Rugby World Cup 2012 - Page 6




 
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October 18th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Here is a very good write up from a local paper...

Let's hope All Blacks can avoid final euphoria
TOBY ROBSON Last updated 05:00 18/10/2011

FERVENT SUPPORT: The 20-6 semifinal victory over the Wallabies has sent confidence levels of All Blacks fans sky-rocketing ahead of the World Cup final against France.

OPINION: What short memories we all have.

How quickly we have forgotten that only a week or two ago we were a nation of basket cases, fretting that the World Cup wheels had fallen off with the same agonising rip as Dan Carter's groin.

Forget trying to remember the fact that France is the nemesis of our World Cup past, or that they famously threw out the form book and put one of the great All Blacks sides out on their backside in the 1999 semifinal.

Oh how irrelevant that the current French captain Thierry Dusautoir outplayed an entire All Blacks XV on his own just four years ago in Cardiff, or that six of those players remain ahead of Sunday's final.

In 80 minutes against the Wallabies, the last shreds of anxiety appear to have been erased from many memory banks.

So in the interests of adding some sanity to those who have swamped social media and talkback radio with a new future tense that is already referring to the All Blacks cup win, here is a sobering reminder.

There was a recent and highly relevant French revolution that involved a large number of players and coaches from each of the two sides that will line up at Eden Park in five days time.

Try, for a second to climb out from under Sunday's 20-6 semifinal security blanket and into a cold Carisbrook night just 28 months ago.

France 27, All Blacks 22.

Thirteen of Marc Lievremont's French World Cup squad lined up against an All Black team containing 13 players from Graham Henry's current 30-man squad that night.

Those of us present will recall the positivity that pervaded the All Blacks camp in the buildup to the first test of the season.

We will remember too that when Liam Messam scored an early try it seemed France were not in the same ball park as the men in black.

And we will not forget that familiar sinking feeling as France eased into the match on the back of a Maxime Medard intercept and an iron-curtain defence.

Nor that without Carter, who was ruled out of the match with an Achilles injury suffered during a stint with Perpignan, Stephen Donald struggled with the playmaking duties behind a pack that could not get on the front foot.

The French must laugh at us over their red wine as our confidence levels spike yet again.

Even with the cautionary tale of that three tries to two loss the All Blacks could only just overcome the Tricolores in Wellington a week later.

The New Zealand public has done its bit to get their side this far, but here's hoping the euphoric optimism that has swept the country since the end of the semifinal does not affect the squad.

World sport is riddled with upsets, many of which seem unfathomable till they happen.

Think James "Buster" Douglas' 10th round knockout of Mike Tyson in 1990.

Think Bangladesh's famous win over Ricky Ponting's Australia in a 2005 ODI, or Ireland chasing down 327 to beat England at the last Cricket World Cup.

Americans will tell you the United States ice hockey team's 4-3 win over the Soviet Union at the 1980 Winter Olympics, "The Miracle on Ice", is the greatest sporting upset of all time. They might throw in their 1-0 win over England at the 1950 football World Cup for good measure. Or the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who came back from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the New York Yankees and end an 86-year World Series 'curse'.

There was a famous American racehorse named Man o' War. The horse lost only once during his illustrious career, to a rival he had beaten in their six previous meetings.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/o...final-euphoria
That horse was appropriately named Upset.

- Stuff
October 18th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Another one from the New Zealand coach...

France 'best in the world on their day' - Henry
MARC HINTON IN AUCKLAND Last updated 05:00 18/10/2011

GRAHAM HENRY: ''Although they didn't play particularly well in their semifinal we know they've got the ability to play outstanding rugby. They will have nothing to lose and will play well."

Contrary to popular opinion, this is a very good French rugby team. Or at least they have the capability to be very good.

That was the view of All Blacks coach Graham Henry who yesterday described Marc Lievremont's band of dysfunctional winners and occasional grinners as a side that could be "the best in the world on their day".

Clearly the All Blacks coach, who admitted to being somewhat stressed out before and during Sunday's semifinal victory over the Wallabies, is a little concerned about the hype - or lack of it - around this final.

The bookies give the French next to no chance. The pundits have an only slightly more generous view of Les Bleus' prospects.

The All Blacks simply can't afford to share that viewpoint, never mind the evidence before their eyes.

Asked his view on French rugby in general, Henry described their domestic competition as "very physical" but one where that physicality perhaps dominated skill. In terms of the French team, "well they can be the best in the world on their day.

''Although they didn't play particularly well in their semifinal we know they've got the ability to play outstanding rugby.

