No Eagle-pie for England (Rugby World Cup – Match Reports)

9 09 2007

France 07So the first day of matches is over. Some expectations fulfilled, but some damn good performances too. Still another day of matches today before the weekend’s rugby is done – but let’s look at what’s gone:

England 28 – USA 10
Funny that the first thing I’m going to do on this is congratulate the US Eagles. Losing, but only going down by 18 to the reigning World Champions is pretty damn good. It remains to be seen what repercussions will be felt from this. Are the US that good? Are England that bad? Can the US of A get wins against either Tonga or Samoa?
I think that Samoa will be salivating at the prospect of playing what appears to be an underdone English team. There’s a pretty good chance that England don’t get out of pool play, should they continue to play the way they did against the US.
The US should look forward to the Tonga match, but I still favour the islanders to get the job done.
Still… I don’t think that anyone will be taking the US Eagles lightly in pool-play.

Australia 91 – Japan 3
Bizarrely, I didn’t feel that Japan were embarrassed, nor did I feel that this was a particularly strong showing from Australia… both despite the resulting scoreline. The Japanese did well – considering they pretty much fielded a ‘B’ side due to having to play a mere 4 days later against Fiji. They’ll be hard-pressed to beat the Fijians… but amazingly there were positives in the first half of this game. Japan defended well, but when the flood gates opened in the second half, they just lacked the ability to stop the Wallabies.
13 tries to the Wallabies, and when Rocky Elsom scored his 3rd in the opening minute of the second half, it was the fastest hat-trick scored by a forward in the history of the cup. Still, it took the Australian unit a long time to find their rhythm… when they did, the only question was how huge the scoreline would end up being.
Japan now look to Wednesday’s game against Fiji, and Australia have a week off before their clash with Wales.

New Zealand 76 – Italy 14
A very impressive start by the heavily favoured All Blacks. The mercurial Doug Howlett scored an impressive hat-trick of tries, and the Italians were simply unable to stop the New Zealand unit – in particular Dan Carter, whose kicking game had the Azzurri in fits.
Italy will be disappointed with this run, and Scotland will be eying them hungrily for their clash on September 29th, the last game of this pool. A clash that will most likely determine who joins New Zealand as the victors from Pool C.
And nothing new from New Zealand, who continue to assert themselves as the team to beat in this World Cup. It’s a mantle they’ll not shrug off, daring anyone to try take it from them. And it’s unlikely that they’ll be challenged until they hit the QFs.

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3 responses

11 09 2007
kip

I say Boks and Samoa – BRING ‘EM ON

There is a long way to go yet

kip

11 09 2007
kip

GO ENGLAND

kip

11 09 2007
Aaron Becker

I forgot my Yanks played rugby/league. I remember several? years ago when the ‘Roos came over too the States – after winning the World Cup – and we played a good 1st half and I actually watched it down here, Down Under. Anyway, I knew we’d have to score 12 in the 2nd half, just to have a chance, but alas, Oz came out with I think a 12 point win. That was the match where Willie Mason was injured and missed about half of his upcoming Bulldog season – like I cared 😉

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