Rugby World Cup 2011

New Zealand: 9th September - 23rd October

241 to 260 of 316 messages
15/10/2011 at 16:09

But nearly all of them have gone before the citing commission and received bans of 3 weeks plus presumably because they should have been red cards in the first place.

I think it was dangerous even if it wasn't done with malice or intent. Vincent Clerc ended up landing on the back of his neck.

But it did ruin the match and I think Wales would have won if Warburton hadn't been sent off.

I forgot I'm doing a 10 mile tomorrow so I'll miss NZ v. Aus. I wonder if I can avoid the result before I get to watch the recording?

15/10/2011 at 17:48
To give France credit, their overall record at World Cups is excellent and I don't think any other team could recover from 2 losses in the pool stages and still reach the final. Their pack also played very well and dominated the game in the tight.

What was disappointing was that unlike so many French teams of the past, they had very little to offer behind the scrum even with a 1 man advantage.

Particularly sad for Shane Williams, Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins (maybe Mike Phillips too ?). All have been outstanding servants of Welsh rugby in good days and bad and will certainly/probably not be around in 4 years time.

The loss of Adam Jones again showed how absolutely crucial he is to the team. Last week he "murdered" a very fine prop in Cian Healey and after he left the field today the Welsh scrum was all over the place.

Let's hope the team and the coaches can lift themselves for the 3rd place play-off and go out on a deserved high.
16/10/2011 at 18:29

D'oh - completely forgot to set up the recording and overheard the result anyway from a car radio!

Just seen the highlights and NZ looked scarily good so I guess we're heading for a repeat of the first World Cup final. Hope that France come good and put up a decent performance, I'd hate to see a massacre

At least the ITV commentary team have calmed down a bit and are no longer calling France the worst team ever

Good luck to Wales for Friday!

16/10/2011 at 20:43

My predictions were 100% wrong this weekend... i predict NZ will win ...

hope that does the trick

16/10/2011 at 21:25
Strange how 1987 seems to have repeated itself. NZ vs France in the final (albeit that French side had been immensely more impressive in their previous matches) and Wales vs Australia in the 3rd place play-off.

I think the game on Friday is very important for Wales. If we play really well and win, that will give us a lot of momentum going into 2012 and we really need to start beating the SH teams ( and believing that we can).

Bit harsh on France that they're not being given a chance. "Winning ugly" is a hugely important attribute in any sport and when all is said and done they're in the final and if they can rediscover the form of 2 years ago it still could be a contest.
17/10/2011 at 09:04
I think I've calmed down now

I can only agree with what's been said - the sending off ruined what could have been a corker of a game. it was extremely harsh but the ref applied the laws correctly - "The lifted player is dropped to the ground from a height with no regard to the player's safety (red card offence)".

but irrespective of that we lost the game, the French didn't win it. we missed important kicks at goal - simple as. France has few opportunities to score but Parras took them.

the All Blacks looked good but not over dominant against Oz - they still had to work the win. McCaw had an awesome game - that tackle and turnover in the last few minutes is the stuff of coaching videos. Dagg was outstanding too running seeming impossible lines.

I can't see France beating NZ but the way France have got to the final who knows? NZ could choke and France might rediscover what they are good at - running rugby.

somehow I think the fizz has gone out of the Welsh bottle now and I don't see us winning against Oz sadly. great shame but we now have a team to be proud of and a team for the future.

17/10/2011 at 09:53

I thought it was still a cracking game, tense right up until the final seconds, lots of close calls - like the kick from half way, should Wales have gone for the drop goal etc.

I do agree that the rule hasn't been consistently applied though.

Mr Zuvai    pirate
17/10/2011 at 10:21

I reckon wales will want to come out blazing against the aussies and show that they feel they deserve to be in the final - "do it for sam" mentality - i hope they do

then again genia and particularly cooper have been turd all tournament and might just turn on some magic all of a sudden not that there isn't any pressure

I have never seen a player fall apart - quite as spectacularly as Cooper - a month ago all the talk was about how he was the new superpower at 10 yet a soon as there is some pressure he flapped like a flag!

Mr Zuvai    pirate
17/10/2011 at 10:27

the kiwi's look awesome - even if they don't win next weekend McCaw will probably be remembered as one of the games great number 7's

i think that the way they so easily beat the French in the group stages will have put some of the millennium stadium ghosts to rest

17/10/2011 at 11:51

2 great games.  I really wish England could rediscover some of their previous verve and play a bit more like Australia and NZ.  But that's probably hoping too much in the near future.

