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Rugby World Cup


Evil Gringo
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Well the World Cup got underway tonight as England huffed and puffed past Fiji to just about get the bonus point win.

 

I'm not too keen on George Ford at fly half, sure he is a great young talent but both Farrell tonight and Cipriani in the warm ups managed to get England over the gain line quicker AND Farrell is a better kicker from the tee.

 

The scrum is a mess and I see the Aussies and the Welsh getting joy there but I do feel the new rules there favour the Southern Hemisphere sides. Fiji where beating us at the break down which will have Tipiric, Warburton for Wales and the Aussie flankers licking their lips and we where sloppy with the ball in hand, going side to side too early and not letting the breaks in the line develop.

 

Hopefully it's opening night nerves but that pack need to toughen up if we are going to escape the group of death.

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So far England were rubbish but won, little Georgia got their first victory at a World Cup. Ireland score fifty and looked great and Japan so far are like wasps not letting South Africa assert themselves.

 

Edit: come on little Japan wonderful game so exciting how to best a big team never give up, never surrender love it. The last move was called kamazasi. I did not realise the Japanise had a sense of humour all you could hear in the scrum was Kamazaski. Love it.

Edited by Laffy
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The little sides have realised that they need to win the breakdown and if you look at Fiji and Japan they went mental to win turnover ball.

 

Wonderful result for Japan, they worked hard and caught the South African's out in their complacently.

Really shook up the World Cup and it will be awesome to see if they kick on and qualify.

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So Saturday the old enemies collide who is going to come out triumphant will it be the greatest upset ever and the greatest side in the world (Wales) will beat, grind into dust and smash England to bits. Or will home advantage be enough to see off the plucky Welsh and stake a march towards qualification. Is this the key game that will settle the group or will the Aussies have a say.

 

I personally think Wales are going to win and win convincingly 34-18 and stand tall over their English counterparts. I think Owen Farrell will have a melt down and Burgess will show he needs more experience playing union and his defensive frailties will be shown up.

 

Come what may no one is going to get hold of me after 7:30 on Saturday i will be on lock down watching the match of the tournament (sorry Japan you would have come first but its Wales!!!). Then being able to gloat to all my English mates that they lost to a weakened injury hit side.

 

This match has added interest as all this week i have been called a sheep shagging Welsh girl who is going to lose to the dominate force. There is also a rather large bet on the table and an embarrassing forfeit for who ever loses.

 

Who do you think will win and what do you think the score will be.

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Wales are the third or fourth best team in Europe at the moment because they no longer have the strength in depth they used to have. Currently England and Ireland are ahead of them and France on the same level and I'm sorry but its true.

 

Rhys Webb, Jonathan Davies and Leigh Halfpenny where massive losses before the tournament and now to lose Cory Allen to a hamstring injury and to have injury concerns over full-back Liam Williams and props Samson Lee, Aaron Jarvis and Paul James then its a big bonus for England. Also Wales looked laboured in that win over Uruguay and it showed the issues caused by the injuries and a lack of cohesion.

 

Yeah sure George North and Jaime Roberts are big game players to come in after their rest but North hasn't played a lot this year due to his concussion issues and Roberts is the reason they have gone with Farrell and Burgess in the first place because Ford will be too lightweight to deal with the impact Wales can have at centre and the way they will target the half back pivot. They've beefed it up in the middle and then will look to get Brown, May and Watson over the gain line and use their pace. Plus Burgess is in as well because Joseph is injured and again, whilst Slade is great ball in hand, he is a bit too lightweight for the style of Rugby the Welsh play.

 

That's not to say it won't be a tight game, its a rivalry after all, its a game that could well decide if either team qualify let alone top the group and I imagine England will play for territory and points rather then a bonus point (see as the Aussies didn't get one today against Fiji) but England I feel will win by 6 or 7 points.

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Hats off to Wales, magnificent effort from them and in particular Dan Biggar who was amazing under the high ball, flawless from the tee, great distribution and stoic in defence. They never gave up and that is commendable

 

Thing is though, they should have won that game. England where 10 points up and something just went wrong, they started kicking the ball away, allowing Wales to rebuild their confidence and do what they do best, run with the ball in hand. If England kept the ball, built it up through the phases and nicked the odd points through a drop goal or penalty then it would have been a comfortable win but instead they didn't throw the game, they booted it away!

