Ben Tameifuna massive fend on huge prop


Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Springboks edge All Blacks in thriller


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass


Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


WIN Rugby Speaker of the Year tickets!


Ben Flower red card for vicious punches


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

France withstand Ireland comeback to win first of two match series

France withstand Ireland comeback to win first of two match series

France are upbeat following their 19-12 win over Ireland on Saturday in what was another Rugby World Cup warm-up match. Ireland fielded a stronger side than the one that played against Scotland a week before, but were without Brian O'Driscoll.

France looked in control of the game with a 13-3 halftime lead, but Ireland came back with a few penalties later in the game. Vincent Clerc scored his eighth try against Ireland, moving him into third place on France's all time tryscorers list, with 25 in total.

Coach Mark Lievremont said that they still have plenty of room to improve ahead of the world cup. "We never gave up hope of making progress! Of course there was hope because we have a lot of quality players. This first match, given that it is always difficult to begin a new season and to find your rhythm, has in any case given us that hope.

"Even if these matches have nothing at stake, they are still test matches. When one sees the intensity, the hard tackling on both sides, they are anything but friendly matches. Everyone is hungry to mark his territory, to raise their morale, to reassure themselves, and to make progress. In terms of all those things it was a good match," he added.

Ireland meanwhile are boosted by the return of Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon Darcy for the next match between the two sides, in Dublin this coming weekend. O'Driscoll has recovered from a neck injury, while Darcy returns after ankle surgery. Stephen Ferris, who had a lengthy lay-off following knee surgery, will play off the bench.

"Although I haven't been able to do a huge amount of contact during this pre-season, I've put myself in a position to make sure I'm doing everything up to that contact point," said O'Driscoll.

"I've been working on things like footwork and being in the right place at ruck time. I'd like to be up to speed after three games, but I will feel a lot better after playing this weekend."

How did you rate the performances of the two sides respectively?


Time: 08:38

Posted at 11:10 pm | 54 comments

Viewing 54 comments

mise August 17, 2011 10:22 pm

Ireland are slowly improving, but will need to up it for the return fixture. French fell apart a bit in typical style at start of second.

Paddy Wallace - how is he still playing? Big diff when Heaslip and O Connell came on.

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Reality August 17, 2011 10:32 pm

That was just about 7 minutes of watching penalties being taken and about 1 minute of actual play. Would the lost Irish scrum and lineout in the last 5 mins not have been better to show, since they were vital moments in the match?

Anyway, I think with the stars back Ireland will be much better.

Also, that Irish away jersey is a bit ugly. What is that black thing on the back?

And Paddy Wallace, he is just so bad.

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Darren August 17, 2011 10:38 pm

Turd...

Good to see Kearney back with pace. It'll be a different story this weekend.

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 11:00 pm

"[Routine mindless Wallace-bashing]"

1. Wallace had a better game than either Fitzgerald and Earls. (Earls did threaten in space - rarely afforded -, and will hopefully continue to do so on the wing this Saturday).

2. Ireland are as prolific in the midfield as they are at halfback.

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mise August 17, 2011 11:14 pm

Re Fitzy and Wallace: Fitzy is being given a fair few chances by Kidney, for sure, but the key difference is this:
he has shown he can reach a certain level, Wallace unfortunately has never reached the same level. So Kidney is hoping to play him back into his best possible game (he is still just coming back from injury) .
(as an aside, see clip at 5.05 when Fitzy held back on Kearney break - no pen given)

Why Wallace is there still escapes me, esp in a context of McFadden being available and Irl having 2 out halves now.

Agreed on Earls showing glimpses, and Trimble was solid too btw.

And yes Reality, truncated clip selection!

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themull August 17, 2011 11:34 pm

Few things to note from this game...Firstly I stand by my opinion that that referee(Steve Walsh I think is name is not sure though) is ithout a doubt the worst ref still officiating at international level..I cringe everytime I see him reffing a match involving a team I support or want to win...

Secondly the Irish set piece game is looking very very shaky at the moment...None of our hookers look like they can hit their man and scrum is rarely if ever on the front foot...

