Saturday 22 September 2007

A New Power Is Rising, And It Wears Baby Blue

September 16th
Fiji 29-16 Canada
Samoa 15-19 Tonga
France 87-10 Namibia

September 18th
Scotland 42-0 Romania

September 19th
Italy 31-5 Portugal

September 21st
France 25-3 Ireland

September 22nd
South Africa 30-25 Tonga
England 44-22 Samoa
Argentina 63-3 Namibia

Ireland are all but out at this stage, the boys in green need to shift something like 80 points against Argy Bargy in their last pool game to get through. The Argentines look poised to top the group and avoid the Blackness in the quarter finals, the dubious honour of playing the Kiwis set to fall to the host nation France. That is set to be a mother of a game though, both Argentina and France have been looking good in the second half of the group stages. Argentina will now have their sights set on a semi-final berth given that they'll be played ze Scots or the Italians in the next round. The French can take some heart from the fact that New Zealand haven't really been tested in the pool stages but... I reckon the Frogs are still in for a right thumping.

Across the other pools, the Islanders put on one hell of a show this week with Samoa and Tonga fist of all kicking several shades of shit out of each other. A mother of a game which saw the underdog Tongans sneak by four points. Then six days later the Tongans nearly produce the shock of the tournie by scaring the Springboks witless in a game only won when Boks coach Jake White emptied his bench to prop up his floundering second string team. Later in the day Samoa played England, and given the Poms recent form, most were predicting an upset but with the return of Jonny Boy at ten the English were back to their usually monotonous, boring ways and strangled the islanders out of the match-up. Credit to the English though, they looked about hundred times better today then they have in the last four years.

The Quarter Final teams are all but decided bar group B, with the second place spot still up for grabs between Fiji and Wales now that the Evil Wizard Mortlock and his Wallabies have clinched the first place.
I'll post again in about a week, until then, BOOOOOO England, Lets go TONGA!!

World Cup XV so far
1. Os du Randt (South Africa)
2. Mario Ledesma (Argentina)
3. Carl Hayman (New Zealand)
4. Ali Williams (New Zealand)
5. Sebastien Chabal (France)
6. Jerry Collins (New Zealand)
7. Nili Latu (Tonga)
8. Finau Maka (Tonga)
9. Fourie du Preez (South Africa)
10. Juan Hernandez (Argentina)
11. Vincent Clerc (France)
12. Felipe Contopomi (Argentina)
13. Stirling Mortlock (Australia)
14. Ignacio Corleto (Argentina)
15. Chris Latham (Australia)

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