 

Also Burgess was doing well in defence, bar one excellent break he was doing a great job marshalling the 10-12 channel and the 12-13 channel. Wales where literally going no where with the ball in hand.

 

Then he brings on Ford for him (a player I've never really liked, or thought ready for international rugby yet), switches Farrell to inside centre despite the excellent work he was doing at fly half and the whole of England's defensive organisation becomes compromised. Why not bring on Henry Slade at 12? Excellent ball skills, great kicking game and knows how to defend in that position!

 

Seriously, the game was there to win, even with Wales literally giving their bodies to get back in the game but some serious tactical blunders just handed the onus back to the Welsh who then took with both hands and did what they had to do.

 

As for the game against Australia? Bricking it. With the back line they have, with Cooper, Mitchell, Giteau, Ashley-Cooper, Folau and Foley and then the forwards of McMahon, Moore, Hooper and Pocock they are surely favourites to do us in. We need a win or its possibly over. The only scenario that will see England through after a loss to Australia is if Wales are so weakened by the length of the injury list (which looks to have added three last night), they lose to Fiji and Australia and England pick up a bonus point win over Uruguay - buts that a big if and Fiji, despite being entertaining so far, might fade by then.

 

Argghhh - its been a frustrating old time being an England fan since the glory days of 2003.

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I think it was when Ben Youngs came off for no apparent reason was the catalyst as he was running everything and England was never the same after that. Also moving Farrell was stupid as was not going for the point and going for the win. Madness!! Still Wales played well and were awesome!!!
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He was limping a bit so I think they thought, with a 10 point lead, that they could rest him for the next game. Which was a mistake because as you say Laffy he was getting quick ball, demanding it from his forwards and doing so well in tandem with Farrell.

 

Lancaster wanted the players to go for the kick, which seen as Farrell was 5 from 5 and is a brilliant kicker and it could have been do able but tough and Robshaw overturned him. The annoying thing is, had they kicked that, Wales would have had to kick the ball back to England at kick off and there was three or four minutes left with the scores tied.

 

Build the phases, get up the park and slot a drop and you've got the win. Like I said, frustrating but well done Wales and good look for the Aussie game.

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England haven't adapted and moved on from the change of laws at the scrum - with the big hit not being a factor Australia were able to compete more at the scrum and take that away. Our lineouts have been a let down as well plus we are pap at the breakdown - every time we looked like we where building pressure, Hooper and Pocock just got in there, turned the ball over or forced a penalty like openside flankers should but England don't have that.

 

Robshaw is a number six, he is a blindside flanker and we play him at seven to accommodate him because he is the captain. But really he should be under threat for both his place and as captain - not Lancaster for me.

 

All in all our forwards have been the issue, leaving our backs with too little ball, giving away penalties when we have momentum, just not creating the platform you need to win games against top sides.

 

Re-haul the pack, look into the captaincy and then stick with a side to allow a consistency to build in the side which we haven't had over the past four years, with too much chopping and changing.

 

England have had six different half back pairings in the past four years which again undermines the tempo and play calling of the team. If you want Ford, play him and play him with Youngs - don't half ass it.

 

Look at Ireland, first backs on the team sheet are Sexton and Murray and look how seemless that distribution and tempo is.

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Its been a brawl and an intense game so far between the Aussies and the Welsh, a real old school mud, scrapes and fight of a game and its enthralling.

 

Scotland got through to the quarters in one of the games of the tournament so far against Samoa, it was just end to end rugby and well worth a watch on the highlights.

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Heart-breaking for the Welsh and Irish - in the end the loss of key players on both sides lead to their defeat. I reckon if O'Brien, Sexton and O'Connell where on that pitch today, then Ireland would have won that game.

 

Likewise the Welsh could have won that game but South Africa where just immense in contact and at the breakdown and choke the life out of the Welsh, forcing them to kick the ball more when behind. Fantastic defence from the Boks.

 

New Zealand destroyed France as well, just fantastic offloading in the tackle, using the situations to their advantage and just not letting up at all. I know the South Africans and Aussies have been good at the tournament but its still the Kiwi's to lose really.

 

The last Northern Hemisphere side left, Scotland have a huge game now about to start against the Aussies and whilst I hope they can pull off the upset, it looks like a Southern Hemisphere monopoly of the semi's for the first time ever is about to happen.

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