wales in our works sweepstake im very happy.
Also having Hooper whinge to the ref about not being allowed to tackle was priceless. And Cheika moaning that he doesn't know the rules anymore, they say us English are whinging poms
I do so enjoy games that Nigel is refereeing, always good for a quote.
First 10 minutes "a little less cockiness and a little more scrummaging please lads".
Great win in a tough game for the Brave Blossoms. But what were Samoa thinking with that scrum in extra time? Any Scots care to raise conspiracy theories? No one would blame you.
> Great win in a tough game for the Brave Blossoms. But what were Samoa thinking with that scrum in extra time? Any Scots care to raise conspiracy theories? No one would blame you.
Maybe they forgot about the law change about taking penalties once time was up and thought the game would be over once the ball went dead as it would for a kick to touch?
Wasn’t a penalty, it was a free kick so that law doesn’t apply.
I think Somoa were hoping for another score.
Never expected Scotland to beat Ireland, also never expected Japan to beat them.
As you were for Scotland, two matches with two bonus points and we’re through
If Japan get a loosing bonus point then doesn't it goes down to points scored/conceeded?
Head to head I think
To guarantee success Scotland need bonus point wins in each of their remaining matches. A less try-filled win that sees Japan earn a losing bonus condemns the Scots to an early exit. But a bigger margin than 7 for the Scots reverses their fates. At least I think so. All to play for.
The Japan Scotland game should be a cracker.
England today stepped up another level against a side that shot themselves in the foot. Clear red card but after that it was over as a contest. England were sensible and ran them ragged taking the ball through lots of phases and across the pitch. Wore them down before going in for the try’s. After getting the bonus point we shut down for a while which won’t please the boss but after they scored one back and with new players on the pitch we were back in the game again
As an aside does anyone else think Farrell should have gone off for an HIA after the red card, as his kicking showed he clearly wasn’t there.
> Wasn’t a penalty, it was a free kick so that law doesn’t apply.
> I think Somoa were hoping for another score.
You're right, it was a free kick - I thought it was a 'proper' scrum penalty and not a crooked feed.
I suppose that meant that Samoa's only real chance of a losing bonus point was to keep possession and by taking the scrum option would either win a penalty or win the scrum and run the length of the pitch. If they had kicked, they would have had to keep it in field and the Japanese could have stopped the game by kicking into touch.
If they had scored a Try, they would have gained a bonus point and mathematically could have come second in their group.
My thoughts on his early kicking.
1 was 45 metres out. He should have let Daly kick it.
1 hit the post and bounced the wrong side.
1 other drifted wide, he should have scored that one. After that he started to score points. His goal kicking hasn't been great for a while now and I think Daly would be a better option for anything more than 40 metres out.
Well done Wales, that was a bit nail biting for a while there. I could hear some of those hits here in Wales and the game was thousands of miles away....and I'm half deaf!
Ouch, some sore bodies tonight.
Good result too for Scotland
Bit worrying for them though with the weather, if the typhoon forces cancellation of the match v Japan on Saturday, the Scots will go out as both teams will be awarded 2 points.
Possibly the 1st time ever that Japan have been hoping that a typhoon hits them!
> Possibly the 1st time ever that Japan have been hoping that a typhoon hits them!
There was that time with the Mongols too...
Yep. As with last world cup, Fiji pushed Wales hard and Wales overcame but at a price. Jonathon Davis must be a concern but I would imagine Dan Biggar will come through Ok after his head knock.
Bugger! England France Off, fingers crossed for Japan Scotland, could be a cracker!
unsure if this is good or bad for England - sends them into Australia a bit undercooked?
Disappointing yes but avoids injuries and Australia have had some tough games whereas England should be relatively fresh. So England play the convicts and if they win that the All Blacks lie in wait. There should be 2 superb games if England can get past Australia which I expect them to.
yes - and its my preferred route, think we have a much better chance against Australia than Wales, and probably prefer NZ in the semi's than the finals. plus it holds out the tantalizing prospect of a NH only final which would be great - imagine the tension if its England Vs Wales!
Does seem to be shortsighted by world rugby to not have any back up plans. They have had 6 years to plan for a world cup in Japan when its known to be storm season!
Also missing out on a chance to take get one over on my French boss
Hopefully the Japan v Scotland may go ahead on Sunday, I think it is the game everyone is looking forward to this weekend, the outcome could go either way and both teams with everything to play for. The host country need this game to further promote the sport, I know they go through if it is cancelled but not the best way to do it.
Eddie Jones is pretty happy with his cancellation, not surprising, the only people that lose out are the fans whilst his players have an easy ride through.
> Eddie Jones is pretty happy with his cancellation, not surprising, the only people that lose out are the fans whilst his players have an easy ride through.
Problem is it also means they haven't had a real test before the knock-outs.
Yeah, disappointed that we won't get the France / England game (would have been fun, plus they'd be a bit more tired for when then face Wales), but desperately hoping Scotland / Japan goes ahead - could be the game of the group stages.
Indeed, Scotland Japan should be a belter. Hope it doesnt get spoilt by and act of stupidity resulting in a red card.
Desperately sorry for Italy. Unlikely though a victory might have been, they've been booted out with a game to play and a chance of qualification denied.
It is shocking that a World Cup that was first approved 10 years ago in a known hurricane hot spot (and during the hurricane season to boot!) Doesn't have alternative venues or even the ability to play on a different day.
Does make one wonder if the final had to be cancelled due to a typhoon, if it would be declared a no score draw. Same rules for everyone? I doubt it.
I also strongly suspect that if it was NZ that needed the win rather than Italy, they'd find a way...
Just found this on pool games.
There is a gathering apoplexy here. Yes, it states in the tournament rules that if a pool game has to be cancelled then it cannot be rearranged for a different day. A different stadium, yes. A different day, no. Scottish Rugby don't believe that's hard and fast. In the participation agreement given to each country, it says there is a clause that effectively amounts to force majeure and that clause does allow some wiggle room in terms of pushing a game back a day.
I also understand that the Monday is a public holiday in Japan, so it shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to play the Sat games on the Monday and still get descent crowds
Seems a lot of people have rather quaint conceptions of what a typhoon really is. The Japanese clearly don't.
I think a lot of issues are not with the Japanese, they are with world rugby. The lack of any alternative option to play the games elsewhere for example shows a lack of foresight. There are other games going on over the weekend and this typhoon has been well forecast.
F1 in Japan deals with this reasonably well every few years. Disruption rarely lasts more than a day, principally as the Japanese infrastructure is built to be resilient against quakes and regular Typhoons
There's not much you can do against this sort of thing, let alone expect (and encourage) tens of thousands of people turn up to stadiums and throng the streets:
Its unfortunate, but these countries experience real weather.
