Counting Chickens

7 10 2007

Rugby World Cup – England 12 – Australia 10

Jubilant EnglandWell… on the strength of the game Australia brought to the table, England deserved to win. There was a massive difference in desire, passion, and planning. Australia really had a massive gap between intention and execution. The vaunted Wallabies backs struggled to get much use of the ball because the forwards were so pathetic.

Thing is, I still don’t believe that the English forwards are better than those of the Australian team. But they did play better this game – and all the above adjectives (passionate et al) apply most of all to this group – time after time, the ball was lost to the superior play of the English forwards. They simply came ready to play, and were willing to do whatever it took to win the ball. If you can’t keep the ball, you can’t get tries. It really is that simple.

Australia’s backs did get the ball occasionally – and numerous times had substantial numbers advantages out wide. So what did they do? Cut back to the supposedly weak center defense of the English.
NEWSFLASH!!! If a team is allowed to crowd the center – because you won’t run wide – then you’re going to struggle to get through. You have to start with some flanking runs first. Only try scored in the whole game: where? Out wide to Lote Tuqiri’s only score for the tournament.

Bitterly disappointed, because even given the deficiencies our forward pack displayed, the game was still there to be won.

So… what needs to happen?
First of all, do not sack John Connolly. Knuckles has done a pretty good job of fixing the mess left by Eddie Jones. Connolly should get time & support so that he can continue to finish what he started.
Tear the forwards to pieces. Get new ones in, and train ’em up. Establish a new culture within the team that focuses on professional rugby. If Matt Dunning & Lote Tuqiri (amongst others) desire to remain Wallabies, no more late-night boozing, fighting & basically larrikin behavior. Instill a culture of responsibility – both on & off the field. Players responding with continual stupid retaliations on the field should face the axe. England played Australia like a fiddle, getting penalty after penalty from idiocy.
Keep a lot of the older guys like Mortlock, Gregan & Latham – ones with good leadership qualities – but bring in new blood.

Honestly? I didn’t expect Australia to win the World Cup… it would’ve been nice if they did, but it would have been a ‘steal’. I expected to maybe get to the semi-finals. Hair Bear ChabalI have many a Kiwi friend who for the past 13+ hours have been pictures of pure despondency. New Zealand went into this world cup with an expectancy I’ve not seen before. A feeling of ‘destiny’. Pretty much every New Zealander I know wasn’t talking about the quarters or semis, they only discussed the final, and it was spoken in terms of ‘when’, not ‘if’. To then lose to France 20-18 will be absolutely gut-wrenching.

Time remains to be seen what impact these losses have… but both teams, and their respective nations, were guilty of spending this victory before it actually occurred. Lesson learnt: don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

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34 responses

7 10 2007
Matt

HA HA HA HA…..You Gobby Aussie Twats…Not so gobby now after we SPANKED your criminal convict arses..TWICE..when it matters.

7 10 2007
withmalice

Nice to see some *intelligent* commentary from an Englishman. [rolls eyes]

I’m sure you’re not representative of the rest of your nation, (door)Matt. Surely the gene pool hasn’t thinned that much.

8 10 2007
Harry

Youve had a taste of freedom now back on the prison boat to your crocadile,spider,snake,scorpian infested land and start again sea you in 4 years

8 10 2007
withmalice

Wow… I hope the education process is better than you’re exhibiting Harold!
You need to put a space after a comma, there’s an apostrophe in ‘you’ve’ … and it’s ‘crocodile’ & ‘scorpion’…

Seriously – why do I get the ‘really-stupid-quartile’ in here? Some intelligent English with grace? Please?

(and note Harold – your URL is removed because you’re operating a dirty little skank site)

8 10 2007
reece

we kept our mouths shut until now when we tactically beat the aussies yesterday.The australians must learn to think before they speak,and understand that when it comes to rugby union England are superior because they walk the walk not talk the talk…. ENGLAND TO BEAT SOUTH AFIRICA IN THE FINAL!

8 10 2007
kip

I think that the hype has got totally out of hand.

England won but only just.

