Riddle me this: ‘Boks get the job done

23 10 2007

Riddler?  One-eyed All Black fan!Congratulations South Africa!

Firstly, congratulations to the Springboks. You showed great flair and tenacity through-out the tournament and you fully deserved the win. Congratulations to England as well for making it as far as you did. To many you didn’t deserve to make it as far as you did on your feeble efforts of the last four years but you did and hopefully you can build on this.

Well we saw the final on Saturday night and pretty much, like a fair majority of the tournament, it did not happen without a degree of controversy. Cueto - no tryThis time the Cueto try which was disallowed has seen the English up in arms. The English players and their supporters have screamed foul at video referee Stuart Dickinson claiming an Aussie conspiracy. However Dickinson got it right and it was no try. Watching the game initially I thought it was a try but one picture clearly shows Cueto’s foot on the touch line.

With the game, it was a pretty lack lustre affair. Neither side wanted to have a crack and it turned into a game where territory was all important and each side played for mistakes off the other, hoping to capitalise on field position. There were more kicks in the game than rucks and mauls which is a sad inditement of this final. It was embarrassing to think this is the showpiece game of world rugby.

There was a lot of talk pre game about how the English scrum would dominate the Boks but this was not the case. In fact the only scrum turnover occurred when the Boks monstered one of England defensive scrums. Lineouts where always going to be a key and the Boks are the best in the business here and won 7 of the English lineouts along with all of their own. Thanks to this they were able to secure the territory needed and waited for the inevitable penalty to be given from England. This saw them go into the break at 9-3 up.

Shortly after the halftime break, Tait made the only decent line break England did all match and the Cueto disallowed try resulted from this. It would have made the score 9-8 with a kick from the touchline to Wilkinson to come. ‘the’ foot…However Cueto’s foot clearly touched the line and much to the dismay of the English side, the try was disallowed after an eternity of deliberating by the video referee. After this the game turned into field position again and penalties were exchanged and the Boks found themselves up 15-6 entering the final quarter of the match. Knowing penalties were not going to get them home against a well disciplined South African side, England had to resort to try scoring. However they looked all at sea attempting this long lost art form (to English rugby) and the Boks kept their composure and kept sending the English backs into their own half.

In clearly the most boring final in the history of the world cup, the Boks saluted, outplaying England at their own boring brand of rugby. Man of the match went to Matfield, and his efforts in the lineout particularly where outstanding.

Roll on 2011 when it comes down to New Zealand. Hopefully by then some of the issues from this tournament and the art of scoring tries will return.

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15 responses

23 10 2007

The Boks scored 33 tries in 7 games, and played winning rugby to win the final – get over the fact that wafty 9 try wins for the All Blacks only come against the likes of Portugal and Scotland. Not France, SA or Aussie.

Jeez reality check

23 10 2007

Ummmm… not sure what your comment is in reply to gmk.
The other games aren’t in contention – the article is about the final.
As Riddler stated, it was pretty boring – no tries at all in the hallmark game of the sport?

23 10 2007

I agree. The fact is that lifting the trophy is so important, that the quality of the game is undermined. And I also think that if the try had been allowed we might have seen the Springboks actually pass the ball to one of the best wingers around! I wish it had, even if it wasn’t deserved. Would have put a stop to the whinging that has been going on in the UK!

23 10 2007

One shouldn’t expect expansive rugby in a RWC final. That is a bit naïve. Finals are always close-knit, tight affairs that are won on kicks and lost on territory – not possession. England did very well to put a lot of pressure on the Boks, but the Boks did even better to absorb the pressure and send it right back. The Boks did have a couple of opportunities to run the ball but Francois Steyn – their brilliant, young inside centre – typically held onto the ball and tried to break the defence (which he did, on one occassion – on the other occassion he should have passed to Fourie).

One last point: the Pumas may be improving, but they are a bunch of very dirty players. Perhaps joining the Tri-Nations will do them some good – they will have some sense bashed into them.

23 10 2007

bio – no-one’s asserting that it should be a try-fest, but ONE would’ve been nice.
The final was boring, and there’s no escaping that. The final in 2003 was more expansive, and more exciting. Pity it came down to who-can-kick…
Sigh… 😉

I am very interested that no-one here is contesting Riddler’s assertion on Cueto’s ‘try’… (which, I agree wasn’t)

23 10 2007

Malice: Yes, a try would have been nice, but as a South African I have to put the victory first. As John Smit said after the game: “If someone would have offered me 3-0 before the game, I’d have taken it.”

