World Cup continues..

I’m not normally one for futuring, but Australia are favoured to wreak revenge on England for that drop-goal in the last final – if Mike Catt’s right.. and he’ll be on the pitch in Marseille. Later tonight, in Cardiff, the All-Blacks also look set to put French dreams to bed ’til next time, provided their seemingly traditional yips don’t re-appear, and make it Southern hemisphere 2 – 0 Northern hemisphere before South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Scotland take the field tomorrow. Half-time England 6 – 10 Australia And that’s why I’m not normally one for futuring.. Full-time Australia 10 – 12 England. A tense, tough.. and close game. Update The second quarter final is underway in Cardiff, 4 mins in, 0-0, and already there’s a player walking [off the pitch] wounded. Nasty knee to the back of the head left the French no. 6, Serge Betsen, unconscious. Half-time NZL 13 – 3 France and, judging by the singing, a lot of optimistic Irish fans bought tickets for this game in advance of the earlier results. Still close but the All-Blacks, in silver, look the more likely to prevail. Second Half 46 mins in, All-Black no.12 sin-binned. Full-time NZL 18 – 20 France. THE game of the tournament. Much more open than the earlier quarter-final today, and even more of a shock result. And won, in the end, by a brilliant defensive performance by France. Which, of course makes it Northern hemisphere 2 – 0 Southern hemisphere. So much for futuring…

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  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    just when you thought it could not get any worse – after Wales lost to Fiji – then along come the Englezes to deservedly beat the Australians. It’s times like this that Irish rugby supporters of a certain tradition can console ourselves that we are world champions at GAA sports. For the Welsh surely the time has come to look for a more suitable National game and not one based around brute force and which they sure likely to be out done by their bigger, fatter neigbours.

  • DavidD

    Fan-bloody-tastic. Now go Scotland, go.

  • Dewi

    Congratulations to England. It is truly wonderful to see a representative of the archipelago in the semi finals. Seriously I’ve never witnessed a sporting team where one individual makes such a difference as Wilkinson does to the English team….Bastard.

  • iluvni

    Great courage and determination by England. Excellent result. Lets hope the French can repeat it tongiht.

  • Dewi

    Sammy – u going to New Zealand France ?

  • Rubicon

    Congratulations to England! I didn’t believe they could do it but (for me) beating the Aussies is the one to win. Australia is the only country more arrogant than the BBC/ITV commentators on English football. Both sides generate a cosmopolitan group that hope England and Australia loose.

    When the 2 play against each other I side with the smaller of the 2 loud mouths. In rugby, I side with England in all cases except one – they were the only home nations team not to run scared from the IRA.

  • Dewi

    Rubicon – yes – what did John Pullin say ? “We might not be very good – but at least we turn up !”

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi,

    can’t bring myself to say that particular C word you used above in relation to Englezes. A bit of sporting shadenfreude, to let off a pit of historical steam from time to time, is a healthy thing so lets hope the All Blacks give Englezes one hell of a beating.

    I will be going to see ABs tonight – was expecting, as you have deduced, that I expected those who deserved to be beaten by the Georgian seconds have gone back to their divided island.

    You going?

    Joke I heard in Wales a few, actually about 10 years ago- add no longer running- Q. Whats the difference between the English and Polo Mints A. People like Polo Mints

  • Dewi

    Not going to game but on me way to town to chat up the French birds ! Fancy a pint after ?

  • Rubicon

    Devi – tonight they’re very good! 😉 I’ll now go upstairs to put my French shirt on – but, more in hope than expectation.

    With Ireland out I find myself enjoying the game more. All the bile, gnashing of teeth,, pulling of hair and thinking Ulster supporters looking to establish NI team the last group of whinging lemmings needing kicked off the nearest cliff – has gone.

    It’s a welcome reminder that rugby is a game – nothing more – but a great game!

  • Dewi

    Best Polo joke is:

    What’s the difference between Llantrisant and a Polo Mint

    A: A polo mint is a mint with a hole……

  • Rubicon

    Good luck with the French lasses – but they might need a different approach to those Welsh girls I last met in Cardiff. They started with putting wicked thoughts in my mind and expected DELIVERY! Having travelled the world – their are ladies in Cardiff who’d test any man’s resolve and I very much doubt the French ladies know what lengths the local competition will go to!

  • snakebrain

    Best Polo joke is:

    What’s the difference between Llantrisant and a Polo Mint

    A: A polo mint is a mint with a hole……

    Howard Marks wrote a pretty cool riff on that joke. He’s a cool guy, I had the pleasure of meeting him once.

    Congrats to the English boys; nobody can say they didn’t deserve that one. Don’t think I’ll be cheering for them in the next match, but they have my respect for that performance nonetheless.

  • Dewi

    Rubicon……got any phone numbers ?

  • snakebrain

    I was in a club in Swansea a few years ago, the evening after Wales A had played Italy A.

    The Italian boys arrived in for post-match drinks, and I have to say they were looking very dapper in their matching Italian suits. I don’t think even they anticipated what happened next though.

    They literally disappeared under a scrum (there’s no other word) of about 200 horny Welsh girls. Not the Italian approach at all, but once they emerged from under all the heaving Welsh flesh they didn’t look too disappointed..

