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Richie McCaw knee on Morgan Parra, Donald kick, Rougerie eye-gouge, and more

...hmmm...I understand all the frustration surrounding the match; it was a final, so people are especially critical.

But the complaint against the Parra incident is one of the sillier ones to surface.

Interpretations of what happened aside, if I were Parra, I'd be proud to have a couple shiners like that after the game. Wouldn't be too happy with getting benched because of it, but Trinh-Duc probably put on a better performance that Parra would have anyway. So it all worked out for the best.

Maybe some of the indignation comes from the kiwi response to Quade Cooper dropping a knee on Saint McCaw...

But of all the things to discuss about a rugby match, a bit of knees in the breakdown, speculating on the intentions of the players, has to be among the most trite.

Fuhgeddaboudit.

3 Years, 10 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily, IRB Rankings, and IRB Awards

A large part of the reason Wales is lower now than they were before the WC (from 6th to 8th) is due to the fact that they made it to the finals stages, where wins and losses are multiplied by a factor of 2.

Before the semifinal, they had made it as high as 4th place, and were above France on the rankings. That means that when France beat them, Wales lost a lot of points.

A team like Tonga, on the other hand, managed to beat France in pool stages, so that shot them up a few spots (they had lost a few matches before that and were way down at 13, but they beat France - who were 5th at the time - and took them to 9th). So, the ratings favor underdogs - teams who are ranked lower beating teams ranked higher gets them a lot of points.

The rankings don't necessarily mean that a team is "better" or "worse" at the moment than those ranked above or below it. It means that historically, they've performed in a way that puts them in the spot that they currently occupy.

So yeah, in a way, they are "bullshit" - just take the rankings with a grain of salt before getting indignant your side isn't higher up.

What all teams ought to be doing is aiming to take down the kiwis. Those boring bastards have been #1 for so long, any team other than Australia who beats them has a good chance of getting ranked pretty high after that.

3 Years, 10 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily, IRB Rankings, and IRB Awards

Rankings explained:
http://www.irb.com/rankings/explain/index.html

If that doesn't help, here's more info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRB_World_Rankings

3 Years, 10 Months ago

Rugby World Cup Daily, IRB Rankings, and IRB Awards

Yeahhhh, math sucks!!! *rabble rabble rabble*

3 Years, 10 Months ago

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, 10 Months 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, 10 Months 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, 10 Months 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, 10 Months 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, 10 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, 10 Months ago