Just to show that facts should never get in the way of a good story,
’s record in this tournament so far is played 4 won 4, scoring 18 tries Engl and and conceding 1. have played 4 won 4, scoring 15 tries Irel and and conceding 3, while Wales have played 4 and won 3, scoring 23 tries and conceding 4.
Ah yes, exclaim the naysayers, but
’s pool was so much easier. Really? Wales have played teams ranked by the IRB (as at today) at 2, 11, 16 Engl and and 19. Irel have played teams ranked 3, 12, 17 and and 21, while ’s opponents are ranked 7, 10, 14 Engl and and 18. Not a huge difference then, especially when you take into account that Wales actually LOST to the number 2 ranked team.
This is not meant as a pop at
. They played well against South Africa, fought their way past Samoa Wales and thrashed the lower two ranked teams in their group, much like Engl and fought their way past Argentina and Scotl and and thrashed Georgia and Romania.
What I don’t really get, then, is why
Engl are being vilified by the press while and Wales ( and, to a lesser extent, ) are being lauded. I’ve even seen some guff written about how Welsh brilliance is all down to improved fitness Irel and and a new running technique which apparently involves looking straight ahead, pumping your arms and flexing your ankles (as opposed to looking at your feet, waving your arms about like a maniac and trying to run straight-legged, which is obviously where I’ve been going wrong all these years).
All that’s required of the national rugby press is objective reporting
and rational criticism. From what we’ve seen so far this World Cup, even when they can be arsed to comment on the rugby rather than on extraneous tittle-tattle, this is obviously too much to ask.