Awful North – Rugby World Cup updates…

10 09 2007

France 07I don’t think anything’s happened that will make the Southern Hemisphere powers of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia quake. Verily, we could possibly see an all-Southern Hemisphere semi-finals for the first time ever with Argentina throwing down the gauntlet in Pool D.
Reigning World Cup holder England? Laughable thus far…
France? Already down 1-0 in a tight pool…
Ireland? Barely managed to beat Rugby minnow Namibia…
Wales? Not bad, but certainly their performance inspired no fear in the top nations…

So, September 9th’s games brought us the following:

Wales 42 def Canada 17 – A solid victory by the Welsh, but unless they pick up their game considerably I don’t believe they’ll be a match for the Wallabies in their clash this weekend. The Canadians took it right to them – the halftime scoreline was unbelievable: 12-9 to Canada. The Welsh looked underdone for all but 20 minutes of this game, but that was enough. 5 tries in that time span had Canada gone. Still, it will be interesting to see what Fiji can run against Wales… Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ankle Tap: First weekend of Rugby World Cup matches!

7 09 2007

GOTCHA!So the Rugby World Cup is merely 11 odd hours away from beginning… excited as all hell here. And despite the IRB’s bone-headedness over media (latest update on that can be found over at Epic Carnival here!), it is shaping up to be one helluvan event…

First round of matches – let’s have a look at the first weekend’s matches: generally speaking this weekend promises to be a fairly one-sided affair. Every match other than the opener looks cut & dried.

  1. September 7th – First game, the hosts France take on Argentina, in Saint-Denis. The Argies have been in fine fettle recently, but France-on-French-soil won’t be dissuaded. I’ll tip the Les Bleus to take it, but in relatively tight contest: less than 10 points in the margin.
  2. September 8th – Italy face the might of the All Blacks in Marseille. The Italians will be glad to get this one behind them, so they can focus on the possibility of qualifying for the quarters. I look for the ABs to put their stamp on this tournament & beat a much-improved Azzurri side by 24+. Read the rest of this entry »




Riddle me this: Rugby World Cup reviews – pool D

11 08 2007

France 07So last in the series of previews, The Riddler looks at the Group of Death, Group D.

Who will he choose? The gallant Irish? The ferocious Argentinians? The suave French? Read on, and find out…

Rugby World Cup reviews – pool D

France
Viva le Francais! Despite never winning the event the French have an excellent record at the World Cup make the final twice and semi twice in five attempts. Along with the All Blacks, they also have the honour of never losing a pool game at the world cup. That record will be severely tested here, but with a home crowd cheering them on they should squeak over the line in the pool of death. Aside from the All Blacks – who have ravaged the French in France in recent years, they boast a very smart home record. They also have Ireland’s number. Argentina however might be their biggest challenge as recent clashes between these two have been very tough encounters. Should they top the group they should make it all the way to the final. They will be looking at Scotland/Italy in the quarters and South Africa in the semis: all at home. In the final with the home crowd behind them they can’t be under-estimated and they have what appears the best chance of rolling the All Blacks based on the fact they are at home. However if they end up in second place it’s a quarter final clash on a neutral venue against the All Blacks. Third place and the locals will lynch them. All three are easily plausible outcomes. Read the rest of this entry »