Rugby World Cup. Are there enough people who care?

I guess Thursday will tell…

South’s early cup warning. Biased to us of course, being an NZ paper and all that. If I was Scotland I’d be worried - about the only thing slowing NZ down is our injury list.

Speaking of which, South Africa lost de Villiers, which is a blow, but not huge, and the guy replacing him (Jules) is pretty good.

— Alan

Woot woot. Argentina kicks ass.

Wouldn’t really be the Tri-Nations would it? More like the Quad-Nations.

— Alan

The Aussies have lost Gerrard as well. At least we’re not permanently breaking players, although overnight Woodcock and Jack have come up lame :/

But Gerrard’s being replaced by Cam Shepherd who probably would have been on the team in his place were it not for injury. He’s fully recovered and been showing excellent form for the Perth Spirit in the APC so the loss of Gerrard is an improvement to our World Cup chances in the opinion of me and my mates!


It’s good to see the smaller teams putting on a show and enjoying themselves. At this rate, the Northern hemisphere teams are screwed.

Also, what were Wales thinking on Saturday? Leaving Thomas on the bench was their biggest mistake- emotional linchpins need to start. If they field Jones (at 11), Charvis and Thomas from the start on Saturday the match could be more interesting. Still looks to be a kicking, and Wales were the only Northern hemisphere team to show any semblance of a good performance. Emphasis on semblance…

It’s going South this year, certainly.

As to Argentina being Tri-Nations: I believe the US want to run an American tournament. That leaves Canada and Argentina as basically the only teams with the experience to win it unless the US really puts money into their rugby.

Well, America kinda has one, the Churchill Cup, where usually it’s one or two Pacific teams, America, Canada and someone from Europe, usually the England Saxons or something.

— Alan

Good news for us, Conrad Smith is getting a start against Portugal. Bloody great to have him back, so here’s hoping he doesn’t hurt himself between now and Friday. If there’s one major weakness in the AB’s (besides our glass locks) then it’s the midfield backline.

On the bizarre side, we’re going into the game with Carl Hayman and Keven Mealamu on the bench as cover for the locking positions…

Dear England, please do us all a favour and just go home.

That was a great game! If jafd thinks American Football is barbaric I wonder what he would have made of that. Those white jearseys really show up the blood.

The Springboks played a great tactical game in the first half, pinning England back in their own territory was brilliant. England countered this a bit in the second half but they just didn’t have the gameplan to score points. “Headless chicken” is the phrase that comes to mind.

Whilst we’d like to be spared further humiliation, it’s still likely that we’ll qualify from this group…

Samoa are still smarting over Honiss’ piss poor refereeing in their game against South Africa (the disallowed try in particular has been discussed at length over the last week here in NZ) and you know they’re going to be smelling blood in the water.

Sure, but the trouble with Samoa is they’re not actually very good.

I wouldn’t be unhappy if they beat us for various reasons, but they contrived to lose to my club side a month ago (and beat a Div1 side by 1 point) and they don’t carry the same tactical ability as the Saffers.

I’d expect us to win ugly.

I wanted England to win, just for the North/South Hemisphere thing, but South Africa really out-played them. On top of that, one of the few players to show any spark on the England team is now out.

Well, New Zealand get a game today. Portugal are guaranteed to put up a fight, but it’s not really a contest. Oh, and the important game- Wales vs. Australia. I’m looking forward to that, and I hope Wales decide to play rugby today.

Last night was very pleasant in my Welsh local pub. Watching England get spattered all over the field, and accumulate a grand total of nil points was just wonderful.

I am fully prepared to eat my words in a couple of hours, after Australia do the same to us, but my belly is still full of delicious schadenfreude and I don’t care.

Wales was a hell of a lot more impressive than England, kudos on your game up until wales scored back to back tries.

Two men off the field and Wales still struggled to score. That is not a good sign. Looks like the Southern Hemisphere still reigns supreme.


Wales played well, but only for about a quarter to half the game.

Larkham should not have been on the pitch to score that try. To be fair, Thomas should have been yellow carded too, but Larkham’s offence was, in my opinion, that much worse.

Wales were out-played for most of the match. At points, late in the second half, it looked like Australia had no answer to the plays the Welsh were running, but they did. Nice to see Williams back to his usual dangerous form, with Shanklin once more worth his weight in gold.
Australia were the better team, no doubt about it, and there was no question of who deserved to win. It’s scary that Wales are possibly the best of the Northern hemisphere teams at the moment (dependent on France), but that might be personal bias. Quite a good game, 'though.