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2015 IRB Rugby World Cup


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This is a great photo

Sonny Bill Williams to the rescue! A ten year old fan had made it through the barriers and onto the ground in front of a group of celebrating All Blacks when he was crash tackled by a security guard.

There are several issues here for me. Specifically today, the officials' decision not to show a second yellow card to the Argentinian prop will doubtless be seen as crucial through Irish eyes, even if

 

You knew it would eventually. The northern hemisphere system has been well and truly exposed in this tournament and some major home truths must now be addressed.

This is awfull...

Ireland and France were seen as the best of the rest north of the equator. Wales the miracle. This has been a Southern Hemisphere rout!

and we still haven't got to Australia v Scotland yet...

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:blink: Woo

Another demolition job in Cardiff!

ARGENTINA 43 v Ireland 20.

A fightback by Ireland was on offer after halftime but Argentina changed up a gear...

Three places taken in the Semis...One to go.

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There are several issues here for me. Specifically today, the officials' decision not to show a second yellow card to the Argentinian prop will doubtless be seen as crucial through Irish eyes, even if there wasn't enough conclusive evidence to see him sent off. Beyond that, however, there is, once again, a key question over the impact of the scheduling and the physical impact of these games. Argentina obviously benefited from being able to rest many of their key players last week while Ireland's win over France came at enormous cost in terms of the loss of three vital players. I accept that you're never going to get a completely level playing field, but it's clear to me that World Rugby must allow bigger squads to be selected and create a more evenly balanced schedule for every country in future tournaments. Ideally both.

My biggest concern of all right now, however, is the structure of rugby, both specifically in England and across Europe as a whole. There is an awful lot of talent up here. We know that. We've seen it over the last three or four years and I still maintain that, if we keep the nucleus of the current side together, we will do well in Japan in four years' time. But the evidence of the last cycle suggests that in the two nations with the biggest player pools, England and France, the clash of club and country is harming the latter more than the former. If we're not careful, we'll go the same way as we have in football and I don't want to see that.

More widely, the likelihood of no European or northern hemisphere representation in a World Cup semi-final for the first time ever (as I regrettably give Scotland no chance against Australia) should be the trigger for some real soul-searching and questioning of how we play our rugby and the demands we place upon our top players. I know there are no easy answers but I sure as hell know that the sporting public up here deserves better than what we're getting.

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I've to admit I crapped my pants when it was 23-20 up, penalty for Ireland and referees were debating whether or not show a yellow to Herrera (they were right to not to, it was just a penalty).

Anyway SO HYYYYYYPED NOW B) Bring on OZ

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:( SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Guttered for Scotland!!! What a brave effort!

Always the lesson...You never write off Australia untill the final whistle!!!

Southern Hemisphere World Cup now underway!!! :mellow:

Very Telling.

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What a magnificent game. Just devastated for Scotland.

Most devastated because I feel there's one man who's cost Scotland a famous victory and that is Craig Joubert.

Agreed.

Commiseration to our Scottish friends who deserved to win.

We in France know how you feel. Joubert was the ref who presided over that final game back in 2011 which was so heavily rigged against us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7C6bTHyC0U

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The worst thing of all in this for me is that Joubert did not go to the TMO on that last penalty. The laws allow him to do so and yet he chose not to. When there are such fine margins in a game, particularly a knockout game, every precaution must be taken to ensure that, whoever it favours, the correct decision has been made. That Joubert didn't do this is, in my opinion, negligent, and that he compounded this by sprinting straight off the field after blowing the final whistle says it all.

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World Rugby are insisting Joubert was right not to go to the TMO on the last penalty. Given that the laws say the TMO can be consulted on matters of "foul play", I would like to know exactly what infringements of the laws of the game do not come under that bracket because, to my mind, all infringements are foul play to some degree or other.

I would also like to know whether World Rugby believes Mr Joubert's actions "protected the image of the game", as the laws also require. I would suggest they did not.

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An Englishman walks into a Bar

Usually there's an Irishman, a Welshman, and a Scot with him -

But they're still at the World Cup! :P

Well that joke didn't last very long did it? :lol:

Damn All Blacks and Springboks in the semi-finals??? Boo!!! Why couldn't NZ be paired up with Argentina and the Springboks with Australia???

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What a set of games. It's quite clear that the northern hemisphere has soul-searching to do over the coming months - I personally think that for England at least, the RFU has responsibility to stop being so arrogant & acknowledge that sometimes the colonies (that's how they think at Twickers :P) do things better - probably by appointing a Kiwi coach (Graham Henry?) to lead the inquest. We've seen in cricket that English teams are able to adapt to current ways of playing, but rugby & football haven't adapted. We're maybe living in 2003 when the south is in 2015. As for the wider hemisphere, who knows. What do the other thread regulars think could help the northern hemisphere?