Also while ROG is IMO the best kicker in international rugby at the moment he is simply just a liability in defence and does nto offer much in terms of attacking with ball in hand and I pray Kidney does not start him in any of the crucial pool games...it;s not really his fault as such, his body simply isn't built for tackling guys like harinodriquay(spelling) etc...

He is a great player to be able to bring on though to give shape to the team, if they are performing poorly on the day or even to close out a game with his kicking for the corners....

Looking forward to seeing BOD and Darcy next week(prob gonna be WC center partnership)..Even though I'd prefer Trimble instead of Darcy there, Kidney looks set in his ways regarding this..

Regarding the French, they looked very good in the first half..they turned the poor Irish set piece into constant pressure on the Irish line, which eventually won them the game...They need to learn to kill the game off, as they have a habit of taking their foot off the gas when they being cruising in a match..

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Anonymous August 17, 2011 11:36 pm

those were the dullest "highlights" that I have ever seen. Why not at least show the phases of play that led to those penalties? something besides watching o'gara think about kicking for five minutes.

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moddeur August 18, 2011 12:07 am

I love how early in the match, a few guys in the stands try to whistle and boo O'Gara, but promptly huge claps of encouragement start knocking their boos and whistles out. Later on it was only claps of encouragement for O'Gara.
I hate to admit it, but the Bordeaux public was a true rugby public, respectful of penalty takers, that wanted to show their Irish counterparts that they too could be silent like the crowd in Dublin.
Nothing like the public in neighbouring Toulouse, which just boos and moons and yells and acts all superior (I'm not talking about the Stade Toulousain, which is a team I admire, but about the Toulouse public).

As for the match, vast rugby skills by France early on, and then that typical "we're 10 points ahead on the scoreboard and dominating every phase of the game, let's just let our guard down". Killer instinct lacking, not a good sign for a team which could otherwise very well lift the world cup trophy.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:09 am

Not a good performance for the French, they played a lot during the first half or so then fell apart. The replacement of Mermoz at the 27th minute of the game, meaning that Trinh Duc will play as a center (for the 1st time) did't help. Skrela was terrible as fly half.

Tat was the 1st game for France, they will also improve their game. Lievremont made 13 changes for the next game. Unfortunately Skrela is starting as fly half...

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:13 am

"Also, that Irish away jersey is a bit ugly. What is that black thing on the back?"

Dusatoir wasn't it?

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:51 am

I'd apreciate RD putting up the Japan vs itlay game, there are good highlights available on youtube and it was a very entertaining game. Contrast of two styles, Japan with a more backline focus, and Italy rumbling up through the forwards.

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WelshOsprey August 18, 2011 1:09 am

Does any player have 8 tries against a single country in his career? Clercs record against ireland is insane.

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opinionated August 18, 2011 1:26 am

The strength on depth in the french squad is ridiculous..they virtually have 3 sets of top international quality XVs that could take the pitch any given week.

Only the opposite can be said for Ireland. It will be a struggle to field 1 top quality XV. The squad is littered with players who have no business playin outside of the Magners league.

The French if they can get their act together are genuine contenders in my opinion...far superior to South Africa and a much better pack than the Wallabies...Of copurse NZ are the best by a long way but this french side at fulll tilt and full confidence could bowl them over.

Also the Irish with their best 15 playing to full capacity are fully capable of knocking over the Australians in their group...that is dependant on so many factors though that it is not likely to come to light...injuries, form and confidence...3 factors that havent come together for us too much lately.

Rory Best, Leo Cullen and Paddy Wallace have no place on an international rugby field..they would be laughed out of it if they showed up to training with any other top international side...not only are they crap now but they have zero potential for improvement!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 1:53 am

Far superior to South africa?
Based on what?
How many world cups ahs this current French team won?
How many times have they even beat South africa?
This French pack that got anhilated by South Africa just last year, that got anhilated by Australia, even crushed by Argentina. The same pack that lost to Italy (who have never beaten South Africa).

They are "far superior" to South Africa? Maybe in scrummaggin. Pity about the other 87 things they don't do as well.

What a load of crap.

