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Old 10-20-2007, 10:46 PM   #286
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All hail the mighty Bokke.

Congrats from a Wallabies supporter for winning the cup, undefeated as well! It was a brutal encounter today, but they managed to hold it together and not panic as other teams have done when the relentless English pack have kept the game tight.

And likewise congrats to England for going above and beyond (most people's) expectations, the game really could have gone either way especially with that near-try. I also reckon that it was the right call, his foot (or was it his knee?) was just skating the grass of the sideline before he planted the ball.. The style of rugby mightn't be attractive to watch but England can be very proud of going so far, especially when no-one really gave them a chance.

Meanwhile I will be laying very low for a while, in hiding from a few South African mates who will no doubt be keen to share their views at length on a very 'lekker' tournament.

Congrats to Argentina as well - what an awesome result for them!
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:32 PM   #287
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South Africa have won two world cups without scoring a try in either final

Doesn't that sum up everything that's wrong with rugby.
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Old 10-21-2007, 01:06 AM   #288
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Quote:
Originally posted by coolian2
South Africa have won two world cups without scoring a try in either final

Doesn't that sum up everything that's wrong with rugby.
Not really. You simply cannot compare a match from 1995 to a match in 2007. Did you even watch the world cup final in 1995? I did. It was the most exciting rugby match I've ever seen, despite the lack of tries. NZ and SA were so close for the full 80 minutes and into extra time. The tension was unbelievable. It could have gone either way. Every South African and Kiwi was on the edge of his or her seat. And then, Joel Stransky kicked that winning drop goal from that impossible distance... It seemed to happen in slow motion. It's one of the greatest sporting memories I have. Our entire block of flats erupted when it went through. People were screaming out of windows, my family and I were in tears...the whole country practically imploded upon itself.

You honestly cannot even begin to compare that to the dull affair that was the 2007 final. England's style of playing just seemed to discourage try scoring during the 2007 RWC, particularly from the quarterfinals on. Let's examine the statistics:

England-Australia: 1 try
England-France: 1 try
England-South Africa: 0 tries
New Zealand-France: 4 tries
South Africa-Fiji: 7 tries
South Africa-Argentina: 5 tries
Argentina-Scotland: 2 tries
Argentina-France: 6 tries

One might say the problem lies with England, not rugby in general... England gave up four penalties in the final, and the Boks capitalised on that. They didn't need to score a try, they simply needed to defend well. England couldn't create any offensive opportunities. They certainly tried to - full credit to them for that. They just couldn't get around the Boks. South Africa were trying to create opportunities too, but Percy's poor boot didn't help them very much.
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Old 10-21-2007, 08:00 AM   #289
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Not sure that it's fair to talk about what's wrong with rugby union, or England for that matter, if you're lamenting the lack of tries. 'Cause that's the issue, right - lack of tries, not enough of a free-flowing game?

Rugby is rugby, and within the rules of the game a team can be very successful by focusing on a few key areas:

- Strong defence.
- Dominant scrummaging.
- Skillful and judicious kicking.
- Excellent discipline especially at the breakdown.
- Minimal errors.

The reason that England have proven to be such a formidable force during this tournament - and let's be honest, were almost within a toe's length of winning the World Cup - is their application of the above disciplines. If a team can put all of that together and keep the scoreline tight then they can generate enormous pressure on their opponents and often win the day. That's a valid, but unexciting way to win a rugby union match.

Hm, you're still snickering about the "formidable force" and "England" thing, huh? Me too, probably, prior to the World Cup, but not now. They played to their strengths and look at how far it got them..

Anyway the point is, where is it written that the team which adopts the most creative, deceptive, free-flowing style of play should score the most tries and win every game of rugby union? I don't think that's ever been the case.

You might be thinking of rugby league..
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Old 10-21-2007, 09:52 AM   #290
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All very valid points, Zihua. I mainly took offence to coolian's insinuation that there was something wrong with the '95 World Cup final. That match was brilliant. Not to mention one of the most iconic moments in sports history. Nelson Mandela handing Pienaar the cup...jesus, for one brief moment, everything was all right in South Africa. The only thing that could have possibly been wrong with that match was those food poisoning allegations (I don't believe them, anyway - they mostly coincided with the release of the NZ team doctor's book, and what sports book is complete without a bit of controversy?)

And while I agree that it's quite possible for a team to be a strong force without having much luck in the try scoring department, I disagree with the idea that it makes for interesting rugby. Games that are won by penalties and drop goals tend to be snoozers, unless the match is very close (like it was in the '95 final). England don't really take many chances. When you don't take chances, turnovers happen less frequently. And when turnovers happen less frequently, tries happen less frequently. The average rugby fan would agree - seeing a try is infinitely more exciting than seeing someone knock an easy penalty through the posts. Compare watching Bryan Habana streak from South Africa's 22, dodging people left right and centre, then leaping over the opposing try line with a massive grin on his face to Jonny Wilkinson kicking yet another penalty. But yeah, congratulations to England and everything for getting as far as they did. Everyone wrote them off at the beginning of the RWC, including me.

I just can't stand their style of playing.
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Old 10-21-2007, 05:14 PM   #291
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CONGRATS TO SOUTH AFRICA!!!
way to go Springboks!
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:46 PM   #292
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Yeah the '95 South African win was magic, and although I wasn't even watching much rugby at that stage I could feel the tension during the match and knew that it was something special. I clearly remember the emotional South African celebrations with Francois Pienaar dropping to his knees within the huddle of players, tearfully praying. How badly they wanted it, and how sweet it was when they got it..

The food poisoning thing I'm not touching with a 20ft pole, although I imagine there may be some NZ supporters willing to comment? :P

As for the grinding, try-less games, I do agree that they're fairly boring. To the point where I go through phases where I want the game to be changed, eg. what if they reduced the points for drop goals from 3 to 1, and penalties from 3 to 2, etc.. So from time to time I'll think that it is rugby itself that's the problem, because why should it encourage a less entertaining game?

On the other hand, rugby union is in a delicate position, and it would need to be careful not to give the impression that it's following in the footsteps of the game of league.. Next thing they'll be no more pushing in the scrums, and the sports would be virtually identical..
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Old 10-22-2007, 02:32 AM   #293
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1) congrats to the PUMAS (argentina) for their 3rd place

2) congrats to the SPRINGBOKS (south africa). they are the fully deserved winners of the RWC 2007 final. it would have been a shame if a destructive team like ENGLAND would have won the cup.

3) but in the end i am still a bit angry because of the ALL BLACKS early exit in the quarterfinals. the ALL BLACKS should have been there in the final against SOUTH AFRICA, but a bad mixture of lacking form on that day and a desastrous referee team cost them the win against FRANCE.

4) the ALL BLACKS are still playing the most attractive rugby on our blue planet.

GO THE ALL BLACKS...win the cup in 2011
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:21 AM   #294
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well done to South Africa, i think they deserved their win. even though the final was a boring match, the best team won. im very proud of how england turned their tournament around, we showed a lot more spirit and passion than some certain other nations and everyone slagging us off throughout has made me even more proud of how they did.

well done argentina too
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