I'm not saying run the matches when the storm is in full flow. I'm saying be prepared to move the matches to Monday and see what the damage is. Japan is an astonishingly resilient island
Or change the location there are stadiums that are not going to be hit. As said before not having a plan B is really rather poor.
England vs France maybe not so much of an issue as both qualify.
However for Italy it’s a big issue. Whilst they are underdogs against NZ they could still win. Ireland were ranked No 1 in the rankings when Japan beat them and I bet most people would see Italy vs Japan would be a tight game.
> However for Italy it’s a big issue. Whilst they are underdogs against NZ they could still win.
You're kidding right? NZ typically annihilate them and have never even come close to losing to Italy - ever. Italy arguably shouldn't even be in the 6 nations given Georgia puts on a better show. They lost 49-3 to South Africa, who NZ beat.
To say NZ could lose is like saying NZ's football team could beat Brazil.
Not playing this match is a mercy for the Italians.
> Ireland were ranked No 1 in the rankings when Japan beat them and I bet most people would see Italy vs Japan would be a tight game.
Apples and oranges. Japan are an excellent team and Ireland are still hit and miss with a winning record nothing like the All Black.
It's a shame they don't play but the Italy v NZ match was going to be an embarrassment.
Yes NZ should take them to the cleaners but as Japan showed against South Africa and again Ireland these results are possible.
Not to mention it's likely to be Parisse's last world cup game (if not international)... it's a shame he doesn't go out playing the best in the world one last time - he deserves to. He has driven Italy to what they are today, and a player that any country would want as their no. 8 at his peak.
A true ambassador for rugby
Indeed. It’s not ‘a mercy’ for the Italians to miss a game against the AB’s, it’s a lost opportunity to measure themselves against the best. They are not up to the task - but they will wish to try anyway and for some in the squad it will be there only opportunity.
> Italy arguably shouldn't even be in the 6 nations given Georgia puts on a better show. They lost 49-3 to South Africa, who NZ beat.
This always comes up and it's rubbish, Italy are a better side than Georgia and have won 100% of their games against them (alright it's only 2 games).
Allowing a playoff between the top side from the tier below the 6n and the bottom side in the 6N would be a good idea but I bet you none of the 6N teams would ever go for that - Italy don't always finish bottom of that table.
Here's an idea: After the 6N has finished, the top contender for 'promotion' should play each of the bottom 2 or (maybe 3) 6N teams, then that group of 3 (or 4) will effectively have completed a round robin tournament-within-a-tournament, which can then be used to see whether the new contender merits a place in the 6N the following year.
At one time he was possibly the best No 8 in Europe. A fantastic player in a poor but emerging (gradually) team.
Anyway, in other news Scotland are looking at ways to sue World Rugby if their game against Japan is called off. It never good when lawyers have to get involved in Global Sports tournaments.
Surprising the degree to which people are getting worked up over all this. Get a grip - it's just a sports comp. There are bigger things in life.
I'd love to see the Scotland v Japan game. And I love to support both teams. But Scotland really aren't that great. Tough as it is, they should have realised anything can happen...and perhaps not gone down to Ireland.
Get a grip?? It's much more than just a sports comp. It's the pinnacle of many players careers and legends will be born and villans created and castigated forever.
Scotland may not be that great but nor are Japan so it should be a competitive game. Scotland would normally have the edge but Japan are playing at home and anything can happen.
You don't sound much like a sports fan. Too pragmatic, no hint of passion and easily distracted with your loyalties. You should try a more partisan approach. It makes sport much more meaningful and exciting.
The annoyance is mainly with the fact that there is no plan b to make sure all the games happen. This has been forecast well in advance so games could have been re located
You know its in the bag when the opposition come out to play with the most diabolically dangerous tackling tactics on and off the ball take outs. Very games man like, but some of it utterly disgusting and as ever the S. Hemisphere refereed very friendly. In contrast wales were morally exemplary and deserved all the accolades. Re Australia game. They focussed on the heads!!
It's not just "the game" that needs relocation. It's relocating all the infrastructure and the fans, be they in the stadium or the local Izakaya. It's all flights and trains cancelled and roads closed as well.
Besides, the moment an England fan gets clobbered by a falling torii or wayward roof tile you can guarantee the press would be demanding to know why it hasn't been cancelled.
This typhoon is a monster and the Japanese know full well the best way to react to them.
Anyway, hopefully Japan V Scotland goes ahead. That's the only game of the three that really matters.
It's a struggle to remain partisan when your team is the repeat world champions, you'd prefer to see Japan in the finals, and with them any team apart from England, Australia or South Africa ;-)
It’s all academic now with Saturdays games. I really do hope the Scotland game goes ahead and as the underdogs I will be rooting for Japan
It would appear Scotland are in danger of being “sent homeward tae think again” 😊
Must admit I've been shouting for Japan. Beautiful ball carrying and that last try was sublime!
Yep, I came in a neutral but Japan's play is just joyous to watch.
> Yep, I came in a neutral but Japan's play is just joyous to watch.
Absolute magical stuff!
> It would appear Scotland are in danger of being “sent homeward tae think again” 😊
Plane tickets booked it seems.
That, surely, is it now for Scotland.
I don't know if they'll be welcomed back.
Hold on. Got their tails up now....
Great game! 😀
60 seconds to go and Scotland are out barring a miracle! Still, better to know you've been beaten by a better team than wonder what might have been in the event the game was cancelled.
That might just be the most enjoyable game of rugby I've ever watched. Plaudits to all involved - players, officials, fans.
Well done both teams I reckon!
Now THAT was a game of rugby.
Best one of the tournament so far!
On the downside, it does mean that England are still the only host nation ever to not qualify from the pool stage...
Amazing game, the handling and offloads by japan were superb. Great that they held on for the win.
Japan have a great chance to get to the semis with meeting South Africa in the Quarters. There'll be some nervous Saffers out there!!
I suspect not. I predict Japan will crumble against South Africa, mostly on account of having spent themselves in this match. Give SA a run for their money but I don't see them lasting beyond 60 minutes unfortunately.
Thank goodness that game took place, fantastic viewing for everyone and showed rugby at it's best as a spectator sport, it had everything.
Scotland could easily have rolled over and embarrassed themselves in the second half, but they made it a nail biting game to the end. Well done both teams.
> mostly on account of having spent themselves in this match.
Given that they have a week off, I'm not sure that's going to be the determining factor.
Best game I've seen for ages as a neutral. I loved the seeming simplicity of the Japanese quick passing. It was almost like a faster version of a game from decades ago whereas now so many games are dominated by endless rumbling forward phases and slow ball. Of course, the Japanese defence was admirable too. Hopefully, Japan can get more exposure to tier one competition....at the moment they would be stronger than Italy in the Six nations.
Some terrible officiating, like for Japan's first try which looked rather forward.
Doesn't detract from Japan's victory though. Scotland just didn't play well enough.