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opinionated August 18, 2011 2:18 am

Jesus mate calm down there...Im talking about the South Africa who havent won a game in 2011 and arent looking in anyway likely to do so either, who also lost to Scotland and a club side before Xmas and barely scraped wins against ireland and wales....forget about being world cup Champs--that was a long time ago and has no chance of repeating itself.

An ageing and mediocre side who play an even more negative brand of rugby than the English and thats saying a lot.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 2:45 am

The person in charge of highlights at RD is really having a woeful time of it, pumping out some horrible compilations.

As for the Rugby last week hopefully it was a one off as all the games looked like a rewind of 07, 08, 09.

The game cannot afford a WC like 2007.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 2:47 am

The same South Africa that aslo beat Irleand, Wales and England away from home, trashed France by thirty points and beat Australia last year?
The same South Africa that are the World Champions?

Yous ay they haven't won this year, but they've only played Aus and NZ, the two best teams in the world.

They are still almost certainly going to beat Wales, Fiji, Samoa and Namibia, then Irleand in the quarters, before being beaten by NZ in the semis.

They beat Irleand, away from home, without many of their best players (who were ebing rested). They'll trash them at the WC.

France are in a terrible run of form. They lost by big margins to South Africa, Argentina and Australia last year and even lost to Italy. France are a basket case at the moment.

You're observations are just ridiculous.

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opinionated August 18, 2011 3:14 am

You need to brush up on your grammar a bit.

Players being rested?,,only 2 players missing that day mate and they were Schalk Berger & Jacques Fourie...suspended and injured.
Ireland were missing O'Connell, Flannery,Ross and a few more. There was only 2 points in it and the last time we played before that Ireland beat the "World Champs" 15-10.

So if you're going to talk in those terms i dont imagine SA will "demolish" Ireland at all..

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 3:41 am

They were missing Franz Steyn, JP Peterson, Jaque Fourie, Butch James, Fourie Du Preez, John Smit, Heinrich Brussow, Guthro Steenkamp, Schalk Burger, Danie Russow, Andries Bekker, Jean Deysel and Lwazi Mvovo.

And they were playing in Dublin (the only place Ireland is capable of beating the SANZAR countries).

On nuetral ground with a full squad, South Africa will demolish Ireland.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 3:47 am

By the way they aren't "World Champs". They are the World Champs.
It's not like it's a descriptor I made up myself. They won the last world cup. So they are the world champions.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 6:01 am

God, they were long highlights for not much action.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 7:55 am

thoroughly enjoyed Trinh-Duc sitting O'Gara down at the beginning.

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moddeur August 18, 2011 9:25 am

All rugby matches are different. If we're going to compare, we're just bound to make assumptions. In that case, why not say that SA only beat France 3 times since the year 2000 (whereas France beat SA 6 times). Which of course wouldn't mean anything.
I think all top 4 or 5 IRB teams play more or less the same level of rugby, and that it's always down to secondary details, rebounds of the ball, and ... mental determination. France's failures are systematically mental, it's a team that needs a good shrink, because on the rugby side of things, they are right there next to the best.

I notice that people tend to write off SA at each world cup, yet they've won half of the ones they've participated in.

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moddeur August 18, 2011 9:27 am

On a sidenote, I can't say that I liked the Bavarian-style jersey that the Irish were wearing.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:03 am

"Andries Bekker"

Andries Bekker, was barely really on the scene.. you're talking about bekker being better than matfield and bakkies?!? hah, yeh, i dont think so..

And people talking about "how many world cups has this french team won"

Well... how many world cups has THIS SA team won?!? the answer 0....

Just the same as "England won a world cup in 2003" tindall was playing in it... it doesnt mean that this current england squad won a world cup though does it!