"They will have nothing to lose and will play well."

These could be interpreted as hollow words, as a coach just using a motivational ploy to keep his men on edge ahead of a defining game. But Henry, of course, knows what it's like to be ambushed by the French on a big occasion.

Four years ago no-one gave the French much chance in their quarterfinal in Cardiff either. But with barely 30 percent of the pill they caused one of the great World Cup upsets.

Over his eight years in charge Henry has only lost twice to the French - that night in Cardiff, and in Dunedin a couple of years ago. He calls the Cardiff defeat "the most bizarre game I've ever been involved in ... the boys respect the French team, they've got a lot of very talented players, so it will be a big final..

"We don't underestimate the ability of the French."

Henry reported "nothing serious" on the injury front, with Ma'a Nonu nursing a stinger on his shoulder and Cory Jane and Andy Ellis both copping blows on their beaks. Piri Weepu was also coming off a virus that tested his resolve on Sunday night.

And, for the record, Henry is over the moon about the appointment of South Africa's Craig Joubert to referee the final.

"He's a very good referee, relates well to the players, is very clear in his instruction, has got a lot of composure and has developed as one of the top refs in the world. It's pleasing because the players enjoy playing when he's referee, and that's a sign of a good ref."

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- Stuff

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/5...heir-day-Henry
October 18th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
If it wasn't for terrible Welsh kicking we would have lost.
I watched the Wales V South Africa, the goal kick that was not allowed, from what I saw went through the posts, not by much, but it should have been allowed. Quite frankly I was disgusted, Wales in my opinion won.
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October 18th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I watched the Wales V South Africa, the goal kick that was not allowed, from what I saw went through the posts, not by much, but it should have been allowed. Quite frankly I was disgusted, Wales in my opinion won.
Here is the thing about that for me, 2 touch judges and 1 referee said it didn't go over, had either linesman thought it had he would have raised his flag and they would have gone to the match referee for confirmation.

I am sure we can sit here and look at it from 1000000000 camera angles and swear it went over but that is neither here nor there as the result stands.

I think no matter what the outcome of this tournament it is clear that teams who practice running/entertaining rugby (Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales) are leading the the rugby world and that bodes well for the future of the game.
October 18th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Here is the thing about that for me, 2 touch judges and 1 referee said it didn't go over, had either linesman thought it had he would have raised his flag and they would have gone to the match referee for confirmation.

I am sure we can sit here and look at it from 1000000000 camera angles and swear it went over but that is neither here nor there as the result stands.

I think no matter what the outcome of this tournament it is clear that teams who practice running/entertaining rugby (Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa and Wales) are leading the the rugby world and that bodes well for the future of the game.
Yea, but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion, however right or wrong it is
October 20th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Well for anyone interested here are the stats for Australia v Wales.

Games played: 30
Games won by Australia:19 63.33%
Games lost by Australia:10 33.33%
Games drawn:1 3.33%
Most wins in a row for Australia over Wales:9
Most losses in a row for Australia to Wales:3
Largest points for Australia:63 63 - 6
Largest points against Australia:29 29 - 29
Largest winning margin for Australia:57 63 - 6
Largest losing margin for Australia:25 28 - 3
Total points for Australia:703
Total points against Australia:427
Average points for Australia per game:23.43
Average points against Australia per game:14.23
Average points difference per game between Australia and Wales:9.20

I am picking a fairly angry Aussie team to win this one.
October 20th, 2011  
headwards
 
Im going to party central saturday-sunday night, picking a pretty awesome atmosphere!
October 20th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwards
Im going to party central saturday-sunday night, picking a pretty awesome atmosphere!
Should be a great place Friday and Saturday but should we lose this thing I wouldn't want to be North of the Bombay hills for at least a week.

I was tempted to go to the Aussie v Wales game as I have access to a couple of box seats but you wouldn't get me to the final for anyone, hell I probably wont even watch the game or will be forking out for a new TV on Monday.

October 20th, 2011  
Warwick
 
I'm backing the wallabies over Wales............. but plan on being very drunk in case we stuff it all up.
Shall make the pain a little less.
October 20th, 2011  
headwards
 
I always wanted to be in the movie the warriors- this could be my chance! I very much doubt party central will be a family atmosphere for long if the all blacks falter.
If we do well though I'm sure the country will party all night. The final coincided very well with labour day!
It should be quite an experience.

My friend reckons he saw the black eyed peas in auckland yesterday so my pick is they are one of the international bands playing. Could be worth a look.
 


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