As for Riddler’s assertion: I think most Poms out there just want to put the game behind them and focus on the positives. Also, they don’t want to be seen as sour grapes. Also, the pics clearly show him being out.

it is important to remember that South Africa very nearly scored a trytowards the end of the first half, and received a penalty from the attack, and only because it was a RWC Final did tehy decide to take the three points.

Look, I agree that it wasn’t the most thrilling game, and that’s a pity, but there were LOTS of thrilling moments, upsets, incredible tries and great moves in the tournament.

As a South African, I also lament not having played the ABs, Wallabies or France in the tournament, but we did take on more than our fair share of the Islanders (Fiji, Samoa and Tonga) – and if you consider how many of those players play in the Super 14 … well, they are by no means the weakest of the minnows.

24 10 2007

No live feed here in the USA, without paying big bucks.
I had heard the result, but watched a bit of the final the next day (free).
What I saw was England v’s England.
How these 2 teams topped NZ and Aussie is perplexing to say the least.
As commented above .. roll on 2011. We might see some rugby.

24 10 2007

To Biobot and gmk – you obviously know your rugby -your assessment of the tactics employed by both sides are spot on. Nobody expects a final to be thrilling – that stuff happens in the build up when sides like New Zealand are pitted against the likes of Scotland. Even America can score tries in the early games like the one by that superb right-winger, Ngwenya.
I am not sure though that Victor Matfield should have won man-of-the-match. He was very slow in the pick-up after the line-outs and a lot of his “Steals” there did not come off. I think Butch James should have got that award – every one of his kicks was superbly placed and resulted in points for the boks.

24 10 2007

Bio – bottom line is that your assessment of the final is correct. And Habana was pretty amazing throughout the tournament, huh?

But… Who from the Island nations plays in the Super14?

24 10 2007

at the present time there are no islanders playing in S14 who are not trying to qualify for Australia or NZ. Both unions have strict rules about that. However, the ARU has just announced that they are considering allowing 1-2 islanders to play for each Australian franchise, but not in hopes of of qualifying for the Wallabies. This would help Australian rugby in that it would boost a fairly stretched talent pool and help the Pacific Island nations by exposing more of their players to a higher standard of rugby.
I think you will find that most of the islanders are playing in the UK.

24 10 2007

Not that it matters much, but I was at the game. The angled view, which seemed to indicate no try, was a misleading view. The best view was the one from behind the player, which indicated that he touched the ball down a nanosecond before his foot touched the line. Cueto’s foot was outside the line before he touched down, but it had not touched ground before the ball did; the angled view distorted perspective, in that, from that view, you could not tell whether his foot was touching ground or not. I was puzzled why they kept going back to the angled view, when to me (and virtually everyone in the stadium, SA and England fans alike), the view from behind the player conclusively showed his foot to be in the air when he touched down.

All that said, it was a fabulous experience. I was willing to sell my tickets for 1500 pounds each, but I didn’t get that price, and since I’d paid $1100 for the pair (in case NZ made it that far), I needed to get a big premium before I would part with them. I plan to be in NZ in four years. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, if you ever have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it. To me, the best part was after the game, when the English captain declined to blame the referees on the disallowed try, and flat out said SA deserved to win the game. Sportsmanship is so rarely seen these days that it is truly refreshing to see when it does occur.

24 10 2007

Errr… I have the game on my hard-drive, and it was no try. And the picture in the Riddler’s article shows the ‘from-behind-view’ & CLEARLY shows that Cueto’s foot hits the line when he’s still airborne. Are you asserting that he bounced?

Still… jealous of you to have had the once-in-a-lifetime experience (well… not if you’re planning to be in NZ in ’11!)!

24 10 2007
The Riddler

The thing is his foot hit the line well before he touched the ball down. It hit the line just before it went up in the air, he grounded the ball and the hit the line again. He was out about half a second before he scored the try. Most people were focused on when he grounded the ball and where his leg was at that time. He wasn’t out when he grounded the ball but was out about half a second beforehand.

24 10 2007

absolutely right both Don and Riddler. It quite simply was not a try, although I do agree with the suggestion that had it been awarded we might have seen a bit more adventure from the Jaapies.

24 10 2007
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