SA fans are forever the worst fans... when they win they aren't happy taking the win, they have to have white washed an annihilated the opposition.,... remember the lions tour and how they were white washed... by 5 points first game..2 points the second game...real one horse race that one...

and then if they lose its "we don't care about those games" or "well we are world champs" or some other sad sad excuse... ok fine you have only lost to Aus and NZ in 2011... but last year you still narrowly beat Ireland (with whatever squad you had... apparently you guys boast great depth in your squads anyway, so surely your side was still a first string side!) you lost to scotland, and you also lost a club game....

and anyway, why the fuck are you on here talking about your old men when this thread is nothing to do with them!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 10:17 am

Hmm anyone know where i can get a metal chastity belt that perhaps isn't metal... I am heading to new zealand for the world cup, and I know how these guys are notorious for being bum pokers! so I want some protection from that... however I can't have metal pants as when i go through security it will attract attention and i might end up getting a cavity "bum poke" search...

Any ideas?

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:07 am

TRRROOOOOOOLLLLLLLL
Get a life buddy, youve copied and pasted the same crap in the last several vids. You seem fixated on fingers in arses. Closest dweller per chance?

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ACJJ August 18, 2011 11:43 am

these highlights are balls. how about putting some of the game in and not the entire lead up to every penalty kick?

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:57 am

"TRRROOOOOOOLLLLLLLL
Get a life buddy, youve copied and pasted the same crap in the last several vids. You seem fixated on fingers in arses. Closest dweller per chance?"

Um, I don't see how I'm trolling? I'm being serious, and of course I posted it in every video, I need some advice, the more people that read it the more chance I have of having an unscheduled prostate exam! It's nothing to do with me, I have seen more NZ players poke bums than any other teams!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:27 pm

ROG gets slammed down in the 32 second of the clip. Has anyone ever taught him how to tackle?

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Colombes August 18, 2011 12:40 pm

as said for other warm-up matchs. there is not much too learn in term of tactics and attack shemas.
Most of the players are coming back to rugby after an huge physical preparation. The most important to watch is the physical presence more than any sort of combinations.

on Ireland, i would say it's difficult to juge them as guys like BOD, Darcy and O'leary weren't on the pitch. but in general, i find the team a bit slow and old. time for new generation need to come. i hope that they can go in the 1/4 but the RWC never smiled to them.
Let see the return in Dublin

concerning france, their physical preparation seem to pay. they'll be a major force for this rwc.
But i've few reserves on the backs. There is dozen of forward leaders with dusautoir, nallet, harinordoquy or Servat... and in opposition the backs miss true leaders (because of lievremont turn-overs) in order to impose a real style of attacks. Salute of france will come from guys like trinh-duc, parra, heymans, medard who must take their responsabilities and guide the others.

as a little general said 'from the order, comme the disorder"

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:40 pm

Moddeur, that's just not true.
Aus, NZ and SA have better records than anyone else. Always have.
You can't say France and England have acheived what those teams have. They aren't far off, but they aren't at the same level either.

Anyway, this is why we have world cups. We'll see soon.

My prediction is England vs Australia in one semi and NZ vs SA in the other.

Nz vs Aus in the final.

The other teams just aren't as good.
France are too fragile these days. Ireland dont have the same class or depth.
Everyone else is basically an also ran.

England, SA, NZ and Aus are the only teams who realistically might win, and even then it's really NZ's to lose.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:44 pm

"Well... how many world cups has THIS SA team won?!? the answer 0..."

It's almost the same team. Which could cost SA considering the game has changed since 2007, and the kick chase game isn't nearly as effective.
But if you look at the WC 2007 team and the current one, the core of the team are all still there.
Botha, Matfield, Burger, Du Preez, Smit, Steyn, James, De Villiars, the Du Plessis brothers, Russow, Steenkamp, Fourie, Habana, Pieterson etc.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 12:48 pm

WelshOsprey said...

Does any player have 8 tries against a single country in his career? Clercs record against ireland is insane.

While I'm sure some SH players have 8 v other teams, O'Driscoll has at least 8 v France, 3 in 2000, 1 in 2001, 2 in 2003, 1 in 2005 and 2009.

Anorak? Moi!!

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moddeur August 18, 2011 1:01 pm

I figure that it's down to:

- team cohesion (beind paid by the federation rather than a club makes you available for longer stints with your national squad)

- overall freshness of players (some Top14 players play 12 matches more per year than anyone in NZ)

- mental determination. I'm sure that NZ AUS and RSA, being used to playing against the best, have developed a natural mental tendency for success.

