The Big Three still look… big (Rugby World Cup updates)

17 09 2007

New Zealand, South Africa & Australia are performing as expected, and nothing seen has changed any predictions of the All Blacks, Springboks & Wallabies making the semis of the Rugby World Cup in France.

France defeated Namibia 87-10

Viva le Francais!But finally a Northern Hemisphere team has looked like a team that’s come here to play. France’s defeat of Namibia at a hefty total of 87-10 puts the Irish performance in dire perspective. Ireland managed eke out a win against Namibia 32-17.
But they haven’t been alone.
Thus far we’ve had England only just managing to put away the US 28-10 then getting a thrashing to the tune of 36-0 from South Africa.
Wales struggled against Canada, then was soundly beaten by Australia – despite a home ground advantage & quite a few dubious decisions in their favour.
Ireland had to be licking their lips post France’s opening day loss to Argentina, but their performance against the two ‘minnow’ teams in Namibia & Georgia has been anything but encouraging. Verily, they were damn lucky to walk away with a win against a courageous Georgia.

France looked well under-done against Argentina, but this win against Namibia exhibits just a little of what was expected from the Northern powers, but up to this point, has not been forthcoming.

A good win, but only what was expected. Read the rest of this entry »


Top Sports Stories in Japan… (Sept 17)

17 09 2007

Jarah Mariano & friend…Day off today – National Holiday!


Anyway, in today’s sports headlines in Japan:

The great divide widens – huge gap between NH & SH in Rugby World Cup

16 09 2007

Rugby World CupLast night there were 3 games:

  • New Zealand 108 defeated Portugal 13
  • Australia 32 defeated Wales 20
  • Ireland 14 defeated Georgia 10

The All Black dismantling of Portugal is no surprise. Verily, the only surprise in that match was that the Portuguese managed to get a try.
The Welsh losing to Australia doesn’t surprise either – was expected, and although a spirited second half saw the Dragons narrow the gap, on current form no amount of local-crowd advantage was going to help.

The Irish need more ballsBut that the Irish only just managing to beat a huge-hearted effort by Georgia is astounding. Ireland came into this World Cup with aspirations of making the semi-finals, perhaps even the final. The performance thus far of Ireland has left a lot to be desired. Eking a win out against Namibia (winning 32-17), and last night’s performance against Georgia could not have them feeling good about upcoming matches against France and Argentina. Read the rest of this entry »

Riddle me this: Early grades in!

9 09 2007

Riddler?  One-eyed All Black fan!The Riddler, everyone’s favourite one-eyed All Black supporter has his assessments done for the some of the powerhouses who have played already in the Rugby World Cup…

Day 2 – Team Reviews

The Mighty All BlacksAll Blacks
Look very sharp and crisp for a team that hasn’t played together since July. They hit their strides very early and put the result beyond doubt. They had a lull in the middle of the match and gave the Italian supporters something to cheer about but towards the end they kicked back into top gear and won by 62 points against a side that won two games in the six nations and pushed Australia to 7 points the last time they met. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Brace yourself: Heavy hits to follow – Rugby World Cup 07

5 09 2007

The Rugby World Cup…

As an Australian fan in Japan lots of emotions run rampant at the moment. Australia’s first game is in Lyon against Japan – it’s the one game the Japanese are absolutely dreading, and one that I’m looking forward to. Still… I head into viewing this RWC with a lil’ trepidation. As some of the commentary’s read here, the Wallabies aren’t quite as strong as we’ve been in years gone by. Then there’s just the pure, unaldulterated excitement at watching some damn good rugby on the new TV I purchased for this (well, truth be told – I needed a new TV. But the timing was purely for the RWC)… Not so long ago, I published an article titled Rugby World Cup – and ye gods am I excited – well, nothing’s changed.

So trepidation, joy, excitement – it’s going to be a good month. Read the rest of this entry »

Never cross an angered Wallaby…

28 08 2007

As an Australian, I was pretty sure when I posted the Riddler’s wrap-up of the Wallabies, the feathers’d fly. Hell… I was hoping for it.
Pretty sure Riddler knew it as well. I’m guessing that’s why he wrote it.
Well, fly they did (feathers). And sure enough, someone responded. It’s worth noting that both Riddler and this article/opinion’s writer know each other from a sports-chat-board… so excuse the light jibes & jabs that occur.
So… I present to you:

The Wallabies aren’t gone at RWC… Sorry
– by Ado Tornado

Aussie Rugby…It is said that a well-balanced New Zealander is one with a chip on both shoulders. Avid readers of With Malice would have undoubtedly read the ramblings of once such well-balanced New Zealander who writes under the moniker Riddler, and witnessed his puerile attempt to play up everything All Black and downplay the chances of the most successful nation ever to participate at Rugby World Cup.

That nation would be Australia: the utopia of the southern hemisphere. A fact to which Riddler can freely attest as he is actually one of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who have chosen to abandon their homeland in favour of sunshine, good times and a very generous welfare system.

Now then as a born and bred Walla’s man, I cannot stand by and let one of these welfare bludging interlopers simply trash talk Australia’s chances at RWC 2007!

So in an attempt to redress Riddler’s cycloptic view of the world, here follows a fair and unbiased assessment as to why the Wallabies are in fact dark horses to win Bill [editor’s note: the nickname for the Webb Ellis Trophy – which the winner of the Rugby World Cup obtains] back (And they’re not actually that dark either)!! Read the rest of this entry »