David does RWC – Days 15, 16 and 17
The 2011 Rugby World Cup is well 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 Days 15, 16 and 17
The RWC has been chugging along quite nicely so far. There was a lot of talk in the build up to the RWC as to if New Zealand would be able to host a good RWC. There were fears that that the All Blacks would be the only team supported and that the other teams really would not get a look in. However, most of the crowds (the majority kiwis) have really gotten behind other teams and have really decided to adopt a second team. It has been really enjoyable to watch on the TV/Fan Zone. I will be, however, travel up to Auckland to watch to South Africa v Samoa game (watch for me in the crowd) and will give you an update on facilities there.
Wales predictably thrashed Namibia. Playing their second match in five days, the exhausted Namibians were unable to contain the Welsh backline, which ran in 10 of their 12 tries in the 81-7 victory. Namibia’s sole try was a beauty though, with an intercept being made by one lock that then offloaded to his locking partner who ran 40m to score.
Japan‘s up-tempo style of play was always going to cause trouble to Canada‘s more physical approach but the best part of the final result wasn’t the drawn scores so much as two of the lower-ranked teams playing such entertaining rugby. Both sides had opportunities to win the game but in the end the 23 – 23 draw was probably a fair result.
Italy‘s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first time remain alive after their forwards overwhelmed USA on the way to a 27-10 win and a bonus point. The Italians used their forward strength to out-muscle the USA, who fought bravely throughout the game.
Georgia claimed their first victory of the tournament and condemned Romania to their fourth straight defeat, winning 25-9 in a match dominated by the defences. This was not as good a spectacle as the Japan/Canada game but Georgia were defiantly the better side on the day and really did deserve their victory.
South Africa should have too much power for Samoa in their match up. The Springboks will out muscle them, and have the backs to finish off this one. Samoa won’t lie down and will be banking on heaps of support.
I think that we are going to be heading for another cricket score in the Australian v Russia game. The Wallabies have their injury concerns, but should have more than enough fire power to overrun the Bears.
France should be able to get up and beat Tonga, but strange things can happen at the RWC. The French have not played well this tournament but have generally have had enough class to get through the minnow teams with ease.
The first of the crunch games comes to us in the form of England playing their traditional rivals Scotland in a winner takes all game. The English should be too good for the Scots, but traditionally this game has been close. Even if Scotland do win, it will be hard for them to progress.
Well that’s me. I’ll give you an update from Auckland and how things are progressing up there.