Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


The Top 5 French Flair moments


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


The Top 5 'Big Boppers' in World Rugby


Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rugby World Cup Daily - Christchurch revisted

It was an early start for rugby fans in Wales today as their team took on somewhat of a RWC bogey side in Hamilton today. Here is the Rugby World Cup Daily show with a summary of all three of today's matches, as well as a look at the All Blacks on their visit to Christchurch. 

The first game of today saw Wales up against Samoa in what was a vital game to the outcome of Pool D. Samoa actually looked the better side at times, but it was some great defense, a late Shane Williams try, that proved the difference as Wales came away 17-10 winners.

"I thought we showed some great character. A few years ago, or 12 months earlier, we might not have won that game," said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

England had a fairly challenging ride against Georgia early on, but late in the game they scored a few tries that made the scoreline fairly flattering in the end. The Georgian power up front was impressive, and they were within reach for a while, despite some missed kicks at goal. England gave away 14 penalties.

"Some guys were a little bit rusty. We made things a bit more difficult than they were. It wasn't good enough and if we are happy with those standards we'll go home early," said Martin Johnson.

They did win 41-10 though against a powerful emerging nation, so its not all doom and gloom.

In the final match of the day France and Canada entertained in Napier in a game that tested the French, who ultimately ran away with the game, winning 46-19. Canada were within touching distance for a long time though, as they kept hitting back at the French. A hat-trick of tries for Vincent Clerc took it out of reach however as France picked up the bonus point win.

You can view highlights of the games at rugbyworldcup.com. We'll try get a few other random clips up during the week though, so make sure you keep an eye on RD's twitter and facebook.

Posted at 2:25 pm | 27 comments

Posted in Rugby World Cup 2011

Viewing 27 comments

Full Back September 18, 2011 4:56 pm

Impressive that Georgia had just 3 days to recover from a bruising encounter with Scotland before the English game and came up with that game.
I know it's tough on the organizers but some form of equilibrium must be found for 2nd tier nations coming into these big games.
Great to see their number 7 get Man of the Match, well done!

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BuzzKillington September 18, 2011 5:03 pm

I was of course rooting for Samoa(minnows >) but well done Wales

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stroudos September 18, 2011 5:53 pm

100% agree with Full Back.

Totally arse about face that the teams with the biggest squads and depth of quality get the longest to recover and prepare.

Nice to see a top-tier coach (Lievremont) calling out the IRB on this, even if his phrasing of his argument was odd, (ie it's all the fault of the English).

I would say I hope this is addressed before 2015, but it clearly won't happen.

Anyway, suffice to say that Georgia acquitted themselves extremely well. As I predicted we then saw the RFU Twitter then proclaiming England's "superior fitness" - probably true but bloody should be fitter after a week's rest compared with Georgia's three days.

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BuzzKillington September 18, 2011 9:50 pm

What did Lievremont say? Can't find a story

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Eggman September 19, 2011 10:33 am

http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-news/anglosaxon-logic-bad-for-world-cup-lievremont-20110917-1kepz.html

Here's a story of the sydney morning herald on what he said..
Basically said that he doesnt like that the Smaller nations get less time to recover and says that "Anglo-Saxon" logic in the IRB is to blame for it.

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Askelkana September 20, 2011 9:13 am

Ah, deary me! Being a Frenchman, Lievremont just can't help himself. Anything and everything wrong in the world, in French eyes, is the fault of those goddam rosbifs!

Hilarious!

But he does have a point.

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nw8 September 18, 2011 7:34 pm

I too agree with Full Back. It's also a bit fishy that the All Blacks have what is likely to be an easy match (I hate to say it, as a Canadian) as their last one before the knockout stages. All of the other big teams (except Australia) are up against someone who will wear them down a bit more (RSA vs SAM, WAL vs FIJ, ENG vs SCO, FRA vs TGA, IRE vs ITA). It kind of feels like they're being softened up for the first round. Is this the manufacturing of a NZ/Oz final?

