New Zealand: 9th September - 23rd October
Great match. Australia started really well - didn't really see enough of that up to now. Good finish by Wales. Thought they used Roberts straight up the middle too much, Aus seemed to have the answer for that.
Wales look in good shape for next 6N. Just need to kick 3pts at appropriate times
Little Nemo - No more marathons! wrote (see)
... going for France by 3 points on Sunday
Been trying to envisage how this might come about. So here is my take on how it might play out.
Brad Thorn, fired up by the ocassion, is over-enthusiastic in his performance of the haka and stamps on McCaw's ankle. McCaw collapses in a heap. Cory Jane is so shocked that he swallows his chewing gum and starts to choke. Ma'a Nonu sees Jane's predictament and rushes over to give him the Heimlich manoeuver. On his way to save Jane he stands on McCaw's other ankle. As he performs the heimlich manouver Ma'a Nonu gets disoriented and instinctively spear tackles Jane into the ground. Jane's chewing gum is dislodged, as is his shoulder. Alain Rolland (remember him) points out to the illegal tackle to the referee Craig Joubert, who red cards Ma'a Nonu. Mealamu remonstrates with Joubert. Angrily calling him a complete and utter banker. Joubert red cards Mealamu.
For 79 minutes the scores are tied at 0-0. On two occasions a nervous All Black side have knocked on with the try line at their mercy. Then in the eightieth minute Yashvili sees Lievrement on the sidelines and tries to dropkicks the ball at him to demonstrate his disgust at the inelegance of Lievrement's moustache. In keeping with France's RWC 2011 performance he slices the kick horribly.
It goes over the bar. Joubert raises his arm. France win by 3 points.
I look forward to it
Well I had planned to get up early, go for a run, have a bath and then settle down to the match tomorrow.
But now I'm ill so instead I'll probably be watching it from under a duvet drinking a Lemsip.
Just time to wish both teams good luck and one last croaky
ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!!
Well done New Zealand, best team of the tournament and deserved winners
But at least France played well and restored some pride. If you had asked me yesterday if I'd take a one point loss I'd have bitten your hand off but now I can't help wondering what if Trinh-Duc had kicked that penalty...
I thoroughly enjoyed that final. No real investment in it and yet I was on the edge of my seat at times. I was waiting for the All Blacks to choke, but they didn't. In the end a result which seemed to be fair to everyone involved, if a little hard for the French to grasp. The ABs did deserve to win that tournament, right from the off, and needed to in their own back yard. The French didn't deserve to win before the match, yet on the day they brought a great game and made the whole thing exciting. That probably was the Bleu's one great game of the tournament, but the ABs were ready for it.
I've enjoyed the whole tournament, and think that apart from the odd little bits of schedule niggles the whole thing went really well. Samoa perhaps deserve a place in the tri/quad-nations, and perhaps more than Argentina, though I expect the Argies to become a force in World rugby over the next eight to ten years, as their inclusion will repair their base of players. Perhaps someone could suggest having two tiers to the Southern Hemisphere tournament, with one team going up and one down each year. Okay, so the top three would always be the same, but the experience of playing them would get shared around.
Four years time, in England, and I'm expecting a Northern nation to lift the cup. No idea who, but I think even England might soon grasp the idea of building a squad over four years to attack the tournament. The English and the Irish need to start over. The French will be very interesting during the 6N. I wonder if we will see a settled team? As much as Marc Lievremont made outside observers scratch their heads, his coaching team and many of the players believed he was superb, and the way he understood their psyche to galvanise them was impressive.
All in all a great tournament. Roll on February! (And December, though that's a more local affair...)
I love this picture:
Good finale. Nice to see the French turn up at last. Wish they would let the rest of us know how they manage to keep scaring the brown out of the All Blacks.
On balance NZ did enough but wouldnt have been a surprise if France won, given their performance on the day. The NZ might have to stop handing out a "10" jersey - it seems unlucky. Perhaps a "9.9" jersey or 5*2 jersey.
Overall a good competition, some good rugby. Interesting that teams need a balance of a good frontrow/backro/backs so maybe the rules are getting something right.
From an Ireland perspective was expecting the worst so wasnt too unhappy with the result - QF was a fair reflection of how they played.
Lovely picture, Kwilter
France fined for Haka breach!
I'd like to see a new winner for 2015, I think it would be good to spread it outside the Top4 *coughFrancecough*
Looking forward to the 6Nations next year with lots of changes for most teams. It will be interesting to see how Argentina go in the Quad(?) Nations next year as well.
that's properlly wound me up - i've always loved the haka and the traditions it tries into the game, but im sick of how prissy the kiwi's are about it
remember their sulk at MS 2006 and nonu's comments RE welsh were looking for a fight ...
dare i mention BOD...
Dusatoir has been immense for France for a number of years - fully deserves player of the year..
FB - Reid is easily the best 8 in the game - beast of player
To be fair to NZ Mr Zuvai I don't think they've complained this time, it's just the madness of the IRB.
So who was your player of the tournament, what was your favourite match/try etc?
For me the best player was probably McCaw as he seemed to play most of his matches on one leg and the pressure from the fans must have been immense.
My favourite neutral game was probably Japan v. Canada - drama right down to the end! My favourite French game would be the final where they finally put on a whole performance.
My favourite try was Clerc's against England. It's probably not technically the most demanding as the defense was shocking but when a player has time to do a pirouette on the way to the line, that's class!
<packs away French jersey until next February>
The madness of the IRB, oh yes indeed! First the Kiwis brought the haka, then the Welsh sang back at them, now everybody is allowed to sing their anthems but the Kiwis still get a haka as well? The game should kick off before they're allowed to do the haka, and then we can see if they still want to dance.
I do think everyone's a bit precious about it. Rant over.
Favourite neutral game was the final. Player of the tournament for me was Adam Jones (would any team not want him?), or maybe Maxime Medard as a neutral because I enjoyed watching him with the ball so much. Favourite try? That might be New Zealand's try in the final, for sheer professional excellence, taking the training onto the pitch and executing perfectly. Or it might be Mike Phillips against France, because it turned a stadium into a gibbering bag of nerves for the next twenty minutes.
<packs away Welsh jersey until December and revenge time>
Oh, forgot to mention. Wales down to 8th in the IRB rankings.
Argentina (beaten), Ireland (beaten) and England (beaten) above them.
There are quite a few things the IRB should take a look at. Never mind, though, they'll all fall again.
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