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Rugby World Cup


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Re: Rugby World Cup So were led to believe you dont support them ' date=' So reading this older thread of yours earlier which part tells me you dont support them ,to me it easily refers to the opp

Re: Rugby World Cup For all neutrals let's just hope SA will win the final or else we'll see 4 more years of boring defensive rugby.

Re: Rugby World Cup

Anyone going to watch any of it? Although im not keen on Rugby I do watch the 6 nations and any other big events and the Rugby WC is always great to watch.

A little suprised to see the Argies take down France last night although I didnt doubt it wouldnt happen.

i might watch a bit of it, by the way dan, or anyone who knows, is jonah lomu playing for new zealend? he played for cardiff for a short spell and was nothing short of a legend for us :D

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Re: Rugby World Cup

England are out of the world cup but there's still a lot to be proud off. The fact is that the last 8 years have been the most succesful in Englands history and they are the 1st northern hemishpere side to win the world cup and nobody can take that away. This WC was always going to be a step too much and with their player of the match Robinson now retiring the glory era is pretty much over. But although this year is a failiure they can always build up to the next. The worrying thing is that South Africa aren't half the team that New Zealand are so they have a lot of work to do until the next world cup.

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Re: Rugby World Cup

England are out of the world cup but there's still a lot to be proud off. The fact is that the last 8 years have been the most succesful in Englands history and they are the 1st northern hemishpere side to win the world cup and nobody can take that away. This WC was always going to be a step too much and with their player of the match Robinson now retiring the glory era is pretty much over. But although this year is a failiure they can always build up to the next. The worrying thing is that South Africa aren't half the team that New Zealand are so they have a lot of work to do until the next world cup.

Erm....what the **** are you talking about?

They lost 1 match, have 1 one, and have 2 to play, could, and should easily make 2nd place, where they will advance into the quarters.

Yea they got battered, but will still progress to the quarters IMO, not beyond that.

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Re: Rugby World Cup

Erm....what the **** are you talking about?

They lost 1 match' date=' have 1 one, and have 2 to play, could, and should easily make 2nd place, where they will advance into the quarters.

Yea they got battered, but will still progress to the quarters IMO, not beyond that.[/quote']

I meant they failed the world cup. No chance of the semi's. Samoa lost by a smaller margin and have no injury problems. I wouldn't be at all surprised if they defeat England

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Re: Rugby World Cup

Looking Ok...? There 20-0 down!

Sorry, didnt really see the match, I just saw it on BBC Sport website :P

Just found out they lost. WOW. Well,come on England anyway.

Did anyone see NZ V Portugal : 101 - 18. !!!! Something like that. NZ are good, I would just love to see them do that dance they do before some matches.

New Zealand 101 - 18 Portugal -- Imagine if that was the score in a football match between these 2. That would be an even bigger talking point :eek:

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Re: Rugby World Cup

HhHH pHEW BIG PHEW

14-10 V Georgia

Should have lost they had 5 missed Drop Goals & 62% Perseession

That means we need a result against France nex Weeks End or Argentina to Fail get a bunos point against Namibia & Beat Argentina :eek::mad:

What on earth has happened to us? i cant understand whats changed at all....43-13 against england winning well and barely lossing out on winning the six nations to this....man tellin you its horrible....

That "dance" new zealand do is called a haka by the way and new zealand are not only good but they are the best team in the world....

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Re: Rugby World Cup

Preview: Aus v England

Paris or Bust: Can Wilkinson undo the Aussies once again?

As if a quarter-final clash between two great sporting rivals wasn't enticing enough, elements from both England and Australia have conspired to add some extra spice to Saturday's encounter in Marseille.

It was John O'Neill, the chief executive of the Australian Rugby Union, who, quite apropos of nothing, got the tub-thumping underway before the date between the Wallabies and the World Cup holders had even been confirmed.

A man of authority professing his hatred of England is mana from heaven for the headline writers, and the unsightly snowball just rolled off from there.

Any hint of attempted humour in O'Neill's comment was erased by the printed word, but in the spirit of sport, we'll assume he was just posturing as the lovable larrikin.

