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All Blacks win the 2011 Rugby World Cup - France challenge the Haka

You summarize the preferential treatment NZ get from referees and the IRB in general.

I can imagine that if NFL were a more "world-wide" game, and there were international matches, we Americans might get a bit of that, too. But that's just speculation.

Either way, frustrating as it may be, I'd be hesitant to place the blame on a single factor, especially not the referee. Missed calls, wrong calls, etc. were frustrating, but there were other things involved - like France kicking the ball away a few too many times, a couple of real try-saving tackles from NZ, a couple of knock-ons from Les Bleus, a couple of missed penalty kicks from France (at least one of which they should've went for a lineout instead of kicking from ~50m out), etc.

There's too many things that could've changed the outcome of the game to put any blame on Joubert. Criticism, yes...but not blame.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

All Blacks win the 2011 Rugby World Cup - France challenge the Haka

Do you recall around when McCaw "dove"? I remember NZ getting away with plenty at the breakdown and a few high tackles went unnoticed, but I don't recall seeing McCaw dive.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

All Blacks win the 2011 Rugby World Cup - France challenge the Haka

I think I was most impressed with Trinh-Duc's performance. Wasn't expecting much from him really, given that he had been a bit...underwhelming earlier on. But he came off the bench and went straight into attacking-rugby mode. Great to see him run at the All Black lines (almost nabbing a solo try that first time). Wish France wouldn't have kicked it so much in the second half...running worked well for them the first half, so I was hoping they were going to stay with it.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - On the eve of the Final

It's not often I say this, but come on France! Shut down Weepu and Cruden to keep the kiwis from playing expansive rugby or they'll tear you apart.

...who am I kidding, they probably still will.

3 Years, 1 Month ago

Shane Williams flipped in huge double hit vs the Wallabies

Palota-nau may have performed a dangerous tackle or two in his time, but overwhelmingly, his tackles are just hard and legal. He'll throw his entire body at a guy, almost self-recklessly, but he'll still make sure to go for the arm-wrap.

He did that here. Williams was just on one leg and ended up getting flipped over. He was fine, though. Shane has hurdled over tacklers before, and has landed in awkward positions after falling plenty of times.

It just looked crazy is all.

I wish Shane Williams could keep playing rugby until he was 60. He's always great to watch, and is great at reading the game. It's awesome when the little guy runs at a group of forwards on the line, runs around the first one, ducks under the next tackle, and then sidesteps the third. Doesn't happen every time, but when it does, it's terrific.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

(USA scored the first try against Australia during the tournament. Not the first try of the tournament itself)

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

Off the top of my head?

USA scoring first the first try of the tournament against Australia.

Argentina scoring the first try of the match against NZ.

Ferris and co. picking Genia up and driving him back 10 meters. Not a try, but it's one of the many things I love about rugby over the NFL - I hate the goddamn "forward progress" rule.

I'm sure there were many more celebrated tries than just those two, but the fact that the tournament became a 6N-on-one-half, soon-to-be-4N on the other for the finals kind of did away with part of my interest in it.

Other moments that stick out:

Italy's annihilation of our USA scrum (something I hope to not see again!) when they got so frustrated with collapsing and unsuccessful scrums/penalty attempts, that they just threw so much power into the next one that they got a penalty try. I'm not sure if I saw a more raw attacking scrum from one side this tournament...

Japan almost looking like they were going to upset France. And everyone in the stadium backing the Japanese. That was terrific. That, and Tonga's win over Les Bleus as well.

(...come to think of it...France have been even more abysmal than I've thought...and they're still going to play this weekend...)

Russia scoring a pair of tries against Ireland - the joy they took from accomplishing that said it all.

Mitchell making it back in time for the WC from that broken leg - and even scoring some tries. That was pretty cool.

Wilkinson was only a few points from retaking the points lead over Carter, and I wish that had come around.

Not an unforgettable World Cup (unless the final proves otherwise)...but it probably could have been worse.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

I don't see the 2015 being all that different...would it?

The 2019 one in Japan, however, ought to be a fresh take.

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

Here's the simplified explanation, Calvin:
http://tinyurl.com/3ldxq3d

3 Years, 2 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily - France to wear white as Craig Joubert gets final

*edit: that should read say, SA down to 5th, and Australia 6th - for a Wales win by over 15 (assuming NZ beat Les Bleus).

3 Years, 2 Months ago

 
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