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  #101  
Old 10-08-2019, 05:04 PM
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Of course a world cup in Japan has games threatened by Super Typhoons.
  #102  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:37 AM
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Wales seem to have steadied the ship after being 10-0 down. Now 14-10 up and Fiji have to finish the first half with 14, Wales will obviously be looking for another try before the break.
  #103  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:12 AM
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Wales went behind again, but won through in the end - though with a potentially serious injury to one of their key players, Jonatha Davies. At least they can play their second string against Uruguay, which gives them some valuable breathing space ahead of the quarter finals.
  #104  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by penultima thule View Post
Patently I’m a dinosaur because I thought each players safety was primarily their own responsibility.
It's clearly 100% the opponent's responsibility if:

- you're trapped in a ruck and an opponent shoulder-charges your head
- you're being lifted in a line-out and an opponent takes out one of your supports
- you're in the air catching a high kick and an opponent smashes into you
- you're picked up by two opponents and spear-tackled
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  #105  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mhendo View Post
There is still more than one way for Japan to lose a game and qualify.
...
If they beat Samoa, and then lose to Scotland by 7 or less, that would also likely get them in.
Yes that probably would qualify Japan, but it's unpleasant to think that Japan could win 3 / 4 games and not qualify YET AGAIN!
  #106  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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Wales went behind again, but won through in the end - though with a potentially serious injury to one of their key players, Jonatha Davies. At least they can play their second string against Uruguay, which gives them some valuable breathing space ahead of the quarter finals.
Looked like a cracker of a game from the highlights. I'm sad Fiji are out, always a great team to watch.
  #107  
Old 10-10-2019, 12:24 AM
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NZ v Italy and England v France cancelled for the typhoon. Scotland v Japan in jeopardy. Damn shame but probably the right decision I guess.
  #108  
Old 10-10-2019, 08:52 AM
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I don't think France will be too disappointed by that outcome - OK, they lose their chance to top the group, but that means they will likely face a depleted Wales in the QF, which they may prefer to Australia (as more of a known quantity) anyway. And of course, they get more rest and much lower chance of injury, they probably wouldn't have beaten England without laying bodies on the line.

Italy are the worst-affected so far - despite the odds being against them, no doubt they fancied their chances at somehow springing an upset against the All Blacks. But that will pale into insignificance compared with Scotland's frustration if they don't get to play Japan, a match they have much more chance of winning than Italy had of beating NZ. Here's hoping (mostly for those who live in the affected areas) that the storm turns away fast.
  #109  
Old 10-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
NZ v Italy and England v France cancelled for the typhoon. Scotland v Japan in jeopardy. Damn shame but probably the right decision I guess.
Not sure I agree. The presumption should be in favour of playing as many scheduled matches as possible. I don't know the ins and outs of the logistics, so quite possibly every attempt has been made to get the games to happen anywhere - even down to a closed (but televised) match at a low-level club pitch. Maybe there is absolutely nowhere in the entirety of Japan that could host these matches in a pinch. But it doesn't seem that's been the approach.

I get that, in the event the match is moved, supporters are going to be pissed off at finding themselves in the wrong city, reduced to watching in a bar or their hotel room despite having shelled out for a live game. But this is a 2x2 outcome situation: either the conditions are playable, or they're not; either the game is moved, or it's not. The outcomes are:

Not playable, match not moved: game cancelled, fans shit out of luck; tournament affected by weather
Not playable, match moved: game on, fans no worse off than above; tournament reflects actual contests
Playable, match not moved: game on, fans happy, tournament reflects actual contests - the best of all possible worlds
Playable, match moved: game on, but fans shafted; tournament reflects actual contests

If you move the match, you may or may not piss off ticket holders but you definitely ensure that the tournament is decided only by skill on the day. If you don't move the match, you might get the best outcome of having the match as planned, but you risk having a tournament partially decided by the weather.

Parisse of Italy has just put the question: "If the All Blacks needed 5 points from the game, do you really think it would have been cancelled?". I think that's kind of fair. And I'm partisan enough to ask the corollary: "If Japan needed to win their game, would the organisers be taking the same gamble on the weather in Yokohama, or would they be moving it to be sure the hosts had their chance?"

Like I say, maybe it is impossible to move it. But I suspect it's merely very difficult, and people are OK taking a gamble to avoid that difficulty because of which teams' progress is in jeopardy.
  #110  
Old 10-10-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
And I'm partisan enough to ask the corollary: "If Japan needed to win their game, would the organisers be taking the same gamble on the weather in Yokohama, or would they be moving it to be sure the hosts had their chance?"

