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Title: Rugby World Cup!


Maelstrom - August 25, 2011 09:40 AM (GMT)
Hello Herdstone!

Full disclosure here. I am a Rugby fanatic. I used to work as a Sports journalist so i'm completely at home talking about pretty much any regional league or national team. It's easily one of the most important things in my life and my future wife (whoever she may be) will just have to accept that I don't quite love her as much as I love England Rugby. We will have to get married in the off-season so i'll never miss a game due to a stupid anniversary.

The World Cup is a little over two weeks away but i'm already ridiculously excited. It would be great if any board members wanted to get some chat going on it. Who do you think will win? How well do you think your nation will do?

I would love to see England win it but as much as I try to delude myself I don't see us being good enough to beat New Zealand under any circumstances (unless a comet hits Carter, McCaw, Jane, Dagg, Nonu and SBW, even then its iffy) and even my absurd biased and child like naivety isn't quite enough to convince me we will get to the finals.

If my predictions pan out I think we can take France in the Quarter final, they have some very strange selections. Australia in the semis is a really big ask. In my mind thats the only team that can beat New Zealand but they will have to play their socks off to do so and have the key guys perform. The Wallabies have a bit of a tendancy to self destruct though and we have a bit of a bogey man for that side with us. 'Drop Goal Jonny' they call him (I think I might actually love that man, seriously, if we ever met I just KNOW we'd be best mates.) so who knows.

So go on, tell me what you think of the World Cup or Rugby as a whole! Most of the teams have been announced, any beefs with any of the selections?

Kawazu - August 25, 2011 10:01 AM (GMT)
I am looking forward to at least partially follow the results (might watch some matches if I find some stream) having been a rugby player myself - but definitely not a sports fanatic. For personal sympathies I hope that All Blacks will win the cup (at last!), and that Italy will get kicked out soon. Maybe that would help people understanding how italian rugby quality is ridiculous (due to lack of culture, lack of investments on juvenile teams, and so on), but I have little hope on that.

When is the first match and at what times?

p.s.: I just realized that the last Rugby World Cup I've been really following was the famous one of 1995 in South Africa, the one of the "Invictus" movie. Good times :')

Meals - August 25, 2011 10:26 AM (GMT)
to be fair, Italian rugby is getting better. They aren't getting 50 point hidings near as much as they used to...

Anyway, the All Blacks will finally win it this year. With our best team on the park, noone can touch us. Fingers are firmly crossed that there are no injuries to either Richie or Dan though, as we have no quality replacements for either of them.

Kawazu - August 25, 2011 10:47 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Meals @ Aug 25 2011, 11:26 AM)
to be fair, Italian rugby is getting better. They aren't getting 50 point hidings near as much as they used to...

I remember a test match with All Blacks back in the 90s, 7-70. I hope they at least moved from that :P
Still the quality of the game expressed is poor. Actually there is no game, they rely on individual players (like the Bergamasco brothers, or Parisse) who all play in foreign leagues, just as they used to do in the 90s when they were fighting to be included in the (back then) 5 Nations. Little has changed from then, and the constant poor results in the 6 Nations are there for all to see...

Maelstrom - August 25, 2011 10:50 AM (GMT)
I like Italian rugby! Hopefully the fact that they have a couple teams in the Magners League (or whatever they are calling it these days) will start to tell and thier quality will improve. They do have a couple great players though and they beat France this year so things are looking up I think. Why the animosity though Kawazu?

Meals i'm with you. NZ all the way. It was quite scary watching how bad you were with Slade at 10 though. Loosing McCaw is not as damaging though, I think even without him its yours to lose.

Kawazu - August 25, 2011 11:16 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maelstrom @ Aug 25 2011, 11:50 AM)
Why the animosity though Kawazu?

I played in the Italian Rugby movement all my "career", so I know the dirt behind, the political games and all such. I've been in the pre-national teams as a player, and I've seen enough to make me quit. Just think that despite the disappointing results there is still the same CEO at the head of the Italian Rugby Federation since... well, almost 25 years now!

