Island Nations hold court in France (Rugby World Cup updates)

13 09 2007

So another group of games have gone by, and 3 tightly contested games they were! After watching some absolute canings, it was good to have a day where the results were all decided by 10 points or less…

Tongan Taufaka

Tonga 25 def USA 15 – the media wrap-up on this had the US going in as favourites, the Tongans cast in the role of ‘underdogs’. Sorry, despite a spirited performance against England, I had stated earlier that I didn’t think the US would win a game here this World Cup… and nothing I saw in the first match changed that. And again… despite yet another spirited performance by the Eagles, the Islanders always looked more creative, more threatening. Statistically, the US had the better of Tonga, but rugby’s not a game of mere stats alone. Samoa looked more threatening when they had the ball… the US content to simply try and bull-rush the ball through the Tongan defense, a tactic that ultimately led to their defeat.

Fiji 35 def Japan 31 – This is a game that the Brave Blossoms had targeted to win, and they will go away from this game disappointed that they didn’t. It was a see-saw affair that saw both sides share the lead… but Fiji walks away with a win & a bonus point (for scoring 4 tries) and Japan getting a bonus point for keeping the score within 7.
With time running out, and Japan seemingly permanently camped at the Fijian 22, as the crowd cheered the Asian representatives on, the Fiji unit was certainly happy to hear the final whistle.

Italy 24 def Romania 18 – In another tight contest, Italy’s inability to dismiss the Romanians will have the Scottish team salivating at the prospect of a Quarter Finals berth. The performance was full of errors, and Italy appeared to be still suffering from the after-affects of the smashing they got from New Zealand four days earlier. Italy squandered quite a few chances to score, and they struggled with the physicality that Romania brought to the paddock.

No game today, but Friday brings us an absolutely MASSIVE clash between South Africa & England…

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3 responses

14 09 2007
Brock Samson

Really? The US was favored to beat Tonga? Really? Yeah, I was as stunned as everyone else by the Eagles’ strong showing against England (considering that England A routinely beats the Eagles by 50 or 60 points), but let’s not lose our heads here.

You’re right; I think the only victories the Eagles will see this time around are moral ones (and I’ve got them down for at least 1 of those).

14 09 2007
WithMalice

Yup Brock – lots of media had the US as favourites for this game… read one account where the interviewed Tongans were supposedly “happy to wear the underdog tag”…
Not from me.
I’ve picked the US Eagles to lose every game. But we’re agreed – there’s a lot of positive to be taken away from this RWC for the Eagles. Bring on 2011 (from their perspective… not mine! 😉 )…

15 09 2007
yesiamahooker

must slightly disagree with your assessment of the eagles’s play against tonga. the issue was not the bullrushing but how ponderous the states were getting the ball out of rucks and mauls. i felt myself age waiting for the ball to be played. also the usa backline was not inventive at all and a bit dodgy in defense. it seemed a bit optimistic for a win this rwc but they eagles are much improved overall.

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