Time to re-group and look ahead. Might I suggest rethinking Gregor Townshend and becoming another nation that poaches players from the Pacific Islands?
The only decision now is who to root for now?
> Time to re-group and look ahead. Might I suggest rethinking Gregor Townshend and becoming another nation that poaches players from the Pacific Islands?
Japan have 16 foreign born players in their world cup squad, Scotland have 15. The only teams with more are Tonga and Samoa.
> Best game I've seen for ages as a neutral. I loved the seeming simplicity of the Japanese quick passing. It was almost like a faster version of a game from decades ago whereas now so many games are dominated by endless rumbling forward phases and slow ball. Of course, the Japanese defence was admirable too. Hopefully, Japan can get more exposure to tier one competition....at the moment they would be stronger than Italy in the Six nations.
On the basis of wins over Scotland and Ireland, it’s not just Italy who are flattered by Japan’s absence. Wonderful to watch and I’m sure every neutral’s favourite team of this tournament.
Yes, but look closer at the stats. Scotland 2 out of 15 based on residency, Japan 15 out of 16!
Don't get me wrong, Japan play well and seem to have established a great infrastructure for supporting the national team. Scotland could learn more than player sequestration from them.
> Some terrible officiating, like for Japan's first try which looked rather forward.
frankly, if the worst example you can give is a marginal decision on a forward pass* then “terrible” sounds terribly hyperbolic.
* which I thought looked ok anyway
> Yes, but look closer at the stats. Scotland 2 out of 15 based on residency, Japan 15 out of 16!
I’m not sure that Allan Dell, Ben Toolis and Blade Thomson grew up supporting Scotland, but I accept that about half of your 15 probably did.
Personally, I’m willing to allow Japan two foreign born locks of it means we get to see the rest of their scintillating rugby.
Most of the non-ethnic Japanese players have made the country home, speak Japanese and I believe a few even married Japanese.
At what point can they be accepted as rightfully Japanese? Or put another way, how comfortable would you be telling a Nigerian born player who lived in the UK that they aren't English?
The Japanese have had a lasting influence in the Pacific islands and arguably have a closer connection than the ex colonial power in some cases.
What a performance by England. Australia weren’t great as a unit but 40 points is a mighty haul. Some superb defence given only 40% possession.
Keeping a lid on expectations, probably turn out to be a one-off.
> Australia weren’t great as a unit but 40 points is a mighty haul.
> Keeping a lid on expectations, probably turn out to be a one-off.
Australia were woeful. Didn't look like they even wanted to be there and gifted England time after time.
While England were good, I wouldn't read anything beyond still being 50/50 at best against IRE/NZ
With some luck the Aussies get rid of Cheika. Anyone that obnoxious can only have value if he delivers some kind of performance. He utterly fails there.
Disappointing performance by Australia, esp given the possession; good luck to England in the semis!
> Disappointing performance by Australia, esp given the possession; good luck to England in the semis!
On the strength of the first 20 minutes of NZ/IRE they’ll need it
Shame about the Irish errors, but they're otherwise good. But ABs in a different league from Australia, and I'd say England.
Yeah, it's not like the ABs are playing a rubbish side - they've just raised their game to an extraordinary level.
Yep. Would be good to see Ireland get a try before HT. They deserve to be more in the game than the scoreline represents.
I thought the Aussies played much better than they have been doing and weren’t bad. If they’d been a bit more accurate they should have turned the corner and gone outside Slade a couple of times.
england looked ok but as I suspected they are still holding back their first phase plays from set piece. The breakdown is still an issue for us, too many turnovers as the support is too slow.
The ABs look great but Ireland are terrible. Sexton looks like he wants to go home and they haven’t got any ideas beyond one out runners and the now very predicable wrap around. ABs will score another 4 and embarrass the Irish. They can always try for that elusive semi final in another 4 years!
As a kiwi, living in England. I cannot wait for next weekend. The older I get, the more nervous I get watching my team, ...but this really is set up to be a blinder.
England aren't going to make nearly as many mistakes as Ireland did so it will be a tough one to call.
Now, come on Japan!!!!!
How’s the Taffia feeling this morning? When’s kick off?
An hour before your post!
Looking nervy for the Taffs, but a chance now France are down to 14
Possibly the worst game (I've seen) of the tournament so far? There's something reassuring abut France's ability to beat themselves.
Phew, that was far too close for comfort. France should have won it comfortably, squandered chances and Wales looked anything but potential world cup winners.
Not sure what went wrong for Wales, thought they looked tired and off the ball perhaps a game too far?
Yeah, France butchered that, especially the sin bin period.
maybe the one bad game allowed for Wales, I’d love to see an all NH final!
Sad to see Japan go but South Africa have shown they can execute a game plan.
Yes. I thought they (japan) did very well in the first half, making SA play their game. After the break SA were just too much for them.
yep, I missed the first half of the game. Came in at 5-3 and couldn't believe my eyes. But certainly in that second half it was easy to see who were going to be the winners. Great run from Japan: The first Asian team into a 1/4. First non tier one team to top their pool. First time beating Ireland etc etc. Superb, but they'll be on everyone's radar come 2023.
> I suspect not. I predict Japan will crumble against South Africa, mostly on account of having spent themselves in this match. Give SA a run for their money but I don't see them lasting beyond 60 minutes unfortunately.
Seems a reasonably accurate prediction in hindsight, despite the dislikes.
I'm still surprised, especially after the Ireland-All Blacks performance, that anyone was remotely upset that the All Blacks v Italy game didn't go ahead. It would have been a bloodbath scoreline as they're in entirely different leagues.
England too are decent and, like any team, can turn the ABs on a good day (and a bad day for NZ). But they're still not at the same level of consistency when it comes to turning it on.
Caught up with the matches last night after a day out on the hills.
Wales were lucky, but pulling a lucky victory out of a poor performance still counts. If we do get through S.Africa I'd very much rather we face England in a final - though tbh I can't see anyone winning this but the ABs.
England looked better than I thought they would but not sure whether that is down to England or a poor-ish Aussie performance.
Kiwis - wow, bulldozed Ireland and look by far the favourites.
Wales - looked frankly out of ideas and terrified by France's line speed. Lucky that France self destructed but may fair better against SA as SA will be a little more predictable and the Welsh defence like that.
SA - Did exatcly what they needed to do. Japan did well but there tournament was up.
NZ v SA final with NZ taking the crown.
England beating SA in the final after a mercurial display in the semis (fat chance!)
Dare to believe...
England tough it out against the sprightly, light, agile, drilled, hoaned, executing NZ ers...they know they can equal them...grind them down into a game they didn't want to take part in...bulk..anxiety...slowness.. NZ lose the plot in the 2nd half after endless rolling mauls and a few freak tries...England Win by 3 points!
