Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

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mikh
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Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:01 pm

I know this is not a very popular sport in most of the countries members of this forum are coming from. However, it is a superb sport which I think will captivate most of you as soon as you will understand it, provided you give it a chance.

Moreover, as there are a few French users on this forum, at least a Georgian one, some Russians and people living in Australia (if I remember correctly), I am sure you will enjoy sharing your thoughts on this great event which will start tomorrow.

Here are a few infos:

20 teams from 5 continents split into 4 pools. Top 2 will progress through to the 1/4 finals. The 3rd best in each pool will be directly qualified for the 2015 competition, taking place in England (the 2019 will be in Japan - first in a non-traditional rugby nation). The rest of the teams will feature in various qualification tournaments.
19 of the teams have played in the last RWC (France 2007), with only Russia being at its first RWC.

The defending champion is South Africa (after they won a great final against England 4 years ago), while the bronze medalist is the surprising team of Argentina (who won twice in France, against the hosts, 4 years ago - including the bronze final).

Pool A: New Zealand, France, Tonga, Japan, Canada
Pool B: England, Argentina, Scotland, Georgia, Romania
Pool C: Australia, Ireland, Italy, Russia, United States
Pool D: South Africa, Fiji, Wales, Samoa, Namibia

The favorites are the All Blacks, playing in front of their own crowd.
The Wallabies (Australia) will also be in contention for the title (they recently won the Tri Nations, defeating NZ), with the Springboks (South Africa) not to be neglected.
From Europe, England (Six Nations winners this year) has developed a young squad and after surpassing the problems they had 2 years ago, they look like one of the most impressive teams in the competition.
France, despite having had a very bad 6N this year (defeated by Italy!) will surely respect its status of RWC favorite and will surely go in the 1/4 without any problems.
Argentina (which will join what is now the Tri Nations) is weaker than 4 years ago, but will definitely pose a lot of problems and will probably face Scotland in the decisive match for a 1/4 finals spot.

Keep your eyes on Wales, although their group is by far the most difficult, with everyone besides Namibia fighting for the 2 qualifying spots. 4 years ago, in Nantes, Wales lost dramatically to Fiji (one of the most athletic and talented teams) their 1/4 finals spot, while only 3 weeks ago, the impressive Manu Samoa shocked Australia in a test match. Ireland and Italy will surely fight for the 2nd place in their pool, and while Italy has been particularly impressive in the test matches against Southern opposition, the Irish team didn't have such a good year at all.

Other developing nations to watch are Canada, Japan, Georgia (great first and second rows, probably the best!) and Tonga.

The TV channels broadcasting the competition, seem to be (for the nations of most of the members here):
1. Croatia- Sportska Televizija (10 live - and later re-runned - games)
2. Czech Republic – ČT4
3. Georgia – 1TV
4. Germany – Sport1
5. Hungary – Sportklub, Digi Sport Hungary
6. Korea Republic – ESPN Star Sports
7. Norway – Viasat Sport/Viasat Sport HD (10 pool stage games, all Quarter final matches onwards Live)
8. Poland - Polsat Sport
9. Portugal – Sport TV
10. Romania – Digi Sport Romania
11. Russia – Russia 2
12. Spain – Canal+
13. Sweden – TV10 and/or Viasat Sport (10 pool stage games, all Quarter final matches onwards Live)
14. United States – Universal Sports and NBC

The competition kicks-off tomorrow (10:30 AM CET), with the All Blacks facing Tonga. It should be a try-festival for NZ, but Tonga is a good team themselves so we should expect some nice rugby.



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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:32 pm

And to further stir your appetite, here are just a few of the great rugby moments. Feel free to add anything:

1. "The greatest rugby match ever" - the 2000 Bledisloe Cup between Australia (WCh on 1999) and New Zealand in front of a record 110,000 people audience in Sydney
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heoO_5Mv ... re=related

2. The 2003 winning drop goal of Wilkinson in the final against Australia in Sydney. Heartbreaking for the Aussies to lose it in the extra time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNEKxdW_J5I

3. Two amazing tries by one of the best wingers in the world, the young Chris Ashton during last this year's 6N and last year's test against the Aussies. Second one is really impressive!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8kA6rlq ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6W0IqUcL60

4. This year's Heineken Cup final (the rugby Champions League, if we can compare), one of the best rugby matches played in the last 10-15 years.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meJd5gGjdGc

Enjoy!

