Rolling Rugby Thread

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
They cancelled Eng-Fra and NZ-Italy, and awarded them as 0-0 draws. If they do the same to Japan-Scotland on Sunday (still in the balance - no-one knows what's going on), then Japan go through as group winners and Scotland go home. Scottish rugby have gone crazy as you'd expect.

It's World rugby policy not to reschedule games. Go figure
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
They cancelled Eng-Fra and NZ-Italy, and awarded them as 0-0 draws. If they do the same to Japan-Scotland on Sunday (still in the balance - no-one knows what's going on), then Japan go through as group winners and Scotland go home. Scottish rugby have gone crazy as you'd expect.

It's World rugby policy not to reschedule games. Go figure
That is insane. To wait four yearsand get knocked out that way is a massive injustice. I don't care if it's San Marino v All Blacks, they should have their chance to play the game and get knocked out fair and square.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Totally. And Scotland got their chance to be trounced. Japan were dazzling at times, but SA will have too much for them I think.

Craner needs to post here with a perspective from Wales - does anyone there really believe they/we can win this?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Sorry.

There's no over excitement or even dread about this in Wales. I think ten years of relative stability and success has soothed the national psyche, which is probably Gatland's greatest achievement. I mean, the process started with the 2005 6N Grand Slam but it was brittle, then, and fell apart quickly.

Nobody thinks that Wales are the best team in the world, obviously, and nobody expects them to win; on the other hand, if everything goes even moderately well in the next few weeks, then Wales have as good a chance as anyone else (apart from the All Blacks). There's a quiet confidence in the Principality with no unreasonable or distorted expectations: that's my impression, anyway.

The 2011 Semi-final is the great traumatic event of the Gatland Years, but it was absorbed pretty well, all things considered; that team went onto some very decent NH success. Possibly the most impressive thing is the way that in the late years Gatland has broken out of Warrenball and broken in a fresh stream of players to replace some big names, and consistently created new, cohesive teams out of it.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Interesting - I have no idea of the national mood, living in England. I think you're right about the Gatland stability, much as I feel that flair has been lost. Even in 2008, you could feel it, that renewed resilience that season, refusing to panic.

Good to know there's no overcooked expectations. I wonder if we can cope with South Africa, assuming France can be overcome. The mental block has been overcome with 3 victories from the last 4 (?), but I'm led to believe that SA are a bigger force this year, and the New Zealand game did little to dispel that feeling, as much as the All Blacks cut them to ribbons in that ten minute spell.

that is indeed an impressive aspect. For me it's the resilience - all too often (thinking the 80s up until 2008 here), Wales had a history of cracking when the pressure was on. Gatland solved that firstly only in the NH (witness the successive last minute defeats by Aus, and then the 2015 match where they had 13 men for a while), but now arguably is in the process of solving it with the SH sides.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
The commitment that Gatland has shown to Wales is actually pretty extraordinary. 11 years of his life, basically. I was still working in Foyles when he took over! I remember listening to his debut match at the 2008 6N (the one against England at Twickenham, which Wales won in the second half) on the radio while doing a stock take.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I remember watching it very well. I went to the toilet in the pub for two minutes, and when I came back they'd scored one try, almost immediately to be followed by another....in that era, with England having reached two WC finals, that stuff just didn't happen....
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Gatland has been brilliant. Hard to say who's been bwtter out of him and Hansen cos they've had such a different set of resources to work with but the last lions tour is a big argument in Gatlands favour
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Shaun Edwards has had a big role, too. He used Wales as a tool to perfect his defensive system.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Gatland's done it all while being half-wombat as well. A monumental achievement for our marsupial brothers.

That footage of Shaun Edwards running down the touchline during the third Lions test in SA when Ugo Monye scores remains a favourite (6m:00):

I still don't know which is my favourite out of the 2009 SA series and 2017 series in NZ - obviously the result in 2017 was better for the Lions, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a more intense rugby match than the second test in Pretoria (maybe France-NZ in 99)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-0WbP0HDNg
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Also: could the coming weekend potentially be the best weekend of rugby in history?

I can't recall any QF World Cup line-up that has been so open, and where each game has at the very least a hint of uncertainty about it. Couldn't be better set up, imo - now to see if it delivers.
 
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