Wales nearly buried ... but owed themselves....dues.....work hard this week on the mental prep...they've been here before.....defence....renew focus and organised.....tough out a slugging, defensive encounter first half to neutralise an SA long kicking game and return SA with not much to show.....Break away tries 2nd half as SA tire...giving it all for a Biggar drop goal...Wales win by 5 points!
Seems a bit of a dream I know...but its not outside of the realms of possibility.
How good would it be to see an all NH final. I think England and Wales, whilst both outsiders, have a decent chance of winning. The way England put the Aussies to the sword tells me they are in fine form and Wales, although outplayed by the French, showed enough to let SA know they are going to be in one hell of a tough fight for the whole 80 minutes. Dare to dream....
Before you get too carried away with your prediction let me remind you a stopped clock is right twice a day. 😉
So what are you saying? NZ nailed on to win the final?
ENG (fresh as daisies) v AUS (cream crackered/upsets)
NZ (new game plan/fresh) v IRE (off game)
Wales (fatigued) v France (fresh as daisies/insanity)
SA ( confident/tested) v Japan (dazzled/underpowered)
ENG (controlling/powerful 2nd half) v NZ (undersized/nullified/missed kicks/fading)
Wales (denying/kicking/breaks 2nd half) v SA ( kicking/referee adv/attacking/fading)
Eng v Wales
Whilst wanting England to progress, I worry that their 'plan' to kick a lot and be happy conceding possession so much won't work against NZ. Give them 65% of possession and they will hurt you more effectively than Ireland, Australia or Wales.
> ENG (controlling/powerful 2nd half) v NZ (undersized/nullified/missed kicks/fading)
I'm looking forward to the game in the morning. If England can keep a lid on the penalty count they have a chance. Discipline will be vital and New Zealand are known for pushing the boundaries around the breakdown so hopefully the ref will be vigilant and not be reluctant to blow the whistle. I think the forwards are evenly matched, England may even have the edge. It should be a great game.
Nige is reffing; I know refs can always have a shocker but I don't think you could ask for a fairer guy in the middle.
Pob lwc, England!
I second that. See you in the final England.
Does anyone, other than an English person, expect them to win a semi final of a World Cup against NZ? Sorry, but the Hype has been resurrected again.
Should be a good game, expect it to be tight but with NZ to win.
Other semi is more intreaguing, neither side have height the heights yet, Wales have won the last few games against the Saffers but........
NZ v Wales final, NZ win - if NZ v SA final tougher one to call, can't see England in final though
> Nige is reffing; I know refs can always have a shocker but I don't think you could ask for a fairer guy in the middle.
Great referee, but lets just hope he's not able to ref the final...
Expect? No, but England have a reasonable chance.
South African I work with seemed very positive about England's chances... close but reckons our 6,7,8 along with Itoje & Mako will boss the breakdowns.
I'm much more wary (I think we can beat them... not sure we will)
I'm always happy when I see Nigel refereeing a match. It's not just that he is fair and clear, but he seems to help the game flow better.
From an England point of view I think it's an advantage to have a northern hemisphere ref... the times I feel we (and other northern hemi teams) get on the wrong side of a ref, it's nearly always one from the southern hemisphere - I'm not sure why, but I guess it's minor differences in emphasis - Northern refs seem more likely to penalise a tackler for not rolling away, Sourthern more likely to penalise the tackled player for holding on. - Might be my imagination though
I think England are in with a good chance but favour NZ to win 6 out of 10 at least. However good the England team are meant to be, they always have the ability to be turned over by a lesser team, happens time and again in tournaments and tests.
England don't always have the answer whereas NZ nearly always do, so I favour them but expect England to score tries.
But the big game on Sunday, Wales missing a few first choice players now, heart says Wales, but.......
That’s a bizarre post 😊. In the first para you say thoughts of England winning are hype in the second you say it will be tight. If it’s tight either side could win surely?
Will probably be similar to most NH/All Blacks games. Close or England slightly ahead for 75 minutes then New Zealand to take it at the last. I expect much whining from both sides when Nige shines the spotlight on the 'Dark arts' of the back row and blows up every few minutes.
Looking like an all Southern Hemisphere final which is just dull as dishwater......
What a start!
Nail biting stuff!
Great first half, but can't help thinking only getting 10 points out of that pressure means we are still vulnerable.
Underhill man of the half
And Curry! Both immense.
Yes, for all the domination and how rattled the ABs have been, it’s a small margin and they still look very dangerous. Mind you, the England pressure might tell in the second half through fatigue.
Whole pack has been good, Maro and Courtney have been immense in being utter nuisances. 10 point lead is not clear White water, England need a fast start in the 3rd quarter rather then the usual rest period,
I think Farrell will go off after 10 minutes. He is clearly struggling and Slade is a very worthy replacement. It's like the tension of the 2003 semi all over again except we don't need Mike Catt to kick for territory. Like in 2003, England's pack are playing brilliantly.
Don't you just hate video refs at times like this.
Especially when they get it wrong. and that was wrong
> Don't you just hate video refs at times like this.
Two big, but correct calls
England looking controlled though, NZ not rattled, yet, though, long way to go yet
The important thing is to forget about it and keep doing all the good stuff.
1st call correct
2nd call George never let go of the ball
And he got that one right.
Clear heads and calm execution will still see England prevail.
How can the ref and linesman not see a clear 1 metre forward pass?? Justice prevails!
> Nige is reffing; I know refs can always have a shocker but I don't think you could ask for a fairer guy in the middle.
> Pob lwc, England!
You got that right. The ref has been outstanding. England denied 2 tries but the Kiwis leaking penalties with holding on and going in at the side. Mr Owens calm and friendly as always.
Fantastic, England superb from minute 1 to 80. Arguably the best I have ever seen them play.
> Does anyone, other than an English person, expect them to win a semi final of a World Cup against NZ? Sorry, but the Hype has been resurrected again.
> Should be a good game, expect it to be tight but with NZ to win.
oh well, I got that one wrong, well done to England
> Other semi is more intreaguing, neither side have height the heights yet, Wales have won the last few games against the Saffers but........
Wales v England final?
I agree. Completely outplayed the All Blacks who looked battered and bruised at the end of the game. Come on ow Wales and let's make it a all Northern Hemisphere final for the first time ever.
> I think England are in with a good chance but favour NZ to win 6 out of 10 at least. However good the England team are meant to be, they always have the ability to be turned over by a lesser team, happens time and again in tournaments and tests.
> England don't always have the answer whereas NZ nearly always do, so I favour them but expect England to score tries.
> But the big game on Sunday, Wales missing a few first choice players now, heart says Wales, but.......
I didn't see that coming, thought England had god chance but didn't expect them to comprehensively outplay NZ all game, that will hurt. Well deserved win and back to the drawing board for NZ as they plan for 4 years time.
Oh yes .. outstanding from England.
...next ....come on Wales.....Cymru Am Byth.
Can't believe it. Years of abuse from Kiwi GF and this morning she's flying home for 3 weeks so I don't even get to rub it in!