Mathusela - August 25, 2011 11:47 AM (GMT)
Warhammer players who like rugby!! woohoo! I dont think any of my gaming group do :( it's very sad

I reckon NZ will win it this year too. Losing it on home turf would be unthinkable - I think that will be the factor that ensures they don't make the same mistakes they did the last few RWC's.

As to Carter and McCaw - you'll never replace them in 100 years! They are both freaks of nature and even though I'm an aussie, Dan Carter gets ALL my man love cause he's just so bloody good :P

If NZ are gonna lose, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say it will be to Scotland in the Quarters... :o

I reckon Aus will make the semis at least, maybe the final if we keep our heads. After the way NZ crushed us in Bledisloe 1 this year, I doubtful we'll be good enough to beat them if we play each other. This saturday will be an interesting show though.

The Charioteer - August 26, 2011 10:17 AM (GMT)
GO SOUTH AFRICA!

Bkkies Botha is awesome, win or lose, he will destroy some poor defenders

Maelstrom - August 27, 2011 01:47 AM (GMT)
Botha is scum. That man goes out to intentionally injure people. I have no problem with hard tackles or good physical play but check out these two clips. There was a decent chance he could have killed or crippled those guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJQAdlWekr0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO12nItzYdw

Looking forward to the tri-nations game today!

Plaguebeast - August 27, 2011 06:01 AM (GMT)
There are three certainties in life: death, change and the All Blacks choking in the World Cup :P

Really, it's NZ's to lose. They have the best team by far AND home ground advantage. I would dearly love the Wallabies to win, but I doubt we have the personnel to go all the way. Failing that, I would love to see Argentina, Italy and France do well, and England fail miserably (still bitter about 2003 and 2007 :P).

So is Johnny Wilkinson still playing? Is he being held together with sticky tape?

Plaguebeast

Maelstrom - August 28, 2011 05:12 AM (GMT)
Great win by Australia! Really good game, fantastic pressure by Australia, 1st half the ABs looked seriously lost. They got a bit close with thier comeback though...

Johnny is still being held together with whatever we can scrounge combined with my fervent prayers. I don't much like the look of the centers outside him though. I think that you are well entitled to being bitter PB, bad things come in threes though remember! (Or maybe its 3rd time lucky, hmm, which saying is the more appropriate?)

@Kawazu, thats awesome that you played pro there. If you have some insider info i'll bow to your experience :)

I would like to see Japan do well, the amount of money they pour into Rugby over there is and and it would be nice to see somethign come of it. Doubt it will though, they are in a tough group.

Kawazu - August 28, 2011 08:06 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maelstrom @ Aug 28 2011, 06:12 AM)
@Kawazu, thats awesome that you played pro there. If you have some insider info i'll bow to your experience :)

Haha, no it was just semi-pro :D I was offered to go pro only when I quit. Also remember that rugby is a pro sport since really short time in Italy. No need to bow at all!

Shadespyre - August 28, 2011 09:50 AM (GMT)
Rugby is not really my thing, even though it's the only sport I ever got in the school team for (that was on account of size rather than sporting talent!)

Mostly, I'm reeling from the fact that Maelstrom used to be a sports journalist.

USED TO BE? That implies that you stopped to do something else!!? Unless you are now an astronaut, fighter pilot or professional beer taster, what could be better than being a sports journalist???? :o

Plaguebeast - August 28, 2011 10:19 AM (GMT)
Wow, that was our first piece of silverwear in 10 years! Still, the only thing standing between NZ and the World Cup is another monumental psychological meltdown.

I agree Maelstrom - I would also love to see Japan do well. However, they just don't seem to have the size, meaning they're forced to 'naturalise' some meaty players from overseas so they are eligible to play for the Cherry Blossoms!

