Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Four more years

And so it is over. Another Rugby World Cup has come and gone - another 7 weeks of my life that I'll never reclaim.

For what it's worth, a few reflections:
  1. The Final: Congratulations again to New Zealand. Much deserved and the 24 year old monkey is finally off the back. But, amidst the understandable euphoria down under, there really does need to be an acknowledgement of the French contribution to a fabulous match. Written off by everyone (me included), they were just magnificent. Perhaps Marc Le Fou is a genius after all.
  2. The Final#2: The referee had half of a very good game. Mr Joubert did a particularly good job refereeing France. It would have been nice if he'd also refereed New Zealand. Just saying.
  3. The Final#3: The IRB have fined France for advancing towards the Haka on Sunday, an act which added hugely to the drama and theatre of the occasion but which was in defiance of IRB regulations which stipulate that the opposition team should stay on or behind their own 10 metre line. It's about time someone told the IRB where to shove this particular piece of politically correct bureaucratic bollocks and I hope the French simply refuse to pay.
  4. England: that the Rugby World Cup was very nearly won by a team that England beat comfortably back in February should be a sobering thought.
  5. Game of the tournament: the Final. For sheer drama it really had everything.
  6. Try of the tournament:- Didn't see it live owing to the ungodly hour, but the dummying, side-stepping effort from Welsh prop Gethin Jenkins against Namibia takes some beating, even allowing for the opposition.
  7. Player of the tournament: Mike Tindall. Just kidding. No, my vote goes to newly crowned IRB player of the year, Thierry Dusautoir, who was immense throughout despite the chaos of the French campaign and who produced one of the greatest performances of all time on Sunday. McCaw, Kaino, Warburton and Harinordiquy were also contenders. And yes, I realise that all the aforementioned are backrowers. So sue me.
  8. Hair of the tournament: Without his marvellous barnet, Radike Samo is only 5 foot 7.
  9. Special mention: to France, for allowing the All Blacks to play in black in the Final, despite winning the toss to decide choice of kit.
  10. And finally, the Total Flanker Dunderhead of the Tournament Award - for all the reasons previously mentioned on this blog, the British Press. Disgraceful performance.


Scotty said...

Interesting to hear the bad press that referee Craig Joubert has been getting overseas. The All Blacks were criticised against France in 2007 for not playing to the referees whistle when they lost.

Referee Craig Joubert was widely touted as the best referee at the tournament.

Rugby rules have interpretations especially at the breakdown and I have to say that while the All Blacks were lucky, not much have been said about some fortuitous balls coming back for France in some of those rucks. Hands in the ruck was a common problem in this game.

I saw Tony Woodcock being eye gouged in the first 20 minutes of the final in a maul and Richie McCaw also being eye gouged. Can your fingers accidentially slip into the eyes of another player?
I don't think it is the way to show your frustration.

As far as entering from the side goes, that happens all the time. Some referees look out for it more than others.

There are so many rules in rugby that if rules were followed to the letter of the law, it would be so boring with the hundred penalties per game that no one would watch!

Frederic Humbert said...

"Marc Le Fou"... ;-)

And yes, I also was a backrower...