Like I say, maybe it is impossible to move it. But I suspect it's merely very difficult, and people are OK taking a gamble to avoid that difficulty because of which teams' progress is in jeopardy.
If you are for Scotland, I would be getting prepared for the shaft. Italy could have progressed had they beaten NZ (however unlikely that outcome). The precedent therefore has been set - World Rugby are not in the business of worrying too much about whether this impacts who goes through, they will make the decision regardless.

Part of me is thinking “what goes around comes around” though. Scotland were major beneficiaries of the slanted schedule in 2015, giving Japan very limited turn around time from the SA game and making it very difficult for them to beat Scotland, with the result that they went out. World Rugby fucked up the organisation then, they fucked it up again this time (it’s typhoon season, it can’t have been beyond the wit of man to see this could have happened) and I didn’t see too many Scots complaining in 2015.

World Rugby obviously have a case to answer. As an Englishman, firstly I hope that everyone is going to be OK in what looks like a pretty major weather event, the same thought occupies slots 2-4 in my thoughts and then in number 5, reasonably pleased that England are avoiding a game where injuries may have been accrued and can get on prepping for a QF. They’ve come out as the biggest beneficiaries of this whole debacle, I think.
  #111  
Old 10-10-2019, 03:01 PM
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If you are for Scotland, I would be getting prepared for the shaft.
I fear so, and while I take your point about Japan's short turnaround in 2015, at least they got to play the game.

You are also probably right about England coming off best - but that's kind of the point. No-one wants an asterisk beside their achievements, they want a clear victory. (Although, if it comes to it, we'll all take the asterisk in a pinch.)
  #112  
Old 10-10-2019, 05:37 PM
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The most populous metropolitan area on earth is likely to be hit by a huge typhoon. Personally I think a few pool games (even crucial ones) being disrupted isn't really the most important thing here. Yes it sucks for the teams affected. But a bit of perspective is required.
  #113  
Old 10-11-2019, 01:42 AM
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The most populous metropolitan area on earth is likely to be hit by a huge typhoon. Personally I think a few pool games (even crucial ones) being disrupted isn't really the most important thing here. Yes it sucks for the teams affected. But a bit of perspective is required.
Of course we all hope that the typhoon will not cause casualties.

Nevertheless this event has been years in the planning (including the knowledge that it's typhoon season in the area during the tournament) and the organisers surely could have done better than simply cancelling games.
  #114  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
The most populous metropolitan area on earth is likely to be hit by a huge typhoon. Personally I think a few pool games (even crucial ones) being disrupted isn't really the most important thing here. Yes it sucks for the teams affected. But a bit of perspective is required.
Um... to be fair, we have literally all said that. It doesn't mean we can't discuss how the tournament could have been organised differently.
  #115  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
No-one wants an asterisk beside their achievements, they want a clear victory.
I think if England end up winning the tournament, it would be the smallest of small asterisks given they had already qualified for the QF anyway (and may well be facing a tougher game vs Australia rather than Wales). NZ's asterisk would be slightly bigger, but not much given the recent form of them and Italy. If Japan were to somehow win, then it's a proper asterisk, but let's not get silly.

I remember way back in the 1999/2000 English football season (20 years ago - goodness) when Manchester United unprecedentedly didn't enter the FA Cup, because it clashed with their World Club Cup commitments. There was much commentary about how the winners that season would always have the asterisk "*Manchester United did not compete" against their achievement. But I don't think anyone really cares about that now, it's just one strong team among many. Then again, I can't remember offhand who did win the cup that season.
  #116  
Old 10-11-2019, 09:04 AM
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The most populous metropolitan area on earth is likely to be hit by a huge typhoon. Personally I think a few pool games (even crucial ones) being disrupted isn't really the most important thing here. Yes it sucks for the teams affected. But a bit of perspective is required.
I have to join the chorus here. This isn't some zero-sum game, where complaining about poor organization of the World Cup means that we somehow have less concern to spare for the people of Japan. It's called "typhoon season" for a reason, and you'd think that they might have taken some account of that, beyond simply "If there's a big typhoon, we might have to cancel some games."

The Wallabies didn't exactly look convincing in their 27-8 win over Georgia. England must be feeling reasonably confident right now.
  #117  
Old 10-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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Georgia did make more of a game of it than I thought. But I don't think Australia will be unduly concerned. After all, it's Georgia's last international for several months, their last game in a major tournament for 4 years, in a way they had a lot more to play for than Australia (given that Wales' fifth-choice XV will still beat Uruguay) who would have been prioritising injury avoidance above most other things. They gave it everything but it was still comfortable for the Aussies who didn't really need to come out of third gear. Their level against England will no doubt be rather higher.