I did think England had a chance as in the rest of the tournament I thought there was shades of the boring but efficient rugby of 16 years ago.
But seems this game they remained efficient but found some spark of excitement too.
Superb game of rugger. One of the best I've ever watched.
The way we made NZ look average is the measure of just how good we played today.
Wow! I daren't watch it on ITV+1 in case we lose.
> Can't believe it. Years of abuse from Kiwi GF and this morning she's flying home for 3 weeks so I don't even get to rub it in!
This could be a very bad moment to chose to rub it in, just saying
Would be super. As an England fan I think I’d prefer SA, good story after 2007.
Wonderful for Gatland to get Wales to the final - such a great coach, never taken in by the hype around players or the mipping by nations that are not as good as they think they are.
Quite. Even as an England fan (just about calmed my nerves after this morning...) I'd love to see Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Davies etc lift the cup. They seem to have been around forever for Wales and the Lions but they just keep on going.
This is infuriating! I had my MR Casualty Care exam this morning, have now got home to discover the Virgin box didn't record the match and ITV aren't releasing it on their HUB til tomorrow at 8. But the Wales game begins at 9!!
Anyone know of anywhere I can find it online?!
It's on the ITV Hub, I am watching it now. It says it isn't on until tomorrow.
Super, thanks Graeme
The big game tomorrow morning, off to the pub for breakfast to watch - having remembered to put my clock back tonight!!
Be a dream if Wales v England final and knowing the trophy was headed northerly whichever side won. Then ideally to the western side of the Severn bridge for a perfect result. We shall see, tomorrow comes first.
I’m confusing myself with the time of kick off tomorrow! Internet seems to say 09:00 same as today but surely the Japs don’t put their clocks back too!
They don't but today's game started at 1700 and tomorrow's is at 1800 local time.
Probably right... she did sound a bit grumpy on the phone before she got on the plane
Can anyone explain England’s challenge to the Haka please?
> I’m confusing myself with the time of kick off tomorrow! Internet seems to say 09:00 same as today but surely the Japs don’t put their clocks back too!
Oh, hadn't thought of that. Looking now it says 9.00 GMT, so presuming that is 9am after we put the clocks back?
Just arranged with the landlord to cycle down the pub in the morning for the game - don't want to arrive at half time!
Yes, it's 9am UK time tomorrow (taking into account clock changes).
Hope you can get to your local and there's not too much free-flowing water in your part of the country. Rivers down here are insane!
England adopted an inverted V position which was deliberately confrontational. Other than Farrell smiling I didn't see anything unusual about it. A bit more of an explanation here:
> England adopted an inverted V position...
Apparently, it wasn't so much a challenge to the Haka, but rather a homage to Stanage... Nice touch.
Yeah, plenty of water, major flood in the road by the pub this evening, so walked through someone's garden to get there (we do know them ). Be ok on bike tomorrow.
I can’t open the link but thanks.
Why is an inverted v confrontational to them? And why should anyone care? They are trying to intimidate the opposition aren’t they?
An extract from RugbyWorld article.
England full-back Elliot Daly: “It’s something we spoke about, and obviously we wanted to be respectful. But we just wanted to accept the challenge from them. I know that we were accepting it, and it was just something different.”
Related: England 19-7 New Zealand Match Report
England centre Manu Tuilagi: “For me it is an honour to stand in front of the haka and I watched it growing up as a kid and you want to do it yourself. To see them do it again, it is an unbelievable feeling. It is a challenge and you respect it and accept it.
“Everyone wanted to show that we were ready and together. It was something different that I think Eddie (Jones) suggested. It was to show we were ready to accept the challenge against New Zealand and any game against them is tough particularly in a semi-final.”
New Zealand captain Kieran Read: “The haka had no impact on the game. They dominated the breakdown and we couldn’t work into our game and we were chasing.
“They did a good job. The boys really wanted it. You could see it in the first half, we conceded and we hung in there. It is pretty gutting when it doesn’t go your way.”
Thanks for that. At least they weren’t being precious after being allowed to have some form of advantage.
> England centre Manu Tuilagi: “For me it is an honour to stand in front of the haka and I watched it growing up as a kid and you want to do it yourself. To see them do it again, it is an unbelievable feeling. It is a challenge and you respect it and accept it.
I thought Manu was immense today, as were the England team, and their supporters during the haka - respect it, let them do it, remain focused and do your own thing - as England did today to great effect
Wales v RSA not quite as thrilling as the same point yesterday.
Whichever side wins this, can't see England being too worried.
Frankly, don't think Italy would be too worried. Absolute schoolboy ball handling!
It's an oval ball game. At present it's got an oval headed decision maker in charge. Missing some major decisions giving SA position territory and possession. Should be a different score. As ever. Play 16 and prevail. Come on Wales.
> Whichever side wins this, can't see England being too worried.
> Frankly, don't think Italy would be too worried. Absolute schoolboy ball handling!
Agreed. If England play at 75% of what they did yesterday, on the evidence so far presented by these two teams, England will walk it.
Can England produce another performance like that again though?
I think the sheer power of the books should not be underestimated, and Faf is class.
How many times have we said that about Wales, Saturday is another day. Admiring another gutsy showing from them so far
Sorry Wales, gutted for you
That was a strangely uninspiring match given how close it was.
When AWJ shakes his head at Garcia It says it all. What a game. Ref offside. Most times. Etc. A Foreign Legion of mistakes. The key points lost was the 1st half knock ons that was reversed against wales. Not the nonsense being put across on ITV atmo. GarethThomas finally speaking sense. And no TMO interruptions. Absurd.
That result is curtains for Nigel Owen ref the final. He's too good. Welcome to the world of Garcia. England. Even though Wales will have taken it out of the Boks the ref will even it. So don't be so confident even tough SA are not what they are talked ip to be. Which was the Wales game plan. Contain first half. And release as they tire.
If alls fair. England will win. Come onEngland. Not my normal call. For sure
Given wales’s Injury list that was a good run. Horrible for North.
> Agreed. If England play at 75% of what they did yesterday, on the evidence so far presented by these two teams, England will walk it.
They won't be given the chance to play like they did yesterday, chopping down counter-attacks in their infancy and thriving on quick ball. S Africa will rain kicks down on them all night long and draw them into an arm-wrestle that dramatically levels the odds. I'm hoping England can break free of that stranglehold and get over the line, but it's naive to expect the game to be comfortable. Mind you, probably the only final match-up that could persuade neutrals to cheer for England.
Wales deserved better. It would have been fitting to see Wynn Jones, Halfpenny et al sign off their international careers by getting to the final. Some of the Welsh players have been magnificent for Wales and the Lions over the past decade but alas it was not to be. I thought South Africa's kicking was dismal but their forwards performed when it mattered and that's where the game was won. Still, I hope the Welsh hold their heads high.