... rather than pure rugby skills.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 1:11 pm

"It's almost the same team."

No its not.... having EXACTLY the same players as in 2007 doesn't even make it the same team.. Of course you can say "these players were in the WC winning squad in 2007" etc... but its not the same game...

And even then IT IS NOT THE SAME SQUAD, there are many players who have since retired after the RWC...

What really constitutes the same team? I mean as I mentioned, Tindall was in the same squad... so was Wilkinson.. moody...thompson... i mean does that mean England can win the RWC and they are as good as they are were in 2003 because some players are still there? no...

Geez, SA fans are so damn ignorant... if they win they WIN if they lose they WIN, and if its not going their way they spit their dummy out and bitch about how the world is down on them and out come the conspiracy theorists! Just watch the rugby and shut up!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 1:29 pm

Looks like NZ is the only team that can score tries

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Reality August 18, 2011 1:56 pm

^ France actually scored a try in this match.

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Von August 18, 2011 1:56 pm

Anonymous at 9:55 said...
thoroughly enjoyed Trinh-Duc sitting O'Gara down at the beginning.

Anonymous at 2:27 said...
ROG gets slammed down in the 32 second of the clip. Has anyone ever taught him how to tackle?


And yet he always gets up, dusts himself down and gets stuck in again at the very next opportunity! The guy has balls of steel! As shit as his tackling undoubtedly is, you never see him shirk a tackle or shy away at all from the contact. Always a liability and surely it's not too late to actually learn proper tackling technique which would improve his game three-fold, but you can't doubt his commitment or courage.

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Mike August 18, 2011 3:00 pm

WelshOsprey said...
Does any player have 8 tries against a single country in his career? Clercs record against ireland is insane.


It's a great record, and Clerc is a great player. Incidentally, BOD has 8 against France too.

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bloodfya August 18, 2011 4:13 pm

I Thought France looked very good in the first half and were playing as a team. The fact that both french scrumhalves are capable goal kickers is also a real bonus.

I enjoy watching all the international games to see where everyone is at and what kind of world cup it will be.

I realize that all teams seem to be brought into each video post regardless of who actually played the game...

Based on this performance and all world cup warm up games (this world cup and past world cups) I dont think that they are a true reflection of the performance at the world cup. (particularly, since the players who are "guaranteed" a world cup spot on the team will not put in that extra effort at the risk of being injured.) The french looked like they have at least another 10-20% more that they could give and really cause some headaches for other teams.

the main point is that on the day any team can beat another team since it is 15 men v 15 men... Fans live for the upset but anticipate the norm.

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frank August 18, 2011 5:03 pm

What's that now, over 160 minutes of Irish rugby without a try?

....*sigh*

And this weekend, it's back to D'Arcy.

You know, because he deserves his chance to prove why he deserves the green jersey; clearly, he hasn't had enough time on the pitch to make his case. /sarcasm

Without a good linking 12 player, the backs are always going to struggle to score tries.

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 5:43 pm

did not enjoy watching penalty after penalty, this is far from a highlights reel.

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Frenchy August 18, 2011 6:47 pm

The main concern for the French team is their back line. They struggle to score tries, their attacking line is too often flat, and they don't seem to find each other easily. I'm happy Rougerie is back as centre, Medard in the starting team, Parra also although i find him slow (like Yachvili). The pack is strong, especially with the return of Picamoles & Bonnaire. It's a very mobile pack.

They'll play against a very determined irish team and it's going to be physical. France will need to play for 80 minutes this time.
The worry is that Lievremont is again trying things: Rougerie broke his ankle in May, will be in pair with Estebanez who has only a few caps. Barcella (hooker) will come on and has not play a single game in a year time. Skrela is S* and Trinh Duc could be not even playing this game as his wife is expecting a baby. New captain (Nallet) as Dussautoir is resting...

Starting team.
Heymans ; Palisson, Rougerie, Estebanez, Mdard ; Skrela, Parra ; Bonnaire, Picamoles, Ouedraogo ; Nallet (cap.), Pap ; Mas, Szarzewski, Poux.

