Not a blog for all I fancy, so if not your cup of tea, do feel free to ignore! Although, to attract some of our members, here is a free look at the greatest Number 10 currently playing, young Daniel Carter. A lovely chap, I have met him, he’s very polite and shy:
There have been a few references to the great game on this site recently and I have gone on record before as being a passionate follower so I thought it only apt for me to commit to an opinion or two. I know we have a few SA fans, an Aussie cricket fan who shows good loyalty to other Aussies sports and I suspect a Scottish fan or two, so hopefully we’ll have some differences of opinion, especially with the blind eternally optimistic English fans. We are also covered by the USA and perhaps even Canada, all of who have qualified. So perhaps I can generate some interest here!
Now, I have been rightly accused before of lacking in imagination of my assessment of the English rugby team (sticking the ball up their jumpers) and of the French (who knows which team will turn up) so I have taken the time to ensure I write this before any newspaper articles or magazines are published about the forthcoming World Cup and have tried hard to only use my own original thoughts! Feel free to shoot me down in flames!
I shall firstly nail my colours to the mast and declare that the All Blacks WILL win their second world crown and finally lay the chokers tag to rest.
I shall then dismiss all other teams except the big 5 – NZ, SA, France, England and Australia are the only potential winners – and France won’t anyway so it is really only 4. I have discounted Argentina against recent popular opinion as they have lost the majority of the team that came a wonderful third four years ago and haven’t shown anywhere near the form required, nor do they have the depth of talent or experience. (I relish them joining the Tri-Nations soon)
Sorry Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Pacific Islands, Japan and the others, no point in pretending you have any chance. Scotland and Argentina will fight it out for the second qualification spot from Group B, Ireland will qualify from Group C as runner-up and Wales should scrape though as runner-up in Group D unless they lose to Samoa – again. But then they will meet the big four in the quarter finals and get knocked out.
So really, it is down to what the draw will produce for the semi-finals, and hence I shall concentrate on that.
The quarters, if I’m right so far will result in NZ v Argentina (a big victory for NZ); SA v Ireland (a big victory for SA); England v France (yawn) and Australia v Wales (A big victory for Aus but some wonderful tries on both sides).
Therefore the Semis will be Australia V France and NZ v SA (delicious!)
So a Australia versus NZ final, won by NZ by at least 15 points. If not more.
SA and Aus’s recent minor victories over NZ were flashes in the pan and do not reflect the strength in depth and skill levels of the All Blacks, even before we take into account the home advantage. England really are devoid of any creative flair (name me one – and Tuilagi doesn’t count – he’s not English and he hasn’t flair, just brute strength) and will try to play 10 man rugby as per usual and get nowhere and complain that the referees were biased against them like they always do as they’re very bad losers. France will turn up to play against England then get thrashed by Australia because they will be overly arrogant, they have no sustained form over the last 3 years and have used more players than most of the other top 5 teams combined hence no consistency.
The Australians are good, but not that good, again, no strength in-depth and are weak in the front row where most games are won and lost. The flair player, Quade Cooper will play one or two blinders I’m sure, but then make a schoolboy error a la Campese just when it counts. That leaves SA. Awesome team ethic, great players, but just over the hill and no winning habit of late. So, a walk in the park for the All Blacks!