The TMO intervened. The TMO was persuasive in the decision. Your right though. Fair tries/plays and even with that England Imperious. Probably some of the best rugby anyone is a white shirt has ever played. Many congratulations to them and Eddie Jones whobset a tactic of causing uncertainty in the NZ so they could not play patterns and in catch up even harder to break the pressure to a unfatigued team playing brilliant at the breakdown and superb kicking by Ford. I think it’s England’s to win given extra days and EJ’s read of the game.
You're not wrong Doc, be a very different game. Faf is class, the No 12 a right handful, it is not in the DNA of a South African forwards to take a backwards step and the rest of them are no slouches. Hopefully, Jones and his team can get the squad recovered then back up mentally and physically for one more big push. Probably reasonable to assume the England kick chase will be rather better than what was on show today.
Pretty gutted by that, but such is sport. Hardly a great spectators game but Wales punched their weight all considered. 6 nations to come and start blooding some youngsters for 4 years time.
There's the "bronze" to play for, but however much they talk it up how many hearts are truly in it?
If England play as they did, I think they could rip RSA apart, we shall see, I tend to be wrong as I know sweet FA about rugby but shout well.
Wales are world class! Sadly I am not. I will take more than a year to recover from injustice. I started my recovery programme today. #1 Wanton Abandon.... overhanging splitter finger searing sandstone crack leading to an horrendous uncleaned onsight overhanging slopers of heather and mosses of sopping gopp of 24hrs rain fed finish at 15ft above the last gear. I didn't have it bad. Its even worse for the Wales team. But they are world class and I am not. Thank you Wales FTBOMH.
There there. Let it all out now.
I cycled up the pub for the game, sat down and realised I had forgotten my glasses. Cycled back home, rushed in for glasses and son said "It's 10-0 already", very humorous. Memo to self, re-write will.
Cycle back up to pub, drink coffee, eat second breakfast and watch game .
Cycle home, drink coffee and go for 25+ mile cycle ride over the hills constantly muttering to self. Come home, eat slice of Bara brith and walk back up to pub.
Drink beer. Feel better about the world. Walk home, drink red wine. Bed.
> There's the "bronze" to play for, but however much they talk it up how many hearts are truly in it?
An injury-ravaged Wales against a very pissed All Blacks - many of whom will be pulling on the black jersey for the last time; it'll be emotional and the ABs will want to make a big statement. I think it will be a cracking game.
> I think it will be a cracking game.
Not if you are welsh!!
They are all professionals and not want to lose, so yes they will try hard and put on a game. But mentally I can't imagine them committing that bit extra, I'm sure they all want to go home now, see their families, recover and start rebuilding for the 6 nations to go and thrash England and prove a point of what should have been!
I'm betting on a record score.
How much would you put on it ? Like odds or scores etc. Only they got BB that's worth 10 points to Wales instantly.
or would you care to downgrade the expectations? edit
yeah Dave..... thanks for cheering me up.
All Blacks will score a million. Maybe 1,000,003
I won't be able to watch the final live tomorrow but would like to watch the whole game not the evening ITV highlights. I'm away from home so can't set the recorder. How would I go about this without finding out the score? Is that possible?
I expect it'll be on ITV hub after the live broadcast has ended. ITV hub shouldn't give the score away.
Avoid all news/Radio and turn your phone off.
Do you have a smart TV? The itv hub (their version of the iPlayer) has all the matches with no spoilers.
You have to suffer a million adverts, but apart from that it's a pretty good solution. I've watched every match in the evenings with no spoilers.
If you don't have a smart TV I think you can do the same with a pc. Or borrow a chromecast from someone?
I watched quite a few on Itv Hub on my laptop, after the fact, with no issues.
OK, thanks. Driving from north to south-west; wonder if we win whether cars on the M6/5 will be honking their horns, ditto no honking. I remember the noise in Palmers Green N13 when Greece won the semis and final of the 04 Euros.
Far more likely that you barely see a car!
Yes, that's the plan, miss the jams! 20m predicted TV audience ...
Wales and ABs, not exactly going our way but fun to watch and both teams look like they are enjoying playing the game. Having a good blast and experience for some youngsters. Certainly more enjoyable than last week's kick fest.
Barnes does a job. 10 mins of bizarre breakdown decisions. Made NZ look good. Disproportionate scrum refereeing was just plain weird. As a consequence the tries flowed in the first 15 mins. Set the tone for an NZ game (in my mind) against a scratch Welsh team. Obviously the World Rugby wanted a free flowing match, NZ to retain some standing for the groups next world cup. The scrum was incredibly blinkered again. Its a shame that the ref is a significant influence in major fixtures for me.
Lovely at the end though with the families even if it wasn't the best outcome.
> Its a shame that the ref is a significant influence in major fixtures for me.
If you think Wales lost that because of the ref you need to stop mainlining bara brith. The same goes for the semi final.
Yeah, it wasn't the refs. I think the third place play-offs just showed how well England and S.Africa did their jobs last week in stopping their opponents playing the way they wanted / needed to. For England in particular to kill the AB's game in the way they did is very impressive. Just hope the final is as free-flowing as today's game!
Yes, I know what you mean...it took the NZ ers to finish it and score tries... Its not the only cause. Reffing is a very significant contributory factor allowing NZ to play their patterns and in stopping defensive games of rugby where SA or NZ are brought into a stifled game. That's where England got through against them. But its clear in this world cup. If you get ahead significantly in the first 15/20 its very hard to have that overturned. What I'm saying is in both Wales games in first 20mins there were significant refereeing decisions which had no basis in fact and without TMO. Personally I feel substandard structured styles of refereeing have been present in many world cups in this way.
Hope England are not crying in there Sushi tomorrow.....it would be dreadful to see a positive EJ sans Le Coupe du Monde. Vive Le Bara Brith!
> Its a shame that the ref is a significant influence in major fixtures for me.
Just seen that Nigel Owens has ended his World Cup Career; a ref who's always been a significant influence in a positive way!
After a very restless night, (World Cup willies), I am making an early start and will be heading to Coxs Yard in Stratford for an 0800hrs breakfast and hopefully to watch a great game and a winning England team on the big screen. God knows what it must be like for the players and coaching staff!!!
Can’t wait, less than 30 minutes to go now.....
Come on England! Getting goosebumps now.
England scrum getting crushed. RSA playing with intensity.
We have been poor this half. Lucky to be only 6 down!
The scrum can't compete. No territory and no possession. South Africa are bossing the forward battle at the moment .
This is going south.
S Africa well on top. The scrums are killing England.
You don't know that. I spent nearly 80 minutes convinced Wales'd lose to France in the quarter....
Live in hope.
We are not helping ourselves
Nice to see Karl Kennedy from neighbours helping out with a spot of reffing.
Dead and buried.
Game over. Hats off they have been the better side.
England awful from the kick off. South Africa bosses it from the start.