I'm going make a not-very-bold prediction: at least one of the quarter-finals will be effectively decided by a yellow/red card. I hope not, but it looks pretty nailed on at this point. If I were coaching out there my number one priority would be getting my players to avoid it being them. Which is hard, given you want players to aggressively compete for the ball and be really fired up on the pitch.
  #118  
Old 10-11-2019, 11:02 AM
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Georgia did make more of a game of it than I thought. But I don't think Australia will be unduly concerned. After all, it's Georgia's last international for several months, their last game in a major tournament for 4 years, in a way they had a lot more to play for than Australia (given that Wales' fifth-choice XV will still beat Uruguay) who would have been prioritising injury avoidance above most other things. They gave it everything but it was still comfortable for the Aussies who didn't really need to come out of third gear. Their level against England will no doubt be rather higher.
I think all of this is right, but my real concern is that when Australia really do need to step it up against good competition, they have shown a real tendency over the last few months to make far too many mistakes. I have no doubt at all that their intensity will be higher; I just worry about their ability to execute when it really matters.
  #119  
Old 10-11-2019, 12:25 PM
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Don't worry, England are exactly the same.
  #120  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:41 PM
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Fair enough coverage here in NZ has been all about the rugby with precious little about the wider impacts.
  #121  
Old 10-12-2019, 08:42 AM
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The ref in Ireland-Samoa is the first guy to really impress me in this RWC. Very calm, very clear, unafraid to overrule his TMO if he sees it differently, unafraid to keep giving pens against an increasingly pissed off Samoa, sympathetic in his explanations but hard enough to point out that he’s not the one committing the pens.

Looking at the internet, it’s Nic Berry. He’s unlikely to get the final (assuming Australia don’t get there) as he’s a bit young and arguably doesn’t have the experience, but I’d take him over Angus Gardner (also Aussie) every day of the week on this performance. Give him a couple of years of decent development and he should be doing all the big games.
  #122  
Old 10-13-2019, 07:43 AM
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Well.

Great that the game is on. Great, from a neutral point of view, that Japan are playing so well.

But my word. Scotland started well, but they just don't have an answer to Japan's relentless, accurate attack. It's very hard to score if you never have the ball.
  #123  
Old 10-13-2019, 10:58 AM
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That was a great game to watch, and Japan thoroughly deserved their win, and their pool victory. Scotland were the stronger team for much of the second half, but they had just fallen too far behind in the first.

You have to get past all the big teams to win anyway, but Ireland must be wishing they had managed to win the pool so that they could avoid the All Blacks in the quarters. The Springboks are a good team, but I'd still prefer to face them rather than New Zealand. I wonder if Japan's relentless play, and their fitness, will be able to overcome South Africa?

First QF game is next Saturday, between Australia and England. I'll be interested to see which Australian team shows up, and which England team, for that matter. Later that day, New Zealand play Ireland, and while I'll be cheering for the Irish, I just can't see them winning that game.
  #124  
Old 10-13-2019, 11:26 AM
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But my word. Scotland started well, but they just don't have an answer to Japan's relentless, accurate attack. It's very hard to score if you never have the ball.
Yeah, if Australia had Japan's ball-control, I'd be far more optimistic about my team's chances in this competition.
  #125  
Old 10-13-2019, 02:21 PM
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Great game. Happy that Japan are through with absolutely no aterisk against them. They top the table unbeaten in a group with Ireland and Scotland and that means they throughly deserve it.

I have to say that the tumbling offload for their first try was thing of beauty. Pass of the tournament so far for me.
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  #126  
Old 10-13-2019, 05:44 PM
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That was a game and a half. Around the middle of the second half I was thinking Japan were out of gas and Scotland were going to do the impossible. But while they managed to get the ball, they couldn't break down the Japanese defence.

Some lovely attacking play from Japan in the first half and some backs-to-the-wall defence in the second. Their weakness is turnovers, because they're so keen to get forward that they sometimes get isolated. Then again they gave away about six turnovers in the first half and still had 75% possession.
  #127  
Old 10-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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I'm from the U.S. and I've come to enjoy rugby more and more the last couple of years (the formation of MLR has been a HUGE help in that regard; doesn't hurt that my local team has won both championships so far). Its appeal to me is that it's got the "physicality" of American football but without all the breaks and it's (mostly) got the flow of soccer but without the feigning of injury and time-wasting. I have found so many of the comments in this thread to be enlightening. Thank you very much! I was in Panama for a good chunk of the tournament so I've missed a lot (plus, as previously noted, the coverage of the tournament in the U.S. isn't what it is in places like the U.K., Australia, and N.Z.) but I look forward to the QFs. After JAP - SCO the other day I heard a couple of things that I haven't yet seen mentioned in this thread:

1) that JAP beat South Africa in the tournament 4 years ago in what was considered, at the time, to be "the biggest upset in their rugby history." Can they do it again in the knockout stage on home ground?