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby karel » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:18 am

Rugby is a great sport indeed!
Somebody could say it is some stupid fight of big men rolling on the pitch :lol:
But it is not true - rugby is a sport full of the respect for the opponent, with no acting, cheating etc. It's great to watch, very interesting (much more than American Football, I think) - I like it very much. And how the players sing their national anthem - awsome :D I'm looking forward to some really great matches. One thing which upsets me is the time - it is difficult to watch a competition taking place in New Zealand, while you are in Europe and have to work...

Polish team is much better than couple of years ago, but still it is too difficult for us to play in the World Cup.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:21 pm

I'm happy you've noticed the true spirit of rugby!
You might enjoy this amazing video on Croke Park, in Dublin: God Save the Queen, followed by the 2 anthems of Ireland: Amhran na bhFiann (anthem of the Republic) and Ireland's Call (anthem of Ireland - including Ulster). Look at the Irish prop, John Hayes, the bold guy! Amazing reaction!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ6-bYixpYE

And here's one of the best renditions of the Scottish anthem - Flower of Scotland.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA6cnXFiE6I

And since it's rugby, it has to be about the All Blacks and their amazing hakas, take a look at the following videos and the responses they got during the performing of various haka dances:
- Wales challenging the Kapa o pango in Cardiff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fYIUdVN ... grec_index
- Tonga surprisingly responding with their Sipi tau (a warrior dance) before a test match
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eGCsEQ15L4
- France, 4 years ago, after being defeated by Argentina and having to play in exile in Cardiff against the NZ. Enjoy the anthems (amazing how many kiwis were in the stands singing; great Marseillaise as well), the Kama te haka and the French response
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTuR7Pr9Csg

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:46 pm

Well, the RWC in NZ is like the football WCh in Brazil. If you love it, you wake up early and watch it. It is difficult indeed if you are at work and you will probably have to settle for the livescores until the evening when I'm sure you will be able to see some reruns. You should check the Polsat schedule and I will try to post links to streams with the reruns in the evening.

Getting to the RWC is very difficult for minor nations. Imagine there is only one new nation compared to the 2007 edition (Russia replaced Portugal) and 12 / 20 of the teams have taken part in all RWC editions (Romania included). Moreover, 5 teams (NZ, Australia, England, France, Scotland) have reached the 1/4 finals at every RWC. This gives you an idea of how well the traditional powers are holding their ground and how difficult it is for every team to get into the competition.

Moreover, the qualifying system in Europe makes it very hard for a minor nation to go through. That's because there are only 2 straight spots (the first 2 in the European Nations Cup - Div 1), while the 3rd gets to play a series of play-off matches. If you are in a lower division, your road to world cup looks like this:
Israel (winner of 2009 Div 3C) defeated Slovenia (winner of 2009 Div 3B)
Lithuania (winner of Div 3A) defeated Israel
Lithuania defeated Netherlands (winner of Div 2B)
Ukraine (winner of Div 2A) defeated Lithuania
Romania (3rd in Div 1) defeated Ukraine
Romania defeated Tunisia (2nd in African Championship)
Romania defeated Uruguay (3rd in Pan-American)

At this point, Poland is involved in the 2010-2012 European Nations Cup - Division 1B (second tier).
They have 2 options of getting into the RWC England 2015:
1. promote next year (they are 3rd halfway the competition) to Div 1A. There if they finish 1st or 2nd in the 2012-2014 Div 1A, they are straight to the RWC, whereas if they finish 3rd they go in the Intercontinental Repechage (Romania's road this year). Highly unlikely, since there are always Georgia, Russia, Romania and Portugal fighting for the 3 spots.
2. don't promote next year, but win the 2012-1014 Div 1B and go on Ukraine's way (play the winner of 2A, then 3rd from 1A and then intercontinental repechage).