At the end of the day England got their act together and worked to a game plan. One which clearly worked.

I would argue however, that the Wallabies were not as strong as their supporters believed. A good performance in beating the ABs in the tri nations but that’s it. When I looked at the Wallaby team that came to the NH in the Autumn Series I felt they were mediocre. Admittedly: Mortlock, Giteau and the truly great Latham are star performers but I struggle to rate the others.

When I compared the two teams prior to the game I had England ahead in most areas: Pack, Halves, Wings, Kicker, Bench and really only had the Wallabies ahead in the mid field with dangerous centers.

I was amazed when Drew was left on the bench.

Just my view.

In the after game fallout and many silly and abusive things being written, I say unlucky – it could easily have been the other way.

kip

8 10 2007
Bemused Irishman

Great for six-nations rugby to see the kiwis and aussies booted out but I think that’s far enough for England now thank you very much!
It’s bad enough to see Ireland have such a horrible RWC but England doing “too” well would just rub salt in the wounds.. that’ll be far enough lads, France to beat the boks in the final!

8 10 2007
Mike White

France’s victory over the All-Blacks has to be one of the biggest upsets in Rugby World Cup history. I don’t keep much track of rugby, but I know that New Zealand is likely the best rugby team in the world, and the French…not so much.

I suppose that the odds-on favorite now is South Africa…

8 10 2007
Bozz

^^^^^^^
@ Mike White

France won the Rugby World Cup in ’99 – defeating New Zealand in the final.

As a gringo you’re better off just saying “I don’t know anything of rugby, but…”

Please resume your viewing of Sunday afternoon NFL and baseball, and leave the international scene to the rest of us. Just follow the log-out exit signs, dude.

8 10 2007
withmalice

Boz – it’s attitudes like that, that make rugby a relatively small provincial sport.
Grow up.

Me? I welcome any new fan to the sport.

Kip – well done, finally proof that the educational process is alive & well in England!

8 10 2007
dread

ugh, I woke up to watch the Auzzie backs and I get this? Very disappointing.

After the Saffies spanked the Brits I thought this was a gimme game. Guess I wasn’t the only one.

8 10 2007
brumbygg9

terribly, terribly disappointing. Wallabies lacked inventiveness, creativity and basic ball handling skills. GG had a poor game and goes into international retirement on a low note. England stifled the life out of the Wallabies and were very effective at it. Well played England, roll on 2001!

8 10 2007
Mike White

Just watched a replay–it looks like one of France’s tries was illegitimate, the result of a forward pass.

8 10 2007
withmalice

Hey Mike… thing was, it wasn’t the only forward-pass for the game.
To be honest, the refereeing of the entire tournament has left a lot to be desired. It’s still adjudicated at a very, very amateurish level.

8 10 2007
brumbygg9

those types of decisions tend to balance themselves out…. in the end the ABs, much like the Wallabies, allowed themselves to be outplayed and out thought. If they were as good as they believed that try wouldn’t have made a difference

8 10 2007
The Riddler

Boz, France got thoroughly thrashed by Aussie in the final in 99. They fluked a win over us in the semi but backed it up with their usual crap the following week. Ditto in 87 when they beat Aussie in the semi and got smashed in the final by the AB’s.

8 10 2007
The Riddler

Don, you give the English forwards way too little credit and the Aussie ones way too much. Your front row has been a joke for a fair while now. Locks are good. Loosies average. Smith & Waugh are past their due date. England specialise on a forward orientated game. Always have, always will, and they always have a quality pack. Aussie specialises in the backs.

Your backline had it over England in spades but they barely got the ball because the English where so much quicker to the breakdown and turning over/maintain possession. I knew you would struggle up forward in this match but I gave your guys enough credit to win enough ball for your backline. Despite hardly seeing the ball I bet the line breaks where very lop sided in favor of Aussie.

8 10 2007
withmalice

Agreed (‘cept on the forwards bit… to an extent). Just didn’t USE the line-breaks. Needed to go wide first, to open up the center.