2) that IRE just *might* be N.Z.'s "bogey team" as they've beaten them two straight (I'm not sure if that was "two straight, period" or "two straight times in RWCs").

From previous comments it doesn't seem that folks are giving IRE much chance of the upset but with the All Blacks having won the last two RWCs is there a possibility that they simply won't be as "hungry" this time and therefore more "ripe" for an upset?

I have "no dog (left) in the fight" so I don't really care who wins, but am I right in guessing that the Northern Hemisphere teams and their fans would rather not see a Southern Hemisphere team win it and vice versa?
  #128  
Old 10-14-2019, 11:27 AM
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1) that JAP beat South Africa in the tournament 4 years ago in what was considered, at the time, to be "the biggest upset in their rugby history." Can they do it again in the knockout stage on home ground?
Possibly not but make no mistake, Japan are very capable team. The RSA win in the last world cup probably was the biggest upset at that time.......right up until Japan beat Ireland in their group game a couple of weeks ago. After their defeat of Scotland yesterday we can't rule them out against RSA and damn sure they will keep going at 1000mph. Could be a lot of fun but I'd take RSA

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2) that IRE just *might* be N.Z.'s "bogey team" as they've beaten them two straight (I'm not sure if that was "two straight, period" or "two straight times in RWCs").
No out of the last three meetings, Ireland have won two of them.

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From previous comments it doesn't seem that folks are giving IRE much chance of the upset but with the All Blacks having won the last two RWCs is there a possibility that they simply won't be as "hungry" this time and therefore more "ripe" for an upset?
Too close to call, NZ have a slight upper hand but it is close enough for no-one to fancy betting the house on it. An Ireland win would not be an upset. Mind you, I'm not sure that NZ even know what "not hungry" means.

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I have "no dog (left) in the fight" so I don't really care who wins, but am I right in guessing that the Northern Hemisphere teams and their fans would rather not see a Southern Hemisphere team win it and vice versa?
I'm an England fan but I'm happy to see great matches and surprise winners if it entertains me.
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  #129  
Old 10-14-2019, 11:38 AM
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I have "no dog (left) in the fight" so I don't really care who wins, but am I right in guessing that the Northern Hemisphere teams and their fans would rather not see a Southern Hemisphere team win it and vice versa?
Not for me.

I'm an Australian, and hope that Australia can win it, but if they don't, I'd far prefer to see it won by a team that's never won before, like Wales or Ireland or Japan.
  #130  
Old 10-14-2019, 12:20 PM
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In my entirely unscientific and relatively ill-informed view, I'd put chances of progression to the semi-finals as roughly 35% Japan, 65% South Africa, 40% Ireland, 60% NZ. I'm not sure how many of NZ's current squad are already WC winners, but a fair number won't be and regardless I'm sure they are all hungry for more.

In terms of the North/South divide, well most teams hate England and we tend to hate them back, that certainly goes for Argentina and Australia, and to a lesser extent NZ. If England can't win it, of the teams remaining I'd probably be happiest to see Japan triumph, or failing that SA. Worst from an English perspective would be Wales or Ireland, since no matter how many times we lose to them in the Six Nations, for now at least we can say we have won more World Cups!
  #131  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:31 PM
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Worst from an English perspective would be Wales or Ireland
There's someone I've been communicating with via e-mail for years whom I've never met. He's English (though he's currently living way east in Canada) and he's not one to let his biases out, much, but a few things I've figured out in our many years of communicating is that he hates ARG when it comes to football (soccer) and he hates (or "greatly dislikes," if you prefer) SCO and especially WAL when it comes to just about anything.
  #132  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:34 PM
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Mind you, I'm not sure that NZ even know what "not hungry" means.
Okay, but it's not until the last few RWCs that NZ really imposed itself on the tournament, right? Of the first 5, or so, of these tournaments the All Blacks - for all the talk about how they're perennial favorites - won only one, isn't that right?
  #133  
Old 10-14-2019, 01:59 PM
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There's someone I've been communicating with via e-mail for years whom I've never met. He's English (though he's currently living way east in Canada) and he's not one to let his biases out, much, but a few things I've figured out in our many years of communicating is that he hates ARG when it comes to football (soccer) and he hates (or "greatly dislikes," if you prefer) SCO and especially WAL when it comes to just about anything.
In general we hate Argentina, yes. We have not forgotten not forgiven the Falklands War, the 1986 football World Cup (Maradona, Argentina's star player, blatantly cheated to score the goal that ultimately proved to knock England out), and more recently the disgraceful treatment of a British television crew (by admittedly a very small minority of the population). Not to mention their perennial status as an economic basket case. I'm quite happy to let that spill over into rugby, the only other sport in which there are high-profile matches between the two countries. I'm sure the majority of Argentinians are wonderful people, but sport is partisan, so what are you going to do?

