Saturday 15 September 2007

Georgia On My Mind

September 11th
Argentina 33-3 Georgia

September 12th
USA 15-25 Tonga
Japan 31-35 Fiji
Italy 24-18 Romania

September 14th
England 0-36 South Africa

September 15th
New Zealand 108-13 Portugal
Wales 20-32 Australia
Ireland 14-10 Georgia

This is the Minnows World Cup cried one tv pundit during the debacle of a match that was the Irish game last night. With all fairness to the emerging nations, although they have shown an enormous amont of heart that is for whatever reason lacking in the established nations play, these low scoring, tight games between the emerging ntions and the home countries are more a result of the big northern hemisphere teams just not turning up to play. So far Ireland have twice come close to an embarrassing upset (Namibia and Georgia), Italy stuttered after being thumped by the Blackness against Romania, the Welsh took their time to dispath the Canadians, Argy Bargy had a deceptively tough time of it against Namibia and the English were made to look decidedly ordinary by the Yanks. Not to take anything away from the smaller nations, they have truly dispelled any pre-tournament fears concerning their inability to stand against the rugby nations but the scorelines thus far have been smewhat misguiding as far as guaging the gulf betwen the rugby tiers. This tournament has been an anomally created mainly by the northern hemisphere teams laxadasical attitude. Look what South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have done to Samoa, Portugal and Japan respectvely for a more accurate depiction of the vast space between the rugby tiers.

As well as the 'apparent' rise of the small nations the most striking aspect of this week came from THE big game of the week, Fouie du Preez vs England... I mean South Africa vs England. The Pom were bloody awful, suffering their first shut-out in over a hundred games and being completely domnted in every facert of the game by a Springboks team that was simply better than them at everything. Even more embarrassingly for the English management, were seemingly in cruise control for the entire game. I have never seen a team so thoroughly dominated in every aspect of the gme, over every inch of the park, it was impressive by the Boks, woeful from England. If this isn't enough of a kick in the balls for the former world champions to drop their old-guard (and Ashton while they're at it) and start afresh I dunno what is. Worst World Champions Ever!!

Predictions (Winners in italics)
September 16th
Canada - Fiji
Samoa - Tonga
France - Namibia

September 18th
Scotland - Romania

September 19th
Italy - Portugal

September 20th
Wales- Japan

September 21st
Ireland - France

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