Yeah, I'm afraid so.
A couple of lovely tries from S.Africa, and sad though I am for England, there's a bit of damp in my eye for S.Africa winning with Kolisi at captain.
Old Skool mugging, physically wear the opposition down for an hour then stick the knife in. Can't complain England have done the same often enough.
Back to talking about Brexit then - it's less depressing! ;)
> A couple of lovely tries from S.Africa, and sad though I am for England, there's a bit of damp in my eye for S.Africa winning with Kolisi at captain.
Yes, a fantastic result for neutrals.
Bottled it from minute one
no pace in defence and so many mistakes made it easy for them
Australia, New Zealand and then SA in successive games proved too much. SA massively impressive but I can't warm to their style....... so far removed from the wonderful Japanese flair.
Have to say Japan were my favourite neutral team to watch in the whole tournament, even more than the ABs, their rugby philosophy would make any fan smile!
I watched it as a bit of a neutral and enjoyed the game, SA totally deserved that win and I would never have predicted England being so comprehensively out played.
Have to admit to a little sneaky pleasure at wiping the smile off Eddie Jones face and the fact a depleted Wales team gave the boks a harder game.
> England awful from the kick off. South Africa bosses it from the start.
First 2 minutes against NZ - 7 points up.
First 2 minutes against SA - 1 man down
Incredible how momentum can lift or drain a team
> First 2 minutes against NZ - 7 points up.
> First 2 minutes against SA - 1 man down
> Incredible how momentum can lift or drain a team
Very true. Sinkler knocked out by Itojes elbow and an immediate sense of foreboding. To be fair, the Saffers were better up front and their backs delivered when they had the chance. England were disjointed, desperate at times. The passing and set piece execution went badly wrong. Even the decision making was poor. Never mind . Next year's 6 nations start in less than 3 months and there's a lot to look forward to.
Looking forward to watching the highlights after work. Not impressed with a try-less halftime score do happy to hear the second half tries.
Happy with the end result.
Quiet morning motorways
yurp. Hats of to SA!
Would have been fascinating to see how Sinkler would have coped with the Bokke power up front. He has been critical to Englands loose play, if he had held his own in the scrums it would have put a different complexion on the game.
Probably losing Sinks so soon eliminated the possibility of hooking Mako for Marler earlier - which seemed to transform the scrummaging picture. Maybe a game for Launchbury?
Still as a member of the FRU I'm glad to see we are as critcial as ever!
Can someone who understands the rules (does anyone?) explain to me what was going on in the scrum.
Either England don't know the rules or were deliberately cheating scrum after scrum after scrum? Which was it?
I'm a casual rugby fan, I love most sports, but there's no way I'll ever watch it more if the refereeing is so impenetrable. It is utterly crazy how complicated and open to interpretation the rules are. I found it so frustrating to watch. My son was asking me what was going on and I just had no answer for it. Even the commentators seem to accept that they don't really know.
It's the only sport where the referee is treated with such deference whilst essentially making it up as they go along. I think the deference is because the players know to argue is like arguing with horoscopes.
Well, a lot of the time in the first half England were going back in the scrum at a rate of knots - not cheating, just being pushed backwards - if that leads to the scrum breaking up you get a penalty.
Some ways of resisting that are to collapse the scrum (illegal, penalty) stand up in the scrum (illegal, penalty) push too early (illegal, penalty) push at an angle (illegal, penalty), undue your oponents bra strap (unladylike conduct - illegal, penalty), kiss your oponent and start a fight (probably get away with this one).
the penalty against Marler in the second half is one of those thats harder to understand - it looks like Marler is going forward, but he is actually pushing at an angle and the ref spots it - but they are the sort of things that are easy to miss.
I'm no expert but I sense the rules are not that obscure, rather that interpretation seems to vary widely between refs, particularly in scrums, where most things are hard to see anyway and no doubt even harder to judge.
I've long wondered why they still bother with scrums, especially now that they're allowed to put in directly to their own side so it's simply a matter of brute strength with nothing approaching ball skills. Seems to cause a lot of issues, while rarely providing anything other than either penalties or straightforward possession with no ground gained. Also seem to be responsible for the encouragement of players whose principal contribution to the game appears to be the ability to smash themselves into brick walls and very occasionally break through them. Wouldn't it be great to see a team of 15 players bred to run, pass and dodge rather than to smash?
> Seems to cause a lot of issues, while rarely providing anything other than either penalties or straightforward possession ...
There is an argument for downgrading most of the scrum penalties to free kicks, making the whole thing less fraught.
> Wouldn't it be great to see a team of 15 players bred to run, pass and dodge rather than to smash?
Well there is a game like that, though it is 13 players rather than 15, but strangely it is not more attractive to watch, 'cos a lot of it is more samey.
Scrummaging, rolling mauls etc are not just brute strength - there is a hell of a lot of skill and practice involved.
Anyone know why the England team took off their medals after being presented with them, or were they just having a strop?
> Anyone know why the England team took off their medals after being presented with them, or were they just having a strop?
Part strop, part disappointment. I know there's a lot of comments on the BBC's articles about 'being spoilt brats', and 'you never see olympians acting this way for getting silver' etc etc. However I'd be a bit more sympathetic - The loss is raw (rather than having a medal ceremony the next day) and quite often you see this happening in football e.g. champions league finals where the runners-up don't put it around their necks. Sure it could be seen as bad sportsmanship, and disrespecting the tournament but you can't imagine the emotions they are going through at that time. Do they want a 'losers' medal. Of course not, but in couple of days they'll be proud of their achievements.
In fact, If you saw the ABs getting their bronze medal, they had a week to get over their loss, and had just thumped Wales, so were ending on a high, all wearing their bronze medals with pride although they missed out on the prize they (and most others) had anticipated.
> Anyone know why the England team took off their medals after being presented with them, or were they just having a strop?
I thought that was inexcusable. Confirmed I'd made a good decision to support SA, having never forgiven England for their complacent arrogance before the 1990 grand slam game. Seems nothing's changed.
> I thought that was inexcusable. Confirmed I'd made a good decision to support SA, having never forgiven England for their complacent arrogance before the 1990 grand slam game. Seems nothing's changed.
Wow. Imagine being so chippy and inflexible that you'd hold a grudge against a team for a sleight (perceived or otherwise), that occurred before most of the current incumbents were even born.
Fair play to you.
> Wow. Imagine being so chippy and inflexible that you'd hold a grudge against a team for a sleight (perceived or otherwise), that occurred before most of the current incumbents were even born.
Not against individuals, but against English rugby as a whole. And, as I said, the medal thing seemed to vindicate it.
> Fair play to you.
Edit: It's just rugby; I now have no problem wishing England well in any other sport (unless against Scotland of course).
Have you read 'The Grudge'?
cracking read about that match - one of the first games I recall.