Plaguebeast

The Charioteer - August 28, 2011 01:58 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maelstrom @ Aug 27 2011, 01:47 AM)
Botha is scum. That man goes out to intentionally injure people. I have no problem with hard tackles or good physical play but check out these two clips. There was a decent chance he could have killed or crippled those guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJQAdlWekr0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO12nItzYdw

Looking forward to the tri-nations game today!

its a dirty job but NO ONE is better at it, there is a guy like that in EVERY team. the enforcer is vital. besides its funny to watch him headbutt that Prick of a halfback. :thumbsup:

Sulla - August 29, 2011 07:16 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Shadespyre @ Aug 28 2011, 09:50 AM)
Mostly, I'm reeling from the fact that Maelstrom used to be a sports journalist.


Surprising huh. Usually on the internet, everyone you meet is a retired gulf war general, a special forces sniper or a lawyer/school teacher.

Refreshing to see someone with a job they conceivably might actually do in real life.

What next? Players who post losses in those W/L/D stats? Anything is possible.

Back on topic, though, with 2 losses to the allblacks coming into the tourney, things have evened up nicely. All the sharks sniff blood in the water, I think. Even England fans are talking up their chances.

I'll be at the Samoa/Fiji game with my son near the end of the pool stages and my uncle is coming over for the Wales pool matches so we'll be taking him around the sights of Auckland. Can't wait.

The Charioteer - August 30, 2011 04:26 AM (GMT)
I am a retired special forces sniper who is a teacher at a law school. :lol:


But really I hope South Africa win, and Argentina, Italy and japan do well.

also all rugby fans should watch this video, i loled so hard i cried.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSWRoO3U3xg

Plaguebeast - August 30, 2011 12:15 PM (GMT)
Hahahaha that's gold! I'm shattered he won't be playing in the World Cup though :(.

Plaguebeast

Maelstrom - August 30, 2011 08:05 PM (GMT)
Yeah everyone loves a bit of caveman :P

Sulla i'm so jealous! I'd love to go to a match, I have a Kiwi friend here who is flying back for the whole World Cup. He doesn't have any tickets, just want to watch the matches on telly with his mates!

Shade I now work as a journalist for an evangelical Christian organisation called Alpha International. Not quite as cool to be sure but I enjoy it a lot more! It kinda sucked missing the good rugby matches on a saturday because I had to travel two hours to cover some lower league football nonsense.

I FINALLY managed to watch the highlights of Engalnd vs Ireland after a long hard fought battle with search engines. I'd say we have some things to be positive about that I wasn't sure we would but I still dont see us beating NZ. That will be Australia's job! :lol:

Sulla - August 31, 2011 12:31 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maelstrom @ Aug 30 2011, 08:05 PM)
I FINALLY managed to watch the highlights of Engalnd vs Ireland after a long hard fought battle with search engines. I'd say we have some things to be positive about that I wasn't sure we would but I still dont see us beating NZ. That will be Australia's job! :lol:

If anyone beats NZ, it will be becasue of their supreme defence on the day, not their attack, I think. If their's one weakness the all blacks have, it's an aversion to accumulating points through drop goals. If you stop them scoring tries, they don't create anymore penalty opportunities than any other top nation, nor kick any better. Nor do they kick for touch often... due mostly to the wobbly lineout we had for years.

Play in their half and defend well and opportunities will come.

(Easier said than done, of course.)

Maelstrom - August 31, 2011 06:34 AM (GMT)
+1

That is EXCTALLY what Australia did. Early pressure got some points on the board and some excellent rush defence from Fainga'a stopped them in thier tracks.

The Charioteer - August 31, 2011 08:01 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Maelstrom @ Aug 31 2011, 06:34 AM)
+1

That is EXCTALLY what Australia did. Early pressure got some points on the board and some excellent rush defence from Fainga'a stopped them in thier tracks.

+2

only south Africa and Australia have the capacity to defend NZ out of the game, but that's only on a good day... or if new Zealand CHOKE.

