With the group stages of the World Cup over and the Quarter Finals of the tournament starting this weekend, we take a look back at some of the stars of the first round.
They came to the World Cup as nobodies. Not many of them play top flight rugby and the majority are amateurs. One thing is certain though, they left the greatest tournament in the world with their heads held high.
These doctors, plumbers, shop owners and school teachers took to the field against men who literally get paid to play rugby, full time. Men who spend most days of the week in the gym and are on intensive fitness and skills training programs. And yet, this bunch of amateurs we’ve come to know as the ‘Minnows’ have fronted up and in some cases, struck real fear into the hearts of the top teams.
We’ve all been thoroughly entertained and enamoured by these players that have given there all and sacrificed a great deal to represent their respective beloved countries. In the process they’ve made the world sit up and take notice of them.
As in the past with previous traditional minnows Argentina, Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, these sides will one day grow if given the opportunity.
What some of us don’t realise is that these are not the bottom of the bottom in terms of world rugby. These teams qualified for the tournament, with some very competitive qualifying stages in each of their parts of the world. So they’ve earned their place. And now, the IRB want to cut the tournament down to 16 teams in 2011.
I think I speak for all when I say we want to see these teams and these players in New Zealand in four years time.
Please show your support by leaving a comment and maybe mentioning your favourite minnow moment of the tournament.
Fuelling the Flame by CRASHCARBURN (formerly Tweak)