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Thread: The World Cup

  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    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.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    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.
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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fanbuoy's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanbuoy View Post
    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.
    Well there's enough of them to get 20 teams together. Though in fairness only about 10 are actually really good teams. They are mostly commonwealth countries plus France, Italy, Argentina.

    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.

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    Activated Node ToaManaia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    Well there's enough of them to get 20 teams together. Though in fairness only about 10 are actually really good teams. They are mostly commonwealth countries plus France, Italy, Argentina.

    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.
    Hey yeah, in New Zealand, Rugby is the number 1 sport. So the entire country frets over selections, who should make the 31 man squad (All teams have a 31 man squad), Who will be left out? What if injury happens to key players? Do we have the depth to cover. And in the more "strange but paranoid category", are we goin to be playin France at any point in the tournament?
    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...
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    Obscure Node Ffrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToaManaia View Post
    Its hard to choose, I think England will get there but Australia and Wales are hard to seperate.
    I think that's being very kind to Wales, for which I thank you. But Wales have a terrible recent record against Australia, with a habit of leading going into the last 20 mins then getting overrun. It's an extremely difficult group, whoever comes top must be on form and stand an excellent chance of going a lot further

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    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Activated Node ToaManaia's Avatar
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    wq

    Quote Originally Posted by Ffrog View Post
    I think that's being very kind to Wales, for which I thank you. But Wales have a terrible recent record against Australia, with a habit of leading going into the last 20 mins then getting overrun. It's an extremely difficult group, whoever comes top must be on form and stand an excellent chance of going a lot further
    Its just a matter of consistency I guess with Wales, Warren Gatland (Another coach from NZ) needs to find that magical key to his team. You guys have that battleship George North and that monster in the midfield Jamie Roberts who are world class. In NZ, we look at Wales and just wonder when they are just goin to explode and take the world by storm. Who knows it could be this tournament. And as Zephro has commented, Wales has just beaten Ireland whose form has been tremendous of late.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zephro View Post
    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.
    Northern hemisphere style is more attrition based, and it sits the conditions that rugby is played up there, softer and slower pitches, more moisture on the ball all play a part in playing a more guarded method of rugby. Southern Hemisphere rugby is played on harder and faster grounds and in drier weather, so the tendency is to go more expansive.

    I agree that England may be in trouble if the pool is to be decided by points differential as England basically grind other teams into the ground (Hey it works for them, why change a tried and true formula), of course the downside is that the win is achieved but margin is only down to single figures, where Wales and Australia can rack up win margins in the double figures if they're in the mood (Although they can lose by that much as well).

    Scotland have to get through Samoa to get a quarter final, that game is key for both team, advantage to the Scots for now. But Zephro, Samoa have some very talented players, but lack the consistency to go deep in this tournament. The Scots will have to realize that Samoa have the potential to cause boil overs at world cup time, they cannot take the islanders lightly. Funnily enough the Samoans could also be horrendously terrible and Scotland could have an easier game than they would like to believe.

    The NZ (All Blacks) team has been announced and the whole country is in debate and investigation mode. Some very good players have not made the squad, a couple were part of the World Cup winning squad from 2011.

    Biggest point of debate is the inclusion of two rookie wingers who only made their NZ debut this year ad have forced out All Black mainstays, Israel Dagg and Cory jane. The players are Nehe Milner-Skudder who has dazzling footwork, and Waisake Naholo who is an absolute streaker (He can run REALLLLY FASST). The contovrsial thing with Naholo is that he is injured and will be available come the third pool game of the tournament.

    The thing with both players is that they are still rookies and whether they can handle a pressure cooker finals game against a kick accurate and tight defensive team such as England, South Africa etc is the question...

    Here are the players in action...



    And here is Nehe Milner-Skudder
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  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus karaquazian's Avatar
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    living deep in rugby league territory I was almost unaware this was actually on, there's no pubs showing it or anything (well maybe student pubs don't know)

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karaquazian View Post
    living deep in rugby league territory I was almost unaware this was actually on, there's no pubs showing it or anything (well maybe student pubs don't know)
    Seriously? It's fucking hosted in England and some of the games are even up North...

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