I personally don't hate Scottish sportsmen/teams, possibly because I'm of an age where they have not really been much of a threat to England on the football or rugby pitches for most of my life. As such I'm happy to root for them when they're not playing England, as they're usually the underdogs. And in recent years they have been playing some good rugby. They'll be very disappointed not to have made the quarter-finals (albeit from a tough group). Most English fans probably do root against them, though.

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Okay, but it's not until the last few RWCs that NZ really imposed itself on the tournament, right? Of the first 5, or so, of these tournaments the All Blacks - for all the talk about how they're perennial favorites - won only one, isn't that right?
That is correct, yes. They have made up for that the last two tournaments though. Very few non-NZers will be rooting for them to win again.
  #134  
Old 10-14-2019, 02:02 PM
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I don't gamble myself, but I trust the bookies to give a fair prediction (since their money is at stake!)

Here are some odds for the quarter-finals:

- England 7/19 on; Australia 11/4

- NZ 2/9 on; Ireland 94/19

- Wales 3/7 on; France 11/4

- SA 2/1 on; Japan 13/2
  #135  
Old 10-14-2019, 02:28 PM
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In my entirely unscientific and ill-informed view, people are giving the underdogs too high a chance. I'd expect at least 3 of the QF favourites (NZ, SA, England, Wales) to win and the most likely upset is good-Australia turning up against an untested England or France pulling one out of the hat against an off-key Wales. I'd give Ireland (who haven't been playing well) a 20% chance at best against the All Blacks and Japan less against South Africa.

There's a lot of (rather studied and theatrical) tribalism about rugby, and it's hard to know what's real and what's being put on for effect. I'd suspect that most England fans would be cheering for Wales or Ireland in a final against South Africa or New Zealand, but I wouldn't expect all of them to admit it in public.
  #136  
Old 10-14-2019, 02:49 PM
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I don't get how you can "hate" a team as a general principle. I've certainly got preferences and on a case-by-case basis I may dislike a team from a specific point in time but I'm not a fan of allowing that to linger. I never liked Maradona but it was nothing to do with his nationality, Ardiles and Ricky Villa were much loved in the UK.

I've heard people from Scotland express proper hatred for English teams on a blanket basis and that never makes any sense to me, seems childish and bigoted in the extreme and rather ugly. I'd be perfectly happy for any of the home nations to be successful on the world stage and I find it a little dissappointing that more don't feel the same.
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  #137  
Old 10-14-2019, 03:33 PM
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In general we hate Argentina, yes. We have not forgotten not forgiven the Falklands War, the 1986 football World Cup (Maradona, Argentina's star player, blatantly cheated to score the goal that ultimately proved to knock England out), and more recently the disgraceful treatment of a British television crew (by admittedly a very small minority of the population). Not to mention their perennial status as an economic basket case. I'm quite happy to let that spill over into rugby, the only other sport in which there are high-profile matches between the two countries. I'm sure the majority of Argentinians are wonderful people, but sport is partisan, so what are you going to do?
I'm no fan of the Argentine national soccer team, either. There are several reasons for that which I won't go into right now. Suffice it to say that just about ANY time La Albiceleste is playing, I hope it loses. So my English friend and I are certainly in agreement on that! (although I have nothing against the Argentine national rugby team ["Los Pumas"])

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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
I personally don't hate Scottish sportsmen/teams
Being from the U.S. I've never had anything against the Scots and in fact I'd love to visit Scotland but I've never been impressed with their national soccer team. Perhaps if I'd been born a few years earlier I would have been but since the time I first started following international soccer (the 1982 W.C.) the Scottish team, in my opinion, simply hasn't been very good. (I haven't been following rugby long enough to have formed an opinion about their national rugby team)

Last edited by racepug; 10-14-2019 at 03:35 PM.
  #138  
Old 10-14-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by glee View Post
I don't gamble myself, but I trust the bookies to give a fair prediction (since their money is at stake!)

Here are some odds for the quarter-finals:

- England 7/19 on; Australia 11/4

- NZ 2/9 on; Ireland 94/19

- Wales 3/7 on; France 11/4

- SA 2/1 on; Japan 13/2
I don't bet on sport as a rule, but if I did I'd be seriously looking at the right hand side teams at those odds (assuming I'm reading them correctly, as I'm not used to fractional odds). I think all the games are closer than those odds imply. I guess the bookies are out to balance their books?
  #139  
Old 10-14-2019, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
In my entirely unscientific and relatively ill-informed view, I'd put chances of progression to the semi-finals as roughly 35% Japan, 65% South Africa, 40% Ireland, 60% NZ. I'm not sure how many of NZ's current squad are already WC winners, but a fair number won't be and regardless I'm sure they are all hungry for more.