'Hate' is a strong word in any context, but to ascribe it to sport is plain cretinous and disrespectful of a shared sporting heritage that brings out the best in both countries.

England and Australia are too closely related to be real daggers-drawn enemies, it's really a rivalry of brothers. The bookish older boy somehow manages to manipulate a ball a wee bit better than his younger and sportier sibling once every three or four years - and how it hurts!

It's that hurt that adds the real spice to Saturday's encounter at Stade Velodrome.

The amount of talk ascribed to the events of 2003 might have us believe that a certain drop-goal was never struck and that the sudden-death period of that same game is now upon us.

Perhaps it is.

It's been a dismal four years for both sides since the day they stood side by side on the shoulders of giants in Sydney, and the match in Marseille carries enormous therapeutic value.

The Wallabies suffered something of an identity crisis after being bumped from their own party by the English. A new coach and a new philosophy have since been installed but results and stability simply failed to materlised.

There's been no Tri-Nations titles in the intervening years, nor any Bledisloe Cups. Defeats to France, Wales and Ireland also featured along the rocky way.

Meanwhile, England's plunge from the summit of world rugby to seventh in the official IRB World Rankings was even more dramatic. Two coaches, various new approaches and several new dawns broke over Twickenham - but each was gloomier then the last, and their reign as world champions has been peppered with record defeats.

A win in Marseille duly represents more than a spot in the semi-finals: it offers the victors a firm foot-hold on the sheer cliff-face that has been their immediate past. It's value is not in trumping the old enemy, or in reaping revenge or vindication. Victory would simply purge many sad memories and prove to a doubting public that the last four years have not been a total waste.

A noble sort would wish for draw and shared honour, but we know that can't happen.

The bookmakers believe the Australians will be the ones laying their multiple monkeys to rest this weekend, and it's hard to argue with that assessment.

England coach Brian Ashton is still scrambling to find some working combinations after the games against the USA and South Africa ruthlessly exposed his side's lack of cohesion.

The wild celebrations that then followed wins over Samoa and Tonga - populations equivalent to Exeter and Crawley respectively - told their own sorry tales.

Meanwhile, the Wallabies cut a swathe through their pool. Their glittering backline is firing - even without the injured Steven Larkham - and they are at pains to point out the improvements to their forward unit.

They have, indeed, come a long way since that defeat to Andrew Sheridan at Twickenham in 2005.

But perhaps the men in gold extol too much, and there's no prizes for guessing where England think Australia's main weakness lies.

Simon Shaw, Phil Vickery and Mark Regan - all fully rested and firing - have been tasked to assess Australian claims of a new-found **** of the subterranean delights of scrummaging, rucking and mauling.

The romantics won't like the ten-man approach, but it's a fair call - England's only chance of victory is to keep the ball stashed up their ridiculously tight jumpers.

If Australia manage to snag any possession, they'll be taking it wide where the odds are stacked against the men in white.

Despite what his critics might say, the loss of Andy Farrell is a big blow for England. He might not be the fastest centre in operation, but he offered a sizeable obstacle for the likes of Chris Latham and Matt Giteau to navigate, and his bullocking runs at Stirling Mortlock's "partially dislocated" shoulder would have gone down nicely with England's travelling contingent of fans.

Alas, it is not to be, and Jonny Wilkinson's main collaborators will all have single figures stitched to their backs.

Ah, yes - Wilko! He hasn't faced the Wallabies since that day and the Australians have been honest about their plans for their nemesis. In their mind's eyes he is still there, standing unperturbed in the drop-goal pocket, needing to be knocked into next week.

On being asked how one goes about stopping the England fly-half, Australia loose forward Stephen Hoiles simply replied: "poison".

On hearing of the quip, Wilkinson, now just five behind Gavin Hastings's World Cup points-scoring record of 227, picked up his bottle of water and gave it an inquisitive shake.

It was not, we can safely assume, an involuntary shake. Despite weathering a period that would reduce the average man to a closet-dwelling chiraptophobic, the Newcastle Falcons pivot takes his role as England's "perennial saviour", as the media would have it, in his languid stride.

"It's too confusing to take all that [hype] on board so you leave it alone and accept it's one of those things you will never understand," said Wilkinson.

