Sunday, September 20, 2015

Seismic opening weekend for the World Cup!


England got their World Cup campaign off to a good start with a bonus point win over Fiji.  Lot’s of people shouting for Fiji  and England look under pressure to preform- they were a bit nervy and took a long time to settle, but when they did the tries came. Bit too much input from the TMO.

On Saturday, Georgia did well to  beat Tonga, they look like they could cause a few problems in their group.

Then Ireland put in their best performance for some time, running in seven tries against Canada. It wasn’t just the amount of tries, it was the style of play too, great solid display from the scrum, and sensational interplay between the backs. Obviously, Ireland are going to face stiffer challenges than the Canadians, but they looked very very polished. Ian Henderson was the stand out player for me, he’s nearly the first name on the teamsheet now.

Next up, the form books were torn up, all the South Africans know now is that up is down and back is front. The Japanese were crying during the anthems, the Springboks when the whistle blew -  the South Africa paid the price for not picking their A team, and not respecting Japan. The Japanese were superbly well drilled, and will be dining off this famous victory for the rest of their lives. The Springboks, meanwhile, have formally apologised to South Africa for the defeat! It now throws another group wide open.

In the last match, France played it tight and  controlled in the first half, then opened it up a bit in the second to run out easy winners against Italy. They showed the style that makes them a threat. But they also failed to pick up a four try bonus point, and don’t look like they have all the gears worked out yet. Italy, as ever, play enthusiastically but not very threateningly.

On Sunday, Samoa v USA measured on the Richter scale in terms of collisions. The Samoans certainly didn’t have it all their own way, but the USA weren’t organised enough to in attack to really look like winning. Samoa v SA, given Saturday’s result, will be epic.

Wales put eight ties past Uruguay to top the pool and keep themselves in contention for one of the two qualifying spots.

Finally, Argentina v New Zealand was an awesome match, with yellow cards really hurting the All Blacks. Argentina played really well and held the lead for long periods, but when all is said and done, New Zealand really are the best team in the world at the moment, showing composure and speeding the game up until the scores came, winning comfortably in the end.

The next games are on Wednesday

Rugby World Cup
Friday, September 18
England 35 - 11 Fiji    19:00
Saturday, September 19
Tonga 10 - 17 Georgia    11:00
Ireland 50 - 7 Canada    13:30
South Africa 32 - 34 Japan    15:45
France 32 - 10 Italy    19:00
Sunday, September 20
Samoa 25 - 16 USA    11:00
Wales 54 - 9 Uruguay    13:30
New Zealand 26 - 16 Argentina    15:45

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