In terms of the North/South divide, well most teams hate England and we tend to hate them back, that certainly goes for Argentina and Australia, and to a lesser extent NZ. If England can't win it, of the teams remaining I'd probably be happiest to see Japan triumph, or failing that SA. Worst from an English perspective would be Wales or Ireland, since no matter how many times we lose to them in the Six Nations, for now at least we can say we have won more World Cups!
Okay, but how do you feel about ENG vs. AUS and WAL vs. FRA (strictly out of curiosity)?
  #140  
Old 10-15-2019, 03:58 AM
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That was some game! It really seemed Japan were on the pitch with 24 players, certainly the first half. There were always 5 players around the ball. Excellent effort and discipline. It reminded me a bit of the Uruguay victory, I just hope they can keep their form against SA.

It was clear that Scotland tried to slow down the ruck the second half and not always in so subltle ways: players running on-site again past the scrumhalf - "oops, didn't mean to do that, sorry" - happened far to often.

Dragging a player down and elbowing him in the face should have been straight red card. I'm surprised that got missed, even when the Japanese player had trouble getting up. I guess the pace of the game prevented the refs from picking that up. Citing Jamie Richie now wouldn't do any good of course...

I'm also puzzled that after two forward smash into each other head first, they are not taken off for an HIA, that seemed the very least they could do to help player wellfare. It would have "hindered the flow of game", I guess, but it was stopped anyway to tend to Horie's cut.


Looking forward to weekend!
  #141  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
I don't gamble myself, but I trust the bookies to give a fair prediction (since their money is at stake!)

Here are some odds for the quarter-finals:

- England 7/19 on; Australia 11/4

- NZ 2/9 on; Ireland 94/19

- Wales 3/7 on; France 11/4

- SA 2/1 on; Japan 13/2
Remember the bookies only set the odds initially - after that, the odds will move depending on how much money has backed each side. Which can make the latest odds a better predictor, given the 'weight of money' is behind them. They effectively represent an average of all the opinions among those who have placed a wager.

Translating these to percentages (trying to take into account the bookies' margin/overge/vig):

ENG 73% AUS 27%
NZ 82% IRE 18%
WAL 72% FRA 28%
SA 77% JAP 23%

Incidentally the margin on the last game seems to be much larger than any of the others - my guess is because less money has been wagered on it than the other 3, but Japan do look good value to me at those odds.

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Originally Posted by merrick View Post
There's a lot of (rather studied and theatrical) tribalism about rugby, and it's hard to know what's real and what's being put on for effect. I'd suspect that most England fans would be cheering for Wales or Ireland in a final against South Africa or New Zealand, but I wouldn't expect all of them to admit it in public.
I doubt I am a typical fan, but as I posted earlier, my 'problem' with Wales or Ireland winning is the bragging rights. I know a lot more Welsh and Irish people than South Africans or New Zealanders. To be honest I wouldn't much care either way who won, but I think ideally I'd prefer SA or NZ in that scenario. I mean, everyone knows NZ are the best, so winning the World Cup is par for the course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
I don't get how you can "hate" a team as a general principle. I've certainly got preferences and on a case-by-case basis I may dislike a team from a specific point in time but I'm not a fan of allowing that to linger. I never liked Maradona but it was nothing to do with his nationality, Ardiles and Ricky Villa were much loved in the UK.