  • Dewi

    I wish I knew all these Welsh girls that everyone else seems to meet !

  • snakebrain

    Whereabouts in Wales are you Dewi?

  • Dewi

    Snakebrain – in Cardiff Bay

  • snakebrain

    Ah ok, I’m a bit more familiar with West Wales and the valleys. Great country though, the people are fantastic, especially when you consider the times South Wales has had over the past 30 years or so. I like the mixture of pragmatism and humour you seem to get everywhere.

    Planning a return trip soon, to go mountain biking in the Valleys.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Dewi, diolch but I’m afraid I have to out myself as a non-drinking middle aged family guy – who is going to the game with his family and then doing straight afterwards. I hope you have more luck with any foreign ladies visiting Caerdydd.

    p.s. Dragons ar now beating Ulster 14-6.

  • Dewi

    From the valleys originally – let me know when u r over…

  • snakebrain

    Shall do, we’ll go find some of these mythical Welsh girls together..

  • Dewi

    p.s. Dragons ar now beating Ulster 14-6.

    So that is what we were supposed to watch between the World Cup games !

  • GavBelfast

    While happy that England beat the swaggering Aussies, I still hope that the rugby-obsessed but infinitely less cock-sure Kiwis beat the French.

  • No Dozer

    Great result for England. Superb play from the forwards.I’m hoping Scotland can get a result to keep my Ulster Scots relations happy.

  • Pete Baker

    Allez les Bleus!!!

  • Moochin Photoman

    wow
    the bookies have made a killing today
    fantastic performance from les bleu
    it is a knock out competition after all
    wow
    did i say that already……. but feck me thats a massive upset, poor old Sean Fitzpatrick was speechless
    big mistake going for the drop goal in the last 3 mins, should have ground it out up front……NZ had earleir done a seguence of 30 phases which should have told them to go for it. They seemed to just bottle it which is rare for the kiwi’s

  • Dewi

    So Fiji against who in the final ?

  • Pete Baker

    Given the French defence, moochin, they probably thought that was the only option.

  • Pete Baker

    However, I’d point to the English dominance in the forward play against Australia as a worry for the French in the semi-final.

  • Pete Baker

    Dewi

    Who knows..

  • Pete Baker

    And moochin..

    NZ have the yips when it comes to the World Cup.

  • Dewi

    Superb French game – deserved to win – NZ just off the pace – what a day….bring on tomorrow !

  • Moochin Photoman

    pete
    very true but they still had time to give it a go, lack of composure at a crucial stage.
    And yes the Kiwi’s do have the yips in the world cup. I expect Henry to resign i hate to say, mebbe he can take up the welsh job!!
    I think the English are gonna relish playin the French. If the English fwds play like they did today it should make for a very interesting game next week

  • Dewi

    I’d love Henry to come back to Wales. Brilliant coach.

  • patrique

    Are Ireland the third best team in the world after Argentina and France?

    I said all along that England could make the semis given the racist draw. Argentina, 5th in the world at the start, are not seeded so mugs like England, Scotland, Australia and Fiji get to the quarters and beyond, and one of the world’s top six has to out, because France, Ireland and Argentina are in the one group.

    And it is racist. On another site France and Ireland are “chokers” because they lost to Argentina. Do Rugby followers and those in charge think “Argentina = dagoes = useless/do not seed”?

    Still, France will be difficult to beat in the final now, whoever they meet.

  • Rubicon

    Patrique – Ireland went out because we simply weren’t good enough. Add to that a few poor management decisions that tinkered with the detail of a poor performance and we deserved our tickets home. Disappointing – yes – but nothing racist that I can see. The Pumas played out of their skins and have made this WC worth watching – as have England (just!) and France (just!).

    To see the Pumas & Fiji progress is good for rugby. Pity Ireland and Wales are out – but if you want to point to lucky draws – I think you need look no further than out Scotish neighbours. Good luck to them!

  • Dewi

    http://tinyurl.com/3ybg7r

    New Zealand mourning…….

  • patrique

    See what I mean. “The pumas have played out of their skin” says Rubicon.

    Not yet, just fulfilling what should have been their seeding as they were ranked 5th in the world.

    Ireland were dreadful, but I think they would have made the quarters in any other group.That’s what I mean about the draw.

    And if it is not racist, how can the 5th best team be seeded 12th?

  • Moochin Photoman

    Patrique…..
    i think thats a very spurrious attempt at playing the racist card.
    Anyway shouldn’t it be
    ” the Pumas have played out of their Argie skins” to be racist?

    If i’m honest i don’t really care I’m just looking forward to some more exciting games today hopefully

  • abucs

    Great English performance in the forwards, and Johnny’s there to pick up the kicks – just like last time. Semi final should be a cracker.

    Will be interesting to see if SA are still on song.

    Who’s favourite now ?

  • patrique

    Can anyone, who might care about racism, answer as to why Argentina are not seeded?

    France must be favourites, at home,do not rule out South Africa, on paper the best team left, and Argentina could yet surprise us all.

  • snakebrain

    “wow
    the bookies have made a killing today”

    A good friend of mine had £100 on it at, I think, 17-10. I thought it was safe money too…

    That’s the beauty of sport.