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Thread: The World Cup
Yesterday, 06:43 PM #1
The World Cup
I know sport's threads are rare and frowned upon. However THE* World Cup is less than a month away.
So reactions, thoughts, bets etc. Also as a general point has there been a vaguely good Rugby game since Rugby Challenge 2? Which at least had the license for club rugby.
Anyway my 2 teams Scotland and England are shaping up well and dodgily respectively. Vern Cotter's new Scotland tactics seem to finally be paying off after a disaster of a Six Nations, where as England seem to be struggling a bit. England have the far toughest group of the tournament, so might not even reach the quarters.
Also Scotland just beat Italy with a record landslide. I'm doing a silly little jig in celebration.
* I have heard other sports have world cups but they don't deserve the definite article.
Yesterday, 07:27 PM #2
I was going to try a witty reply about the real World Cup, but then I remembered that the next ones will be in Russia and Qatar and got very depressed. Carry on with your weird-sport-where-people-mostly-bump-on-each-other thing.
Yesterday, 10:19 PM #3
With this being the internet, at least two thirds of the people discussing a topic shouldn't know much about it, so here I am! My question is simple: Is rugby a thing in enough countries that the world cup is not basically just a final? Is it like cricket, that it's very much a Commonwealth thing, or is it more widespread?
I'm sure that there are some people playing it all over, but I'm talking on a more organized scale.
Today, 01:57 AM #4
The top tier teams are
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Ireland, Wales, France, England, Scotland
Then the pacific islands of Fiji, Tonga and Samoa are all right. Also Italy play.
Then the other teams are sort of making up spots but they are normally the same sides of USA, Japan, Canada, Namibia, Georgia, Romania. For some reason the eastern block dictators got into rugby in the 70s so Romania and Georgia end up being all right at it for some reason.
Today, 07:30 AM #5
The reason why that question is asked by the NZ public is that France have been responsible for our teams exit from World Cups in the past. Once in 1999(Semi Final) and in 2007(Quarter Final) and more than any country in the tournament, France is the team that has NZ on edge the most.
Thats not to say that the other teams are not to be feared, that couldn't be further from the truth. In a hat tip to Zephro, England in a finals situation is not a team to be trifled with. They seem to be goin for the more 10 man trench warfare route of rugby. This tactic won them a World Cup title in 2003. Of course they are in the "pool of death" with Wales and Australia. So only 2 out of those three teams will make it to the finals stage. Its hard to choose, I think England will get there but Australia and Wales are hard to seperate.
Australia defeated NZ a couple of weeks ago only to be massacred a week later in a return match. Australia are the rugby championship winners for 2015, but the teams involved (NZ, South Africa, Argentina and Australia) were purposely playing unexpansive , safe rugby and basically failed to show their cards for that tournament.
Australia are a threat but lack the tough forwards in the tight exchanges to really be dangerous, but they have some gifted backs and if they get enough ball they can rip other backlines to shreds...
Wales seem to flatter to deceive, they can look like world beaters one week and then wooden spooners the week after, its hard to get a good read on them, but you never can tell.
Scotland...I dont know enough about, but the do have an able coach in Vern Cotter who has coached in NZ as well and again who knows...
The team to be scared of is South Africa, They have a mighty forward pack and in players like De Allende and Kriel, the South Africans have two very good midfielders who could potentially be a hand full for opposition teams. South Africa have cruised under the radar all year and that is something to be alarmed about. Also whoever comes second in the pool of England, Wales and Australia will most lkely play South Africa in the quarter Finals. Not a game anyone wants to be in.
As much as I would like NZ (Current World Champs) to win the world cup again, there is a high chance of it not happening as well, No team has defended a world cup title, and there are other very good teams about (England, South Africa etc) who on their day can win it as well and they have, both teams are past winners...I Love Smite, bathe in my glory and feel the shock and awe of my mastery (Alleged, circumstantial and with no real evidence) - IGN: TaneIngoaKore
Today, 10:36 AM #6
Today, 11:52 AM #7
Yeah there's a distinct difference in style between Northern and Southern hemisphere teams.
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the pacific islands play a much faster game with more flow to it. The Northern teams play a way more attritional game where you grind the opposition down. Not that all the teams can't do a bit of both. I think it's largely a weather thing, we play our main tournament in February-March so everyone is used to playing in the cold and the wet. So even Scotland with a bit of luck can take down South Africa or Australia sometimes, by just blocking the other team from playing how they want.
The group of death looks tough. Wales are patchy but they are bloody dangerous, they took out Ireland yesterday who I'd also have tipped for getting to the finals. Hypothetically the 3 teams of Aus, Wales, England could all win 1 game against the others and the whole group would come down to points. Which I think would likely go against England, as they tend to win but not by landslides.
I think Scotland will get into the quarters by beating Samoa, but that will almost definitely put them into the quarters against the best of Aus, Wales and England which I don't hold out much hope for. Though i support England and Scotland, in that match up it always has to be Scotland. Also who ever wins the group of death has South Africa in the Quarters almost definitely which will be a nightmare.
Also yeah Vern Cotter has been good I think. We had a really bad 6 nations, wooden spoon :(, but he's changed Scotland's style of play entirely and I think it's starting to pay off. I might write off the 6 nations as a transition period.