I've heard people from Scotland express proper hatred for English teams on a blanket basis and that never makes any sense to me, seems childish and bigoted in the extreme and rather ugly. I'd be perfectly happy for any of the home nations to be successful on the world stage and I find it a little dissappointing that more don't feel the same.
In general I do agree, for example I'm happy to see Scottish teams do well apart from against England. And I agree the hatred of Maradona has nothing to do with his nationality, more that he is a cheating, drug-addled scumbag. But the fact remains he represents Argentina's victory over England in that World Cup, so the team and country is 'guilty' by association. Then there is the Falklands. I don't particularly care whether those islands remain part of the UK or not, but evidently those who live there do, and Argentina were the aggressors - no doubt hoping for some oil exploration rights to prop up their failed economy. I feel sorry for the Argentinians who have been stuck with a succession of failed governments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racepug View Post
Being from the U.S. I've never had anything against the Scots and in fact I'd love to visit Scotland but I've never been impressed with their national soccer team. Perhaps if I'd been born a few years earlier I would have been but since the time I first started following international soccer (the 1982 W.C.) the Scottish team, in my opinion, simply hasn't been very good. (I haven't been following rugby long enough to have formed an opinion about their national rugby team)
Yes, the Scottish football team peaked in about 1978 and has been going gradually downhill ever since. The rugby team have followed a not dissimilar trajectory in that time but in the last few years have seemed poised for a comeback to the big time. Unfortunately, they haven't quite made it yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisiate View Post
I don't bet on sport as a rule, but if I did I'd be seriously looking at the right hand side teams at those odds (assuming I'm reading them correctly, as I'm not used to fractional odds). I think all the games are closer than those odds imply. I guess the bookies are out to balance their books?
As above, it depends entirely on how much money is backing each team. I tend to agree with you that the odds for the underdogs generally look better value than the favourites. On the other hand, that's what the bookies want you to think - the more balanced their book, the less risk to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racepug View Post
Okay, but how do you feel about ENG vs. AUS and WAL vs. FRA (strictly out of curiosity)?
I'd put Eng/Aus as close to 50/50. England do have an edge but they could choke in a big game. If I were to bet on it, it would be a modest amount on Australia to hedge against my disappointment.

Wal/Fra is also tough to call with the Wales injuries, but I'd guess at 60% Wales, 40% France.
  #142  
Old 10-16-2019, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
Yes, the Scottish football team peaked in about 1978
Ah, yes - the infamous declaration before Argentina '78 that "We're going to win the World Cup!" Interesting given that the Scottish team hadn't (and still hasn't) ever advanced beyond the group stage of a major tournament that it had entered.
  #143  
Old 10-16-2019, 11:27 AM
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I know that I've been rather pessimistic about Australia's chances in this competition, but if I were a betting man, I'd think about putting some money on the Wallabies at those odds. You're getting almost three to one, and I think that the chance of "good Australia" and "bad England" turning up are strong enough to make it a reasonable bet.
  #144  
Old 10-16-2019, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by racepug View Post
look forward to the QFs. After JAP - SCO the other day I heard a couple of things that I haven't yet seen mentioned in this thread:

1) that JAP beat South Africa in the tournament 4 years ago in what was considered, at the time, to be "the biggest upset in their rugby history." Can they do it again in the knockout stage on home ground?
That abbreviation for Japan is generally considered offensive in most English-speaking countries (with the possible exception of Hong Kong). Probably not a great choice of words. I'd abbreviate Japan as JPN.

I'm glad the Japan-Scotland game was played, but nobody should have complained had it been called off. The idea that they could up and move an event of that magnitude somewhere else is just silly.

You have to move players and coaches and spectators and tv crew and journalists / media / photographers and trainers and coaches and cooks and buses and bus drivers and police/security and medical staff and the gadzillion of other people and vehicles involved in events like this - all those vehicles need to go somewhere, and all those people presumably would need to eat and sleep somewhere; good luck getting all of that sorted out, on short notice, after the biggest hurricane in 50+ years.

Scotland whining about lawsuits and 'collateral damage' - after a storm that killed dozens - came across quite badly. Embarrassing, really.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 10-16-2019 at 01:28 PM.
  #145  
Old 10-16-2019, 02:07 PM
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I think there is a distinction to be made between the abbreviation/shorthand JAP (note the all-caps), referring to the country, and the word Jap (or Japs) referring to people, I would certainly never use the latter. However, I agree with your post in its entirety, and JPN is a better abbreviation anyway (as well as being the ISO code for Japan) so your point is taken - thanks.
  #146  
Old 10-17-2019, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by racepug View Post
Of the first 5, or so, of these tournaments the All Blacks - for all the talk about how they're perennial favorites - won only one, isn't that right?
During the period 1987 to 2011 the All Blacks were comfortably the best rugby team on the planet ... except for an aggregate of a bare few, though crucial, days.

[evil grin]A grand time to be an Aussie. [/evil grin]

Last edited by penultima thule; 10-17-2019 at 05:15 AM.
  #147  
Old 10-17-2019, 12:49 PM
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OK - here's some "cast-iron" predictions then, for everyone to point at and laugh come Sunday afternoon/evening.

Only one of these games looks like it is going to be close and it's England-Australia. England's selection looks...well, it looks bloody odd to my mind. Ford has been one of England's best players and Farrell has looked out of sorts. Slade has played 40 mins, Mako Vunipola has had limited game time and Billy Vunipola is carrying an injury, plus, as noted in my first post on this thread, England can be pretty flakey and have a tendency to bomb big games. Set against this, they've won the last 6 straight against Australia (but doesn't this mean, simply, that they're due a loss?) and have had some time to rest and recuperate that the Aussies haven't as much. I'm not confident that England will win this game and am already seeing a few rugby journalists saying the selection should be judged on the result. Bollocks - this is outcome based thinking. You make your decisions based on what you know at the time not on whether you get lucky with someone getting a red card or something. I'd have gone the other way on almost all the decisions of substance on selection (as the evidence says, play Marler and bring Mako on, don't play Billy if he's injured and don't drop your form playmaker and move Tuilagi out of 13) so consequently, put me down for a - narrow - Australia win.

