September 06, 2007

The 6th Rugby World Cup: kicks off tomorrow with the hosts France taking on the Argentineans. The BBC and the Independent have each compiled a handy team-by-team guide of the 20 nations taking part. [more inside]

posted by afx237vi to other at 05:06 PM - 10 comments

The Beeb also have guides for certain players to watch, including the midfield playmakers, who add a touch of poise and finesse to what is often a brutal sport, and the forward powerhouses, who use their brute strength to batter holes into the opposition defence. Going into the tournament, the New Zealand All-Blacks are overwhelming favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987. However, since that win 20 years ago, the ABs have almost perfected the art of peaking between tournaments, and many people are wondering if they will be able to handle the pressure this time around. If they falter, then France and South Africa are next in line on the bookmakers' odds sheet. And hey, if the rugby's not really your thing, then at least drop in to take a look at the pre-match build-up, which can often be just as entertaining as the match, including some great anthems... - Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Wales) - L'Inno Di Mameli (Italy) - Flower of Scotland - La Marseillaise (France) - Ireland's Call ...and some great haka by the South Pacific nations, including: - The siva tau (Samoa) - The cibi (Fiji) - The kailao (Tonga) - And the most famous of all - Ka mate (New Zealand) Naturally, when two of the South Sea teams meet each other, all manner of awesomeness ensues!

posted by afx237vi at 05:10 PM on September 06, 2007

Even though they are, and should be, overwhelming favourites... "Four more years, boys, four more years."

posted by owlhouse at 07:37 PM on September 06, 2007

Another training session, another injury to Wilkinson, no change there. I read somewhere that he has only started something like 7 games since winning the RWC 4 years ago. A huge loss for England. Luckily for us (Ireland) BOD seems to have recovered from that punch and will lineout against Namibia. I'm so looking forward to the start of the competition tonight. I just don't know whether to cheer for France or Argentina yet. And don't forget the fantasy league PIN: 16552-2771

posted by Fence at 03:32 AM on September 07, 2007

I just don't know whether to cheer for France or Argentina yet. Definitely Argentina! I wouldn't mind seeing France win the whole tourney, but I'd love to see Argentina do well. The progress they've made in the last decade or so is incredible, and their recent record against France is pretty good. Unfortunately, I have no confidence in Wales doing well whatsoever. Gareth Jenkins is a total idiot. We'll make the QFs but that's it.

posted by afx237vi at 08:22 AM on September 07, 2007

Definitely Argentina! Maybe, for a non-Irish person. But seeing as the RWC sees three of the top 6 (I think) in the one group I'm very conflicted. I expect France to do well. I'd like to see Argentina do well. But over-riding all that I want Ireland to do very well. If Argentina win, then maybe we'll get a French reaction. Course if France win Argentina will be fired up for their match against us.

posted by Fence at 08:43 AM on September 07, 2007

Argentina wins 17-12.

posted by SportsNarrative at 06:02 AM on September 08, 2007

The Eagles may have lost the first match but at least this time we held England to under a hundred points, so at least we got that going for us.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:11 PM on September 08, 2007

And now Canada expose Wales for the bumbling idiots they actually are (before running out of gas in the last 20 minutes). Good showing from the Americas (North and South) so far. People have been saying this for 20 years, but if rugby ever gathered some momentum in the US and Canada, they would be really, really good. Just needs a bigger player base, better fitness and more competition against the better nations.

posted by afx237vi at 08:57 AM on September 09, 2007

I'm pretty speechless after our performance. Only winning 32-17! And so many mistakes. If it weren't for the equally rubbish warm-up matches I'd simply discount it as a one-off. Still, I'm determined to try and stay positive. After all we got our win, and our bonus point, and we can play so much better. I just hope this was the kick in the arse we needed. So far all the SH teams are totally outplaying the NH. New Zealand were superb. It took a little longer for the Wallabies and Springboks to get going but then easily disposed of the opposition. All the "home nations" had poor games, although Scotland probably put on the best performance, and Ireland the worst.

posted by Fence at 03:30 PM on September 09, 2007

After the first rush, Italy didn't do badly at all. Their scrum performed better than, say, the English or French ones have of late against the All Blacks, and 40 - 17 wouldn't have been a bad loss for the 5th place getter in the 6 Nations. But that first spell... woo. That was quite astonishing, and what made it a massacre. If I was an English fan I'd be more than a touch dissapointed, although one at work was spouting some crap about how awful the All Blacks are for running up a lot of points instead of going for a closer match designed to leave the opponent with dignity. He actually appears to be serious. I'm wondering if he's Stephen Jones in disguise.

posted by rodgerd at 04:46 AM on September 10, 2007

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