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Rugby World Cup 2019


robf

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26 minutes ago, robf said:

I thought I'd start a thread for this. 

Any thoughts on the competition? The winner?

The problem I have with Rugby Union ( And league for that matter) is that very few countries actually play the sport to a competitive standard, 

Consequently,  unless any of the Southern Hemisphere teams or the five nations sides (we’ll dismiss Italy)  or Argentina face each other, the game is a non contest.

Organisers continually try to make out rugby is a global sport. It is not.

The sport itself is relatively entertaining, but no way are Rumania, Russia, Georgia Namibia, Canada etc ever going to be competitive.

Todays opening match saw hosts Japan (not even a top nation in Union standards) take on Russia. Bookie’s had the match as 1/100 for a Japan victory ! That shows the gulf in standard !

Now I don’t think that these emerging nations should be denied the opportunity to compete at this level, but rugby can never be s global sport. 

Just accept that and organise a Finals tournament that only includes teams that have a chance of winning. Or at least be competitive.

 

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34 minutes ago, RailwayRowdy said:

The problem I have with Rugby Union ( And league for that matter) is that very few countries actually play the sport to a competitive standard, 

Consequently,  unless any of the Southern Hemisphere teams or the five nations sides (we’ll dismiss Italy)  or Argentina face each other, the game is a non contest.

Organisers continually try to make out rugby is a global sport. It is not.

The sport itself is relatively entertaining, but no way are Rumania, Russia, Georgia Namibia, Canada etc ever going to be competitive.

Todays opening match saw hosts Japan (not even a top nation in Union standards) take on Russia. Bookie’s had the match as 1/100 for a Japan victory ! That shows the gulf in standard !

Now I don’t think that these emerging nations should be denied the opportunity to compete at this level, but rugby can never be s global sport. 

Just accept that and organise a Finals tournament that only includes teams that have a chance of winning. Or at least be competitive.

 

Funnily enough we were discussing the same thing in the office. It's the same thing in the cricket world cup as well - where the elite half a dozen are really the only contenders as winners.

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1 hour ago, RailwayRowdy said:

I disagree. Yes, there are only a handful of nations who are going to win the football World Cup, but generally most games are  competitive even if the result is eventually as expected.

This is not the case in rugby, 

That's the nature of the difference in the sports though surely? A crap footballing nation can go and "park the bus" and hope for a 0-0 draw. That's not going to happen in rugby because it is such a physical contact based sport and one team will eventually dominate. Yes it is based on player resources and history but how would the game ever grow if there was no incentive to improve? Christ, I would shudder at the thought of representing Uruguay and facing NZ but how will it expand if that doesn't happen? In the football world cup 50 years ago no way would El Salvador or Iran even contemplate getting to a World Cup but they've grown their game. The RWC is a showcase to grow the game....Japan v SA at the last one? The result as expected? I still maintain England do well because football is really our "national" game. Surely a World Cup is for the nations that play the sport  It is actually played in 118 countries....I take the point about competitively but a World Cup grows the sport. At least it is more widely played than the "World Series" baseball. Every professional competitive sport should Have a World Cup if it wants to continue to grow. 1st football WC 13 countries...look at it now.

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Some years back when Argentina first came to Oz to play against what was then our best 'Union squad in years it was more or less a Carnival atmosphere. Now though, we take them seriously. Their game has grown and they have even beaten us (I like to see the Minnows beat the Big Fish - especially so in their own pond 🙂)

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Can't wait. I attended 4-5 games at the last World Cup and it was a wonderful tournament and atmosphere. The skills of the Blacks left me in awe and I suspect they'll find a way of winning again, though don't some pundits have a sneaking regard for the Boks?

England ought to do well. This is the first time in years since we've had a more or less fully fit squad and on paper our strength in depth is impressive. Whether we've got enough fluency behind the scrum and a good enough 9 is debatable and we often give away too many penalties.

Should be good fun to watch. As I write, the French are throwing the ball around. Great to see.

Bring it on!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The governing body of world rugby’s decision to cancel the NZ v Italy game is disgraceful.

Whilst it was highly unlikely that the Italians would get the win required to progress to the knock out stages, at least the opportunity to do so would have been in their own hands.


Now they are discarded like an old oily rag because the organisers could not come up with an alternative plan concerning potentially postponed games. 4 years planning down the dumper because they could not be bothered to supply an alternative option.

This is supposedly the showpiece for world rugby. Yet we have the farcical situation of numerous cancelled matches and basically an incomplete tournament.

Ridiculous. 

 

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Now we’re down to the last four and two fantastic semi finals to look forward to.

The two stand out teams are obviously NZ & England. Wales scraped through because of the French’s usual ill discipline and although effective, SA’s turgid forward play will not succeed against the winner of the other semi should they progress.

It’s a pity that the way the draw has played out that we cannot see a NZ/England final. Without doubt the World Cup champions will come from that semi.

It would be nice to see England defeat the over enthused Druids in the final over here in Abergele, but common sense would tend to suggest that the final will be contested between the other two remaining sides,

The whole tournament has been a joy to watch, but SA’s outdated approach to the game has been a disappointment to me. 
Still, all credit to Japan for a fantastic showpiece. Shame about the incompleted matches though and the organisers shabby treatment of Italy should not be forgotten.

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