France are dreadful and will lose to Wales.

Ireland are, if not quite dreadful, nowhere near as good as they were when they strangled the ABs twice in three matches, and will lose to NZ.

Japan have played wonderful rugby, reminiscent of when I was taught how to play - quick ball is golden, so get to ground, flood the ruck area and get it away quickly while the defence is on the back foot. What is evident is that, as this style has gone out of the game over the last 30 years, teams nowadays are struggling to cope with something that they have not seen before - if the ABs decided that they were going to play like this a) everyone would try and copy them and b) they'd crucify everybody in the meantime. They haven't ambushed Ireland and Scotland (given that cards were marked following Brighton 2015 - still the biggest RWC shock since it came out of the blue, unlike the Ireland game in this World Cup). They've been a breath of fresh air and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them. Unfortunately, this is where it ends I think. They're going to get ground down by a defensively more competent team who will be able to keep the ball off them better than Scotland or Ireland were capable of. SA to win by more than 10 points.

Re: penultima thule's comment. A little overstated. Australia were definitely better than NZ for the latter part of 1999 through to 2001 (the Rugby Championship results support this) and England were better than NZ for most of 2002 and 2003 (the John Mitchell regime has a lot to answer for - of course, he's now on England's coaching staff, so fun times for us). There are other pockets of time when Australia were definitely better too - my memory of the 1991 World Cup is that NZ were pretty poor to be honest and got deservedly beaten in the semi by Australia. It's fair to say they're generally better though.
  #148  
Old 10-17-2019, 12:57 PM
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Hard to argue with any of that. I'd just say that none of us is in the England training camp - if the team as selected has been performing fabulously in training, that would be a fair reason for it being as it is. If they perform on Saturday, that will indeed justify it. As you rightly say though, if they perform poorly but win anyway thanks to (for example) helpful refereeing, that would not. Broadly I do have faith in Eddie Jones, but like you I'm not confident. This is the denouement of his entire time with England.

If the QFs go as you suggest, we should be in for some cracking semis, both of which will potentially be close.
  #149  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Cumbrian View Post
Only one of these games looks like it is going to be close and it's England-Australia. England's selection looks...well, it looks bloody odd to my mind. Ford has been one of England's best players and Farrell has looked out of sorts. Slade has played 40 mins, Mako Vunipola has had limited game time and Billy Vunipola is carrying an injury, plus, as noted in my first post on this thread, England can be pretty flakey and have a tendency to bomb big games. Set against this, they've won the last 6 straight against Australia (but doesn't this mean, simply, that they're due a loss?) and have had some time to rest and recuperate that the Aussies haven't as much.
Australia have picked two large centres, so England have gone for three good tacklers at 10,12 + 13.
I agree Slade is a risk with limited playing time.
Mako is a world-class player (and inspires his brother!)
I thought Billy had fully recovered from his injury.
Finally winning 6 straight times does not mean you are due a loss (ask the All-Blacks!)
  #150  
Old 10-17-2019, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
Australia have picked two large centres, so England have gone for three good tacklers at 10,12 + 13.
I agree Slade is a risk with limited playing time.
Mako is a world-class player (and inspires his brother!)
I thought Billy had fully recovered from his injury.
Finally winning 6 straight times does not mean you are due a loss (ask the All-Blacks!)
On the areas where I have something to say, which is not on all of these:

I think Ford's weakness as a tackler is over-stated. When he's played how many times have we been blown up? He didn't start in the pivotal matches in the 2015 group stage and we lost those anyway. I get the logic - and I am not saying you're an adherent to it - but I'm not sure the evidence is conclusive. I'd rather we focused on what Ford can do, which is fire the back line. Not that England are playing NZ, but history shows that you need to crack 25-30 points to beat NZ. You're not going to do it by scoring in increments of 3.

Billy Vunipola looked pretty crocked to my eyes when he came off v Argentina. I guess we're going to find out.

Final comment - yes, was somewhat flippant. Nevertheless, my natural pessimism strikes again (I can even show you a message I sent to my mates on WhatsApp before England played the Czech Republic in a recent Euro 2020 qualifier; some journo had remarked that England hadn't lost a qualifier in over a decade - to which I said, well, aren't we due? We lost 2-1).
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