England MIGHT win and i will emphasize the word MIGHT by drop kicking them to death, but that's their only hope

As always (and this coming from an Australian) Go south Africa!!!

Meals - August 31, 2011 08:37 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (The Charioteer @ Aug 31 2011, 09:01 AM)

+2

only south Africa and Australia have the capacity to defend NZ out of the game, but that's only on a good day... or if new Zealand CHOKE.

England MIGHT win and i will emphasize the word MIGHT by drop kicking them to death, but that's their only hope

As always (and this coming from an Australian) Go south Africa!!!

Well, they certainly won't be doing it by tries... I can't believe how little imagination the home nations have when it comes to attacking football. It actually made me really angry when I watched the England warm-up games.

One off runner, rinse, repeat... and 10 phases later they haven't gone anywhere. Seriously WTF!?!?!?!

Plaguebeast - August 31, 2011 09:41 AM (GMT)
Well it's worked reasonably well for them so far - they have one World Cup, have troubled the Southern Hemisphere sides with it during crunch matches, and came within a whisker of stealing the '07 Cup off South Africa.

Plaguebeast

Meals - August 31, 2011 09:58 AM (GMT)
Hey, I didn't say they couldn't defend, and sure, eventually you'll get penalties.

It's just that they have the potential to play in a much more exciting fashion, (the backline does have some talent) by using some width and getting faster ball from the ruck, but they seem physically unable to comprehend this fact.

Mathusela - August 31, 2011 10:21 AM (GMT)
I'm just gonna hack on South Africa for a minute because I reckon they're playing the same style England are at the moment. It's how they won in 2007, it's how they beat New Zealand B two weeks ago, I'm sure it's what they'll do when they come up against any reasonable side next month.

I agree with the defense being needed to beat NZ. But add to that, you need to rattle/unsettle them, not just defend well. But having been rattled by Aus last week I'm sure NZ will be looking at how they can prevent that happening again - it'll be much harder to do at the world cup.

Sulla - September 1, 2011 05:32 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Meals @ Aug 31 2011, 09:58 AM)
Hey, I didn't say they couldn't defend, and sure, eventually you'll get penalties.

It's just that they have the potential to play in a much more exciting fashion, (the backline does have some talent) by using some width and getting faster ball from the ruck, but they seem physically unable to comprehend this fact.

That's how I feel about the 'Boks. They play the most awful rugby to watch. It often works for them but when it doesn't and they get desperate, they actually throw the ball around and their backs look a million bucks and you wonder why they don't do it more, but next week they're back to the same old kick-chase snorefest and you feel sorry for Habana or Fourie who would be getting more than a single touch of the ball if they were playing for NZ or Aus.

Maelstrom - September 1, 2011 11:20 AM (GMT)
Thing is with the SA attack thier centre pairing is so well established and is capable of some good line breaks coupled with some speed. Kinda the same with the forwards, big guys capable of getting over the gainline. A bit of 'ain't broke dont fix it' I think. Boring as hell though. I feel the same about England though. Unimaginative and ineffectve in attack. I like the aggression of our pack at the breakdown though and I think we can steal/retain some good ball but we dont really have a centre pairing at all which really limits the options we have. I like the possibilties of Ashton, Foden/Armitage and I am warming to Cueto.

Every couple hours or so I think to myself 'the World Cup starts in a week!' and start to grin. I think people in my office think i'm a mad man.

Mathusela - September 1, 2011 12:33 PM (GMT)
It's such a shame the northies shot down the experimental laws :( if they were being used, they'd put quite a damper on the SA style of play and I actually wouldn't mind watching them play if they used habana more!

Sulla - September 1, 2011 10:56 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mathusela @ Sep 1 2011, 12:33 PM)
It's such a shame the northies shot down the experimental laws :( if they were being used, they'd put quite a damper on the SA style of play and I actually wouldn't mind watching them play if they used habana more!

