Rugby - A thug's game played by gentlemen

I knew that France was good at Rugby, but I thought Italy was Not Terrible.

I have no idea how England won that. Even as a part-time Rugby watcher, I could tell how poor that was.

Letting the timer run down on a kick is unforgivable, if you dont know it is on the big screen on the stadium for all to see.

Currently in the dangerous state of slight Scottish optimism, might be the beers in front of me, don't worry though the Irish will have knocked it out of me in about 30 mins.

Why did i think it would take 30 minutes for it to be knocked out of me.

bbk1980 wrote:

Why did i think it would take 30 minutes for it to be knocked out of me.

That first 20 minutes. I didn’t think Scotland did a lot wrong. Still 3 tries down.

Knockout rounds start this weekend! Who do you have?

Wales-Argentina: No idea who will win this one. Maximum chaos scenario would have the winner of this game winning the semifinal, too.

Ireland-New Zealand: You gotta figure Ireland will win (and win big, probably), right? But if Ireland loses, it proves that its RWC curse is real.

England-Fiji: Fiji's probably the only team in the tourney than can lose to Portugal, then turn around and stomp England. Everyone in Marseille will be rooting for Fiji, and so will I. (Secondary maximum chaos scenario involves beating England and the corpse of whoever survives the other quarterfinal.)

France-South Africa: This will be EPIC. Rooting for France and think they can win (especially if Dupont is back) but wouldn't be surprised at all to see the Boks win.

I'm calling Wales easily over Argentina.

Ireland narrowly over NZ. But I just can't ever count the All Black's out.

Head says England will probably win but I'm hoping for Fiji

South Africa/France will be epic. I'm calling it for SA due to their history in do or die matches but I wouldn't be surprised to see it go the other way.

I have watched every rugby World Cup ever. This is the most exciting and closely fought last 8 I have ever seen and in a great rarity I think the northern hemisphere will win every quarterfinal. New Zealand and South Africa could easily prove me wrong but I just think the French and Irish have a bit too much quality. Can’t wait for a genuinely thrilling weekend of Rugby.

The Welsh should easily be able to beat Argentina if England could do it in the group stages.

Ireland / New Zealand? I see that as very close. Ireland certainly have the ability to beat NZ, do they have the mental fortitude if NZ get a few tries in first? I'm not sure.

England / Fiji - I have no idea. It should be England, but I wouldn't put money on it.

South Africa / France? Again, no idea. I think SA might just edge it. The winner of this game will probably win the whole thing.

Dear Wales , even England beat Argentina.

Wales blew that. They let Argentina keep in touch with some silly penalty’s and then the inevitable happened. Argentina played by far their best game of the tournament today and well played to them.

Pardon the noob-y question, why is there a player without a number? I've tried googling this and come up with nothing.

The Welsh shirts seemed to have problems (certainly in the first half) with the way that the numbers had been applied - almost every one of the Welsh team had numbers either missing or half peeled off.

This Ireland v New Zealand game - one of the greatest ever played, right? It’s pulsating.

Edit: Ouch. Poor Ireland

What a days rugby. To be going 33 phases at the end for Ireland after those 80 minutes is superhuman, shame anyone had to lose but on the All Blacks roll I guess. Can tomorrow live up to today. Let’s hope so.

davet010 wrote:

The Welsh shirts seemed to have problems (certainly in the first half) with the way that the numbers had been applied - almost every one of the Welsh team had numbers either missing or half peeled off.

Ah, the announcer so nonchalantly referred to "the numberless player" that I thought it was actually a thing. On top of being a super casual rugby viewer, I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've seen anything other than sevens on tv in the US.

Argentina is always a dangerous team, you can't give them a chance.

Shame about Ireland, but I do feel more confident against NZ in the final if we can get through France today.

I don’t know where this World Cup goes after this weekend. This is the best 25 mins of rugby I think I have ever seen.

Well. England are going to get annihilated by whoever wins this game against France and South Africa.

Oh my nerves.

Both teams playing out of their skins. Normally 6 tries in the half would mean sloppy play, but each one here is being earned.

France being very clever finding space, but they are maybe a bit too clever in broken play with funny passes and that may catch them out as they get tired.

SA running hard and direct, also being very smart with finding space. But we're also not getting very physical at the breakdown.

South Africa sloppy in the 2nd half so far.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

South Africa sloppy in the 2nd half so far.

You've got to be pleased with that though at the end? You don't have much to worry about in the Semi-Final if you ask me.

Yeah, a good result. So freaking tense though, I'm not sure I'm sleeping tonight.

Last quarter was much better, I think the experience off the bench was key, forwards especially.

France really played physically, that put SA on the back foot and got some pretty soft turnovers

Kind of an odd set of results that sees England the only remaining Northern Hemisphere team in the running.

Really compelling quarter final matches this weekend.

France v South Africa and Ireland v New Zealand were clear the pick of the games, with each being won by the team with a little bit more to offer in (different) crucial areas of the game. The Argentina- and England-won games were entertaining too, but in a different way.

I agree with you, MrDeVil909, that South Africa won the battle of the substitutes/replacements. In particular, I thought France really lost a lot of their threat when Jalibert went off. The other thing that turned out to be crucial was the charge-down of Ramos conversion. That really shouldn't happen in modern rugby, and certainly not on a conversion from that distance & angle. Ramos was lackadaisical about the kick, and those two points would have been very handy.

Two further toughts:

(1) I think the semi-finals are less compelling prospects that the quarters.

(2) It's interesting to look at World Rugby's rankings immediately before the World Cup. The top 10 is below.

The luck of the draw really is everything in rugby. Scotland would have given anything to have been in England's or Wales's group.

1. Ireland
2. South Africa
3. France
4. New Zealand
5. Scotland
6. Argentina
7. Fiji
8. England
9. Australia
10. Wales

South Africa to win. NZ set piece far too poor to contain it. Of course, NZ still have the best strike runners in the world so there is always a chance.

Yeah, I'm not counting my chickens but the odds should be on South Africa.

At this point of the competition any team should be able to win on the day, and NZ does have a good history against South Africa, so it will be a hard road.

France demonstrated, and the All Blacks know this too, that South Africa does struggle in the face of really physical opposition. If you hit the Boks as hard as they hit it's impossible for them to escalate because penalties and cards will flow. So they step back and don't contest rucks, conceding possession and position and feeding on scraps as they did last night.

But not every team has the players to do this. France can, Ireland can, New Zealand can sometimes, but I'm not sure about now.

And there are still the semis to get through.

France's scrum was poor. Made the difference in the second half. Antonio is big but he's not destructive enough for my taste. Braille is great in the loose and pretty poor in the set piece. Thought Wardi would do better but Aldegheri was in all sorts of trouble with Ox. There were a lot of tired French forwards and the South Africans had way better coming off the bench. Almost no surprise Etzebeth was left one-on-one with Jalibert for that score.

Lomax or Newell were rinsed by Porter and I'm still sore that he was penalised for "going around the corner" but the Boks won't make that mistake as Furlong's left shoulder was injured and couldn't angle in to keep the scrum straight. It was clever play from Mike Cron but you can't pull that trick twice. Lineouts are certainly important but in the modern game you literally cannot force penalites (and the scores and free shots at a try) in any other aspect of the game. It's very difficult to compete without one and the rest of the teams are close enough that I don't see NZ being able to make up this disadvantage.

Could happen though

Like how everyone is assuming it's going to be a NZ vs SA final, you are all underestimating England's ability to bore everyone to sleep