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Full Back September 18, 2011 9:07 pm

might have been the original idea, but now that Ireland has a chance of topping the pool a NH vs SH final is the probable outcome. Not beyond Italy to upset us though...

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Askelkana September 20, 2011 9:14 am

Or beyond the Irish to fold against Italy, you mean.

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moddeur September 18, 2011 10:05 pm

To the question: "The Canadians only have 3 days of rest between their match against Tonga and the one against France. What do you have to say about this?", M.L. answered the following (my translation):

"All nations are not treated equally. It was the same for Tonga: they only had 5 days to rest before meeting the All-Blacks. It's too little. But this is the Anglo-Saxon logic at work, which thinks it's normal that the powerful be favored, and that the weak figure out a way to become powerful on their own. If it were a French logic, we would talk of equity and would voice outrage about such principles. But it's always been like this, it's nothing new. Since 1987 it's the same story..."

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kidBLUE September 19, 2011 3:14 am

I wouldt call it anglo-saxon logic? just stupidity in the IRB i think, i dont think lievrement is correct when blaming a whole nations way of thinking rather than just certain individuals..strange.

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WelshOsprey September 19, 2011 12:25 am

South africa should be the nervous ones now, samoa mean business

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Colombes September 19, 2011 9:51 am

i join most of opinions here.
the calendar should be inversed, with less days of rest for major nations. France, England, NZ, Oz, SA can put 2 different competitive teams from a match to another, not really the case for minnows.
Despite Georgia or Canada have fought very well, their last minutes were difficult.
Don't know if it's an anglo-saxon way to think, as said by lievremont. Maybe more a sponsors way to watch the best teams achieve in the quarters.
Don't know if it will change for the RWC 2015
But the Japan rdv in 2019 could be a great turn, and i really hope it

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Spuff September 19, 2011 9:59 am

Wales were lucky to win, they didn't play well and Samoa stopped them from playing. Their counter rucking was superb. I think Samoa targeted Wales as their must win game, with history on their side from previous World Cups. They threw eveything at Wales and were unlucky in the end. Well played Samoa

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Askelkana September 20, 2011 9:18 am

Wales played just as hard as Samoa, but with better discipline, and better skills. Samoa repeatedly displayed indiscipline at the ruck (going off the feet, coming in at the side), which invariably killed any momentum they had, whether in defense or attack.

Wales' defence was superb. It was never going to be a free flowing match against a team like Samoa. It played out exactly as expected, with it being a brutal, physical contest at the breakdown.

One could say Samoa were lucky: if Wales had made that try in the first quarter (when Charteris threw a forward pass), it would have been a very different match altogether.

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Natural7 September 19, 2011 11:08 am

Yeah, the problem is that its not "Anglo Saxon logic" rather TV screening rights logic.
England games at the weekend because we have (probably) the largest fan base and ITV paid a crap load of money for it. Although most England fans have been watching every game they can, especially tier 2nations. Loving the closing gap between top and second tier.
it sucks but everything is a commercial venture now.

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RedYeti September 19, 2011 11:40 am

You can't complain without offering a viable solution...

Either:

1) The RWC doesn't make any money because the big rugby nations with the largest fan bases and most TV viewers get put on midweek games at 3am GMT (meaning no one can watch)

Or:

2) They reduce the RWC to 16 teams, effectively cutting out the 'minnows'. I think everyone agrees this would be terrible for the development of rugby, so this is hardly an option at all.


The RWC has to be a profitable venture and the only way this can happen is if the bigger teams get the primetime spots. Unfortunately this means the minnows end up playing with short turnaround times.