To be fair, the rules right now are pretty good. Teams can win playing an expansive game or by playing a defensive kick-chase game. That means we probably have a good balance.

Mauls are still a little overpowered, but luckily only SA at their best can set up a really powerful one and teams get better at legally sacking it the more they play it.

Imagine Habana at the end of an all blacks or wallabie backline...

The Charioteer - September 1, 2011 11:43 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Sulla @ Sep 1 2011, 10:56 PM)
QUOTE (Mathusela @ Sep 1 2011, 12:33 PM)
It's such a shame the northies shot down the experimental laws :( if they were being used, they'd put quite a damper on the SA style of play and I actually wouldn't mind watching them play if they used habana more!

To be fair, the rules right now are pretty good. Teams can win playing an expansive game or by playing a defensive kick-chase game. That means we probably have a good balance.

Mauls are still a little overpowered, but luckily only SA at their best can set up a really powerful one and teams get better at legally sacking it the more they play it.

Imagine Habana at the end of an all blacks or wallabie backline...

Habana is FINE where he is thank you very much...

he WILL score tries this world cup, just you watch

Sulla - September 2, 2011 04:32 AM (GMT)
:D I know he will, but I just hope they don't all come from intercepts or kick chase.

Just pass him the bloody ball sometime Boks...

Meals - September 2, 2011 08:48 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Sulla @ Sep 2 2011, 05:32 AM)
:D I know he will, but probably only when the Spring Boks are playing Namibia or Samoa...

Fixed for you ;)

The Charioteer - September 2, 2011 09:13 AM (GMT)
LOL at you guys, the Boks are ALWAYS very crafty when it comes to world cups never letting the opposition know whats going on...
if it looks like they will campaign through the middle, they will go wide, if you think they will enter a world cup to play defensively, they will ATTACK

rules of rugby. the field is grass. the kiwis are favorites. the South Africans are smarter than you. the ref IS bias against your team all the time and Bakkies botha is better at clearouts than anyone.... ever

also the South Africans will be a bit seedy(drop kicking conversions and the like).

I must say the kiwis will NOT choke this time. they might not win it, but when you think about it they have never really disappointed and i dont think they deserve the chokers tag.

Meals - September 2, 2011 10:56 AM (GMT)
I'm not sure crafty is the word I'd use. Peter de Villiers is just totally insane, which, I guess, as you say, leads to noone knowing what the hell is going to happen :D

The Charioteer - September 2, 2011 12:36 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Meals @ Sep 2 2011, 10:56 AM)
I'm not sure crafty is the word I'd use. Peter de Villiers is just totally insane, which, I guess, as you say, leads to noone knowing what the hell is going to happen :D

they did it before de villiers time and will do it for long after my friend, besides, the martin johnson cant string 2 bloody words together, so de villiers is an absolute genius in comparison :D

Metalhed - September 4, 2011 07:43 PM (GMT)
I am a South African and I hope they go home disappointed.

I think it is something about going to school with people who act and think (i.e. dont) like that Botha fellow that makes me hate the entire South African rugby scene.

I enjoy their disappointment.

The Charioteer - September 5, 2011 07:44 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Metalhed @ Sep 4 2011, 07:43 PM)
I am a South African and I hope they go home disappointed.

I think it is something about going to school with people who act and think (i.e. dont) like that Botha fellow that makes me hate the entire South African rugby scene.

I enjoy their disappointment.

Every time botha makes a foul tackle or takes out a player it is an on the spot tactical decision.

I hope they go home VERY happy and with rugby's most prestigious piece of silverware

Sulla - September 7, 2011 01:07 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (The Charioteer @ Sep 5 2011, 07:44 AM)
I hope they go home VERY happy and with rugby's most prestigious piece of silverware

If they manage to win it for a third time in this cup, they get to keep the cup too...

Maelstrom - September 8, 2011 08:21 PM (GMT)
Less than 12 hours to go! Almost can't breathe with excitement. Score predictions for NZ-Tonga?




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