Arguably Carlings team, and the current one, are the English teams that squanderd their World Cup chance - the 2007 team just dogging it out.
> Have you read 'The Grudge'?
> cracking read about that match - one of the first games I recall.
Thanks. Sounds good - ordered it. I just remember the sheer arrogance of the English in the build up as if the result was a foregone conclusion and then the intimidation and dawning realisation that they were really up against it from the moment the Scotland team walked onto the pitch. I listened to it on the world service during the night in my tent at AmaDablam base camp in the Himalayas - it was so cold I had to take the batteries out of the radio regularly to warm them in my sleeping bag and hope I didn't miss a key moment.
You might find the book enlightening!
> You might find the book enlightening!
> the penalty against Marler in the second half is one of those thats harder to understand - it looks like Marler is going forward, but he is actually pushing at an angle and the ref spots it - but they are the sort of things that are easy to miss.
Marler also changes his bind which (unfortunately) flags to the ref that he's starting to push at an angle.
Ref's decision also seem to go with the momentum, i.e. if you are on top, you are more likely to get the penalty. I half like Coel's point about changing them to free kicks instead of penalties but I also like that the scrum stays an important part of the game.
Hats off to SA. England never managed to get off their back foot.
> Ref's decision also seem to go with the momentum, i.e. if you are on top, you are more likely to get the penalty. I half like Coel's point about changing them to free kicks instead of penalties but I also like that the scrum stays an important part of the game.
The only problem with that, is that as with a lot of free kicks these days, instead of 'tapping and going', teams will opt for the scrum to try and win a penalty. Thus the free kick option may just end up with never ending scrums. I do however think something needs to change. It's not like the opposition are deliberately trying to commit a foul (well sometimes I guess they are), they are just being dominated.
> The only problem with that, is that as with a lot of free kicks these days, instead of 'tapping and going', teams will opt for the scrum to try and win a penalty. Thus the free kick option may just end up with never ending scrums. I do however think something needs to change. It's not like the opposition are deliberately trying to commit a foul (well sometimes I guess they are), they are just being dominated.
So surely, if they are being dominated then they deserve to concede points or territory via a penalty?
Strikes me that the current system needs a coach to take scrummaging seriously and include players of a size (and ability) to "push bloody hard". In itself this also keeps the game at top level open to different sizes and shapes of players - in my mind a good thing. Though I believe the England pack weighed heavier than the SA pack - so size isn't everything!
Only have to look at SA and their range of player sizes, big blokes right down to that effing de Klerk (who made a right nuisance of himself everywhere on the field - a compliment) and their winger.
This hopefully keeps the game open to more potential players and the coaches continually evolving how they can play the game and how to outsmart another team. As we have just seen.
The domination aspect, much like the scrum itself, is important due to the trade-offs it forces in selection. It's not just a binary issue of bulldozing forwards and agile backs but the balance being made in your forward pack for dominance at, and outside of, scrum-time. So the scrum, for all its flaws, has its place and forcing England to mobilise their bench to shore-up the scrum had implications for the game elsewhere.
As for the game, I wasn't much surprised it went the way it did. The bigger surprise was to see South Africa at last playing at a level that has eluded them for so long. They didn't majorly challenge the All Blacks in their pool game, it wasn't until the second half that they showed any chance of success against Japan, and Wales almost turned them. But in this final I might have given them the edge against the All Blacks, and a sure win if the ABs weren't firing on all cylinders.
England are a good side. But they're not that good. Beating the All Blacks every now and then (or annihilating the Aussies these days) does not make you a shoe-in for a World Cup win. The All Blacks lost to Ireland not that long ago and were close to going down to them several games in a row, but in the grander scheme of things it didn't count for where they stood relative to each other. England as a team it seems, and in the media (unsurprisingly) got well ahead of itself on account of a rare victory against a poor ABs.
Unfortunately, the medal ceremony behaviours do look as being more than a little arrogant - "we don't deserve silver and are better than that". No, you're not. You did well to get to the final, where you turned out a pretty on-par performance. You basically played as usual, were outplayed, and crumbled at the end when it wasn't going the way you expected. Silver is exactly what they deserve and should be happy with that. The crankiness exhibited is why people like myself, who would be happy to support England, can't bring ourselves to do so.
> England are a good side. But they're not that good. Beating the All Blacks every now and then (or annihilating the Aussies these days) does not make you a shoe-in for a World Cup win. The All Blacks lost to Ireland not that long ago and were close to going down to them several games in a row, but in the grander scheme of things it didn't count for where they stood relative to each other. England as a team it seems, and in the media (unsurprisingly) got well ahead of itself on account of a rare victory against a poor ABs.
It's a big ask to beat all the SH teams on the bounce. I can't recall when last a NH team did it other than England.
Its very hard in particular for England to beat all the NH teams on the bounce because EVERYONE wants to beat England more than anything - so every game is tough.
In a sport where the formbook can occasionally be tossed out the window, it makes domination very hard and defeat an ever-present threat.
I'm curious about this statement, "England as a team it seems...got well ahead of itself". What makes you say that?
Interesting reading of the match - looks to me they crumbled mentally in the first half, and never really got it back, rather than crumbling later on.
Agree SA played a great game, the absolute beasting in the scrum that effectively took out Underhill and Curry as an ‘attacking’ defence, and the brilliant kick chase from SA were highlights for me.
Who wrote that for you? The sports Editor for the National?
> I'm curious about this statement, "England as a team it seems...got well ahead of itself". What makes you say that?
Self-belief is important. But their reactions after the match (and the fact that they appeared to just give up in the last 15) point to them thinking they were much more than they really are.
They were always highly tipped to get to the semis. But the win against the All Blacks was them near their best and the ABs turning out a below-their-norm performance; there have been questions about Kieron Read's leadership ability to rally a close-run game (unlike McCaw), while I'd never expect to see those sorts of performances from the England side consistently.
It really looks to me that they were shocked by the result. They shouldn't have been. I suspect if it hadn't been the AB's they beat in the semis then they would still have had enough self-doubt to realise a win in the final was not incredibly likely. But it seemed that after beating the AB's the media, and probably the team, saw this as a sign of the level England's had obtained and could turn out again. In reality they appeared to have played all their cards in that match and their tactics were now old news.
When I watched the game I saw it as being tight for the first 50-60 minutes. SA played conservative rugby fully expecting England could punish mistakes. But only once SA got 9 points or so ahead (a situation which could easily have been a 3 point or less advantage) they were freed up to play. At that point England had no answer.
> EVERYONE wants to beat England more than anything - so every game is tough.
And the more England exude an entitlement to win, the more the other teams will want to beat them.
I reckon my grudge will now be good for another thirty years
> And the more England exude an entitlement to win, the more the other teams will want to beat them.
> I reckon my grudge will now be good for another thirty years
See you back here for the 6N! ;)
Cheered me up no end, that has!
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