Thursday, November 15, 2012

International round up, and Adam Thompson, look away now!

That'll make your eyes water! (picture

There’s a feast of rugby on this weekend, and I’ll start off with Ireland, who will face Fiji at Thomond park in a non cap international. I’m hoping this Irish team is going to have a distinctly Ulster feel to it as they are the form Irish team – I want to see Cave, Tuohy and Henderson on the pitch. Playing a centre in centre is a bit radical, but hey why not give it a shot?  I’ve no idea at all why Tuohy isn’t starting for Ireland, why he didn’t start against the Boks? As Fiji seem to be going through a lean patch, it should be a good confidence building win for Ireland and an ideal warm up for the Pumas.

Wales are taking on Samoa’ looking for a their first win a while now. The size of the Welsh team should see them through, although their confidence isn’t going to very high, but I’d like to think they are going to bounce back and return to winning ways.

In a triumph of TV scheduling, Italy –NZ, Scotland-SA and England –Aus are all on at the same time on Saturday. Italy are going to be trying to take the Kiwis on up front, and should make for some entertaining scrums with Castro giving his all. Should be a big win for the All Blacks. While we’re on the All Blacks, I don’t know what the outcome of Adam Thompson’s case for using his foot to play with Alasdair Strokosch’s head. To me that was Thompson saying ‘Hello, I’m Adam Thompson, I play for a big important team called the All Blacks, and if I want to stand on your head I will’. He was totally arrogant, and basically behaving like a knob. After sober consideration, in true punishment should fit the crime syle, I reckon he should have his goolies ripped off by ninjas, in a ceremony likely to rival the haka for drama. In the same form, JP Pietersen would be made to go bungy jumping using the necktie rope attachment method, for his reckless challenge on Chris Henry. Would they do it again? I don’t think so.

Scotland vs the Springboks should be one for fans of big hits, with Scotland sniffing at a rare Southern Hemisphere victory. They got hammered by the All Blacks, but you can’t argue with the three tries they scored. The Boks have named a better team than last week, with Steenkamp coming in for pensioner van der Linde, and exciting centre De Jong coming in for his first start for a while. I think the Boks will play better than last weekend (they could hardly play worse) and win this.

England entertain the Wobblies, and would have to come into the match as favourites. The Aussies performance stank last weekend, and they’ve hardly done themselves any favours with their pre match hype -  Polota Nau fancies they can take on the English front row – no you can’t, and winger Digby Ioane wants to have a go at England’s  ‘pretty boys’. I’m no expert on male beauty, and while the Tuilagi brothers possess a great number of other virtues, Manu is not what I’d called pretted. Potential to be added to ‘Famous Last words’?  The Aussies will be up for this one, which former colony isn’t, but this isn’t likely to go well for them.

France Argentina could be the match of the weekend. Both teams were in hot form last weekend. And as the Argentineans mostly play in France, they always seem put extra passion into their game when they play France. The whole team is going to be blubbing like Andy Murray at Wimbledon at the anthems, and it could be France doing the blubbing at the end of the match. I’m going with Argentina, don’t know why, but could you rely on the French to be consistent two weeks in a row?

International Match
Friday , November 16
Wales vs Samoa 19:30
Saturday , November 17
Italy vs New Zealand 14:00
Scotland vs South Africa 14:30
England vs Australia 14:30
Ireland A vs Fiji 17:30
France vs Argentina 20:00

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