Replacements.
Guirado, Barcella, Pierre, Lakafia, Yachvili, Trinh-Duc, Clerc

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 7:48 pm

The two dark horses here I reckon but nothing more than average. On the showing of all the teams the all blacks are the team I can see sauntering to the WC title, I just dont see anyone playing anywhere near their level.

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Matt Manley August 18, 2011 8:32 pm

Who was the asshole who said he wanted to watch this over the USA vs Canada highlights? Nice...

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John Hayes best prop August 18, 2011 9:21 pm

1) Steve Walsh is the WORST referee in the world!
2) O'Gara's tackling makes me laugh out load every time i see it (i loved the attempted tackle on fourie against the lions - classic)
3) On paper france should be the best team in the world, got loads of money, a great top flight league, millions of excellent players, great coaches, millions of fans, passion, skill, flair, size, power, but for some reason they never win a world cup. They are the biggest losers!

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:17 pm

"The two dark horses here I reckon but nothing more than average. On the showing of all the teams the all blacks are the team I can see sauntering to the WC title, I just dont see anyone playing anywhere near their level."

As everyone says its up to NZ to lose the World cup, not up to them to win it... that is of course judging by their current performances etc...

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Anonymous August 18, 2011 11:30 pm

Ah show the build up to the penalties RD, it was like watching a soccer match their with all those goals!

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 3:45 am

MOST BORING HIGHLIGHTS REEL I HAVE EVER SEEN

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Juggernauter August 19, 2011 1:22 pm

@ John Hayes best prop ever

mate you need to make some research and yo'll find that the FRF (French Rugby Federation) has had a lot of issues with the Top 14 clubs regarding player release, funding, stadia, etc and that has really damaged les Bleus.

Inform yourself before commenting!

Cheers

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Anonymous August 19, 2011 7:40 pm

Juggernauter don't be a twat. The guy was making a fair comment. I didn't know france were that uptight..

That is why we have these forums to comment, if everyone knew everything then there would be no need to comment.

A: "Nice try"
B: "Of course its a nice try, don't point out the obvious or anything"

See what I mean... Inform yourself before posting please!

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Juggernauter August 19, 2011 8:28 pm

Yeah, fair enough, I was trying to make a contribution made on facts and not just criticize based on personal thoughts... I mean, you are right, we shouldn't get informed before commenting, because that is, you know, pointless.

Get a name before commenting, "Anon"!

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Anonymous August 20, 2011 11:51 am

@ juggernaut and John Hayes: stop arguing for nothing guyrs! Although I'm French I think you are both right (not in the manner, though)
=French fans ARE the best fans in the world. I don't say that out of chauvinism, but if you just go in the South of France, it's just insane: in the region of Toulouse or in Pays Basque, boys start lifting weight at 14 to get recruited...if any of you guys can go at Mayol or Aguilera one day, you'll see what proper madness is!

this said, as Juggernaut says the fact that we are so much into rugby has a disadvantage: we give so much money to clubs, that they are very powerful. so we are probably the only "top ten" country in the wolrd where the national team has less power than the clubs. so, for example, Les Bleus have very little time to meet, and are very often broken or tired due to the fact that there are more games than anywhere else. which has also affected our type of play: instead of French Flair, nowadays, we tend to prize endurance which means do not run too much the ball. pity...and because they play so much, everyone is broken all the time

don't mean to be pretentious guys, but the day the clubs stop working litteraly AGAINST our national team, we really are going to kick ass! if we had the means the all blacks have, we'd beat them every other game I think, and the relation between them and us would be balanced, instead of that huge domination they have upon us.

just to prove a point: see how we tend to play better games during wolrd cups: it's because players have more time to meet then, than any other month!

this said...we are going to get arse kicked by the Irish today! hope you guys don't go too tough on us.
may the best team (that is, the Irish, unfortunately) win! and may ROG help us forget he dances on the pitch like a fairy, by doing what he does best in the wolrd: kicking and finding amazing touchlines!!!

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