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby karel » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:36 am

mikh wrote:At this point, Poland is involved in the 2010-2012 European Nations Cup - Division 1B (second tier).
They have 2 options of getting into the RWC England 2015:
1. promote next year (they are 3rd halfway the competition) to Div 1A. There if they finish 1st or 2nd in the 2012-2014 Div 1A, they are straight to the RWC, whereas if they finish 3rd they go in the Intercontinental Repechage (Romania's road this year). Highly unlikely, since there are always Georgia, Russia, Romania and Portugal fighting for the 3 spots.
2. don't promote next year, but win the 2012-1014 Div 1B and go on Ukraine's way (play the winner of 2A, then 3rd from 1A and then intercontinental repechage).

You know even more than me about our chances :lol:
Thanks, I know Polsat Sport schedule. I will try to follow the matches :)

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:47 pm

And the first match was played this morning. No surprise here:

New Zealand - Tonga 41:10

Impressive opening match by NZ and a wonderful response by Tonga (who 10 years ago was losing 102:0 against the All Blacks). The first half was completely dominated by the AB. The second half saw a very courageous Tonga side earning their second try ever in matches against NZ, after an amazing forward pack charge which lasted around 8 mins.
NZ seemed to be in second gear as they missed 2 more clear try chances and had another try disallowed for a matter of millimeters. They still needs some fine tuning, before the big match against France, but they have the time and the opponents to be 100% ready by that time.

Tomorrow's schedule:
Scotland - Romania @ Invercargill, 3AM CET (I hope for an honorable result from our team and a courageous game, given the clear difference in quality between the 2 teams to which we can add our injuries and the players missing. The Scottish want to avoid any potential upset and they will field in the best XV)

Fiji - Namibia @ Rotorua, 5:30 CET (Fiji is the clear favorite, but Namibia should be able to put in decent fight. I've seen them progress a lot in the last 3 years, including winning the IRB Nations Cup 2010)

France - Japan @ Auckland, 8AM (everyone can suspect who the clear favorites are; Japan showed a lot of positive things during their recent Pacific Nations Cup campaign against Fiji and Samoa, so they could do more than just damage control)

Argentina - England @ Dunedin, 10:30AM (this is warfare! The first derby of the competition between the bronze and silver medalist from RWC 2007. Argentina is not the surprise team anymore and everyone will take them really seriously, while England has a brand new squad, who had 2 amazing years to develop. I think they're the favorites)

Enjoy!

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby MED » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:10 pm

It is not a popular Sport here , However I like to watch South Africa playing =D> They are one of the best teams in the world , and as far as I know they are the Current world champions.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:05 pm

egypt wrote:It is not a popular Sport here , However I like to watch South Africa playing =D> They are one of the best teams in the world , and as far as I know they are the Current world champions.


Indeed they are. Though they didn't have such a good Tri Nations this year, they are certainly one of the favorites.

The other African team, Namibia has improved a lot in the last years (mostly because of them being in the neighborhood of SA). Zimbabwe has had a decent team which took part in the 1987 and 1991RWC, while "the northern-most" nation to have ever been involved was Cote d'Ivoire.

Morocco was close to qualifying for the RWC 2007 repechage final, while Tunisia clearly lost the repechage semifinals to Romania for RWC 2011.

The rest of the African teams are largely unknown, so maybe you can give us an inside of the state of this sport in Egypt.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby MED » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:16 pm

Unfortunately we are not even a full member in the International Rugby Board.
But I know that Morocco and Tunisia have been improving at this Sport

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2011 - New Zealand

Postby mikh » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:37 am

Absolutely amazing display by Romania, who was 5-10 mins away from a historic result! (Scotland beat us 42:0 in RWC 2007)

Romania - Scotland 24:34 (11:18)

Bad start of the match for our team, who shook in the beginning of the match but got it together with a try just before halftime. Amazing second half, with our forward pack completely dominant over the Scottish and in the 67th minute Romania was up 24:21. It was 24:24 until around the 75th minute, but the fatigue and the lack of options on the bench gave Scotland 2 more tries in the final 10 mins, last one in the last minute, to earn them the offensive bonus points; Romania lost everything, including the defensive bonus point.

Great attitude by the Oaks and a general feeling that Scotland got more than they deserved out of this match. So satisfying to see Romania can compete against Six Nations opposition (we gave a good run to Italy 4 years ago).

The Pumas are now next for us in 5 days time and I hope the guys can get passed injuries and blows and put together another honorable display.


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