So disappointed for Wales (saying that as an Englishman)  Just hope that NZ tear France a new one next weekend.  No way France deserve to be in the final.  Good thing though is that history is against them as no team has won the tournament having lost a game let alone 2.

17/10/2011 at 12:07
good to see that Joubert has the ref slot for the final with Nigel Owens and Alain Roland (spit) on the sides.

excellent choice I think - he did a good job of yesterday's semi and I particularly liked one comment he made when a scrum went down early on "I'm not comfortable with that, let's set it again" rather than blow a penalty which others might have done. he was being realistic. and he didn't take any back chat from anyone and handled some of the Oz petulance well when they were penalised for marginal mistakes

Wayne Barnes has got the nod for the 3rd place slot with Clancy and Poite on the sides. I'm OK with that. at least it's not Stuart Barnes....
Edited: 17/10/2011 at 12:08
17/10/2011 at 12:51

Honestly, BDB! Next you'll be saying France are as bad as England in 2007...

17/10/2011 at 12:58
Lol - no, they are worse.  England only lost one game.  Although it was such a thrashing that it probably counted as 2 or even 3 loses   Anyway, the right team won the title in 07 as I hope they will this time around too.
17/10/2011 at 13:08

We'll have to agree to disagree, BDB

My hopes for Sunday are:

  1. France win - v. v. unlikely I know!
  2. France at least play well and make the game enjoyable
  3. France don't lose by huge margin and get completely humiliated
  4. ITV get a good commentary team - least likely of all!

Oh well, at least Phillipe Saint-Andre is taking over after this

17/10/2011 at 13:14
I think "Goret" has some work to do with the French squad - I see Lievremont was having another go at their attitude after the semi calling them a bunch of spoiled brats

I don't think the squad or Lievremont will miss each other after the final

Edited: 17/10/2011 at 13:15
17/10/2011 at 13:25
Looking back on it now, Wales lost to both France and South Africa because we didn't convert pressure kicks into points (penalties, conversions and drop goal opportunities). Even against Ireland we missed a couple of penalties that should have gone over and although it didn't matter to the result, it might have done.

No. 1 priority for the Wales management and coaching staff must be to make Priestland into the sort of nerveless kicker that every successful international team must have (no.2 must be to find another quality tight head prop for when Adam Jones retires or is injured).

Like you Nemo, I really hope France give it 100% on Sunday and turn on the attacking style that has made them irresistable at times over the years. They certainly have the players, but I agree that it may need the long overdue departure of Lievremont before it happens.

Personally, I don't think the ITV commentary has been that bad, although I agree the studio pundits (with the exception of Fitzpatrick) have tended to "toe the party line" far too much. For Friday, there's always S4C and subtitles if you need them !
17/10/2011 at 13:26

I'm with you in hoping it's a good game at least Nemo.  Though I expect if NZ score early, then it will be a serious kicking.  We know how fickle the French support is and the team don't play well from behind.

Yes, FB - he really knows how to motivate his squad doesn't he? Though I find it odd the other sides get a kicking in the press for a night out in the pool stages, yet some of the French squad think it's a good idea to go out a week before a final.  Me, sour grapes?  Too right

17/10/2011 at 13:32

Well I agree with ML on this one. I don't think you can go out and celebrate getting to the final after a game like that. You should be thanking God or whoever and working on playing properly for the next match. All joking aside they probably are the worst French team I've seen and yet they're in the final when better French teams from the past have fallen short. Bizarre!

I hope that PSA can get some team spirit back and I'll accept an unsuccessful 6N if they start playing some proper running rugby again.

I'm going to be a nervous wreck by Sunday!

18/10/2011 at 09:49
interesting comment from Warren Gatland

no doubt the WRU will have strong words with him and his coaching squad for that, but at least he's being honest and I'm so glad we haven't got a "Propgate" scenario as that would do the Welsh squad immense damage when they are at the top of their game.

at the top level, games are won by margins and there is always some underhand stuff going on that neither the ref, supporters or the TV picks up. I think it was Brad Thorne who came in on a tackle on one of the Ozzies and gave the tackled player a clatter in the chops. In the scheme of things it looked innocuous, but on slow replay, you could see there was some "marginal" intent to give the player a smack. Dallaglio picked that up on the commentary but didn't elaborate....
18/10/2011 at 10:18

Interesting stuff, FB!

Looks like France will be playing in white again - boo

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