Re: Official Rugby World CUp (and the lead up tests) Thread
Wow! What a weekend.
Firstly, the Aussies and Kiwis have my sympathy. I would have backed either team to make the finals and by their pre-world cup form they should have. But it just goes to show that this kind of knock-out tournament is a monster of a different kind.
But the French were awesome and thoroughly deserved their win. I think they made about 4 times as many tackles as the AB's, which is just crazy. And Michalak's introduction was perfectly timed. Together with Hernandez of Argentina, he must be one of the most creative footballers in rugby today.
And lots of credit to the English pack, and particularly the tight 5. I don't think Dunning, Baxter and Sheperdson would want to remember this game. The way they secured their set piece ball and disrupted the Oz scrum reminded me of the England team of 2003.
Our guys had a huge scare against a very fired up Fiji. And my god, those guys are physical. Every time a ball is turned over or charged down (and the defense is scrambled) you just know there's trouble. Their attacking from broken play is right up there with the All Blacks. If they can just sort out the set pieces and their discipline, they could become a major force.
And then the Pumas almost blew it against a tough looking Scotland. Pichot and Hernandez were the difference, in my opinion. Probably the best 9-10 combination on show at the World Cup. The Scots were good, but tried too much individually. If the Lamont brothers had managed to link up with support more often, the game could have turned out different.
Roll on the semis. I've learnt my lesson this weekend. No predictions.