8 10 2007
brumbygg9

the front row was very poor and both Sharpe and Vickerman showed a lack of discipline. I can’t remember a game when none of our loose forwards made any impact at all. Elsom, Smith and Palu were non-factors and that hurt us. If they had managed to open some holes in the midfield it would have provided space for Giteau and Mortlock to operate and then once England committed players to plug the gaps to start moving the ball wide.

8 10 2007
Steve

I still cannot believe that Australia lost.

The Wallabies performance was absolutely pathetic. England had been in terrible form for the entire world cup, but Australia (in excellent form) actually lost.

I’ll be supporting South Africa for the remainder of the tournament.
GO SPRINGBOKS!

8 10 2007
Mike White

Referees? Making big mistakes in an important game? How shocking!

8 10 2007
withmalice

lol…

Unfortunately Mike, Rugby more so than most sports.
As I said before – Rugby’s got a long way to go. Watch during the next week or so… I have an article in the works on it…

9 10 2007
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9 10 2007
Trev

It makes me laugh the way people like to take a pop at refs.
It’s not an easy job, especially in front of the TV world.
It’s easy analysing the game on TV with all those nice slow motion replays with multiple camera angles and the commentator helping you make your mind up. But the ref has to make split second decisions without the luxury of being wired up directly to you during the match to ask your opinion.
Don’t slag the ref off until you’ve all got off your fat, couch potato arses and been there and done it yourself.
If you think it’s easy, go to your local club and ask them to let you ref a game. Then watch them piss themselves laughing at how much you really know about the laws.
If there’s no ref, there’s no game!
But what the hell, they’re an easy target.

9 10 2007
withmalice

What an ill-informed response Trev. “fat, couch potato arses” – pray tell: how are you aware of the physical capabilities of everyone? Maybe it’s just your mirror?
Simple fact: rugby adjudication needs to improve quite a bit.

9 10 2007
bob

Also Trev, I didn’t need “slow motion replays with mulitple camera angles” to see that pass was forward. I screamed ‘forward pass’ at the TV the moment it happened!

I have not reffed rugby but I have reffed hockey for some time and quite frankly I would be embarrassed if I put in a performance like Barnes did on the weekend.

10 10 2007
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11 10 2007
Black Hornet

Interesting that Versus picked up a delayed feed of the game here in the US. The US coach was saying that now was the time for Rugby to step up and get some attention in the US. Well, at least we won a match in 03. I wonder if the NZ team suffers from the same thing the English football team suffers from – overheated expectations.

12 10 2007
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14 10 2007
reece

I told you so England South Africa final! Chabal is a false hope for France sorry Chabal was a false hope for France. Sheridan was the anchor of the squad. Shaw man of the match. Laport, as a manager was never any good as a player. He looks like a member of the SS and we all know what happend to them!

ENGLAND

14 10 2007
kieth

Chabal The French secret weapon.
What a load of bollocks

We look forward to more class from Argentina
Laporte What an [edit], The words pissup and brewery spring to mind.

P.S. I am a french man/woman.

14 10 2007
Gaston

I am Gaston from the Auvergne. Wasn`t Chababal a load of shyte tonight.
I know that French women are hot for him but I am sort of half cool for him but since tonight, he has dampened my ardour. in fact I think he is a twat
When are the French going to learn the beautiful game.
Ah well coq au vin &
ou est la toilette.
Gaston

15 10 2007
Shrek

with all due respect, have you ever played front row? Sheridan and Vickery ripped your front row to shreds. And that was sheer talent that did it. And all week people have been saying that England wont be able to push the french pack around. But once again, Bulldog Spirit shone through.

I honestly think we can beat the bokkes. We’ve found some inner belief and that is worth 10 points alone. If our squad can avoid any more injuries. We’ve got a damn good chance.

And lets not forget the work that Brian Ashton has done in 9 months, in what most normally have 4 years to do so.

15 10 2007
withmalice

With all due respect, have you?

I still think that the English are a team that are currently playing above themselves. That may work for all I know, and yes – I think you’re capable of beating the ‘Boks. But didn’t work so well last time you played ’em (36-0), and the last 3 years of English rugby has been deplorable.
That said & done, good luck!

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