French History

12 10 2007

Who will hoist Bill in the air?Rugby World Cup – time to see who’s really here to play in France. Time to see who’s going to put their nation’s name down in the history books… After the surprise victories of the French & English last week, I’m betting that there are a heap of Australian and New Zealand fans hoping that the winner from the second semi-final hold the Webb Ellis trophy aloft. No love lost for the French or English on Antipodean shores… but who will be the nations to get through this weekend’s episodes of Rugby World Cup?

Semi-final 1: France vs England (Oct 13th, Saint-Denis)
3 months ago, I’d have laughed if anyone suggested that this would be a semi-final pairing. Maybe not at the inclusion of the French, but definitely at England being included.
Well, joke’s on me. They are there, and they’re there at the expense of my own Wallabies. Their forwards are playing quite well, and they are riding Jonny’s boot. Jonny - a target?They exposed flaws in the Australian game, and their passion was unmatched.
In the French I think they’ll find a different beast in Saint-Denis, to that the one they slew in Marseille a week ago. As with the English, Les Bleus went into this match as the underdogs, and whilst some may disagree on the ‘whys & wherefores’, they matched it with the All Blacks for the whole game, and finished in front.

I think the French will be too much for England, especially on home soil. Both teams have come through the fire, both teams are peaking at the right time. However, the French have a better game, and the English forwards won’t find their French counterparts as easy as the Australians were. It’s time for Waterloo, but this time the tri-colores will be lofted on the victory dias. France by 12.

Semi-final 2: South Africa vs Argentina (Oct 14th), Saint-Denis
‘Boks Captain John Smit - leads from the frontlines…A real pity that these two teams meet here, destroying a hope of an all Southern Hemisphere final (I s’pose non-antipodeans could say the same about the 1st semi!)… Both teams have looked phenomenal all through the RWC tournament. South Africa destroyed the only other team they’ve played who are still in the finals – beating England by a nasty 36-0, but have shown frailties against sides who can run.

Argentina have been methodical in beating all comers, but didn’t look as convincing against Scotland as I expected. This should be an absolutely fantastic match, with both teams going at each other hammer & tong. I would love to see an Argentinean victory, followed by a triumph in Saint-Denis a week later…
However, I just don’t see it happening. South Africa, whilst not having huge depth, have the experience to get up against Argentina. Just too strong. In a hard-fought match, ‘Boks to win by under 10.

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One response

14 10 2007

I remember saying ‘As long as Jonny’s playing I won’t write england off’
That was back at the start of the W.C on Riddlers pool play topics.
Its seems I was right.So far.

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