New Zealand: 9th September - 23rd October
Interesting stuff, FB!
Looks like France will be playing in white again - boo
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?
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?
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?
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.
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
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:
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
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
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...
Aw, bless! What a lovely story
Maybe everyone over there knows or is related to one of the '87 team!
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.
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...
Good luck Wales!
Got a free coffee from the French cafe this morning. Good omen, going for France by 3 points on Sunday*
* yes, I know I'm deluded
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