"A few years ago people were telling me I was finished and I realised then it was something you can't control. Here we are again.

"You prepare the best you can, do what you think is right, give it your best shot, go home, look in the mirror and say 'Did I do everything I possibly could to take that pressure rather than shrink away from it?"

The Wallabies, meanwhile, are hoping to feed off their own pressure.

Despite being overwhelming favourites to roll back into Paris next week, Australia captain Stirling Mortlock has warned his troops that he will be taking a stick to any navel-gazers.

There's no chance of getting complacent," he said.

"Most of these England guys have been on teams that have beaten us.

"It's been spoken about plenty of times before. A lot of guys in the squad are still itching to get one back, so to speak, after how close we came in 2003, so there's a lot of incentive for us to be mentally switched on and go out and play well."

Players to watch:

For Australia: For some unfathomable reason, George Smith has struggled for the affections of Australia coach John Connolly, often finding himself on the bench for crucial encounters. But none are more crucial than Saturday's clash, and the Artful Dodger of world rugby gets his chance to shine. With England hoping to keep ball well away from Australia's runners, Smith - as so often before - is likely to land the role of game-breaker.

For England: Australia have asked referee Alain Rolland and Paddy O'Brien, the IRB referee manager, to keep an eye on England hooker Mark Regan - "to make sure he behaves himself". That's rather - if not exactly - like telling teacher about the nasty boy in the playground. Expect the grizzled veteran to be waiting for the Wallabies at the proverbial bikesheds.

Head to head: The contest between Berrick Barnes and Jonny Wilkinson will be riveting. The 21-year-old Australian is a self-confessed fan of his opposite number, and will be keen to see how he measures up to his own yardstick. The youngster might lack experience but he has wonderful vision and the lightest of steps - he could well leave his master grasping at shadows. Elsewhere, look out for Andrew Sheridan's battle with Guy Shepherdson. We'll have a real game on our hands if the giant Englishman manages to lay down an early marker.

Recent results:

2006: Australia won 18-43 at Colonial Stadium, Melbourne

2006: Australia won 34-3 at Stadium Australia, Sydney

2005: England won 26-16 at Twickenham, London

2004: Australia won 21-19 at Twickenham, London

2004: Australia won 51-15 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

2003: England won 20-17 (aet) at Stadium Australia, Sydney

2003: England won 25-14 at Colonial Stadium, Melbourne

2002: England won 32-31 at Twickenham, London

2001: England won 21-15 at Twickenham, London

2000: England won 22-19 at Twickenham, London

1999: Australia won 22-15 at Stadium Australia, Sydney

1998: Australia won 12-11 at Twickenham, London

1998: Australia won 76-0 at Lang Park, Brisbane

Prediction: It's been a while, well four years, since we've seen these two sides compete with full-strength XVs, and it should prove closer than many might image. With England wanting to play tight and Australia determined to go wide, the result could come down to the conditions. The men in white will be hoping for sleet and snow, but the sun is set to shine on the Wallabies. Australia by eight points.

Australia: 15 Chris Latham, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Stirling Mortlock ©, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Lote Tuqiri, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 George Gregan, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Daniel Vickerman, 4 Nathan Sharpe, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Matt Dunning.

Replacements: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Al Baxter, 18 Hugh McMeniman, 19 Stephen Hoiles, 20 Phil Waugh, 21 Julian Huxley, 22 Drew Mitchell.

England: 15 Jason Robinson, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Mathew Tait, 12 Mike Catt, 11 Josh Lewsey, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Lewis Moody, 6 Martin Corry, 5 Ben Kay, 4 Simon Shaw, 3 Phil Vickery ©, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Andrew Sheridan.

Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Lawrence Dallaglio, 19 Joe Worsley, 20 Peter Richards, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Dan Hipkiss.

Date: Saturday, 6 October

Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 BST; 13:00 GMT)

Venue: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

Conditions: Sunny, clear, light north-westerly breeze - max 24°C, min 14°C

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

Touch judges: Paul Honiss (New Zealand), Nigel Owens (Wales)

Television match official: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Assessor: Tappe Henning (South Africa)

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