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David does RWC – Day 3

The 2011 Rugby World Cup is under way in New Zealand, and we’ve sent our Chief Rugby Analyst David Shipton along to cover the entire tournament for us (well… not really. He lives there.)

RWC Day 3

The Rugby World Cup (RWC) powered through its third day of matches, with many more fascinating games on offer. The thing that I am really enjoying about the RWC is the fact that the minnows are putting up a good performance at most of the games. They are generally playing really well for at least 60 minutes of the games, before eventually succumbing to more experienced and better sides.  It has been good to see them put up a fight though, and not get thrashed. It would be nice though to see a side put together an 80 minute performance.  

 

I’ll be going to the fan zone in Christchurch on Thursday evening to watch the USA take on Russia, so will be able to get a feel for the facilities.

 

Games

Day three kicked off with the mighty (and virtually full strength) Australians taking on Italy. The Italians were not expected to put up as much of a fight, but they came out and played with plenty of emotion and held the more fancied Wallabies to 6 all at half time, defending well and employing an effective kick chase game. The Azzurri forced the Wallabies to play a game that they didn’t want to, but the Aussies were patient enough and eventually the tries came.  They scored some superb tries, with James O’Connor providing the spark needed to lead them to a 32 – 6

The USA played a good game before finally falling short against Ireland on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11.  Despite dominating possession and territory, the Irish were often frustrated by a ferocious Eagles defence, with the conditions not lending themselves to a running style of rugby. Eventually Ireland’s superior set piece and tactics lead them to take the game with some comfort, but they will be disappointed with the way they played and the fact that they didn’t nail a bonus point.

The defending champions South Africa managed to scrape a thrilling one point victory over Wales to round out day three action. Behind 16-10 at the 64-minute mark, the defending world champions shunned a kick able penalty goal to kick for the line and press for a try. Their enterprise was rewarded a minute later when replacement back Francois Hougaard took advantage of a tiring Wales defence to storm through a gap and dive triumphantly under the posts for what turned out to be the winning try. Wales were good in this game and should have won (they dominated both possession and territory), but were not clinical enough. Things may have been different if this kick (below; kick at 2:00) had been ruled over. I don’t think it went over but it is very difficult to accurately determine whether it did or not.

 

Edit: Video was taken off YouTube. Damn it.

 

Tips

Probably not the best idea for me to be doing this (given my track record), but I’ll run with it anyway.

Samoa opens their RWC account with a game against the Namibians. A good game for them to start off on, as the Welwitschias played well against Fiji and should test the Samoans in quite a few areas. However, this Samoan team has class and should be able to give the Namibians a bit of a touch up.

Tonga will be taking on the might of Canada in group A action. The Sea Eagles will be looking to get their campaign back on track against the Canucks (Canada), who play their first game. Canada will be looking to impress in their first outing and will looking to cause something of an upset.  This should be a victory for the Islanders, with a bonus point victory something for them to aim for.

I would like to say that I am supremely confident that Scotland will beat Georgia, but after their display against Romania that may not be the best bet. Georgia will be looking to start off their campaign with a shock win, but something tells me that the Scots will be more prepared for this game. They will need to be to avoid the embarrassment, but the Scots should be good enough to win.

The Cold War will be brought to the RWC as the USA take on Russia. As mentioned earlier, I’ll be at one of the fan zones for this one, and I’m really hoping there is a good atmosphere. This will be a fierce battle between two traditional rivals, but I think that the USA should take this one. They played well against Ireland and have some class players. Russia is almost a complete unknown entity, but will play with plenty of passion and won’t give up.

Well, that’s me for day three. Stay tuned for more RWC action coming your way soon.

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  1. Jamie
    September 13, 2011 at 4:08 am

    David, What a fantastic website you are running here.
    Jamie Miller

  2. Gus
    September 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    That kick went over……

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