Rugby World Cup 2011

New Zealand: 9th September - 23rd October

261 to 280 of 318 messages
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

18/10/2011 at 14:06

Wow, is it really a crime to think about cheating but not actually do it?  I don't know how many things I'm going to get banged up for when the thought police come to get me!

I've watched NZ Aus highlights a few times now - couldn't see the real thing because I was racing.  Strengely the highlights seem to show the Kiwis applying constant pressure, but not turning a huge amount of it into points.  On the flip side, the Aussies couldn't apply much pressure, and therefore could get barely any points.  Probably, therefore,a much closer match than many make out.

My predictions for the coming matches?  Aus on Friday and NZ on Sunday.

What are Wales going to do about the missing openside and tighthead?

18/10/2011 at 16:24
Wales have stuck with Paul James in the front row, brought Ryan Jones in at 8 and moved Faletau to the flank in place of Warburton. Gethin gets the captaincy.

18/10/2011 at 17:14
Tickets still available from wru.co.uk for the match at the stadium.

Free tickets that is.
19/10/2011 at 09:26

Why didn't they switch to Mitchell? He's not even on the bench.  I like Ryan Jones at 8, but I've never seen Faletau at 7. Gethin is a good call for captain.  A-W Jones looks like he's having a rest.  Hook is back at 10 after his under performance against France - not that anyone could kick that day.  I hope he does have a run this time.

Definitely not going to the Stadium on a Friday for a 3/4.  I can't imagine there will be many enticed.  Might have to work from home though.

So, how do the French play if they want to have a chance?

19/10/2011 at 11:35
I think the French will need to play loose and fast - if they get locked into a forward battle, they'll lose. they've always been a good counter attacking team so that's what they need to do. this is the final - they have nothing to lose by adopting a different style to that they have used so far.

the real question is how much ball NZ will let them have - they'll keep it pretty tight and Henry is a shrewd tactician so will know where their threat lies so will have his defence sorted.

somehow I don't see NZ choking this one

19/10/2011 at 12:53

The French don't have weight in the pack, but they've always had strength, speed and skill.  I think Dusautoir is underrated (except by the French), and likewise many others in their pack.  Pop one ball out of a tightly held situation and the French will have it and move.  Can NZ really rely on a tight game?  Historically NH teams have won in the pack and lost out in the backs when playing SH teams (1991 final, anyone?), yet this is why France have often had the better of the All Blacks, having a pack tested against England, Ireland and Wales, and then those skilful backs.  Unfortunately they have also been destroyed by them, on those days when they decide they can't figure out what they're doing.

So I'm not so sure that NZ will play it tight.  What they will have noted is that 9-10-12-13 for France ain't particularly world class.  Run Sonny Bill up through the centre channels and keep the French central backs out of position so they can't maintain a defensive line.  Do that for thirty minties, rack up about forty points, and then settle in to a tight match. 

France?  Quick hands to Clerc and Medard.  Get to the breakdown before the best back row in world rugby (debatable...), and see if you can't get them to commit offences (and be noticed doing it).  Then kick your points.  Keep stretching things wide to keep the play broken, and launch through the gaps.  Mostly, however, try to run with the ball!

I do hope it's a good match, even though I can't imagine it.  Is that still because of residual feelings that the Welsh should be there?

19/10/2011 at 13:07
Cake wrote (see)

Nemo you will be pleased to know I'm going for New Zealand for this one. Given I've said against France since the group games and every time I've been wrong there is no way you can lose.


Cheers, Cake!

I've no idea of what tactics the French should use and I don't think we've ever had a proper free-running type of rugby final. Can't realistically see NZ losing this one, unless SBW gets himself sent off for another dubious tackle!

Just really hope to see France play some positive rugby and not to be annihilated - wibble

Oh and maybe Clerc could score one more try to be top try scorer

19/10/2011 at 13:39
" I think Dusautoir is underrated (except by the French)"

I agree although he's not been on best form this RWC - he was my pick as top forward of the last 6N. when he's on song he's as good as any flanker out there.

the French 2nd rows are good in the lineout but really don't offer a lot around the park; likewise the props are good scrummagers but poor going forward with the ball. the front 5 of NZ are better which is why I think they can play it tight plus they rarely give turnovers.

" those days when they decide they can't figure out what they're doing" - that really is the French achilles heel. you never know which French side will turn up on the day. they can be outstandingly brilliant or bloody woeful (v Tonga for example).

there's something within the French psyche that seems to go awol at times

hey ho - let's get Friday out of the way 1st. need to see if I can stay at home to watch or watch it at the orifice. anyone know if it's being streamed live so I can watch on my PC??
19/10/2011 at 13:45

ITV1 were provisionally going to show it so I guess they still will as a home nation is involved. I think you can watch it on their website according to the blurb:

Online

ITV.com/rugbyworldcup will bring you live coverage of every match, and offers you the chance to chat live with fellow fans during all games. The site also features match highlights, exclusive video and the latest news

19/10/2011 at 13:50
cheers for that LN - will watch at my desk then. I see there's also an iPhone app for it as well but won't bother with that
19/10/2011 at 13:54

No problem, FB.

We have a big screen at work so we might have that on. One of my managers is a rugby fan so he'll find some way of justifying it

20/10/2011 at 12:14

Tv for me.  Getting a little excited now for tomorrow morning but trying to contain it.  This is just the first of a double-header for Wales/Australia, so regardless of the result tomorrow you can guarantee that the loser will want revenge in six weeks time!  Can't wait for my ticket to arrive...

Can anyone explain the IRB rankings?  Wales were 4th before the semi, but now England are back above them though they haven't played??  Seems to make about as much practical sense as their instructions to referees...

20/10/2011 at 12:44
yep - the IRB rankings are weird. maybe we go back to 4th when we beat the convicts...

I did like this on the BBC

"A New Zealand rugby fan born just hours after the All Blacks won the 1987 World Cup is set to be at Eden Park on Sunday as they bid for only their second global title. Born on 20 June, 1987, Anneke Ryff is probably the oldest of the 1.5m New Zealanders who were not born when the All Blacks won the tournament for the only time. For supporters seeking an omen, Ryff is now the girlfriend of Ryan Fox, son of Grant Fox, the fly-half in New Zealand's 1987 triumph."
20/10/2011 at 13:09
Yes, I saw that one too, fb, and my first thought was "how small is that country"?!  She's all over the local press down there.  I wonder whether her mother was watching the last win...
20/10/2011 at 13:19

Aw, bless! What a lovely story

Maybe everyone over there knows or is related to one of the '87 team!

20/10/2011 at 13:37

With regard to ranking Wales played four games of any note and won 2, lost 2.

Ok they performed well and should have won the 2 games they lost but rankings will just look at the bare result and not the bad luck story.

20/10/2011 at 14:56

Do I rise to that, or do I just put it plainly again?

Aw, heck, this ain't football.    I do know how the IRB rankings work, in the same way as I know the citing commission board's instructions to referees in 2009, regardless of the wording of the laws in 10.4.

I can't explain, or rather justify, either.

I am happy that we've played more games of note than all but three other teams in the world!  And I'm now really looking forward to the two remaining.  And then to the December friendly...  And then to the 6N...

21/10/2011 at 08:31

Good luck Wales!

Got a free coffee from the French cafe this morning. Good omen, going for France by 3 points on Sunday*

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* yes, I know I'm deluded

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