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moddeur September 19, 2011 12:03 pm

The IRB's argument is that airing more top tier matches on weekends enables asking for higher TV rights, which in turn makes more cash fall into the IRB's pocket, which leads to the IRB having more cash at hand to help developing rugby in second tier nations.
It's a very bad argument, but it's also quite valid in the current form of affairs. To change the current form: pools would need a pair number of teams for a more equal treatment. But would it be good to have an extra 4 minnows in the tournament?

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Full Back September 19, 2011 7:46 pm

I think they could take a leaf from soccer's book (there I said it, shoot me) and try to emulate in some way their calendar organization.

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RedYeti September 19, 2011 11:43 am

I also think that players should front up and accept losses with some dignity, rather than taking to Twitter to bitch about the turnaround time AFTER the loss... if the complaints came before the match then I'd maybe have some sympathy, but it just makes you look like a sore loser now Eliota :) Especially when your coach has specifically said that he didn't blame the 4 day rest period at all

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Pierre Sage September 19, 2011 2:36 pm

Anglo-Saxon does not mean English. To the french it is a global way of saying, or refrring to, english-speaking nations, so can include USA or Scotland or NZ even, and is basically a negative way of meaning non-French.
Vive la différence!

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stroudos September 20, 2011 12:47 pm

LIEVREMONT!!!!!

His team's biggest game in four years with an inconceivable level of pressure, against the best team in the world, featuring the world's best fly-half - and who does Lievremont pick to line up opposite said fly-half?

A SCRUM-HALF!!!!!

Brilliant!!! That'll be the old non-anglo-saxon logic then!!! Vive la différence indeed!!!

And it might prove to be quite a pièce de résistance... Scrum-halves tend to take on more of the General role in French rugby, so to have Parra at 10 and Yachvili at 9 together may be a masterstroke.
Parra went pretty well at 10 the other day, (admittedly against an already-well-beaten Japan).
And I can't imagine Dan Carter or any of the NZ coaching team will have done any research involving Parra at 10 - you never know, it might just catch them out.

Of course, if it fails spectacularly we can expect howls of conspiracy theorists claiming it's all about helping NZ through to the final.

Bloody hell, I'm even more excited about this game now!!

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moddeur September 20, 2011 4:03 pm

The way I see it, with 2 scrum-halves Lièvremont is going for short passes and quick ball. France lacking a "10" culture, why not just put a scrum-half? Guy Novès has been doing it for some time in Toulouse (Elissalde & Doussain are the latest examples). Of course it's not going to work against the ABs ... unless it starts raining, or unless this leads to typically unpredictable French rugby of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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stroudos September 20, 2011 5:36 pm

Moddeur, I think you hit the nail on the head with the word "unpredictable".
At the very least, it'll keep the Kiwis guessing...

This is what French rugby brings to the game - the sense of the unexpected, the mercurial, even mystical. I have to resort to the cliché - it's the je ne sais quoi! (To which, by the way, English rugby must be the ultimate antithesis.

If French rugby were a poker player, it would go "all in" with a pair of threes.

Long may it continue!

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Zerg September 21, 2011 2:16 pm

Reactions on this choice by Lievremont leave me a bit puzzled. I read before that many NZ newspapers are trashing him because of his choices (Parra at 10, but also Harinordoquy not playing), saying that he picked up a France's "B Team", and so on. And here, I read that it's pure, unpredictable brilliance.

I rather think that it's somewhat in-between. Lievremont's choices have left a lot of people in the blue for at leat 2-3 years, especially in France. Since the start of the WC, he seemed to chose the fittest players for each match. Parra has done a great job at 10 lately, while Trinh-Duc hasn't - and that's all. This is by no means a B Team, simply because France has no A or B Team, but a collection of interchangeable players.

As for the "unpredictability" of our team, well... For the last 10 years, French teams have lacked the so-called "french flair", except for a brief 1-2 years period at the start of Lievremont's era and some rare flashes of brilliance. Alas, French rugby isn't what it used to be :/ But don't get me wrong, France is still a very good team, i'd place it the 5th or 6th team in the world right now.

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