Thursday, July 31, 2014

Womens World Cup kicks off, even if the ladies aren't quite getting first class treatment, and Super Rugby final!

 Fiona Coghlan with her fellow captains

First up, the Women’s World Cup! This kicks of tomorrow, and has had a medium profile in the build up I guess. Digging a little further, and you can see that the ladies aren’t quite getting a fair deal out of this. The IRB doesn’t do a world ranking for the women’s game (?), but rugby statistician Serge Piquet does a ranking of his own which is generally accepted, on which Ireland are ranked 6th.  We were third in the 6 Nations this year, so we have a handy team.

Looking at the schedule, it’s pretty ridiculous, test matches on a Friday, and then a Tuesday. Ireland open their account against the USA tomorrow, and then play New Zealand on Tuesday.
The Irish team for the USA features 14 out of the 15 that the won the Grand Slam in 2015, and fair play to TG4, will be live on Irish TV. C’mon Ireland!

Super Rugby reaches its climax in Sydney on Saturday, in front of what is likely to be a record final crowd, of more than 55000. I want the ‘Tahs to win this one, it’s their third final, they’ve never won it, and frankly deserve their turn for playing some great rugby over the years. And the Crusaders have hogged the title on and off, time to get some new blood into the system. Of course, deserving and getting are two completely different things, otherwise the Sharks would have a title already. On the form of last weekend, it looks like the Crusaders  have it in the bag, but how much of that was the Sharks making them look good is hard to say. Also, the Waratahs finished at the top by some distance, and beat a very good ACT side, then there’s the 50000 odd home fans who will be driving them on. One thing you always notice about Australia is that they play intelligent rugby, and I’m sure they’ve done their homework on the Crusaders, and are going to make life awkward to feck for them. After that, I reckon Phipps, Foley and Folau, nearly the 3 F’s, will guide them home. So the ‘Tah’s for the win then!

Elsewhere the Munster Race has been on with the Munster team on manoeuvres all over the Munster, a good treat for their fans, and the Limerick Worlds Sevens are on the 10th and 11th of August. Nice to invite the other provinces lads! Ulster got their new kit, while not a lot is happening in Leinster or Connacht.

Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs Crusaders

Women's World Cup 2014
Match Day 1: Friday 1st August
1300 New Zealand v Kazakhstan Marcoussis 2
1500 Canada v Spain Marcoussis 2
1700 USA v Ireland Marcoussis 2
1545 Australia v South Africa Marcoussis1
1800 England v Samoa Marcoussis 1
2045 France v Wales Marcoussis 1
1300 USA v Kazakhstan Marcoussis 2
1500 Australia v Wales Marcoussis 2
1700 Canada v Samoa Marcoussis 2
1545 England v Spain Marcoussis 1
1800 New Zealand v Ireland Marcoussis 1
2045 France v South Africa Marcoussis 1

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