Rugby World Cup - How Was It For You?

Now I don’t really like rugby so all I watched were 2 of the Ireland games, the All Blacks-France game, one half of the South Africa-Argentina match and the final so I’m throwing this out to the rest of you.

Was this a good/successful tournament?

There was the displays by Fiji, which I didn’t see, that probably provided the romance and then there was the Argentinian story too.

But I didn’t see any real outrageous skills or innovation in the games I watched.

Would it be fair to say there was a plethora of kicking in the tournament and an absence of flair?

The main offensive tactic (in the admittedly few games I watched) involved the full back / wings / centres / out half launching bombs up in the air and chasing after the ball.

I saw very little freeflowing passing moves to whet the appetite.

Having seen how small a rugby pitch is when the Six Nations games were played in Croke Park I think the pitch dimensions should be made bigger and wider to encourage more attacking rugby and to give more space to skillful players. I think the creative players are being negated by defensive systems and huge, bruising, athletic beasts.

I don’t like this game. :angry:

I didn’t think it was a good tournament at all. Part of that may be down to Ireland’s capitulation but mostly it’s a fair reflection on a boring event.

Fiji’s win over Wales - best game of the tournament
Tonga’s performance against South Africa - excellent effort against the champions
Argentina’s efforts

The dependence by all coaches on kicking the leather off the ball. France picked Beauxais at out half who can kick the ball a mile, then put Damien Traille in at either 12 or 15 to kick it just as far.
South Africa had three big kickers in James, Steyn and Montgomery. They retreated to a negative kicking game in the final and outkicked England instead of outrunning them.
Argentina were a refreshing sight at first but they were extremely negative with the ball - everything got launched straight up into the air.

I think the tournament was ruined as a spectacle by the collective decision to launch every ball high into the air. 2 tournaments back we had the “innovation” from coaches to kick the ball dead when nothing was on and this was soon stopped by the scrum back instead of the 22 and the negative tactic was immediatdely erradicated.

The problem with making the pitches bigger is that it would surely just encourage teams to big even stronger kickers of the ball. Guys like Beauxais and Steyn are only 20/21 - they represent the future and the bigger the area they have to kick to the more they’ll do it.

A couple of things that might improve the game:

  1. proper refereeing of forwards ahead of the ball. Argentina in particular were guilty of not retreating when the ball was behind them because they knew it was being kicked. They just stood there, or advanced slowly and waited for the chase to play them back onside. So if they were compelled to actively retreat when offside instead of lingering about up there then they’d be less effective.

  2. Introduce a 40-20 rule like in rugby league. So if you kick the ball from inside your own 10 metre line and bounce it into touch in the opponent’s 22 you get the lineout. It might seem to reward more kicking but it does two things:

  • increases the number of kicks to touch instead of percentage garryowens. Lineouts aren’t a problem in the game, they’re quicker and less likely to cause infringements than scrums and provide opportunities to backlines to attack because the opponents have to be back 10 metres (in a scrum or ruck/maul they only need to be 1 inch behind the scrum/ruck/maul)
  • forces the defending team to drop back two players (winger and fullback) to cover the kick. Example under the current rules:
    a. Ireland v France. Ireland have the ball inside the 22. France know O’Gara is likely to kick so they drop back the full back and winger to cover. This gives Ireland a chance of running it but they’re inside their own 22 so 19 times out of 20 they’re just going to clear it.
    b. Ireland have the ball midway between their own 22 and the 10 metre line (i.e. 25 metres from halfway). O’Gara can kick but it’s difficult to find touch because he must bounce it, so France don’t drop back as deep. This keeps the French defence up and so makes it difficult for Ireland to run the ball. So they’ve a tricky kick to touch which concedes possession or they can run the ball against an expectant defence who are prepared for that. So coaches started figuring - why don’t we just launch it up in the air and get territory and a percentage chance of possession?
    Under my rule Ireland would have the option of kicking to touch (still a difficult skill) and retaining possession. So France drop a little deeper and all of a sudden there’s room to run in.

I don’t know much/anything about the game, but was interested in how the hype machine surrounding Ireland got absolutely smashed to pieces by Argentina and France, who to all intents and purposes seem simply better teams than Ireland.

I’d heard South Africa being tipped for outright glory (by people who know a lot more about the game than myself obviously) as early as March/April, but I didn’t back them when I should have. The feeling I had, much like I thought Brazil and Argentina would be overwhelmed in Germany last summer, was that New Zealand and Australia would wobble off their A-game for periods, and that would be enough for any opponent with a bit of spirit about them to take advantage.

I remember seeing a bit of a South Africa/Australia tri-nations game a few months back and the intensity and power of the South African forwards was unlike anything I have seen ever from an Ireland pack. No offence to our pack but the majority of them are journeyman club players from Limerick and Tipperary. The Leinster born players in the backs are the only world class players we have but unfortunately if the Munster born forwards are consistently taking a complete and utter hammering upfront then there’s not much the backs can do about it. And so it proved.

Interesting points there rocko but it’ll take someone with more of an understanding of rugby than me to debate them with you (although I did beat you up badly in the O’Gara/Murphy row post the Argentina game).

To be fair to Ireland they’d have bullied that Australian pack too (on form) - maybe not as much as South Africa but Australia have been very weak up front for a while now.

therock67 wrote:

To be fair to Ireland they’d have bullied that Australian pack too (on form) - maybe not as much as South Africa but Australia have been very weak up front for a while now.

It seems to only be farmer who’ll bite following an attempted wind up.

Back to the drawing board.

The Figi/Wales and NZ/France games.
Portugal scoring a try against NZ and celebrating like mad.
Japan’s last minute conversion from the sideline to draw against Canada.
South Africa, clearly the best team in competition, winning the competition.
USA’s Wingers try against South Africa.
Georgia & other Minnows doing better than expected.
Wayne Barnes having the balls to penalise the All-Blacks for playing the ball on the ground.
All-Blacks choking.
Victor Matfield in the final.

Ireland’s performance.
EOS inability to change.
Lack of use of squad; Wallace, Quinlan, Sheahan, Murphy etc
Lack of basic skills in Irish game.
Lack of a Plan B when Plan A (Darcy crash ball) failed.
Kicking, Kicking, Kicking (as mentioned by others)
Contepomi sledging Irish Players.
Argie & NZ constant cheating at breakdown (until Wayne Barnes came along)

The best moment for me was seeing a clip of the sensational try Japan got against Wales on the news one night. What a try. One of the best ever, no?