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Well that joke didn't last very long did it? :lol:

Damn All Blacks and Springboks in the semi-finals??? Boo!!! Why couldn't NZ be paired up with Argentina and the Springboks with Australia???

He was just getting them in for his mates.

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What a set of games. It's quite clear that the northern hemisphere has soul-searching to do over the coming months - I personally think that for England at least, the RFU has responsibility to stop being so arrogant & acknowledge that sometimes the colonies (that's how they think at Twickers :P) do things better - probably by appointing a Kiwi coach (Graham Henry?) to lead the inquest. We've seen in cricket that English teams are able to adapt to current ways of playing, but rugby & football haven't adapted. We're maybe living in 2003 when the south is in 2015. As for the wider hemisphere, who knows. What do the other thread regulars think could help the northern hemisphere?

For England (and France), I think I touched on this earlier when I talked about the club v country issue. As much as England had a great side, back-up squad and coaching team when they won the World Cup in 2003, a massive part of it was the understanding within all sections of the game that a successful national team boosts the entire sport and all parties should be working constructively towards achieving it. The evidence suggests that understanding broke down not long after 2003 and has yet to be properly rebuilt. That may well have led to situations like the exclusion of players playing outside the Premiership for selection, where the RFU can be seen to have done the wrong thing even if they think it is for the right reasons.

More widely, Phillippe Saint-Andre made a very telling point last night about the far higher number of games his players had played during the season just gone, at club as well as international level, compared to their New Zealand opponents. If they're not already doing it, all the unions should look at how central contracts have immeasurably strengthened the England cricket team over the last 15 years and act accordingly. There also needs to be a fundamental re-think of the entire structure of the rugby calendar and competitions in Europe, at domestic, club and international levels, with nothing left off the table. If we want to be ready to take on the southern boys in four years' time, we must act quickly.

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Agreed.

Commiseration to our Scottish friends who deserved to win.

We in France know how you feel. Joubert was the ref who presided over that final game back in 2011 which was so heavily rigged against us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7C6bTHyC0U

Revenge for that dirty foward pass that Wayne Barnes didn't penalise at the QF NZ v France match in 2007...HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! :angry:

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:) :( My pissed off rant...

Sadly what is being reported here in NZ, especially after yesterday's QF4 "debarcle" is that this World Cup has turned into an epic fizzer that was supposed to open up the exclusive game of rugby in an EPL dominated sports made country. Most RWC15 news now barely makes the very back pages of the sports sections of the local dailies.

The signs are NOT great for the game...The last 1st tier northern hemisphere team left standing fighting the rear guard, Scotland, was the team considered the least capable...and only cheated of victory after a dubious ref call. And they all fell like dominos after the "superpower" England imploded so spectacularly. This tournament was hyped up as a potential England v New Zealand meeting at the end final. Look what happened.

Southern Hemisphere rugby is partially to blame simply because at the end of each World Cup, the heavy weighted monied French and English clubs wait outside the team hotels with the chequebooks ready to sign. Thus local talent climbing up out of the pile are overlooked and many will turn to League.

Overall the only 1st tier country to be completely be dominated by Rugby Union is New Zealand...Even in Australia, it is only third in the the three oval ball variants of the game. In South Africa it is still a "whites only" game and finding it difficult to cope with forced inclusion of coloured players.

Growing the game in Europe requires some new thinking and this could included the end of the current Six Nations annual derby...A new type of European competition needs to be had that brings in Romania, Georgia, Portugal, and Russia.

In the Pacific, development has stalled as local talent is enticed away to NZ, Australia and now Japan. Pacific rugby is still strong but as the cost of playing the game becomes more expensive, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga could simply give up on the 15 man game and devote their megre rescources to lucrative Sevens.

With the local nation's Rugby Championship competition baring fruit in the form of a fast growing and strong Argentina, it is only a matter of time when Japan is invited to join, and Namibia is being kept a close eye on as a potential "twin" for South Africa, as NZ and Australia are to each other in sport.

Overall the future of Rugby Union is safe but in an "as is where is" state. It's Sevens sub-variant has all the potential to become the bigger of the two.

England really needs to have a long hard at how it will need to develop it's game...Made so much worse by an epic failure at an event it was hosting. If they were hoping to open up the game to the EPL and FA Cup obsessed masses, especially all those "up north", then they have really dropped the ball.

The look of the global 15 man game has been tarnished...Considering that USA and Canada simply can't fire up and win anything, why would anyone bother when Sevens looks to have a brighter future for developing nations. :mellow:

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